Alias S02E14: Damn it, Carl!

Ugh. Do we have to talk about Alias? I know, I do it to myself. OK. Fine. Let’s talk about Alias. But let’s talk about other stuff first. For example, how I just finished back-to-back re-watches of Leverage and Scandal, and thus am filled with thoughts about how genuinely good TV works, especially compared to TV that’s mostly crap (albeit occasionally enjoyable crap). I think next I’ll re-watch Farscape to further refine my theory (also my theory of how Leverage is if Farscape took place on Earth and replaced the wormholes with insurance fraud). So, with all these thoughts swirling, of course I needed to test them by going back to Alias for exactly 43 minutes and not a second longer. We’ll get to that in a sec but first, here are all the things Leverage and/or Scandal (and/or Farscape for that matter) do better than Alias:

  • daddy issues
  • mommy issues
  • spy shit
  • guest stars (exception: Elaine Kagan on Alias > Wil Wheaton on Leverage + Lena Dunham on Scandal #Litvack4eva)
  • remembering things that have happened on previous episodes that would have an effect on the current episode, and writing that episode accordingly
  • plotting
  • pacing
  • dialogue
  • flashbacks
  • cliffhangers
  • 5th seasons* (just guessing on Scandal there, of course, and Farscape‘s 5th “season” was a movie, but still)

Although all three of them have far less Ethan Hawke than is generally acceptable, so we can give Alias a point for that this time.

S02E14 Recap

I firmly believe that all TV shows should have alternate edits that cut out the opening recap for DVD/Netflix release since both outlets lend themselves to binge watching, thus rendering the “previously on” unnecessary. However, I’m granting a temporary approval just to this one episode because we get a recap shot of Francie with a bullet in her head, which is absolutely in my top 5 moments of the entire series and I never get tired of watching it. Unfortunately, this is followed quickly by a reveal that Sloane is still wearing those fucking glasses, which apparently aren’t sunglasses since he’s inside now and still wearing them,

Why are they? Also I had to crank the exposure like all the way up just so you could see a single detail. I don't understand how you go all the way through making a TV show and just forget to hire someone to do lighting.

Why are they? Also I had to crank the exposure like all the way up just so you could see a single detail. I don’t understand how you go all the way through making a TV show and just forget to hire someone to do lighting.

but I can’t have everything I want, which is a lesson I learned pretty much by watching Alias the first time around and really thinking for a few seasons there that there was going to be a point to the whole fucking thing. But I digress.

Ethan Hawke and Olivia d’Abo are in a hotel, she says a thing that’s obviously an “I know you’re an impostor” trap but he still gives her a chance to try to expose or kill him. Also why do people who should know better about how to sneak always get up and start a-sneakin’ like the instant they hear the shower? Why do they never take whatever communication device they’re going to use to reveal the impostor and their gun and then run out the fucking door to reveal the impostor from a safe location that also provides them a clear line of sight to the door the impostor is going to come out of soon and try to kill them? Why do they turn their backs on the place the impostor went? Why should I be sitting here on my couch in my jammies as someone who’s so far at age 34 proven themselves largely incapable of understanding the size and shape of my own body or finishing a degree that pretty much just required me to read at a 9th-grade level or dealing in the slightest with how much and how often my cat throws up as direct revenge against me (this morning it was in a ring around my yoga mat!) but still believing deep down that I could spy better than some of these assholes? Maybe those things aren’t all related. I don’t know. I just know that mistakes were made by certain guest stars on this episode.

Back in L.A., Vaughn picks Sydney up at home and Sydney’s all excited to show him to Francie, who she does not yet realize is Evil Francie because she hasn’t yet donned her Evil Character Signifying Eyeliner. Still, Francie acts weird (I guess if you find the transition from screaming whiny baby all the time to essentially a robot particularly weird), and you’d think by now Sydney would know that when someone acts a little differently than you’re used to, you should shoot them in the head and worry about why later, but no.

So, Sydney goes to work at the CIA for realskies and fake Ethan Hawke blows up Olivia d’Abo in the middle of the street and then they find real Ethan Hawke by Sydney wearing a bikini in front of the right guy and that’s definitely when I start wondering how Olivia Pope would have handled things. I’m pretty sure she could have had Huck get the real Ethan Hawke out of his torture chair and back to the CIA without anyone even having to leave the OPA office and they all could have stayed clothed. Fuck, if this were Leverage, it would at least be Eliot flirting to get information. But I have to watch the show I’m watching, so.

They rescue the real Ethan Hawke but maybe he’s not the real Ethan Hawke because the doctor that was torturing him has just developed this DNA-altering thing that changes your body into someone else, so we know we have 2 Ethan Hawkes, and there’s a showdown with both of them and normally I’d be a fan of twice the Ethan Hawke, but those special effects must have cost too much because there’s not really much of the both of him screaming IT’S MEEEEEE IIIIIII’M THE REAL ONE before Sydney has to King Solomon her way into getting the real one to shoot the fake one because again Sydney does not kill. They also find out that 2 people had the secret body changing thingy done to them but who could the other one be??????

Then Sydney cooks Vaughn dinner while he makes what I guess is supposed to be some kind of “oh we are totally about to get it on” face?


Or maybe he's bored? Or...Idunno, queasy? Maybe he just saw her add something to the pot that he's allergic to but this is such a new relationship that he doesn't want to start it off with complaining? 'Cause that can't be his aroused face. I just won't have it.

Or maybe he’s bored? Or…Idunno, queasy? Maybe he just saw her add something to the pot that he’s allergic to but this is such a new relationship that he doesn’t want to start it off with complaining? ‘Cause that can’t be his aroused face. I just won’t have it.

And then Francie watches them from the next room through the camera she put in Sydney’s TV while making what I’m guessing is some kind of “oh yeah I am totally evil now” face?

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 2_Fotor

Why she needs to watch this when she’s also recording it or why Sydney sleeping with Vaughn is news now that SD-6 no longer exists is an entirely separate issue that I’m not even sure the series ever addresses. Just…Francie’s evil now, OK?



Yay-Boo Analysis, I guess?

I mean, this one was pretty boring, but I’ll give it a go.



I know I yayed Francie dying last time, but they showed it to me again, so I get to yay it again.
No Will in this episode. Like, none at all.
Plus Ethan Hawke.
And Olivia d’Abo. She was on The Wonder Years!

That’s it. That’s all I got.

Total This Episode: 4 mild yays & no boos

Total So Far: 110 Yays & 92 Boos.



*If Alias had had a 5th season WHICH IT DID NOT.