Alias S01E16-17: I can’t believe she cracked your code!

So. Things are finally getting interesting around here. The Yay-Boo Analysis is working, and it’s showing me that I do really like Alias, at least once you get towards the end of season 1. The overall Yays have officially pulled out ahead of the Boos, and I expect this trend to continue until season 3. Seasons 3 and 4 might be a bit dodgy; we shall have to see whether the rest of season 1 and season 2 give us enough of a surplus of Yays to get through.

But we’re definitely getting into the good stuff now! Sloane is starting to be more than just the bad guy in the office. We are getting closer to encountering The Man. Sark and his shifting loyalties are on the scene. And, oh, people, how happy does it make me to think of how close we are to Will hitting absolute rock bottom.

S01E16-17 Recap

The NSA’s paranormal research division is investigating Sydney’s picture in the Rambaldi book and its accompanying “prophecy,” which so far they’ve only half-decoded but even that half says something bad enough that they’re terrified of her. They show up at Vaughn’s office to take all his files and he’s like, “But those are my Sydney notebooks! You can’t take them!” I assume he’s just embarrassed because they’re going to see all the Michael-and-Sydney-in-a-heart notes he scribbles in the margins. I assume that’s what he does when she’s crying about her dad AGAIN and he wants to look like he’s listening to every word.

Then they go after Sydney and she cooperates. They give her a bunch of tests on pattern recognition and stuff, which: I don’t even know why. Then they get to the spinal tap so they can see if she has the Rambaldi-decreed DNA sequence they’re looking for or something and she’s like NO.

SD-6 is tracking Khasinau, who they believe to be The Man behind the recent Tarantinvasion. Sloane extra double wants Khasinau dead, which means getting the Alliance to declare war on him. He calls up his old buddy Roger Moore to make sure he has the votes he needs. Roger Moore is totes on his side, but shows him pictures of Sloane’s other best Alliance friend with Khasinau. Sloane now has to decide whether to kill a good friend or give up his chance at war with Khasinau.

Sydney goes to visit Emily, who intimates she know what Sydney really does for a living and then pours her heart out about what it’s like to be dying of cancer. Sydney starts out in nice mode with her listening ears on, but then she just decides to take what Emily says as a message meant for Sydney personally that she needs to get over herself and submit to the spinal tap and find out the whole truth about the Rambaldi thing. And the writers are doing a little too much forgetting what Sydney’s basic characteristics are these last few episodes, what with the telling her friends where she’s really going on one of her missions and now just completely ignoring her friend’s pain to make it all about her. Sydney has 2 qualities, writers: Nice. In the CIA. Stick with that and you can’t go wrong, I promise.

Basically everyone else is freaking out about the prophecy, too. Minimoose in particular keeps making a huge deal out of Sydney being the woman in the picture and saying stupid shit like, “It’s like 666, guys! You see the writing on the kid’s scalp, you know there’s trouble at home.” Jack is a bit more practical, of course. He and Sydney want to make sure the prophecy has been correctly decoded. He decides – like you would – that breaking into the Vatican to get the original code key is the only solution. His boss is a little iffy on that one, as might be expected. In any case, Jack can’t help Sydney on this one because he has to run SD-6 while Sloane is off murdering an old friend, so Sydney goes to Vaughn for help. He’s all like WHUT until she says she needs him, then he’s just instantly “OK, I’m in.” Then he starts trying to get her to go on a date with him the instant they’re there. (This time she’s the one pointing out that SD-6 would have them killed if they did that and I can’t even with the back-and-forth anymore. And I may have spent a few minutes just screaming OH COME ON AND JUST FUCK IN THE SECRET POPE ART VAULT AND GET IT OVER WITH SO WE CAN ALL MOVE ON WITH OUR LIIIIIIIIIVES is my point.)

In a scene that I really really really love, Sloane goes to meet with the friend he has to kill and the guy immediately pulls out pictures of his new grandbaby and starts talking about how just gol-dang loverly life is these days. That’s the last thing Sloane hears his friend say before he shoots him and walks away and leaves him dead on a park bench. Basically nobody gets an easy time of it emotionally on this show, you guys. At least Sloane can take comfort in the knowledge that he’s eliminated a vote against him and will now be handed his war on Khasinau.

Except that the Alliance votes against war and Sloane’s all OOOOOH SHIIIIIIT while Roger Moore just looks at him like, “Oh. Didn’t you know you were dealing with James Bond? ‘Cause yeah.”

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 5.26.37 PM

And this is what happens when fake fictional spies go up against real fictional spies, Sloane. I hope we’ve learned a lesson here.

Sydney goes out dancing with Will and Francie, where she is promptly arrested by the NSA ’cause they figured out what Rambaldi said and it was pretty much that she’s going to bring about the end of the world. And this is why she should get new friends. Also because Will dances like an asshole.

And then we jump right into another “opening scene/on no!/’24 hours earlier’/it takes half the episode to catch up to the opening scene” deal. Because it’s J J Abrams’ favorite thing, you guys. There’s no other possible thing he could do.

Sydney-in-disguise is leading the police on a car chase. They chase her to the end of a pier, and there’s nowhere else for her to go, so she drives right off it. Because when she’s actually in spy mode, she’s one of my favorite things in the ever of all time.

Flashback! Sydney’s in custody and being interrogated by the FBI asked to recap her backstory for those just hearing about this new Alias show so they’ll be up to speed by the season finale. In other words, go grab a drink, folks. It’s clip show time!

In between clips, Jack and Vaughn meet to discuss Sydney’s predicament. Jack’s worried that Sydney will be held long enough to blow her SD-6 cover and tells Vaughn that she could be held for the rest of her life without any charges or a trial.


"But by then we'll be too old to do it!"

“But by then we’ll be too old to do it!”

Vaughn finds a loophole in the prophecy that will clear Sydney from suspicion but they need to find where she’s being held to “extract” her. Minimoose has the secret but Vaughn hasn’t been able to get him to talk. “He’ll talk to me,” Jack says. And I’m like !!!!!!!!!.


This is how Jack starts conversations.

This is how Jack starts conversations.


Jack, Vaughn and Weiss break Sydney out, we catch up to the opening scene, and after Sydney crashes the car into the water, she breathes out of the tires until things die down enough that she can escape. (And I really wish Mythbusters had tested that part.) Going through this somehow convinces her her mother must have done the same thing and didn’t really die in the accident. She must still be out there and she must the woman in the prophecy instead of Sydney. Now, 2 thoughts on this: Sydney probably could’ve figured this out just from all the foreshadowing, but also: what did breathing tire air under water for 10 minutes do to Sydney’s cognitive abilities? Isn’t it just possible that she has no clue what she’s saying only thinks she has magic intuitive abilities to retroactively read her mom’s mind from 30 years ago? Maybe after your brain undergoes a little light trauma in the form of oxygen deprivation all your desperate parent issues float right to the front of your mind and suddenly they’re the only things you can think about? No, you’re right, I’m being silly. Sydney can read her mom’s past mind and her emotionthoughts always steer her straight. Her mom’s alive. It’s the only logical thought for her to have at this moment.*


Yay-Boo Analysis



We’ve been over that.” “Yes, we have, but not to my satisfaction.”

You move out of my way, or I will make you move out of my way.”

You’re gonna break into the Vatican?!” – Vaughn’s single display of sense in, like, the entire fucking series

retroactive boo – Kobe Bryant is the perfect guy for Francie.

What happens if I need to go to the bathroom?”

We’ll have to extract her.” Oh, Jack

He’ll talk to me.” OH JACK!

Just so we’re clear: you report this conversation, and you’ll never wear a hat again.” OH-HO-HO, JAAAAAACK!!

Seriously, guys. The cops are everywhere.” Yet again, Weiss has all the brains.

just the general fact that they made a clip show in the first place, and specifically that they made a clip show with enough important plot stuck in that we can’t skip it.


Total These Episodes: 8 Yays & 2 Boos

Total So Far: 64 Yays & 59 boos



*Not that I am complaining about Sydney’s mom being alive. No siree, no way, no how. Just that I think Sydney’s methodology’s a little off here.