Thanks to Robetron for this insightful piece.
As we all have come to know, Alias can be very subtle about its clues. So much so, we often find ourselves straining to understand why things happen in a seemingly purposeful way, and sometimes, it has no real purpose or relation to the plot. For instance, was there any true purpose for Irina to make such a big deal out of seeing the horses walk down the road? Seemingly, there was none. Was there a reason why the people manipulating Vaughn put the needle full of unknown drugs in a book at the library? There does not seem to be any special purpose. Both of these transitional scenes support the over all story (or else the director and writers would not have put them in the show), but some of their details do not seem to have any point. This is perfectly acceptable. This happens in real life too. However, are these two examples really pointless?
There may be something going on underneath the radar. I cannot say I have a handle on it, but both scenes have something strangely in common. In the middle of Season 4, Vaughn is looking for answers related to the mystery that his father lived on into the 80’s. A strange man (Roberts) contacts him insisting that he can provide Intel about Vaughn’s father, but Vaughn must go to the UCLA library to meet him. While in the library, Vaughn receives another call from the strange man, telling him to look in the children’s section for the illustrated version of Through the Looking Glass. This, as we know, is where the needle is hidden. (It is a sick game of ‘how far will you go’ and a sick idea to put it in the children’s section.) Is that important? It doesn’t appear to be, until the last episode of the season.
In “Before the Flood,” the Bristow family, as well as several others from APO, parachute into Svogda, the Russian city where Elena decides to force mass hysteria and death, while trying to institute her version of Rambaldi’s endgame. The city in chaos, Irina and Jack prepare to embark on a journey down the subway. Irina sees something that amazes her, but does not surprise her. She speaks of a Rambaldi prophecy, which may (or may not) be fulfilled in front of her. Jack looks at her tenderly and says, “You really are ‘through the looking glass aren’t you?” He is obviously implying that she is seeing what she wants to see based on her Rambaldi obsession. I ask you, is it not strange that, within seven episodes, this book would get mentioned twice?
I am not able to see a connection yet. When I have time, I am going to examine the book itself to see if there are any clues for plotlines in the show. I solicit any theories the Alias faithful might suggest, even if it is, “Move on; it’s only a coincidence.”
I have to back up Robetron on this one. First and foremost, we have to remember, that there are no coincidences in Alias. I have mentioned before, the rule of three. The rule defines that if something or someone is mentioned three times, that this thing or person is of major importance. However, the rule isn’t limited to three. There have been several references to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass made in several seasons of Alias. Pertaining to the instances Robetron mentions, the references can be explained only as classic Alias; nothing is as it seems. It would seem to Vaughn that is father is alive. Vaughn has the journal and Roberts supporting the idea that his father is in fact alive. The mention of the book would suggest that just because it might look like Bill Vaughn is alive, he is not.
When the book is mentioned later, by Jack, it could be connected to several things. One, to the idea that it seems Sloane is working with Elena, when in fact, he isn’t. Or it might mean that though it seems Irina is helping, maybe she isn’t. Or perhaps it might seem like Irina has a Rambaldi obsession, but maybe she doesn’t, it could be a cover in order to stop her sister or Sloane.
This is the Alias I love, the Alias that stops us in our mid-day work to ask questions, to second guess, to discuss. Robetron brings some very interesting questions to the table. What can we deem as important information and what can we discard? With a show like Alias how can we not take every little tiny detail into consideration?