In the twenty-first and penultimate episode of the third season of Alias, the team stages a rescue of Nadia with mixed results. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias.
Trigger Warning: For nonconsensual drugging.
This finale is gonna fuck me up, isn’t it? PROBABLY.
If I squint at this script, I can sort of see what the show was attempting in “Blood Ties” by having Vaughn be near-unconscious instead of actually confronting Lauren. It’s a way to set up Vaughn’s anger issues… sort of? Like, since he didn’t get to deal with Lauren while being tortured and drugged, then he’s extra mad and irresponsible in this episode?
Except that just highlights how weird it is that Vaughn just believed that Lauren had set him free. Was it the drugs? Maybe??? But it’s completely skipped over, and thus, I’m left feeling like the scene doesn’t quite make sense. Here, I do understand Vaughn’s anger and his reckless behavior, even if it’s frustrating to watch him risk missions so he can go after Lauren. After so much suffering, the man wants his revenge, but at what cost? Exactly how far is he willing to go? What is fascinating about this is that Vaughn, as a character, is stuck somewhere between Sydney and Jack. (Though there’s a lost opportunity in comparing Vaughn and Dixon, who literally went through this struggle himself, yet he doesn’t even really comfort Vaughn. HEY, WRITERS, STOP IGNORING DIXON.) Sydney even directly refers to this, pointing out that Vaughn coached Sydney through her hatred of Sloane while she was a double agent at SD-6. IT’S THE SAME PATH, OH MY GOD. And look how dependable and caring he was, y’all!
But instead, Vaughn veers more towards Jack Bristow, who views revenge as a calculation, as a means to an end, and who has often pursued it methodically. Vaughn tried to deny that he was even capable of that, but lo and behold, what does he do at the end of “Legacy”? He fulfills the exact path that Jack set before him. He doesn’t take Sydney’s advice at all, and I am predicting this right now: This is gonna backfire on him. I don’t see how it’s not! He’s emotional, he’s reckless, and he doesn’t have the ability to detach like Jack does. Lemme remind y’all that Jack has TWICE killed people just to bring them back to life because that is the kind of petty asshole he is. IS VAUGHN CAPABLE OF THIS SAME THING?
I really hope that this show isn’t setting up Nadia to believe that Arvin was “protecting” her. I made fun of that line when I heard it, but the more I think about it as I write this, the more it bothers me. I found it satisfying that, like Sydney, Nadia rejected Arvin’s creepy overtures of fatherhood. They don’t mean anything unless you strip his actions of all context. You can’t be a good father if you’re kidnapping someone to pump them full of mind-altering drugs FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. It doesn’t matter if he “cares” for her while doing this, nor does it count that he defies both Sark and Lauren at the last second. How is that love? Concern? Fatherly? But in Arvin Sloane’s world, that’s how he negotiates love. He’s so entirely wrapped up in his own needs that he can actually justify what he’s done and truly believe that he helped his daughter.
It’s bullshit, y’all. If Arvin had hid Nadia away from other people so that no one could feed her those drugs, I might begin to adjust my perception of him. But this feels like very misguided and ill-conceived act he took out of “love” for Sydney. He doesn’t know how to love someone without a string attached, without an exception, without an ultimatum, without something in it for him.
I also kinda feel like Jack shouldn’t be giving free advice to anyone??? Certainly not on issues of ethics or revenge or love or practically any topic except how to kill someone and then revive them as an interrogation technique. (He’s real good at that.) He’s pushing Vaughn towards this notion of “closure,” most likely because he had none of it himself with Irina. But while he’s off making recommendations about Vaughn’s best path, he’s SLEEPING WITH KATYA DEREVKO??? That is just… not a good idea? At the same time, it’s remarkably consistent with his characterization, so there’s that. I don’t see anything coming of, but HERE WE ARE.
We’ve got a lot of threads set up for the finale, y’all. Here’s what needs to be resolved at this point:
- The final Rambaldi machine/device? Maybe Rambaldi himself?
- The confrontation between Lauren and Michael.
- The Covenant… maybe? Perhaps their story will continue in season 4.
- Nadia? Is she going to stay with the CIA or return home or… something???
- Irina? Katya? Something with them??? I DON’T KNOW.
I’m scared for this finale.
The video for “Legacy” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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