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Alias: A Missing Link

Sydney: "You never should have betrayed me."

This episode had two 'omigod' moments: when Sark walked into the conference room, and when the bad guys dragged Vaughn out of the jeep. I actually gasped both times.

Julia, huh? Simon Walker implied that he and Sydney were lovers, and that Sydney looked completely different as Julia (was it just blond hair?). And that Sydney was an assassin. We sort of knew that already, but one murder, possibly many murders, big difference.

Moving past the designer pathogen plot, which I'm sure we'll hear more about next week, why did Jack go ahead and tell Dixon about the tape without telling Sydney he was going to do it? Certainly he had a good reason, and it worked out exactly the way Jack wanted it to (no plan would dare not work for Jack); Vaughn now must keep a huge secret from Lauren and the NSC. Is Jack just protecting Sydney from the NSC? Does he want Sydney to get Vaughn back? Is he delighting in making Vaughn suffer? Probably all three.

Vaughn is definitely suffering; he's already snapping at Lauren. Every time he and Sydney are alone, the conversation gets intense. He wasn't able to hide his reaction to Sydney and Walker making with the smoochies. And Sydney nearly showed the bad guys how distraught she was after she "stabbed" Vaughn.

Still lurking in his Zurich lair, Sloane is starting to show his true colors: he's working on Lauren, turning her against her father, Vaughn, and/or Sydney. Lauren knows he's doing it, but I bet it's working, anyway.

We were left with a cliffhanger: Sydney is still with Walker, and what happened to Vaughn? I'm pretty sure Sydney didn't kill him, but he didn't look too good in that last scene.

Bits and pieces:

— The rap sheets made me wonder. We lost two years. What year is it on Alias right now? Were we two years in the past before, or are we two years in the future now?

— Liked the scene where Sydney talked Bogden into making peace with God before dying. It effectively contrasted Sydney's style with Lauren's, and it made Lauren look ineffectual.

— Weiss: "Okay, does everyone here speak science?" I liked the bit about aiming the mic, too.

— "I heard peach was the new green"? Yeah, they still love each other.

— Inconsistencies: Sydney was in Sevilla one night and Pamplona the next, and she flew back to L.A. in between? Yes, she and Vaughn and Weiss had a plane at their disposal. Maybe it just seems extreme because I hate flying so much. And why wasn't she wearing gloves during the heist? She left fingerprints everywhere.

This week's...

... itinerary: U.S. Stafford Naval Hospital, wherever that is; Sevilla, complete with flamenco dancers (isn't that a little cliched?); Pamplona; and our weekly visit to Zurich.

... hot look: Definitely the long hair and the black leather pants, eclipsed only by the black underwear underneath them.

... most unbelievable stunt: I don't think an Olympic diving champion could have survived that dive out of the hotel window. Three or four floors, maybe, but come on!

The standard really good Alias episode,

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


  1. I watched this episode a few days ago and have been staring out the window, waiting for the mailman to come, ever since.

    (The cats are helping, in their own quiet way. Although they may think I've finally gotten into bird- and squirrel-watching.)

    I've mentioned this quote elsewhere on the site (it's buried in a Fringe review somewhere): JJ Abrams likes to tell the story of when he visited a friend's house and saw an episode of Alias on screen. He had no idea what was going on and found it "literally impenetrable." (The misuse of "literally" drives me literally batty. I become bat-like.)

    Watching the past two seasons, I've wondered which episode he caught a glimpse of. But as we get into the complicated plot of Season Three, I can start to see how hard it would be to jump into this show without understanding all of the complicated relationships, double-crosses, lost memory, mistaken identities, etc. The impact of Sydney's quote to Vaughn, for instance (the lead quote of this review): there's depths of meaning there. Like, a lot.

    Having said that, it is precisely that level of depth that I enjoy so much about these later seasons. They're often pilloried as as weird, convoluted, and unbelievable, but as far as I'm concerned they're showing a fantastic development in what the creative team is willing to expect from the audience.

    I also wonder if Abrams was just lucky in terms of timing, or if he knew/suspected/wondered about the rise of TV on DVD (and then online). This show marathons beautifully, and that gives it a staying power that many shows don't have. I really hope Netflix follows through on their promise to make it available for streaming, because I think Alias could find a big audience all over again online.

  2. I've commented before about how flying times seem to differ in this world than in ours. Spain to LA is a good twelve or thirteen hour flight, so roundtrip would be a good twenty-four. Oh well, I try not to not think about things like this too much.

    Other than that quibble, a fantastic episode that ends with an incredibly scary moment. I remember jumping the first time I saw Sydney stab Vaughn and it still bothers me all these viewings later.

    I agree with Josie that this show marathons extremely well. To be fair, I came to the game mid-season three, so I marathoned the first three seasons, then watched the final two as they aired. Now that the gods have listened to Josie and Netflix is streaming, it would be interesting to see how many new viewers have found this show. It always pops up as one of the ten most popular on that particular site, but it may just be people like me who are watching it yet again.

  3. I wish the gods would listen to me more often. Everyone would be happy, well-fed, and have lots of leisure time.

    Dear gods,

    I have some great ideas! Get in touch.


  4. Josie !

    You're a Woman. You're-almost-Godlike.


    I have marathoned this awesome show a while ago during wintertime. Totally made me forget about a) my Kafkaesque office and b) the winter.

    Darn ! Reading you gives me the envy to re do another marathon !

  5. Great episode! Who the hell is Julia? Vaughn was clearly bothered by this and the implication that Sydney had been intimate with Simon was a bit creepy. But, of course, there was the stabbing at the end. At first, I didn't think she's really stabbed him, but wow. I don't think she really meant what she said about him betraying her. There is a double meaning, but I think Sydney has forgiven Vaughn for moving on. She doesn't like it and she doesn't have her own closure yet, but she doesn't begrudge him for doing so.


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