Friday, October 07, 2005


For some reason, I keep watching Alias even though it jumped the shark in Season 3 (in my opinion). That was when the primary secret global conspiracy was revealed and replaced... by another one. Who knew that so many quasi-governmental world-spanning networks of renegade secret agents were out there?

So far in season 5, we had a main character (Michael Vaughn) reveal he has actually been working on another super-secret mission the entire time, and Vaughn was just another alias. This doesn't actually matter since Vaughn was then promptly killed off. OK, that was kind of a surprise actually. Except in the fictional universe that Alias is set in, there is a method of cloning people... but I'm not sure they can use this to bring him back without really going over the edge.

Anyway, Sidney Bristow is now four months pregnant, motivated by revenge even though she says she isn't, and is still out there doing the secret agent stuff. It was bad enough when she was shot through the shoulder and still managed to ninja her way out of the building of bad guys (season 2 opener), and then heal up entirely within weeks. Meanwhile, I pick up nagging little volleyball injuries that last for months until they go away. I guess that's why she is the secret agent and I'm not. Or I need some of the vitamins she takes.

In tonight's episode, they followed the bad guys and infiltrated their plane, a la Executive Decision. One minute everybody is in Europe, next they are on a Stealth nearing North Korean airspace about to board a plane. Talk about your frequent flyer miles. Naturally, the pilots are all shot with stray bullets from the large firefight that ensues, but fortunately the cabin isn't depressurized and somebody on the boarding party can fly the plane.

Well, there is a depressurization - see, one of the bad guys claims the people he works for are so powerful he can't be protected while in custody. Thus, he does the smart thing and blows a door and gets sucked out of the plane. Maybe he had a parachute, but from what little I know, you don't normally deploy at 35000 feet, especially without an oxygen mask. Sidney is OK, despite being very close to him and not really holding onto anything. I guess the extra weight she's put on from her baby glues her to the floor.

They discover the secret cargo is actually a person in cryogenic suspension, and at the end somebody else (one of the people Vaughn worked with when he was on his secret double agent missions) broke into a secured facility and stole the body... and began the revival process. Some personnel shuffling occurs back at the main office - it appears two new people are coming onto the show. We'll see if they live for more than a handful of episodes.

In previous seasons, we were introduced to not one, but two heretofore unmentioned sisters of Irina Derevko, Sidney's mother. So I wouldn't at all be surprised if Vaughn gets back on the show by some "cloned extended relative" or "guess who was one of a triplets we just discovered" trick.

Follow all that? I do find Alias entertaining, with its implausible plot twists. So far this is better than season 4, when J. J. Abrams was clearly occupied with Lost, Jennifer Garner was busy shooting movies like Elektra, and Alias lurched around randomly. Still, I'll be happier when 24 and BattleStar Galactica are back on. Or I'll start working through Stargate SG-1 DVDs faster.

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