In the twenty-second and final episode of the third season of Alias, what the HELL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias.
You know, I wanted to like this finale more than I did. On the one hand, it’s bold that the show doesn’t really resolve anything aside from the fate of Lauren Reed. I get why it was important for Vaughn to be the one to kill her, and there’s at least some poeticism in that act. (I’ll ignore that I don’t understand how it’s possible that he made it to Palerno in that short span of time and with a punctured lung, yet he doesn’t seem winded once. JUST NITPICKING, I SUPPOSE.) I’ve certainly enjoyed most of season three, but this ending left so much unresolved or unanswered, and thus, it doesn’t feel like a complete season, not like the past two did. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, necessarily, and the writers should feel free to experiment with their narrative where they see fit.
At the same time, it’s still a risk, and of the many plots swirling about this finale, only one of them gave me any sort of closure. LET’S DISCUSS.
I’ll say this: this show did a fine job making both Sark and Lauren the kind of antagonists who are easy to hate. Because lord, do I ever dislike them and what they do. The opening scene in “Resurrection” is one of the most disturbing in the show thus far, and it’s a perfect demonstration of how uncaring Lauren always has been. It wasn’t enough for her to cause a distraction so that she could get the Rambaldi equations. No, she had to stage a set of explosions that nearly killed multiple people. (And she executed that man who she carjacked instead of just taking his car.) She’s spiteful, cruel, and vicious, and I did not feel bad for her when Vaughn captured her, nor when he later shot her. Along with Sark, she’s caused so much suffering in the world. And for what?
I’ll touch on Rambaldi in a bit, but right up to her death at the hands of Vaughn, we never get a sense for why she did everything that she did. That means Vaughn doesn’t get that information either! So how can he ever get the closure that Jack spoke of? Unless there’s more Covenant stuff to come, Vaughn will forever have a chasm within him that was created by Lauren. He was betrayed simply because Lauren was following orders. Look, I don’t really believe that she was actually in love with him, you know? She might have said that adamantly, but you don’t hurt someone you love! Certainly not to this degree! And so Lauren dies, knowing that Vaughn loved Sydney more, and… that’s it. Vaughn’s reckless anger backfires (I KNEW IT WOULD), but in the end, he still gets to put a bullet in Lauren. How does he feel about that? “Legacy” doesn’t give us the aftermath, and I’m interested in seeing if the show addresses it.
I truly don’t get what her angle was here. Is she actually Covenant? That’s the only possible explanation for why she nearly killed Vaughn, freed Lauren, and then tried to assassinate Sydney. Why would her interests lie with the Covenant? What possible gain could they provide her? Was she always with them? What about the mystery of Irina, who was an ally to Jack right up until he mentioned the Passenger?
There has got to be something to this Rambaldi story if Nadia, who fully rejected Arvin more than once before, can find an appeal to it even after Arvin did what he did to her. I didn’t get the sense that she was lying about her experience, and Arvin’s words resonated with her. That has to be part of the explanation of why she lied about the coordinates, you know? She has to have a reason why she believes the story of Rambaldi!!! But this episode ends on such a frustrating place for the audience. We learn that the dig site in Palerno is utterly meaningless, which means it’s there just to set up the Lauren/Vaughn confrontation. Cool, not the worst thing. But the writers hint at what is at the actual coordinates—Rambaldi’s consciousness, or the man himself???—and then don’t deliver. Nadia leaves with Arvin Sloane for a “long” journey, but to where? And for what? I DON’T GET IT.
Even more frustrating, Lauren’s death brings about a new plot twist in the fucked up family dynamics of the Bristow family. I’m making an assumption based on Sydney’s reaction to safety deposit box that Lauren was telling the truth. Somehow, Sydney’s life wasn’t an accident. The revelation of Nadia was too coincidental, and the reason for it all: Jack Bristow.
We’ve known Jack has been willing to do practically anything to secure what he wants, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sydney was subjected to the same sort of testing Nadia was. But the other major cliffhanger in “Legacy” comes from the show’s refusal to show us what was on those files were in the box. Jack signed off… on what? And why? CLEARLY IT’S NOT A GOOD THING. Actually, I’ll go a step further: whatever is in those files isn’t a surprising thing. If anything makes perfect sense in this jarring, complicated finale, it’s that Jack Bristow is ruthless and self-centered. I believe that he would do something alarming enough to warrant the response we see from Sydney. But how the hell did Lauren know about it? What’s this whole business of being a pawn, and why was Lauren okay with it? WHAT ABOUT HER MOTHER?
“Resurrection” left me with far more questions than answers, and it’s not like the end of the previous seasons, which opened doors and left the audience with possibilities. Well, new possibilities, I should say, since there are still stories left to be resolved. But they’re the arcs already introduced in the show, and one has been around since the first season. I’ve enjoyed the way that Alias’s writers have been willing to write change, to mold this show into new forms, sometimes right in the midst of the season. I’m hoping that season four show’s that same creative energy. This finale is just okay, and admittedly, the show had a lot to live up to. But I did enjoy season three, and I’m eager to find out what’s next for these SUPER MESSED UP CHARACTERS.
The video for “Resurrection” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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