Blogger Paul wrote up this great series about our favorite Alias baddies, enjoy part 1! -SRG
For a long time (since the final episode aired) I have been mulling over some of the "bad guys" in ALIAS. Many have complained that the characters in the final season took on qualities they had not displayed during the first 4 seasons. After quite a few months of thinking about this, I have come to some conclusions, or at least ideas, about how these character changes may not be as shocking as we had first thought.
My perception of Sark is that by the end he is no longer truly evil. Don't get me wrong, he is definitely not a "good" guy. After all, he was willing to murder, lie, cheat, and steal. Also, even though he is clearly showing signs of regret and hesitation at destroying major cities and murdering Rachel and Marshall, he goes along with it. However, in spite of these bad actions, Sark really seemed to progress to developing a conscience by the end of the series. By the end, we can clearly see the conflict within him over what he is involved in, but feels that he is too far in to stop now. As he states in the finale, "Mass murder isn't exactly my passion! I'm a businessman. I simply wanted to come out on the winning end."
You can see this character development throughout the series. Throughout the beginning in seasons 1 and 2, Sark is truly a heartless person with no loyalties. He sells out his employers without compunction at even the hint of torture. To me, however, Sark was most evil in season 3, where he truly displayed his nastier qualities. Even Lauren Reed, who was quite possibly one of the most vicious characters ever in ALIAS, gets upset with Sark when he sarcastically verbally abuses poor Dixon while his children have been kidnapped. He even tortured and burned his own father!
After the death of Lauren Reed and Sark's capture, however, you can see some progression of the conscience Sark seems to develop by the end. After he was incarcerated, he eventually agreed to help the CIA bring down the Covenant (even if he did maneuver some "bubbly"). He even helped Sydney and Vaughn capture Anna. At this point, he disappeared until season 5, where we see his true business qualities. Sark in season 5 was no longer the completely heartless and vicious human being we saw for the first 3 seasons. While by no means reformed, we learned in "Bob" that he had actually tried something more stable (perhaps even legal?) for a while. Of course, he got bored with it and got back into the business, but at this point, Sark was much more of a businessman than an evil character. Sark in season 5 was definitely not the Sark we had in the beginning, but I feel this was an example of excellent character development. Sark was never and will never be a "good guy," as we learn right at the very end as Dixon asks Sydney to help stop him yet again, but I don't believe Sark is truly evil anymore, maybe more of a "dubious-activity" businessman.