Thursday, October 13, 2005

Stock-er


Alias Déjà vu. It’s common. We’ve heard the name before; we’ve seen the scenario play out between different characters before. Yes, Alias writers are storyline salvage-hounds, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Stock situations are often-used types of incidents or sequences of actions in a drama. Alias has some of the best parallel storylines; characters falling into similar situations, feeling related emotions. One of the strongest of these stock situations is the Vaughn/Lauren, Jack/Irina deception storyline.

Jack was deceived by the woman he loved. Irina was posing as Laura, a loving wife and mother, as she stole CIA secrets from Jack and related them back to her superiors at the KGB. Vaughn married Lauren, posing as an NCS liaison to the CIA, while bedding Sark and leaking information to the Covenant. Each man learns of their wife’s deception, each feeling gullible and naïve for not picking up the on the signs. In season 3, Jack informs Vaughn that the only way to have closure, to find peace, is to kill Lauren. Ultimately, Vaughn shoots Lauren to protect Sydney and he deals with the ramifications in season 4. Aside from throwing the audience for a loop, the similar storylines give Jack and Vaughn a connection, an understanding that they might have been lacking in previous seasons. We experience Vaughn’s betrayal first hand and come to realize Jack’s reluctance to trust Irina, and how he must have felt when he discovered the truth.

I predict that the Rachel/P5 storyline will parallel season 1’s Sydney/SD-6 storyline. We will see the characters form a bond, a mutual understanding which may give Sydney, finally, a friend that can sympathize and empathize with her. Vaughn’s “death” and the death of Danny is another stock situation. Sydney, again, deals with the loss of a fiancé at the hands of a terrorist group. It is due to her reaction to Danny’s death that leads me to believe that Vaughn is still alive. She reacted hysterically to Danny’s death. She continued to wear her ring and keep pictures of him. In Vaughn’s case, she reacts with more fear for the future, and uncertainty. She is clearly upset at Vaughn’s absence, but I feel she would be more so if Vaughn were, in fact, dead. The writers might have intended this. They may have intended for Sydney’s reaction to Vaughn’s death to lack emotion compared to Danny’s, as to hint to the audience that Vaughn is alive.

There are several other stock situations; such as Dixon keeping Sydney’s missing two years a secret, as she had kept SD-6 a secret from him. Will had secret feelings for Sydney while she was dating Vaughn, and Sydney experienced similar hidden feelings when she found Vaughn was married to Lauren.

As I mentioned, reusing storylines isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Writers take into consideration the affect or reaction a certain storyline has. They revisit storylines that bring actor and audience emotion to the surface. These storylines can give the show unity, a full circle feel, which can be satisfying to the viewer and help propel new storylines.

What other stock situations are evident in Alias? Do you think they make the show predictable or boring? Or comfy like a pair of old sweats?

9 comments:

Desiree said...

Correct me if I'm way out there but another stock situation would be the flip flopping of the main antagonist...Sloane. First he is REALLY bad...then "good" to the point where he gains Sydneys belief. Now that Nadia is in a coma, I think that he is going to ally himself with Curtis because he has the book with all of the decoded DNA and amino acid secrets in it. I think that we are going to see Sloane do some not so nice things to try and wake Nadia from her coma. And how come Jack has been put on the back burner? It is like the writers are trying so hard to make the newbies fit in and us like them that they are forgetting about some integral characters. But then again it is only the third episode of the season. Sidenote: I think that Rambaldi isn't put to rest yet...Any takers??!?!?!?

Kiki said...

I agree, Rambaldi is still lurking. He's still in the mix. Can't wait to see what he has in store for Syd next.

hpalias said...

I agree about the flip flopping, Elena Derevko could be another example of this. She was Nadia's "mother figure" for so long then turned out to be evil. Jack flip flops everytime Sydney finds out something new about him. Who's next, will Sark turn out to be working for the greater good? (doubt it) Rachel we know is working for the bad guys but will she be good? Definitely see some correlations here.

jenn256 said...

correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we going through a big stock situation right now with the whole "Is Vaughn a double agent" thing? Didn't we all go through this a few seasons ago, no wanting to believe it could be true?

Desiree said...

Sorry...not curtis....Dean. DUH!

Desiree said...

Well...you were right! The parallel between Rachel and Sydney was right on the money. I think that Grace and Rachel are going to hook up. Kinda like the new Vaughn and Sydney. That would be horrible if the new seasons didn't include sydney but started a new relationship with these two to continue Alias.

steph_bristow said...

ok everyone, i was a little curious about the address on vaughn's magazine in tonite's episode. him and syd live/lived on "zephyr" avenue. here's the question of the evening: is there any sort of significance to the address that was on vaughn's hockey magazine in tonite's episode? i'm not talking about the numbers, just the name of the avenue..."zephyr" here's what i came up with on zephyr:

The term "Zephyr", when used by itself, can refer to:

a wind, usually the west wind
the Greek god of the west wind
Zephyr protocol for instant messaging
a rock band called Zephyr (there is also another rock band called Ben Zephyr)
a chess engine, Zephyr
a Chicago-based 3D & multimedia company (http://www.zephyrsyndicate.com)
the Lincoln Zephyr automobile
the Ader Avion II early aircraft design
a model of motorcycle called the Kawasaki Zephyr
the Zephyr flower, whose scientific name is Zephyranthes candida
a well known graffiti artist from NYC named Zephyr
The name Zephyr was also applied to a line of streamliner trains built by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The Minnesota Zephyr, an elegant dining train located in the historic city of Stillwater, Minnesota, is not associated with the historic Burlington Zephyr fleet.

on the greek God Zephyr:

Zephyr was the Greek god of the west wind, which was considered the gentlest wind, especially if compared to the colder north wind, Boreas. The warm west wind brought the spring season. Even today the name of the god means a warm and light breeze.
Zephyr was the father of two immortal horses, Xanthus and Balius. Their mother was the Harpy, Podarge. The Harpies were terrifying and greedy monsters with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail, wings, legs and talons of a huge bird.

Zephyr was attracted to the Harpy Podarge while she was grazing beside the Ocean after having transformed herself into a splendid young female horse. The gods gave the two horses, as a wedding present, to Peleus, the father of the famous hero Achille. Xanthus and Balius became the loyal companions of Achille helping him in numerous battles.

so alrights folks. what can we conclude, if anything by this address? am i just paying too close of attention to detail or do you think we may have something here? let me know.

Sarafu said...

I have NO idea what to conclude form the address but I myself was Very interested in it. It caught my eye, so when I re-watched the episode I took note to see if there was any significance. It seems that JJ wouldnt show it so closely if there was absolutley No significance. Again, I have No idea what it would be but I would love to hear other people ideas. Sidenote......I loved that she put the magazine back her desk drawer! Hmmmmm?

amy said...

the cool thing about the magazine is that it very well could have just been something that a grieving person saves because they aren't ready to let go of - while at the same time leaving the door open for hmmmmm...perhaps some future vaughn-reading-hockey-tips to isabella-bristow-vaughn moments....