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Thursday, March 24, 2005
Alias Round-Up
The Orphan
This is how I imagine the conversation going in the Alias writing room.

"You know, we need to do a backstory on Nadia. I see that those flashback storylines are really working over on Lost. Let's try that with Nadia! I'm sure that will work!"

It pains me to say this because I like Jeffrey Bell, one of the co-writers of this story. But it just didn't quite work here. Thankfully, it wasn't the usual Alias gimmick of, let's start the teaser with a shocking twist and then go back 72 hours and fill in how we got here. That dead horse has been beat one too many times for my liking. Instead, it was an almost Lost-like flashback of Nadia'a life on the street, her becoming an uber-spy and falling into the Argentinian version of SD-6. Only difference was that once the betrayal comes out, Nadia goes and kills the head of her version of SD-6 while Syd worked from the inside to bring it down. Now, I'll give you that the similarities to the situation that Sydney faced in season one and Nadia faced during her time as a young spy were pretty interesting. But five compelling minutes out of an hour do not a good episode make.

In a lot of ways, Nadia is turning into this season's Lauren. Lauren came into the show last year with the potential to be a good dramatic conflict for the show and instead it never went anywhere until Lauren turned evil (and we found the limits of Melissa George's acting range). Then, suddenly, there was new and exciting tension again, as well as a lot of dirty looks by Melissa George at Sydney. This year, I feel like we're heading down that path again--we have Nadia who has come into the little wacky SD-6 family and her loyalties and agenda aren't really all that spelled out. And we've had seeds sewn for her to go the dark side and turn against our heroes--esp. Jack and Syd--by season's end. I am hopeful that maybe they'll pull it in a different direction or that even if they follow this path that it's more interesting than we had last year with Lauren. At least they're putting pieces in place for Nadia to go evil unlike Lauren's transformation last year where it just came out of left field as they had no idea what to do with the character.

OK, let me ask this--who else laughed out loud when Sydney cautioned Nadia about not letting personal feelings be an issue on a mission? That's the pot calling the kettle black just a bit, don't you think!

And I guess I'm supposed to be compelled by Vaughn's search for his father, who in good Alias fashion kept his offspring in the dark about certain aspects of his life. Forgive me, but I'm really actually kind of bored by this whole plotline. First of all, if Vaughn can afford to take off all this time and afford to go jaunting all over the globe at the drop of a hat, are we paying our CIA operatives too much? I know, I know--it's a fictional show and I'm sure they don't make that much. But if they are, I'm just saying, that could easily eliminate the deficit if we pushed a few to early retirement. Now, I did like the scene between Vaughn and Marshall in the beginning of the show. That was actually a good scene. Completely throwaway, but good.

You know, two weeks ago, I was enthusiastic about Alias again. The show had managed to put together a string of three great episodes in a row and I hoped this might mean the season had turned a corner. Instead, it looks like these were the exception to the rule and to be honest, the preview for next week didn't do much to make hope that a turnaround is coming soon.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 3/24/2005 08:00:00 AM | |
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