original air-date: 11-30-03
Kind. Rewind: Jack, Vaughn, Lauren, and Sloane teamed
up to extract Sydney from NSC custody.
you get when you throw in a drugged up doctor, his wacky assistant,
and a whole lot of symbolism in an episode of Alias?
One really messed up, yet oddly satisfying hour of television.
a TV show decides to do an episode that largely focuses on
dreams, they run the risk of having the hour turn into an
absurd waste of time that does nothing to drive the plot of
the series forward. Conscious managed to avoid this
by checking Sydney's dream state with outside events and by
adding some humor to the story courtesy of one nutty professor,
played by David Cronenberg.
far surpasses the boundaries of weirdness, but the free-loving
Doc who likes to serve up cocktails containing Ecstasy to
get his patients to access their lost memories was just what
this episode needed to balance out the heavy handed subject
matter. After watching the episode twice, I still don't understand
the science the writers threw in to back up this guy's experiment,
but I figure I don't understand science anyway and this is
Alias, so I'll have to let it slide.
Mary-Anne like student/assistant/lover was also a barrel of
laughs, trying to touch everyone in sight and talking about
parrots. Her flighty behavior indicates that the good doctor
may have used her as a lab rat one too many times, but all
in all she was a blast to watch.
that Sydney explored during the episode were the highlight
of the hour. There was a lot of stuff that made no sense whatsoever,
and then there were some symbols that are worth pondering
if you're an obsessive fan and have nothing better to do.
in mind, I decided to look up St. Aidan, which was what was
written on the birthday cake Sydney cut and was the name of
the car she was riding in while she was dreaming. Research
tells us that St. Aidan was an Irish monk who's celebrated
on August 31st every year. What this has to do with anything
I can't rightly make out yet, but since it was mentioned twice
we can be sure that it will appear again at some later date.
interesting thing to note is that the door that Sydney was
trying to get through during the entire episode was marked
47. Page 47 was an episode title from the first season
that dealt with a page from the Rambaldi manuscript that had
a sketch of a woman resembling Sydney and the prophecy that
says that the woman depicted will "render the greatest
power," blah, blah, blah
Basically it said she'd
use Rambaldi's work to destroy the world. This could be me
reading too much into this, but considering the way the writers
of this show like to play with viewers' minds, I'm willing
to bet that it's significant in one way or another.
the visuals that we got during the dream sequences, they were
cool as hell. Of course, I will now forever be afraid to cut
into a birthday cake for fear that it will leak blood, but
putting that aside, the visuals rocked. These scenes, which
included seeing three Sydney's appear on the stairs while
chasing after a gurney and shifting from Spy Girl lip locking
lips with Vaughn to trading spit with Sloane, gave the episode
a creepy feeling that fit perfectly.
excellent moments from Conscious included Syd decking
Lauren, Jack calling Vaughn spineless, and Lindsey asking
Sloane to eliminate Sydney.
the dreams with other events, such as the discovery of Lazeray's
hand, which clears Sydney of his murder, this episode was
able to work where other shows that spend an episode in a
character's unconscious have failed. This episode actually
moved the plot forward, gave us some answers, and left us
with more questions. Most other shows' "dream" episodes
are usually misguided attempts at something deeply creative
that never quite gels with the basic narrative.
episode worked well and left off just where it should have:
with a cliffhanger that has us wishing Sunday would hurry
up and get here so we can see what happens next.