Alias: Nocturne

Sydney: "The Count. You've got to be kidding me."

The preview did not do this episode justice. It wasn't the silly episode about faux vampires that I was dreading; it was Sydney's deepest fears manifesting as drug-induced hallucinations. Yes, the hallucinations were just a device to tell the story they wanted to tell. But it worked, didn't it?

How can Sydney love and trust Jack, while believing that Jack killed her mother? (Although I'm starting to think Jack didn't kill Irina; there's something else going on. But I digress.) Jack and Sydney have such a difficult, complex relationship filled with secrets and betrayal. Interesting that she has a similar relationship with her lover; those hallucination scenes showed that subconsciously, Sydney expects both Jack and Vaughn to hurt her, betray her. And who could blame her?

The only real plot problem I had was that Sydney's behavior early on should have alerted Jack and Vaughn. They're closest to her, after all. But it was Dixon and Nadia who knew that something was wrong, and Dixon was the only one who actually tried to keep Sydney out of the field. Nadia should have told on Sydney... but as we learned during her psych eval in "The Awful Truth," Nadia is loyal to her coworkers and doesn't tend to run to authority.

As wonderful as Jennifer Garner was in the paranoia scenes with Jack and Vaughn, Carl Lumbly gets the gold star this week for Dixon's final scene with Sloane. What a marvelous, satisfying scene that was. I loved the way Dixon derisively called Sloane "Arvin," and told him he'd be watching and waiting. Wow.

Sloane's motivations are an enigma. Is he planning to eventually punish them all for betraying him and SD-6? Or does he truly love his daughter Nadia, the way he loved Emily? Is he trying to make amends and do good? It's possible that Ron Rifkin himself doesn't know which way his incredibly toxic character is going to jump, in which case he handled that scene perfectly.

This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was the final scene with the spider on the bed. The spider is real, of course. It's Sloane.

Bits and pieces:

— Weiss is seducing Nadia with humor! "She almost said yes. You saw that, right? This close..." I am so enjoying Weiss and Nadia. Keep it coming, please.

— Nadia appears to be strongly feminist, and into gender-inclusive language: ("Girl stuff?" "People stuff.") She did the same thing during her psych eval. Maybe that's one reason why I like her so much: she's fragile and strong at the same time. Like Sydney, to some extent.

— They gave Vartan another opportunity to do a hockey scene. All I could think of was that it was too bad hockey is a sport requiring lots of clothing. Why isn't Vartan into swimming, for instance?



— There was finally a mention of Marshall's wife, so I guess he's still married to Carrie.

— Nocturne, according to my paperback Oxford American Dictionary, is defined as a "dreamy piece of music." Appropriate.

— Two grossout scenes this week: the closet blood gushing, and the Hannibal brain scene. Thankfully, the guy was dead. The second time, anyway.

— One of the shots of LA made it appear to be in a blue haze. I live here, so let me tell you that it's usually brown, not blue.

— I'm no expert on accents, but the Count sounded Russian, not Romanian.

— Sydney bit Vaughn. Did Vaughn take some of the antidote, too? Plus, that drug "permanently alters your brain." I assume they cured Sydney in time?

Quotes:

A little sexy repartee about Sydney's bite marks:
Sydney: "You think it's sexy, don't you?"
Vaughn: "Only if I'd done it."

Vaughn: "You took the bullets out."
Jack: "It seemed a reasonable precaution."
It certainly was, since Sydney took out both Vaughn and Jack hand-to-hand.

This week's...

... itinerary: Amsterdam (and the Universiteit of), Bucharest, Prague, and a very creepy secret closet.

... hot look: The little black cape, curls, and that weird thing Jennifer had on her head. It was almost a sexy Bo-Peep costume, wasn't it?



As much as I'm enjoying the new tone of the series, I feel like I'm waiting for the real story to begin. Alias doesn't seem as Alias-like this season. Does that make sense?

Two for the episode, and four for the Dixon/Sloane scene. Which makes three out of four spies,

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

1 comment:

Josie Kafka said...

"As much as I'm enjoying the new tone of the series, I feel like I'm waiting for the real story to begin. "Alias" doesn't seem as "Alias"-like this season. Does that make sense?"

Yes. A few episodes now have wrapped up with Sloane giving a speech about how everything is...wrapped up. Satisfying, and it's obvious they're trying to stick to a stand-alone format to lure in new fans and get back some old ones. But for those of us who like the complicated plotting (when it's done well, of course), it leaves a bit to be desired.

I thought it was very interesting that Sydney has twice dreamed that Vaughn turned in to Sloane: once here, once in 3.9 "Conscious." I don't want to read too much into that, do I? No, I don't.