Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Home in the World of Alias by Blogger Jennifer

Thanks to Jennifer for this great article!

Home: (noun) a place where a person or animal can find refuge and safety or live in security. (Courtesy of Encarta Dictionary)

In my previous essay, I mentioned the phone conversation Dixon had with his wife in which she asked when he would be home. He had just learned that SD-6 was part of the Alliance and that by helping Sydney as he had, SD-6 would be raided and he would be taken into custody as a traitor to the very country he had been risking his life to save. As Dixon’s wife was unaware of his true work, asking when he would be home was an innocent question. In his current state of mind, Dixon answered that he did not know. This was a poignant moment. As Dixon’s world was crumbling around him, he had lost his home, his purpose, his truth. By having learned what he believed to be true – what he risked his life for every day – was all a lie - he had lost his refuge.

In season3, Sydney learns that during her missing two years she went by the name Julia Thorne. During a mission in which she dons the alias again in order to plant a tracking device, she is required to “kill” Vaughn in order to prove herself. When Vaughn is found and brought to the hospital, he has a dream- he wakes up to see Sydney in his room. The first question he asks is where he is. In the dream Sydney tells him he’s home. It’s important to know that this is a dream – a conversation Vaughn is having in his own mind. Although the question is logical and completely understandable, the answer is telling to his true feelings. In the real world, many people would answer any number of other ways; the hospital, Los Angeles, etc. By having Sydney use the word “home,” we see that Vaughn feels that Syd is his refuge, where he feels safe and secure. The scene’s real climax is when the dream Sydney stabs him for betraying her but this small, seemingly common dialogue speaks volume on Vaughn’s real feelings.

Both of these examples show the genius behind the writing on Alias. Simple, everyday conversations, that we have all had, show the characters as real people, living real lives as best they can. But, if we look at those simple, everyday conversations and really pay attention to what they are saying, we see that life is really never that simple.

Are there any other scenes in which the writers used the concept of home to show the true feelings of a character? Can you think of other conversations that seem simple but hide a deeper truth?

Oooh, I got one! The scene when Lauren wakes up to find Vaughn looking at his father's watch. She asks what time it is and Vaughn laughs, because the watch is broken. To Lauren, the watch is simply broken. But no, no, no my blonde British nemesis! To the audience, Vaughn and Sydney, the stopping of the watch means the day Vaughn met Sydney. It means the 2 whole years it took for Vaughn and Sydney to get together, to confess their feelings, to bring down SD-6 and be together. Nothhing about all that is simple my friend! Oh, the hidden meaning! Love it! ~Girlscout


kelhat said...

Wow! What a wonderful take on our beloved show. It is so true what you say...and it just makes me miss this show even more. I have a hard time believing that we won't see the Bristows or Vaughn or Dixon or any of the others anymore. Syd and Vaughn, as well as Jack and Sydney, were always "home base" for each other. I watched the finale the other day for the first time since May, and I was reminded why I have loved this show since the first moment I watched it. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it until recently. Although I think there was a bit of a rush to wrap it up, there were still some wonderfully poignant moments in our last glimpse into their lives.

Kiki said...

I agree Kelhat, I may have been verbal about how horribly I thought the show ended, but there were still many amazing moments in season 5. I miss it too. And I can't watch it over yet either.

lhaaheim said...

My gosh another great banner!

Beautiful take on the idea of home in Alias. It brings to light how extra devastating it must have been for Syd to stab Vaughn, even if it was to save him. She's already lost her home to another woman, lost time with her home and then comes close to destroying her home. I always loved the dream Vaughn had where we see his true feelings and the non-dream that Syd had where we too see not only her true feelings but her acting on them. Dreams have also been an important part of Alias, which is essential because in many ways it symbolizes hope. With their line of work you have to have a dream, a hope especially when you've lost your safe refuge.

So you know how I said I was gonna watch the entire season one episode since I have yet to see the first part. Yup I was so determined to be strong and watch the last remaining minutes of unseen Alias that I have. Has it happened yet? NOPE! I don't want to and no one can make me!!!


Page48 said...

It's okay lhaaheim, I've watched the first episode for you...over and over again. But seriously, you have to watch it.

How often have you watched a show that had just one really great moment, yet you felt that your time was well spent? Well, you can easily lose track of the great moments in Truth be Told. How about the opening scene? Nothing subtle about our introduction to Sydney Bristow. How about Sydney opening up a can of whoop-ass in the parking garage with some help from an oblivious Francie? How about Syd announcing to Sloane that she's back? How about Syd "walking in"? How about the music? How about the closing scene with Jack and Syd in the cemetery?

You've gotta watch it, lhaaheim. Watch it, love it, watch it again. Soak it up. It's gorgeous, it's tense, it's dangerous, it's perfect. It's the end of the innocence for Sydney Bristow but it's also a new beginning for Jack and Sydney. It contains what may be the first honest conversation they've ever had. It's the Truth Being Told.

On the topic of "home", Sydney's home was never safe, even as a child. Her home was always fraught with danger and constantly changing, like it had aliases of its own. It wasn't until the finale that Sydney found a safe haven that could truly be called a home. Unfortunately, now that Sydney has found a real home, she doesn't seem to need us anymore.

Very nice banner, GS. You've really nailed it this time.

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic...did anybody see the news that Bradley Cooper got engaged to Jennifer Esposito (Crash)? Didn't even know he was dating anybody! Congratulations to both of them (another Brad & Jen!)

Anonymous said...

amazing banner! It immediately reminded me of the "girl in the red dress" in "Schindler's List."

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken didn't Vaughn tell Lauren that it wasn't working between them the night she gave him back his watch after she had it repaired. Not that he wouldn't have said it anyway, but I thought is was significant that his heart was brought back to life by Syd, and that was signified by THE WATCH being fixed!!!! Almost as if the decision to leave Lauren was what had him coming to life.....