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On TV Today's Date:

original air-date: 05-23-04

Be Kind. Rewind: Vaughn decided that it’s high time Lauren paid for her crimes, Nadia was taken into CIA custody, and Jack got friendly with Katya.

Well, after seeing the season finale, all I can say is this: There’s bad news and then there’s bad news followed by more bad news with an itsy bitsy bit of a silver lining thrown in there.

Let’s start with the bad news. ABC has recently released its new Fall Schedule and though Alias is included in it, there won’t be any new episodes of the series until January 2005.

That’s right. Our beloved spy drama has been banished to the land of mid-season replacements. ABC execs assure viewers that this was done so that there’s less repeats between new episodes, thus making the series more fluid. An interesting idea, yes, but the fact that the network is also cutting the number of new episodes we’ll see in season four, down to 20 from the usual 22, doesn’t give the faithful viewer the impression that ABC is all that confident in the show right now.

There’s not much that can be done about this, besides possibly going over to abc.go.com and sending some emails showing concern, but the fact that they are running what is described as a drama/comedy called Desperate Housewives in Alias’ place is truly a good sign. Why? Look at the title; it has “cancelled before the fifth episode” written all over it.

Sadly, there is more bad news. If Alias had any chance of finding a way back into its normal timeslot before we ring in a new year, then this is certainly not the episode that they wanted to end on.

“Resurrection” has far too many things wrong with it for it to be the type of cliffhanger that leaves fans so wanting more that they’ll break down the doors of ABC head honchos and beg for a new season ASAP.

Of course, there are questions that were left unanswered, but this episode was just a jumbled mess of confusion. First of all, this episode needed to be longer. They tried to do too many things in a single hour and spent too much time on inconsequential stuff (like Syd’s slow mo walk into the bank) for this episode to really come together the way it needed to.

Like always, there’s Rambaldi stuff to talk about, but, like always, it makes little to no sense and there’s nothing all that important revealed about the artifact that everyone has been looking for. There’s a chance that they’re looking for Milo himself and in the end only Nadia and Sloane were on the right track, but all of that wasn’t the real focus of this episode.

The true focus of this episode was, once again, the sordid love-triangle and Vaughn’s need to get revenge against the woman who betrayed him. Surely, Spy Girl and Boy Scout fans enjoyed seeing Lauren get taken down and the star crossed lovers finally getting back together, but for all the build up this wasn’t a fitting ending to a storyline that has been going on all season.

Yeah, it was great to see Vaughn knock Lauren out while saying “Hi, honey” in an evil sort of way. And, Michael Vartan finally looked truly menacing when preparing to torture Lauren, so kudos to him. But, to have a character that was so hated be wiped out in a hail of bullets is sort of disappointing and really unoriginal.

To have her mumble some number to a bank box while dying was even more far fetched. Yes, it leads us to the cliffhanger ending, but why on earth would Lauren reveal such a thing to Sydney with her final breaths?

What exactly was in the box is still sketchy. Of course, it looked like something that proves that Jack has had something to do with Rambaldi, that Sydney’s birth and everything about her life has been controlled by her father, but that is just speculation. The only real facts that we have to go on are what Lauren said before she died, Syd’s name and birth date on that CIA file, and Spy Daddy telling her she was never supposed to see it.

While this is an interesting place to end, didn’t we already know this? We knew that Jack trained Syd to be a spy when we learned about the whole Project Christmas thing. Given that, there has to be something even more devastating on that paper for Sydney to react the way she did. What that is will have to wait until January.

It’s not that there weren’t some bright spots in this episode. The whole Lauren disguised as Syd and Syd disguised as Lauren thing was really well done visually, even if it didn’t make much sense logically. Watching Vaughn beat Sark while being told about his wife’s extramarital affairs was also pretty satisfying. And, hearing Lauren call Vaughn a Boy Scout was fairly amusing.

The problem is this: This episode was not a season ender. If we look at the finales from the past two years, season one ending with Sydney’s mom coming back and season two ending with Syd having been missing for two years, we can see that this episode didn’t pack the same punch that those endings did. While it’s not really fair to compare those episodes to this one, the comparisons are inevitable. Alias is known for it’s big endings, and “Resurrection” didn’t have the suspense or the drama that we have come to expect from the show. There was no big reveal, the fight scenes were lackluster, and there wasn’t anything to make fans go “Oh my god! What happens next?”

There needed to be a stronger finish to the season if they expect Alias to survive a seven-month hiatus and be able to attract any new viewers to the show when it, um, resurrects. Not only that, but it is a true disappointment to fans to end in this way when they have been patiently dealing with a rebuilding season that can only be described as hit or miss.

Rebecca Sparling

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