In the fourteenth episode of the second season of Alias, this show is very much not what I thought it would be. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias.
Trigger Warning: For talk of consent in regards to sex.
The future of Alias is an unknown for me. The endgame I expected to come much, much later than it did is now a moot point. The Alliance is gone. All the SD cells have been infiltrated and shut down. Vaughn and Sydney are now able to date one another, and boy, do they waste no time doing so.
What the fuck happens next?
APPARENTLY, ALIAS TURNS INTO A SPECULATIVE FICTION SHOW. Which I’m okay with! It kinda already was, given all the stuff with the Rambaldi devices. (What’s up with those, by the way?) So it’s not like the huge reveal in the midst of “Double Agent” doesn’t fit within the framework of Alias. But it is a pivot, a change in the dynamic of practically everything that made up this show. The main source of tension—the conflict between the CIA and SD-6–is now gone. So what does this show look like? How do you maintain the same sort of dramatic tension without such a huge piece of the puzzle? I’m eager to see how both Marshall and Dixon will be folded back into the show, for example, because as of right now, their lives have been upended and destroyed. Where do they fit within this world? Will the CIA hire them? If so, how are they going to cope with the knowledge that they were complicit in so many horrible things?
One thing hasn’t changed, however. Amidst a burgeoning romance, a doppelgänger, a revitalized CIA, and a new global focus, Arvin Sloane still sits at the center of all this. I still believe that he and Sark were responsible for the development and execution of the Helix program and that they destroyed the Alliance in order to create a new world order under themselves. Most of that was confirmed at the end of “Phase One,” but the pieces that are left unexplained are intriguing to me. I admit that I’m still interested! I want to know what Sloane is planning and why he had Francie replaced with… well, who the fuck is that? The Helix program doesn’t create clones; it merely manipulates the DNA of an existing person to “mimic” someone else. Now, I’m not sure the science here makes any sense at all, as gene editing doesn’t seem like it would provide such a massive change in just a few days while unconscious. BUT WHO CARES, I’M IN BECAUSE IT’S SO CREEPY.
We learn how all of this works through the story of Jim Lennox, whose double MURDERED HIS FIANCEÉ. (As I said on video, this provided YET ANOTHER reason to hate Arvin Sloane. WOW, HE’S THE WORST.) Well, he did a lot more than that. Through implication and suggestion, we are shown that Lennox’s double may have had sex with Wallace? WHICH MEANS HE VIOLATED HER CONSENT, JUST SO YOU KNOW. And this isn’t really addressed (and is rarely addressed on any show ever), so it’s just like… one more horrific detail on top of everything. The same goes for Francie’s double, who has installed a camera in Sydney’s bedroom to spy on her, WHICH UTTERLY RUINS THE FIRST REAL SEX SCENE BETWEEN VAUGHN AND SYDNEY.
But what is the goal of all of this? In Lennox’s case, Dr. Markovic used his own procedure to trick the CIA, and then send a “message” through the murder of Agent Wallace. However, it was clear that the point of Helix was to create agents for Sloane’s mysterious organization that could evade CIA detection, since they matched the physical appearance of other people.
What is going on here? I DON’T GET IT. It’s a compelling enough story that I want to know what’s happening, so I’ll give the writers credit for that. But halfway through this season, the entire mythology of Alias changed. Is this new story going to be as engaging as the old one? TIME FOR ME TO FIND OUT.
The video for “Double Agent” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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