Friday, October 14, 2005

Episode 5.3 "The Shed"

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…

Thomas Grace
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.

Poor Rachel
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.

Mean Dean
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?

Peyton Place
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!

Vaughn gone?
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!

Call backs
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 Shed
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.

Your thoughts?


srg-alias said...

HelloSark/Girlscout my friend! Nice breakdown of the episode, here are my thoughts (also posted on the ABC thread :)).

1. My theory on the magazine is that Syd cancelled the subscription because she doesn't know when Vaughn will be coming back, but she saved the magazine so he'll have it when he does.

2. I think the whole point of the Sloane scenes were to drum up sympathy for him, you could just see his hopes shatter when he realized it was a trap. I think this might help explain any desperate measures he takes further on in the season to find a cure, maybe making deals w/ bad guys and such. I don't think he'll run, but he might get mixed up in some illegal activity just in his desperation to save his daughter.

3. I too liked Tom a lot, he seems a little rough on the edges for having "extensive field training" as Jack put it (can he speak any foreign languages?), but he obviously has good intentions and is a quick thinker on missions.

4. I'm still sort of undecided about Rachel...I actually sort of regret reading all the ideas about her being in Syd's situation because I would have liked to have been surprised about that, oh well, my own fault. :) I felt bad for her, and I think the fact that she's not field trained makes her a little more vaulnerable. It's nice to see someone having respect for all of Marshall's genious inventions. :)

I'm really looking forward to next week's episode, Syd in the casino looks great!!

Kiki said...

Hi SRG!! How are you? Great eppy last night, huh? A little slow moving, and they could have been a little more creative with how Rachel found out the truth and some fast backs to Syd at SD-6 would have been nice, but it was good. I am still on the fence about whether or not Syd knows about Vaughn, or what the whole magazine thing means. Hmmm.

srg-alias said...

Hello! I'm ok, happy it's Friday, how are you? :) Yeah that was a good episode, I think this season is on a roll now and it's just going to get better and better! I actually thought the way Rachel found out about the truth was interesting, it kept making me wonder what would have happened if the CIA had caught Syd on one of her SD-6 missions before she knew the truth. I wonder though why she was the one hacking that guy's computer if she wasn't field rated. Also, what happened to the guy w/ the computer (w/ the Red Sox hat)? Was he a bad guy?

Kiki said...

I think they thought the red Sox guy was the bad guy, because he had a computer, but it was Rachel and her cell phone. I thought it was funny that Syd all the sudden started speaking English and then left the cafe.

spyfriend said...

HelloSark-I'm new and love your analysis of the episodes.

I think Sydney definitely knows about Vaughn's "death". In the first episode when Syd was giving Vaughn the water (and Alias being all about details, it had to be many hours after surgery) they made sure you knew the cup was empty by the sound. And Sydney still put the straw back in his mouth to drink the rest. She didn't get teary until he had finished. And when she went to the window she looked back slightly as if waiting for the monitor to go off-when it did she didn't seem surprised or grieved. I did think Vaughn seemed annoyed - as if he didn't like the plan he had to go along with.

Dixon also said to Jack-"Do you think it's a good idea to bring in someone new-now-someone we don't know."Why wouldn't now be a good time?

Anyway, I think there is significance in the magazine-Syd has never called Vaughn "Mr. Vaughn."And they must have showed the cover for a reason.

Also, when Sydney was talking to Rachel she said,"His name IS Michael Vaughn." I think there is a reason Rachel now knows who Vaughn really is.

And last but not least-the watch. Maybe the person in the box will have a memory problem but will recognize the watch as his own?
Just a thought.

Hope my post didn't run too long.

Kiki said...

Hi SpyFriend, Welcome! Thanks for stopping in. I didn't catch what Dixon said to Jack, nice catch!

queenmab75 said...

I didn't think I'd like the new people, but I found myself intrigued by them! But one question: remember how Thomas Grace has a "secret" that Jack says he can handle? And then Syd says she read his file...the secret wasn't that he's a loner, is it? That would be kinda anti-climactic.

srg-alias said...

no, I doubt the secret was that he was a loner, I think it has something to do w/ Jack that Syd wouldn't notice, I'm very intrigued to find out what it is!

Great name by the way queenmab, very nice. :)

uncle111 said...

I think the meeting between Sloane and Alexander was not what it looked like. I think Alexander's attempt to kill Sloane was acted out for some observer's benefit and to pass $300,000, and maybe something else, to Alexander. It fits Sloane's m/o- an elaborate scheme that has people looking one way, thinking one thing, and then doing something else right under their nose. What it is will be revealed to us at some point.

queenmab75 said...

Thanks srg-alias! Anyone have any theories about what Tom's secret could be?

Sarafu said...

I am gald that you dont think that Toms Big Secret was the he is a loner....I agree that that would of been Very anti-climactic. I assume thought that since Syd read his file then she knows the secret???
Great theory on SLoane and the 300 grand uncle111.

jenn256 said...

I have been thinking about Tom's big "secret" and had a theory to bounce off you all... Syd stated after reading his file that he had turned down team missions always opting to work alone for long periods of time. Well what if there is a reason for that other than he is a "loner" as assumed by Syd. What if he wants to work alone because he is involved with the Rambaldi device and WANTED to work alone so he could search for any artifacts while on missions. We all have seen by now that the Rambaldi sign is back in the opening credits and flashes over his name which we have been wondering if there is significance? What if there is? Any thoughts? I am just hoping there was more to his big "secret" than that he can't play well with others.

birdietwoshoes said...

I also noticed, like Spyfriend, that Syd told Rachel that his name IS Michael Vaughn. And she never said he died, did she? I'd have to go back and watch it... I thought she just said his name is MV and that he was a good agent (implying maybe that he is still alive, but isn't an agent anymore) Also, I was ready to not like Grace and Rachel, but actually ended up liking them a lot! And like Sara and the others said, I don't think Grace's secret is that he's a loner. I think Jack knows and Syd doesn't. Can't wait for next week!

amy said...

i agree it is anti-climatic about grace being a loner- however sometimes the writers end up leaving stuff that way because there is no real way to clean it up....for instance the finale of 3 when we are led to think (at least i was) some huge thing about a project involving syd and her life etc etc etc and the big secret was that jack had killed irina. i have a hard time believing that that specific secret is what the writers had in mind with the season finale....of course alias-style they managed to turn it into a cool story line that gave us our beloved irina back so whatever works!!!!