You all know I love Alias, ABC, JJ, the cast and the writers. I have a huge amount of respect for their years of hard work and dedication- but I suppose I am feeling a little disgruttled about all of our hardwork and dedication. This finale was suppose to be the pay off and it felt like betrayal to me.
I understand that many of you want to love the finale, that you refuse to look at it in a negative light because it would mean that your love for the show was meaningless, pointless and unimportant. This post is not intended to change your mind. It’s not intended to make you feel bad about liking, loving or feeling satisfied by the ending. This post is merely a recap of my ideas and thoughts on the finale.
The final hour was to be THE hour. The pace picked up, the music was cued and then I think I fell into a deep spiral of disappointment, depression and desire to kill.
First, it was a cloud of sadness that seemed to take over- that sadness then morphed into only what I can explain as “I HATE LAUREN” anger! From there, Starbucks Mom and I had a hard finding anything remotely Alias or entertaining about the whole finale.
I felt the writing was haphazardly formed on pages- loose ends were not tied, but cut in order to meet the time restraint and at an attempt to satisfy. We here at Let’s Talk have been piecing together the complex and creative puzzle of Alias from day one. The twists and turns, the shock and awe-we have reviewed, rehashed and reexamined every last detail from every season, storyline and character. Now, I can mostly certainly say, the writers did not. If they had- then I think we would have seen an entirely different Alias finale.
Many of you posted that perhaps our own exciting, deep and complex theories here on the blog set us up for disappointment. We expected great things. We expected closure and answers and WHY WOULDN’T WE? The writers of ole gave us the meat. They built the expectation on their brilliant writing, their puzzling clues and their outrageous cliff-hangers. Not to mention the promotions!! What happened to the couch-gripping moments (Sydney defusing a bomb buried in a grave- Jack facing Geiger in the torture room- Vaughn being caught in the Mueller Device flood)? They disappeared- right down the tube.
There are no excuses- ABC Executives are not an excuse, time limitations are not an excuse. Alias has had plenty of finale episodes (hello, Season 1 and 2!!) that packed as much action, suspense and drama as any full length feature film. Alias has never had a problem with details, with fill and fast pace and last night it felt as if the show took a snooze. If you and I and Joe Blow can come up with 14 alternative endings during one hour of SpyChat with punch and fire and enormous amounts of WOW- then why can’t a room full of paid, professional writers do the same? I am just at a loss for words!
For the Love of Rambaldi
Most of this lack of detail comes from the Rambaldi storyline. In season 1 we learned about a prophet who lived 500 years ago and his ideas and designs about using technology to get closer to God. His role grew as we learned about SD-6, the Alliance and Sloane’s obsession with finding Rambaldi’s truth. We were thrown for a loop when we found out that Sydney was part of Rambaldi’s prophecy- that she was the “woman here depicted” who would save the world from “utter desolation.”
From El Dire, we learned that Rambaldi’s message was for peace. We learned that Sydney had a sister, the Passenger, who also had a special connection to Rambaldi and the prophecy. The definition of the notorious symbol for Rambaldi was described to us by Sydney, as a battle between the Chosen One and Passenger- a fight that would come down to a simple sphere. The clock, the cube, the manuscript, the green fluid, the hourglass, El Dire, the Rambaldi DNA, the Sphere of Life, Page 47, the Horizon and the countless other artifacts became pieces of the puzzle. What was the point of all globe-trotting and artifact stealing? What was the reason behind the number 47? The answers seemed to be buried along with Sloane.
Inconsistency and plot holes are one thing, season to season, but episode to episode is just plain laziness. Though we’ve seen little of Irina over the years, the woman we’ve always known as Sydney’s mother and international criminal was not the woman we saw last night. Her feelings about Sydney and Nadia have always been clear. She always loved her daughters, always tried to protect them, even when she was using them for your own gain. She was never a strong, whole-hearted believer in Rambaldi, but more interested in learning about the roles her daughters played in his prophecy. Somewhere in the frenzy of the final moments, we lost the meaning of Irina’s truth- “The Truth Takes Time.” Well, time is up!
Now we will never know how Irina’s capture by Elena was connected to Irina’s endgame. Did she merely need to get rid of her sister to fulfill her own evil endgame? If her intention was eternal life, what was the point? She didn’t have a motivation to live forever outside of evil- she had nothing to live for- no family, no love. Where had she been all those years? What was she working all? All of this was for a little red sphere with live-forever juice??
As for Sloane and his obsession-when did Rambaldi go from being about “faith, peace, love, and eternal life” to the billions of dollars he would receive from the reconstruction of the cities he planned to bomb? He repeatedly spoke of the “greater good” and even continued to drink large amounts of water, which only lead us back to the harmonious affects of the Mueller Device and the peace it would bring. Sloane has always had access to large amount of money- the Alliance, the Covenant, P5 were all big high rolls with cash and power. Sloane wiped them out, how much more power can you get?
Even some of the flashbacks in Sydney’s life seemed inconsistent. Jack seemed surprised that Sydney was able to piece together the complex puzzle at such a young age. I always assumed that Jack’s intended use of Project Christmas as a way to protect Sydney from the life of spydom. He wanted her to be able to withstand torture, physical and mental and to identify traitors like Irina and Sloane. Jack had always stated that he had never intended for Sydney to be involved with the CIA- he even mentioned it in his last words to her. That would suggest, along with Sydney’s flashback meeting with Sloane, that she herself chose the life of a spy which takes away from her character. She blamed Jack for taking away her choices in life.
Also, Sydney’s role in the Rambaldi scheme changed. Sloane had always been protective of Sydney- he always said that he loved her like a daughter and that she had some purpose. Why would Sloane keep her around if she was the Chosen One, the one who would stop him?
A couple random loose ends:
-If P5 used Sydspinoza to lure Sydney into P5, what was the point? Why did P5 need Sydney? What was their endgame? We won't ever know because P5 is dead!
-What about Renee? Was she merely the vessel for the chip that would lead to the bunker?
-Who was the Cardinal?
-Who was the mole inside MI5?
-Where is Katya? She is the last surviving Derevko and she's just as dangerous as the others.
-Who was DeSantis, how and why was he in that cryogenic-box?
-How did BV and Renee's know that Renee and Vaughn would find each other?
-What was SAB47?
Where is the Love?
I will not completely disregard the last hour- I will not denounce it for all eternity (no pun intended). There is plenty that I enjoyed about the final 60 minutes of Alias:
1. I enjoyed the return to micro self storage. I will forever be in love with that dank, dirty will chain linked storage room.
2. I loved the flashbacks:
-Young Sydney piecing together the puzzle.
-The much-anticipated return of good old Francie and her playful relationship with Sydney.
-The blow up between Sydney and Jack about her job at Credit Dauphine. -Sydney’s meeting with Sloane about her promotion and advancement at SD-6.
These were all very important flashbacks that helped us to better understand Sydney’s position, her recruitment and personal decisions about becoming an agent. I will get back to this later…
3. I loved Sark pulling the gun on Vaughn, and Jack pulling the gun on Sark and then Sloane’s gofers pulling their guns on Jack. So classic!
4. Vaughn and Sark’s little fight- “YOU SHOT ME!”
5. I loved the torture of Kelly Peyton. How fabulous was it to see her squirm over the snake? To me, that made her human. That made her more complex. And yahoo Rachel, a little payback is always great!
6. Jack’s death- though sad, was very important to the end. He was finally able to take responsibility for the life he had chosen for himself and Sydney and by stopping Sloane from wreaking more havoc.
7. And who could not love little Jack and Izzy, on the beach with mom, dad and Uncle Dixon? It was precious, was it not?
8. Sloane spending all of eternity in a cave under a rock was not the most creative or clever way to punish Alias's number one spy villian, but I can live with that.
I know I said I would be satisfied if the writers left some questions unanswered, but as far as I am concerned they didn’t answer any! There was no nice little package with a bow! Yeah, sure Vaughn, Syd and the kiddies are safe at the beach- but Dixon wants their help finding Sark and Izzy is a super genius? I know, spin off material is great- but it was like, okay, “see ya next week for the conclusion of Alias: The Made for TV Movie.” BOO!
All of this leads to one large question from a writer’s point of view-
IS THIS WHAT JJ INTENTED FOR HIS MEGA HIT SHOW?
OKAY- hit me with it! I am prepared! Ready, aim, fire!