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Alias: Welcome to Liberty Village

Weiss: "You guys are about as spontaneous as my grandparents. And they're dead."

Was this episode fluff? Could be. Did it have the usual Alias angst? Probably not. Did I love it? Absolutely. I'm not saying that I want every episode to be like the Russian Assassins of Stepford, but I thought "Liberty Village" was great fun, especially after last week's amputation-fest.

It was time for a Sydney/Vaughn episode, and it was inspired to put them in a cliched romance novel situation: undercover, and pretending to be married. The plot-convenient October Contingent assassin couples kinda made sense: you don't expect a loving couple to be assassins, after all. And I loved the "boring and cold" dialogue, the tuna casserole, the Used Car Dealership of Death, and the dinner in Paris plane hijacking.

Last week, Vaughn confessed to someone else, with Sydney listening, about killing Lauren; this week, he told someone else, with Sydney listening, about what he had planned for their aborted weekend in Santa Barbara at the end of season two. Vaughn seems to have trouble telling Sydney things directly, doesn't he?

What can the writers do to make this "boring and cold" relationship fresh again? The season three Lauren thing never worked for me; I just found it frustrating. Will it ever be the same after the no-touching passion from afar of the SD-6 years? Was this a step in the right direction? Maybe just letting them have fun, the way they did in this episode, is the answer. And maybe not.

It did feel like the episode was conveniently (via the electro-magnetic device) over too soon, but the EMT wasn't the focus of the episode, after all.

The B-plot this week introduced an intriguing new Spy Family mystery. And I quote:

Sloane: "So Alexei made good on his promise."
Jack: "Which means our suspicions regarding Sentinel are accurate. The Russians are searching for Elena Derevko."
Sloane: "We will have to move up our timetable." (Jack nods.)

What the heck is going on here? It appears that "Sentinel" and Irina's sister Elena are the same, and that makes Elena a spy as well. (At first I thought they were talking about Irina – those names are too similar.) At least I was right about Jack and Sloane being in cahoots about something. We just don't know what it is yet.

This episode was written by Buffy/Angel-alum Drew Goddard, which may be one reason why I liked it so much. The dialogue sparkled, so I'm giving this review its very own prominent quote section:

Sydney: "We're choosing not to be spontaneous."
Vaughn: "Exactly."

Tom the assassin: "If you two are half as good as rumored, we're in for a treat."

Marshall: "More importantly, why are they all dressed up like the Cleavers?"

Sydney: "He didn't call us boring. He called us cold."

Phil, the salesman: "Few things scream freedom like a brand new convertible. You put the top down and excitement blows through your hair."

Sydney: "We're attacking an investment firm?"

Vaughn: "They tried to kill us over a car. I mean, if we stay, they might send us to a supermarket and launch grenades at us."

Bits and pieces:

— Weiss and Nadia on a bowling date? I wish they'd given us about two minutes of that.

— Coincidentally, Tom the assassin mentioned that Liberty Village had a bowling alley. And a fried chicken franchise.

— Alexei Vasilievich? Isn't Vasilievich a patronymic? So... no last name for Alexei.

— Alexei mentioned that Irina had been "attached" to Jack. And Marshall commented on how sweet Jack's inscription to Irina was. Jack appeared offended at being referred to as "sweet." :)

— Sister number three Elena Derevko, or at least her baby, was mentioned last week, too. Clue anvils. Do you think maybe we're going to be meeting Elena sometime soon?

— There has yet to be mention of Marshall's wife, Carrie. I'm starting to wonder what's going on there.

— Note from later: I didn't know it at the time because I hadn't seen the series yet, but this episode is a ripoff of a La Femme Nikita episode entitled "Catch a Falling Star."

This week's...

... itinerary: Moscow, and a mystery facility in the land of tundra and turnips.

... language skills: Sydney and Vaughn, both with the Russian.

... hot look: Going with a wet look this week, with Sydney and Vaughn naked in the shower. It looked like Sydney was wearing pearls. Just pearls.

Part of me wants to give this episode a four, even though it was so fluffy. But I'm also aware that this wasn't a classic great episode in the grand Alias scheme of things. So...

Three out of four spies,

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

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great episode.

    Everything else that needs to be said you've already said, B!


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