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Alias: Before the Flood

Irina: "Consider my life an object lesson. If you don't want to end up like Jack and me, tell Sydney the truth."

Holy cliffhanger, Batman!

Alias does a season-ending cliffhanger better than just about anyone. The last minute made me literally jump out of my seat. Is Vaughn dead? And if Michael Vaughn isn't Michael Vaughn, who the hell is he?

Let's recap. Early on, Irina said she knew about Vaughn's "covert activities" and wanted him to tell Sydney the truth... but she also gave him her blessing. He mentioned Bill Vaughn ("You know what? You killed my father. The way I see it, I don't have to ask for your blessings." "Despite that, you may have them"). What was all that Bill Vaughn crap about this season if Michael Vaughn isn't really Michael Vaughn? Was he a mole at the CIA because of Bill Vaughn, and is that why he pretended to be Bill Vaughn's son?

Yes, he was always our boy scout, but he turned into a dark avenger pretty quickly. In the car, Sydney said, "Whatever it is, I can handle it. Just don't tell me you're a bad guy." Vaughn looked worried. "You're not a bad guy, are you?" Vaughn: "I guess that depends who you ask." His loyalties are not in question, and we know he really loves Sydney. So was he a double who changed sides? Was he originally an Alliance plant?

I'm just blowing smoke here. I don't have a freaking clue.

Moving right along... Jack and Irina. Are they cool, or what? They're so much fun now that they've finally come to terms with their bizarre marriage. The scene where Irina threatened to let Jack torture Yelena was just ... well, it's odd to describe a torture scene this way, but it was cute, wasn't it? I also loved Irina executing Yelena ("Sydney, cut the blue wire"). The best part was Jack letting Irina go free in the end. If we never see Irina again on this show, at least we got some closure.

I wasn't all that surprised that Sloane turned out to be good, but I was surprised when he shot Zombie Nadia to save Sydney. At least Sydney has finally accepted that Sloane has truly changed. And frankly, I'm partly disappointed. Sloane made such a fabulous villain. Well, maybe he will again, someday.

So. All that build-up, and no fight to the death in the glow of the big red golf ball. What gives? Alias doesn't usually give us a build-up like this without a real climax. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Nadia is still with us, albeit in medical limbo. I wonder if the Powers That Be changed their minds midstream about killing off Nadia when they found out Jennifer Garner was pregnant. Cheer up; maybe we'll get another apocalypse next year.

(Of course, we could also take the brackets in the Rambaldi symbol as Yelena and Irina. They certainly fought to the death. Or outwitted each other to the death. I'm not sorry Yelena is gone. She never clicked as a character for me.)

This episode actually would have made a good series ender... if they had left out the last two minutes. But I'm very glad it's not the end.

Bits and pieces:

— When Yelena was trying to turn Nadia, why didn't Nadia freaking LIE TO HER? I was actually yelling, "Nadia! Lie to her, already!" I mean, isn't Nadia a secret agent with covert skills or something?

— This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was the broken statue of the Madonna; Nadia was referred to just last week as the Virgin Mary. (Interesting that we got a broken Madonna statue in the Lost season finale, too.)

— I thought the contaminated water was all over the world already. Why didn't the APO team get infected?

— The wall of water was a return to the season one cliffhanger. And Vaughn escaped it this time, only to fall victim to a Ford Focus.

— No Katya in this one, and now Yelena is (thankfully) dead. Too bad that we'll never see the three Derevko sisters together.

— That guy Brodien who asked Sydney not to put any more holes in him right before he got rebarred by a zombie was the one Sydney dressed up and stuck an earring in, earlier this season.

— Weiss and Marshall holding the fort was very cute ("What would Jack do in this situation?") They talked about cliques and high school; there was a similar riff on Lost.

— Could Spy Family chuting in be considered "angels falling from the sky"?

— This season ender was so Buffy-like, what with the zombies and the Apocalypse and the Sydney and Nadia fight to the death resembling Buffy and Faith. But somehow, not the same.

— I often turn on the close captioning the second time I watch an episode, and close captioning often starts with an ad. This time, it started out with "Close caponing by Ford." Those chickens had better watch out.


Jack: "The last year has made me re-evaluate certain parts of my life. I'm trying to have more fun these days."

Irina: "Rambaldi wrote, when blood-red horses run to the streets and angels fall from the sky, the Chosen One and the Passenger will clash and only one of them will survive."
Jack: "You really are through the looking glass, aren't you?"

This week's...

... itinerary: Sevogda, home of the big red apocalypse, and Santa Barbara, the place Vaughn never quite gets Sydney to.

Two spies for the apocalypse plot and four for the cliffhanger, which evens out to three out of four spies. All in all, season four was a bit choppy and I wasn't thrilled with so many stand-alone episodes, but we did get some awesome arc stories and an absolutely classic cliffhanger. I do love this show.

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


  1. One thing you failed to notice: Sydney had the same hairstyle as in the Rambaldi manuscripts.

    1. That statue is of an angel, not the Madonna.


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