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April 26 2006

(SPOILER) Tonight's 100th episode of Alias written by Drew Goddard. Whedonverse actors also appear in tonight's episode.

No spoilers in the link unless you don't want to know about Gina Torres's return. And Amy Acker is now a show regular. Mods, if this is too sketchy a Whedonverse connection feel free to delete the thread it just seemed the combination of Drew, Amy, and Gina warranted some sort of announcement.

I tried to follow "Alias" for awhile, but I grew tired of all the "Alias"-will-never-be-the-same upheavals. There's unpredictability; and then, there's Attention Deficit Disorder.

Good to see some Jossverse alums still working, though.
Looking forward to this, this season's been excellent, and last week's 2 hours were bloody fantastic.

Shame this is the last we'll see of Will Tippin (not saying he dies, just that this is his final episode) he's a good character.

Wonder if we'll get any clarification on what the hell's going on in Bhutan.
I'm going to record it even though I've never watched the show (it's a Jennifer Garner thing), but Goddard's a reason to watch.

[ edited by TheZeppo on 2006-04-26 18:58 ]
I'm looking forward to this, as well. Last week's back-to-back episodes were extremely good, and it was very nice to see some old familiar faces (just as it is nice to see some familiar faces on the closing episodes of West Wing). I think it is time for Alias to depart, but if the quality over the years had remained as high as its promise, or as good as the bulk of this season has been, I might have argued differently. Although I have never purchased any Alias DVDs, I might actually buy this season's episodes.
I joined the series late and never could make heads or tails of it so I just sit back and enjoy the ride. I treat it as a fantasy and have no problem. But Amy is great and I liked Gina's character.
Is it possible for an avid Alias watcher to give the briefest rundown possible of the series?

Probably not, huh?

Mods, if this is too sketchy a Whedonverse connection feel free to delete the thread

Oh god no. 100th episode of a show tonight and one of Mutant Enemy's brightest and best is writing? Front page news methinks.
TheZeppo said:
"Is it possible for an avid Alias watcher to give the briefest rundown possible of the series?"

I tried, but brief very quickly became a couple of hundred words, and that was still just the basics.

Here's a rundown quite a read though, best to just get the DVDs! I completely agree with a review that partly lead me to buying the first set unseen, that never having seen Alias is a good reason to buy it.

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2006-04-26 19:35 ]
In the larger, grand scale of things, probably not. :) But if we go by this season: Sydney (Jennifer Garner) is a spy working for a branch of the CIA that's so top-secret that barely anyone in the CIA knows of its existence. Her once-estranged dad, Jack (played flawlessly by Victor Garber) is her boss, and she's joined on missions by a team of five other spy coworkers who all operate on different levels of quirkiness, moral ambiguity, and sanity. This season, the good guys are battling an evil force called Prophet Five, which is headed by a woman named Peyton (Amy Acker). Prophet Five's aims are somewhat unclear, but they murdered Syd's longtime spy boyfriend, Vaughn (Michael Vartan) in the premiere. Since then Syd, left pregnant with Vaughn's spybaby, has been out to bring them down...except he turned up totally alive and well at the end of last week's episode as the cliffhanger.

Tonight's episode is probably going to focus on oldskool stuff though, actually somewhat like AtS' "You're Welcome" in that it sounds like they're bringing back a long-missing character much beloved to the fandom in order to remind the main character of their's meant to deal with Syd's old best friend Will, a perfectly normal reporter who discovered Syd's secret spy life, was put through a world of pain because of it, and was placed in witness protection as a result. Tonight's episode will also star Gina Torres as Anna Espinosa, who is basically Syd's evil rival counterpart. Hopefully that'll help.

Basically, the show is absolutely ridiculous and has a plot that's so convoluted it makes the X-Files mytharc look perfectly coherent. But, while most come for the neon wigs and ridiculous getups Syd wears on missions, they stay for the stellar acting (Victor Garber and Lena Olin are particularly amazing) and the evolution of the father-daughter relationship between Sydney and Jack.
This is a pretty big honor for Drew Goddard,to be given the 100th episode.Plus he'll be writting for Lost next season.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2006-04-26 19:53 ]
I respect Drew Goddard with all my heart. So, how was it?
Spoiler tags included for minor spoilery tidbits:

Alias revolves around Jennifer Garner's character, Sydney Bristow. She was recruited to join a black-ops branch of the CIA which turned out to be a terrorist organization (SD6) posing as the CIA. You can imagine her surprise in discovering this. Arvin Sloane runs SD6 and much of the series revolves around his obsession with the works of an ancient inventor/philosopher/prophet Rimbaldi (Rimbaldi left several artifacts scattered around the globe with some mysterious purpose behind them).

Sydney and her CIA handler (Michael Vaughn) continue to work together while dealing with their mutual attraction to each other. Sydney's family comes into play often, seeing as how

Very Brief Season 5 Summary Below:

The early episodes almost always ended with a cliff-hanger, making you watch the next episode to figure out how Sydney survives (She's trapped under an ice-flow! How will she get out?!?, etc). The later seasons tried to tweak the formula by adding more characters while continuing to bring familiar characters back for more crazy antics (Gina Torres' character, etc). On the whole it's done pretty well, but certain plot lines seem undercooked and you learn very early on that no one ever really dies (they always come back).

Netflix, rent or buy the DVD's and you won't regret it (especially the first three seasons). The fourth season was a little off, but a lot of great talent have come together to help improve the fifth season. With Drew Goddard writing, you know he's going to bring a memorable and continuity-acknowledging script to the table. With Amy Acker, Rachel Nichols, Balthazar Getty and Elodie Bouchez rounding out the supporting cast and the inclusion of Jennifer Garner's pregnancy, it's shaping up to be an interesting season.

Hope that helps ;)
Francie never came back. Or Danny. Then again they were just normal people. I hope tonight's episode is very good, no scratch that. I KNOW it'll be good because Ultimate D is at the helm.
And Lauren never came back neither!!!! Damn wish she had though.

(I'd just like to add here that I thought Lauren was a fantastic character who could have got even better if she'd been in the fourth season. I have Lauren Love!)
I love Alias and I can't wait for the season five DVD to be released over here so I can see Gina's return, and of course Bradley Cooper too.

Personally, I had always sort of flippantly dismissed Alias, much as someone might dismiss Buffy or Angel. I thought I was immune to that kind of cynicism and close mindedness, but no. I thought it would be a really silly Charmed-esque show focusing more on getting the female lead into skimpy costumes. However I happened to actually catch a briefly catch a late season one episode and was pleasantly surprised, however I didn't think much of it.

Then I noticed when season two was being shown for the first time so I decided it might be a good time to pick the show up, and started watching it, and saw most of the first half of season two before I missed some episodes as I was on holiday, and I decided not to watch the rest so I wouldn't get lost. I bought the season one DVD, loved it, and then have been working through the DVDs, at the moment I'm at season four.

I really think Alias is quite like Joss' shows in terms of the style and tone. It can feel very like serious drama at times even in the most ridiculous circumstances although I do think sometimes the characters take a back seat to the plot, which didn't really happen with Joss' shows. Still, it's a nice mix of drama and action that doesn't take itself too seriously. There are a few elements which seem annoyingly repetitive (like the reappearance of "dead" character, Sark's uncanny ability to escape from prison, the emergence of a powerful, sinister group working towards world domination) but overall it is both fun and emotionally involving.

Plus, it has had some amazing guest stars, and Jennifer Garner is a fantastic female lead. Much like Sarah Michelle Gellar, she has done unbelievable work on a successful show but has yet to fully live up to her potential in her film career. I definitely recommend it to Whedon fans, even if it usually isn't quite up there with the best episodes of Buffy, Angel or Firefly.
I loved the first and second seasons of Alias but stopped watching in early season 4. I started again last week, though, simply because I wanted to see the series' end, and I really enjoyed the back-to-back eps (despite being a tad bit confused about some of the plot points and newer characters). I never felt even Alias at its best was as good as Joss shows as Razor said above, the characters far too often take a back seat to plot. I also found the writing to be pretty weak at times, and not nearly enough humor mixed in (though Marshall is great comic relief).
That said, it was always a great, fun, action-filled, eye-candy-abundant, guilty pleasure for me that i thorougly enjoyed until the plots and storylines started to get too convoluted even for me.
I'm very much looking forward to tonight's episode, though (even though it'll be a week or so before I can see it due to traveling).
Thanks for these recaps, folks! No wonder I can never figure out what is going on (just a casual viewer, here). This will probably help me enjoy Gina's role tonight, yay! Wish I had requested a recap like this to help me figure out what was going on when Gina guest-starred on The Shield -- I was so lost! ;-)
I think I saw one episode of this and never really got "into it". However, the fact that 3 sci-fi shows are on, in a row, on a major network is, at least in my humble opinion, big news for the genre.
Wow, good episode, except the genetic restructuring bit is a little beyond the pale, even for Alias, and the good vs evil doppelganger bit being set up is so cliched. Nevertheless, Goddard lived up to his reputation. Gina was great, as usual, as was Amy. It was fun to see Bradley Cooper back for an episode. And it appears that Jennifer Garner will be making up for screen time lost during the pregnancy in the upcoming episodes.
I saw Angus Macfayden of "Miracles" should-have-been-fame on tonight's episode. How long/often has he been on Alias? And if the obvious 'verse connections weren't enough--the guy who played the guard in the club used to do stunt work on both Buffy and Angel.

I hadn't seen Alias in two years or so. Have they continued the Rambaldi stuff and frequent appearances of the number "47" all along, or did Drew bring them back tonight?
I didn't know Gina Torres was going to be on Alias tonight, so when I saw her I was so excited. It's too bad about the identiy switch, though, because I guess that means she won't be back because Jennifer Garner will be playing Anna Espinosa.

Gina totally kicks butt, I love her acting, and hope to see her in many more roles in the future (of course I won't mention hoping to see her in a certain far off and improbable sequel).
Rambaldi has been in and out all throgh the series so it's not just popping up now out of nowhere.

I watched Alias from the get go and I agree 1-2 were the best, tho it's always been quality. Now that I have seen the Buffster on DVD, (we didn't have the netlets UPN or WB where I used to live in Louisiana) Alias pales in comparison. However, it gets as close as a non Joss show is going to get (besides LOST..also JJ)
I have to say, there's a conversation in this episode, that takes place on a train between two central characters, that you could tell a Whedonverse writer had scripted. The rhythm and pacing, if you filtered it out, was spot on for someone who previously wrote in Whedon's world. It was pretty cool.
I was going to point out the same thing, theonetruebix. Some of the dialogue, in that scene and a couple of others, was a lot more entertaining than usual.

I'm going to stop the Love Monkey episode I'm watching and start tonight's ALIAS.

You're all beautiful.

Oh, and Elodie Bouche? TOTALLY watching Alias for the rest of the season.
Absolutely, theonetruebix. As Nebula1400 said, there were a number of places where I recognized the characteristics of a Whedonverse writer -- enough so that, had I not known Goddard was involved, I would have examined the credits for a familiar name.
This post contains a lot of references to characters and events which are SPOILERS for an Alias novice. Just wanted to let you know.

Remember, they did the body-double thing with Francine, so this isn't the first time that's shown up. Although it's true the doubling of the main character is a cliche. Didn't they do the body-double thing with another character? Lauren maybe? I have this vague memory that Lauren is Francine's body double re-bodydoubled.

It was great seeing Will one last time and I'd like to see Sark show up at at least once again as well--and Nadia too. Oh yeah, and that Asian torture guy. Is he still alive?

And Marshall (another Buffy alum)--he can do anything! Science as Magic.

It would also be fun to see Jennifer Garner in a latex mini-dress infiltate a Eurotrash night club and/or the private party of a super-wealthy bad guy, grab the whatsis they need to save the world, kick some ass, and run through a series of hallways--just for old time's sake.

Gotta say, Lena Olin is 51 and still hot!

Now that Isabelle is around, should we now refer to Jack and Irina as Spygrand-daddy and Spygrandmommny?

About Amy Acker. We've all seen her play Illyria, so we know she can play a force to reckoned with. And not just because Illyria is powerful but also through Amy's performance. Yet I find Peyton unintimidating. I think maybe she needed to do something with her voice.

It was fun seeing Amy and Gina together in the same shot (Fred and Jasime redux) again--unlike Trina Echolls and Kedall Casablancas (VERONICA MARS reference for those who don't follow that show).

During the course of the show I've had to check a little bit of my brain at the door in order to enjoy it. It's been a fun ride, but no matter what they do, the twists are rarely a surprise or a truly impactful (is that a word?) revelation. It's been more like juicy soap-opera fun. And even though Buffy and Angel are also soap operas, everything mattered more.

All this, of course, is just my opinion.

I've watched it from start to the present and I couldn't tell anybody in a coherent way what's been going on.

But...looking forward to the final ep.
Thought that was a really good episode, was great to see Will again, really is a shame it's for the last time.

Am I the only person that really doesn't want Sloane to turn evil again, he's so much more interesting as he is. Keep finding myself feeling sorry for the guy when he's forced to endanger the lives of people he really cares about, people that are finally starting to believe he may have changed, in order to save his daughter's life.

The ending was quite good, if predictable. Hope that's the last we see of Project Helix though.

Sark and Sloane had Francie copied in season 2.
Elena Derevko copied Irina and sent the copy to meet Jack, knowing that Jack was out to kill Irina.

Lauren wasn't a copy, but in the season 3 finale she wore a Sydney mask (amazing things they were, as well as making her face the same as Sydney's she was the same height too!) and broke into the CIA, later on Sydney wore a Lauren mask and tricked Sark into giving her some information.
I actually enjoyed this episode. It had a lot more style than I was expecting, a la the whole train sequence. It was one of the most cinematic-looking shows I've seen on TV. And, Jennifer Garner aside, the performances on the show are spot on and damn interesting. And Rachel Nichols... just... Mafeoifuaiopuafoeif tasty.
best. line. ever

"Who's Rimbaldi?" Loved it!
Wife and I thought Drew blew an opportunity when he had Will say "You save the world...every day!" instead of "you've saved the world...a lot!"
Thanks Ghost Spike, I had completely forgotten about Elena copying Irina and the Sydney/Lauren masks.

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