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Alias: A Higher Echelon

"No one in the free world works as hard as you."

This episode was delightful. Marshall was actually up to the challenge, outwitting Cuvee's Chinese Torture Guy, getting himself rescued, and having that parachute in his coat. Go, Marshall! I guess he's not a genius for nothing, huh? Too bad they didn't kill Chinese Torture Guy when they had the chance.

Sloane's utter disregard for Marshall's life and safety was chilling. This man is evil. As if we didn't know that already.

It looks like Jack is now in major trouble with both SD-6 and the CIA. Vaughn looked stunned when he heard about Jack killing Haladki. What is this going to do to Jack's standing with the CIA? And Sloane must think that Jack really is the blackmailer. So who did kill Emily, and who is the blackmailer? Is Emily even dead? We still don't know. Maybe Emily herself is the blackmailer.

Mom continued to make inroads on Sydney, Jack, and Kendall by having exactly what they needed when they needed it. I laughed out loud when Irina asked Vaughn to fetch her some coffee.

"I have a crush on a guy at work"? I thought it was a hoot, watching it go from Sydney to Francie, Francie to Will, and finally Will to Vaughn; very high school. It's normal for someone to confide something like this to her best friend, but it's also a sign that Sydney and Vaughn are heading toward something dangerous. But then again, Sydney risks her life every day. How much more dangerous could it be? Doesn't she deserve a chance at love, a little pleasure in her life? A raucous liaison in a basement storage room, perhaps?

Bits and pieces:

— Marshall was held prisoner on the forty-seventh floor. There's that number again.

— Sark fits into SD-6 as if he'd worked there for years.

— Will now has a job as a CIA analyst. This is a good development. It brings him further into the main story lines, leaving only Francie out in the cold. It's Francie's function as a character, though, to show a contrast to Sydney's job, so it's probably best that Francie stay out in the cold.

— Sydney's mission in Vietnam was again inadvertently sabotaged by Dixon, who thinks he's serving his country. Dixon is Sydney's partner; it would sure be a lot easier on her if the CIA brought Dixon in, too.

— Sydney was a little blase about Echelon being okay because it's the government. I'm much more with Will's opinion of Echelon "shamelessly violating the constitution."

— I'm not the catty type, but Faye Dunaway looks like she's had too much work done on her face. I noticed that her lips looked a bit stretched, shall we say.

This week's...

... itinerary: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Mexico City, Mexico.

... cool look: Jennifer Garner as her own stunning self in a black dress with her hair up. Actually, Dixon gets the cool look this week, with a pale blue ensemble, jewelry, and dreadlocks. ("I speak nine languages. Techno is not one of them.")

Three out of four spies. Lots of fun,

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


  1. Way to go, Marshall! Great parallel structure, too: Marshall at one computer, programming Pong and generally having wacky hacker fun; Irina at another, doing goodness knows what. At least she got a coffee (black, of course) whereas Marshall must have been dying of starvation and thirst, since the last thing he'd eaten was the chicken-squid on the plane.

    These past two episodes were really tense and I almost thought they'd build towards some explosive something-or-other. (That's appropriately vague, right?) I suppose Sloane finally not trusting Jack is a big thing. Or should I say, Sloane appearing not to trust Jack>

    The Haladki thing is confusing: he was killed in "Almost Thirty Years," episode 1.22. If Emily's finger indicated that she was alive just a few episodes ago, how could she and Haladki have been killed on the same day? Or was Faye Dunaway referring to Emily's non-death death? But why would anyone shoot Emily then, right after Sloane tried to poison her and fail?

    Oh, well.

  2. "Hi. My name is Marshall J. Flinkman and I'm here to rescue you." Marshall being badass. Be still my heart.

    Also love the stare down between Will and Vaughn. A lot of testosterone in that scene.

  3. Marshall was great, but I didn't love the episode. But, I am focusing on relationships this time around. I love that Sydney told Francie about her crush on Vaughn. It's a piece of her spy life that she can share with her friend. And Will's warning to Vaughn was cute and big-brother-ish and it shows that he is willing and able to let go of Sydney for her happiness.


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