Thursday, November 10, 2005

What do you see...Through the Looking Glass? By Robetron

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?


Tammy said...

Wow - I love these posts!! I find myself coming here several times a day just to see if there's anything new...

Just a question, wasn't Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass what Sydney told Weiss she missed from her life before the fire/missing time? Irina had given her a first edition when she was a child, and then Weiss bought her a copy later in the same episode... I couldn't remember for sure, but thought that's the book she mentions... An apt book to use for Alias as it is truly a Lewis Carroll world sometimes! Jabberwock anyone?

Kiki said...

Yes Tammy! I posted an article about Alice back in October. Check the archives on the right hand side under the October 2005 heading. There is some great stuff in the archives, check it out!!

SpyMommyWillSpank said...

This isn't really related...and maybe I'm crazy. But GS did we ever find out who that weird lady was that was the "nurse" for Vaughn's dad's friend at the hospital in season 4. As you know my knowledge of season four is shaky still...but who was that?

Robetron said...

You didn't ask me, but I will give you what I have anyway.

The man in the hospital was Vaughn's dying Uncle, or, atleast, that was what were led to believe at the time.

The woman who gave the journal to Vaughn was working for Sloan-clone, who was working for Elena. Apparently, this fake nuse is not a recuring character.

Tammy said...

Thanks! I haven't looked back at the archives, but will do so as I have time! I had forgotten all the other references to Alice in Wonderland. Clever!!

Robetron said...

I re-read your comments at the end, and I picked up on something that, even though I doubt anyone will come back to read this, I have to get it out of my system.

If we are to view the book's references as symbolism, I think you probably got the one with Vaughn right. He thought his dad was alive, but he was being fooled.

If we take the second reference as symbolism, we have to understand it as a similar symbol, and then examine the context in which it is used.

Irena was talking about the Rambaldi prophesy being fulfilled and it is in that context that Jack made the 'Through the Looking Glass' reference. This has two possible explanations. 1. The Rambaldi prophesy was not really being fulfilled, it only appears that it is; or, 2. Jack refuses to believe that it was being fulfilled (whether it was or was not).

If the book being mentioned is a clue gently inserted by the writers to let us know what is happening (or to confuse us), these seem to be the best explanations. Thanks for helping to explore this!