The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Friday, December 23, 2005

Alias 5.08 and 5.09: A Turn Towards the Home Stretch.

The two episodes that can be marked as the shows that started to pave the road to the finale of the series. The final 10+ episodes will be about finishing the series for the faithful rather than drawing new viewers.

In the first of our two part section post, an old friend comes back from the void to make a significant impact on the show. No, it isn't Vaughn, and, no, he really didn't make really any impact on the show. The mystery man is no other than ex-villain Sark (sounds like Zark); a man who supposed went from a bad guy to the suburban life and back again. His reappearance in the show is a true turning point in this season, as it shows that the first episode in which the show has become self-aware of its impending end and has decided to pull together as many as the old faces possible and tie as many loose ends with them as they can. Sark appears as he has the hotel room right next to Rachel during an op to find the location of a weapon. They are both working to gather the same intel on the same target, but don't know that the other is really not who they say they are, but we do! And it really didn't make it any better. They both succeed in getting the information and end up meeting at the bar as they congratulate themselves for a job well done, and just as you'd guess they end up having sex. This was seriously the entire story for the first thirty minutes, how can they fill so much air time with such little substance, only the writers of Alias know.

Jack and Elizabeth, a MI-6 agent, are at the spot where the weapon is to be bought when they get captured. I'd go into how Elizabeth gets into the show, but does it really matter and do you really care? The weapon is stolen by the group that Sark was hired by and now hold Jack+1 captive. Rachel finally figuring out who Sark is learns the lesson of the cost of being easy and the show ends. Good stuff. Anyways, Rachel knows where Sark is headed because she saw his ticket in his hotel room. They head off to the Bahamas and get Sark to work for the CIA by hiring him as their own. Sark calls his old employers and gets them to make a deal with him to free Jack+1, but a triple cross occurs (the most deadly kind), and Sark ends up handcuffed to the weapon that everyone was after in the first place. Rachel, in a new and creative literary way, ends up as the one who has to disarm the weapon before it goes off killing Sark. She succeeds and all is well again. Sark decides he'll give them a freebie and leaves without payment, giving a future possibility between Rachel and Sark in tact.

The second episode in this two-fer(?) is a true blast from the past, unlike that whimper above. Vaughn finally returns from the dead, I told you no one stays dead in this show, into the subconscious. Yes, you may be saying WTF mate? But he returns as just a manifestation in Sydney's subconscious as the group Prophet 5 attempt to extract intel from her pretty little head. If that wasn't enough, and I can understand why that wouldn't be enough, Sydney's mom makes a return as well AND to the actual world, not some shitty subconscious. This episode epitomizes exactly what is good about Alias and it only took the writers the knowledge that there is no next season for Alias to really kick into gear. The previous episode was just a sample; this is the full buffet of Alias intrigue.

After Peyton, the bad female, breaks into a CIA facility to steal Vaughn's files, she arranges a meeting with Aldo Desantis, the man in the box. Peyton's team analyzes all of the files on Vaughn's database and come to the conclusion that Sydney knows and are certain of it. Trust me it's just that cryptic. Desantis authorizes Sydney's kidnapping even if it might interfere with their other plans for her, which primarily involve her unborn child. Back at APO, Jack meets the team and informs of them of Vaughn's files being stolen and that Sydney should meet with Renee Rienne to find out why they would want his old files. During this meeting, Sydney is kidnapped, but Renee is able to injure and capture Desantis.

Sydney is taken to an interrogation room, where she is injected with a chemical to force hypnosis. The room contains a one-way mirror and an ominous outside voice inquires on the safety of the procedure. During the hypnosis, the doctor tries to keep her with Vaughn's memory as much as possible and one of the greatest sets of flashbacks occurs. Every flashback scene is exactly the same as the original scene seen throughout the series, except for the fact that they redo the scene in regards to her hypnosis. Sydney knows she is under hypnosis and so does her subconscious Vaughn, yes that's what we're calling him. This means in every scene they have remnants of the original dialogue, but force themselves to face the reality of the situation by trying to fight it. The episode goes through about 5 classic different scenes from episodes of past and redo them beautifully.

Back in the conscious world, Renee informs APO of Sydney's kidnapping and Jack comes to interrogate the captured Desantis. And when I say interrogate, I mean the Bush definition of interrogate. It was pretty quick as he went straight toward an ear coming off within the first minute. Going through Desantis' stuff they find a notebook with an address written on the date that Sydney is expected to give birth. Jack asks Desantis about this and he refuses to answer, so he lets Renee kill him. Seriously, very quickly. Jack and Renee head to the address listed and find enter the deserted building to find a room with a nursery set up.

Back to the subconscious, Sydney finally jumps back in her memory to a scene in which Sydney talks to Vaughn in a Red Cross blood donation truck. A scene from early in the first season, as they talk about SD-6 and that Sydney was going to hand it to the CIA in a silver platter. Vaughn asks Sydney to draw a map of how big she thinks SD-6 is which ends up the size of one piece of paper. Vaughn pulls out a poster sized map detailing the SD 1-12 network and shows her how far the rabbit hole really goes. At this point, the doctors tell her to read the map and Sydney says "X-23 Norte". Behind the one-way mirror a satisfied person leaves, the person turns out to be Irina Derevko, Sydney's mom, forgot I told you she was in the episode huh? Irina tells Peyton the location and tells her to keep Sydney comfortable, not in the evil "comfortable" manner, but true genuine comfort. Back within Sydney's mind, she walks the beach with Vaughn and he asks how long do you think it will take them to figure out you gave them the wrong information? Vaughn leaves her and she becomes conscious once again, just as Peyton is removing her straps. She knocks her out and gets out the main door to find out she is stuck on a giant ship right in the middle of the ocean.

This episode really sets up the remainder of the season/series as the final loose ends are tied up. Thos being Prophet 5, Vaughn, and the Rambaldi prophecy. Let me guess, they are all linked together? Sydney was called the "carrier" in the prophecy of Rambaldi and isn't she carrying a child? It wouldn't take a genius to figure out the whole thing deals with Sydney's unborn child. The question is how grand a prophecy will it be and how will Nadia, Sydney's half-sister prophcized(word?) to kill or be killed by Sydney, take part in all of this if she is in a coma and not cured of her disease yet. So many questions left unanswered and no new episodes until March to answer them.


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