Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S04E15 – Pandora

In the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Alias, I need this show to stop. Please. LEAVE ME ALONE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias. 

Holy shit, what the fuck!!! Even if I wanted to, I could not have possibly theorized that ending, y’all. What am I supposed to do with it???


Wow, this got dark. Vaughn’s journey is obsessive, and the show doesn’t shy away from that. This goes way further than I expected it to, but it’s not not unbelievable, particularly not for this character. Remember how stubborn he was last season when Sydney tried to get him to believe that Lauren was a double agent? Remember what he did once his suspicion of Lauren became too much for him to ignore? So I bought the notion that Vaughn was so haunted by the idea that his father was still alive that he couldn’t discard the “evidence” that Roberts showed him. He had to know, and as he progressed further on this horrible heist, that doubt and suspicion ate at him. It pushed him to do increasingly immoral things, and what for? For confirmation of the impossible, y’all.

And it really is tragic to watch because it would have made Vaughn, on some level, happy. Oh, I’m sure he would have been furious about his father’s 25-year-long deception, but it would have also meant that he was still alive. But that’s also why this hurts as much as it did! Vaughn’s actions are so MESSED UP, not just because he has to be a part of a heist. Look, these characters break the rules all the time, so it’s not like I’m four years into Alias and clutching my pearls because someone broke a law. If that was the line in the sand, I woulda bailed long ago. No, it’s watching this heist spiral out of control, knowing that we don’t know the true ringleader until the end, that made this so challenging. What if Vaughn was working for the remains of the Covenant? Or another terrorist organization? What if that coil led to some sort of attack? Would all of this be worth it? That’s the precise question Vaughn has to ask himself, and the script for “Pandora” repeatedly makes him do so. He has to ask himself if it’s worth it when Sabina kills a guard, when he realizes that Dixon is in charge of transporting the Rambaldi book, when he must fire upon his colleague. (He’s gonna apologize for that, right??? HE SHOULD.) 

In the end, he comes to his senses, but only after he’s wrought a whole lot of darkness. It’s a snap decision on his part, and he only realizes that the “evidence” he was given was faked when he thinks of the larger picture. Why would his father leave them all behind? Why would he orchestrate such a painful, damaging plan? It seems so simple, so obvious. But that’s why it was so hard for him to just think of it in terms of the emotional choice. His obsession prevented him from that epiphany. His father never would have made his family suffer for that long. 


That plot makes for an interesting contrast with Nadia and Sydney’s interactions with Katya Derevko. How much does family make us suffer? How much of it is intentional? Like Sydney, I still find it hard to trust a single word out of Katya’s mouth, so my gut reaction to most of this was in line with hers: Katya is manipulative. She will say and do whatever she needs to in order to get what she wants. (So she fits in with most of the cast of characters!!!) That’s not to say I don’t understand why Nadia decided to reach out to her! Katya is her only real connection left to Irina. (Well, amongst those who have actually spent significant time with her.) Yet how can we trust anything she says? Even after she gets “out” with that reaction to the chocolate bar, even after she sends Sydney on the path to exonerate Irina, I STILL CAN’T TRUST HER. What if that’s another manipulation?

I mean, I kinda wanna think that’s the case because who the fuck hides a message inside of a music box like that? I am not at all sure how that was intended to work, but OKAY. So, Katya’s guilt trip of Sydney over her mother’s death leads her to discover that someone else paid for the hit taken out on Sydney… and that person was Arvin Sloane. As I said in the video, it’s surprising only in that I hadn’t guessed it. It’s perfectly within his characterization to do something like this. But what the hell for? Why frame Irina and then have her killed? (Off-screen, no less!) I still don’t have all the pieces I need to assemble this mystery, and the ending certainly doesn’t help.










How??? How??? Who is that other person??? Why does he look like Arvin Sloane? So, that Sloane orchestrated the manipulation of Vaughn, all so he could get to a Rambaldi artifact? Is the Rambaldi stuff coming BACK into play? How does any of this relate to the secret ploy that the REAL Sloane and Jack are orchestrating? Is it just a coincidence??? WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS TO ME???

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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