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Alias: Mirage

Vaughn: "Besides, I've got snipers everywhere if he starts to get inappropriate."

I thought I'd find Sydney masquerading as Irina to be squirmy, creepy-incestuous instead of Back to the Future fun-incestuous, but instead it turned out to be touching.

A recurring theme this season has been telling someone how you really feel about them, but indirectly. Jack loves Sydney with all of his twisted, fascinating little heart, and that's really why we all love Spy Dad, isn't it? But I was also surprised and moved by how much Jack loved Irina. Correction: loves, because I think Jack still loves Irina. Another reason why she might still be alive, in spite of everything; how could he kill her?

I was also pleasantly surprised by the Doctor Liddell twist. I thought he'd be evil, or working for Arvin Clone, or both. It even made perfect sense; as Marshall observed, Jack is so disciplined and focused that even his delusions are lucid. And notice how in the previous episode, "Doctor Liddell" kept telling Jack to talk to Sydney, tell Sydney the truth, stop keeping secrets from her? That was Jack talking to himself.

Jack intimated that Irina disliked Sloane. ("I know how you put up with Arvin for my sake.") Seems odd that later she would cheat on Jack with Sloane, doesn't it? That has never made sense to me. (Unless maybe Jack knew subconsciously that he was really talking to Sydney?) I'd also love to see flashbacks of what Irina said when Jack told her he was quitting the agency. I can just hear her saying, "That would be so wonderful, sweetheart, but you can't do it. Your country needs you."

The Auntie Yelena subplot is bugging me, and I'm not referring to the medal Nadia has around her neck; I haven't found the hook yet that will get me into Yelena as a character. I mean, Irina was clever, sexy, and deceitful, and loved Sydney; Katya is devious, charming, and outspoken, and has a yen for Jack; but Yelena appears to be extremely evil, and so far, that's it. Her concern for Nadia is most likely displaced devotion to Rambaldi. She killed a bunch of people in this episode without turning a hair, including her Charlie-Brown-as-a-nerd assistant just because of a bad artist's sketch. Yelena's dinner with Nadia and Weiss bordered on cute, but I think that was entirely because of Nadia and Weiss.

Bits and pieces:

— Four seasons and technically six years, and this was the first time we saw where Jack lived: a Spartan, stark apartment with one photo of Sydney. ("Not much for clutter, is he?") Says a lot about Jack. Sydney is pretty much it for him.

— Did anyone else think that Jack was going to mutate into Rambaldi?

— How long will Nadia wear that bug? How bad is APO security? Shouldn't alarms be going off already?

— Hydrosec: "Hydro" means water, and "sec" means dry. Dry water.

— I'm still unsure of what was real and what was an hallucination. Was Monkey Guy real? Were the capsules in Jack's hand and calf real? And where did Jack get the needles and pills that Sydney and Vaughn found in his apartment?

— "Dr. Liddell" talked about his rats: "Milo lived to the ripe old age of four." Milo? Was that a subconscious joke Jack played on himself?

— Have we seen the little girl who played little Sydney before?

— Yelena's bruises disappeared way too fast. And Sonia Braga was either wearing an extremely extreme wig, or she has some major hair on her.

— They said that they'd checked all the doctors in LA county looking for the one treating Jack. There are a helluva lot of doctors in LA county; that would take weeks.

— Jack's handler died eight years ago.

— Jack's apartment number is 301.

— Marshall talked about the metal case named after a multi-national corporation. A Halliburton? Was that this week's Lost mini-crossover?

— Nadia teasing Eric: "She asked me if you were tall, dark and handsome. I told her you were tall."

This week's...

... itinerary: Vienna, Helsinki, Jack's brain.

... hot look: Sydney looked softer and very lovely in her Laura-do. And the magenta hair is back! They seem to revisit the magenta hair about once a year. Revisiting their roots, pun intended.

I really liked this one. Three out of four spies,

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

1 comment:

  1. Billie, in the review of the previous episode you said: "I wish Jack would actually write his memoirs. Hey, I'd read them." I totally agree with you! The best thing about this episode is that it allows us to see Jack's inner world. Sydney could see aspects of her father that she did not know. He is the most interesting and enigmatic character in Alias. This season is looking more boring than previous ones, but Jack's story is what keeps me interested. It would be very interesting to have an independent series focused on the complete story of Jack and Irina!

    Whenever I see Jack I remember the association you made with Michael Samuelle from La Femme Nikita in an article of yours. I agree with your appreciation of these two characters. I'd like Vaughn's character to have their intensity and depth. I don't know if the problem is Michael Vaughn or Michael Vartan, but it doesn't convince or capture me.


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