Alias S01E12-13: That was one of the worst things ever. And not just on TV.

(Full disclosure: I watched these episodes weeks ago but haven’t been able to bring myself to think about them. At this point, I can’t read my own handwriting and I may have filled in some of the gaps my notes left creatively. Please accept my apologies for any inaccuracies in this post, but there is just no way I’m watching these episodes again for at least a decade.)

OK, so I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I watched the Quentin Tarantino episodes. I’d been dreading it since I started re-watching, but I powered through. And I think, if it weren’t for the absolute awfulness of QT’s acting, these 2 would be some of my favorite episodes. They explore a really interesting idea: what happens when one of the spies you deem disposable, who works for your secret evil agency and doesn’t know they don’t work for the CIA, gets in a bad situation? Well, if you won’t help them out of it, because you view them as disposable, they might just call the CIA for help. And that could come back around someday to bite you in the ass cut your finger off.

S01E12-13 Recap

But before we get into that interesting situation, we need to wrap up where we left off last episode, with Jack having revealed to Sydney that her mother was not a kind, loving teacher who was the unfortunate victim of Jack’s nefarious KGB activities, but was in fact a super-evil KGB agent who exploited her unwitting husband’s displays of affection in ways that allowed her to engage in maximum amounts of killing CIA agents. This is revealed to Sydney in a CIA conference room, in front of the director of the agency and several other very important people. And Sydney runs out into the hall to have a little meltdown, because of course she does. Ten minutes ago she was all stone-faced, ready to volunteer her father for whatever it is they do to traitorous CIA agents who murder their fellow agents. Now she’s a pouty mess in the hallway who apparently doesn’t care how she just made herself look to her boss, her boss’s boss, and her dad’s boss.

Jack tells her she “can’t lose control” over this, but of course he means “shouldn’t,” because she totally can and she will. In fact, she will go home and tear up old pictures of her mom and toss them into the fire while pouting the poutiest pout that ever was pouted.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 7.34.10 PM

Hey, get me, remembering to grab some screenshots so I don’t just keep saying things like “and then Sydney makes a face” and leaving you to imagine it for yourselves.

Sydney meets with Vaughn in whatever that chain link fence room is they always go to so they can talk about how her mom killed his dad and stuff. She cries, because of course she does, and he has his usual, “Are we sleeping together yet? Am I listening to her? God, is she crying again? What the hell is with all the crying?” face on. Then they share the world’s most awkward hug.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 7.49.02 PM

“God, I hope she doesn’t cry this much during sex.” –Vaughn, who apparently learned nothing about proper hugging in spy school. “Just slap your hand against the back of her head, and manage to look like you’re not actually touching her in any way” is NOT a valid hug technique, buddy!

Sydney decides she’s going to quit SD-6, because everything’s a lie or something. She also wants to go out with Vaughn once she quits so that he can be the one “real” thing she has in her life. Now, this is everything Vaughn’s been pining for, and Sydney’s ready to just hand it to him, so of course he decides he wants the opposite and tells her she can’t quit. Jesus Christ, these two. I swear. He does rightly point out that Sloane will kill her if she quits and doesn’t go into witness protection, so points to Vaughn on that one, because Sydney just…doesn’t think he will. Sure, he killed her fiancé a few short months ago and then tried to have her killed when she tried to quit over that, but he’s been so sweet lately, so he’ll probably be totally cool with her quitting this time.

Anyway. Over at the fake bank, a Mystery Van has arrived, and hiding inside is Quentin Tarantino’s desperate need to inflict his “acting” on audiences and say “behbeh” a lot. Like, a LOT a lot. Shit’s about to get grating as hell around this place, folks. You may want to go pour yourself a drink.

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 10_Fotor

“Punch the ceiling. Knee yourself in the chin. Never blink.” — The QT approach to “believable” running.

Will is having a minor crisis because everyone he talks to gets mad at him for being such an intrusive ass. He’s decided that, since so many people – like, 90 of them by this point – have told him to back the fuck off the Danny/Eloise Kurtz/SD-6 story, maybe he really should. It seriously takes Sydney getting mad at him, Francie getting mad at him, his (female) boss getting mad at him, Eloise Kurtz getting mad at him and then ending up dead because of him, the secret voice on the other end of the brooch communicator terrifying him, and the guy from thirtysomething getting mad at him for potentially putting his daughter in grave danger before Will thinks maybe he’s dealing with something dangerous and should back off. Considering he got into this whole thing thinking he was doing something to help Sydney, Sydney telling him to leave it alone should have been enough. But, no, it takes until Will sees how his actions might negatively affect a man before he realizes things might be getting out of hand.

Sydney storms into SD-6 ready to quit. On her way in, she passes the van and the driver QT left behind to keep watch. He tells her to smile and she gives him such hate face as I couldn’t even capture in a screenshot. As soon as she has her back to him, he points a gun at her head. And I can’t think of anything that’s happened on this show so far that was this realistic.

Jack shows up to talk Sydney out of quitting SD-6, pointing out quite reasonably that even if Sloane let Sydney go without a fight, Sloane is not the top of the organization, so the first thing Sloane’s bosses would do is kill Francie and Will. Again, I say bring it on, but Sydney is really invested in keeping her friends alive for some reason.

In the end, she never gets her chance to quit, because QT has taken over the SD-6 offices and Sloane has initiated emergency lockdown procedures. Sydney and Jack are stuck in the elevator while QT gasses everyone else in the building. I guess the ventilation system in the elevators is completely separate? Because Sydney and Jack stay conscious. Conscious but on their way to the main floor due to the emergency protocol elevator override something or other. They crawl out through the roof and climb down the elevator shaft because they know when the elevator doors open someone will be waiting there to kill them. I don’t believe they needed to worry about this, myself, because this is the guy that was waiting for them:

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 11.00.54 AM

If someone could explain this hair to me, please?

I just don’t buy that guy as someone who could take down either Jack or Sydney, let alone the 2 together. (Although, by the end of this arc, we will see QT knock out Sydney while droning on about how “kickboxehz” can’t take a punch, so the vast unbelievability of these episodes probably can’t be overstated and shouldn’t surprise me anymore.)

While Sydney and Jack are crawling around in the SD-6 ductwork, over at the CIA, Vaughn’s taking a moment to deal with the truth about his father’s murder. Don’t worry, though, we’re not going to waste too much time letting one of our main characters feel sad and conflicted over one of the defining facts of his life; that’s mostly Sydney’s deal and the writers know it, so no one else ever really gets much screen time for their inner turmoil. Weiss tries to cheer Vaughn up, and this is when I realize Greg Grunberg should have played Vaughn, because he can act more just by walking through a door than Michael Vartan can mourning the loss of his father.

Then Joey Slotnick shows up as basically Minimoose. We’ve never seen him before but Weiss and Vaughn totally hate him and he seems to have it in for Vaughn for no obvious reason. He’s reported Vaughn for his inappropriate feelings for Sydney, so Vaughn has to see the CIA therapist. I guess this is supposed to make him evil, and everyone certainly plays it that way, but Vaughn actually is way more emotionally attached to Sydney than is appropriate for (a) an agent whose case he handles and (b) someone he’s known for, like, 3 months max. Also he just found out her mother killed his father, which at the very least is going to be awkward to explain to the grandkids, so maybe therapy would actually be a good idea for Vaughn? But when you get Joey Slotnick you’re basically signaling to the audience they should hate him, so hate him we shall.

Back at SD-6, Jack and Sydney are tapping into the closed circuit cameras and sneaking around gathering up Marshall’s spare spy tech and such. QT has tied up all the SD-6 employees and is just speechifying all over the place. We learn that he works for someone called “The Man” now. He used to be a lowly little SD-6 operative, but his last mission went wrong and Sloane essentially left him for dead. When he was captured and tortured he claimed to be a CIA agent but the CIA said they’d never heard of him. So he was tortured some more. He’s a little miffed about all this and so he’s come to drink champagne and spew outdated slang all over Sloane while the rest of his team does some actual work and steals a Rambaldi artifact from the SD-6 vault.

While QT is distracted by his love for the sound of his own voice, Jack uses one of the CCTV cameras to tap out Morse code instructions to Marshall and Dixon, who are the only 2 people at SD-6 with a tendency to sometimes seem actually too smart to have been tricked into working at SD-6. Marshall tries to provide a distraction but it goes badly. Jack ends up having to reveal himself so Sydney can keep crawling around in the ductwork. Dixon tells Jack he wants to contact the CIA and Jack can’t quite come up with a good enough explanation of why that’s a terrible fucking plan, so Dixon does it.

Vaughn, Weiss and Minimoose review Dixon’s message and Vaughn immediately decides it’s true and Sydney’s in trouble and he’s gotta break, like, so many rules to get over there and check it out. He goes to the Credit Dauphine parking garage, where his first order of business is to shoot the “smile” guy in the [dick? do my notes actually say he shoots him in the dick? was that wishful thinking on my part or did it really go down like that?]. He then contacts Minimoose to let him know that Dixon was telling the truth, and Minimoose fulfills his purpose as guy-who-is-on-the-show-so-he-can-be-mean-and-we-can-hate-him by doing fuck all about it.

(Here, my notes utterly fail me. I think the rest of this is correct, but feel free to steer my straight in comments if it’s not.)

Sydney and Vaughn meet up, find all the bombs and defuse them. They meet up with QT’s girlfriend along the way and it turns out she’s a double-agent who apparently drew the short straw on Somebody Here Has to Sleep With Tarantino to Get Closer to The Man day.

Sydney turns herself in to QT to keep him from shooting people. He tells a big story about how he asked her out once and she was too cool for him, then he makes her drink champagne from the same bottle he drank from as some sort of you-made-a-huge-mistake-behbeh revenge thing and I become convinced that J J Abrams let him write his own part for this because everything about it is so out of step with the rest of the show.

QT tortures Sloane for information. It doesn’t work, because Sloane is a fucking badass.

QT’s team is about to break into the vault and there’s a fight scene where we’re supposed to believe he’s tougher than Sydney, who we saw take a guy twice his size back in episode 4.

Jack gets to Sloane and Sloane explains that he gave QT the wrong vault codes and that as soon as his team breaks in the whole place is going to blow up. The only way to override the code is with Sloane’s finger print but he’s stuck in the torture chair, so Jack has to take his finger print. Seriously. Sloane’s all, “Take it, Jack. Take. my. finger. print.” and then Jack just straight-up grabs some, like, bolt cutters or some shit and cuts Sloane’s finger off and carries it back to his office and saves the day with it.

Anyway. Let’s see how I felt about this one, won’t we?

Yay-Boo Analysis

Yay!

Boo!

Jack explains to Sydney that his marriage to Sydney’s mother was basically her mother’s KGB assignment. Nothing her mother claimed she felt at the time was real. “Including wanting to have a family?” asks Sydney, all pouty still. And I want to be, like, “Hey, Sydney, plenty of us weren’t wanted, and you know what we do? We fuckin’ deal.

And I know, I know, that this is more about my own personal feelings and I suppose it really is jarring for someone who always assumed they were a wanted baby to realize the opposite. But whatever. I have also run out of fucks to give on this subject for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with this blog, so Boo it is.

SD-6 has facial recognition software scanning everyone in the building constantly, but Jack is able to bypass bugs to talk openly with Sydney just using his spy pen? That seems like a gap in SD-6’s technological capabilities to me.

Why is Sydney’s spy shit always makeup?

the tiny little fuck yeah Vaughn moment where he defends giving Sydney a Christmas present

QT’s “behbeh” is another example of a not-white spy who does sexy stuff to get her spying done. Meanwhile, in this episode we see that even when all her friends are under attack the show won’t let Sydney flat-out kill anyone, only put them on a path that leads to someone else killing them.

I can’t be the first person to have difficulty taking you seriously, can I?” This is the episode where we really start to see what a fucking badass Sloane is.

Do we ever see QT blink? Like, does it happen even once?

J J Abrams entire musical style consists of just speeding up or slowing down that one sample off his old Casio.

retroactive Boo!: Mythbusters has taught us that C4 is just not as terrifyingly sensitive as all that. Sydney and Vaughn could have lit it on fire and made s’mores to fortify themselves before defusing the bombs and everything would have been fine.

QT has a bad-ass hot chick spy of a girlfriend but acts all surprised that a girl was trying to sabotage his plans the whole time?

Will goes on and on at Francie about all the trouble his inexcusable nosiness is getting him into, and Francie laughs at him! Three times! Francie is sort of alright, for the moment.

I’m not scared of you.” “Well, you should start being scared of me.”

Fuck yeah Sloane! totally breaking QT

But fucking seriously! it pushes QT to murder his girlfriend

Hands-tied-behind-backs kicky fights!

Sloane’s finger!

We’re supposed to believe QT can fight?

WHY DOES HE TALK LIKE THAT THO

Total These Episodes: 7 Yays & 11 Boos

Total So Far: 48 Yays & 56 Boos

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19 thoughts on “Alias S01E12-13: That was one of the worst things ever. And not just on TV.

  1. Just for the record, I was supposed to write an entire segment of this article on Quentin Tarantino and Geek Power Fantasies, but every time I thought about it I got too fucking angry and had to do something else instead. True story.

  2. Ok, first of all: “Gee, I hope she doesn’t cry this much during sex,” yr point about Will not giving a fuck until a man almost dies, and your QT running description made peal with laughter. Also: “but Sydney is really invested in keeping her friends alive for some reason.”

    So I am too busy pouting in real life to keep up with you watching Syd pout through Fake Grad School/Dangerous Spy Life, so I’m just going to go through my notes and simultaneously respond to your thoughts here.

    *First rant: WHY IS VAUGHN HER THERAPIST, THO. “Yes, let me comfort you about the fact that one of your parents killed one of my parents. I’m so down for that.” Also: hanging out in greenlit storage rooms! It’s like they meet in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sewer.

    *OH SNAP THEY GAVE QT THE JAMES BOND TUX JUMPSUIT. Only he’s got the Pulp Fiction suit underneath. Oh Alias, did you let QT dress himself? Tsk tsk.

    *A quick trip to IMDB: this was filmed 10yrs after Reservoir Dogs, and 1yr before Kill Bill was released. So… Did he choose this cameo, or was someone able to talk his ego into it?

    *And then I wrote this, word for word: CHRIST, JUST KILL WILL.

    [Yeah, Most of my notes were in caps…]

    *THAT ELEVATOR IS MAGIC. It’s not bugged, or even MONITORED like many elevators, and as you note, it has a Magic Air Supply. SYDNEY, STOP TALKING W/DAD ON THE PREMISES. JACK, YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER. Seriously, ASS, you JUST SAID they have 600 cameras hidden on site.

    *QT is so oozy, I feel like the people walking/running behind him are going to trip on his slime trail…

    *Glad you noted the silent henchman with the Sonic the Hedgehog hair. From my notes: Bad bleach job = 1990’s Shorthand for Dangerous?

    * Dear QT: DON’T SAY IRONICAL WHEN TRYING TO BE MENACING. For the record, Good Will Hunting used that as a disarming little joke in ’97.

    *Ugh, and his fake-y borrowed/stolen African American vernacular: “a little sumptin’ sumptin’…” QT’s speech is a caricature of Blackness. (I mean, so is his persona? But that’s a little too big in scope to get to here…)

    *Ugh, Will’s Manic Pixie Dream Assistant…

    *I enjoy Jack’s beat-up stitchy face. He looks penitent, and very slightly less unaccessible.

    [cont’d.]

    • ‘Bean, you are fantastic and I will try to respond to your comments in order.

      *Vaughn being Sydney’s therapist is sooooo unsettling. Like, Sydney is just wandering through life looking for parent figures EVERYWHERE like the girl in the Marc Maron joke (“Daddy? Daaaaddddyyy??” “I can do that.”). There was that whole thing in the pilot where she tells Danny that ever since her mom died she’s been looking for something to give her life meaning (HER MOM DIED WHEN SHE WAS A SMALL CHILD! HOW MANY 5 YEAR-OLDS DO YOU KNOW THAT ARE ALREADY ON THEIR SEARCH FOR MEANING?) and that person is Danny but the “CIA” just happened to find her first. How creepy was that? And then she just instantly does the same thing to Vaughn. Even choosing 2 best friends that constantly boss her around and belittle her life choices is part of that desperate need for a parent figure, I think. Sydney’s entire motivation in life is to find someone to be her parent, but not even like a good parent, she wants the controlling, judgmental kind. Ugh. And the fact that she can’t even turn that off when it’s about something Vaughn might really not want to discuss at all is gross. I get that there are only 2 people in her life that know the truth about her, so who else is she going to talk to, but on the other hand, um, there’s a CIA therapist? But then there would be 2 women alone in the same scene without a man to balance things out, and we couldn’t have that.

      *I think it was on the “Jackie Brown” DVD extra content that I saw someone say of QT that he is basically always ready to drop whatever he is working on to take pretty much any acting job that gets offered to him. And that they were worried through the JB development stage that he would get offered a movie role and JB would just never happen. I think that explains what the hell he’s doing here. Also, I don’t know if he and J J Abrams are friends but I think of them as being part of the same little clique of self-congratulatory white men who fancy themselves abiters of whatever non-white-man group they choose to write about, so it sort of makes sense to me that when Abrams was looking for a proto-Sydney he’d cast a white man.

      *The elevator not being bugged, part of the building’s ventilation system, or monitored by CCTV is so fucking ridiculous. It’s like the writers never really wanted to bother paying attention to their own world-building. Not only are the characters often different people from episode to episode, but their environment changes every episode too. Did you ever see that video about the guy who got stuck in an elevator for a whole weekend and it totally ruined his life? That entire thing was on tape! 78 hours or something of this guy just stuck in an elevator. They couldn’t have at least written in that QT’s leadership is so bad that he didn’t have anyone monitoring the CCTV? These writers totally did not get that sometimes having strict rules about what your characters can and cannot do can actually make you MORE creative than if you just make up whatever shit you feel like out of laziness.

      *I love your take on injured Jack! I do think that giant cheek bandage really highlights his wounded eyes, which without it can easily be interpreted as cold and distant. Victor Garber did a great job (better than the writers, often, though I do think Jack got some of the best, subtlest writing the show had to offer) of seeming cold and emotionless but also showing how that came from some pretty serious damage in his past and how all that gets stirred up just when he’s even around Sydney even though he loves her but all of this makes it so he can’t show it properly…. Also, fun fact: Victor Garber and Jennifer Garner are apparently super-close in real life. Like, I was looking for pictures of Jack to test my theory that we don’t get to see his eyes straight-on and fully lit very often on this show, but all I found were paparazzi shots of the 2 of them and her kids out frolicking like “we’re going out with grandpa!” And IMDb says he got ordained to perform her wedding to Ben Affleck, which: how cute? I so would have gotten married by Jack Bristow.

  3. I’m gonna have to start a new section to address the part where QT tries to torture Sloan with monologues.

    *Oh, QT: Stop saying “The Box.”

    *STOP SAYING “THE BOX.”

    *Please stop saying “The Box.” (I think his ooziness and that repeated phrase made me go through all the stages of grief: anger, bargaining, anger, depression, anger, etc….)

    *OMG he’s going to acupuncture Sloan to death or shove a rod up his dick or something!

    *You get at this, but I think it deserves a full-on YAY: When Sloan says, “I can’t be the first person to have difficulty taking you seriously, can I?” we have the first moment in which Sloan ever looks good. From the pilot you can sort of surmise that Sloan is Syd’s surrogate father figure, who instantly turns out to be shittier than her real dad, and he’s pretty much been the toilet brand that his name indicates ever since. The only good thing about QT is he makes Sloan look cool.

    *I DID enjoy seeing Marshall and Carl Lumbly take one for Syd. Especially poor, unprofessional Marshall: “I–I think I’m getting Stockholm Syndrome…” I want a spinoff about how Marshall is really sad that he didn’t qualify for field agent so he goes out at night in an Iron Man suit and, idk, kills bank robbers.

    *Ok, a quick lesson about spices (this is a long rant, but you’re a culinary person, so I know you’re not going to roll your eyes): Jalapenos are NOT scary. They aren’t even particularly spicy. They do not strike fear into the heart of anyone who knows a thing about peppers.

    *In terms of hot peppers, jalapenos are a weaklings. Jalapenos score a 3,500-8,000 on the Scoville-Chile Heat Chart (see citation). That means they have a relatively low Capsaicin content. At my grocery store, in the Heart of Relative Whiteness, in a state where I once watched an Irish-American guy spit out an Italian sausage for being “too spicy,” I can buy habenaros at my grocery store. Habenaros score in the 200,000 range on the Scoville Chart. They are culturally ubiquitous to nonspicewimps across many continents. They represent the heat of about 1/10th of your low-end pepper spray. Habenaros are scary (to white people and cultures otherwise unaffiliated with spice). Jalapenios are NOT. Which is all a long way of saying that as if QT didn’t do enough to undermine himself, the writers give all this build-up for a torture device which is, in many cultures, the culinary equivalent of a fucking olive. (Source: http://www.eatmorechiles.com/Scoville_Heat.html)

    *Elsewhere, Will meets an informant at a restaurant; I think Will should be more cautious. From now on, if he’s going to survive, I think he should only be allowed to have conversations in showers. I could ostensibly get into that.

    *Jack, helming the cameras, watches Syd go all Die Hard. It’s an interesting device, because he’s sort of a stand-in for the audience: yeah, yeah, he doesn’t want his daughter to die, so we shouldn’t either. It would be a lot more effective plotwise if he wasn’t such an ambivalent fuckwank at this point (to his credit, the bandages help).

    *Later, this is solved by having Vaughn watch instead. This works slightly better.

    *From my notes, and I don’t totally remember what I meant: “Jack gets beaten up, and Syd is stuck in pull-up position. Bandages on ALL THE FACES! (I assume I was referring to Marshall and co getting knocked around.)

    *UGH, QT, STOP KISSING YOUR TECH EXPERT. It’s an unprofessional cool fail. Bonus suck points for making her a woman of color. Which brings me to my biggest problem with QT: RACIAL BRAGGING. His affect, his appropriation (Django, anyone?), his display here of dominance over a woman of color… Just. Ugh. There are nonwhite people who write much more eloquently about this guy’s problem than I, so I will leave it at that.

    *Awww, remember when all PDAs came with a stylus?

    • *Yeah this episode’s “the Box” was episode 11’s “mysterious package” and it’s like the writers don’t always try this shit out loud first to see what makes somebody giggle.

      *I do think it’s sad that Marshall falls pretty much at the bottom of the ladder in terms of getting to do fun cool spy stuff. You’ve totally come up with the next alternate-reality show I would watch and probably enjoy better. You know Marshall must have a Batcave at home.

      *I totally missed that about jalapenos! God, everything about QT is horrible. Also, how much do I love that you include citations in your comments?

      *Also an excellent point about Will’s lack of proper discretion. There is something about him that just makes me want to shout “take your shirt off!” so making him have secret shower meetings would probably have been the best way to handle this.

  4. Part Three, because when I can’t shut up about something, I really can’t shut up about something.

    *Thank you for answering the plot point which is shorthanded in my notes as “Ugh, who is the Andy Dickish spook?” And agreed: I love pudgy (for tv), psychic empathy cop from Heroes. I’m sad he doesn’t get more screen time.

    *Pet Peeve: People dying instantly of stomach wounds. Medicine! Biology! Anatomy! C’mon, people. i’m fairly certain that no one has ever died instantly (emphasis on instantly) of a single shot to the stomach in the history of guns.

    *Will has a nice moment chatting with Fran drunk. I love how he can’t remember what he was drinking, just that it had a dog or a horse or something on the label. And then this gem, to literally the only person not involved w/SD6 on the show: “Your life is so normal, Fran.” Thumbs up, drunken Will!

    *FRANCIE’S ADVICE MUST NEVER BE FOLLOWED!

    *”Does anyone learn anything in seminars?” Why did Syd go to grad school? For English? how does she never reference a single piece of literature? And why did no one sense MY willingness and boundless enthusiasm for espionage and violence when I was an English grad student? I KNEW I should have gotten an MA, not an MFA… (The “F” stands for “fucked.”)

    *Bomb diffusion = playing Operation.

    *from notes, somewhat inexplicably: Sloan should stay tied to that chair for all “4” seasons…

    *QT ties syd to a chair: QT: Don’t say “good and tight.” Or “Drill her.” Or “Sucked my huck.” (Really!? Sucked my huck? Tell me I just wrote that down wrong.)

    *QT forcing backwashed champagne into Syd’s mouth: Easily the rapiest moment in the show, which has otherwise been pretty good in the Not Being Rapey Department.

    *Why is Syd the only one who rushes the “Kill ’em all” guy? It’s not like all their legs are bound. On the other hand, it fits with the fact that they have to be kinda flunkie-ass spies to work for SD6 in the first place.

    *Finger vivisection = me, clapping happily while saying aloud, “This is so gross!”

    • *Happy to answer any Joey Slotnick-related queries you may have. (Except not really because I have very little use for him. But, you know.) And, oh, Weiss is lovely! For almost the entire show, at least. We’ll get to my one little complaint about him in season 4. (God, that sounds so far away right now.) But he remains pretty much the straight-man for all Sydney and Vaughn’s ridiculousness and he does get a bigger role as the series goes on. And he’s such a better actor than Michael Vartan. Seriously, if he had played Vaughn this would have been a whole different show. Even if Bradley Cooper had played Vaughn! ‘Cause, I mean, every man Sydney has any sort of romantic or potentially romantic or previously romantic involvement with has basically the same face, so they easily could have switched out those 2.

      *I think Sydney is supposedly in grad school for English. She keeps saying she wants to teach. I remember one episode where she had to rewrite an essay on F. Scott Fitzgerald for Only Teacher Guy. And in the pilot, she flashes back to a lecture about “she loved a man and lost him” which I guess could be taken to be about a book. But that’s about all we have to go on. Other than that, the only time we even see her reading a book is when she digs up her mom’s old books where she ends up finding the secret KGB codes, and that’s not even about reading, it’s about all her fucking mommy issues.

      *Re: Sloane staying in the torture chair forever. I don’t really know why, but I kind of enjoy scenes of torture when the focus is on a character that can withstand the torture? (Also, that totally just made me think of a good “Friends” quote for a future title, so yay torture! I guess?) And I forgot to properly respond about this in my last comment, so I’ll just throw it in here: that moment in the chair — “I can’t be the first person to have trouble taking you seriously, can I?” — followed by telling Jack to cut his finger off, that’s really the moment where Sloane becomes Sloane for me. So far he’s just been the shadowy boss guy. We know he’s evil because we’ve heard a lot of stories about what his organization does but we haven’t really seen him do many evil things since he had Danny killed. He’s mostly just been a guy at a desk making orders and handing out assignments. These were the first episodes where we really get to see Sloane DO something, and we really start to see what he’s capable of doing. I also like how physically unimposing he looks compared to most of the rest of the cast, but he can make it clear how completely in charge of all their lives he is just with a subtle facial expression. The acting on this show is way better than it deserves, really, and I’m thankful for that.

      *I don’t remember “sucked my huck,” but, then, my notes said Vaughn shot a guy in the dick and also “No ref. pt. for S’s pecans I weathered tziul didn’t give a fuck about the Single Guy,” so I think it’s safe to say these 2 episodes just have a deleterious effect on brain function. The parts that do words just start short-circuiting and there’s no guarantee what will come out.

      *The champagne thing is definitely the rapiest thing in the whole series as far as I can remember. Like, I never noticed the lack of rape until allisor pointed it out, but even back before I always recognized that as a singularly gross moment. And now, looking at how little there is in the way of rapiness in the whole series, I’m more convinced than ever that QT wrote his own part (as well as bringing his own wardrobe). It’s a miracle we didn’t get a 3-minute homage to Sydney’s feet out of the deal as well, really.

  5. Ok, last one, I swear. I only have 2 points left. The first is my typical romance-hatred schlock (you really have your work cut out for you on the rom-com front):

    One: UGH, STOP MAKING MARRIAGE/LOVE/HET-CIS SEX = HOCKEY.

    Two: We’ve discussed this a lot; the implausibility of QT knocking Syd out. Here’s the part that really kills me: it’s not, as Slippy points out, that he goes into old-school boxing nun fisticuffs stance. It’s not his clear lack of physical prowess vs. someone who can pull off incredible stunts in a rubber dress while her wig stays neatly affixed to her head for five (I mean, four) years. It’s that the fight between QT and Syd is full of shots largely composed of the back of QT’s blazer. I will leave you with my last all-caps rant: THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, SHOW, WE ALL KNOW HE CAN’T FIGHT.

    • *Yes.

      *DOUBLE-YES.

      Seriously, though, re: that fight. There are plenty of guest stars on this show that totally get their asses beat by Sydney, and all of them – every! one! – except QT can believably stage-fight.

  6. Quentin Tarantino is just the worst. He’s made a handful of movies that I like, but I still wish he’d get hit by a bus. Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) once described a film as “this is the kind of movie Quentin Tarantino could make if he had a soul.”

    It’s all uphill from here.

    • Yay! I do not have a tumblr-thingy so I don’t think I can comment on your posts? But here I can say I love your point about your problem not being your trauma but being just plain ol’ QT. That makes so much sense to me, that the way he fetishizes and romanticizes and glorifies EVERYTHING in his movies could make a scene that would be watchable if directed by someone else into something that you can’t even look at when he’s behind the camera.

  7. “He goes to the Credit Dauphine parking garage, where his first order of business is to shoot the “smile” guy in the [dick? do my notes actually say he shoots him in the dick? was that wishful thinking on my part or did it really go down like that?].”

    This made me LOL

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