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Alias: Authorized Personnel Only, Part 1

Sydney: "You're transferring me to the mailroom?"

Alias is so good at remaking itself. They just did it again.

Even though Alias tends not to have the greatest premiere episodes, this one was a lot of fun. The Hitchcock-like opener on the train was fabulous, and reminded me of the Superbowl episode; the music ("At Last") was an acknowledgement of how long we've been waiting for season four.

They moved directly into the misleading setup for Sydney's "demotion" that was a cover for her transfer to APO, which seems to be a sort of legitimate SD-6. Back to the beginning, so to speak, with all of our favorite characters, and now they even have a license to kill. Once I got used to the idea, I started liking it a lot. Sydney now gets to work permanently with her father, her lover, and her former partner.

Putting Sloane, her mortal enemy, in charge felt bizarre, but (another Hitchcock reference) you set a thief to catch a thief, right? Who better than Sloane to put terrorists and international criminals out of business? He still gives me the shudders, and we'll always suspect him of having another agenda: the drama and the conflict are built right in. And I can't imagine this series without Ron Rifkin, anyway.

So Sydney and Vaughn went out on one mission and immediately jumped back into bed together. It can only go downhill from here. Of course, that's exactly the opposite of what they usually do with will-they-won't-they couples on television. It's sort of ironic, too; last year, Garner and Vartan were a real life couple, and didn't do a single love scene. This year, they've broken up, and Sydney and Vaughn immediately hit the sheets. Life is strange.

Finally, there was the cryptic Sydney and Jack argument about what happened in the Wittenberg bank vault. More about that in my review of part two.

Bits and pieces:

— The new opening credits (twenty minutes in, typical Alias) kicked major, major butt. No more David Anders (boo). No more Melissa George (yay). They've added Mia Maestro, which is fine with me. But I want Sark back, do you hear me, J.J.? And while you're at it, could we have Will Tippin back, too?



— Speaking of casting, we may have "lost" the wonderful Terry O'Quinn, but Angela Bassett as Director Chase appears to be his equal. Loved her, loved her, loved her.

— The Rambaldi symbol <0> is gone from the credits, and there was only a brief mention of him. Is Rambaldi off the menu?

— The new set is so white and shiny! SD-6 was such a dungeon, and the CIA office was slick with the black marble, so white and shiny is a big change. You'd think a black ops office would be in a warehouse or something.

— In this season's hair report, Jennifer Garner's hair was the same length, but the cut sure looked different. Love Angela Bassett's do. Michael Vartan's looked more mussed, and he had more stubble than usual; getting out of a three piece suit will do that for you, I guess.

Quotes:

Vaughn: (to Weiss) "It's not because of Sydney. It's because last year sucked."
Was that a backhanded way of acknowledging that season three was less than stellar?

Sydney: "You're sure she really left? Fake quitting seems to be all the rage."

Kamarov: "What is inside can be used for good or evil."
Sydney: "Me, too."

This week's...

... itinerary: Shanghai, Washington D.C., Belarus, and somewhere in Argentina.

... hot look: Like I have to write it down? Short blonde hair, skimpy white nightie, Swedish accent. Kamarov must have felt like he had won the lottery. I also thought Vaughn looked cute in glasses.




More in part two,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great episode, and a fun re-make of the Superbowl episode, right down to seeing the opening scene twice from two different perspectives (although less obviously this time).

    I love the new look of the show, too. Jennifer Garner's hair makes her look more grown-up without looking older, and it's so nice to get everyone out of those suits. Because part of the reason I watch this show is the clothes, and I absolutely despise the business suit (and everything it represents) with my entire being.

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