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Prophet Five
original air-date: 09-29-05

If ever a season premiere called for a rant, then the fifth season opener of Alias would definitely be such an episode.

Let’s face it guys, as much as some of us out there don’t want to admit it, this is the beginning of the end for this show. Abrams and Co. got their precious syndication, so now the actual watch-able episodes of this show are now available for your viewing pleasure ever single day… however, the new season doesn’t hold much promise for the show to continue into a sixth year, despite what last week’s Neilsen ratings said.

The premiere is really little more than a sad example of what happens when actors’ lives interfere with the already formed plotline of a show. This statement is by no means a condemnation of Jennifer Garner’s pregnancy. Many shows survive such things (The X-Files being one of them), and the problem here is not Ms. Garner’s expanding waistline, but the failed off-screen relationship with Michael Vartan that I am referring to.

It has been rumored that ever since the toothsome twosome split that it was just a matter of time before Vartan’s Vaughn was written off the show, due to the awkwardness that both actors felt working with each other. Of course, there is no way to verify this, but if it’s true than it would not be the first time such a thing happened or the last (see this season’s One Tree Hill and I’ll bet that the recently split Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush, whose respective characters were this close to getting back together, will find themselves with sharing very little screen time.).

Also, this IS Alias and for all we know, Vaughn might not have actually died after all and they could have killed his evil twin brother that we, um, also never knew anything about, just like his real name…or purpose for being in the CIA…or apparently anything else about Vaughn…

See, what makes me mad is that this could have actually been an interesting storyline for Vartan for once in his history with this freaking character, and instead of letting it play out we have a pregnant Sydney tearing after the bastards that killed her baby’s daddy. Great, just what I wanted to watch all season…

And, if you believe what you read in the gossip columns (I know I put most of my faith in them.), then you know that ABC is worried that many viewers will turn over to Fox and those sexy OC kids, instead of watching a big old pregnant lady beat the crap out of people on a weekly basis. So, rumor has it that they will be bringing in some new agent for Sydney to train (a knock-out I am sure) to try to retain some of the show’s heat.

Whatever they decide to do, I don’t think that it will help the show much. It’s not so much that I am pissed that Vaughn died, but that they did it in the way that they did, as an excuse for Sydney to continue her work while carrying a child and really for no other reason, unless the whole Vartan/Garner tension is true. Also, a new lead female takes the focus off of Sydney, who is, despite some ideas that this might be an ensemble cast, the main character of the show, and that is never promising in terms of a show’s future (again, see The X-Files).

Of course, I am usually very quick to judge a show based on the season premiere (check out the archive if you don’t believe me) and I have often been, despite my pride, wrong about the rest of the season. However, instead of leaving me wanting more, the way a season premiere should, the opener of Alias made me wish it were Wednesday so I could watch Lost… Bad, reviewer, bad.

Rebecca Sparling

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