Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S01E14 – The Coup

In the fourteenth episode of the first season of Alias, Sydney’s job takes a bit of a backseat to her personal life. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias. 



Even after this show basically told me that Francie was gonna book a last minute trip to Vegas, I still dismissed it as a possibility. So did Sydney, CLEARLY SHE DIDN’T THINK FRANCIE WOULD EITHER. Now that I think about it, it was pretty inevitable that Alias would have to deal with Sydney possibly running into her friends while on a mission. I just didn’t expect it so soon or for it to have these ramifications. I really enjoyed “The Coup” because the action sequences aren’t the most fulfilling parts. Oh, they’re certainly fun! I loved watching Dixon win all that money off of that smug asshole. (And I don’t even know what Dhalgren did, but his face was so HATEABLE.) And the K-Directorate plot twists were absolutely unexpected, too. (DAVID ANDERS, OH MY GOD.)

But “The Coup” worked best for me when it examined other characters and how Sydney is dealing with developments in their lives. Her discovery that Charlie really was cheating on Francie—though not with his music partner—is devastating all by itself. How the hell was Sydney supposed to tell Francie? Their surprise appearance in Vegas ONLY MADE IT WORSE. Francie wanted to rush the ceremony, and Sydney couldn’t possibly let that happen. Again, she’s a deeply moral character, so I understood why she couldn’t just stay on her mission with Dixon. She had to do something! And rather than ruin Francie’s joy herself, she instead leverages her knowledge of Charlie’s infidelities so that he’ll get a chance to tell her the truth himself. Given how difficult that situation was, it was a pretty good solution.


Yeah, I didn’t expect it to backfire as bad as it did. But one element of Francie’s reaction that made a lot of sense was the fact that she used Sydney’s job against her. Sydney had been absent from some key moments during the engagement, and she’s also been so strange and distant regarding her employer. So it made sense that Francie would lash out and focus on those details, both because it was a distraction and because it really IS a weird part of their life together.

The whole thing is so heartbreaking, though. I’m glad that Francie is getting a story of her own, mind you, and it’s one that parallels the whole “double life” problem that Sydney is dealing with. “The Coup” doesn’t provide us with a next step, either. Is Francie staying with Charlie? (I HATE HIM, HOW DARE HE.) Does she want to work things out with him? How is she gonna deal with the betrayal she just experienced? WHEN WILL SYDNEY KICK CHARLIE’S ASS.


So, I don’t know if anyone else did this while they were on their first watch of Alias. Whenever Jack and Sydney are either close to or currently having a nice moment, I brace myself for whatever Thing that Jack will do to completely fucking ruining that moment. A lot of times it happens within the conversation! Because Jack is so unused to being a father that he can’t stand acting like one! Sometimes, it’s a scene or two later. Can’t go too long without crushing your daughter’s hope!

You can consider me MIGHTY surprised that Jack did not actively ruin the incredible moment he had with Sydney by that carousel. It’s a genuinely great scene that shows us that he’s trying to be affectionate towards her. In small ways, I should add! And he is honest about why it’s been so hard for him to start opening up, and it’s all good? He doesn’t drop some terrible secret on Sydney? Or walk away in the middle of a sentence? Or act condescending towards her??? CAN HE DO THIS AGAIN OR HAVE WE MET THE QUOTA FOR THIS SEASON?


WHO THE FUCK IS HE??? I think I spelled David Anders’s character’s name correctly, but in case you’re confused, that’s who I am referring to. I still am no closer to guessing who The Man is, but clearly this new player is not wasting time. “The Coup” is shocking because it finally introduces the head of the K-Directorate to the audience, only to have him executed mere minutes after his appearance. Sark leverages the power play to get precisely what he wants for his employer: that mysterious Rambaldi notebook. WHAT IS WITH ALL THE RAMBALDI ARTIFACTS??? Why are they so important? They have to be important enough for The Man to risk wiping out the K-Directorate, right? I DON’T GET IT.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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