I'm beginning to thinks that somone slipped the Alias production a team a copy of season one on DVD and that not only did they watch it, but they also remembered what it was that hooked me on this show to begin with. Because the last three weeks have just been going back to the qualities that made the first year and a half of this show so enjoyable.
The only thing really missing here was that due to the mandate from J.J. Abrams that the stories being a bit more "self contained" that we had to have the resolution to the main plotline in the course of the hour. How much cooler would it have been to have had the big reveal that Jack had gone into meet with the Alliance people instead of Sloane? Based on the arc the character has taken until now, that would have given us something to stew over for a week--including the question of where Jack's loyalties really lie. I would have enjoyed that a lot.
But what this episode did was harken back to the days when Syd was a double-agent. Having Syd have a dual-agenda in most of the scenes really helped increase the tension--esp. when the scenes when she steals and dupliates the index and later at Sloane's house. The drama of--will she get caught in her deceptions was nicely done and it really made the scenes of stealing things, running around dressed up in various outfits a lot more fun. If there is danger to Syd personally, that is far more compelling than the usual, well, let's be chased around by bad guys. And it gave some of the scenes a lot more nuances--such as the wonderful conversation between Sloane and Syd when he expresses disappointment in her.
Though in looking at things, I have to wonder if Sloane set up Syd and Dixon. Think about it. He gets to cry "wolf" now to Director Chase when this project is on the up and up. Later when his real agenda comes to light, they will have to work harder to have more definitive proof and their credibility is a bit more suspect. Yeah, whatever Sloane's agenda is, he's helped himself out a lot here by the eagerness of Syd and Dixon to expose him. I have to think this will come back to haunt our heroes later.
And let us never doubt that Sloane has another agenda. We were reminded of it yet again in the final scene as Jack and Sloane engage in mysterious double talk that yields no information. To quote Dr Evil here, "Throw me a freakin' bone!" Come on, Alias....Lost teases us with tidbits all the time without frustrating us...you can take a page from the same play book!
Meanwhile, Nadia is the one who saves Jack this time. It is just filled with irony since Jack killed her mother and Syd has been keeping her in the dark about it all thise time. I can only imagine Nadia is going to be less than thrilled when the fact that Jack killed her mother and Syd lied to her about it comes into the light. Oh, the tension, the tension.
And while the episode was good, it wasn't quite perfect. I've mentioned a few things that I found less than thrilling within the overall context. But the real sore thumb here was Vaughn goes to visit his dying uncle and gets a clue about his dad, who may or may not be dead. Good to know every CIA family is dysfunctional, I guess. And I'm going to go to my common criticism from this year--Alias, if you're gonna borrow from The X-Files, make it a bit less obvious. If you've seen the classic episode "One Breath" you knew right away the nurse that Vaughn saw wouldn't really have worked there. But why was she there and did it really matter? Hard to care much when all it leads to is a bus station locker and a journal that says Poppa Vaughn may or may not be alive still. Goodness--does anyone ever die on this show? I swear, I think that Herbert Hoover could make a guest appearance on the show and no one would bat an eye.
Also, part of me was a bit irritated that Syd's agenda for wanting to catch Slaone in wrong-doing didn't include the fact that he had her fiancee executed way back in episode one. I know she's with Vaughn now (at least for this week), but that would be a good little tidbit to throw in there for those of us who have been with this show since day one.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 3/10/2005 11:00:00 AM