Monday, May 22, 2006

"Take a Bow..."

“... the night is over, this masquerade is getting older. Lights are low, the curtains down…”

I have never worn a red wig, lost a fiancé to my evil boss or discovered my mother was still alive. I have never traveled the world- only stopping in destinations long enough to disarm a bomb or rescue a colleague. I have never experienced physical torture or loss of memory at the hands of a terrorist group. I have never been identified by my own dental records or have come face to face with deadly assassins. I have never fallen in love over comms, renounced my father or found my portrait on a 500 year old manuscript. I have never stumbled upon a long lost sister or placed a friend in Witness Protection. But, then again, I have. Through the eyes and ears of Sydney Bristow; I have done all these things and more.

The character of Sydney Bristow, so brilliantly played by Jennifer Garner, has led us on an action-packed, heart-wrenching, jaw-dropping journey of international espionage and self discovery. From her years as a double agent, to her days of double duty as spy and mother, Sydney has been fighting in a world turned upside down by secrets, deceit, mystery and danger. Today, those of us who have been on the journey from the beginning, or merely joined in for the fun, will say goodbye to Sydney Bristow and her gaggle of enemies, family and friends.

Seven years and five seasons we have been trudging around in the belly of what makes great television. Sure, we tuned in for the action, the outfits, the gadgets and the round-the-world locations, but it was the characters that brought us back each week- inviting us into their private lives laced with the pressures of their profession and the complexitity of their involvement in the overall story. The highs and lows of their lives, were the highs and lows of our nights- if Sydney was "ripped apart", we were ripped apart. If Marshall was missing, there was a part of us that was missing too.

In one of my very first articles I published, I stated that Alias is an onion- many layers of story and emotion that add flavor but also make us cry. No question that here we have peeled away all the outer layers with our specualtion, theory and discussion and we have made our way to the core, the center, the middle- which will no doubt make us cry.

I am sad to see it go, but grateful I was able to experience it, if only from the outside- a viewer looking in. Perhaps I learned something profound from it- aside from what makes good TV. I may not have learned kung-fu or how to use a bazooka. I didn't come to like wigs or want to wear them on a regular basis. I certainly don't believe in Rambaldi and the secrets of his profecies, but perhaps I learned that even one person can make a difference if their intensions are true and good. That one person, bright and sunny can take all the matters of the world on her shoulders (with a dimpled smile) and perhaps make life easier for someone else. That even in dire times of life and death, and as the fate of the free world hangs in the balance- loyal friends and family can help you- be it an extraction or simply offering a hand under the glow of ferris wheel lights.

Alias has meant something to all of us- whether it's meant an hour with friends, or living adventures vicariously through Sydney. We all have our favorite storylines, characters, moments, quotes, songs, etc. and we will continue to enjoy the show here at Let's Talk, in syndication and on DVD. Aside from all we will miss, enjoy tonight, even if your questions aren't answered. Enjoy tonight even if the plot doesn't pan out like you had hoped. Just enjoy it, like we have every Sunday, Thursday, Wednesday for 5 long years. Through the good, the bad and the ugly. And then- say goodbye.

“…why, oh why, this show is over say goodbye. Say goodbye.” Loveyoumissyoubye!

The series finale of Alias appears tonight 9pm-11pm PDT on ABC.

Aside from all this- I am still very much in denial. I feel like Seattle weather- cloudy and gray. I am hanging in there though. I'll be okay.

I will be posting the finale recap tomorrow morning. I figure I need some extra time to process and write. I have requested tomorrow off from work- as I will be visiting with Starbucks Mom and SpyBaby Syd- needless to say, we will be blogging and e-mailing all day tomorrow. Please send me any questions and comments you may have about the finale or the show in general. Then, Thursday and Friday will be mega SpyChat days to help us hash through all we have learned.

Remember-As you gather around the TV tonight with friends and family (champagne and cake), don't forget to take pictures! E-mail them to me and I will post them for a blogger photo album. Make sure to include your name and the names of those pictured. Thanks!

Today is the day to turn in your Let's Talk T-shirt designs. If you have an entry or 2 or 3, send them to me via e-mail.


Unknown said...

I'm not ready to say goodbye to Sydney Bristow... :(

SKlaft said...

Nicely done, GS.

I particularly like where you extract the principle from Sydney's depth of character and make application to ourselves, that we should all seek to use what gifts we have to help others, even if at great risk or sacrifice of ourselves.

The ability to extract good and useful principles from whatever it is we are watching - is what makes good TV, and is what makes spending that time watching justifiable. It is not always possible with some shows, but with Alias, the principles are everywhere. It is one of the things that attracted me to the show from the pilot episode.

BTW - if any of you are "planning a secret extraction... can I just say: LOVE"


Anonymous said...

That was very beautiful GS. Thanks.

Well, I look forward to tonight. I don't care about if my theory is right or wrong. I'll take it as it is and let it be.

I've enjoyed the last several years with Alias. I've enjoyed watching Syd's relationships. She's like me, we keep giving people chances hoping that "it'll be better now" leaving ourselves open for what comes of it. That is the bittersweet in life. Can't know happiness and peace without pain and sadness. If you shut yourself out of it, you'll never know the best moments!

My time here has been short. Glad I could give a few laughs.

Onward and upward. :)

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed watching Syd and the gang because it gave me an "escape" from my normal life. at times it made me want to have her dangerous, exciting, romantic life, and at others it made me appreciate my own as it is. I think we can all relate to a character in one way or another, and that's just one of the beautiful things about Alias.

jenn256 said...

great post GS, you really hit on all of the parts that make this show so unique and wonderful. We will all miss Syd and the gang every week. I will miss the far off exotic lands they visit, meeting new and unusual characters and villans, great scenes with Syd and Vaughn, and of course great lines from Marshall.

I think a lot of us became very emotionally invested in this show (which is what makes for a good show), and will miss it very much. But I agree that we take the great things we have seen, and maybe learned about ourselves and others and be glad we were among the lucky people to find this show and fall in love with it. Just think of all of those people who never watched an episode, they are the ones who should be the saddest. "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

Girlscout said...

Nice Jenn, I like that. Maybe that should be the blog shirt:

"Alias:Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

Dignan said...

It is a sad day for me as well.
This weekend I was flipping through the TV and saw Ms. Bristow in a red teddy, in an airplane (you all know the ep). It was the one where they have their first kiss in the place that kept them apart, which was now being destroyed. That is a great ep and also the one where we see Francie had been doubled. They love to do that to the fans... make them all happy and then have another scene that just brings us right-back-down!

jenn256 said...

oh yeah, I guess that would make an appropriate shirt. :)

lhaaheim said...

"I have never been identified by my own dental records”
That made me laugh so hard! Sydney has had quite a life.

All I want from this final episode is a little of the things I love best about Alias. Just a little more of Sydney in action, a couple more kicks and one of her classic lines; maybe a little Sark and Vaughn duel. At least one more funny Marshall moment and a heart wrenching fatherly moment from Jack. Dixon will no doubt continue to be the world’s greatest best friend, but I would love to see his smile again. Sloane is evil again and that's brilliant enough, yet I would like him to get what’s been coming to him all these years. One more bad mother moment from Irina, followed by another good mother moment. All while Vaughn looks hot as ever. Screw the questions and all the speculation and even though I still hope BV is alive I intend to just watch tonight and enjoy our little show and all the smiles, laughs and tears it's able to give us. I'll try to hold off crying if for nothing else to keep my vision clear yet I doubt that will last long. I will try my best to remember that I was blessed to have know Alias for as long as I have and note that the story rarely ends.

Anonymous said...

I want to be in denial.

lhaaheim said...

Robby- You are absolutely right, Alias has always been a show we could feel good about watching, and for some of us be addicted to. Alias took itself beyond just entertaining television and it created something powerful and meaningful.

GS/Jenn- Great post by the way and I love that t-shirt idea!

Dignan- I saw that episode too! It's such a great episode, so classic Alias.

Tammy said...

Wonderfully written tribute GS! I love it! Thank you for being so wonderful with this blog and keeping all of us going up to the very end!

I, for one, appreciate it very much!


Girlscout said...

Oh, thanks Tammy! Make me cry more why don't ya! I am really going to miss it. I can't believe I will be writing my last recap. Sad!

Anonymous said...

Yeah. And thanks. After reading this post, GS, I just want to say ... yeah. And thanks to you for saying so beautifully what we all are feeling.

Sure, this is just a TV show. But it really is so much more. That's the strength of Story. And we've all been blessed to share the adventures of one of the most unique and real characters in all of Storydom, played by one of the most genuine, unique, and real actresses in the world today.

I'm a storyteller myself. Though not on the scale of JJ or Angela (who often posts and is a bestselling novelist). I've attempted to create unique, real, and honest characters in my novels, and actually, I think I succeeded. Though, I owe much to JJ, to his amazing ability to not only create amazing characters, but to surround those amazing characters with an ongoing storyline that is simply ... amazing. : )

Thanks, JJ.
Thanks, Sydney.
Thanks, Jennifer.
Thanks, GS.

And thanks for the creators of DVD!

Have fun, y'all.
donna fleisher

Girlscout said...

Donna! Thank you so much for posting! Another writer! YAHOO! I will have to read some of your stuff sometime. Let's trade stories!

katybird27 said...

I, too, want to give GS, Jenn, SRG-Alias and the bloggers of Let's Talk Alias a huge THANK YOU for giving me a community with which I can share my thoughts on Alias, the only show I've ever been completely obsessed with. I'll miss this blog almost as much as I'll miss watching Alias! Thanks for the memories, the theories, the thoughts and the forum to share ours.

Girlscout said...

Don't worry Katy- we aren't going anywhere!

lhaaheim said...

All the love here and goodbye Alias talk is making me sad again! :-( Today is going to be such a roller coaster!

Andrew said...

Let's see if my testosterone will kick in enough tonight to prevent any crying... :-)

Thanks for a great blog, GS. It's been awesome all season!

Have fun tonight!!!!!

lhaaheim said...

Oh no! I'm totally sad already and fighting back tears. I'm wearing my black "don't frost the pie" T-shirt and I'm all alone. I should have had a party so the end would be more of a celebration then a funeral for me. Hopefully the episode will cheer me up. Only an hour to go before it starts!!!

Andrew said...

I didn't take any pictures.
I watched it with one of my best friends, my little brother, and my mom, (my dad came home halfway through).

The phone was off the hook, and my beagle (after barking 15 minutes into the episode) was in bed.

By the end, I truly felt satisfied.

Enjoy the episode, all of you West Coasters. Savor every moment.