Friday, April 28, 2006

Rambaldi Recap

Let me begin by saying how extremely proud I am of this, our tiny little blog. In the last three days it has come to life, hundreds of visitors with theories and ideas, comments to add and share. I have been pouring over the comments and taking notes on certain pieces of information and I want to take a moment and recap some of what has been said here in the last 48 hours. I hope that this will give all of us a chance to completely comprehend what is taking place on Alias as of late, so that we may understand all that as happened in the past.

This is my understanding of the last 4 seasons, starting with the most recent developments, and how they are connected to the overall story arc:

P5 tasked Ana Espinoza to kidnap Will in order to draw Sydney out of her maternity leave. As predicted, Sydney went after Will and a heavy rival battle commenced. Ana was able to cut Sydney in the arm and P5 gofers were able to profile her DNA. In order to save Will from a head explosion, Sydney had to produce page 47 of the Rambaldi manuscript. When she did so, she was drenched in some sort of red goop that was then used to genetically manipulate Ana into a Sydney double.

According to the Rambaldi prophecy on page 47:
“This woman here depicted will possess unseen marks. Signs that she will be the one to bring forth my works. Bind them with fury, a burning anger unless prevented at vulgar cost this woman will render the greatest power unto utter desolation. This woman, without pretense, will have had her effect, never having seen the beauty of my sky behind Mt. Subasio. Perhaps a single glance would have quelled her fire.”

We know that Sydney’s fire has been quelled. Sydney was able to see the sky behind Mt. Subasio- thus I am fairly certain that Sydney is not the Chosen One. Some bloggers have mentioned the Irina stated that the symbol for Rambaldi, represents her two daughters doing great battle over something or someone. Though Ana is not really Sydney- she possesses the unseen marks of Sydney-her DNA, DNA which is the combination of Irina and Jack. So, technically, Ana as Sydney is Irina’s daughter.

It has not been confirmed that Sydney and Zombie Nadia’s fight in Svogda was the battle spoken about in the prophecy- but, contridictory to Rambaldi's prophecy- both did survive. We have to remember- the fight on the roof was Elena’s endgame, not Rambaldi’s.

The doubling technology was researched and developed by Elena from the writings of Rambaldi. Sloane was indeed working with Elena at the end of season 2- thus how Francie was doubled. We also have to remember that every move the Covenant made in season 3 was ordered by Elena. She sent Sark and Lauren after the Passenger. She sent them to find her in order to get the coordinates of the secret location of the Rambaldi Sphere of Life. Once Sloane found out Nadia/the Passenger was his daughter, he knew he had to protect her from Elena’s endgame. He had to find the Sphere before the Covenant. Luckily Nadia gave the Covenant the wrong coordinates. It is still unclear how much Nadia knows about Rambaldi and the part she plays. Seemingly raised by the Elena- how did Nadia escape her radar? How did she even get into Elena’s hands? Was it truly Bill Vaughn that rescued her?

I found this on a post that Uncle 111 placed on the ABC Boards.
Nadia told Syd that while she was under the influence of the green fluid she had a hallucination."I saw something awful. Sounds and fast images, they went by very quickly, but there was one vision that felt so real...We were both together, scared and upset, holding guns aimed at each other. And I remember my hands were shaking...and I pulled the trigger. Blood was pouring down your chest and I wanted to say I was sorry, but you just looked at me as if you'd been expecting it. As if you knew all along, knew I was going to kill you."
It is highly possible and most likely- that the Sydney that Nadia kills is Ana. Ana would have expected to be killed by the Passenger- especially if they were to do great battle. I can't see that the real Sydney would have expected her sister to kill her. They both have been very adamant about caring about each other and never doing anything to hurt one another. I think this is just another example of the vague context of the prophecy which can easily be filled by Ana.

In season 4, Elena had Irina doubled and framed for the hit on Sydney. Elena needed the real Irina to help her build the Mueller Device over Svogda. Sloane had to protect his daughter from Elena’s endgame- from Elena’s version of Rambaldi’s endgame. Thus, he pretended to be working with Elena at the end of season 4, in order to gain access for the group to shut Elena down. If Elena had accounted for every possible scenario like she stated, is it plausible that she too had a double made of herself? This woman ran the Covenant for several years completely undetected- I can’t imagine she didn’t anticipate that Irina would be freed and that the team would come after her.

All of this wraps back to P5. Some of what we do know about Prophet Five is they were a small, anonymous group affiliated with the US government. They tasked a group of mathematicians (Bill Vaughn), scientists and members of the Army Corp of Engineers (Sloane) to decipher a page of an ancient 15th century text. Once the group deciphered the text, P5 begin killing members of the group. To protect his family- Bill Vaughn changed his name (and his son’s) and began working for the CIA, as did Sloane. Sloane then decided to leave the CIA and joined a group of ex-patriot missionaries called the Alliance of Twelve. After all his missteps, Sloane was finally brought to trial early this season. But the five P5 benefactors were able to bribe someone on the inside and Sloane was set free- only to become a mole in APO for Gordon Dean. Aside, what exactly was Gordon Dean's role in P5 or Ivan Curtis? Were these men merely pawns in the larger game?

Now we know that P5 is run by twelve individuals. For the first time on Wednesday, we saw their faces. For 30 years this group has been operating under the radar, completely anonymous and now, in need of Sydney’s DNA, they are willing to show their faces. Interesting… Sloane didn’t seem to know any of them- but they seemed know him. They stated that it would be his job to “keep your eye on the endgame, like you always have.” If Sloane is Nadia’s real father- perhaps years ago P5 knew that they would need Sloane eventually, to help find Nadia- a key piece to the Rambaldi endgame and that is why he was not killed like the other members of the group.

Some on the blog have asked if the12 men could be the 12 CIA agents that Irina supposedly killed. I don’t think so. P5 was formed well before Irina killed those officers, after Bill Vaughn helped decipher the code. But perhaps, the 12 agents needed Irina to "kill" them, in order to disappear. I do believe there is some significance to the number 12. There are 12 apostles (this ties into the Cardinal- meaning central, fundamental, the key), 12 members of a jury, 12 months in a year, 12 inches in a foot. (PS. Does anyone remember the exact number of Covenant bracelets that Sark and Lauren stole?)

There are so many concrete, and yet so many vague connections between the groups of Alias (SD-6, the Alliance, the Covenant, P5). I would like for us to make a concrete “map” of connections that might help us figure out exactly who this Cardinal is. If the Cardinal is indeed lumped in with P5, then how is Grace involved? The only way for Grace to get a hold of the Cardinal is through Allan Korman- a man in Witness Protection who apparently killed Grace’s wife. This all circles back to Jack and his decision to hire Grace aside from his secret.

Have I missed something? Oh yes- Vaughn’s connection. Seven years ago, on the cusp of Sydney becoming a double agent, Vaughn was approached by Renee Rienne, with information about his father. This is when Vaughn learned his father was a mathematician and that his name had been changed. Vaughn and Renee were able to track down James Lehman, who was also a part of the group who deciphered the P5 page. Vaughn said he became Sydney’s handler because in her statement about SD-6, she mentioned the Mueller Device- which Vaughn had heard about in his research about P5. (There is another connection between SD-6, the Covenant and P5- the Mueller Device). Vaughn and Renee began searching for the P5 manuscript so that James Lehman could once again decipher it. But why? What for? Did P5 attempt to kill Vaughn in order to stop them from finding out what is in the text? Lehman said the manuscript was about amino acids and genetics. Perhaps the text had further information on cloning or doubling and P5 planned to use it to fulfill Rambaldi’s prophecy (hence, doubling Ana as Sydney).

We do know that P5 thinks Vaughn is dead. Even Irina thinks Vaughn is dead. The plot to fake his death came from Jack and Sydney. But even if Vaughn was alive, why would P5 care? He doesn’t have access to the manuscript anymore. Perhaps Vaughn and Renee know more than they are telling. And if Vaughn was killed because of his investigation, then why not Renee? DiSantis and his men had an opportunity to kill Renee when they kidnapped Sydney. Also- remember what DiSantis said to Dean once he was extracted from Renee's care- "The girl's alive. She's working with the CIA and now she goes by the name Renee Rienne." So, we know Renee is not her real name. But what is her role in all of this?

I think we are getting close. I think we have defined and placed the important stuff and all the rest will fall in line in the next couple of episodes. It was so interesting reading all of your comments and theories. I love that you all answer each others questions and help each other to better understand. That is what I intended. I hope you are all having a great time, because I know I am.

So, what have I missed? What do you think of the overview?


mommer said...

Great recap! Girlscout, you said "perhaps Renée and Vaughn know more than they are telling." That made me wonder what's the difference between Vaughn & Renée as far as P5 is concerned? Why were they so intent on killing Vaughn, but Renée doesn't seem to be a target? Or is she? She doesn't seem hard for anyone to find when they want to - unlike at the beginning of this season when Syd had to track her down in the bar. She still seems to have alot of secrets. Earlier in the season Jack seemed to discourage Syd from contacting Renée, but now they just work with her as it suits their purposes.
Another thought-maybe the "unseen marks" in the Rambaldi prophecy refer to things about Ana that are unseen when she looks just like Syd. That would mean the prophecy was all about Ana all along - not Syd. It seems to me that there has to be a way for people to tell the difference between the real Syd and Syd Espinosa and if everything about them is genetically equal how would they know for sure? Also, did we ever see how they doubled Francie or the CIA agent? Maybe they've always done it the same way as they doubled Ana into Syd and it doesn't require totally replacing their DNA? One more thing, remember Syd & company destroyed the machine or whatever that enabled people to be turned back into their real bodies at a later date. Remember how Sark told Evil Francie/Allison he was sorry she couldn't be turned back or he'd find a way or something? I wonder if they've reconstructed that technology and Ana could one day look like Ana again? Man, if you were a writer for Alias it would be so hard to make sure you had considered all the past tangles of story line!

Kiki said...

Mommer, I had some of your same questions once I re-read my post. Looks like I will busy this weekend after all.

jenn256 said...

GS- you pretty much covered most of the things I was going to write the blog about! Great recap. I too, like mommer wonder why Vaughn had such a target on his back but not Renee? And how did Irina discover Vaughn's investigation into P5? Was it because she is one of them, or has Renee been working with/for irina and sharing the info?

As for the "unseen mark", I was thinking that would refer to Ana's Rambaldi symbol she has tatooed on her had. it is a mark for Rambaldi that I'm sure now cannot be seen that she is Sydney Espinoza. However I wonder if the cut Ana gave Syd on her shoulder will help indentify her as the real Syd, after she referred to it as "only cosmetic".

And the red stuff they sprayed on Syd was a chemical agent used to make her cough. I think they got her DNA from her sputum and saliva when she was coughing over the drain. There is no "real" way to get DNA from someone by pouring a liquid over them, although this is Alias.

Have we discovered anything else about the 5 benefactors?

srg-alias said...

yes, an extremely well thought out and organized overview GS, well done!

To answer mommer and jenn's questions about the unseen marks, do you remember in season 1 when the DSR was trying to find out if Syd was the Chosen One and wanted to do invasive tests? I believe there were 3 unseen marks they tested for, I know one was the size of her heart and I believe one of the other things was her genetic code, I don't remember the third. It seems that all these unseen marks would be the same if they actually replaced Anna's DNA w/ Syd's.

One other question I thought of... doubling technology before seemed to be only cosmetic, but doubling Anna into Syd seemed to be more genetic replacement rather than genetic therapy. Does this mean that Syd Espinoza still has Anna's brain/thoughts, or is it sort of like Sloane Cloane where they've mapped her brain and she actually will have Syd's thoughts and feelings?

momknows said...

Excellent recap GS!!! Now MY head is beeping!!! No P5 bomb, just a brain cramp from my thoughts going round-n-round.

Kiki said...

OH SRG, good one!! How great would it been if Ana thought she was Sydney- much like the Sloane Clone. AWESOME! What if Nadia ended up fighting the real Sydney because she couldn't tell the difference??? Then the prophecy and Irina would both be right???

jenn256 said...

but then one of them would have to die, and we know it's not Syd, so will Nadia die fighting the wrong Syd?

srg-alias- good memory about the unsen marks, I was thinking about the tatoo, but I forgot about the tests of her heart size, etc.

srg-alias said...

Thanks jenn. Yeah maybe Nadia will die in the end fighting the bad Syd, and then the real Syd will take her out. Not to get depressing or would be sad if Nadia died, but it wouldn't surprise me too much (and it also would fulfill the prophecy).

mommer said...

I somehow don't want Ana to think she's Syd. If she thinks she's Syd how will P5 get her to carry out their evil plans? She was willingly doubled so it seems she at least believed she would still be herself and just look like Syd. I know when cloning really happens the individuals (animals so far, thank goodness) are the same genetically, but they are still two distinct beings and they have different minds with different thoughts and emotions, etc. Just like identical twins. So, if they mapped Syd Espinoza's brain was it part of the doubling or a different procedure? This is Alias so reality doesn't always matter, but I hope it doesn't get so far out there that they lose all anchors to realistic possibilty!

jenn256 said...

well we also know that one of the main characters dies, I was thinking it would be Sloane protecting Nadia and Syd, but maybe it will be Nadia. What about the line in the prophecy about the burning and anger, could that be Syd's anger if Nadia does die? I know that refers to teh Chosen One, but I don't think Ana's hatred towards Syd would qualify as the burning anger.

i like the thought of Sydney Espinoza maybe having Syd's thoughts. If it is truly a DNA replica of our Syd, then her thoughts and memories should be exact. Maybe that's where the comment from the CIA nanny will come in, "there is nothing to replicate the mother-daughter bond". Maybe Isabelle will be the one to help know which is the real Syd. Could they also be using her to get to Vaughn? Maybe they think he is possibly alive and want to use Sydney Espinoza to find him?

lhaaheim said...

srg- I love your theory about Syd Espinoza being more of a Sloane Cloane copy then just a physical copy. That would be very interesting. However wouldn't it be difficult for P5 to control or direct her then?

Tammy said...

Wowwww! I am going to read and re-read your recap GS! You've put a ton of work into this! Amazing stuff isn't it?!

But - I did want to quickly comment that Lauren and Sark stole 6 bracelets. They each knew of three leaders, so combined they had all 6.

lhaaheim said...

jenn- Good theory about using Isabelle to get to Vaughn. If Anna were able to kidnap Isabelle that would probably bring Vaughn out of hiding if he knew what happened. I certainly believe Anna would be able to get into Syd's house take Isabelle since she should be able to fool the security system now. I wonder if Jack and Syd would tell Vaughn if Isabelle was kidnapped.

Robetron said...

Sorry, I think it was nine bracelets.

I have another coin to toss in and bounce around in the dryer.

Does everyone remember how admament Vaughn was when the DSR had Sydney arrested? He was absolutely convinced that Sydney was not the focus of that prophesy. Jack even tried to reason with him by saying, "We have to at least consider it is true." Vaughn, however, would have none of it, and he set about his task to prove Sydney innocent.

Don't you suppose that Vaughn actually DID know more than he could freely tell? Is it possible he knew what P5 was going to try to do? Maybe he knew this and did not tell Renee, therefore leaving himself as the only target.

I realize that I am just supposing, but it surely would fit, wouldn't it?


srg-alias said...

That's very true Robby, I remember how insistant Vaughn was that Syd was NOT the Chosen One, maybe he did know more than he let on at that time.

Just FYI to get our facts in order, Tammy's right, there were 6 Covenant cells and 6 bracelets that Sark and Lauren stole. It's from the season 3 episode "After Six"

Robetron said...

Okay. I concede. If it was only six, it was only six.

(Gasp! I was mistaken!)


jenn256 said...

so would that mean that way back in the beginning of the show Vaughn knew about the prophecy? WHy wouldn't he tell Syd to help prevent it. Maybe they would have been more careful not letting her get away last season if they knew what she would eventually be up to.

Kiki said...

Nice Robby- Vaughn was very adamant and wanted very badly to prove the prophecy wrong. Nice! He must know more than he's telling.

Robetron said...

Jenn, He wouldn't tell because it would not only give himself away (the same reason why he waited so long to tell her of his association with Renee Reinne, #8 on CIA's most wanted list)...

...but also because he knew that anyone who knew (whatever it is he knew) would immediately be marked for assassination, just like he was. he was protecting her.

Also, he was alreay working with her to stop all the madness surrounding Rambaldi, and when she triedto quit, guess who it was that convinced her that her work is important? (yeppers... Vaughn)

Man, this is fitting better the more I think about it.


Robetron said...

While Irena has been trying desperately to convince Sydney to get out of the spy-biz, Vaughn has always been doing whatever he can to keep her in the field...

What does he know?!?!

uncle111 said...

SUPER recap! I'm going to copy it and send it around.

Kiki said...

Thanks guys, there are a couple things i might add to the recap over the weekend, so make sure you come back and see the added material- I will mark it in a new color.
Robby- right again! Vaughn has always been trying to keep Sydney in the CIA. AWESOME- I just spent lunch time talking over Alias with my sis, my mom and my dad. We have come pretty good ideas. We are just a fam of Alias-lovers I guess.

lhaaheim said...

roberton- I think you are on to something! Vaughn has been keeping Syd in the CIA all along and Irena has been trying to push her out. Also in season two when Syd said she was going to leave the CIA, Vaughn had a sort of shocked and oh no! look on his face. Vaughn is hiding something! I understand why he hid things in the past but why now? Why wouldn't he tell Jack and Syd everything he knows now? And how would P5 know he told them? If Vaughn is afraid Syd and Jack will do something with the intel that will cause harm he could explain this to them, it's not like they wouldn't take his advice. Oh and how the heck does Irena know about Vaughn's investigation into P5 in the first place! Is she working with Renee? Maybe Irena has been working with everyone is some capacity to achieve her end goal, whatever it is. It wouldn’t be unlike her to play triple or quadruple agent. Something is up with Vaughn or was, and I want to know what it is!!! Does anyone know if he will be in next week’s episode?


lhaaheim said...

I wonder if what Grace is doing is somehow connected to Vaughn. I've just noticed a lot of parallels between them, nothing in particular but Grace reminds me of Vaughn sometimes. I still think Bill Vaughn might play a role in all of this. I still think he might be alive even though he's not a part of the 12 (what's up with that number! 47, 30 and 12 keep showing up! Is there another number I'm missing, I feel like there is another one?). I wonder if Bill Vaughn is the Cardinal?!?

lhaaheim said...

BTW- Great recap grilscout! :-)

lhaaheim said...

I don't remember when this came about, if someone here mentioned it or if it was mentioned on the show but why does the prophecy have to be bad. Why can't the chosen one being doing something good by bringing utter desolation to the bad guys. Why do we automatically assume it will be the world? Further more on the whole Mt. Subasio thing, Rambaldi sort of contradicts himself in the prophecy. He says the chosen one will have never seen the sky behind Mt. Subasio but then he says “perhaps” it would have quelled her fire. So did it quell her fire or not? Perhaps is an adverb expressing uncertainty or indicating that something is possibly true or may possibly happen, it’s often use to make remarks appear less definite (Word dictionary). Why would Ramabaldi use the word “perhaps” when just before he said she would “never” (implies certainty) see the sky behind his mountain? Is it possible that Sydney’s fire was not quenched by seeing Mt. Subasio? Does anyone else see the inconsistency in this or am I just being silly?

“This woman, without pretense, will have had her effect, never having seen the beauty of my sky behind Mt. Subasio. Perhaps a single glance would have quelled her fire.”

Robetron said...

As it is connected to the context, the word "perhaps" is a rhetorical device of supposition. The prophesy is that "this woman here depicted" would do such and such never having seen the sky ove the mountain. The he lamentingly wonders if its beauty might have calmned her had she seen it. Even though none of it had happened, he was writing as if it was quite certain, and enjoyed an escape from reality for a moment.

However, you are quite right that he does leave it open ended. It is the "unless prevented" phrase that bothers me. Leaving room for uncertainty, or the possibility that someone along the way may change the predestined course... is not the language of true prophesy.

I just always chalked that up to the writers not really knowing how clear and precise actual prophesy really is, and I do not want to start a theological uproar in here. (Though I am open to discussion privately. Theology IS my field.)

Kiki said...

Wow, it's been an hour and even more good stuff is posted!! Holy cow! This episode really raised a bunch of stuff. Let's keep it going! 5 more days!

Vaughniepoo said...

That was really great. I really enjoy your blog and your well thought out theories.

What if the 12 were in the CIA and Irina faked their death by "killing" them. What if Bill Vaughn is the Cardinal that the 12 report to. I also like the posted who said what if the prophecy is good?

I am curious how everyone will know the difference between real Syd and Syd Espinoza. Looking forward to the next episode. And I still want to know what was up with the Syd's eggs being stolen by Sark in season 3.

Someone on the Watch with Kristen message board had a theory that Lauren was originally going to be the Syd cloan because of Syd's drug enduced dream that she was fighting herself/lauren. Just thought I'd share that too. Thought it was interesting.

Kiki said...

I have always thought of Rambaldi as a man of peace- like Sloane said. The message from El Dire was "Peace." He wanted to use technology to get closer to God- and if seems like a few choice people decided to use his ideas for bad. I do think that his prophecy is meant to be good- that someone needs to stop this bad person- this Chosen One. I need to go back and do a little research on that old prophet.

Sarafu said...

Can I just sat sitting down and reading this blog is a high point of my day. When my day is filled with choas caused by 2 children I have a calm in the storm! Great observations and thoughts. Its SO nice that everyone can share everyhting in their own heads in order to get us closer to a theory of whats Really going on! Thank you all for your contribution to my sanity!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andrew said...

Can we please remove, hide, or edit the comment before mine pertaining to all the spoilers. Maybe GS could take that information and make a new post in a color that won't show up without highlighting. It caught me off guard when I was reading everyone's theories.

Spoilers are great for those who want to know everything, but I've been trying to quit. I don't mind that you notify us of spoilers by providing a link or something, but it makes it tough to read through the comments.

Sorry to be a spoil sport.
(Pun intended)

These theories are awesome, everyone! I have some of my own but I'm still knocking them around in my head. Thanks for taking all this time to do this, GS.


Robetron said...

I'm with you, Andrew.

I managed to avert my eyes before reading that post, but some folks are "trying to quit" like you, and its not right to put drugs in front of an addict just to see if he can refuse.

Everyone will be better off without any foreknowledge of what will happen in future episodes.


srg-alias said...

Thanks for alerting us with your request guys, it's been taken care of.

bamaaliasfan said...

Sorry to repeat this if anyone else has said it. My eyes started hurting after reading a few comments. I am thinking back to when Ana took Nadia and "branded" her with the Rambaldi symbol. If I am thinking right I think Ana said that one day Nadia was going to help her destroy Sydney Bristow. Also when the clockmaker is saying how criminals have twisted Rambaldi's prophecy to become evil or what not, the camera flashes to Ana. Ana, in my opinion, is the fourth most informed about Rambaldi following Irina, Sloane, Sark, and then Ana. Prophet 5 seems to know everything about everyone and I think they knew that she would do absolutely anything to fulfill the prophecy. They knew that she would be willing to be doubled just to be apart of "Rambaldi's" endgame. I don't think this is his endgame, I think it is what criminals have munipulated it to be. I am sorry that this is so random and not put together well I am in a hurry.

bamaaliasfan said...

I forgot to add this... Prophet 5 has put so much emphasis on saving Nadia. They want her to be healthy again because they want her back in the field. It just so happens that Nadia will be back right after Ana becomes Sydney. It was all planned out perfectly. I am probably stating the obvious though.

RUDY said...

Hmmm...thoughts from "this woman will render the greatest power unto utter desolation." What if Sydney does fullfill the prophecy because she will render the greatest power...Prophet Five, the united power of 12 governments...unto utter desolation.

kitty said...

Hey there! This is my first time commenting, but I've been an avid reader of this blog for awhile, and I think it's awesome!

Remember at the end of season four when Irina said Rambaldi had written something about bloodred horses, and angels falling from the sky? That when this happended, the Chosen One and the Passenger would clash. What happened to this prohpecy or whatever it is? We did get to see an angel and a horse in "Before the Flood", but I don't know...

Kiki said...

Well, after the blood red horse and angel- seemingly the Chosen One (who we still considered to be Sydney) and the Passenger, clashed on the roof. They fought, but it wasn't really a battle or fight to the death. When Irina said that, it was the first time we had ever heard of that prophecy. I wonder about the piece too