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Alias: Firebomb

Sloane: "This is bigger than SD-6, Sydney, than the CIA. Than you being deceived by me, and me being betrayed by you. If things were different..."

There was a lot of plot in this one.

Sloane still cares about Sydney. I actually shuddered when he kissed her on the forehead. And he's even more devious than I gave him credit for. I thought he was trying to build a new alliance, and that he planned to make a partner out of Kabir, but all he really wanted was the manuscript that Kabir had.

The "suitcase neutron bomb designed in the sixteenth century" was extremely freaky, and the scene in the church was hard to watch. I think they did well not sensationalizing it; just showing all those people burning to death was sad enough. Sark was unhappy that Sloane kept him in harm's way. Am I projecting, or was Sark a little freaked by the Doomsday Device as well?

Dixon made his choice; he was unable to let Sydney die, and he's finally forgiven her. I'm glad he's back in the story, but I wonder if he is going to lose his wife because of it.

I loved Sydney's tirade at Kendall. Did you notice that Sydney chose not to incinerate innocent people, but not doing it allowed Sloane to do exactly that? I also really enjoyed Will's big scene briefing Kendall and outshining the suits from Harvard. (Vaughn: "No suit, huh?" Will: "It's been awhile since I tried it on... or worked out, apparently... which makes me overwhelmed, and fat.")

Vaughn, Jack, and Kendall all showed impatience with Marshall in this episode, but Sydney never seems to become impatient with him. Even when he says things to her like: "They read heat signatures, which is kind of a problem, 'cause, well, you're incredibly hot."

Bits and pieces:

— Sydney and Vaughn found that audio and (gulp) video bugs, originally designed by Marshall, were planted in Syd's apartment. This might put a damper on their extracurricular activities.

— Alt-Francie is a smart one, going on the offensive and telling Syd that Syd has been acting weird?

— The Kennedy School is Harvard? Is that a common expression, or CIA weirdness? Speaking of which, is it true that there are 35 people CIA agents are legally allowed to kill on sight?

— I was a bit taken aback by the Ford Focus commercial written into the plot. Not that anything would make me buy one.

— Lena Olin wasn't in this episode.

— Is it me, or does Jennifer Garner look noticeably thinner? I guess that can happen when you're making movies and starring in a one-hour action series at the same time.

— Caplan (Christian Slater) was referred to in this episode, even though we didn't see him. Do Sloane and Sark plan to keep the guy permanently?

This week's...

... itinerary: Switzerland; Kandahar; Mexico City.

... cool device: The "cold suit" that was invisible to infrared security cameras. Cool idea, no pun intended.

... hot look: Sydney as a little old lady, complete with pearls, a cane, and a hat with a net.

Complex, moody and intense episode. Very good. Three out of four spies,

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


  1. You nailed it, Billie: this was a complex and moody episode. It left me dispirited.

    I think this is Alias's 9/11 episode. The past few episodes (since "Phase One") focused on personal elements of Sydney's participation in the spy game; this episode brought home the chilling toll that terrorism exacts.

    Making the reasons so petty--a demonstration of strength and a desire to get back at an ex-wife/rape victim--made it even worse. People were burned alive from the inside for nothing, really. The decision to associate Sloane, however obliquely and temporarily, with a warlord who was allied with the Taliban, too, makes me think of 9/11. It's like Kabir was the up-market version of bin Laden.

    Throughout the show, there have been numerous scenes of Sydney relaxing in the bathtub with a glass of wine set to mopey music. It was touching that Vaughn was able to join her post-mission ritual, but the scene also emphasized the inherent loneliness of grief. Even being together can't make Sydney and Vaughn un-see what they saw.

    If I'm right, and this was the show's subtle way of acknowledging 9/11, then I think they did a great job, and made a wise decision to wait awhile to do it.

    I just hope the next episode is the musical one!

  2. I never really doubted that Dixon would come back, and what better way to do it than to put his former partner in danger. Didn’t really leave him much of a choice, even if Diane might have felt a bit differently about the whole thing.

    Will’s line about giving the suits from Harvard the website address always makes me laugh. Having him in on the secret really works from a plot standpoint this season.

  3. Yay Dixon!!! I knew you couldn't stay mad at Syd! Unfortunately, it took her almost being killed for him to come to his senses, but I'm glad he's back.

    This episode always makes me sad because of the church scene. I agree with Josie that it was their "9/11" episode. It was so chilling.

    On the other hand, it was comforting to see Sydney being able to share her sorrow with Vaughn in a way that she never could with Will (even now that he's in on her secrets). Even though he is no longer her handler, Vaughn is still taking care of Sydney.


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