May 23, 2006

Series Finale Report: Alias - "Reprisal" and "All the Time in the World"

It's over, after five seasons the spy-drama brainchild of JJ Abrams has come to an end. The series closed out its run with a pair of episodes that did a decent job of wrapping things up, but didn't feel quite as epic as I had hoped.

The first episode, "Reprisal," starts with the APO team attempting to get definitice looks at the top members of Prophet Five. The team spreads out and obtains the photographic proof they need, to go along with the rest of the documentation they already have. The plan is to arrest all of the leaders, Sloane included, simultaneously. They don't want the members to be able to warn the anyone else before the deed goes down.

Meanwhile, Sloane is working with Sark and Peyton. Sloane is trying to solidify their position with Prophet Five, he realizes that once they turn over the amulet they had obtained their desirability will disappear in the eyes of their employers. So, he decides to continue the work on his own.

That night, Marshal is enjoying an evening with his family, when he is abruptly abducted in the night. Across town, Tom pays a visit to Rachel, realizing that he does not know yet why he's there, he slips away. After the visit, she too is abducted. Marshall and Rachel find Sloane to be their captors. Peyton is doing her evil best to convince Marshal to assist in finding the location required for the amulet. She goes about ripping out his fingernails, one by one, until Sloane has another idea. Sloane tracks down and confronts Sydney, who he forces to convince him to help. She does.

Marshal and Rachel work together to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for APO to follow. At this point, Marshal's wife, a former CIA techie, is onboard helping to track her husband. They find the location they are looking for is in central Italy. Shortly after the discovery, one of Sloane's thugs comes in to take care of their guests, but Rachel had already freed herself and Marshal, and they escape only to meet Dixon and a team in the hallway.

Vaughn and Sydney track Sloane to the cave in Italy, where Sydney confronts him. Peyton, heads off to meet the Prophet Five leadership, and proceeds to assassinate every last one of them. And, back at the APO office, it is discovered that bombs are planted around the subways around the base.

Tom finds the blast point, a large bomb in an empty subway car. Unfortunately, he cannot disarm it, but is able to slow it down enough to get the base evacuated. He has time to get out, but decides not to, instead he says goodbye to Rachel, putting an end to the teased potential romance between the two. Too bad they didn't really have much chemistry.

Back in the cave, Sydney and Sloane are holding guns on each other. Sloane is not about to let Sydney stop him, he is too close to his desired end. He pulls out the amulet, something begins to happen, he then shoots the ice out from beneath Sydney, plunging her into an icy chasm.

The episode ends with Sydney unconcious, Prophet Five all but dead, and Sloane one step closer to his endgame.

"All the Time in the World" opens with Vaughn finding Sydney and attempting, successfully, to revive her. The next thing they need to do is track down Sloane. The team is working out of a makeshift base of operations, although I am not quite sure where they are.

Anyway, Sloane is tracked to some other location, where he and Sark are finally nearing the end. He has a Rambaldi device up and running when Syd, Vaughn, and Jack arrive. There is a firefight going on outside as Sydney confronts Sloane, again. She sees an orb maintaining the device, she removes it from its slot, causing the water ball to drop. Sloane begs her to give it back. Outside, Jack and Vaugn are caught and brought inside, a little extra leverage for Sloane. Sydney does not want to give in. Sloane says, basically, have it your way, and puts 3 bullets in Jack's chest. Sydney will have none of it, shocked by what just transpired, she empties a clip into Sloane, who falls back into the Rambaldi water. In the confusion, Sark escapes, taking the orb with him.

Marshal and Rachel have learned from a captured Peyton, that Sloane had a partner, and that is where Sark is headed. They relay the information to Sydney, who is frantically trying to stop her father's bleeding. They also learn that the location is Sydney. Jack urges Sydney to put an end to this. She, unwillingly, leaved to confront the partner, who turns out to be her mother, Irina.

Sydney arrives in Sydney (hehe), to face off with her mother. While she heads off for her own version of the Luke/Vader "one more time" scenario, Sloane gets up out of the water. Despite being shot numerous times, including once to the head, Sloane is still alive. Of course, he is also talking to his dead daughter, but no matter, he has all the time in the world. Before Sloane can make his escape, Jack appears out of the darkness. He is there to stop Sloane once and for all. Sloane may have beaten death, but he will not be able to take advantage of it. Jack has a belt of C4, and is ready to use it. He detonates it, killing himself and collapsing the cave, forever trapping our 5 season nemesis beneath the rubble. Pleanty of time to contemplate on his doings.

Back in Sydney, Irina now has the orb and is ready to carry on, but Sydney is prepared to stop her. Irina says that even though she is her daughter, Sydney does not realize all that has been put into motion. The pair get into a vicious knock down drag out which takes them out on a ledge of the building. The fight continues and the orb rolls out onto a sunlight, Irina goes after it. The glass starts to crack as Sydney begs her to let it go. She can't, and the glass gives way as she falls to her death.

The scene jumps ahead a few years, looks to be 6 or 7. Sydney and Michael are living at an isolated beach house, as we watch Dixon walk up. Vaughn greets him, and we see Isabelle giving Dixon a big hello. Sydney comes out carrying another bundle. The couple have another child, a son named Jack. Dixon is visiting in an attempt to get the two to return to the field for a mission involving there old nemesis Sark who had resurfaced. We take a brief break and follow Isabelle to her room, where she puts together a puzzle that we had seen Sydney work on as a child, could we have another spy on our hands?

The episode ends with the trio with children in tow walking down the beach.

Something that I really enjoyed throughout this episode were the flashbacks. There were a number that took us back to key points of Sydney's life. We saw her as a child showing a propensity for puzzles, and her reaction to her mothers reported death. We see her as a college student with Francie, who mentions her assassinated boyfriend, and when she tells her father about Credit Dauphine. They were very nice touches.

This finale was very good, I don't feel cheated, although it did not feel quite as epic as I had been expecting. They do a nice job of wrapping things, while not putting a final period on the stories. There is still room to open up some future stories, perhaps a feature (please?).

The performances were always good, and while the focus may have shifted, not necessarily for the better, over the past couple of years, I always felt invested in these characters. This is a series that I always looked forward to watching, and it will leave a whole in my television week.

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