Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S02E16 – Firebomb

In the sixteenth episode of the second season of Alias, the team closes in on a possible location where Arvin Sloane is at, but requires an ally who isn’t very cooperative in order to pull it off. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias

HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS SHOW KEEP ESCALATING SO CONSISTENTLY. Look, I flat-out assumed that Caplan would spend the remainder of season two assembling this horrible Rambaldi device, and the bulk of the dramatic tension would be centered on that. It’s a believable theory, okay??? The show JUST resolved their other major plot, so this seemed the clear answer.

And then, halfway through “Firebomb,” the completed device is used, and Alias changed. Again.

It’s not like Sark or Arvin Sloane were particularly likable characters to begin with. Both of them are responsible for the deaths of others, and we’ve watched both characters murder someone. Yet in nearly every case, these were people involved within the illegal and unethical global operations set forth by the Alliance or the K-Directorate or any number of horrible organizations trying to affect international policy. Sloane’s the exception in an obvious way, given how many lives he ruined within SD-6. But the attack on the church in Mexico City was so blatantly spiteful, so completely evil and horrifying, that I can’t possibly believe that there is a path to redemption for either of them.

Sloane even warned me as such: anyone who got in his way would be eliminated. And in this case, the fastest way to get Ahmed Kabir on his side was to assassinate everyone within the church that his ex-wife worked in. “Assassinate” sounds so distant and passive, though. It doesn’t nearly convey the sheer horror of how the people in that church died. Because Rambaldi SOMEHOW created a device that could ignite living organisms FROM THE INSIDE OUT. The scene itself was easily one of the most disturbing things Alias has done so far, and I’d be genuinely surprised if there was something more disturbing to come.

So what does this act mean for the future? Well, there are smaller evolutions in the show’s narrative, and then there’s the big one. On a more micro level, Dixon’s refusal to work with the CIA is tested by this specific case. Look, I respect him so much for rejecting Sydney and the CIA, and I found it much more compelling from a storytelling perspective that he told his wife the truth. What we see here is painful and complicated. You can tell that Dixon feels a natural inclination to help, but after discussing matters with Diane, he agreed to ignore that call. He chose his family and a life outside espionage and deceit. When Sydney asks him herself to provide intel on Kabir, HE STILL REJECTS HER. It’s not until Vaughn makes the case that this might be a significant blow to Sloane that Dixon relents. And from what we see, it seems like Dixon’s all in as a full member of Kendall’s team in the CIA. But will his wife be able to handle this? Y’all, I will be sad but UTTERLY UNDERSTANDING if she can’t do this. Who could blame her?

And as for Arvin Sloane, the CIA’s victory in nabbing the firebomb device is an even bigger victory for him. I now understand that Sloane wants to use Caplan to assemble multiple devices, and he specifically will be tasked with the device from the damaged page in the Rambaldi manuscript. The show is still coy about Rambaldi’s origins and how the fuck he was able to create these devices. I’m not even sure if this is a mystery that the writers are going to address, you know? Perhaps I should be focusing on where these devices will take the story, rather than where they came from. At the very least, I understand how important they are to Arvin Sloane’s characterization. From this point on, he wants nothing more than to assemble them and use them to leverage more and more power.

Who else will be collateral damage?

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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