Friday, March 10, 2006

The Tragedy of Francie

By guest writer srg-alias
Her life reads like a Shakespearian play with all its ups, downs and final tragic ending. The funny thing is my first introduction to Merrin Dungey was through evil Francie. I started watching Alias in the 3rd season, and the first episode I ever saw was Remnants which brought back both Will and Allison Doren (aka Evil Francie). My first impression of “Francie” was a cold, heartless villain who evidently had once been Syd’s best friend. Of course I was completely sucked in by the show and ended up renting all the season 1 and 2 DVDs on my two week Christmas vacation to get caught up. Seeing Francie as the supportive friend and roommate of Syd was so weird for me at first after knowing her as Allison, but I came to love her the way most Alias fans probably did. She was the best friend we wish we could all have…supportive, sensitive and caring. Francie and Syd’s interactions with each other were so realistic and they helped one another through some very hard times.

In the pilot episode Francie was instantly likable, crying in happiness for her friend’s engagement and saying how happy Syd’s mom would have been for her. The “aw” factor increased even more when Charlie proposed to her over Thanksgiving dinner. Things were going well for our favorite best friend up until Syd found out that Charlie cheated on Fran. Her heart was broken, the engagement called off, and she ends up joining Syd in mourning the death of what she thought would be a lifelong relationship.

Instead of wallowing in her grief, Francie used the opportunity to make some positive changes in her life. Throughout the last half of season 1 and early season 2 we see all the work she puts into starting her own business. We find out her determination paid off when she informs Will that her restaurant is actually making a profit. Not only is that going well, but Fran and Will also discover chemistry between them with a congratulatory kiss. Again, she seems to have so much going for her, but by the end of that same episode we see Allison for the first time…right after she put a bullet in Francie’s head. Now I have to step back and give the writers kudos here because it takes A LOT of guts to kill off such a beloved character, but I can imagine how incredibly shocked and in denial the fans must have been upon seeing that.

What’s sad is that Francie never knew about Syd’s real profession, so she had even less of an idea of why someone would kill her than Danny. Tragic still was since Allison took her place as the double, no one even knew Francie was dead. There was no mourning, no funeral, nothing giving tribute to this wonderful woman and friend who died so senselessly. Even when Syd comes back from her two missing years and the knowledge of Francie dying is fresh in her mind we never see her shed a tear. Of course we all know that Allison and Francie are really played by the same person, but Merrin’s excellent acting keeps me from associating the two, I see them as completely different people. Some think evil Francie might return before the end, but even if she does that will never bring back the real Francie.

8 comments:

RUDY said...

Would it not be a real strange twist of events if the real Fran was alive and playing Allison Doren (spelling?)? All this time we thought that Fran was dead, but maybe Fran got the one up on Allison and decided to take Allison's position. Yeah, sounds crazy. I know. I just miss Fran so much that my heart is running my mind.

srg-alias said...

haha I hear ya rudy. :) I would say that's totally possible except for the fact that we actually saw Francie after Allison shot her w/ a bullet between her eyes. :( I would love the real Francie to come back but I don't see how that would be possible...then again, it is Alias!

Kiki said...

Doesn't Francie look so sweet in that picture? Personally, I can't stand the evil Francie. She drives me crazy. Merrin was born to play Francie, sweet friend, Francie. I think perhaps we will be seeing Merrin as nice Francie in the episode titled "I see dead people." That way we can all remember the good friend Syd had at the beginning, instead of the ruthless killer of Evil Francie.

jenn256 said...

maybe that's what the epsiode is about- maybe Syd ses all of the people in her life who have dies, instead of onw particular character. Maybe she is hallucinating and ses Danny and Francie, Emily and Lauren and whoever else she has known throughout the years. I was thinking she would bee Bill Vaughn or someone else we had been led to belive was dead. It would explain how we have heard rumors of all of thse people coming back.

srg-alias said...

That's a good theory GS and Jenn. Who knows if it would be a hallucination or maybe a dream, but wouldn't it be nice to see all of those characters again?

Kiki said...

I would heart it! I suppose that is why Amy Irving (Emily Sloane) was seen on set. YAHOO! And we all know SpyMama is coming back. If Bill Vaughn is alive, I wonder who they will cast for the character. It's gotta be someone big, someone French. Hmmm.

lhaaheim said...

I miss Francie but to be honest Evil Francie wasn't that evil to me. Yes she was horrible, we all know what she has done, but like Sloane, Irina and Sark she has shown humanity. She did seem to have a hard time stabbing Will, yup she did it anyway but she didn't enjoy it. To be purely evil she would have to enjoy it. Like most bad guys on Alias they all have a little humanity. Oh and about the episode "I see dead people" I think it may actually be about the CIA agents that Irina killed. I think they may be alive and that their death was an extraction. Either way I'm pretty certain more then one dead person is going to show up in that episode since its title is I see dead "people" and that implies plurality. I still wonder though if it may in fact be metaphorical though.

srg-alias said...

That's a good point ihaa, I think Allison did have legitimate feelings for Will (can ya blamer her?) :) Sark could tell when he kissed her and she was definitely a wreck after stabbing him, which was an interesting character twist.