So! Sark has joined SD-6, Weiss is back from getting shot in the neck, Sydney and Vaughn are starting to be about 2% less vague in their admitting-we-like-each-other, Sloane has disappeared to the secret island where his wife isn’t really dead, and it’s halfway through the season, so it’s time for JJ Abrams to show up, put Sydney in her underwear and change everything you thought you knew about where this show was going.
We open with a ridiculously long scene about how well Sydney wears lingerie, and then of course we cut to 24 hours earlier.
Now that Sloane has disappeared, Rutger Hauer has been put in place as the new head of SD-6. Kendall orders Jack and Sydney to immediately become super-besties with him, because that won’t look suspicious at all. Sydney actually tries it! And Rutger Hauer’s all “yeah yeah whatever could you please just recap your backstory for the new viewers and then get out of my office?”
Sark lets slip to Sydney that there’s a secret server no one knows about that runs all the SD cells. She takes this to the CIA and they just sort of immediately figure out where it is even though even Jack never knew about it until 10 minutes ago. Anyways, it’s on a plane with like 1 guy whose job it is to live with it on the plane and so Sydney has to pose as one of the escorts he is supplied with twice weekly as apparently his main motivation for keeping this ridiculous job and sometimes I feel like a lot of JJ Abrams’ sensibilities didn’t develop further even as he himself aged beyond jr. high.
So Sydney gets on the plane and we catch up to the opening Victoria’s Secret ad and Sydney does the most minimal amount of sexytime spy stuff that the show will let her I mean she straddles the guy for half a second and doesn’t even get her arms all the way around him and Anna Espinoza flat-out fucked guys for information but it’s OK we don’t really need to rehash that.
Sydney finds out where the server is and then knocks the guy unconscious. She gets what she needs off the server and then goes after the server guy’s bodyguard. I guess the plan was that she would incapacitate both of them and the pilot wouldn’t notice and then when the plane landed to refuel she’d just waltz back off? Or was she going to incapacitate the pilot and land the plane herself? Why was the plane going to land at all? They said it only ever landed to refuel and that the guy was supplied with a new woman twice a week, which led me to believe they refuel twice a week and that’s when the ladies switch out? If the whole point of putting the server on a plane is to keep it secure then why land so much? Why land at all? Why not just do the Air Force One thing and refuel mid-air? Why do I bother, none of it matters, Sydney gets into a fight with the bodyguard and then with the server guy himself when he regains consciousness because she didn’t tie him up or anything, and then she shoots out the door of the plane, grabs a parachute and gets home that way.
(Vaughn and Weiss are watching all of this through her earring cameras – because girl – and when Sydney lets herself get sucked out of the plane and parachutes to safety, Weiss just sits back and says, “She’s all yours.” Because apparently this whole time Sydney has just been, Idunno, auditioning for the part of literally just anybody’s girlfriend and that was the moment Weiss decided she was too much of a handful for him? Which isn’t a vibe we have ever gotten from Weiss previously? And it could be viewed as a joke if this show didn’t insist on only letting the men in her life make decisions for and about Sydney?)
Will and Francie make out while making lobster for dinner one night and I mean they literally have just had live lobsters in their hands and then they make out and it’s so gross. Then they tell Sydney about it and Sydney wants to know what it all means and Will’s like I don’t even know it was just a thing. These scenes are complete wastes of air time.
Back at the actual fucking plot of this show, Jack needs to get a code from SD-6 to match one from the files they pulled off the sex plane server to prove this is all real, but Rutger Hauer has found evidence that Sloane knew Jack and Sydney were double agents. He takes Jack into custody but Jack is able to warn Sydney. Sydney tells Will to get Francie out of town and then she enlists Dixon’s help to get the code since she can’t go back to SD-6 herself.
THE SCENE WHERE SHE TELLS DIXON THE TRUTH ABOUT SD-6 AND ASKS FOR HIS HELP IS FUCKING AMAZING AND THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MAKE TV WITHOUT CARL LUMBLY
Dixon is seriously fucked up to find out his entire career has been a lie and that lie has been willingly perpetrated to his face by his partner. But he gets the code and he gets it to Sydney and then he calls his wife to say he loves her and he doesn’t know when he’ll be home.
Now the CIA, along with a million other intelligence agencies, can move in and take down all the SD cells. Sydney is literally the only woman on the “take down SD-6 team.” And it’s not a small team. And we get several angles and a nice wide shot of the whole team just to be sure.
So, they take over SD-6 and as soon as they’re inside Sydney heads straight to rescue her dad. Which, OK, fine. She has the personal connection and motivation and it makes sense that she would go do that. But it also means she misses the main “taking over SD-6” action because she’s running after her daddy. She bursts into the room where Rutger Hauer’s holding Jack just in time to shoot him as he is about to kill Jack. So, we finally get a confirmed Sydney kill, and it’s in defense of her daddy.
But I don’t want to dwell on the negatives. Because I really do love this episode. I think JJ Abrams is the last person in the world who should have been allowed to write Alias but the acting in this one is pretty great and stuff is actually happening for once, and two last things that happen on this episode are just so amazing that I’m willing to let some stupidity pass.
First, Sydney and Vaughn realize that with SD-6 destroyed they can FINALLY get together. And I mean that exactly the instant the last SD-6 agent is led out the door, they just straight-up start making out in the middle of the ruins of SD-6 while Weiss tries desperately to get their attention.
Also, my runner-up title for this post was “Well, we made out for 10 minutes and now we’re talking to our friends about it, so I guess this is eighth grade.”
But then! Oh, then! Then the BEST thing happens!
So, it turns out that Sloane was behind this all along and wanted Sark to leak the info about the server so that the CIA would bring down the Alliance. He tells Sark to put the “new asset” in play for “phase 2” and we cut to Francie on the phone with Sark. Wha-wha-whaaat? Has Francie gone evil? Been evil this whole time?
NOPE THIS FRANCIE IS SOME KIND OF EVIL TWIN AND REAL FRANCIE IS DEAD IN THE CORNER!
God, I love it when Francie dies. I wish they’d done it in a way that left us with fewer Francies than we had before, but I’ll take what I can get when it comes to Sydney’s friends getting shot in the head.
Also, great job getting Francie out of town, Will! You really came through on that one!
Anyway. We’ll move on to the yay-boos but all the sexist bullshit in the episode reminds me that soon we need to talk about Leverage and its treatment of women and its ideas about how to easily signal an evil character to the audience in contrast with how Alias handles this stuff. I have Many Thoughts about this.
|“What. was wrong. with the black one? Do you think it’s comfortable wearing clothes like this?” It’s like for 1 second JJ Abrams lets Sydney address him directly.|
|Computer security sex plane.|
|We see Sydney kick the plane guard’s ass and then we have to go back and watch the scene again so we can see Vaughn coaching her through it because it’s not like Sydney knows how to fight or anything.|
|“She’s all yours.”|
|FUCK. YEAH. CARL. LUMBLY.|
|Dixon protects Marshall when shit starts going down.|
|What the fuck even are these glasses Sloane is wearing?|
|FRANCIE! IS! DEAD!|
|Will’s still alive and now we’ll have to deal with “evil Francie” tho.|
Total This Episode: 5 Yays & 5 Boos.
Total So Far: 106 Yays & 92 Boos.
Now I need a little break before I continue, because up next is the Ethan Hawke episode, and once I watch that I’m gonna have to rewatch the Before trilogy. Also the next one has Olivia d’Abo and so there is probably going to have to be a little tangent about how on The Wonder Years she totally married Ross Geller.