Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S03E20 – Blood Ties

In the twentieth episode of the third season of Alias, the Passenger is found. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias

Trigger Warning: For discussion of torture, nonconsensual drugging.

I HAVE THOUGHTS, LET’S TALK, FRIENDS.

Lauren Reed

You know what? I wanted more.

I understand what the show was trying to do, but after spending so much time with the audience agonizing over Lauren’s duplicity, I felt that this completely missed the mark in terms of a confrontation. It doesn’t help that when Lauren finally reveals herself, Vaughn is almost unconscious while being tortured by Sark. It’s such an odd choice because it holds virtually no dramatic weight, nor does it offer us any catharsis. Instead, Lauren drops her attempt at covering her identity so that she can further torment Vaughn, leaving no possible chance that she feels even the slightest bit regretful about what she’s done. Oh, she tries to trick Vaughn by “releasing” him, which is just an attempt to get him to admit what he knows about The Passenger.

Now, it’s possible that this confrontation will come later, but even if it does, I feel like this was a lost opportunity. Vaughn has been brimming with anger ever since he discovered the truth, and the opening scene at the gun range was a perfect example of how furious he was at being duped. So when you build up something like that, there’s got to be a release, right? I don’t feel like that’s a lot to ask from a narrative! Instead, Vaughn is nearly asleep through most of this, and he barely gets to say anything to Lauren. Hopefully, there’s something more to this!

The Hunt for The Passenger

From a visual perspective, I loved that Arvin Sloane looked like a ghost throughout “Blood Ties,” and I am now realizing that should have been a sign. Arvin’s “death” puts him on the outside, and his motivation made him unique within this narrative. Y’all, he was a part of a secret US government organization meant to track Rambaldi artifacts. Why the hell would he suddenly not prioritize this hunt in the end, especially after being given a second chance at life? (Y’all, I still can’t get over the fact that Jack killed him. IT IS ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE PLOT TWISTS ON THIS SHOW.) But I bought the notion that he did care about his daughter, that he wanted nothing more than to get her back. I don’t know that the shocking ending to this episode fully negates that, as I suspect he might actually care about her. It’s just that he has a pretty terrible way of showing it, and despite not seeing his duplicity, I’m not surprised about it. It’s who he is!

So, he’d gathered enough of the parts to locate the Passenger, and he used Sydney and Jack to get the last parts of it. That sounds… exactly like Arvin Sloane, y’all. He may have changed his outward appearance, and he may have helped to enact some positive change in the world, but he is the same person, through and through.

Nadia

So… look, I’m glad on an entirely surface level that Mía Maestro is on this show because FINALLY. Another woman of color, and one who is Argentinian/Latinx! (She was on Person of Interest, if I remember correctly, and she was great on The Strain.) But this seems even more egregious than the issue I had with her character on Person of Interest because… y’all. Y’all. How do two white people give birth to a Latinx person? And yes, I’m aware that you can be white and Latinx, but neither Arvin nor Irina are white Latinx, soooooooooooo. It’s weird! Really weird! Like, are the writers going to write Nadia as if she’s white or what? Are they even going to address this at all?

I’m reticent about this. The show doesn’t really touch on race, has handled every black woman poorly, has put Dixon in the background of most episodes, and I’m not exactly ready to give them the benefit of the doubt here. I want this character to be awesome, and I will admit to being intrigued that she’s also an agent (for whom???) and doesn’t seem to dislike Sydney. She looked quite shocked that she had a sister, and a whole world of possibility opened up for her. I HOPE THE SHOW USES IT WISELY.

The Prophecy

This finale might touch on the concept of determinism, especially since Vaughn’s warning to Sydney suggests that she can’t escape what was prophesied long ago. At this point, Rambaldi hasn’t really been proven wrong, has he? So is his endgame inescapable, too? Why would Nadia and Sydney throw down until both of them died? Wouldn’t knowing this prophecy make them not do it? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO THINK ANYMORE. I just want them to be friends!!!

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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