Season 4 Incredibly effective and terribly empty

ZeLD

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Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Well, I know i’m kinda being the black sheep on this forum cos I openly criticized the 2 first episodes, but I’m back again on this last one!

To me it was a zillion times better than Authorized Personnel Only (Parts I and II)!
Seems we’re kinda back to season one with Sydney doing what she does best : glamourize the action… and it works… great even!

The writers decided to take some distance from the Rambaldi story and it gives Alias some fresh air but in the meantime, the show now looks like a very regular action spy movie. It seems it lost its spiritual, ambiguous, limitless, philosophical ways… to something simpler and quite effective!

My main problem remains the characters seem not to be humans anymore, even the way they act… Jen garner isn’t giving much to Sydney these days, like she took some distance with the character she plays.

I mean, just remember the pilot season one, it was the main idea of the show : a perfect mixture between Sydney’s humanity (loosing the man she loves, discovering her father, feeling trapped in her life…) and her work (the action, the betrayals, the games, the enemies…)… Season 2 and 3 followed the same path!
Now it’s even quite hard to buy she feels tortured for Nadia, love or hate anyone and even her romance with Vaughn seems like out of it!
I’m not saying the show has to go back there, but its richness was lying in its humanity and ambiguity… which seems to have been lost these days…
Let’s wait and see!
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
I don't think Jen Garner is playing Sydney with less humanity, i think the point of her coldness is supposed to be that Sydney has lost a lot of her humanity because of all she's gone through. She's become more distant, not the actress, she's just doing her job.
 

spydancer

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Aug 16, 2004
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California
For one part I agree with you, but overall, I think we have only seen three episodes and lets face it, if Alias is to survive they need to pull in some new viewers (not just maintain the loyal fans)... There was a lot of "housekeeping" going on in I and II and I think this third episode was supposed to feel a little more fun and less serious. I was a little upset that there was not more of the "humanity" side of the show, more personal interactions, too much spy action and not enough of the human side of the characters, too, but I'm optimistic that in future weeks we will see more of that balance that we all love.
 
A

AliasALIAS

Guest
Compared to season 3, Sydney is a lot more human again in my opinion. I agree with you in the fact that it's somewhat empty. My college counselor and I had a short discussion about it today (finally, someone at school who watches Alias!) and with the self-contained episodes, there's a whole lot of the "so what?" factor. Who cares about Valta--it has no long term importance that we know of. In my opinion, the missions, while still cool and entertaining, slow down the show when they don't have significant relevance to the characters.

The show needs to focus on the characters more rather than dazzling new viewers with spy gadgets. I still believe that the show, so far, has been a huge HUGE improvement over the last season, including character development. I especially love the dynamic of the new Spy Family, which puts Sydney, Jack, Nadia, and Sloane -- yes, Sloane -- in the same circle. SpyFam was the driving force of season two, and I see the same potential for this season, if only the episodes weren't so self-contained, crowding the hour with pointless missions instead of useful dialogue.

Rambaldi will be back. The Rambaldi storyline is just taking a backseat for some time, which I'm glad for after the freakazoid green juice overdose of last season. I do look forward to seeing Rambaldi come back and becoming one of the mysterious big pictures, but I can enjoy the show for the time being without him. Alias has always been an escapist fantasy, but the absence of Rambaldi makes it seem so much more real.

If it still isn't clear in my post, self-containing the episodes has done its damage. Dialogue on the show for the first three episodes seems to have been cut short, except for long useless mission babble. I wanna hear a Sydney monologue or an exchange of emotions that doesn't involve some quick tears cut off by a long commerical break.

Again, I still look forward to the rest of the season. These first few episodes have brought the excitement back into Alias.
 

ZeLD

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Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Silverdewdrop said:
I don't think Jen Garner is playing Sydney with less humanity, i think the point of her coldness is supposed to be that Sydney has lost a lot of her humanity because of all she's gone through. She's become more distant, not the actress, she's just doing her job.
[post="1158811"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]​

LOL my question would be how did you come up with this idea?!... :LOL:
I mean, it's not like you've got a very special relationship with Sydney Bristow to understand and identify or justify every feeling the fictional character has...
Sorry, i just don't buy it! :angelic:
 

speedroc

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Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Well, I know i’m kinda being the black sheep on this forum cos I openly criticized the 2 first episodes, but I’m back again on this last one!

To me it was a zillion times better than Authorized Personnel Only (Parts I and II)!
Seems we’re kinda back to season one with Sydney doing what she does best : glamourize the action… and it works… great even!
No you're not. Everyone has a right to their own opinion,plus you've backed up your posts with valid points. There's nothing wrong with constructive criticism...it's better than following the show blindly.
 
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Sep 10, 2004
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well it's obvious in this season that we're dealing with a stronger Sydney Bristow. so she's not gonna wear her emotions on her sleeve like she has the last 3 seasons. however, if it's humanity you're talking about don't forget scenes like in the first 2 eps when she finally told Vaughn that Jack killed her mother. and when she found out at the end that the reason he did it was because Irina had a contract on her life. the family aspect of the show is still very present. the emotions of the characters are still to be dealt with. but they're hyping up the action cause last year was a depressing season, and with Sydney and co. working for the CIA the missions were way more held back than in the first 2 seasons. but especially after reading the interview from TIME with JJ that's posted in the General forum, there's no way JJ is going to allow the show to lose it's emotional edge.
 
V

verdantheart

Guest
I think part of the "distance" problem with this episode is who did we see her interacting with most of the time? Bishop, Jack, and Sloane. Well, gee, she's going to go all warm and gooey with those guys, now isn't she? And with Weiss on the mission, she can't be warm, she has to keep alert. At the party before Dad showed up, while they were brainstorming, there was plenty of warmth there, and you'll see that when she's with the right people. She wasn't with them during this episode, so give her a chance next week, OK? ;)
:v:
 

ZeLD

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Joined
Jan 7, 2005
verdantheart said:
I think part of the "distance" problem with this episode is who did we see her interacting with most of the time? Bishop, Jack, and Sloane. Well, gee, she's going to go all warm and gooey with those guys, now isn't she? And with Weiss on the mission, she can't be warm, she has to keep alert. At the party before Dad showed up, while they were brainstorming, there was plenty of warmth there, and you'll see that when she's with the right people. She wasn't with them during this episode, so give her a chance next week, OK? ;)
:v:
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I don't know about that but, second time I'm seing the episode and I still feel there's something unatural going on in the show... like the relationships and interraction between characters had become fake, written to please the audience... I mean even in season 3, when Sydney didn't have much of af social life, it was easy to beleieve what she was feeling for Vaughn or her ambiguous relationship with Lauren at first... all that was real good and realistic... Now it's a big smile for the team (very Baywatch), a litlle tiny kiss for Vaughn (let's pretend we're together for the show, gulp) and a "dad what you did is no good"...
 

boyscout4747

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Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Again, I feel that the reason some people think that Sydney is "empty" along with others this season is because they don't think that Sydney is capable of changing. Everyone wants her to be the fun Season 1 and 2 Sydney.

Sydney has gone through a lot. I mean with last seasons cliffhanger and the whole Vaughn/Lauren thing, it's going to be a while before she can really open up again! I mean in the premiere she didn't open up at all, which is acceptable! Would you throw yourself at someone if you just found out that your mother was killed by your father? No, you'd be inferior and cold towards people.

In "The Awful Truth" she started to warm up a little bit, especially to Vaughn. She's not going to have a good relationship with Dad anymore, and she's not gonna make a big deal about it anymore. Sydney is used to this now. So when you say that it seems that the characters have become fake, think of how they've changed a bit, and realize if it's their purpose to act the way they do, or if they aren't just acting.

Written to please the audience? How so?

I'm not looking forward to a Season 3 Sydney like you want. That was written to make audiences go "awwwwwww". Season 4 Sydney is real. She's not gonna act happy and cheerful and deep with everyone. I don't. People in real life don't do that. Sydney is gonna be cold towards Jack and Sloane. She's gonna embrace her sister, Vaughn, and Weiss, like she has been.

Don't even get me started with the Vaughn thing. THEY HAVE SO MUCH HISTORY! I mean, yes, it's SUPPOSED to be awkward, their realtionship will NEVER be the same because of Season 3. If one thing is really deep and meaningful, it's their relationship. Just watch their little love scene in the premiere. How they stared at each other at the end was not fluff, it was REAL. And if you look deep and really embrace that moment, you can see how their relationship has evolved so much and become what it is now.
 

aliasfanjay

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Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Location
Melbourne, Australia
ZeLD said:
I don't know about that but, second time I'm seing the episode and I still feel there's something unatural going on in the show... like the relationships and interraction between characters had become fake, written to please the audience...
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I'm the first to admit that I don't analyse the show too much on that side of things - but there is nothing fake with what I have seen. If anything, the episodes themselves seem to be moving along very fast, brushing over certain details that had us guessing last season - Wittenberg, Irena's death etc.
I'm confident that these things will be explained, but that is about the only thing that I have had a problem with.
 
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