Let me begin by saying I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I was actively cursing commercials for interrupting my viewing and felt slapped in the face when the ALIAS appeared at the conclusion of the program.
We return to Sydney’s apartment, which is one of my favorite Alias sets. It’s so distinctively Sydney. I was saddened by the canceling of the magazine subscription, which lead me to believe that maybe Sydney isn’t in on Vaughn’s fake death. Some have said that she isn’t grieving, that she isn’t as sad or emotional as she was after Danny’s death. But we do have to remember that she has been in this business for going on 13 years. She has hardened. She isn’t the same naïve Sydney as she was in the pilot. She has come to understand that death is a downfall of the job.
All right, let’s get to it…
Gotta say, I love this guy! We discover he’s a loner, but he fit right in with the team. There will be awkward moments and uncertainty on Sydney’s part, breaking in a new agent who basically is a fill-in for her “dead” fiancé. We can see from his first encounter with Rachel, gun in her face, that there may be some sparks for them in the near future. This is only reinforced by Peyton’s line “But he really isn’t your type anyway.” FORESHADOW.
Recruited by Dean 2 years before as a computer specialist, Rachel comes to find that the CIA she thinks she is working for, is actually a terrorist cell. She is then encouraged to go back into the office and face the people who have lied to her. Poor Sydney, I mean, oops, poor Rachel. It was nice to see Sydney soften to her, and it was nice to see that Rachel trusts her. It’s been a long time since Sydney has trusted someone new, and though Rachel seemed somewhat mousy to me, I can see Sydney leading her down a path of strength and knowledge.
This guy is driving me bonkers! He’s not exactly smarmly like Sloane, just ahhh! What is he after? What does he want? Who is he working for?
Was it me, or was she very quick to turn on her best friend? Yikes! She volunteered upfront to “take care of her” and then escapes with Dean. She may have more of an influence in The Shed than we think. She reminds me of Lauren. Lord help us!
They are keeping Vaughn in our thoughts. His magazine subscription, his picture on Sydney’s desk, she is wearing his watch, but not his ring. Grace had mentioned that Vaughn had been “compromised,” and Rachel stated that Dean told her Vaughn was a CIA agent who turned and was being held in Los Alamos. He’s lurking. His presence is still there, which will be key when he finally does return.
$300,000 and a Cure
Did anyone else find the Sloane scenes as useless as I did? What exactly was the point of him meeting with Alexander Delshanko? Why $300,000? That doesn’t seem like much in the world of international crime. I suppose it does show how far Sloane is willing to go to find a cure for Nadia, but I found his scenes boring and pointless. Sorry!
I found one call back to the pilot; the scene when Rachel returns to The Shed for the first time after finding out the truth. Sydney returned to SD-6, smiling at her co-workers, wondering which ones know the truth and which don’t. Rachel is nervous, apprehensive at first, like Sydney, glancing around with guilt on her face. Next week, Rachel will have to prove herself loyal to The Shed, as Sydney had. Will she opt for double-agenthood? Time will tell.
Also, remember in 4.1 “Authorized Personnel Only” when Sloane explains APO to everyone. He said he was approached by the CIA to start the group, that they wanted their very own SD-6. Something smells fishy?
The definition of shed is a freestanding, small structure, or a small structure attached to a larger structure. Hmmm. Could The Shed just be a cell? Could it be a small structure attached to a large organization, say like The Alliance?
Overall, the episode brought APO’s new recruits into the light. We were able to see how Grace operates, very instinctually (offering Peyton a light) and very protective of Sydney. We see Rachel as young and inexperienced, but we will see her grow in the next few episodes, as she is brought under Sydney’s wing and given an opportunity to fight for the good guys. We weren’t part of Sydney’s growth in season 1. She had already established herself as an experienced agent. It will be nice to see, through Rachel, how Sydney mastered her craft.