Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S05E07 – Fait Accompli

In the seventh episode of the fifth season of Alias, the team goes after Gordon Dean. It truly does not go as expected. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias.

This surprised me, y’all, and once again, an episode that seemed predictable is anything but. The writers toy with certain expectations that I had for both Gordon Dean and the Prophet Five, all while inching us ever closer to understanding what it is that the Prophet Five want. 

Oh, and there’s also a lot of heartbreak. LET’S DISCUSS.

Tom Grace

I feel like I might have a harsh view of Grace, but we’re seven episodes into this season (which isn’t very like, and this is the sixth episode with Grace in it), and I don’t know a thing about this character. Nothing! Well, I find out that he can do an okay Australian accent, but… that? is? it? What is he doing on this show, y’all??? I’ve seen some bad character introductions on shows before. (Abrams’s own LOST had a particularly terrible set of them in the third season. WHO REMEMBERS THAT.) But there still has not been an introduction. Where does Grace live? What does he do outside of work? Does he have any friends or family or does anyone else even know him? WHO IS THIS PERSON.


And look, Rachel, the other new character in this season, doesn’t have a whole lot to do in “Fait Accompli.” But she’s not useless, and there is still a huge character moment in this episode. It’s Rachel’s appearance that literally allows the team to capture Gordon Dean, y’all. It’s an important scene because, as I mentioned on video, it seemed obvious that Gordon would win. He couldn’t be captured because he was the main villain, you know? We’re too early into the season for this kind of setback for the antagonist, right? RIGHT?

Oh, I forgot that I was watching Alias, which escalates stories WHENEVER THE FUCK THAT THEY WANT. They have done this to me multiple times! I keep falling for it! I’M SO GLAD RACHEL KNOCKED OUT GORDON, THAT WAS DEEPLY SATISFYING.

Alternate Timeline

The most satisfying character arc in this episode, as sad as it was, belonged to Sydney. Y’all, I am maintaining a part of my brain for the sheer denial of Michael Vaughn’s death, but each new episode pushes me further and further from this. Shit, y’all, he’s dead, and like I’ve written in other reviews, his absence continues to play an important part in the story of season five. Sydney’s sadness manifests far less these days, but I’ve noticed that it returns whenever she reaches an important milestone in her motherhood. Note that this is happening while she’s mothering other characters, too! I felt like she had mothered Rachel through her first solo mission, and there’s an eerie, unnerving dynamic to her scenes comforting Gordon Dean.

Anyway, the point being: this is not the timeline that Sydney imagined. This is not what she thought she would be doing as she got closer to giving birth. It hurts, obviously, and in these moments, Sydney wants Vaughn so badly that it is written on her face. (Seriously, Jennifer Garner is so talented, y’all.) Instead, she must craft her alternate timeline as each moment comes to her. Instead of assembling her child’s furniture with Vaughn, she initially denies the opportunity to put it together with Rachel. It isn’t until the end of the episode that she relents, though she invites Jack to take part in the ritual instead of Rachel. It provides us a touching moment—one that’s deeply needed, I might add—but it still stings.

Vaughn should be here.

Arvin Sloane

Can his catchphrase just be, “Oh, Arvin, what have you done?” Because WHAT HAVE YOU DONE. I went into this episode expecting a certain behavior from him: he would argue with Gordon over what was to be done, then he’d do it anyone so that he could stay out of prison and remain with Nadia. That’s certainly what happens here, right up until it doesn’t. “Fait Accompli” goes through a conversion right as Arvin does, too. With news that Nadia has exhausted every potential treatment for her condition, Gordon’s leverage over Arvin evaporates. Indeed, what can he hold over Arvin? He has no reason to stay out of prison. Arvin still shocked me, though, when he walked into Jack’s office and told him the truth. I DID NOT EXPECT IT, OKAY. And with one move, the dynamic of the episode shifts. This isn’t about Gordon’s control anymore; this is about APO’s chance to control the situation.

Alas, things don’t go as planned. (THE ETERNAL MOOD FOR THIS SHOW.) Oh, they capture Gordon (thanks, Rachel!), but none of them expected that the Prophet Five wasn’t run by Gordon, or that he was stuck in a mysterious hierarchy. Y’ALL, THAT KEY CARD WAS GORDON’S LEVERAGE THAT HE WANTED TO USE TO EXPOSE PROPHET FIVE. Like, I can barely believe how much more interesting Gordon became as a character because of this one episode. Was he being blackmailed, too? Had he gotten in over his head, and his whole tough-guy routine was nothing more than a ruse? AHHHHH, WHAT THE FUCK, WHY DID HE DIE RIGHT WHEN HE BECAME SO LAYERED??? I guess that’s tragedy of his character. (Well, he is also yet another person of color who is no longer around. WAY TO GO, ALIAS.) Arvin killed him for Nadia’s well-being, despite that Gordon could have genuinely helped APO take down Prophet Five.

It’s weird to say that he did this for Nadia. Whomever Prophet Five are (actual world governments??? What the fuck???), they have the means to cure Nadia. Thus, Arvin resorts right back to his most basic motivation, even if it means he has to betray everyone around him. UGH, ARVIN, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? You made everything worse. That’s what you did. GODDAMN IT, Y’ALL. Prophet Five still has the upper hand, Nadia still isn’t cured, and we still don’t know what the fuck is going on this season.

Help me.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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