original air-date: 10-05-03
Kind. Rewind: Spy Girl's back from the dead, Jack's out
of jail, Vaughn's a teacher, and Sloane's a good guy. Anyone
else hear the theme to The Twilight Zone while watching
the season premiere?
the great things about Alias
is that, on the whole, it's a wonderful mixture of drama,
romance, and action all rolled up into a lovely hour-long
treat. Think of it as a bite-sized movie perfect for Sunday
night snacking. The only problem with this little formula
we see used week after week is that, sometimes, all of these
elements don't mix as well as they should. The result of this
refusal to gel is an episode where so many little things occur
that it feels like nothing really happened at all.
this is the flaw at the heart of this week's episode. It's
not that there's anything truly yawn-worthy or inherently
wrong with the episode itself, it's that it's a filler episode
and there was nothing in it to distract the viewer from this
sequences were nothing to write home about. While watching
the opening scene of the two undercover CIA agents in the
plunging elevator, I got a strange sense of déjà
vu and remembered that another episode (last season's "A
Dark Turn") started off in a very similar manner.
Granted, they didn't kill the guys this time; The Covenant
just carted the whole elevator off using a helicopter, but
once is enough. Note to writers: Escalators could be used
as an extremely messy and painful form of death; consider
using one for a future episode.
interaction was nearly as bland as the action sequences. Sydney
is still trying to piece together what happened to her. But
after being back for only a week she's already fully reinstated
at the CIA and has a new apartment. This may be nitpicking,
but it's amazing that the CIA lets agents that have been either
A) missing, B) in jail or C) retired back in with relative
ease. Hey, you don't know where you've been for two years?
No problem! You say you've been in jail for conspiring with
a known terrorist? We can overlook that! So, you've been teaching
remedial French to a bunch of undergrads and haven't been
in the field for ages? Welcome back!
the Vaughnster is with the Agency once again. This can only
mean that we're in for some long, angst-filled stares between
Spy Girl and Boy Scout from across the conference room table.
Aren't you just quivering with anticipation?
he decided to give up the wonderful world of academia, Vaughn
told Sydney that there are some things she should know. The
first was that he loved her so much that it nearly killed
him (Awww, what a nice sentiment). He told her that he used
to stay up all night drinking and talking to Sydney as if
she were really there; you know, he did the normal self-destructive
things people do when they grieve. The second thing was that
he doesn't regret moving on with his life. This is all well
and good, but Vaughn's little speech doesn't gain him nearly
as much sympathy as Sydney's emotional outburst last week.
Vaughn just doesn't seem as destroyed as Syd and his lack
of remorse about moving on doesn't win him many points with
interesting parts of the episode involved Sark. The Covenant
wants to make an exchange: they will hand over the CIA agent
whose head they haven't cut off yet if the agency gives them
Sark. The show's bad boy has been in CIA custody for the last
two years and has supposedly given them every little bit of
intel that he possessed. When he sees Syd, who's there to
try to find out why the Covenant wants him so badly, he's
shocked saying that he knew nothing about her disappearance
and was not involved if Sloane was the one responsible.
of Sloane, Jack decides to pay his old friend a visit. Spy
Daddy tells his former colleague that he refuses to believe
that Sloane has retired his pitchfork and horns in order to
fight the good fight. However, Sloane says that his Rambaldi
obsession is a constant in his life and that the message of
peace that he received from the device was one that he had
to follow through on. Jack finds the end result of the thirty-year
process to assemble this device "anti-climactic"
and says that Sloane could have gotten the same answer from
a fortune cookie. Sloane just sort of shrugs this off and
gives Jack a disk that contains all the leads that he looked
into concerning Sydney's disappearance. What's on the disk
is left unanswered.
contacts Irina using, what else, instant messaging. Conveniently,
this allows Irina to stay in the storyline without using Lena
Olin who, according to recent rumors, might not be back at
all this season. Still, even without Olin's presence the scene
is cute. Jack informs his ex-wife that their daughter is alive
and they both sign off by saying that they miss each other.
does not appear at all this season it will be a grace loss
to the show. Garber and Olin had a wonderful dynamic as the
dysfunctional former Mr. and Mrs. Bristow, which will be sorely
missed if she decides not to return. Here's hoping the producers
will spend less money on Sydney's outfits and more of it to
woo Olin back.
his chat with Irina, Jack learns exactly why the Covenant
wants Sark. He was responsible for the death of one of the
group's high-ranking officials and now he has to pay the price,
which happens to be $800 million. Sark doesn't think he has
anywhere near that amount of money, but he finds out that
he has inherited it from his late father, Andrean Lazarey,
who just happens to be the man that we saw Sydney murder in
Jack's surveillance video. So, Sark had a daddy, who Sydney
killed, and he is a descendant of the Royal Romanoff family
this is interesting in terms of character development, but
can't the writers give this guy a first name already? Perhaps
this is one of those annoying mysteries that TV writers like
to torture us fans with season after season, but, at this
point, I'm willing to go with Bob just as long as they give
the guy a name.
Lindsey sabotaged the exchange, the Covenant now has possession
of both Sark and the poor operative posing as a scientist.
Syd, along with Weiss and a team of agents, heads to a club
that is a front for the mysterious group to rescue the imprisoned
agent. When Syd finally gets to him, she shoots a guy in a
white lab coat that was hovering over the Agent Rotter. Syd
makes sure he is ok and white-lab-coat-guy starts talking
to her as he bleeds to death on the floor. He says that she
"kept her promise"; that she always said she would
kill him. Just before he dies he says that she was his favorite
and that she never broke. Sydney tries to get some answers
out of him, but he passes on before he can say anything more.
has some very interesting implications. Of course, something
was done to Sydney while she was missing, but what? Brain
washing is a given, but perhaps there were other, more horrifying
experiments taking place. By his last words, he implies that
some people did break; some people died because of
what he was doing to them. What and why white-lab-coat guy
did whatever it is he did is left unanswered, but it raises
some interesting questions for future storylines.
episode ends on a very low note. Under orders from Dixon,
Syd goes to a meeting of CIA agents who have "lost time".
The whole thing looks like a bad attempt at a recreation of
an AA meeting and Sydney is obviously not comfortable as she
listens to other agents talk about the terrible dreams they
have and how they can't move on with their lives after what's
happened to them. Sydney bursts into Dixon's office, telling
him that she doesn't find the meetings at all helpful and
while she is still having a hard time getting over losing
Vaughn, she refuses to go to any more meetings. Sydney didn't
notice that she has interrupted a meeting between Dixon and
some pretty blonde woman. Dixon introduces this lady as Lauren
Reed, the new liaison between the NSC and the CIA.
a verbal bashing from Sydney Bristow is enough to send a guy
packing, because after her little run in with Lindsey in the
men's room he's decided to head back to DC
Lindsey's gone, Lauren's in and there's more to her than meets
the eye. She tells Syd that not only is she the liaison to
the NSC, she's also Michael Vaughn's wife.
Sydney can only dumbly reply by saying, "Hi." Personally,
I am really excited to see what one word response they'll
have Sydney end the episode with next week, aren't you?