Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This week

Ok our next homework assignment: watch the S4 finale and S5 premiere episodes over the next week. It's hard work but someone has to do it, we'll compare eppies early next week. Get to it Alias bloggies! :)


Page48 said...

With summer coming, I've been checking out "Burn Notice" news. Looks like Cylon Tricia Helfer will "jump" from "Battlestar Galactica" to BN now that the former is in it's final season. TH will not be the first Cylon on BN, as I believe that honour goes to Lucy Lawless who did a jump of her own last season.

Me personally, I'm really looking forward to another season of this highly entertaining show, but wouldn't it be nice if they would treat us to more than 12 eppies?

Whatever happened to the 22 eppy season, anyway? Is it a thing of the past?

uncle111 said...

I'm looking forward to BN, too, but I can't wait to get started on the next Alias assignment. This one is going to bring back some memories. The S4 finale is what motivated me to search out the ABC Alias board, thus spending way too much time at work on the board trying to figure out what was going to happen in S5, meeting Girlscout and then joining LTA when GS got it going. Wow! what a year that was.

uncle111 said...

I'm over 1/2 way through S4. I will skip to the finale this weekend and do my homework. We need to look back in the LTA archives and see what we were writing then about S5.

Page48 said...

No matter how often I watch "Red Ball Over Svogda", I can't find a way to think of it as anything but a disappointing installment. It strays so far out of the realm of the typical "Alias" sci-fi spy caper that I love so much.

It has its moments, like Irina extinguishing Elena's evil flame with a beauty head shot, and immediately instructing Syd to cut the blue wire. She had complete confidence in her sister's inability to do the right thing.

But do we really believe that Nadia managed to extricate herself from the bottom of that pile of spaced out Russian zombies in the subway tunnel? I mean, the dudes had her pinned.

And the whole scenario with Marshall and Weiss blackmailing the Russian minister over the phone. That was a major stretch, IMO, and not worthy of "Alias".

Dixon was one of the few core characters to miss a single episode completely (he missed at least 2 if memory serves), but I'm surprised that he was written out of a season-ending cliffhanger.

The actual cliffhanger was really the only highlight of this eppy for me. It's one of the few times in the series that we see Syd without her standard issue straight hair. It's interesting to watch the tail end of the cliffhanger and then the replay in 5.1. We see Syd repeat her lines with the camera zoomed back slightly as compared with 4.22. And Vaughn omits one line that he uttered in 4.22.

As much as Svogda wasn't my cuppa tea, I must say, as we've mentioned before, that the visuals in this episode are very movie-like in quality, particularly the whole city-scape with the red ball overhead and Team APO parachuting to the pavement below.

5.1 was a much improved effort. I loved the way Syd's instinct kicked in immediately with the paramedic, when she declined medical treatment. The girl has been well schooled.

Unfortunately, those finely tuned instincts fail her at the railway yard in Italy, when Vaughn meets up with Lehman. Think about it, Lehman just got done telling Syd and Vaughn that an early grave awaits anyone known to be involved with "the project" (heart attacks, strokes, car accidents). So why do Syd and Vaughn treat this whole rendez-vous with all the security preparation of a Sunday School picnic? Why does Syd stay in the car? Aren't 4 eyes better than 2? Aren't either Syd or Vaughn packing? Where is Vaughn's reflex when a black limo comes speeding toward them out of nowhere?

Obviously suspension of disbelief is needed to get fully invested in a show like "Alias", so I can accept this sequence of events as necessary to advance the story, but watching again the point blank barrage of machine gun fire unleashed at Vaughn's chest makes me ask myself if there wasn't a more subtle (and dare I say believable) way of allowing us humble viewers to eventually buy into Vaughn's lengthy recovery. Maybe 2 shots with a silencer?? A mere mortal would have been cut in half by that hail of bullets.

I think we all knew in our heart of hearts that the cup that Vaughn was sipping from in his hospital bed was no ordinary ice water (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more). In retrospect, the knowing stares exchanged between Syd and Jack at the hospital and the funeral were also hints that the game was afoot.

Things that stand out for me about Season 5:

-Jen's pregnancy changed what we came to expect from Syd. I was quite prepared to let Jen have her baby and welcome a kick-ass Sydney back for Season 6. No such luck.
-Sloane was underutilized in the early going and I was not all that interested in his pursuit of a cure for Nadia
-"The Cardinal" was a completely unsatisfying tease
-I had no difficulty accepting Rachel and Tom, but would have preferred to have Vaughn show up for work
-the finale was a fiasco with Irina breaking out in a bad case of multiple personality disorder
-writers succumbed to the usual temptation to whack an iconic character (Jack) at the end of a series
-could have lived without the ghost of Nadia
-Syd's oft-repeated line "you don't know me very well" was a little too oft-repeated
-Syd's eulogy for Nadia was completely without passion and Weiss wasn't even there
-loved the way Rachel rescued herself and Marshall in the finally after Sloane ordered them terminated
-Rene Rienne's death was just plain cruel, thinking that Syd slashed her throat
-Ana Espinoza died without knowing it was Syd who killed her....damn!!
-Dixon magically sprouted cornrows after the ridiculous 5 month hiatus

And, last but not least, the saddest thing I've ever seen on my TV screen (excluding real-life tragedies,of course)..."Thanks For Five Incredible Years"

srg-alias said...

wow quite a review page, now you're going to have to repost all of that when I write the article next week... ;-)

Robetron said...

I am totally with you on everything you said there, Page48, with only one exception. I sorta liked "the ghost of Nadia." Not that there was something metaphysical going on, but that we had a glimpse into Arvin Sloane's psychosis that had been progressing through the series, culminating at his accedental murder of the one person that kept him grounded in reality, Nadia.

Had we been so blessed as to have another season, or even a complete fifth, I would have enjoyed watching his madness grow and manifest itself in increasingly self destructive ways, giving us the impression that the only thing that truly brough about his demise was his own sense of guilt and overwhelming dispare conflicting with his insatiable need for control and power.

(Remember the end of "Mockingbird" when Syd explained that in order for Rachel to be safe, they would have to "bring them ALL down," and while she was speaking we saw Sloane walking free from his crimes once again into the symbolic light of day, showing that the one person that started it all had still not been "brought down.")

Of course, it is all moot speculation at this point(or as Joey Tribiani would say, "It's Moo"), but it is fun to suppose what it might have been like had it not ended the way it did.

My mother is finally starting through the fifth season, and I watched a couple with her the other night, and it just happened to be "Mockingbird" - one of the best of the season - which is why the end-scene was so fresh in my mind. I had almost forgotten the childish glee that bubbles up inside me when I see an episode, almost any episode of ALIAS.

They thanked us for 5 great years. I am thankful that we had that much. No TV show ever did more for my appreciation of good shows, and no show ever truly measures up to it.


uncle111 said...

Since we are going to be doing S4/S5 episodes, I thought I'd post addresses to 2 of my Alias wardrobe acquisitions:
Renee's S5/E13 jacket
Syd's S4/E3turtleneck
They are both marked small and the jacket originally had a wardrobe tag marked Sydney.
If these tags don't work I will delete and just post the URL's.

uncle111 said...

Don't know what happened on the Renee jacket tag, but you'll need to delete what comes after .jpg in your address bar once you get a page from the link.

Page48 said...

Uncle, too bad Syd didn't come with the sweater.

Follow up to recent discussion re: Victor Garber's upcoming miniseries, "The Last Templar". Starved for "Alias" related entertainment, I checked out the audiobook for TLT.

There's no doubt it has a serious "Da Vinci Code" feel about it, and certainly the same people who were up in arms about DVC will find no refuge in TLT.

VG plays a baddie in this one, albeit a CIA baddie. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the story, but who knows what kind of treatment it will get on TV? I'll just have to watch it and decide when it's over whether it rates 2 thumbs up or...

Page48 said...

The 2 new shows I'm most hopeful about for next season, "Fringe" and "Dollhouse" are rapidly coming into focus with blog entries like this one.

uncle111 said...

"Uncle, too bad Syd didn't come with the sweater."
What makes you think she didn't, Page?

The 2 new Fox shows sure sound promising. Let's hope they can deliver.