Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S02E18 – Truth Takes Time

In the eighteenth episode of the second season of Alias, this show is possibly the most extra thing I’ve ever seen. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias.

What the fuck, y’all. WHAT THE FUCK.

I suppose I should just get used to this, but even in saying that, I’m realizing that there’s no way that I can actually prepare myself for where this show is going. It’s so COMPLEX. I don’t know if the pieces are all going to fit together yet, but I get the sense that this does feel intentional and intricately designed. (Which is a very interesting thought to have as someone who was a very huge fan of LOST, which notoriously slipped into a bizarre place in the third season because it didn’t feel as intentional.)

Let’s start with Irina before I move on to the soul-crushing nature of Emily’s story.

Ulterior Motives

I still wonder, y’all. The final scene of “Truth Takes Time” confuses me, but only because it suggests the possibility that Irina is running a long con against Arvin. SORT OF. If it is indeed a warning, one that lets Sydney know that the truth will eventually become known, then perhaps the events of this episode mean something else. At this point, we still don’t even know how Arvin and Irina came to work with one another! How did information pass between them? How did she set up that extraction with him? And if there’s not another layer of distraction there, then what the hell is Irina’s endgame? Is she just an agent of chaos? What’s her purpose?

I DON’T HAVE THE ANSWERS. I suspect those answers are going to be important at some point, but right now, Sydney is caught in the nightmare, and these concerns aren’t exactly that important. She just knows that she trusted her mother, and once again, her mother deceived and betrayed her. It’s so hard watching this, though, because SYDNEY IS CLEARLY VERY UPSET AT THIS. She tries to hide it, but I could tell how gutted she was, especially after everything they went through this season. THEY MADE ACTUAL PROGRESS, Y’ALL.

Or did they??? WAS IT ALL FAKE. I DON’T KNOW.

The Decision

This episode answers one largely unaddressed question from earlier this season: Exactly how much did Emily know about Arvin and SD-6?

Most of it, but not all of it. She had a general idea of his work with the Alliance, but I’m guessing that Arvin didn’t sit her down and explain in great detail all the regimes he toppled or destabilized, nor did he tell her how many people he had murdered or murdered herself. So, she was probably operating with a limited understanding of what Arvin had actually done. Still, “Truth Takes Time” still gives us a compelling sense of Emily’s conflict. She knew that Arvin was not who he said he was; she knew that in order to extract themselves from Alliance control, she had to fake her own death. And she knew that Arvin had done some awful and sketchy things.

This episode directly parallels Sydney and Emily, both of whom had to deal with loss of trust at the same time. While Sydney copes with her mother’s betrayal, Emily is thrust into another nightmare. She just helped her husband fake her own death, y’all! And right after he BUYS HER A LITERAL VILLA IN TUSCANY, they have to leave it. Now, Emily has been about as patient as a human can possibly be in a ridiculous situation like this. So I understood why she was fed-up with the layers of deception! She has already been through so much!

Thus, she shocks everyone—especially me!—by reaching out to the CIA. Look, this was not even the tiniest shred of a theory in my brain, y’all. I wanted to know how that opening scene was possible, but I certainly didn’t think Emily would be the key. All of this was actively painful to watch, but I don’t mean that as a criticism. It’s just that we’re at a point within Alias where everything feels so highly charged, you know? I was raw over Irina’s betrayal of Sydney, and then I had to watch Emily make the decision that she no longer wanted to be complicit in her husband’s activities. That was a devastating choice for her to make, and it tormented her right up to the end. She had to disappoint Sydney. She had to give up her normal life and her husband. And then, in the end, SHE COULDN’T ACTUALLY DO IT.

Yes, I am very mad at this show for tricking me into thinking the opening sequence was about Sydney shooting her own mother. HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO ME. But I’m also shocked. Unlike Dixon’s unknowing mistake in season one (when he had that second detonator and killed actual CIA agents), Dixon made a horrible mistake this time around, and there’s no denying the results.
Emily is dead.

Arvin and Irina got away.


The video for “Truth Takes Time” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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