Well, Alias’s third season started last night, and it’s off to a good start. I love this show.
Jennifer Garner….Agent Sydney A. Bristow
Ron Rifkin….Arvin Sloane
Michael Vartan….Michael C. Vaughn
Carl Lumbly….Director Marcus R. Dixon
Kevin Weisman….Agent Marshall J. Flinkman
Victor Garber….Agent Jonathan ‘Jack’ Donahue Bristow
September 28, 2003
Continuing from the moment last season’s finale wrapped up, they explain (some of) what the hell is really going on. A lot of moments echo previous seasons, in
particular the series premiere. Turns out she really HAS been missing for two
years, Vaughn really did get married, and she’s really pissed about it all. Her
father’s in jail (and they’re going to be keeping him, they say). She fakes
some intel to gain their trust and gets sent on a mission – the mission goes
horribly wrong, she’s panicked and leaves to go get help from Sloane. Sloane
has a full pardon from the U.S. and just happens to know she’s coming and what
she wants to know. He swears he’s reformed and she doesn’t believe him –
neither do we. She gets the McGuffin back from the bad guys and threatens to
destroy it if they don’t release her dad. They do (what amazes me is that they
give him his job back as well). End of show. There are other things going
on, but I’ve got to give you a reason to watch it in re-runs or on TiVo, right?
Even though it felt almost exactly like the end of the premiere, the point where
Syd holds a blowtorch to the chip they want. Actually – the high point was
Dixon’s line halfway through that standoff “She will destroy that chip.”
Victor Garber going from Enemy of the State to Trusted CIA Agent in three days.
I know they did it for plot reasons, but they handle this sort of thing well
enough that they could have made him an independent force convincingly.
The originality was pretty high for a plot like this. They took a lot
of unexpected returns. When Syd was convinced that something was wrong and
she was being lied to about her absence, I was sure she was right. It’s just
how these shows normally work. I *hate* that, but it’s true. So I was pleased
(and surprised) when it didn’t. On the other hand, it’s the same plotline of
“people you’re working for don’t trust you, go do something big for them so
they’ll have to” coupled with clearing the slate of bad guys and bringing in
another interchangeable bad guy conglomerate – the “Covenant”. These guys seem
really dangerous, but then so do everyone else when they’re first introduced.
All in all, originality gets a 4/6.
Alias effects tend to be inconsistent, but the ones on this ep. were pretty
good. Granted, they weren’t spectacular, but the script didn’t call for that.
The effects are a solid 5/6.
The story was engrossing as always. They give you *just* enough
information to keep you hooked. On the other hand, the stories are becoming
more and more unbelievable. I don’t really have a problem with that, but I
do hope they reign it back in. Since, however, there’s no flow category
for TV shows, and the flow is one of the best parts of the show – I nearly
scream in frustration at the end of every episode, wanting to see what comes
next – I’ll have to give story a 6/6.
The acting is, as always, excellent. Victor Garber is an amazing actor, and
Sloane genuinely scares the hell out of me. I’d absolutely watch this show
even if Jennifer Garner’s character were killed off. And you HAVE to love
Marshall. He’s the best Geek on television. And this season he gets to
be a daddy! Acting gets a 5/6.
My emotional response is really high – I can’t even begin to describe
how I feel at the end of the show – this is the ONLY show I sit and wait for
the “scenes from next week’s episode” spot. I get so engrossed and so
frustrated when they cut you off at a critical moment. This episode was
pretty much par for the course. Emotional Response gets a 5/6.
The production values are good. It’s nice to see that their budget
hasn’t been cut – or if it has, they’ve done well with working around it. I
don’t think it was, though, considering how popular this show became over the
last season. The production gets a 4/6.
Overall this episode was a good example of the series, which is a
great series in general. I give it a 5/6.
In Total, “The Two” gets a 34/42. I love this show.