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On TV Today's Date:

original air-date: 04-06-05

Be Kind. Rewind: Sydney got buried alive and it was Marshall to the rescue!

Man, I just hate it when people start melting in my nuclear reactor chamber. It’s so hard to get out the stains they leave behind.

Seriously, though, it was kind of nasty when that Vlachko dude decided to fry some guy with what we now understand to be the mysterious Nightingale. The question is why is he experimenting on humans and to what end? Is it just a weapon used to turn hundreds of people into human blobs in mere minutes or are they doing something else with this DNA altering machine?

Of course, we won’t know the answer to that for a while, but we did get a better idea about what Sloane and Jack are up to. They’re searching for another one of Irina’s sisters, Yelena Derevko. There’s speculation on many fan sites about what this could mean. Some think that this other sister could actually be Lauren’s mother, while others argue that the interest in Irina’s sister might be further evidence for backing up the thought that Spy Mommy might not be dead after all. The fact that Sloane made it clear to Jack that keeping their plans from Sydney was essential might also add some weight to this idea.

Whatever it means, it seems to have a lot of people talking about where the show is heading as May sweeps quickly approach, the time when big guest stars star showing up (such as Lena Olin), if they are offered enough money, of course.

And I would honestly like to believe that Jack risked his life to save Syd when she was trapped inside the chamber, but I’m just not buying it. Why, you ask? First of all, we never saw him actually go into the core, just getting the door open. Second, he and Sloane had that conversation about exploiting Sydney to get information and protecting everything they’d worked for. And finally, Jack has not been above making himself out to be the self-sacrificing father before in order to get what he needs. Why should this time be any different from past incidents?

And the stuff involving Vaughn’s father just gets more confusing the more we learn. If his father wasn’t killed after all, why did he abandon his wife and son? Did he take up with Irina Derevko and her lot? Is that why he had Nadia with him? We don’t have any answers yet, but we do know that Vaughn is willing to go to extreme lengths to learn the truth.

This is actually working out to be a good plotline for Michael Vartan, who has had to deal with being basically seen as either Sydney’s love interest or Lauren’s betrayed husband. Now, he gets a story that is mostly about him and his issues, besides the Irina and Nadia connections.

Still, it gives Vartan the opportunity to stand on his own for the first time in a long time, despite the fact that everything in the Alias world is interconnected. Having Vaughn go off on a rogue mission also forces us to question what the repercussions of his actions will be, whether or not he will be able to return to APO after he learns the truth or if Jack and Sloane have something more sinister install for Spy Boy.

“Nightingale” was basically satisfying, but there were some great parts that just stood out. Like when Syd, dressed as a German bar wench, slides across the table knocking out Dietrich’s guard and then cries “Auf Wiedersehen” before rushing out the door with Vaughn. The other laugh out loud part was when Vaughn tells Syd that he loves her and then punches her in the face, making it look like he overpowered Spy Girl and ran off with the coil so Jack wouldn’t think that they had willfully deceived him.

The only problem I have with this episode is the melting person in the beginning and Vaughn injecting himself with the scary needle when he meets with the informant concerning his dad. Must we have all the grossness? It was just plain icky, but, in retrospect, necessary, I suppose.

Rebecca Sparling

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