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On TV Today's Date:

Blood Ties
original air-date: 04-25-04

Be Kind. Rewind: Jack tricked everyone and saved Sloane from being put to death and Lauren found out that Vaughn's onto her.

The first time I watched this week's episode of Alias, I was beyond confused. I had no idea what was going on, what happened, how it happened, or anything really. However, since I have found myself immersed in papers this past week and a half, I chalked my confusion up to my brain not being able to process any more information. The second time I watched it, I figured that I didn't get everything because it requires a level of concentration that I wasn't able to muster after taking two finals in the same day. But, when watching it a third time, after a good night's sleep and brain rebooted after a caffeine fix, I have decided that it's not me, it's the episode. "Blood Ties" is just plain confusing, even if you haven't been pulling all nighters.

The whole Rambaldi stuff has always been a vague, tangled mess, but this episode just made things even more perplexing. Okay, so now we know that when it looked like Sloane was taking some drugs in a previous episode, that he was really trying to use some elixir to make him this conduit to Rambaldi so he could discover the dead guy's end game, but what is this end game? It basically seems like all Rambaldi wanted to do was destroy the freaking world and I can't understand why he didn't do it in the damn 15th century when he was alive!

Also, if Sloane had all of this information two years ago, why didn't he just go off and find his daughter then? All that stuff about him wanting to be worthy of his child was crap, or he wouldn't have strapped her down to the chair at the end and given her a dose of that green stuff that made her go all epileptic. He wants to get to the bottom of all this Prophecy stuff, and he's obviously willing to play whoever he can, Sydney and Jack as well as the Covenant, to do it.

The only reason I can imagine that he waited was because Sydney was missing during those two years, and without her, the prophecy wouldn't be fulfilled. But, then I remembered that he knew where Syd was at some point during that time, so that throws that whole idea out the window and leaves me with a big bubble containing a question mark floating above my head.

We always knew that there was more to Vaughn's father's death than we were being told, so it is interesting to discover that he was a follower of Rambaldi as well and that he died protecting the Passenger. The thing that still befuddles me is why? Why was Vaughn's daddy into some dead guy's ramblings? What do these other followers of Rambaldi, who seem more virtuous than people in The Covenant or Sloane himself, hope to achieve? Are they simply trying to prevent the others from using Milo's crazy inventions to bring about destruction? It's all still a big mystery and right now I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Speaking of bad things, the whole torture bit wasn't as nearly as much fun as I expected it to be. It's not that I enjoy seeing Boy Scout get all mutilated or anything, that's sadistic. It's just that I had hoped that it'd be a little bit more evil. The whole Lauren pretending to help Vaughn thing was bitchy, but not nearly as devious as it could have been. Besides, Vaughn, once again, showed little of the emotion that one would expect of someone who has not only been betrayed, but is now being tortured by a woman that he thought he loved.

Yes, there is the fact that he was probably too beaten to really get all that angry, and there was also that little quip about Sark looking like he's about 12 that Spy Boy managed to throw out there (Bravo), but there's no fury! Damn it, if the person that had done that to me was within ten feet of me, I would have at least told her to go to hell! Why? Why won't you let your emotions out Vaughn? You need to express them, and the next time you see Lauren you need to pop her one right on that pretty little face of hers. Needless to say, it angers me that Vaughn doesn't show his anger more.

Of course, I cannot finish this review without talking about the prodigal sister. Actress Mia Maestro enters the Alias world as Nadia, Syd's half-sister, Sloane's daughter, and Rambaldi's Passenger. But, no pressure on her or anything. While we did learn that Nadia is some kind of agent, we didn't learn much else. For instance, how did she end up as an Argentinean agent? Does she know that she is involved in this whole Prophecy bit? Has she met Irina? This girl has a lot of mystery surrounding her and the crappy thing is all of us loyal viewers know that we aren't going to get any kind of real answers before the season's out.

After much assessment, I can say that "Blood Ties" is, without a doubt, the most confusing episode of this show that I have seen to date. I'm hoping that this all leads up to at least some answers before we are exiled to rerun hell for the summer, but that is up to the powers that be, namely J.J. Abrams and Co. And, with the way that those guys like to mess with our minds, you can be sure that the season finale will just leave us hanging and coming up with crazy theories about what's gonna happen next. But, I figure, that's part of the fun of watching this show anyway.

So, if you found yourself a little bewildered by this week's episode, fear not. You are definitely not alone.

Rebecca Sparling

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