Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Episode 6.1 “MI3”

Thank you to blogger Jennifer for this great piece. Enjoy! And enjoy your DVD's and turkey. I know I will.

This weekend I watched episode 6.1 “MI3.” In this extended episode Sydney has to stop a dangerous weapon from being acquired and sold on the black market. It’s action packed and filled with emotion as Syd…

What? You haven’t heard of episode 6.1? Actually, I’m not surprised. I think the Covenant had something to do with the cover-up. Most of the general public believed the movie was about an agent named Ethan Hunt, not Sydney Bristow. In fact, the Covenant was so complete in their cover-up they even had a male actor play Sydney and other actors play Dixon, Will and Vaughn. Only true Alias fans know the truth.

Yes, I rented MI3 this weekend. I had not seen it before, as I can not claim to be a big Tom Cruise fan. In fact, if JJ had not been the director, I probably would have passed it right up. I am glad I didn’t. It was a balm to my aching Alias heart to see our favorite show on the big screen. There were so many familiar locations, plot lines and “family connections” that even my husband started calling them out. Here are just a few, in no particular order, as I’m including them as they pop into my head: (Spoiler alert if you have yet to watch MI3)

Ethan (Syd) receives a call-in code on his cell phone while he is in the middle of a party at his home. He then meets his handler in a quickie mart. They have a conversation over the slushy machine.

Ethan’s mission is to rescue an agent who has been captured. This agent, Lindsey Farris, is played by Kerri Russell, better known as JJ’s Felicity. It is well documented that JJ came up with the idea for Alias while filming Felicity. He thought it would be interesting if Felicity was recruited into the CIA while at college.

When Ethan finds the agent, he has to inject her with adrenaline so she can run and escape with him. Season 2, Vaughn, anyone?

The location in which Agent Farris is being held and where Ethan saves her is a warehouse. The same warehouse (inside and out) that is used numerous times on Alias. This is where we first meet "Sark" or Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character, Owen Davian- in the same alley way where Sydney blows up the car while wearing the red dress in the season 3 opener.

Before Lindsey can be whisked away to safety, she comes down with an excruciating headache. The bad guy has implanted a small bomb in her head and it has been activated. Fortunately for Will, Syd was able to stop his “head bomb” from being activated. In this case, Ethan could take lessons.

There is a flashback scene where we see Ethan training Lindsey. She’s training with some long sticks in combat, just like in the opening scenes in season 1. She’s also being trained while blindfolded similar to Project Christmas.

Fast forwarding somewhat, Ethan climbs a wall and rips off his coveralls to reveal a sexy party dress. Actually, in his case, he is wearing a priest’s robe, but the effect was a call-out to Sydney parachuting onto the grounds and ripping off her jumpsuit to join a party. Not to mention a nod to Vaughn’s mission as a priest.

Ethan has a fiancé who is a nurse. We see her in scrubs and in a long corridor next to a payphone. Perhaps the same phone Danny used to call Jack and ask for Syd’s hand?

There are so many scenes and references to Alias that I was tempted to grab a pad of paper and start listing them as the movie progressed. Instead, I decided to enjoy it for what it was, a long episode in which Syd and gang are in disguise and only we know the truth.

Long Live Alias!


Anonymous said...

Too cool! I haven't seen MI3 yet, so I quit reading when you mentioned spoilers, but I love that you picked up on so many "alias-y" things! I have wanted to see MI3 because I did enjoy the first two! I'll have to rent it soon!

Page48 said...

Tom Cruise has revealed himself to be a complete ass, but I have no trouble setting that aside for 2 or 3 hours to watch him tear it up on the movie screen. Fortunately, Katie is the one who has to put up with his BS at home, not me.

I'll see this one eventually, and yup, I'll pretend it's 6.1 cuz I surely need a 6.1

Bonker's Husband said...

You forgot to mention that "Phoenix" was used as a call/code name.

bonkers for bristow said...

Thank you, dear. :) (See, I told you even he was seeing the Alias call-outs.)

I'm sure I missed more in my essay. After you guys rent it, I'd love to hear your opinion and if you caught reference that I didn't.

Page 48- I agree with you about TC. He I could do without, but seeing him in Sydney's role made me dislike him just a little bit less. I did find it humorous that his fiance in MI3 looked remarkably like Katie. Just less dazed and confused.


Kiki said...

HAHAHA!! Now I am on a mission- no pun intended. I need to find MI3, ASAP!

Jenn said...

wow, and those shout outs to Alias are undeniable. There is no way that JJ or anyone who has ever watched Alias can deny that there are some clear lines beween the two.

I, like you all were less than thrilled to be running to the theater to see this when it came out (for the TC antics, and I was still a little sore at JJ), but I think I will definatley rent this one. If for nothing else than to keep Syd and the gangs missions going just a little longer in my mind!

Robetron said...

Well done, Jennifer. Someone get on the horn with Division and up-grade her security clearance.

The similarities you mentioned (and more) were great, but I am still debating with myself whether they were intended "shout-outs" or the unavoidable consequence of ALIAS having covered the entire gambit of cool things that happen in the world of espionage.

Hmmm... not sure. In either case, ALIAS sets the standard.

Page48 said...

Off Topic:
Who can make sense of this for me?

As Vaughn questions Jack about Dixon's mental state after Dixon's wife is killed, Jack tells Vaughn that he (Jack) recruited Dixon a dozen years ago. Jack is the one who "sold him the lie".

So, Dixon has known Jack for over a decade and therefore, knew Jack Bristow before he partnered with Sydney Bristow. Is it conceivable that Dixon was unaware that Sydney was Jack's daughter? If he was aware and kept Sydney in the dark for years about her father's role in SD-6, why then was he so brutally indignant with her after she told him the truth about SD-6? Was her lying to him any worse than him lying to her?

If, on the other hand, Dixon was unaware of the relationship between the 2 Bristows, then what does that say about his spy instincts?

What am I missing here?

uncle111 said...

I don't think Dixon didn't know Syd was Jack's daughter. I think Jack's work for SD6 was a deep enough cover that Dixon was not allowed to talk to even Syd about it.
But, we have seen with things Rambaldi and even the Alias timeline that the writers didn't have everything sharply planned out from the beginning. The result was mistakes, things missed and continuity problems. Every show ends up with them because so much of what ends up in scripts is made up as they go along.

Page48 said...

I love it. It's called "acting".

I just watched Nocturne for the first time since it originally aired. If you cue it up to about the 6:30 mark and watch for Sydney to pick the padlock on the door just before Cahill bites her, you can see very clearly that the padlock is already unlocked. The second she grabs the lock, it turns wide open and she quickly closes it and proceeds to "unlock" it again.

Sydney Bristow is the only spybabe for me.

dlove said...

I'm agreement with you uncle on the Dixon not knowing Syd was Jack's daughter. I need to revisit s1 again and those early scenes.

page48 - Nice catch.

I recommend MI3. I will put in a hand for TC. He was really good. Loads of reference to Alias of course. JJ mentioned that they were able to do a lot of things with MI3 that they couldn't do but wanted to with Alias because of the budget, etc.

It's actually the best out of the 3 movies, imo.

Page48 said...

Things that make me say "Hmmmmmmm", otherwise known as signs that I'm watching too much Alias:

-Sloane makes a full recovery from a lethal injection and nobody on Team Alias even mentions it, no embarrassing questions for Jack, no outrage from Dixon, no "what the hell?" from Weiss. Did anyone even remember that he was just "executed"?
-Jack and Dixon "leave" the CIA, Vaughn and Sydney actually "leave" the CIA on the same day and this doesn't raise a red flag with Weiss and Marshall, like maybe there's a new game in town and they aren't on the team??? Does this not remind you of when you were in high school and all your so-called friends were going to a party Friday night and you weren't invited?
-Marshall gets "recruited" for APO and Weiss doesn't notice that Marshall is missing from work while Weiss leads a failed mission in Spain?
-Marshall is hauled off to APO with a bag over his head, probably in need of fresh underwear, instead of Sydney just going to pick him up. Marshall, like me, would quit any job on earth to go and work with Sydney, without the sirens and the bag treatment
-when Jack,Dixon, Syd and Vaughn were lured into APO, it didn't occur to anyone that they're operation would be useless without Marshall from day one?
-Does Weiss resent not being "recruited" for APO when all the other members of the old gang were?
-Does APO have a completely different dress code than the CIA, one that emphasizes more leather?
-when Sydney bursts into tears to the strains of Cat Stevens, after learning that Jack supposedly killed Irina to save her, do you not want to push Vaughn to the floor, so that you can be the one who hugs Sydney and absorbs all those gorgeous spy-tears?
-do you not wish you were about 5 episodes into Season 6 by now?

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uncle111 said...

One of the things I suspected and have had confirmed since reading the booklet and watching the extras on the 5 season boxed set is that the writers were mainly writing to make things exciting and interesting during each episode. There may have been a vague outline for some of the series, but most of it was made up as they went along. Hence the problems with continuity and the holes in the plot. An example- Sydney's eggs and the Covenant. The comment was that it was a storyline that just fizzled and didn't go anywhere. (pull my hair out!) Much of what they wrote was to create what they referred to as the "holy s**t moment" for the audience. Not as much concern about keeping the details straight and storylines tight as we fanatics would have liked. Remember, we were watching every little detail. They were trying to get the next script ready in time for the cast to work with.

And, I totally agree with you about the Cat Stevens/crying scene!!!

Something else I ran across- do you all remember who it was who was pushing the idea that Rambaldi was really a time traveler who got stuck in the 15th century? Well, that idea was something JJ and one of the writers toyed with, but nobody else cared for it. It got the same reaction here and on the ABC board when the same person posted the idea. Now, they said they were on the boards testing and gauging the audience. I wonder what the real identity is of the person who was pushing that idea here.

Page48 said...

Uncle, yes definitely the writers and actors had a different set of priorities than we, the home viewers...unfortunately.

However, in their defence, there is no denying the presence of numerous holy s**t moments, about 4.77 seasons worth! I wreak of gratitude for that.

uncle111 said...

You can't deny that Alias would not have been Alias without those moments. It is one of the main elements we all loved about it.

dlove said...

I loved the holy s**t moments, but there were times that I wanted to pull my hair out because of the inconsistencies.

Kiki said...

Page- I do beleive there was a "must wear leather" clause in the paper work when Sydney joined APO. Season 4 was by far my favorite Sydney wardrobe season. Not her alias, just her everyday wardrobe, complete with knee high leather boots, hot glasses and a couple sweaters I would kill to borrow.

Page48 said...

At the end of the credits for MI3, in "The Producers Wish to Thank" category, the last thanks goes to The Hanso Foundation (as in "Lost").

Another Alias moment that screamed out to me was the guy telling Ethan in the convenience store, "wheels up" first thing in the morning.

kuku said...

Out of loyalty to Alias and J.J., I loved M:I:III. I actually stayed in the movie theater after the people had come in to start cleaning up and watched all the credits to see "The Hanso Foundation" for myself at the end; I couldn't believe it was actually there!