Welcome back my little operatives to the second SD-6 Report. Late because of my being at the Baltimore Comic Convention, my apologies for both of you who were waiting with baited breath for your recap of repeated episodes, but this is a two-part episode, so it’s twice as long – and twice as long means (just ask the ladies) twice as fun. This week we are going to get not only a review of an episode, but a cubic ass-load of things to start paying attention for next time you start watching your box set. Before we begin our journey into the world of subterfuge, double crossings, and hot spy chicks, I just want to thank Mr. Bob Reiss for sending me my first response to this column. He apparently is going to be cueing up the episodes as I write about them.. YOU ALL SHOULD BE THIS DEDICATED!!!
Heh, hey Bob! Episode s01e03 s02e18 and s03e20 … I’ll wait for you to finish changing DVDs.. How dedicated are you now, eh Bob?
Anyway, now that I’ve ticked off my one fan (Iain Burnside reads the column too, but he’s not a fan – he’s jealous of how close I am to Ms. Garne.. I mean.. Jennifer) – Let’s get on with the review.
BUT BEFORE THAT! Let me just make a comment about reviewing these episodes. After trying to figure out what my next episode was going to be, I realized that I’m not going to be able to catch everything that’s happened. I have just over 3 months to catch you people up on your Alias-ness so you are ready to hit Season 4 head on. I can only give you a highlight reel. Some episodes I’ll choose for their historic importance to the series.
Maybe, in time, I’ll go back and whenever I’m bored review a couple other episodes, but please don’t be upset if I’m assuming too much on your part. Lots of stuff happens in this show, and to catch all of it, you should go grab those boxsets.. they are TOTALLY worth it. (God, I should get Amazon.com to support this column).
So now that we are all on equal footing. Let’s hit the ground running with Season One: Episodes 12 & 13 – “The Box”
WHAT YOU’VE MISSED:
Alot really. Halfway through the season and they have already loaded into your lap that SD-6 has almost figured out that Sydney is a double agent, but some quick thinking on Jack’s part saved her. Will is showing obvious feelings for Syd, but Vaughn also is making eyes. Add to this, there has been a few missions pertaining to a DaVinci-like creator by the name of Rembaldi. He apparently was a genius, and everyone seems to have a mad-on for his inventions. Sometimes without even knowing what these things DO!
The big plot point that was partially resolved in the episode just prior to this was that Sydney was starting to believe that her father was a KGB agent. In a startling reveal, Jack let’s her (and us) know that Jack was not in the KGB, but Sydney’s long dead mother was.
EPISODES 12 & 13 – THE BOX Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
So Sydney’s Mom was a KGB agent, which means she was one of the bad guys. Sydney realizes that she has been, unknowingly, following in her mother’s footsteps by playing double agent and decides it’s time to bail on SD-6. Shortly thereafter we find out that if Sydney does quit, she will be killed.
Well, kismet is a wonderful thing as SD-6 is attacked by unknown quotients. The place is under complete control and Sloane is none the wiser until it’s too late. Whomever this is, they know Arvin and how it’s done. Once Sloane DOES figure it out though, he locks down the building – trapping Sydney and Jack in an elevator.
Now, as everyone knows, any smart person can get out of a trapped elevator – so Syd and Jack are our ‘Die Hard’ duo, and they find out that everyone has been gathered together as hostages. We finally get to meet our Anti-Terrorist Terrorist group leader. You might remember him from his roles in Pulp Fiction, Resivour Dogs, and Dusk Til Dawn — Quentin Tarantino is our guest terrorist as, McKenas Cole. He wants in the big SD-6 vault, and is going to beat the ever loving snot out of Sloane until he finds out. And does.
To cut through all of the excess, it goes that if anyone opens the vault, SD-6 will blow up. Now normally this isn’t the case, that would be a pretty horrendous vault, eh? Since Sloane set all the security measures up though, either that vault is safe – or it’s gone.
The other sub-plot worked through in this episode is Will, Syd’s newspaper buddy, who has been trying to work on Danny’s death. He bounces back and forth on it until finally he decides to give up on it. It’s just bad ju-ju, and is starting to fear for his life, as well as Kelly McNeil, the daughter of a man who knows something about SD-6. A mysterious phone call and clues start being thrown at Will, but he’s holding strong.
Kelly McNeil catches up with Will through questionable means, and convinces him that he’s got to do something. As a reporter. As a man. As a friend to Sydney. AS AN AMERICAN!!!!
Where’s our favorite handler, Vaughn, during this whole day’s events. He’s getting some much needed psychiatric help from the house shrink, Dr. Barnett. He just found out his father was killed by Syd’s mom, and these are the kinds of things that just make you wonder about your feelings for certain double agents, isn’t it?
Back where all the action is, Sydney has retrieved a scrambling device and stops Cole from opening the vault – but Cole’s not stupid and hear’s Sydney sneaking about.. we fade to black as she is being shot out of the ventilation duct she’s been hiding in.
-=-= This episode is one of my favorites of the first season. It’s just fun. There is high action, a great guest star, and where the show is so far-fetched, the way they handle the end of episode two makes you realize just how fantastic this show will allow itself to be.
Just like the serial movies of yore, Sydney is our damsel in distress as our terrorists are about to rip my honey into swiss cheese. Her wonderful father steps out and saves her hide by surrendering. Jack, being the most craftiest of crafties has left a note to Sydney though, explaining everything we knew about SD-6 blowing up. It is just happenstance that she was trying to stop Cole, but actually saved the entire complex. This doesn’t mean that she is out of the woods yet though, as Cole is going to try and hack into the vault. Sydney must find the plastique before they’re done hacking.
Now, Dixon (who is still under the impression that he works for the good guys) sneaks a PDA away from his hijackers and sends out an email to the CIA. The message gets to Vaughn, and he and Agent Haladki (for sake of ease we’ll just call this guy his arch-nemesis) argue about it with Haldaki not wanting to raise a finger to help until they have more information. Our boy Vaughn will have NONE OF THAT though, and goes to help Sydney all by his lonesome. Together they get rid of most of the C-4… most of it, at least.
Before Sydney can finish though, Cole starts to put one and one together (you know the guys she keeps knocking out not calling in or anything) and calls her out. If she doesn’t surrender he’s going to start popping off members of SD-6, starting with Jack. Ironic, no? Then again, by this point in the show you should realize that the person you will cheer for hell or high water is none other than Marshall. Jack is a good choice for Sydney, but Marshall would have been the choice for the people.
Talking about Marshall, he uses his technological nohow to let Syd know that one of her earrings is a flash grenade. Of course it is! It’s thankfully just right there. (Now yes, you can watch and remember how that earring got right there, but geez – I want to work in a place that has flash grenade-earrings floating about like they were pop tarts). Syd hits the button and kicks ass, but the nefarious Cole is nowhere to be found.
Now that the drama has seemingly subsided over at SD-6, we join Will who has used that mysterious key to find the autopsy information about David McNeil’s wife – seems her suicide might have been a little more interactive. Will goes and finds Kelly and lets her know the tragic news in the hopes it will get her to go and hide out with the CIA.
Hey! Talking about the CIA (These sequitors just write themselves), Agent Weiss figures out that Haladki is ignoring that which is right in his face about SD-6’s invasion and sends out a taskforce to stop the invasion. So we have CIA helping out SD-6, because better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, right.
The best parts of this show come from the next two actors – Jack & Sloane. When they talk, there is just acting electricity. Savour their moments together, because each one adds to their developmentally dysfunctional relationship.
Anyway, there is a failsafe from having the C-4 go off. Sloane’s fingerprint. Arvin is currently a bit tied up in the torture room, so Jack does the only realistic thing to stop this whole affair. He cuts off Sloane’s finger.
Jack makes haste and saves the day — sort of. The explosions don’t go off, but Cole gets into the vault. He steals the artifact that this whole war was started over, and is promptly beaten to hell by Sydney and her CIA buddies. Inside the box is some liquid. All of this trouble for a small container of what could be the vaccine for AIDS or nail polish remover. I love this show. The CIA head on out, but everyone has learned a valuable lesson –
Don’t let Quentin Tarantino in your house – he’s there to steal your nail polish remover.
Rating: This is, as I said, some of my favorite action in the first season. You get Syd/Jack, Syd/Vaughn, Syd/Marshall, Marshall/Dixon, Sloane/Jack, and Tarantino who won’t appear on the show again for a year or two.
9.5 with only a variable amount of improvement necessary.
SECRET SD-6 REPORT GOODIES – PART #1!
The secret of #47!
J.J. Abrahms has a weird obsession with the number 47. It even plays an importance in the series in Season 2. Even as early as Episode 1, Marshall is talking about having ’47’ exposures on his camera. Near every episode has a ’47’ reference, and you can find most of them at ‘www.sd-6.com’ (a great Alias resource)
I’ll tell you why, thanks to WordIQ.
There exists a humorous 47 society at Pomona College, California, USA which propagates the (joking) belief that the number forty-seven occurs in nature with noticeably higher frequency than other natural numbers. The origin of 47 lore at Pomona appears to be a math proof, written in 1964 by Professor Donald Bentley, which supposedly demonstrated that all numbers are equal to 47.
This oddness is apparent not only in Alias, but in Star Trek: TNG since a former member of ‘The 47 Society’ ended up working with Rick Berman on the show. Here are so me other fun 47 facts thanks to The 47 Society
- Tolstoy’s novel The Kreutzer Sonata is named after Beethoven’s Opus 47.
- The New Testament credits Jesus with 47 miracles.
- There are 47 pipes in the top row of the Lyman Hall organ.
- The Declaration of Independence consists of 47 sentences.
- The Disney comedy “The Absent-Minded Professor” features a basketball game filmed at Pomona’s old Renwick Gym. The final Score: 47-46
- Harwood Dormitory has rooms 45 and 49, but (mysteriously) no Room 47.
- In the film “The Towering Inferno,” actor Richard Chamberlain ’56 was the 47th person in line to be rescued.
- Pancho Villa was killed by a barrage of 47 bullets.
- The Pythagorean Theorem is Proposition 47 of Euclid’s Elements.
- There are 47 letters in the dedication plaque on Mudd-Blaisdell Hall, which was completed in 1947.
- Cesar proclaimed “veni, vidi, vici” in 47 B.C.
- At the time of Pomona’s first graduating class (in 1894), there were 47 students enrolled.
- The tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are located 47 degrees apart.
- The type on the first four pages of the Pomona College web site measures 47 points.
- If all this 47 trivia upsets your stomach, you’ll be glad to know that Rolaids absorbs 47 times its weight in excess acid.
So, that’s my second SD-6 Report. Keep the e-mails coming and let me know what you think. This is your personal handler, in more ways than you’ll ever know – James Hatton – saying goodnight.