Prophet Five


Well, it looks like it’s time for my annual Alias review. Season Five, eh? What happened in Season Four after it’s promising start? Well… Sydney went into various night clubs, owned by various bad guys, and got various items of varying importance. Some of them were to do with Rimbaldi, who unfortunately still seems to be relevant to the series. Syd’s sister, daughter of the nefarious/reformed Arvin Sloane, joined the team and was doing quite well until she got infected by a nasty disease/thing and went psycho at the end of the year.1

It turned out there was yet another Derevko sister (we’re up to three, now, for those playing at home). Even Syd’s mum came back. Everything was pretty exciting. There was a big glowing red ball in the sky and everything.

But this was Alias, and so they just couldn’t leave well enough alone. They added on an extra coda where Syd and her fiancee Vaughn were driving along in the country. Vaughn suddenly started to tell her about Alias‘s latest lame plot-twist, in which he wasn’t actually who he’d said he was for seven years.2 At that moment, a huge truck smashed into the car, clearly driven by a frustrated fan who just wanted them to do something new and not keep digging for plotlines up their own arses.

And now, we return to the show to find that APO (Syd’s black ops section of the CIA, now run by her Dad) is so stupid that they’ll let dead CIA agents walk in and tell them that their own agents are evil without checking the guy out properly. And that Vaughn needs to find some book in order to… hmmm. I’ve forgotten. I’ll just go back and check. Talk amongst yourselves for a bit.


Ah. Here it is. Right. Vaughn’s father was a member of a special project to decipher 15th Century encoded manuscripts detailing genetic codes of some sort. The text was decrypted and the book is out there. I can’t imagine why that slipped past me the first time. I sometimes get the impression that the writers on this show have some huge random spinning wheel to determine their plots.

“There’s an ancient secret from the 15th Century tied to…” (spins, the wheel wanders through Derevko sisters, step-sisters, dead wives and CIA handlers)
“Vaughn’s Dad! It’s all detailed in a specific artefact, a…” (spins again, through items such as samurai swords, pages, crystals, hard drives, etc.)
“Book! To get it, Sydney and Vaughn will have to go to a…” (another spin, past night clubs, secure facilities, hospitals, boats and the like)
“Party! Brilliant!”

After all this faffing about, presumably the audience is supposed to feel vaguely satisfied that the ancient secrets hidden so carefully were found in 10 minutes of screen time. But it turns out that the book is barely the point of the episode anyhow, because when Vaughn turns it over, in a massively contrived situation he gets gunned down and killed while Sydney watches helplessly from the other side of a moving train. Is the death real? Is it faked? It’s a lot of trouble to go to, if things have been fabricated — we even get a sad funeral scene, complete with Sarah McLachlan. To make things excessively tragic, Syd is carrying Vaughn’s child, as she reveals to him in the best moment of the episode.

I continue to lose interest in Alias. The plots feel increasingly like exercises in algebra rather than emotional stories. The continuity is too complicated for me to even care whether things actually fit — though I suspect they don’t. There is some glimmer of hope though: in order to take the strain off the pregnant Jennifer Garner,3 a new character is being introduced, played by Rachel Nichols, who might hopefully have no connection to Rimbaldi at all.

Ah, who am I kidding. She’s probably his mum.

  1. Sloane’s pretty upset about that. Her boyfriend Weiss appears to have forgotten all about her.
  2. I’m pretty sure it’s seven. How long did Sydney skip at the end of Season Two? Damn, this show is confusing.
  3. This episode is cunningly framed to keep Garner’s belly out of shot, which is quite amusing when you start looking for it. There’s a four month time-skip at the end which presumably allows them to forgo these shenanigans.
I'm pregnant.— Sydney

25 Responses to “Prophet Five”

  1. That sounds very exciting. I eagerly await your review next season.

  2. This season might get two. It seems they’ve got a bundle of cast changes in the works so I might do another mid-season. The trick is finding enough to talk about in an episode to justify the effort.

  3. Haha!! Cracker.I’m sorry but as another fan who watches all these episodes and has lately found herself thinking more and more often “I’m sure we’ve had this already” everything you say in this review is just so very true. Especially the part about Rimbaldi’s mum! Hahahahahah

  4. I’m impressed that you write a review for Alias seeing as the fan base is one.

  5. There’s plenty of other people online that might well be fascinated when they find Grapefruit after searching for “100% Australian Beef”.

    Incidentally, I could mention now that the searching on Grapefruit was somewhat improved the other day…

  6. More importantly, thanks Shannon for the kind words. It is nice to know that some folk read these Alias reviews!

  7. Interesting choice of photos however, with the highly incedental character of the drunk daughter getting a spot. I can think of more relevant photos…

  8. I’m pretty sure that incidental character is the new cast member, Rachel Nichols. She wasn’t that incidental anyhow, wasn’t she dramatically revealed as an agent working with that nasty fake CIA agent?

    And, she’s cute. But also relevant. Cute but relevant.

  9. Well, say 50% sure. I can’t find anything definitive online.

  10. I reckon she’s the person you are talking about.

    Sorry I should have got a larger picture.

  11. A very, very good point there, Jackson.

  12. I agree with everything Jackson said.

  13. I take it all back. I’m far to quick to believe you put up pretty girls just for the sake of it.. i’ve been conditioned that way. I do recall now that she was the new marshall or something.. I watched it late at night and forced myself to forget the entire episode after it was over cos I was so frustrated by the bloody thing. We dont need cute girls as replacements for Vaughan.. we need another cute boy. If you’re going to kill off the hottest man on television, a blonde chick isn’t really going to cover up your blunder.

  14. It might.

    There’s a Balthazar Getty joining the cast too. Perhaps he’s as hot as his name is peculiar.

  15. He still won’t be as cute as Vaughan. I’ll be whinging for another couple of episodes yet.

    In other news, Jackson is Fidel! Yay!

  16. Not the place perhaps, but did you get my email with the picture and bio? I only ask because while i can browse at the speed of dialup, sending mail almost always gives me error messages.

  17. For those playing at home, Shannon’s comment refers to Jackson’s part in an upcoming amateur musical and not a guest spot on Alias. Unfortunately for him.

  18. Dial-up? Isn’t your limit like 20 Gig or something? My, thats truly an impressive effort. Yes, got the pic and the bio, you are officially smiling back at me from the page of the program. So you uploaded that photo at dial-up speed too? Poor bastard. The effort is much appreciated.

  19. God no. Our limit is 40gb and despite Andy’s best efforts downloading piles of crap we can’t seem to exceed it. No, it’s just that torrent clients seem to choke up the entire network.

    However I’ve installed a firmware update for our router so it now supports ADSL2 and seems to be going much faster. Yay.

  20. Nerd.

  21. Nerds aside, I’m pretty sure the girl pictured here is not in fact Rachel Nichols. Later episodes do not suggest that she’d ever been a field agent, and it doesn’t really look like her.

    In my defense, there was an odd scene in this episode where we didn’t see her face for ages, as if it was supposed to be a dramatic revelation. I don’t know why they did that.

  22. I’ve been noticing that too, and feeling slightly better about myself for missing the assumption that this girl was Rachel Nichols. I know the scene you’re talking about but I think that was really only to show that the agents might have pulled off the robbery without having to do their crazy parachute stunt, except that they were sabotaged by a baddie on the inside. Also, though its very hard to tell in tvland because they are all at least in their 20’s, I think she was meant to look like a much younger character. I think its possible she was meant to look 16 or whatever, and so it made Dean even badder since he was recruiting children… Thats a long shot though.

  23. I meant the scene where Dean was congratulating the girl who was definitely Rachel Nichols for her excellent computer skills, at his office. Perhaps the dramatic reveal was for people who knew she was an upcoming cast member.

    There were two girls. That girl must have been exactly who she said she was.

  24. So it wasnt that same girl? Hmm i guess i jumped to that assumption cos of the big dramatci revealio. Whoever directed that episode didn’t think that bit through.

  25. I did the very same and I quite agree. Odd direction choice.