Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S01E03 – Parity

In the third episode of the first season of Alias, I meet my true eternal love, Anna Espinosa. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias

WHAT THE HELL, TWO CLIFFHANGERS IN A ROW??? THIS SHOW IS NOT DOING WHAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD, HELP ME.

Where do I even start?

Will

I can see the tiniest of threads—intentional or not—between Alias and Person of Interest, though both shows deal with this theme differently. Will wants to know the truth, but “Truth Be Told” revealed the horrible price to be paid to know about SD-6. And you know what? Will is an even riskier person to know the truth than Danny. Danny left a drunk, rambling voicemail at Sydney’s home. Will is a JOURNALIST! Working for a major paper in Los Angeles! And the way he’s trying to determine the truth isn’t even through Sydney; he’s using his job. His boss knows he’s tracking down the story about Danny’s murder, which means that he’s not the sole person aware of the bizarre circumstances surrounding it.

This can’t end well. It just can’t! As soon as SD-6 finds out, they’ll retaliate, and that means DEATH. Right??? Oh, this show is escalating too fast, WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO ME.

Francie

She’s not playing a super major part in the show, but I was glad to see that the writers are developing Francie, Charlie, and Will as a realistic support system/network of friends for Sydney. At the same time, the threat is still there: will any of them get suspicious? Will any of them start to realize that Sydney has been telling them lies since the first day that she met them? How is this going to affect the fact that Francie clearly relies on Sydney as a friend, too? She confides in Sydney that she suspects that Charlie is cheating on her, and like… HELP ME. It’s all about little white lies that lead to bigger lies and THIS ISN’T GOING TO END WELL.

Jack

How is Sydney ever going to trust her father if he’s always going to give in to the web of lies that he created? It’s clear that Sydney is desperate for some sort of connection with her father in “Parity,” despite that she’s spent years avoiding him. And it makes sense that it’s happening now. Her whole life has been turned on its head. She needs stability, she needs things to make sense, she needs answers. And who might be able to provide her with those things? WELL, GUESS WHAT, NOT HER GODDAMN FATHER. Like… part of me might understand that he cares about her enough that his overprotective mode kicks in, and he’s allowed this fantasy world to exist because knowing the truth would be so much worse. But now that the curtain has been pulled back, he remains just as distant, callous, and frustrating as he was before, which makes me think his flaws are gonna be there regardless of whether or not Sydney knows the truth. He makes this effort to finally tell her the truth about her mother and her death, only for us to find out like five fucking minutes later that HE LIED. He can’t even give her the tiniest bit of respect and just say no or tell the truth.

I DON’T LIKE HIM. AT ALL.

Anna Espinosa

HOW DO I COUNT THE WAYS. HOW. I can’t claim to understand what the K-Directorate is—a shadowy underground organization, maybe???—but I can claim to be utterly impressed with the ground Gina Torres walks on. I’m biased, y’all. She’s one of my favorite actresses, and to watch her strut about “Parity” with a look on her face that just screams that she knows she is better than all mortals felt like a religious experience. But I love that she’s presented as being superior to Sydney so early into the show. Granted, Sydney figures out a way to get the case with the Rimbaldi numbers in it at the last second, but up to that moment, ANNA DESTROYED EVERYTHING. Truthfully, though, we’ve got two highly proficient women who, by circumstance, have been forced into competition with one another. How does that end? I was preparing myself to write something about that, but I was shocked once more by the fact that this show’s narrative structure is not typical. There is not the normal three-act format I’m used to in hour-long shows, and the writers don’t care about my needs for comfort and familiarity. This episode opens with a heist, morphs into an examination of all the personal conflicts spilling forth in Sydney’s life, and then ends ON ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER when Sydney and Anna open the locked case in the middle of a stadium.

AND I DON’T GET TO FIND OUT WHAT’S IN THE CASE. Whatever it is was enough to surprise both Anna and Sydney, so that frightens me. But what is Anna’s angle here? Does she just do as she is told, or is there another interest at work? Does she respect Sydney or despise her? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

The video for “Parity” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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