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"Alias" Succession (2003)

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sark's return

8/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
14 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This season continues to be exciting with a great opening, two CIA agents are in a lift which is sent plummeting when the winch house is blown up, after falling some distance it comes to a halt, but soon it is ascending again and when it gets to the top of the building it keeps going as we see it is swinging from a heavy lift helicopter.

These two agents are now prisoners of The Covenant who demand that the CIA retrieve a package from a sleazy Munich cinema. When Sydney gets there and opens the package she finds the head of one of the kidnapped agents. The Covenant contacts the CIA again and says they are willing to exchange the remaining agent for Sark. The NSA think they want to kill him so claim to happy for the exchange to take place. As the swap is taking place however it becomes clear that the exchange in not going to take place when Delta Force turns up to stop the procedures. Things don't go according to plan and the Covenant end up with both Sark and the CIA agent. It turned out that they didn't want Sark dead after all but access to funds he no idea he had till they told him.

Away from the episode's main plot Jack goes to see Sloane to try to find out what happened to Sydney in her missing two years and Sydney goes to see Vaughn to let him know she would have no problem with him coming back to work with her at the CIA.

As one would expect from Alias there is plenty of action and a plot which is is convoluted without seeming as though it is just being convoluted for the sake of it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good but rather unmemorable episode

7/10
Author: gridoon2016
24 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Two CIA assets are kidnapped in Germany by the terrorist group "The Covenant"; they kill one and agree to release the other in exchange for Sark, who is still being held prisoner by the CIA. Dixon authorizes the exchange but the operation goes wrong due to the ill-conceived change of plans by NSC director Lindsey. Meanwhile, Jack tries to find out more about the Russian diplomat that Sydney appears to have killed in cold blood some time during her two missing years by contacting Irina Derevko, and Vaughn comes back to work for the CIA. This second episode of the third season has some good little moments: the Sydney-Sark scenes (David Anders probably does the best acting on the show here; Sark is bemused by the absurdity of what goes on around him), Jack's "Miss you too" to Irina (glad she's still alive, though with Lena Olin removed from the main cast we probably won't be seeing much of her, at least in the near future), Sydney's face-off with Lindsey in the men's bathroom. But when you try to think of truly memorable, defining moments (like, to use a recent example, Syd calmly blowing up a car full of bad guys in "The Two"), this episode comes up short. *** out of 4.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

JJ Abrams is the Janet Yellen of television writing

6/10
Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
10 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(this review mainly for film students -- a group which by coincidence includes this lone reviewer) This review written 2015 but I am confident the header will resonate with IMDb members of future generations. My prior reviews have emphasized that, above all, ALIAS was the show on which Abrams honed his craft and acquired the skills that would eventually lead to some of the best product TV has ever seen, such as, for example, FRINGE.

Also, like Whedon in Buffy, Abrams played around with new concepts and new ways of developing arcs. Some of this works, some does not. Much has been copied by other auteurs in the interim.

Abrams rebooted the series going into this season. That sounds trite now (in 2015) but it was a BIG DEAL back then. And over the years this has become a classic Abrams technique to rejuvenate a show.

At its essence this is a P2K4 episode, not much happens, there is very little viewer "kick" and the complex process of launching a new arc has begun.

If you understand the mechanism, the episode is almost predictable. In the last four minutes, Sydney rushes into her bosses office and blurts out that she does not want to go into group therapy, that she is coping with the amnesia as best she can, that she "still loves Vaughn" but that's OK ... and then she realizes that there is another person in the room, a pretty blonde, and she has interrupted a meeting.

She does a double take. This reviewer, finally beginning to understand the inner workings of Abrams' process, mumbled to himself, "well that has got to be Vaughn's wife, the only missing character in the new arc..." And it was. Your reviewer is not boasting, merely showing how even something 'new and different' can become formulaic and predictable.

Overall, FRINGE was the better series. But Abrams honed his skills here. And THAT is worth watching.

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