Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There's Only One Sydney Bristow

National Television Week continues with another of my favorite shows, the one that made Jennifer Garner a household name:

Alias (2001-2006)

Warning: if you've never seen the show and plan to, don't read this because spoilers abound! 

Ranking the seasons:

Season 1
Season 2

Ask any Alias fanatic which season(s) they think are the best and chances are they'll tell you it's the freshman and sophomore years and I'd have to agree with them. The show was at the top of its game, the most exciting and suspenseful in these two thrilling seasons. The show was like me electronic crack and I couldn't wait for my next dose disc from Netflix. I love these seasons so much that I got S1 for my birthday and S2 for Christmas one year! And one thing the first two seasons had that the others didn't? Will and Francie. Their absence was severly missed in the latter seasons, though it was nice to see Bradley Cooper when he came back to guest star in an episode of S3 and later in one in S5. I loved their involvement in Sydney's life and Will trying to find about about Danny's death in S1 was one of my favorite storylines. Also loved Sydney and her parents in S2. OneBigHappySpyFamily! ....Or not!

Season 3
Though not as good as the first two seasons, S3 does have some good storylines such as where the hell was Sydney for two years and the whole thing with the Covenant and Lauren pulling an Irina Derevko on Vaughn.

Season 5
Unfortunately after S3, the show had just seemed to loose its oomph and it was time to end things. However, there were a few good episodes in this season that reminded me why I fell in love with the show in the first place. I actually need to watch this season again (and I do own it on DVD, but haven't watched it yet) because the whole thing with Vaughn's "death" confused me greatly. Were Sydney and Jack in on it the whole time? Because one minute he's "dead" and the next minute he's hiding out in Siberia or whever the hell it was. Also, did anybody care about the storylines with Rachel and Tom? I know, who? The only new character I found interesting was Renee Rienne (how fun is it to say her name?) and I did love that they brought back Anna Espinosa. And Isabelle was so cute, I'm glad she got to be with her parents, but I'm so sad she's never going to meet her SpyPappy! ::sniff::

Season 4
I blame the suckiness of this season on JJ Abrams. This was the same year that Lost premiered, so I think he spent 90% of his time on his new show while neglecting Alias. I guess all his efforts working on Lost paid off since it did win the Emmy that year. But hey, I'm not complaining. I loved the first season of Lost. I can't say the same thing for S4 of Alias though. All the suspense was gone. It seemed hardly any of the shows ended in cliffhangers, everything was resolved in one show. Yawn, how boring.

Ranking the season finales:
Obviously, a show like Alias is famous for cliff-hangers (like most shows have). Here's how I'd rank them:

Season 2 ending - This ending was so talked about that even I knew what happened and this was before I started watching the show. The ending just isn't Sydney finding out Alison Doren is Francie, oh no, Sydney wakes up in some alleway in Hong Kong and soon discovers it's been two years has passed!

Season 1 ending - Turns out SpyMommy really is alive! And...will Vaughn survive? (Of course he will).

Season 4 ending - While I hate this crap about Vaughn being "Andre Micheau," I do have to admit the car crash totally took me by surprise and made me jump!

Season 3 ending - This one really wasn't a cliffhanger, hence why I have it last. She finds documents that she shouldn't have seen, papers documenting her life. Not the most interesting thing to end a season.

My Ten Favorite Episodes (in chronological order):

Truth Be Told (Pilot) - Ah, the two-hour episode that started it all. Sydney learns that she's been working for the enemy she thought she was fighting. Surprise! SD-6 isn't a branch of the CIA, but more of an enemy of the United States. She finds this out from her father after her fiance is killed when she tells him she's a spy. She goes to the CIA and becomes a double agent, along with her father. The story is set: it's time to destroy SD-6.

2. Reckoning, (1.6) - Three main reasons why I love this episode: 1) Charlie sings Have a Little Faith In Me as his debut song at the club he invites Sydney and Francie to. I love that song so much! Of course, that probably wasn't the best song for him to sing...ahem. Oh, poor, poor, Francie. Though Charlie cheating on her was far from the worst thing that happened to her on the show(!!) 2) Love Sydney's and Dixon's mission in the London photo gallery where Dixon poses as a wealthy buyer and Sydney sneaks into the office to retrieve an important device and the camera detects her and one of the gaurds comes back and she has to hide on top of the heating pipe...OUCH! 3)Sydney disguised as a patient in a asylum where she has to escape with John Hannah? (Jonathan from the Mummy movies!) Love it!

3. The Box Parts 1 and 2, (1.12 and 1.13)- This is a two-parter, but I'm counting it as one episode because I can! Quentin Tarantino guest stars as McKenas Cole, a former SD-6 agent who sneaks a pack of intruders into SD-6 and takes everyone hostage while locking the building down. They want the access code to the SD-6 vault. Luckily Sydney and SpyDaddy weren't there at the moment and it's up to them to save the day! (With a little help from Vaughn).

4. The Coup, (1.14) - Sydney and Dixon are sent on a mission to Las Vegas. When Sydney tells Francie and Charlie she has a business meeting in Vegas, they perk up at the idea and think it sounds like fun. And of course, they also choose to come to the same hotel Sydney's doing her spyin' at, so she has to avoid them to maintain her cover. There's one little hitch: before leaving for Vegas, she was approached by a woman who has proof that Charlie's been cheating on Francie with her and when Sydney sees that they are about to get married at a chapel, she has to stop them, so she puts the mission on hold for a few minutes. What can I say, I'm a sucker for close calls.

5. Rendevous (1.21) - This is one of my favorite episodes of Alias ever. First of all, Syd's cabaret singer disguise is one of my favorites - I thought she looked really pretty. Loved the magneta hair! And I love, LOVE,LOVE the scene where she has to rescue Will and the look on his face is so totally priceless when he realizes at that *moment* his good friend Sydney Bristow does NOT work at a bank! LOL! See, I thought the scene inBtVS when Buffy's mom learns her daughter is a vampire slayer was really anti-climatic. It was just like, "Oh, yeah, Mom, by the way, I'm a vampire slayer." And her mom is like, "Well, that's nice." Or whatever. But when Will learns the truth about Sydney being a spy? Awesome, awesome, awesome. Love the looks on Will's face when she's fighting/shooting at the bad guys and trying to save him at the same time. Hehehe! "Who are you people?" and "Seriously?" are two of the best Will Tippin lines. I love Will! The show was just never the same after he left.

6. The Passage Parts 1 and 2 (2.8 and 2.9) - It's a Bristow family vacation in India! "You know some people go minature golfing with their parents. We go to India and look for nukes." The CIA needs Irina's help in this two-parter, so she joins Sydney and Jack on their mission, much to Jack's dismay. And in true Alias fashion they get ambushed, but they manage to defeat the bad guys.

7. Phase One, (2.13) - Lots of good stuff in this episode. Love the whole plane sequence when Sydney has to hang on for dear life after shooting open the hatch. Sure, it was a little unbelieveable (at least in Alias world, but it was a thrilling scene and I was still nervous for her even though I knew she'd make it out okay). This is also the episode where the CIA takes over SD-6, tut the best part was the reveal at the end with Francie who isn't really Francie. Ooh, that was so delicioulsy creepy!

8. The Telling, (2.22) - This episode probably has the greatest female vs. female fight in all of TV history. I enjoyed the brawl between Sydney and Francie!Alison probably more than I should have! It sorta reminded me of the fight between Uma Thurman and Vivica A. Fox in Kill Bill. It gave me a little shiver before Sydney finds out about Francie's true identity and is listening to her phone message from Will when all of a sudden he's cut off. Also loved the scene when SpyMommy falls off the highrise in Mexico City and shoots her gun at the glass windows.

9. Facade, (3.15) - Ricky Gervais does a complete 180 from The Office and guest stars as Daniel Ryan, a freelance bomb maker whose bombs are impossible to defuse. He believes his brother was killed by the Covenant and wants revenge, so he has placed a bomb on a plane that has Sark and Vaughn on board (not to mention many innocent people). It so happens that it was Sydney who killed his brother when she was with the Covenant under the alias Julia Thorn. Pretty powerful episode, probably the most memorable from S3.

10. There Is Only One Sydney Bristow, (5.12) - Will returns! Anna returns! It's like an Alias reunion! Anna has injected a small explosive device into the back of Will's head. SuperSpySyd must save him! Anna offers her a deal: a page from the Rambaldi code for the bomb's deactivation device. Of course, Anna being, well, Anna, doensn't exactly keep her word and when Sydney does hand over the Rambaldi page, Anna sets the timer off. Luckily Sydney manages to save Will at the last second! At the end we learn why Anna has returned: to look exactly like Sydney. So now there are TWO Sydney Bristows!

I talk about one of my current favorite shows:


  1. I assume you're talking about Breaking Bad? Good show - check it out!