Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S02E01 – The Enemy Walks In

In the first episode of the second season of Alias, please. Please, I need a break. PLEASE, ALIAS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Alias to torment Mark some more.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of trauma and drug addiction.

Oh, this season is gonna be weird, isn’t it? There’s just so much potential in “The Enemy Walks In,” which gives us the slightest idea of what shape season two might take. It picks up where “Almost Thirty Years” ended, but is framed brilliantly through two flashbacks AND Sydney’s CIA therapy sessions. I like it because the audience gets closure: we find out what happened in the moments after that cliffhanger. We learn that Vaughn survived due to a screwdriver (LITERALLY), but was then captured by Khasinau’s men for… well, actually, the show doesn’t seem to address this. Y’all, what the fuck were they doing in that lab? They were clearly removing organs from people (WHO WERE STILL ALIVE, OH MY GOD) for… something? If Sydney had not stopped Khasinau, there is no way Vaughn would have survived.

And let me also acknowledge Sydney’s incredible work here, because she saved Vaughn AFTER HER MOTHER SHOT HER IN THE SHOULDER!!! That act alone was enough to send me over the edge, and it happened IN THE VERY FIRST SCENE OF THIS EPISODE. It’s such an upsetting scene for obvious reasons, but it was also a sign from the writers: Sydney’s mother is not here to fuck around. There was no better way to demonstrate how ruthless she is than that. SHE SEES HER DAUGHTER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER TWENTY YEARS, TELLS HER THAT SHE SHOULD HAVE MURDERED HER AS A BABY BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER, AND THEN SHOOTS HER IN THE SHOULDER SO SHE CAN BLEED OUT WHILE HANDCUFFED TO A CHAIR.

Welcome to season 2, I guess!!! It’s gonna hurt even more than season 1!!!!

That’s certainly the case with characters like Dixon and Will. Oh, Dixon, you are the PUREST Hufflepuff of goodness of ALL TIME, and watching him just aches, y’all. He was heartbroken while reporting Sydney to Sloane, all the while unaware that HE WAS BETRAYING HER. And then, when Jack constructs a believable truth to Sloane about why Sydney seemed to be lying about her missions, Dixon APOLOGIZES TO SYDNEY. And he has no clue that she is STILL lying to him!!! AND I WOULD LIKE THIS SHOW TO STOP DESTROYING ME!!! Oh my god, can they please read him in to the actual CIA? I can’t handle this anymore!

I am also very concerned for Will. It’s hard not to be after he’s gone through such a traumatic experience. Being tortured by Khasinau’s men (or The Man’s men, I suppose???) was a horrific thing all by itself. In that sense, it was the price he paid to learn the truth, and what a terrible price that was. Yet when he’s rescued and makes it home, his trauma isn’t over. I COMPLETELY FORGOT THAT WILL GAVE THAT ENVELOPE WITH HIS STORY TO HIS COWORKER. Y’all, Will had to DISCREDIT HIMSELF by faking an addiction to heroin. It is extreme, ridiculous, and it’s only a tiny sliver of the awful that comes along with this life. I suppose I expected that the CIA would try to enlist his support, but this? How is Will going to lead any sort of life now that he can’t do the thing he was actually good at? How is he going to continue to lie to Francie? Will he help Sydney maintain her cover or… what? WHERE DOES WILL LIVE, BY THE WAY? He’s basically Sydney’s and Francie’s unofficial roommate!

The main focus of “The Enemy Walks In” is Sydney’s new life. Despite that she’s still working for SD-6, the events of the last season have dramatically changed this world. Emily is dead. Sydney had to speak at her funeral. AT HER FUNERAL! Which is so surreal, y’all. She eulogized the wife of the man who is her mortal enemy. And I understand why she was able to separate the two!!!! It’s not like Emily contributed to the monstrous world that Arvin Sloane was part of. But Sydney is tough; she’s managed to deal with more than most of us might ever dream of. She weathers the disappearance of Vaughn, she is able to direct her anger at her mother (which is where it belongs), and she even pushes through her gunshot injury to go back out in the field. I’m pretty sure that Sydney has to compartmentalize a lot of what happens to her. There’s just so much violence and death in her life, and I imagine she’s desensitized to it. But that’s one of the reasons I enjoy the use of the therapist: it allows Sydney to reflect on her own mental health and to also show that a hero can be badass and tough and competent and also need help coping with the terrible things that they survive.

I know I said this on video, but the re-appearance of Sydney’s mother is a big deal at the end of this episode. It’s the thing Sydney is worried she can’t cope with, which is why she seeks out the same therapist she blew off earlier in the episode. HER MOTHER TURNED HERSELF IN. It has to be a trap. I cannot believe that a person who would shoot their daughter after telling them they should have murdered them as a baby would possess the moral fortitude to repent for their crimes against the United States. IT’S WRONG. SHE IS GONNA MANIPULATE EVERYONE FROM THE INSIDE IT’S A TRAP, Y’ALL.

(This season is going to be too much.)

The video for “The Enemy Walks In” (whose title I LITERALLY JUST GOT) can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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