Thursday, June 12, 2008

Any questions?

A comment in the last post gave me an idea for a new article...do you guys have any burning questions about Alias?? Something that's been bugging/irking you for a while that you'd love someone to answer? Here's an example, anon asked this:
"In the season 1 episode 'Time Will Tell,' when Jack is talking to Sydney at SD-6, he mentions that only 5 people know the truth about SD-6. Now, don't you think he would have mentioned that to the CIA, because we see Vaughn questioning frequently the true allegiance of Agent Dixon. Wouldn't Jack know the five people that know the truth and be able to tell the CIA that Dixon is not one of them."
My answer to that would be that the CIA probably never takes any information at face value, no matter who it's coming from. Yeah Jack prob told them the same thing, that only 5 SD-6 employees know the truth, but they wouldn't believe him or Sydney completely until they've done their own evaluation, which they couldn't do until SD-6 was taken down. Hope that helps...anyone else??

34 comments:

Page48 said...

I haven't watched that episode for 18 months give or take, but as I recall, Vaughn was none too trusting of Jack himself at times.

In 1.2, when Vaughn asks Syd to sketch the SD6 empire, and then he rolls out the huge diagram of the vast network of cells, it seems a stretch that only 5 people would be aware of SD-6's skullduggery. So, it's hard to know exactly who Jack meant by "only 5 people", but to mention a few, Jack, Sloane, Irina, presumably McCullough, Vaughn, and Devlin all knew. Weiss oversaw Syd's walk-in confession (Tolstoy long), so I think we can assume that he knew. Hell, even Emily admitted that she was on to them.

Jack did tell Syd that all lower level employees were lied too. That would imply that Dixon was still a lower level dude after more than a decade of service, because he didn't know (and just as well because he took the news poorly).

I've always had several problems with the Jack/Dixon dynamic. Jack recruited Dixon and yet Dixon never lets on to Syd that he knows her Dad is a spy. AND YET, when Dixon does learn the truth, he doesn't take it out on Jack, who "sold him the lie" ages ago, but he goes postal on Syd, as if she was the villain. This, after he kept her father's occupation a secret from her. Too much righteous indignation from Dixon. Doesn't make sense.

Bottom line is that fiction is essentially a lie and the more elaborate the lie, the harder it is to plug all the holes. Great fiction, I suppose, should be viewed from 10,000 feet, because when you really zoom in, that's when you start to see all the flaws.

The fact that we're still picking at flaws more than 2 years later says something about the degree of our obsession. Some would argue that it's screaming at us to GET A LIFE!

srg-alias said...

yeah, well, I guess I sort of expect that reaction since I know I'm obsessed (naming my cat Milo and all). Anyway...

I never ever even put two-and-two together about Dixon keeping Jack's spyhood a secret from Syd, that's a great point. I agree it's very strange we never saw any tension between Jack and Dixon once he learned the truth about SD-6, he sure did punish Syd for that.

Guy G. said...

To respond to the first post (I was the one who asked the question) but what I think what Jack means by the "five people" is five people that work at SD-6, that know the truth. A lot of people know about, but only 5 people that work there.

Robetron said...

Right, only five people who worked in the office... and lets put it in chronological context too... five people - at the time that he said it.

It seemed to me like there was a constant in and out flow of people who might be transferring from some other SD-cell, many of whom knew the truth (the Hispanic dude that Jack framed for Syd's disloyalty, for example - I forget his name). So, Jack's comment about the 5 people who knew in that office has to be limited to the time frame he was referencing.

At the time, there were 5 people who knew: Sloane, Jack, McCullough, Mr. Silent-torturer and one unknown...

Can anyone think of a fifth?

-R.

uncle111 said...

I think his name was Russick(SP?)
And I agree that they intended that to mean people who regularly worked in that office.

Can't think of a specific 5th person who would have known.

uncle111 said...

Is everyone on vacation?

Page48 said...

Vacation?? What's that?

This weekend saw the inevitable "leak" of the "Fringe" pilot, which I was unable to avoid downloading and watching (twice). It didn't knock me on my ass the way TBT did. I would have been shocked if it had. It wasn't set up to excite the way TBT was. Most of the pilot was FBI Agent Olivia Dunham trying to find a way to save the life of her boy toy, Agent John Scott, who was bizarrely injured while on assignment with Dunham. It wasn't till the end that we realize Agent Scott was not the model FBI agent we thought he was. This, of course, plants the seed of mystery which will be the basis of the series.

An important difference between Sydney and Olivia is that Olivia is not an operative, but rather an FBI inter-agency liaison. Hence, there were no spinning leg kicks, no undercover work, and no red hair. The pilot assembles the cast, provides their back story, introduces us to a mysterious series of scientifically unexplainable events known as "The Pattern", and sets the table for Olivia and friends to go about getting to the bottom of things.

Because Olivia is not an operative, there will have to be another angle established in order to create the kind of nail-biting tension that "Alias" provided. Undercover means danger, danger means tension. Olivia needs to be introduced to mortal danger if "Fringe" is to create similar tension.

Several scenes in the pilot harken back to TBT. Syd's main squeeze gets killed in the pilot, so does Olivia's. Syd discovers a dark force at work in the pilot, so does Olivia. Syd gets condescended to in the pilot ("you pretty little girl"), so does Olivia ("sweetheart", "honey"). Syd makes an important career move in the pilot, so it would appear, does Olivia, although as yet it is only implied.

Unlike "Alias", it appears that "Fringe" will not be punctuated by great pop tunes.

Bottom line here is that sci-fi leaves wide-open opportunities for riveting plot twists. I'm willing to follow along for the duration, but I really want the writers to work on ratcheting up the danger that Olivia is faced with, thereby ratcheting up the level of tension. A thriller isn't a thriller without thrills. Sci-fi is the only genre that JJ seems to be good at, so let's hope he cracks the whip and makes "Fringe" a series to look forward to each week.

srg-alias said...

nope, opposite of vacation, busy as hell! I am interested in Fringe, I think JJ has talents in both drama and action...would you really classify Alias as Sci-Fi? I don't think of Lost as Sci-Fi either...or MI3 (which I really enjoyed).

Page48 said...

srg, MI3 was very enjoyable, and as you say, basically a pure adrenaline romp. I would say "Alias" would meet my definition of sci-fi. The series was replayed in Canada on "Space: The Imagination Station", which is dedicated solely to sci-fi programming. For sure I would classify "Lost" as sci-fi.

"Fringe" is going to be heavy on the suspension of disbelief, which is fine with me. I've seen bloggers write it off as an "X-Files" clone and even a "Lost" clone (because the series kicks off with an airplane incident), but if they were paying attention they would notice that the plane in "Fringe" didn't crash, and the paranormal events in "Fringe" are not alien in origin.

What the pilot does have is a Jason Bourne moment involving jumping off a roof top. If I tried that, I would be dead on impact.

Page48 said...

"Fringe", BTW, will actually debut in comic book form.

srg-alias said...

huh, well I've never thought of myself as much of a sci-fi fan but maybe I'm just in denial. :)

No one seems to have any new questions about Alias, so what else do y'all want to chat about?

Page48 said...

As much as I love summer, this is a brutal time of year for finding riveting entertainment on the tube.

Spielberg's "Taken" started another run on Space tonite, and as much as I enjoyed it the first time around, I'm not ready to commit again to a 10-part mini-series. If anyone hasn't seen it (and if you've got the time), it's worth a look.

BSG was rocking this season, but now it's over till who knows when, next year maybe??

"Burn Notice" is only a couple of weeks away. It was being slagged a few days ago on televisionaryblog.com. I stepped in to defend it but some people just have no taste.

I also stepped up to the plate on another blog to defend the "Fringe" pilot, not to mention it's cast and creator. I think the cast is fine and Anna Torv's performance is not "cold as ice" as one clown described it. I thought she was quite good, actually, and her subtle facial expressions alone suggest that she knows how to act. I love her voice, too, and every once in a while her phony American accent betrays her Aussie heritage. She can definitely kick it with me on the weekends anytime she wants. John Noble from "Lord of the Rings" is also very effective as the too-intelligent-for-his-own-good scientist. This series will hinge on the quality of the writing from week to week, not on the ability of the actors. I wish JJ had at least written the pilot, since he seems to have a knack for it.

I haven't seen the new Indiana movie yet, but I've read mixed reviews. It's must-see for me though, just a matter of when. Ditto for the "X-Files: I Want to Believe" movie. I can't get over how long Scully's hair is. "X-Files", to me is one of the classic TV franchises, and I miss Mulder and Scully on a weekly basis. I see Skinner is now a regular on "Stargate: Atlantis", which is a truly bad show, IMO. I enjoyed the original "Stargate" film with Kurt Russell and James Spader, but the series (both of them) really hurls.

George Carlin died yesterday. I must say that, in spite of his lengthy and successful career, I never really got him. I could listen to him for an hour and not crack a smile. Different strokes, I guess.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

I think I'm gonna write an essay for the blog. I've been thinking about Alias and what I really liked about it and what made it stand out in my mind. Really cranking it down to the bare truth. I've gotta organize my thoughts but I should be able to get it to you all by next week. maybe we can get a new topic and more conversation generated.
See you soon.

srg-alias said...

sounds great bonkers! let me know when it's ready and I'll get in touch w/ you about posting it.

uncle111 said...

Want to see the new shows and X-Files movie. Can't wait for Burn! Saw him when he was new and never cared much for Carlin after the novelty wore off.

I just snagged a new domain- Page47.net. It will be Alias/Rambaldi and I hope to build in some cool features and mysteries to make it interesting.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

SRG,
I'm almost finished putting my thought on paper. I tried to send you an email through AOL but I'm guessing you didn't get it. Try and drop me an IM at jzmsvm.

srg-alias said...

hm I'm on IM all day at work, I just added "jzmsvm" to my AOL buddies but I don't see you online, let me know if it's through another IM program (I use Adium at work so I can do multi-accounts).

Anonymous said...

That's me. I just got on. Drop me a note and let's see if I can figure this out. :)

srg-alias said...

hm I saw you go online really quick and then you went away again...

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it's my work computer 'cause I'm still on. Are you able to be online around 7 PM Central tonight? We could try then.

srg-alias said...

ah maybe, I should home by 8 central time and will get online then. :)

Bonkers for Bristow said...

OK. 8 it is. Sorry, everyone for taking over the blog. You are now returned to your original programming.

Page48 said...

"Fringe" pilot reviewed without any serious spoilers.

FWIW, I don't see the resemblance to "Lost" that some people think is peppered throughout this pilot. For one thing, nobody is lost. There's no island, no 'others', no Freckles, no lovable fat guys, and contrary to many reports, no plane crash. Sure, we may eventually get around to time shifting, but not in the pilot.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

OK sorry guys. I said I was done but I'm not. SRG, I figured it out. I think it was the pop up blocker. I'm on now so let's try and connect.

srg-alias said...

arg, I left my IM online all last night but didn't see you! I'm hesitant to post my email address from what happened to GS last year, any other ideas?

Bonkers for Bristow said...

OK. So as long as you have my IM address you can email me. Try and send me an offline IM or email and I'll let you know if it comes through.
Dang. I thought I had it all figured out. I tried to send you three of them last night and they all came back as offline. I even saw the updates you put out when you're away or at lunch. I should have gotten my 14 year old neighbbor to come in and help me. :)

uncle111 said...

Wow. Been a lot of comments the last couple of days:)

finkles2000 said...

Hey there everyone. Semi-long time lurker, first-time poster. A friend recently got addicted to Alias for the first time, and got me re-addicted to it. I'd seen the first 3 seasons, but not the last 2, so I'm watching them now.

I have a question regarding season 5. In "Maternal Instinct," we find out at the very end that Vaughn is still alive. And in the next episode, "There's Only One Sydney Bristow," Sydney and Jack seem to know that he's still alive, and comment on it without seeming shocked or surprised. And with no explanation on how they found out. Syd tells Jack she hated lying to Will and telling him Vaughn was dead, but . . . I was like, "Wait . . . whaaaaa?" I know a month had passed, since Syd said Isabelle was 4 weeks old, but did I miss something? Like, how they found out or if they knew all along?

I've been renting the season 5 DVDs from Netflix (although I totally plan to round out my DVD set of the show), so maybe I missed something while waiting a few days for the discs. And also, maybe I'm just ape-poopy crazy and completely missed something obvious.

SRG said...

Hi finkles, glad to see you come out of lurking! Re: season 4, Syd and Jack knew Vaughn was alive the whole time, they conspired to hide him while he was healing so Prophet 5 would believe he was dead. This included lying to EVERYONE else, all their friends and APO, about him being dead.

If you go back and watch the first episode of season 4 and the episode where Syd is drugged and flashes back to times w/ Vaughn (I think that eppy is called The Horizon) you'll see Syd give Vaughn something to drink right before he goes into heart failure in the hospital. You'll also see the doctor tell Syd to give it to him slowly, so he also knew that whatever was in the drink would fake Vaughn's death. There's also a very knowing look between Syd and Jack after Vaughn's funeral (in the first eppy) that's a hint to their plan, in addition to the Sarah McLachlan song in the background "Dirty Little Secret."

Hope that helps, enjoy the rest of your Alias viewing! :)

finkles2000 said...

Wow. How the heck did I forget about/not realize that?! I blame Netflix. Thanks for clearing that up. It seems embarrassingly obvious now!

SRG said...

lol no worries, it was the topic of MUCH speculation while season 4 was airing on TV so don't feel bad, you weren't the only one who didn't know! :)

finkles2000 said...

Hindsight -- it's 20/20. You know, I think this was difficult for me to figure out mostly because I thought that, given Syd was in some kind of hypnotic-dream-state-thing, the "Vaughn" she saw was just some sort of guide, or conduit, or memory, one that told her that she was in danger and that she shouldn't give them the right name.

Wow. Longest. Sentence. Ever. Sorry about that. Suffice to say, I thought she was just reliving the death of Vaughn, and he was telling her that she . . . couldn't stay? Because she'd die? So I didn't pick up on her knowing that he was still alive (although I knew Vaughn actually was, because I went ahead and spoiled it for myself, thanks to Wikipedia and an insatiable curiosity). This was why I was sort of taken off-guard when Syd and Jack were commenting on his being-alive-ness. Gosh darnit, I wish I owned the DVDs so I could pick up that thread. Hopefully, I can rectify that soon...

Looking back, I think it would have been awesome if they would have gone ahead with the whole conduit/guide/memory/ghost thing, and instead had Francie play that role. They could still have done the Vaughn-death thing in the hospital, just with Francie there as well. As the ghost of Spydom Past. Ah, well, wishful thinking. I'll put that one on the shelf with my Sydney-has-to-go-on-a-mission-completely-hungover episode. THAT would have been hilarious.

finkles2000 said...

P.S. Disc 4 of Season 5 arrived in the mail today. Tomorrow I'll watch the final two episodes of Alias, for the very first time.

And then I'll curl up in the fetal position on my bed, sobbing, "Why? Why did they cancel it?!" over and over again.

SRG said...

Finkles - I LOVE the idea of Francie being Syd's "guide" of sorts, that would have been fantastic to see her interacting w/ Syd again. Of course I also enjoyed seeing Syd w/ Vaughn too in that episode.

It was never completely obvious that Vaughn was still alive, they hinted toward it all season but there was no way to know for sure until we saw him being told he had a daughter.