Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S02E22 – The Telling

In the twenty-second and final episode of season two of Alias, I am not okay. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias

What the hell do I do with this?

I’ll repeat something I said in the video for “The Telling”: I cannot imagine what this was like to watch in real time. I only have to wait six days to see the next episode, and that is gonna be unbearable. However, there’s a lot here that needs YELLING before I get to the end of this season, so let’s talk, y’all.

Loyalty

I don’t know what Irina’s true endgame is—and it’s likely I won’t for a while, given how complicated it is—but “The Telling” provides us an emotional clue as to what she’s doing. I agree that Irina is loyal almost entirely to herself. In the end, she’ll betray anyone and anything to get what she wants.

Except… not Sydney?

And look, I want to believe it. SO BADLY. I want this one part of Sydney’s life to be real, to be something she can depend on and expect. But it’s so very hard! It’s hard to trust that Irina loves her daughter when she’s user a taser rod on her, when she is seemingly setting up the CIA for failure, when she refuses to hold herself accountable for all the things she has done to others. Also when she KNOCKS SYDNEY OUT SO SHE CAN ESCAPE. That’s… that’s not love??? At all?

Within the context of Sydney’s life, I can see why she wants to believe Irina so badly and why she also struggles so much with Irina’s actual behavior. Throughout “The Telling,” Sydney makes leaps of faith, despite that her everything is screaming at her that Irina is lying. She travels to Sloane’s warehouse, only to discover that she is too late. Sloane got there before her. (Or was it a trick the whole time so that Jack could be kidnapped?) Then, she provides Sydney with the location of where Jack is being held. Why should Sydney believe her? Why should she be convinced by that emotional display at the hockey rink? Irina may say that she loves Sydney, but do her actions prove it?

By the end of “The Telling,” Irina seems to have abandoned Sloane and turned away from him because of his obsession over the Rambaldi artifacts and their potential. I THINK. Did she set the whole thing up? Possibly. She was clever and devious enough to use her captivity to find out where all the Rambaldi artifacts were and then orchestrate an extraction while the CIA had her. I wouldn’t put it past her in this case. I’d like to comment on this more, but then The Thing happened, and I didn’t get to find out what happened to Irina.

Will

IS SEASON THREE JUST ONE LONG DOCUMENTARY OF WHAT WILL DOES WHILE ON VACATION, BECAUSE WOW, DOES HE EVER NEED IT. The previous episode ended on such a dark place because I wanted Will far, far away from Francie’s double, who we learn here is actually Allison Doren. AND STUCK IN THE APPEARANCE OF FRANCIE. GREAT. It’s even more suspenseful, too, and its here that I felt like Alias earned the tension that they were trying to make us feel. Knowing who Francie really was made all of her interactions with Will completely unbearable, but I’m not even gonna pretend here. It was that inevitable discovery that truly made this so hard to watch. Will found out in a horrible way, and then he was nearly killed by Allison practically a minute later. Until the update in the final scene, I actually believed that he had died, and y’all… that would have been such a shitty way to go out. AFTER EVERYTHING!!! He’s been through the ringer since the start of the season, and he finally learned the truth, only to be STABBED.

The Telling

Long after the episode ended, I realized that this show NEVER TOLD US WHAT THE TELLING ACTUALLY IS. What does it do? Why was it so important to Sloane? What does it do???

The End

When I say that this show “earned” its story, I am also directly referring to the brutal, emotional, and shocking fight between Allison and Sydney. I struggle to think of a more physical and visceral fight on television (at least that I’ve seen), and I feel like J.J. Abrams has quite a few of them? However, there’s a component to it, however, that will always make it more intense than most other fights. After experiencing so much deception, this felt like a breaking point for Sydney. Not only that, but there’s a visual trigger to the beginning of the show in the way Allison arranges Will’s body. This is now the second time she’s found someone she loves, covered in blood, in her bathtub.

So we get a real sense that this has been a painful, horrific journey, and Sydney is just done. All the frustration and complication she’s dealt with comes to a head in her fight with Francie, and it is a spectacle. It’s an unbelievably tense sequence, one that left me worried for the future, and yet, I was not even remotely ready for where Alias would go. I honestly don’t even have a theory at this point, but the fade to Sydney waking up in HONG KONG was too much. Saying that is horrible, too, because it’s the TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

She

was

gone

for

nearly

two

YEARS.

Y E A R S !!!!!!

I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE! WHAT HAPPENED TO EVERYONE?!?!? To Will? To Allison? To Vaughn, who is married??? How can she just not remember two years of her life? How did someone get her out of that apartment? How did she escape, or was she dropped off in that alley?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALIAS, Y’ALL???

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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