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Alias Season 3 Reviews by Billie Doux

Alias: Season Three

3.1 The Two
3.2 Succession
3.3 Reunion
3.4 A Missing Link
3.5 Repercussions
3.6 The Nemesis
3.7 Prelude
3.8 Breaking Point
3.9 Conscious
3.10 Remnants
3.11 Full Disclosure
3.12 Crossings
3.13 After Six
3.14 Blowback
3.15 Facade
3.16 Taken
3.17 The Frame
3.18 Unveiled
3.19 Hourglass
3.20 Blood Ties
3.21 Legacy
3.22 Resurrection

3.1 The Two
September 28, 2003

Jack: "Michael Vaughn is just a boy who was never good enough for you, anyway."

Last season's cliffhanger left us with questions. The season premiere really doesn't answer many of them.

Although I liked a lot of this episode, I wonder if some of it was simply intended to catch new viewers up with the basic storyline at the end of season two; i.e., Sydney's two-year memory gap, her now-defunct relationship with Vaughn, Sloane's obsession with Rambaldi, the dysfunctional Jack/Irina/Sydney spy family.

Having Jack imprisoned for collaborating with Irina was interesting and moving, but wasn't it a bit too easily resolved? And hey, parents in prison, is this a theme, with Daddy this year, Mommy last year? I had worried after the last season ender that Jack might go back to Sloane if he believed Sydney was dead. Looks like that didn't happen.

Do I believe that the Rambaldi artifacts all came together to spell "peace" and that Sloane has turned over a new leaf? Yeah, tell me another one. *Something* happened when Sloane turned on the Rambaldi device, and it must have something to do with Sydney's lost two years. Sloane's new business must be a cover. He's working with children and with health care for a reason. Something to do with immortality? Something like Project Christmas? Is it a cover for the Covenant?

I'm pleased that Dixon is now The Boss (can't hurt to have your former partner in charge), and I really do like Weiss a lot. Marshall is still around, and still a hoot.

There are major cast changes, though. Bradley Cooper (Will), Merrin Dungey (Francie), and Lena Olin (Irina) are gone -- and although it is intimated that all three are still alive and could be back, we really don't know anything else about what's going on with them. Greg Grunberg (Eric Weiss) and Melissa George (Vaughn's as yet unintroduced wife) are now cast members.

The Sydney/Vaughn relationship has completely imploded. I was surprised at how angry and emotional Sydney was with Vaughn for not waiting. I guess what I'm most confused about is, why didn't Jack ask Vaughn for help looking for Sydney?

Bits and pieces, and more unanswered questions:

-- Who is Nasty Assassin, the guy who works for the Covenant? He appeared to recognize Sydney. In the video clip that Jack showed Sydney, someone who looked like Sydney killed the Russian guy in exactly the same way that Nasty Assassin was going to kill Weiss. Did Nasty Assassin die at the end of that episode? That was a vicious knife wound he inflicted on himself, but was it fatal?

-- Where did Sydney's scar come from, and what does it mean?

-- I like Will. What happened to him? And did Allison/Francie get away? Allison and Sark had a relationship; we may find out what happened, since Sark is still in the cast. Even though we haven't seen him yet.

-- What does "The Two" in the title refer to? Two years? Sloane and Sydney?

-- Carrie, Marshall's girlfriend, is pregnant, but they're arguing about getting married. That's interesting.

-- Vaughn is now married, a teacher, and no longer with the agency. How will they get him back into Sydney's life, which I assume they will since he's the male romantic lead and still in the cast?

-- Kendall is gone, but now we have this Lindsey guy. He seems like an absolute prick, and Dixon clearly doesn't like him; there was almost an amused expression on Dixon's face as Sydney was blackmailing Lindsey by holding a blowtorch to the chip.

-- This week's itinerary: Hong Kong; Lyons; Paris; Zurich; Prague... or their Los Angeles counterparts.

-- This week's McGuffin: a microchip containing schematics for a radar-evading drone plane.

-- This week's hot look: red dress, red hair, red car, big gun. Why did she blow up the car? What if the chip had burned? Did she expect Nasty Assassin to jump out in time, with the chip still on his person? Seems like a pretty big chance to take.

All in all, not what I'd hoped for, but an interesting set up for the rest of season three. I'm certainly still hooked and I can't wait to find out what happens next,


3.2 Succession

Jack: "Personally, I would have found it anti-climactic that after expecting to assemble a weapon of ultimate power, you ended up with a revelation you could have acquired from a fortune cookie."

Wonderful. This one should have been the second half of the season opener, with Vaughn coming back to the agency just in time to save Sydney's life, and Sydney starting to move on with her life, to some extent.

We get more on Sydney's disappearance. It's absolutely wild that Sydney was the one to kill Sark's father. Not that there's any love lost between them. Well, actually, now that I think about it, Sark has always come on to Sydney, and maybe now he'll be more interested in killing her. Sark being descended from the Romanovs suits him; I'm assuming that's where the "Succession" in the title comes from.

It was definitely the Covenant that took Sydney; the torturer/brainwasher confirmed it by saying that she never broke, and that she kept her word that she would kill him. But if she never broke, why did she kill Lazarey? The CIA's Lost Time Anonymous group is bizarre, too. Why is the Covenant taking agents for a period of time, using them, wiping their memories, and then letting them go? It doesn't make sense.

Along with all of this great plot stuff, there were several very cool scenes: (1) Vaughn telling Sydney that he didn't regret moving on; (2) Jack's confrontation with Sloane in Zurich; (3) Sydney confronting and intimidating the backstabbing Lindsey in the men's room (Lindsey: "This is the men's room!" Sydney: "Who let *you* in?") And what was probably my favorite: (4) Jack contacting Irina clandestinely. Those two have such a fascinating relationship, and it keeps changing in such delightful ways.

The scene between Jack and Sloane was just delicious, and Jack's lines were very quotable. "A world relief organization. The sheer audacity of your alleged turnaround would be laughable, if you weren't so dangerous." He also told Sloane, "You've just made the worst mistake of your life, because I'm going to bury you." Go out and buy a casket, Sloane. I wonder why Sloane gave Jack the file on Sydney's disappearance? He can't possibly be sincere about wanting to help.

The grossout decapitation scenes in this week's episode were just a bit intense, even if we didn't actually see it happen. Ick. Guess those undercover CIA agents have more to worry about than someone in the White House outing them to Bob Novak.

The last few moments introduced us to Lauren Reed, new liaison to the National Security Council, Vaughn's wife, and the person who will be investigating Lazarey's murder. Which was committed unknowingly by Sydney. The plot thickens. And the Covenant has now acquired Sark *and* eight hundred million bucks. This can't be good for our heroes.

Bits and pieces:

-- So Will is in the witness protection program, huh?

-- Sydney just moved into a big, roomy apartment two blocks from the beach, near Weiss. It must cost a fortune.

-- Just like Sydney and Jack, Dixon doesn't believe that Sloane has changed. Dixon is no fool.

-- "Penal code, part deux." :)

-- Vaughn was teaching French in a college. (I noticed adult students.) Is Vartan French? His accent seemed pretty darned good to me.

-- Cool photography in the Mexico desert sequence. Surreal, harsh colors and a green tint to the sky made it look alien.

-- This week's itinerary: A flying elevator in Berlin, a porn theater in Munich, threats thrown in Zurich, screwed up prisoner exchange in Mexico, and a drug den in Frankfurt.

-- This week's hot looks: Short black hair, glasses, a tie, and a jacket over that black outfit. And I think Sark's new, stark haircut is flattering; it shows how good he looks without the curls.

Four out of five stars,

3.3 Reunion

Vaughn: "Capturing Sark, although it might put a smile on my face, will do nothing to shut down the Covenant."

Just so you all know I'm paying attention to the plot: In Phase One, Sark and Colonel Boris Oransky brought down Oransky's own satellite in Gorky Park in order to locate the Medusa project. Phase two was supposed to be stealing the Medusa project (an anti-satellite pulse weapon) from the Science Ministry at the Kremlin. Sydney and Vaughn managed to foil their evil scheme and fry Medusa as well as Oransky. I feel like I just studied for a test.

Asking Sloane for help was even more bizarre than the revelation that Lauren meets with him regularly. For the first time this season, Sloane gave us that patented Sloane smirk, that "I'm smarter than anyone else, and you don't know what I'm up to" look, right after he made that nasty comment to Vaughn about how "close" Vaughn and Sydney used to be.

Lauren has been successfully integrated into the story in a lot of ways. She's a good character, even though I desperately want her out of Sydney's way. I got a kick out of that all-out argument they had in front of everybody; Vaughn must have been squirming. Lauren does not have a good opinion of Sydney: "I hate her." "Self-righteous and arrogant." "Most condescending person I've ever met." While Vaughn thinks that they'll like each other someday. I think he's dreaming, but you never know.

Jack was his usual devious self, worming his way into Lauren's investigation and sabotaging the footage of Sydney, even at the cost of invading Dixon's office. Nothing fazes that man and his poker face.

Weiss makes a good friend for Sydney. He knows all her secrets, so she can relax and get totally smashed on tequila with him. He's Vaughn's friend, too, so he can be a buffer between the two of them. But what do you want to bet that he ends up falling for her?

In the tequila scene at the beginning of the episode, when she was talking about everything she owned being lost in the fire, Sydney referred to losing pictures and picture frames. That must have been a reference to a couple of years ago when Vaughn was Sydney's handler, and the first thing he ever did to show he cared about her was give her a silver picture frame.

Bits and pieces:

-- The "No Way Out" photo-rendering subplot was cool to a point, but wouldn't Marshall and Lauren recognize Sydney even with the photo as blurry as it was?

-- For what it's worth, we learned that Vaughn and Lauren's third date was in Prague, and that Lauren's father is a senator.

-- Drunk Weiss to drunk Sydney: "There's gotta to be something that you had that you just loved that it kills you that you don't have it any more." (dead silence) "I mean, like a *thing,* like a *thing*... "

-- Marshall's CD was so sweet. What a nice thing to do for Sydney, both professionally and personally.

-- The music at the beginning was, "She's Got You." How appropriate.

-- This week's itinerary: Satellites exploding in Moscow; hostage negotiations in Mexico City; and back to Moscow with exploding Medusas.

-- This week's hot look: That dark red evening gown Sydney wore was even hotter than Vaughn in that tux.

-- As far as "hot looks" go, how about the scene at the party where Vaughn was staring at Sydney, and she was staring right back? And the two of them stripped to the waist in the elevator as they were changing clothes, while carefully not looking at each other? How long can Vaughn and Sydney work together in life-and-death situations without succumbing to temptation? Vaughn is such a boy scout; he's not likely to cheat, no matter how much he wants to. But Sydney is in an emotional stew, and for her, the two of them were sleeping together only weeks ago.

This was a standard, really good "Alias" episode. Four out of five stars,

3.4 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.

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.

-- 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.

-- This week's hot look: Definitely the long hair and the black leather pants, eclipsed only by the black underwear underneath them.

-- This week's 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!

-- 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.

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.

The standard really good "Alias" episode,

3.5 Repercussions

Sydney: "The fact that Arvin Sloane holds all the cards in this scenario is giving me a migraine."

There was way too much threatened dismemberment in this one. Or was there actual dismemberment? Sloane's pardon agreement involved betraying Kazari Bomani, and Bomani seemed pretty darned pissed off about it. It certainly *appeared* that he cut off Sloane's arm, although later in California, Sloane seemed to be fine.

We've been given hints that Rambaldi had the secret of immortality. Does Sloane know the secret, and does it have something to do with regeneration or super-healing? What else would make Bomani let Sloane go? And what is Sark's part in this? Did Sark kill all those people and spring Bomani just so that Sloane could recruit the guy?

And hey, can you believe Sloane says he'll be working for the Covenant but that he'll be loyal to the CIA? How incredibly convoluted. Which is why I love this show.

Moving on to the love triangle, I was indignant that Lauren had the nerve to tell Sydney to transfer out. Lauren is the outsider, not Sydney. At least Lauren realized pretty quickly how improper her threat, er, suggestion was.

Vaughn's little dream about Sydney kissing and stabbing him was very interesting. Almost as interesting as Walker telling Jack about the "most degenerate displays of sexual theater known to man." Jack was smart enough to realize Walker was trying to get him off guard, but it still ended badly; Jack killed Walker, anyway. So much for finding out what Walker knew about Sydney's life as Julia.

Sydney didn't actually hit the sheets with Walker in the past few episodes. If Julia was such a promiscuous sexual gymnast, how come Walker wasn't surprised about Sydney putting him off?

Bits and pieces:

-- There were no credits in this episode. Did it run long or something?

-- There were several really fun moments: Sydney getting a call from Simon in the middle of a car chase; Lauren's obvious enjoyment of said car chase; Marshall slapping Sydney on the butt; and Sydney under the table holding Marshall's nose.

-- During the hospital corridor scene, Syd and Lauren's beepers went off. The code was 47.911. (Another instance of the number 47.)

-- Sydney: "Hopefully, Bomani's got his revenge and Sloane is in incredible pain, or dead."

-- Marshall: "I mean, the whole thing's pretty cool." (pause) "In a sick, horrible way."

-- This week's itinerary: Spain, in the opening scenes; Paris, where undercover Jack contacted Walker about a job; Mexico City, with Lauren's first car chase; Le Havre, where Jack lost his temper; Osaka, where Marshall almost lost his hand.

-- This week's hot look: Gotta go with Marshall in that black cowboy outfit. It's a good look for him.

Another standard really good "Alias" episode,


3.6 The Nemesis

Weiss: "This is why people from the CIA should not get married to people from the NSC, man. Don't poop where you sleep."

If it isn't dismembering on this show, it's teeth pulling. Geez Louise.

So was I right about the Rambaldi healing thing, or what? Is Sloane's arm knitting back together even now? Will there be scars, like Allison's? And what is he up to? Why does he want Sydney to be his handler? Which is, by the way, a completely bizarre plot twist that I absolutely loved.

Lauren is now free to focus on the Lazarey murder, but she can't tell Vaughn she's doing it. Vaughn knows who killed Lazarey, but he's forced to protect Sydney and lie to Lauren. It's having an effect on their marriage already. And Vaughn gave Sydney a lingering look while he was fastening the X-cam necklace. A romantic implosion must be approaching. We can only hope.

Allison is alive, and miraculously healed after six months in a Covenant hospital in Marseilles. Is it me, or does she have too much of an attitude now that she's not pretending to be Francie any more? Too bad Sydney didn't kill her.

In this week's Lazarey murder development, Lauren acquired a recording of Lazarey's phone calls. (Two videotapes of the murder itself, and audio tape all of his phone calls, too? Geez, is privacy dead in this world?) Lauren now knows that "Julia Thorne" killed Lazarey. How long until she knows Julia is Sydney, if indeed she is? After all, Julia could have been a double of some kind. We also now know that the Covenant wants Sydney alive so they can retrieve something in her memory. She'd better start remembering stuff soon.

Bits and pieces, and more quotes than usual:

-- Vaughn: "Chin implant at three o'clock... collagen lips straight ahead... okay, *those* breasts are real... what do you think, should I get my nose done?"

-- Sloane to Sydney: "Ms. Reed is very able, but I'm afraid she cannot possibly comprehend the intricacies of serving two masters simultaneously. You were brilliant at it. The way you would walk into my office, look me in the eyes, and lie to me."

-- Sydney to Sloane: "Sucks being a double agent, doesn't it?"

-- Vaughn: "Either Allison's in there, or someone's making microwave popcorn."

-- Dixon: "I want that bitch dead."

-- Sark with his shirt off. Vaughn with his shirt off. Lauren in skimpy black undies. Can't be bad.

-- Lauren's accent is finally explained; she was born in the U.S., but grew up in London.

-- Julia's cover company is KNG Microtech. Does KNG stand for anything, I wonder?

-- What's with the "You got the looks, I got the brains"? If Marshall proposed to me that way, I'd probably let him down gently. But then again, I'm not in love with Marshall. Unfortunately, I don't think Carrie is, either.

-- We finally got to see Allison killing Francie. Sydney is still grieving for her; I think eventually she's going to kill Allison.

-- This week's McGuffin: A device that is essentially a skeleton key for Russia's nuclear weapons, invented by a guy named Lange, who has done a Michael Jackson.

-- This week's itinerary was a lengthy one: An ice rink in L.A.; Strassburg for Sark; Moscow for Lauren; Milan and Sofia for Sydney and Vaughn; Zurich for Sydney and Sloane; and Prague for almost everybody.

-- This week's hot look: A two-tone wig and an all white outfit for Sydney, along with a coordinated all-black outfit for Allison.

-- This week's language skill: Whatever Vaughn was speaking to that guard.

Another standard really good "Alias" episode,

3.7 Prelude

Sloane: "By the way, you look beautiful."
Sydney: "Spare me."

Is there anything that Jack wouldn't do to protect Sydney? He had Vaughn and Lauren kidnapped, and he actually killed Parez in cold, mock-suicidal blood. Not that Parez was what you'd consider a loss to humanity, but this shocked me.

Arvin Sloane was clearly enjoying passing Sydney off as his mistress, but she got the last word; my favorite moment in this episode was Sydney "picking a fight" with Sloane on the dance floor. Why is Sloane insisting on working with Sydney? Why is he helping her with her missing two years, and why did she send him the key? Why does he need her, and how is he planning to use her? Is he going to revive her memory at some point, activate her again?

We learned a little more about Sark while he was holding Lauren at gunpoint. He never got to know his father, but he certainly knows who killed him. And now, so does Lauren, Lindsey, and the NSC. Had to happen.

Does Vaughn really love his new wifey? It sounded very much like he did when he was confronting Jack. But with Sydney in serious trouble, and Lauren acting as if she doesn't care if Sydney lives or dies, it looked to me like Vaughn just emotionally changed sides... at least a little. There were almost Sydney/Vaughn smoochies, too.

The opening dream sequence was fascinating, so I went through it frame by frame. (As you probably already know, I have no life.) A lot of it was the outline of the birds plus different angles of the statue of the angel holding a bowl, both of which we saw near the end of the episode in "Julia's" apartment. There are church bells ringing, a whispered word I couldn't decipher, and the word "Milo," which is Rambaldi's first name. There were a lot of shapes that could have been many things: red ropes, which might symbolize blood; neon green shapes (you got me there), bright white flashes of light that turned into the operating room light. I also thought that some of the shots of the angel looked like blue internal organs, and the Rambaldi heart they were after last season.

The part of the dream where Sydney wakes up on the operating table, finds the hole in her side bleeding, and starts pulling tubes out of a gaping wound, right where her interesting new scar is, seems very like a memory. What did they do to her?

The scene where the shrink showed her the lobotomized guy was a set-up for the cliffhanger: Lindsey has taken Dixon down, and Sydney has been arrested. Now we're all worried that Sydney is going to be lobotomized.

Or would she heal? Was Sydney treated with the Rambaldi healing thingy, like Allison?

Bits and pieces:

-- Dixon doing a lockdown in order to bring Sloane into the CIA was fun, especially when Marshall automatically treated Sloane like the boss. "Marshall, Sloane has no authority in this room."

-- This week's McGuffin: a maser is supposedly capable of assassinating people from space.

-- Diane's death has made Dixon so cold and professional. I'm assuming it was Diane's death that did it, anyway. Along with what happened at SD-6, and Sydney's death... okay, Dixon has a lot of good reasons to be cold and professional.

-- Marshall's little optical camouflage car was probably the coolest gadget I've seen so far this year. But why weren't there filaments built on the sides of it, too?

-- This week's itinerary: Mexico twice, Beijing, and Rome.

-- This week's hot look: Sydney and her stuntwoman in a slinky black outfit and black ski mask, fighting with two swords. I didn't think anyone could look good in a ski mask, but Jennifer Garner looks good in anything.

-- The envelope Sydney addressed said: "Mr. Arvin Sloane, Omnifam Foundation, Himmel 819, CH 8091 Zurich, Switzerland."

-- Okay, who knew the boy on the bicycle was a trap? Everybody?

This was probably five stars out of five. Or close to five. Very good.


3.8 Breaking Point

Marshall: "You're going to bust her out, aren't you? Kick some NSC booty? Can I just say, love?"

All of Sydney's men galloped to her rescue. This is one of those episodes that I watched with a huge grin on my face. Well, except for when they were torturing Sydney. But seeing Jack, Vaughn, and Sloane band together to break Sydney out of jail was just so much fun. They even recruited Shaft to help them do it.

I was relieved that Sydney didn't fall for the "prisoner in the next cell" trick, as good as he was. I kept going back and forth about whether or not he was a plant, right up until the moment Lindsey had him beaten and stabbed in front of her -- and then I was sure he was. And Lauren shot him. Good for her.

This was a decisive episode for Lauren. She was finally forced to take sides, and it couldn't have been an easy decision. To her credit, she chose the right side, which makes her harder to dislike as a character. I must admit I was hoping she'd ally with the opposition so that I could hate her. She and Vaughn just don't feel married to me. Is this intentional on the part of the writers? Or am I just fixated on wanting him with Sydney?

I was absolutely certain until this episode that Sloane was still evil and manipulating everyone somehow. Now, I'm not so sure. Sloane may have Rambaldi's healing formula thing, whatever it is, but still -- Sloane actually took a bullet for Jack. With Emily dead, are Jack and Sydney truly all Sloane has left? Could he actually be... sincere? Nah. Couldn't be. As Jack surmised, it must be because Sloane needs something important from Sydney.

So what are they all going to do now? Start their own covert agency for hire in Zurich?

Bits and pieces:

-- The credits ran at the beginning of the episode. This never happens. I think they like to run the credits at odd moments to surprise the audience.

-- Neurostimulation involves serious yuckiness, reminiscent of that really bad Hannibal Lector sequel.

-- Jack only wears glasses during surgery. :)

-- I was really pleased that Vaughn recruited Marshall.

-- The music that was playing during the FEMA break-in scene ("What do I have to do... to prove my love for you") was just perfect.

-- Sloane: "As usual, Jack, you're in danger of outsmarting yourself."

-- Jack's stash was an absolute hoot, and totally in character. "The fact that you're even letting me see this place means it's not your only one, is it?" "You're smarter than you look."

-- I hope they bring Richard Roundtree back. He only got a couple of scenes.

-- After what Lindsey just did to Sydney, I bet Jack will eventually kill him.

-- This week's itinerary: There was a conspicuous lack of exciting destinations. We got Los Angeles, Los Angeles, the L.A. river, and the desert outside Los Angeles.

Excellent episode, and lots of fun. Five stars,

3.9 Conscious

Sloane: "Sydney, as long as you're alive, you'll never owe me a thing."

This was more like an acid trip than a dream sequence. Dippy, drugged out professor David Cronenberg and his equally dippy, drugged out grad student were two of the most fun guest characters they've had yet on this show. Eighteen months of traction? An interesting case of the munchies, with fake bacon and barbecue chips?

The dream/memory sequences were confusing. So, because it's me, I wrote down bits of what happened so I could understand it better.

Dream one: Sydney experienced a sort of alternate history, in which, after shooting Alison, she was in an ambulance and her apartment didn't burn down. Then Sydney was a little girl, and the words "St. Aidan" were on her birthday cake. The cake she was cutting turned into a hand, and Lazarey was there. (Convenient, since it is supposedly his hand.) Hanging plastic kept Sydney from seeing things or getting anywhere. The number 47 was on the door keeping Sydney from her memories. And Lauren tried to kill her.

There is distorted dialogue during dream one. Three men are talking: "... expected by now... at least two more... we've got one of them... it should be somewhere near [garbled]... get Allison... [garbled] almost pulled it off... there were three all together... she's waking up... take her out... they should meet us at the safe house... good work, we'll drop her off at forty-seven." (Thanks, Dan.)

Dream two: A fifties/sixties dream with Dixon in a St. Aidan car. Weiss and Marshall were playing cards and smoking cigars, and there was something that looked like a Rambaldi device on the table. Lauren is back. The Sydney double tells Sydney to trust Lazarey. Sydney (in white) fights with her double (in black) and kills her. She opens the door to 47, and cliffhanger, dammit.

Time for a little speculation. Sydney was supposedly watching herself, in all sorts of different Sydney disguises. But having two Sydneys also suggests that Sydney might have been doubled, as Francie was. And -- if it wasn't really Lauren trying to kill Sydney, if Lauren represents something or someone else, could it be that the NSC took Sydney, not the Covenant?

So, what do we know now?

1. Lazarey, a Rambaldi fan, is in pieces, but we don't know if he's dead or not.
2. Lindsey has ordered Sloane to kill Sydney. And,
3. Lindsey has proof that he knows Sloane's end game. Supposedly.

Bits and pieces:

-- No theme music this week, just credits over action.

-- Sydney showed way too much enthusiasm punching out Lauren. Lauren, in turn, was very cool and collected when she told Lindsey the lies about Sydney and the Covenant. Just as I'm starting to like her, she tries to kill Sydney in Syd's dream. I don't think the writers want us to feel secure about Lauren.

-- "I used to think you didn't have much of a spine." I saw that little smile. Are Jack and Vaughn finally bonding?

-- When Sydney was kissing Vaughn and it turned into Sloane, I was so shocked I gasped out loud.

-- Dixon is now in a cell, and Lindsey is working on him. Lindsey simply must die horribly, and soon; that's all there is to it.

-- The clock on the table has something to do with immortality.

-- This week's itinerary: New Haven, and a strip of desert near the San Andreas fault. Bleah.

Very good. Four out of a possible five stars,



3.10 Remnants

Sydney: "Last chance to bail out."
Will: "You kidding me? I love this stuff."

I never figure out things ahead of time, but this time I did. I absolutely knew for certain that Sloane would have Lindsey taken out instead of Sydney, and I was right. But I also had the feeling Will would get killed during this episode. I'm glad I was wrong about that one, and glad that Will was able to avenge himself and Francie -- at last.

The Sydney/Will thing was great, both in bed and out. He has an aptitude for this kind of work. Why can't we have Bradley Cooper back in the cast? With Vaughn off limits and Francie dead, Sydney could use a friend and a lover, and Will is now both.

Can't blame Sloane at all for having Lindsey killed; Lindsey desperately needed it. The one thing that didn't work for me was Jack and Vaughn magically being released from custody immediately afterward. What happened to the charges? What about government red tape?

So St. Aidan is Lazarey. And Lazarey is alive, one-handed, and broke. He seems to be a strong ally of "Julia Thorne's," and the fact that he's alive means, of course, that Sydney can't be convicted of killing him. Unfortunately, he's now in Sark's power, and Sark seems more than ready to commit patricide. All Sark did in this episode was shoot and torture people. How can Sark look so cute and be so evil?

Bits and pieces:

-- Did Sydney really choose to erase her own memories? I had thought the dream memory of Sydney killing her other self meant she had a double, but maybe it was just symbolic.

-- I was so sorry to see the David Cronenberg character die. At least he went out in a morphine glow; there are worse ways to go.

-- Victor Garber sounded like he had a cold. Get better, Daddy Bristow.

-- Will's experience with Alison has left him with post-traumatic dating syndrome. :) I thought that was pretty funny.

-- The Rambaldi device contains human tissue? Is it Rambaldi's tissue?

-- Jack and Vaughn did some more bonding while in custody together, although Jack telling Vaughn not to make Sydney his mistress probably soured it a little.

-- No one seems to care much about fingerprints on this show. It always bothers me.

-- This week's itinerary: Wisconsin; New Haven; Warsaw; Buenos Aires; Moscow; Graz; and San Pedro. Talk about circling the globe.

-- This week's hot look: I loved Will in leather, jewelry, and accent, even more than Sydney in purple fur.

Five out of five stars,



3.11 Full Disclosure

Dixon: "It's not easy, is it? Keeping the truth from someone you love?"

They did it again. They took the entire Alias universe and turned it on its ear. I love this show.

I loved that they went back to page 47, and that it really was Sydney, and not Irina, after all. I loved that they brought Kendall (Terry O'Quinn) back in a big way. I loved getting to actually see Sydney's funeral. (And how about Vaughn crying on Weiss's shoulder? Wow.)

There's something very telling about Sydney's character in that (1) she had her own memory erased, but (2) she was compelled afterward to find out what she had forgotten. Sydney should have known her own nature. How could a naturally inquisitive and brilliant spy leave a two-year memory gap alone? I also thought it was fascinating but perhaps a bit too convenient that Jack's "Project Christmas" indoctrination kept Sydney from breaking.

Sydney being the Virgin Mary is an odd concept, though. (Pun intended.) They took her eggs, hence the mysterious scar, but I wasn't clear about whether she was to be a host mother, or if baby Rambaldi was going to be genetically half Sydney. (Did I miss that? Please let me know.) Which would make Jack and Irina the grandparents of the Second Coming.

I never cared much for Lauren, so the fact that she killed Lazarey on Sark's orders doesn't upset me at all. But what a shocker! I thought they'd keep us on the fence about Lauren for a lot longer. Maybe they decided the character wasn't going to work out on a permanent basis, huh?

And poor Lazarey. First, he loses his hand during his and Julia's quest for the Rambaldi DNA, and then he gets tortured by his own son, and killed. But was Lazarey really Sark's father? I still think that Sark has something to do, biologically at least, with Jack or Irina, because it just seems so like an Alias plot line to have Sark turn out to be Sydney's brother.

Observations, unanswered questions, and bits and pieces:

-- I'm a little perturbed that Vaughn was already with Lauren nine months after Sydney's death.

-- Speaking of which, there were several references to time periods lasting nine months. I think these were intentional, because of the Rambaldi baby thing. There was also a reference by Marshall to the fact that he and Carrie were about to become parents. Is this pregnancy a coincidence?

-- Maybe I missed something, because a lot happened and I couldn't tape this episode because I was at a conference in a hotel room ... but what exactly did Sloane have to do with Sydney's two-year disappearance? He seems to have set Sydney up to investigate her own disappearance with that key to her apartment in Rome, but why?

-- I'm now glad that Sydney killed Oleg, as she promised. It's too bad they made her kill that other guy.

-- Kendall and Sydney are truly friends now? Hmmm. I can't wait to see "Project Black Hole" in Nevada. Maybe it's in Area 51.

-- Did they take all of Sydney's eggs? Is she sterile now?

-- Lazarey's last words were, "You know about the passenger?" What the heck did that mean?

-- This week's itinerary: There were a lot of places in flashback, but in present time there was a plane plus everyone in the cast parachuting into Patagonia, and that was it.

-- This week's hot look: I liked Jennifer Garner as Julia blonde.

Six out of five stars. This was a jaw-dropper,



3.12 Crossings

Dixon: "Their official position on Sydney and Vaughn is to disavow. Unofficially, I say screw them."

This was a Sydney/Vaughn relationship tease episode. I usually don't like tease episodes. Except this one actually started out with their pre-death smooch, instead of making us wait for it, which was different. And the two of them looking into each other's eyes as they're about to die in front of that creepy bloodstained wall was pretty darned romantic.

Is Vaughn's marriage over, or at least on its way out? He's now admitted to Sydney that he's very unhappy with the current situation. Leaving aside Lauren's double agent status, Vaughn is too much of a boy scout to stay with one woman if he loves another. On the other hand, though, he did commit to Lauren, and he's the kind of guy who takes commitment seriously.

The "enemy spy marrying an agent to get inside info" plot is getting a tad overused on "Alias." At least this enemy agent is a total bitch; Lauren barely hesitated to send Vaughn to his death. Well, okay, she was looking at his photo with what could be construed as regret, but still.

I felt cheated out of a Lena Olin appearance, since she certainly would have been in this episode if she had signed for this season. But we did get another new and really interesting member of Spy Family... and she's hot for Jack, which is just *sooooo* much fun. Plus, she has some kind of agenda having to do with Irina and Sloane. That's just what we need on this show: another mystery. :) (I love Isabella Rossellini's voice; close your eyes, and she sounds just like her mother. And if you don't know who her mother is, you're probably not into old movies. Okay, I'll tell you -- it's Ingrid Bergman.)

In the "how improbable is that" department, (1) they crash landed, and all that happened was that Vaughn got a boo-boo on his arm; (2) a busted jeep was just sitting there, and Sydney and Vaughn were able to fix it without tools or parts; and (3) Vaughn got gas on his hands, lit a flare, and his hands didn't burst into flames. And, hey, I'm not what you'd call a nitpicker. The writers must have been on a deadline or something.

Bits and pieces:

-- Lauren reports to The Mummy. I wonder if he's going to be a continuing character.

-- Tuesday is Vaughn's hockey night? Is that like poker night?

-- Sending Sark on a mission that was beneath his talents was a transparent way to use a member of the cast instead of a guest star. But I did like the scene with Sydney and the knife; nothing seems to faze our evil sweetheart, Mr. Sark.

-- Vaughn: "Bad enough to be a fugitive in North Korea. Now I have to find out you slept with Will?"

-- Katya referred to herself as the Black Sparrow.

-- Leonid said that the Covenant had made him stay in North Korea for four years. I was under the impression that the Covenant was a new-ish organization. I guess four years isn't that long a time.

-- Irina has another sister, Yelena; I wonder if she'll turn up eventually.

-- Would Jack have killed Sloane? In a minute. Did this episode ruin Jack's relationship with Sloane? Nah. Sloane would be a fool to trust Jack.

-- This week's itinerary: North Korea, Koreatown in Los Angeles, and Zurich.

-- This week's language skill: Sark did a convincing American accent as "Agent Hollier."

Despite the tease and the boo-boos, this one was fun. Three out of five stars,


3.13 After Six

Sydney: "Have you ever felt that someone's your soul mate?"

This one was so much fun: lots of plot development, and a decidedly romantic theme, with couples all over the place. Let's see -- we had Sydney and Vaughn with the romantic confusion and Jack's attempts to keep them apart; Marshall and Carrie's comic relief wedding; Sloane with, of all people, the shrink Dr. Barnett; and finally, Lauren and her obvious soul mate, Sark.

Lauren and Sark are both cute, blonde, and ruthless; they're made for each other. Lauren's seduction of the first cell leader intimated that she'd already had sex with him. And her smile after she killed him -- she actually enjoyed stabbing that guy. This is the first time we've seen her being completely evil.

I guess it isn't surprising that Barnett has a thing for Sloane. He is certainly a personality that would interest a shrink, and she has studied him, after all.

The character of Toni Cummings (Viveca A. Fox) was introduced. I thought her coldness toward what she thought were exploitative white South Africans made it appear that she has a social conscience. So: not completely a bad guy. We learned here that Quentin Tarantino was the man behind the man in charge of the Covenant. Is Cole truly the big boss? Did Lauren get him out of U.S. custody?

Finally, what the hell was that green crap that Sloane injected himself with? And what is his big secret? The implication is that Sydney is his daughter, but I just don't believe it.

Bits and pieces:

-- "After Six." As in after dinner mints? Or as in six dead cell leaders?

-- How did they get up the electrical tunnel?

-- I couldn't help but contrast the casual dinner Jack and Sydney had here, and the way he stood her up in season one.

-- Sark: "You know, you're unbelievably good." and "A woman after my own heart."

-- Weiss: "However, I did have the same intense feelings for both Sporty and Posh Spice." :)

-- Marshall: "I love you, Mrs. Flinkman!" Carrie: "I'm keeping my name!"

-- This week's itinerary: that incredible chalet in Chamonix, plus Zurich, Berlin, Athens, Salzberg, and St. Petersburg.

-- This week's hot look: Sydney and Weiss' matching tiger stripes. :)

Three out of five stars,



3.14 Blowback

Sark: "Sweetheart, this should be fun."

Spy dad, Spy mom, and now... dueling spy couples! This episode was so much fun, very twisted and Tarantino. I even laughed out loud several times, and "Alias" doesn't usually make me laugh.

I actually like Lauren as a character now, because she is turning out to be a good villain. She and Sark are like a blonde, evil version of Sydney and Vaughn. I absolutely love it. And their affair makes it better for our heroes. If Vaughn had cheated on Lauren at the beginning of the season, we would have had contempt for him. But now...

Sark is clearly smitten, too. This relationship is a lot more fun than his relationship with possibly dead Allison. He said a lot of fun things to Lauren in this episode: "Ambitious and domineering. Fantastic." "You are soooo controlling." He likes strong women, doesn't he? Which explains his interest in Sydney.

I have one complaint. In the scene on the ship, Vaughn was looking right into Lauren's eyes. She's his *wife*. Mask or not, how could he have missed that?

Dr. Barnett is an odd character, and something of a cipher. I guess, like most shrinks, it's her job to keep her true feelings to herself. Can she actually be hot for Sloane? She must find him fascinating, or she wouldn't have written her "post-doctoral thesis" on him.

And what is Sloane up to now? Is he hitting on Dr. Barnett, or setting her up for reasons of his own? Does he really believe he's Sydney's father? An affair with Irina at the appropriate time is one thing, and it may have happened... but I definitely do not believe he's Syd's father, and even more, I hate the idea. I just don't believe it. Sydney is just too much Jack's daughter. And if it's true, they'd be screwing with the strongest relationship on this show.

Bits and pieces:

-- Okay, the Ford F150 commercial was just tacky. I forgive them because I love the show, but really.

-- When the Vaughn/Lauren bedroom scene began for the second time, I actually thought it was a mistake.

-- Marshall and Carrie had a boy, Mitchell. The comments were great: Vaughn: "He has my nose." And Jack's offhand, "Cute," with absolutely no expression on his face.

-- Lauren mentioned that Vaughn wasn't the first person she's tried to ruin. I wonder who else? Perhaps her father, the Senator?

-- Jack is now searching for "the mole," meaning Lauren. How long can she avoid interrogation? At least it probably won't be a fatal session in the SD-6 basement.

-- What was on the eight yards of parchment? How can Sloane think that anyone is going to believe he threw it out, when Rambaldi was the king of invisible ink?

-- This week's itinerary: Vancouver and Lisbon... twice.

-- This week's hot look: Definitely Dr. Barnett and her incredible floating cleavage. And Lauren in disguise, looking a lot like Sydney in disguise. Plus I absolutely loved Sydney posing as a nerd for a change, but how come Vaughn wasn't wearing a nerd pack and glasses?

I know "Alias" hasn't been quite as kick-ass this year as last year, but I think this episode deserves a five out of five stars,



3.15 Facade

Jack: "There is no white light. Not for people like you."

Very "Mission Impossible," with just a touch of "Speed." (Come on. If the plane goes below 18,000 feet, it blows up? And the hotel room? The faked newscast? I swear they even did Mission Impossible-esque music.)

My favorite parts of the episode were: (1) Vaughn's deft imitation of Sark, and (2) Vaughn and Sark defusing the bomb together. It's funny, but as soon as Vaughn and Sark were in the same room together, I immediately started worrying about Vaughn. But Vaughn, with a knife wound, actually beat Sark. How cool is that? Although I bet Sark won't be in custody very long, seeing how he's boning Mrs. Vaughn.

Daniel Ryan, the not so humanitarian bomber, is a compelling character. I thought for a moment that Sydney was going to confess to him that she had killed his brother, and I was thinking, NO! Don't tell him, Syd! He'll never understand. She didn't, but it didn't matter, did it?

That scene with Jack and Ryan and the strangling actually shocked me, although I shouldn't have been surprised... nobody messes with Spy Dad. But now there's a revenge-seeking mad bomber who hates both Sydney and Jack, and I bet he'll be back.

Bits and pieces:

-- The bombs in this episode were activated by phone. Very topical and scary, considering the terrible things that just happened in Madrid.

-- Sloane and Dr. Barnett are an item. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.

-- Have I mentioned lately how much I love Weiss? He just makes me smile. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's his method acting.

-- I like Lisenker, too. He's a fun character. He hates American cigarettes but loves our cable. Me, too.

-- Melissa George (Lauren) wasn't in the episode at all. Dan was hoping she'd show up as Sark's wife on the plane.

-- Ryan to Vaughn: "They said you was a pretty boy." :)

-- The office building/stairwell in the opening scenes in "Belfast" looked very familiar; I think they've been in another episode.

-- This week's itinerary: Belfast, Rome, and over 18,000 feet up.

-- This week's hot look: The magenta hair is back!

-- I felt very much cheated of Sydney/Vaughn smoochies at the end of this episode.

Three out of five stars,



3.16 Taken

Sark: "Not if I see you first, love."

I didn't think I would like this one, because usually when a major character's family is in danger, everything turns out okay. Except that Diane was killed, and it's totally possible that they'd do in one of Dixon's kids... never mind. Anyway, I liked this one. It was great to see Sydney and Dixon working together again, and Carl Lumbly gets the gold acting stars this week. Give him anything, and he'll hit it out of the ball park every single time.

Project Black Hole was very cool; the artifacts are fascinating, and some of them are familiar, of course. The lot 45 Hellraiser box with Irina's name on it -- that can somehow put Sydney's life in danger -- also fascinating. I'm assuming we'll be hearing more about that one.

We finally got our first glimpse of Lauren's father, Senator Reed. Is he good? Is he bad? Why was Vaughn concerned about how Lauren felt with him around? It occurred to me that this episode was full of dads -- Dixon, Senator Reed, Marshall with his mini-Mitch, Jack, and/or Sloane -- but no moms. Please, Lena Olin, make a deal and come back! There's a box with your name on it, and everything!

So, the big questions are: could Lauren actually be capable of compassion? And is this the end of her career as a mole now that Jack has realized that she's in cahoots with Sark?

Bits and pieces:

-- I was almost sorry we didn't get to see Jack trying out the "inferno protocol" on Sark. Maybe in a later episode, huh? Or maybe he'll be using it on Lauren?

-- Frozen shot guys. Gross.

-- Was "countershadow" just a red herring?

-- Sloane to Dr. Barnett: "I found our time together very therapeutic." Sleeping with a shrink has to be interesting.

-- I loved seeing Sark in chains. Although I wasn't surprised when he escaped in, like, five minutes.

-- This week's itinerary: Chateaudun, France; Dover airfield; sixty miles east of Dover airfield... by the way, where the hell is Dover airfield? Must be near New Mexico if that's where Sark parachuted to safety... Project Black Hole in Nevada... and hey, did they actually have time to get to Zurich and back? It's a long way from L.A., even on a private jet.

-- This week's hot look: Well, the dune buggy outfit was tight...

Three out of five stars,



3.17 The Frame

Sloane: "You have such a beautiful smile, Sydney. I miss it."
Sydney: "If you're executed, I'll be a witness. I'll smile then."

So we have yet another duplicitous, enemy spy wife. That makes at least four (Irina, Elsa Kaplan, and of course, Lauren). Are the "Alias" writers running out of ideas? And, hey, Lauren's parents were together for thirty-five years, still spent all their free time together, and she walked in and plugged him -- just like that? Hard to believe. (One thing about Lauren's mother makes sense, though; someone other than Senator Reed gave Lauren her belief system.)

I'm also having a hard time swallowing Sloane as a helpless scapegoat, a victim of Lauren's. Will Sloane be executed? I doubt it, even though his character has been so freaking ambiguous this season. What do the writers want us to feel? Triumph? Sympathy? Sloane is still one of the best bad guys on television, or he was once and hopefully will be again. I don't want him to be a good guy, and I don't want him to be Sydney's daddy; this whole thing just doesn't work for me.

We now know that the box contains "the passenger," which has been referred to before. "After all, the passenger is Irina's legacy." Huh? Do they just mean the box has her name on it? But why would it be particularly dangerous for Sydney? Is the bioweapon somehow linked to Sydney's and Irina's DNA?

We now know that Sark ordered the hit on his own father; I don't think we actually knew that before. Why didn't he and Lauren do a strangers on the train, then? Why make Lauren kill her own father, which she couldn't bring herself to do, anyway?

Finally, Boy Scout Strikes Again. Am I the only fan who is tired of how honorable Vaughn is acting? I want some sweaty, illicit giving in to passion, and I want it now!

Bits and pieces:

-- Djimon Hounsou returned as Bomani, a man so violent that he actually shocked Sark. Now, that's violent.

-- Jack appeared to accept Lauren's "daddy made me do it" cover story. But what does that have to do with "Not if I see you first, love?" Why isn't Lauren still a suspect?

-- If I remember correctly, Vaughn's father said he could set his heart by that watch; Vaughn said it stopped the day he met Sydney. Lauren getting it fixed as a conciliatory gesture was interesting symbolism.

-- Speaking of Lauren, she looked slightly different, like she's getting a different makeup job or she got botoxed.

-- Lauren's mom was played by Peggy Lipton, who was once a star of "The Mod Squad." I'm either showing my age, or my talent for remembering useless facts, or both.

-- Soft spoken scar guy is back. He was in the Snowman episode.

-- Vaughn: "If I need it, can I crash on your couch? Weiss: "Yeah. You just have to wipe off the Cheese Nips." Have I mentioned lately how much I like Weiss?

-- This week's itinerary: Mexico City, Gaborone, and the Sea of Japan.

-- This week's hot look: Lauren wins the hot look sweepstakes with her "kill daddy" outfit, while Sydney ended up with red poodle hair and a tacky green dress that looked like a nightie. I also noticed that Jennifer Garner's bangs appeared and disappeared throughout the episode. Bad continuity there.

Three out of five stars,



3.18 Unveiled

Weiss to Sydney: "Do you think she's the mole, or do you just want her to be the mole?"

Lauren has absolutely incredible nerve. Telling Vaughn that he has no idea what it's like to be betrayed by someone he loves? And why did she look back at Sydney in the club? Dan thought that Lauren actually wanted Sydney to see her and blow her cover.

More questions. Does Sark really care about Lauren (yeah, right) or does he have another agenda? Why the parking garage if all he wanted to do was warn her? If it was to fool anyone watching them, it would definitely give it away when he didn't kill her, after all. Trust him? He must be kidding.

So "Irine" means peace? There were mondo hints that the Passenger is Irina, but it just doesn't work. Why would the doctor want to keep Irina safe, and die to protect her? Irina can take care of herself, after all. And why would seeing Sydney, the prophecy, make him want to kill her? A couple of weeks ago, there was a casting blurb in the Sci-Fi Wire about a new continuing character on "Alias"; I won't say more in case you didn't see it, but I'm betting that the Passenger is someone related to Sydney and Jack that we haven't seen yet.

Dixon wants Sloane to die, which is no surprise. (I almost expected Dixon to do an Inigo Montoya, "My name is Marcus Dixon. You killed my wife. Prepare to die.") But now, Jack wants it even more. If I were Sloane, and I knew that Jack knew, I'd be shaking in my boots.

Bits and pieces:

-- We have yet another player: the Trust, an organization inside the U.S. government, covered by Project Centigrade. Something to do with global warming, maybe?

-- The Jack/Vaughn I-had-a-traitor-for-a-wife scene was my favorite. "Lauren is not Irina, and I am definitely not you." But in fact, they sort of are, aren't they?

-- The DeReino heart and how Sloane got it was in season two. So was the guy that Jack went to for info.

-- Loved the fight with Sydney kicking the globe and her opponent wielding a mace.

-- Is it me, or does Jennifer Garner look too thin?

-- Did Lauren do an off camera ear-ectomy on the doctor? Does this show love Tarantino, or what?

-- Marshall's hacker alias is... Black Kitty?

-- A Berlin safe house with no peep hole in the door? For that matter, what's with the trap door in the panic room? I thought that being completely secure was the *point* of a panic room.

-- This week's itinerary: touristy hot spots like Florence, Milan, Berlin.

-- This week's hot look: I have to go with Vaughn's goth/punk look. He so rarely gets to do costumes, and he was soooo cute. Second place goes to Bomani's pink shirt/red tie combo.

Definitely better than the last few. Four out of five stars,



3.19 Hourglass

Sydney: "She could be an innocent victim."
Jack: "With Irina Derevko and Arvin Sloane as her parents? I don't think so."

Wow, it was fun watching the entire cast manipulate Lauren for a change.

I was mildly confused about how Sydney's sister could be 25 years old, so, conveniently, we were reminded during the champagne scene that Sydney was born in April of 1975. Irina supposedly died when Sydney was, what -- five? six? ... okay, that works. Irina must have gotten pregnant on purpose (I can't quite picture Irina getting knocked up by accident) so she must have known about the prophecy ahead of time.

Does this mean that my pet theory about Sark being Sydney's brother is toast? When Carradine told Sydney, "The passenger. She is your destiny... she is your sister," I just flashed on Luke and Leia, and I even giggled. This is getting so improbable, anyway. Maybe this mysterious sister and Sark are boy-girl twins. :)

After some serious angst, Vaughn did pretty well as husband double agent man, although I wonder how he conjured up the stones to have sex with Lauren while he knew Sydney was listening. It reminded me of Alison/Francie spying on him in bed with Sydney. In Spy World, Sex is just another asset, something to be used.

Why did Jack lie to Sydney about his plans to circumvent Sloane's execution? We're still not sure what the Rambaldi healing thingy can do. Would Sloane have survived his execution anyway? And maybe I've been wrong all this time. Maybe discovering that he had a daughter two years ago in Nepal really did change Sloane.

Bits and pieces:

-- Another clandestine Jack/Irina e-mail exchange. In lieu of Lena, they're using Olivia (Peggy Lipton) to fill the bad mom void. I still miss Lena, though.

-- The champagne Jack gave Sloane reminded me of the drugged wine Sloane gave Emily.

-- I used to love "Kung Fu," and it's been such fun for me to see David Carradine essentially playing Caine as a Rambaldi devotee. Too bad he's dead now. The character, not Carradine.

-- Marshall: "She is good. I mean, if you had to fall in love with someone that was evil, I can see why it was her."

-- Vaughn did much, much better with the stealth than Marshall ("Lauren, uh, agent Vaughn, Reed... Mrs. Vaughn-Reed... Hi! What can I do for you?")

-- Precognitive supergenius or not, I still find it totally unbelievable that Rambaldi cracked the double helix in the fifteenth century. I mean, come on.

-- This week's plot point: "The Restoration" is the coded docs about the Passenger that came out of Il Dire. I'm making a valiant effort to keep track of this stuff; it helps later on.

-- This week's language skills: The code was in fourth century Neapolitan Italian. Plus, what language was David Carradine speaking, and what did he say? Does anyone know? Write to me!

-- This week's itinerary: Nepal; the Thar Desert; and Richmond, Virginia. And a club in Little Tokyo.

-- This week's hot look: Sydney's pale purple dress, accessorized by two Uzis.

Four out of five stars. Still no news about the series being renewed; when it starts getting this late in a season with no word, I get worried.



3.20 Blood Ties

Sloane: "All I want to do is protect my child."

Liar, liar, pants on fire. You just want a conduit to Rambaldi, you lying, spying turkey.

Jack and Sydney had a nice father/daughter DNA bonding moment. I'm glad there's no question about Sydney's parentage... but how many of you find it suspicious that Nadia's father had to be there when the hourglass was broken, and both Sloane and Jack were in the room? Nadia (Mia Maestro) is absolutely gorgeous, and she looks a lot like both Irina and Sydney. However, she looks nothing like Ron Rifkin. Irina was Jack's wife; is it totally out of the realm of possibility that Jack is Nadia's father, not Sloane?

Poor Vaughn got to walk in Sydney's shoes for awhile, suffering horrible torture for his country, all macho and strong, which is good because he's had kind of a wussy season. And now, he's discovered his father was a Rambaldi acolyte, like everyone else on this show. Vaughn Senior broke Nadia out of a KGB prison and died protecting her... from Irina? Was Irina planning to do what Sloane is now doing? Geez, and I thought *my* family was dysfunctional.

At least, Vaughn doesn't have to go to Fiji with Lauren now. Did Lauren fail to kill Vaughn on purpose? I mean, a gun to the head, boom, all over, but instead, she turns up the inferno stuff? She pushed the IV up three times during that torture scene, including at the end. If so, why is Vaughn still alive? Not that I'm complaining.

Nadia said she was with Argentine Intelligence. (I actually thought she said Italian Intelligence at first, so I checked the close captioning.) And she fights just like Syd. The Passenger and The Chosen One will battle; neither will survive? That can't be good.

Bits and pieces:

-- Shaft is back, can you dig it, although he again didn't have much to do. And is he telling Vaughn the truth? The fact that Sark "just missed" capturing Brill seems like a big coincidence. Plus, Sark lies.

-- We finally saw The Trust; it's five guys, including this Marlon Bell, who was in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in season seven. A virtual row of lollipops for the first person who remembers which episode.

-- My favorite line this week was Vaughn's to Sark: "Holding that thing, you almost look like you've reach puberty."

-- 500,000 volts sounds like a lot.

-- The "inferno protocol" didn't look inferno-like. I was expecting something burn-ier.

-- Sloane doing the ghost spy bit was a lot of fun.

-- This week's itinerary: Washington DC, and Chechnya.

-- This week's hot look: I absolutely, totally loved Sydney's hot geek seduction of Smithsonian Guy. He must have thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

There were way too many needles in this episode, but the end of the season countdown is picking up speed. Four out of five stars, for the standard good "Alias" episode.



3.21 Legacy

Katya: "I find you sexy, Jack. Deal with it."

My favorite part of this episode was Katya's fling with Jack. As much as I miss Lena Olin, Isabella Rossellini's Katya is a lot of fun; she's so forthright and direct, with that sexy, throaty Ingrid Bergman voice. I don't know what she's really up to, but there's a possibility that she's sincere, that she really loves Sydney and Nadia. And she has a thing for Jack, so she has taste. I like her.

I find Nadia Santos appealing, too. She experienced a wretched childhood as a torture victim and an unwanted orphan, but she was still tough enough to become an agent, and brave enough to save Sydney's life while Vaughn was off seeking revenge. Like almost every other character on this show, I don't know if she has a secret agenda, but it might be interesting if they kept her around next season.

Speaking of character development, I'm lukewarm about what's happening to Vaughn. His sadistic rage at Dr. Lee just didn't ring true for me, although I did like Jack's attempt at bonding by giving Vaughn the keys to Jack's little death bunker. Could Vaughn's rage have been worsened by the inferno protocol? Probably not. It looks very much as if Vaughn is ready to murder Lauren. I'd hate to see that happen, for Vaughn's sake.

Sloane is on the loose again. At least we now know he's as bad as he ever was. Except he actually drew the line at outright murdering his own daughter. What a humanitarian.

Bits and pieces:

-- Viveca A. Fox is back; I enjoyed the scene where she tried to enlist Marshall. Although I thought Marshall was foolish to tell a criminal who wants his services that he has a son. Marshall even showed her Mitch's photo.

-- It was fun that Dr. Lee was an absolute coward under torture.

-- Sloane had the nerve to quote the story of Abraham, adding himself to a long line of people who use the Bible to help justify their own agenda.

-- During the final shoot 'em up, it started with handguns and escalated to machine guns. Then Lauren pulled out a bazooka. I don't know; I just found that funny.

-- Part of me is enjoying all of these new familial relationships, while the other part finds it improbable. I wonder if Jack has brothers and sisters?

-- This week's itinerary: Kyoto, Japan; Novgorod; St. Petersburg; and Cienfuegos, Cuba.

-- This week's hot look: Gotta go with the cut-offs and bikini top Sydney wore for her dip in Cuba.

Although we again had too many needles and an unfortunate bout of acid torture, this was another good one: four stars. But we have to wait three weeks until the season finale. Drat,



3.22 Resurrection

Vaughn: "You like the electric batons and the injections. I'm not into accessories."

It would be impossible to top last season's cliffhanger, but still -- what the hell happened to "Alias" this season? There were interesting story lines, but they either didn't gell or something else was lacking.

There was too much vitriol in this episode, with Katya trying to kill Vaughn and Sydney, everyone trying to kill Lauren, and Vaughn uncharacteristically beating the crap out of Sark.

Jack has been making Vaughn over in his own image as the vengeful, betrayed husband, part two. He wasn't completely successful, although Vaughn's experiences this season have given his noble Boy Scout character some much-needed edge. Can you imagine Vaughn actually torturing Sark last season, for any reason?

What I don't understand is why Sark needled Vaughn like that. It's almost like Sark *wanted* Vaughn to lose it. "... in my car, or an elevator, or a garage... that woman was deliciously filthy." Certainly there's no love lost between them, but Sark is usually measured and calculating, especially when he doesn't have the upper hand. The only other reason would be love, and I just don't believe that Sark was in love with Lauren. I'm also surprised that Sark fell for Sydney's Lauren impersonation. Physically, they got way too close, certainly close enough for him to notice makeup and appliances. Sark is smart enough to realize that any jailer with a brain wouldn't put two conspirators together, for real. Was this just bad writing?

Speaking of bad writing... after months of Sydney/Vaughn deprivation, the final episode ended with a clinch. But it was a stupid clinch! They fall into each other's arms, and neither one checks first to see if Lauren, who has a gun in her hand, is actually dead? Bad writing takes all the voyeuristic fun out of watching them smooch, let me tell you.

Lauren spouted a lot of info before she died. Why are Sydney and Nadia both agents? Did the CIA indeed know about Sydney's kidnapping by the Covenant? Did they let it happen? Why hasn't Irina contacted Sydney? (Yes, they couldn't sign Lena Olin, but they could have gotten around that somehow.)

This is what we saw on the black documents in the bank vault:
S.A.B. 47 Project
Project initiated: 17 April 1975
Project subject: Sydney Anne Bristow
Project status: Active
Senior project manager: Jack Bristow

What does it mean? Well, I can guess that Sydney is a genetic super-spy of some kind, and so is Nadia. Or the CIA is experimenting with them both, perhaps. I don't believe Jack would intentionally hurt Sydney, though, and he did try to rescue her from the Covenant. If the CIA pisses her off, next year Sydney could be fighting *against* the CIA. That would be interesting.

Arvin Sloane and Nadia Santos are off to see the Wizard. How did the two of them manage to bond? Is she just super needy, or did she become a Rambaldi devotee against her will? Are we actually going to be dealing with Rambaldi himself next season, possibly in cahoots with Sloane and Nadia? If Nadia is "The Passenger," will she be carrying Rambaldi's consciousness at some point?

Bits, pieces, and unanswered questions:

-- Why was the title of this episode "Resurrection?" Rambaldi is still stuck in his "sphere of life." No one was resurrected, unless I missed something.

-- Vaughn ended up in a hospital bed AGAIN. Enough already! At least he still managed to kill his wife. Please tell me that six bullets were enough and Lauren is really dead, because I don't want her back.

-- I like Katya as a character and I was hoping that her passion for Jack was sincere, but it's certainly no surprise that Irina's sister would turn out to be devious and deceptive. Since Katya was the traitor, did we ever learn who told Lauren that Sydney wouldn't be at the Rotunda that evening?

-- When Sydney was trying to talk Vaughn out of killing Lauren, she called him "Michael" twice, something she never does.

-- This week's itinerary: Palermo, and a bank vault in Wittenberg.

-- This week's hot look: I liked Sydney and Lauren impersonating each other. There was something symbolic about them taking each other's place, too. They've been doing it all season.

-- This week's hair report: Sydney is again experimenting with bangs. No, Sydney, no.

-- Why did Sydney lie to Vaughn about what "1062" means? Was she just being super cautious because Vaughn was acting like a psycho?

-- Any bets on how long Sark remains in custody this time?

This episode, and this season as a whole, fizzled instead of popped. But I'll still be watching when they return in January for an uninterrupted fourth season. Maybe the long break will give them time to get it right.


- Reviews by Billie Doux


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