Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S04E22 – Before The Flood

In the twenty-second and final episode of the fourth season of Alias, I can’t forgive any of you for this. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias. 

You’ve all gone too far. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME.

Before the Flood

Just purely on the basis of this being a finale and a thriller, “Before The Flood” is one HELL of an episode. More so than ever before, the show leans into its science fiction influence and does not care just how fucking weird this all gets. Some of it falls apart under examination—and I’ll get to that—but the bulk of this is thrilling and anxiety-inducing and just the sort of thing I was hoping for at the end of this season. I just wanted them to go big. If Rambaldi’s prophecy was supposed to be this all-encompassing, frightening thing, then it better feel like it.

So bravo on that opening. Parachuting in amidst that horrifying Mueller device was epic in scope. Seeing just how bad Sovogda has suffered since Elena experimented on them made this even more beautiful. The Mueller device’s reddish glow adds an otherworldliness to all of the scenes outdoors, and it casts a horrible pall on the story. If this device, coupled with the infection spread through the water, can make people turn to a homicidal rage, then that red is apt and appropriate. 

While the show turns to something akin to a zombie apocalypse, there’s so much done to set up the emotional beats later in the episode. Before the flood hits, there’s the unending dread that Sydney and Nadia feel growing in them, hinting at the horrible fight that they’ll have during the episode’s climax. Brodien, the man who appeared in this season’s opener, returns again, only to predict his own terrible death at the hands of an infected citizen. Sydney tells Vaughn that she will marry him just before she heads to the roof, and I WAS FULL OF EMOTION. Irina finally gets her big confrontation with her sister, who faked her death and then held her prisoner for EIGHTEEN MONTHS, and the show doesn’t hold back on this, either. It’s such a satisfying conclusion to this specific arc, especially since there’s absolutely nothing redemptive in Elena.

Well, satisfying for Irina, I should say. I’m actually a big fan of unequivocally evil characters. I love ambiguous ones, or ones who believe they’re the hero, or ones that are accidentally heroes. I LOVE MANY TYPES OF VILLAINS. And while there’s an element to Elena’s vindictiveness that’s kinda satisfying, I kept waiting for something more from her story. In the end, she activated Rambaldi’s endgame… just because. She just wanted the world to be purged of the majority of its inhabitants. That’s it! She had no other reason for doing it. If we’d seen a bit more into this desire of hers, I don’t think I would have felt as I did about this, but it’s still just… odd. It feels hollow, especially after she did so much to manipulate the people around her. All of it was just to… what? Commit genocide?

It seems like such a weird explanation for someone to turn on the person who is most like their own daughter. It’s so heartbreaking to watch Nadia get betrayed so harshly by Elena, only for her to infect her at the end in the hopes that she’ll stop Sydney and the apocalypse will rain down on the world. LIke, not that this would have necessarily made what she did better, but she didn’t even want Nadia to be in the new world left behind! She flat-out didn’t care if she survived!!! WHAT THE FUCK. 

After The Flood

I truly can’t believe I get to type this: Arvin Sloane didn’t betray the team. ARVIN SLOANE ACTUALLY LIVED UP TO HIS PROMISE. Look, even when he shot Nadia to save Sydney—WHICH WAS DEEPLY HEARTBREAKING FOR ME—I still expected some last-minute fake out. I expected the show to reveal that he had an ulterior motive. THIS IS WHAT ARVIN SLOANE DOES. But he didn’t this time. He actually wanted to clean up the mess he had made, or at least make an attempt at that. I just… holy shit, is this real? Did I imagine this? DID ARVIN SLOANE DO AN ACTUAL GOOD THING? I don’t know what that means for the future, though. Is he going to make a real effort to change in season five? What does that kind of path look like for someone like Arvin Sloane, who has caused so much suffering in the world?

I suppose the same question applies to Irina Derevko. She has done monstrous things, but she also doesn’t betray the team. In a moment of affection and respect, Jack lets her escape. It’s such an emotional scene, y’all, especially since Sydney doesn’t even know when she’ll see her mother again. Plus, they’ve had such a bizarre journey, and I couldn’t stop thinking of how far the two of them had come. What about her future, y’all? How does Irina fit into the remainder of this show? I don’t know!!! There’s so much potential for both her AND Arvin to change and grow, but I don’t know that I should expect that. 

Hell, I don’t know what to expect from season five in general. There are three major things I need addressed at this point:

  1. Nadia getting cured. I feel like that’ll be addressed sooner rather than later. I’m also curious to see if Nadia will feel guilt over this as well. She was so certain she wouldn’t turn on Sydney, and instead, she was forced to. 
  2. Dixon. The more I think about it, the more angry I am that he wasn’t in the finale FOR EVEN A SECOND. No one even mentions him! And this particular story was important to his character. The Rambaldi nonsense affected his life, and yet he doesn’t participate in the resolution of it. It’s bogus, and I really hate it. 
  3. who in the fuck is Michael Vaughn WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THIS ENDING WAS OKAY

SERIOUSLY!!! WHAT THE FUCK!!! VAUGHN ISN’T VAUGHN??? AND HE WAS SET UP TO MEET SYDNEY FROM THE START? HOW DID IRINA KNOW ABOUT THIS??? HAVE THERE BEEN CLUES THE ENTIRE TIME THAT I MISSED? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS SHOW?

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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