Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S01E20 – The Solution

In the twentieth episode of the first season of Alias, Sydney devises a means to flush out Khasinau, while Will makes an incredibly risky move. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of racism, specifically brownface.

OH NO, ALIAS. OH NO.

Will

I have not a single issue with the electrifying twists of Will’s plot in this episode, and I think we’re about to see some cool shit in the next two episodes. I think Jack’s theory of the identity of Will’s source is spot-on, and aside from HATING Haladki, there’s another hint here: desperation. After weeks of silence—Will hadn’t made progress on the article in a long, long time—the source makes a sudden decision to hand Will a name: Jack Bristow.

It’s only now, thinking back on it, that I realize how obvious it is that someone is trying to ruin Jack. Jack isn’t the one who killed Danny. Up to this point, the source’s information hadn’t been wrong, so why the change? IT’S GOTTA BE A VENDETTA, Y’ALL. Not only that, but it feels so sloppy, which leads me back to my desperation theory. Someone wants to bury these people, wants them to react poorly and mess up, and IT TOTALLY WORKS IF IT IS HALADKI.

However… did they expect that Will would run to Jack and work with them? Is that an expected outcome? If so, I don’t see how that would benefit Haladki, unless Haladki hasn’t realized it yet. It’s certainly an interesting twist for ME, and I loved watching Jack and Will interact. And for once, Will ISN’T DOING THIS ALONE. Finally, y’all! Someone will ACTUALLY be able to verify the things he’s experiencing and maybe help him??? Of course, this is Jack we’re talking about, and he would not be above throwing Will under the bus to protect his cover OR to protect Sydney. And that’s why I’m so excited for this. I literally can’t guess what’s gonna happen.

Cost

You know, I don’t like Sloane at all, but I still feel bad about his wife. “The Solution” reveals that Emily Sloane was aware of SD-6 and had been for years… except that she also believes that her husband is working for the government. There’s a tragedy here in multiple parts, y’all. If Emily dies soon, she will never know the truth, and she’ll die believing that her husband is worth being proud of. Perhaps ignorance is bliss in this case, and it’s not that I want her to be miserable in her final days or months. Rather, I see this as a tragedy of affection: Sloane has manipulated and deceived his wife so much that she has no qualms about loving him fully and completely. This hurts even more when you think about how he wants to be the exception. He doesn’t want the security team to kill her for knowing about SD-6, despite that he ordered Danny Hecht to be killed. Thus, he’s a hypocrite and his wife will be the collateral damage in the end. I don’t see a way out of this for him, you know? The security team can work independently of him, and it’s only a matter of time before they take Emily out.

Exchange

I do love practically everything leading up to the exchange sequence in Bali. THERE ARE SO MANY HEISTS ON THIS SHOW AND IT’S SO GODDAMN ENTERTAINING WATCHING THEM GO DOWN. I just??? Never get sick??? Of heists??? And this episode features a traditional heist with an odd twist: Sydney gets permission to rob a museum. Sort of. She steals art in order to pass along the rumor that there’s something Khasinau might want. The theft legitimizes the rumor! And all art will be returned through back channels, so it’s more like… aggressive borrowing? Very aggressive borrowing, indeed.

(Though the episode does not address the fact that Sydney dropped a cell phone packed with plastic explosives in an elevator shaft, which surely damaged that museum TERRIBLY. Whoops?)

And then we get to the trade scene.

And then.

And.

then.

So… look, I understand the logistics at work here. I do. She is a spy. She has to go undercover. She is trying to disguise herself. I am completely lost as to why she needed to darken her skin. Is the implication here that there are no lighter-skinned people in the Raslak Jihad? Which… wow, let’s unpack THAT nightmare, too! Because that name makes this even messier, right? I’m guessing that the thought process for this is that the writers believed Sark would be suspicious of a white person showing up? So then the best solution was to have two white people—one in brownface!!!!—use the weapons of another culture to prove themselves??? It’s just so AGGRESSIVELY WHITE, y’all. I wanted to immerse myself in the thrill of it, given that Dixon is seconds away from discovering that Sydney is a double agent, but the brownface is SO SO SO SO BAD.

Do better, TV shows.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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