Monday, November 07, 2005

The Vaughn Family Spies

(Definitely not the VonTrapp Family Singers. Oh, visual of Vaughn singing “Do, Ray, Me.” HAHA)

Bill Vaughn was a loving father and husband. He was a decorated CIA agent and a brilliant mathematician. He kept a diary. He kept his appointments and he believed others should do the same. He set his heart by his watch. He was a follower of Rambaldi. He rescued Nadia and he was killed by Irina Derevko. This is all we know about him, other than his son was killed trying to discover the truth about him.

We first hear about Bill Vaughn in season 1, episode 6 “Reckoning.” Vaughn confesses to Sydney at the driving range that his father was a CIA agent who was killed in the line of duty. We see the affect Bill’s death has on Vaughn, we see the young boy in him who grew up without a father and we see the deep roots of Vaughn’s patriotism and loyalty. The Bill Vaughn of Michael’s childhood memories was a gentle man, moral and strong, but along with Michael, we come to learn that there might have been more to Bill Vaughn than initially thought.

Later in season 3, Michael learns from Brill, an old friend of his father’s, that Bill was a follower of Rambaldi, that he died protecting Nadia. In season 4, Vaughn learns that his father may still be alive. Vaughn is dangled the metaphorical carrot, as Roberts and the Sloane Clone manipulate Vaughn into helping them steal a Rambaldi manuscript.

We’ve seen Vaughn deal with his father’s death in several instances. When he and Sydney are informed that it was Irina Derevko that killed Bill Vaughn, Vaughn has a hard time. He understands the importance of Irina Derevko to the CIA’s investigation into Sloane and his endgame, but feels he is betraying his father by helping Irina. The death of his father, and the new information he learns about him has been a deep rooted character builder for Michael Vaughn. His actions and personality have been based on the idea that his father was an outstanding man, and as he learns the truth, his character changes. For instance, when Michael is told that his father was a Rambaldi follower, he feels betrayed. He becomes lost. He strays from his morals, as we see when he lets his hate for Lauren consume him. When he discovers his father may still be alive, Vaughn goes rogue (with Sydney’s help), stealing the transistor coil and joining Roberts and his team. And when faith in his father is restored, once Roberts admits Bill is actually dead, Vaughn returns to Sydney, saying he believes his father would never have left him and his mother, because Vaughn knows he could never leave behind the people he loves. Alas, Sydney and baby are Vaughn-less. So, as we see Sydney’s pre-CIA training through Rachel, we see Vaughn’s mother’s life without Bill paralleled through Sydney.

We find that Vaughn has been fueled all these years by the knowledge that his father was once a part of a research group, Prophet 5. Bill Vaughn was a mathematician, who later changed his name and his son’s in order to protect them from the benefactors of this group. The connection between Bill Vaughn and Sydney was the Mueller device and though his initially relationship with Sydney was based on learning more about P5, Vaughn, inevitably fell in love with Sydney, prompting him to protect her from the truth about his rogue investigation. The shades of Vaughn’s character that we’ve seen over the seasons can be directly related to his connection to his father and his relationship with Sydney. Depending on whether or not Vaughn is truly dead or not, if we do see more of him in the upcoming episodes, I predict his character will expand and contract with the arrival of his own child. His great need to protect Sydney will spill over onto their child, which will add a great parallel between him and his father and Vaughn and Jack.

Side note: When it is believed that Bill Vaughn may still be alive, it comes from the dates in a journal that is given to Vaughn by the nurse at his uncle’s hospital. We come to find that the nurse is a fake set into play by Elena and the Sloane Clone. Jack mentions to Sloane that Sydney and Vaughn are investigating Bill Vaughn and that there was a journal they didn’t account for. If Bill Vaughn was in fact dead, and if the journal was a fake, what journal is Jack referring to? Did Jack and Sloane have a hand in faking Bill Vaughn’s death, by destroying documents, journals?

Thanks to SRG for her great research related to this piece!!

17 comments:

srg-alias said...

Excellent piece GS, and I LOVE the parallel you drew between single-mother Syd and Vaughn's mother, that's quite insightful! Regarding the journal Jack and Sloane discussed, my impression was they were talking about the journal Vaughn found since they didn't know it was fake and he was being setup. Kudos on the Sound of Music reference too, one of my fav movies. ;-)

Kiki said...

Jack said, "There was a journal we didn't account for." That to me says there were other journals that Sloane and Jack DID account for. What were these journals and what did they have to do with Bill Vaughn? As for the parallel, I didn't realize it until I was writing that part about Syd and baby being Vaughn-less. It brings me back to who is Vaughn's mom and where the heck is she?

Of course, Sound of Music. Vaughn, VonTrapp, I couldn't pass it up.

srg-alias said...

hmm, ok, yeah I see where you got that impression about there being other journals. I guess I took that line to mean there was a journal they didn't account for among the clues that would lead Syd to Elena.

Anonymous said...

I caught part of a rerun over the weekend, I'm pretty sure it was from the 1st season, Vaughn made a comment to Sidney that he just spent Thanksgiving with his mom. I wonder if we'll ever get to meet her...

Girlscout/HelloSark, just wanted to tell you that I love your blog! I've been reading them for the past several weeks. Thanks for keeping me entertained at work :)

srg-alias said...

yes, that's been something we've been discussing this season, where is Vaughn's mom??

Kiki said...

Sure Anonymous, Sign-up and get yourself a fun screen name. Thanks so much for keeping the blog alive. Spread the word, the blog should take off as the season progresses.

catiuska said...

thanks girlscout/hellosark for the excellent post.
you keep me in touch with things i don´t even remember.
i am huge portuguese alias fan.
i spread the word about your blog on portuguese ALIAS comunity...
Please don't stop.

Desiree said...

When Jack and Sloan are talking about the journal...could it be that they are talking about the papers that Dean took from Vaughn's friend before Vaughn met his incredibly sad and untimely death? Obviously it is only a part of the possible journal. What do you guys think?

uncle111 said...

The journals Jack and Sloane were talking about were before Dean was on the scene, and I had the impression they thought they had all of BV's journals in their pocession.
I have always wondered about those and the Index.

M said...

Here's what I want to know: if Vaughn was so involved with Prophet 5 over the past x years... what happened when he left the CIA and became a French teacher when Syd "died"? Do you think that was cover for something else? Was he still conducting his covert activities? Did Lauren (or her mom or anyone from the Covenant for that matter!) know about it?

srg-alias said...

oooo, good question m!! I love the way you think! :)

M said...

Thanks... I just can't let go of the fact that the show never went back to Lauren's mom's involvement... and I heard that she's not coming back this season... it's just so un-Alias to leave that plot line dangling!

Kiki said...

Ohh M, I just heart you! Good questions. I am working on an article now about loose ends and Lauren and her mother. Stay tuned!!

SpyMommyWillSpank said...

Very good blogging GS my love!

Andrew said...

Awesome post!

I, too, had never drawn the connecton between Sydney and Vaughns' mom.

In my slow re-watching of S4, I've gotten to the point where Vaughn visits his uncle David in the hospital, Bill's brother.

Did David change his name as well? Was that really his uncle?

There's a lot of stuff in that episode that should be thrown out, because so much of his information came from the nurse that was baiting him to eventually steal the coil.

Also, Vaughn made reference to his mother in this episode. Therefore, she was still alive during S4.

I'm sure that this season's mysteries will take us deeper into the Vaughn family history.

srg-alias said...

wow, great question andrew about Vaughn's uncle and his name, whether he really was his uncle or not. we never heard what happened to him, if he recovered from the stroke or not. goes along w/ the myster of where the heck Vaughn's mom has been...

Kiki said...

Ohh, I heart Andrew too! Nice pick up with the uncle.