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Alias: So It Begins

Sydney: "Do I look like I'm in junior high? Are there braces on my teeth? Do you see a retainer?"

This episode was dominated by Sydney's forced and uncomfortable interaction with her new CIA handler, Vaughn, whom she thought was treating her like a child. Sydney doesn't want to play Langley games ("Joey's Pizza"), and who can blame her? Vaughn was taken off the case at the end of this episode. Since Michael Vartan is a major hottie and is also in the cast, I don't think this development will be permanent.

Sydney moved into a new apartment, with the help of Will, Francie, and Francie's boyfriend Charlie. Why did she move? She didn't live with Danny, but perhaps there were too many memories there now. Will, an investigative reporter, wanted desperately to investigate Danny's death, while Sydney wanted desperately for him not to and of course, she could not tell him why.

Again, the most interesting interaction here was Sydney with her father, Jack. She discovered that Jack knew Sloane was going to have Danny killed; after at first thinking the worst, she discovered he had bought Sydney and Danny plane tickets to Singapore.

We were left with our first cliffhanger: Sydney holding the core of a nuke with a gun aimed at her head.

Bits and pieces:

— Vaughn's girlfriend is named Alice. One assumes she's the blonde in the photo from last week.

— Two new characters were introduced: Francie's boyfriend Charlie, and Jenny the nineteen-year-old intern/assistant/whatever at Will's paper.

— Devlin was again mentioned, but we didn't see him.

— We learned that Will and Sydney have known each other for three years.

This week's...

... hot gadget: a spot the size of a pin head that knocks people out instantly.

... incredible McGuffin: an old nuke buried in a man's grave. I think I would have called Marshall instead of Vaughn, too. No reflection on Vaughn.

... itinerary: Flashbacks in Paris, France, and Memphis, Egypt, and action in Moscow and Cairo.

... language skills: Sydney spoke Russian, at least to the extent of "I have your towels, sir."

... hot look: That blue thing Sydney was wearing. (That wasn't spandex, was it? How could she kick in that thing?) And Dixon's gold African robes were gorgeous.


Marshall: "I'm trying to be kind of Pavlovian about these puppies. No pun intended."

Weiss: "That's what I'm going to call you from now on. Hey, have you met 'balls of steel?'" Weiss is very cute, and very funny. Good character for Vaughn to banter with.

Two out of four spies,

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


  1. I've gotta disagree with you on the blue dress being a hot look, Billie. It emphasized all the wrong places. The black sleeveless turtleneck she wore at LAX was great, though.

    I'd forgotten about the cliffhangers on this show! This was a good one, especially since I suspect that Sydney will live through it. :-)

    It's fascinating to think about how our representations of knowledge have changed since this aired in [...Google..Imdb...] 2001. Vaughn with the roll-up chart? Today that'd be a 3D interactive model that you could zoom in on by touching the air. Or something.

    And that googling just answered another question of mine: dear god, this started in late September 2001? I wonder how far in advance the episodes were written. It'll be a fun game to play, seeing when/if 9/11 comes up, one way or another.

  2. Josie, the same thought occurred to me when I was watching it. I don't think it affected it too much, but it does get a spin. I have an idea when, but I'll wait for you to discover it for yourself!

  3. I rewatched Season 1 about a year ago, and I think I was clapping with glee throughout the whole thing. This was such a GREAT show and Season 1 in particular was spectacular. It was interesting too because so much of what I remembered from the show were episodes from Season 1...I found that I kept saying "Oh, this is happening already?" SARK!! I do miss him...
    This is the show that turned me on to serialized TV (and your site, by the way)...I jumped right into Lost without a second thought.
    Since then I have gone back and watched most of the series that I missed when they first aired (i.e. most of the shows you review here).

  4. My favorite bits of this episode are Sydney and Vaughn spatting. I like the way that neither of them is intimidated by the other and that neither of them is afraid to get in the other's face.

    Yes, I admit it. I've always had a massive crush on Marshall and it all started in this episode when he tells Sydney how sorry he is about her fiance. What a sweetheart!

  5. Hi, Karen -- Loved your comment and I hate to do this, but we have a policy here about spoilers. That's because of the full coverage-y nature of the site: readers who are trying a show for the first time often read along.

    Do you think you could repost your comment without the spoiler?

  6. Oops! So sorry, Billie! I'm new to all this! ;)

    Sydney and Jack's relationship is so interesting. It's a question as to where Jack's loyalties lie, but it clear that he loves his daughter. This episode gives us our first chance to have an emotional connection with Jack, with the revelation that he bought the plane tickets for Danny and Syd.

    I also love the bickering between Syd and Vaughn (I've always been a Vaughn fan). They start off with a power struggle and very easily (and quickly) establish a mutual respect.

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 5:48:00 PM PDT

  7. No worries, Karen, really. I daresay it has happened before. Don't let it stop the comments! Because we love comments. :)


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