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Season 2 Through the looking glass

Discussion in 'Alias' started by verdantheart, May 9, 2003.

  1. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    “The Telling” (2:22, the season finale) refers not only to a Rambaldi device, but to the stories that Irina tells Sydney and Sloane tells Jack.

    As the story opens, Vaughn and Sydney discuss Irina’s proposal of swapping the information that will exonerate will for the "a favor." Sydney second-guesses her refusal to deal, saying “Maybe we could have played her.”

    Meanwhile, Marshall discusses his date with Carrie with Weiss as he does some computer work, complaining that he melted in a puddle of sweat as he dropped her off. But as Weiss offers Marshall some advice, Marshall suddenly notices something on the computer and bails. A top secret computer has begun receiving information from Irina that identifies the double.

    Sydney tells Will that he’s been cleared and that Francie has been questioned and sent home. He’s not the double. Will apologizes and tells Sydney he trusts her more than anyone. There is a string attached to the double’s information: HE Doren.

    We find Sydney and Vaughn playing hockey when Vaughn is called away by Weiss. Irina shows up. She reminds Sydney that she sent the intel clearing Will and says that she wants a favor. She gives Sydney an address in Zurich and tells her that this is where Sloane is keeping the Rambaldi artifacts.

    Here I will transcribe the story that Irina tells Sydney after she knocks her to the ice:

    Irina: I knew from the beginning when I turned myself in that I would betray the CIA, but not you. I had to be careful. I needed you to trust me, but I also couldn’t tell you my plan. Sloane had 23 Rambaldi artifacts. The CIA had 24. In order to assemble the device, they need to all be brought together. Those are the pieces in Sloane’s warehouse.

    Sydney: You stole the Rambaldi pieces from the US government.

    Irina: Yes. By winning your trust, the CIA’s trust. Then, as planned, I delivered a proposal to Sloane, a proposal that we work together to take down the Alliance and raid the CIA all at once. I came up with the scenario when the CIA needed to let me use their computers. I used the opportunity to learn where the US government kept its stash of Rambaldi artifacts. They were being kept at a secret NSA lab in Nevada. One month later, Sloane had a team raid the lab.

    Sydney: I never heard of an NSA raid.

    Irina: Of course not. And when the time came for my escape, it was painful. Because my love for you, for your father, was not a contrivance.

    Sydney: So you want us to have Sloane’s artifacts?

    Irina reminds Sydney of their complicated relationship and knocks her unconscious before making her escape.

    Faux Francie meets with Sark, who delivers provacillium to her. He tells her that they can’t reverse the genetic conditioning process, but they’re working on it. He kisses her, revealing that the two have a relationship, but he seems a little worried. “You don’t fancy him, do you? Tippin?” he asks.

    Back at the CIA, they discuss what to do with the information from Irina. NSA Deputy Director Brendan is present. He refuses to confirm or deny the theft of Rambaldi artifacts. They discuss whether Irina’s intel can be trusted. Dixon asserts that she is out for herself. Sydney seems equivocal, first thinking it’s a set-up, then wondering if she’s out to get Sloane. If so, counters Kendall, then whey does she need us? Jack suggests another possible motive: “Guilt. Her motives may be insidious, her methods loathsome, but she is not unfeeling.”

    Kendall any artifacts found moved to Evans Naval Base, along with the Di Regno heart. Jack is to transfer the heart with Brendan.

    When Jack informs Marshall that he’s to go to Zurich to examine the Rambaldi artifacts, he asks that Carrie come along as well. Jack agrees to send her.

    We find Tippin and Weiss together. Tippin asks to use Weiss’ computer and remarks that his name is Houdini’s actual name. It turns out that Houdini is Weiss’ great-great uncle. Tippin finds the name Allison Doren on the list of children conditioned for Project Christmas.

    Meanwhile, the Zurich op goes forward. As Jack and Brendan transfer the heart, Sydney and the team break into the warehouse. The team finds nothing but boxes packed with old electronic appliances. Jack and Brendan, however, are attacked by a team of armed gunmen, who kill Brendan, steal the heart, and abduct Jack at gunpoint.

    Jack is transported along with the heart to its destination and strapped to a cot, where he is met by Sloane. Here is what Sloane has to say:

    Sloane: There are so many brilliant creations. Rambaldi. But there was one in particular. A machine. He called it Il Dire, The Telling. The construction consists of 47 pieces. Classic Rambaldi. As you know, it took me a long time, longer than I thought, but I’ve acquired them all, including the Di Regno heart, with your help. They’re in the next room, Jack. I have a team assembling Il Dire right now. They say it shouldn’t be more than a day.

    Jack: And then what?

    Sloane: Ive seen things--recently. I’ve seen what’s possible. There’s a change coming, Jack. Something even I couldn’t imagine.

    Marshall comforts Carrie who seems upset that she hated her boss Brendan and is perhaps not sad enough at his passing.

    Will, meanwhile, tracks down the double to a girl named Allison Doren, who supposedly died in a bus crash.

    Irina calls Sydney and claims that she didn’t know that Sloane would switch the crates in the warehouse. She claims that she doesn’t know where Sloane is, but that Sark does and tells Sydney that she can intercept Sark at a certain club in Stockholm.

    Sydney and Vaughn decide to check it out and discover Sark meeting a man at the club. They take Sark into custody.

    In Mexico City, Jack listens as Il Dire awakes in the next room. Vaughn and Sydney, meanwhile, enter the building. Sark assists Kendall at the op center by providing the access code. “If this intel turns out to be wrong,” says Kendall, “I will personally escort you to Camp Harris and I won’t leave until you’re dead and buried.” The code works and the CIA team pours into the building.

    Sloane announces to Jack that Il Dire has been assembled. However, one of his men arrives to tell him that the CIA tactical team has arrived. Sloane tells him to pack everything. Dixon arrives and frees Jack.

    As Sydney and Vaughn pursue Sloane, Irina appears and takes out a few of Sloane’s men. She calls to Sydney to go after Sloane, but Sydney chases Irina, telling Vaughn to pursue Sloane.

    Sydney corners Irina on the rooftop ledge:

    Irina: I’ll tell you what you need to know.

    Sydney: Get off the ledge now.

    Irina: Sloane believes he’s been chosen to realize the word of Rambaldi, but you, too, have been chosen.

    Sydney: If you think I’m bluffing--

    Irina: It’s you in the prophey, Sydney, not me. Only you can stop him. Good luck, sweetheart.

    Sydney: Get down now.

    Irina: I love you.

    Irina falls from the roof to disappear through a window in the building and make her escape.

    Back in Los Angeles, Will is poring over documents regarding Allison Doren when “Francie” (let’s call her F-Allison) arrives. As F-Allison looks through the papers and realizes how close Will is to finding out the truth, Will discovers the vial of provacillium in the bathroom and calls Sydney with a frantic message telling her about his suspicion that F-Allison is the double.

    F-Allison challenges Will, saying, “It sucks it turned out this way.” They fight and F-Allison stabs Will, who slides to the floor as F-Allison sobs.

    As Sydney and Vaughn arrive at her house, he tells her of their vacation plans. He’s made the reservations in Santa Barbara. Sydney goes in to find F-Allison on the couch. She sits down beside her and picks up her calls, a request to call Kendall and Will’s frantic call. Sydney tests F-Allison by offering her a taste of her coffee ice cream, a flavor Francie doesn’t like. As Sydney goes for her gun, F-Allison picks up on her mistake and challenges Sydney.

    Sydney and F-Allison begin a desperate fight wrecking Sydney’s house in the process. Sydney spots Will’s body in the bathtub. F-Allison finally throws Sydney through her mirror and aims a gun at her, but Sydney slashes her with a mirror shard. Sydney grabs the gun and shoots F-Allson in her arm and both shoulders. F-Allison crumples to the floor and Sydney collapses into unconsciousness.

    Sydney awakes and finds herself in Hong Kong wearing different clothes. She calls the LA op center. “This is agent 2300844 calling for connection. Confirmation looking glass.” She tells Kendall that she doesn’t know how she got there or how long it’s been. Kendall directs her to a safe house.

    As Sydney anxiously awaits information, she notices a healed scar on her stomach. Finally Vaughn arrives and Sydney hugs him tightly:

    Sydney: They doubled Francie.

    Vaughn: I know.

    Sydney: What happened to Will, Francie? Are they dead?

    Vaughn: Will’s OK.

    Sydney: What? How?

    Vaughn: You. Sit down.

    Sydney: Vaughn?

    Vaughn: We thought you were dead . . . They asked me to come back to, um, to explain.

    Sydney: Come back from what? What are you talking about? Vaughn, why are you wearing that ring?

    Vaughn: Syd, since that night you were missing . . . you’ve been missing for almost two years.

    And we wait . . .
  2. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    Analysis . . .

    Who was Irina working for here? Her partnership with Sloane? The CIA? Or herself? Last episode (2:21 Second Double), she was anxious to get the key card to get the Di Regno heart out of the hands of the CIA, not get Rambaldi artifacts into the hands of the CIA. Let me start by stating that she was clearly not working on behalf of the CIA. When she tells her story to Sydney, she confesses to a great many facts that can be figured out or no longer matter:
    • She admits to planning to betray the CIA from the beginning.
    • She used Echelon to discover the whereabouts of the NSA stash of Rambaldi artifacts.
    • Apparently her earrings were a two-way communication device (probably based on Rambaldi tech) by which she communicated her plan to Sark.
    • Sark delivered her proposal for the dissolution of the Alliance and NSA raid (along with blowing Sydney and Jack's covers) to Sloane.
    But she also lies. She claims that Sloane has all of the pieces needed for the device: "Sloane had 23 Rambaldi artifacts. The CIA had 24. In order to assemble the device, they need to all be brought together. Those are the pieces in Sloane's warehouse." But the NSA only had 23 pieces. Sloane is missing the Di Regno heart, as he confirms to Jack: "I've acquired them all, including the Di Regno heart."

    Therefore, Irina's ploy is to expose the Di Regno heart, not to turn over the artifacts to the CIA as she later claims. By stating these facts, she forces the NSA to admit a security breach that prompts a transfer of the heart from the now strengthened facility. However, things do not go as she had planned. Either their partnership dissolves prematurely, or Sloane double-crosses Irina before she gets around to double-crossing him. Perhaps Sark's loyalties turn out to be a little more flexible than she expected. We cannot tell exactly what happens between her and Sloane, for, as is frequently the case, their hands are hidden from us.

    However, Irina does place a call to Sydney, claiming not to have known that the crates in Zurich would be a wild-goose chase (a lie, based on the available facts). She also claims not to know where Sloane is, but claims Sark does and gives Sydney Sark's location.

    This is very interesting. Irina does know where Sloane is, because, lo and behold, there she is. So why send Sydney after Sark? There are a couple of possibilities. Did Irina want to get Sark out of the way because his "flexible loyalties" had flexed over to Sloane? Or did she want to prevent the deal that he was making with the man in Stockholm? Who was this man? What was the deal that they were talking over? Why didn't Sydney and Vaughn at least detain and hand the man over for questioning? Did Kendall find out more about this man? Is this what the first message on Sydney's cell was about? (Too many questions . . . !) Did this happen before or after the dissolution of Irina and Sloane's partnership?

    In Mexico City, Irina has definitely split with Sloane, assisting Sydney in her pursuit of Sloane. But Irina wants Sydney to pursue Sloane and let her go. Perhaps she hopes yet to get her hands on Il Dire? She tells Sydney that it is she, not Irina, who is the subject of Rambaldi's page 47 prophecy. Well, Irina is in a position to know whether she fulfills the physical specs of the prophecy (no doubt having gotten a copy of the page from the ever-faithful Haladki).

    Sydney--and, no doubt, most of the rest of us--have long simply assumed (never a good idea with Alias) that Sydney inherited the three physical anomalies specified in the prophecy (DNA sequence, platelet count, and heart size), from her mother. However, it seems that no one thought to test Jack for these attributes--ruling him in or out as the potential source of these characteristics in his daughter. Certainly they should check to see whether Sydney inherited one or all of these characteristics from her father (it would also tend to settle the nagging issue of parentage which seems to be a topic of hot debate currently . . .). What does Irina know about this matter? (This thought also might have bearing on a certain wild theory I broach later on . . .) If Jack and not Irina is the source of these physical characteristics, then only Sydney fulfills the prophecy.

    But, what, then, is her motivation in going after Il Dire with such ruthless zeal? In her recklessness, she puts the machine in the hands of Sloane, which can't be good. She says to Sydney, "Only you can stop him." Was Irina trying to get Il Dire in order to stop Sloane herself? Yet had she allowed Rambaldi artifacts to remain safely or relatively safely in US government hands--or had she destroyed them--she could have better fought or delayed Sloane, couldn't she? Was her own overwhelming need to know for herself her Achilles heel? Did she let it cause her to throw away her husband, her daughter, possibly her son?

    Does she love her family? Irina says, "And when the time came for my escape, it was painful. Because my love for you, for your father, was not a contrivance." Perhaps not. Perhaps she loves both Sydney and Jack (and this is the first time that she's admitted to loving Jack, by the way). Yet, Irina continually lies to both Jack and Sydney ("Would you betray someone you love?"). Does she love them enough?

    It partially depends on the driving force behind her relentless pursuit of Rambaldi's "truth." Does she seek to protect Sydney in some way, from some fate? Jack? That is the only justification I can see that could even partially absolve her actions. But if she wants to do this, (as I have said elsewhere) why not enlist Jack's help? They work so very well together. We've seen them act almost as extensions of each other. They are more perfect mates than Sydney and Vaughn, save for Irina's insistence on continuing to manipulate Jack. I can think of only two possible explanations for this.
    • Say Irina knew of some Rambaldi prophecy that involved Jack that she was trying to circumvent. For example, if there were a prophecy so dire that Jack would commit suicide to prevent its coming true.
    • Or Irina does not want to involve Jack in her plots. Do her words, "You may need to think of yourself as an honorable husband, a father figure, but I won’t ever see you that man in you--which, frankly, is why we have this agreement" (2:18 Truth Takes Time) shed any light on this? Is she trying to protect Jack from her own evil? Does she see him as an ideal that she is unworthy of, that she could corrupt--perhaps has corrupted to some extent? Is this the guilt that Jack seems to detect in her?
    If the second suggestion is true, Irina casts herself as much in the role of Jack's protector as Sydney's. But for a protector, she certainly puts her family through a lot of abuse.

    Irina's deal with Sloane was particularly risky because she blew both Jack and Sydney's covers at SD-6. Did she make the deal contingent on Sloane's preserving their lives? Even so, Sloane nearly turned the two of them over to the Alliance (the e-mail Sloane nearly sent that was uncovered by Geiger's key-stroke analysis). For someone who loves her family, she puts them in danger an awful lot . . .

    To a large extent, Irina remains an enigma.

    Sydney, meanwhile, finds her friend Will miraculously cleared only to turn around and find her father kidnapped. Vaughn reassures her that Jack will be all right, and she says that she's not worried, but we know that she is. After all, how many times can she expect her father to be taken and survive in one piece? (It's happened quite a bit this season . . .)

    When did Sydney last see her father? The last time we saw them together was during the briefing wherein they discussed whether to follow Irina's intel to the Zurich warehouse. Did she accompany Jack on the jet back to the states? It would be sad if the last time they saw each other for nearly two years was a meeting in which Sydney provided the intel that resulted in Jack's abduction. Yet not long before that meeting was their clandestine alleyway meeting in which Jack sent Sydney to Marseilles and she kissed his cheek. Together, it becomes bittersweet . . .

    What happened after Sydney lapsed into unconsciousness? Sydney is told that it's she who is the subject of Rambaldi's prophecy. Shortly thereafter, she sees her good friend apparently dead in a bathtub (just as she saw her fiance). She has to fight to the death with the image of her best friend Francie. Traumatized and exhausted, she collapses. Is this the beginning of a fugue state of some kind?
    • Will is alive, an outcome that Vaughn attributes to Sydney, yet Vaughn says that Sydney has been missing for almost two years and was thought dead. How did Sydney save Will's life? After all, Will seemed rather, well, dead. Was she able to do it through CPR and calling for help (some unseen spark of life remaining in Will somehow)--or did she save him in a more supernatural manner? And, if so, how did the CIA determine this fact?
    • What happened to F-Allison? Vaughn as much as confirmed that Francie was dead, but Sydney didn't ask about F-Allison, but Francie. Further, Sydney shot her in the arm and both shoulders, not necessarily fatal locations.
    • F-Allison probably contacted someone between the time she stabbed Will and the time Sydney arrived. But whom? Irina? Sloane? Or someone else? That person could have come and collected both F-Allison and Sydney. Was this why Sydney was thought dead? Could this contact be--gasp!--Suit and Glasses?! OK, maybe not . . .
    Sydney apparently awakes two years later in Hong Kong. Some have suggested that she has somehow been transported forward in time, but this doesn't explain her change of clothing, the lack of blood and contusions from her fight, and the healed scar that Sydney found but didn't recognize.
    • The scar--Kidneys are removed from the back, folks, so I'm guessing her kidneys are intact, despite the earlier kidney discussions. I first suggested the removal of gametes, but perhaps the most probable explanation is that this scar simply shows us that time actually passed--it's a scar that Sydney doesn't remember.
    • "Vaughn, why are you wearing that ring?" It looks like Vaughn, on the rebound, may have gotten married. His unhappy and distant manner tends to back up this assessment. If he were married to Sydney and in her amnesia she did not remember that, Vaughn would be eager to supply her with such missing information. Don't you think?
    • With whom has Sydney been? And why doesn't she remember? Has she been subjected to some kind of mental conditioning? Or is it psychological? And what brought her out of it? What has she been doing, and why hasn't she been seen?
    What has happened to everyone else during these two years?
    • Vaughn thought her missing, then eventually accepted her death. Looks like he married someone else unless there's a better explanation for the ring--which his demeanor tends to deny . . . Imagine what he went through . . . what he's about to go through . . . I'm expecting that he's still with the CIA. What was he called back from, though? His honeymoon? A deep-cover mission?
    • Will has to face both the fact that Francie wasn't Francie and the loss of Sydney, whom he still loved, despite his willingness to accept that he couldn't have her. Further, the reason that Francie was killed was because she was close to Sydney and Will. I expect that he will be seriously screwed up. Has he remained an analyst?
    • Dixon still has to deal with the loss of his wife and supporting his family alone, but I suspect the worst is over for him (thanks in large part to Jack and Sydney's support). No doubt he has stayed with the CIA
    • Apparently Kendall is still with the CIA and the op center is still there. I wonder how things have changed there, though?
    • I expect Marshall is still be with the CIA. Has he married Carrie?
    • Is all the same with Weiss?
    • It looks like Sloane got at least part of what he wanted: Il Dire. Has he become "the highest power"? Has the change he predicted come to pass?
    • Irina escaped. What is she doing now? What is her current plan? Doubtless she has no illusion that her daughter is dead. But does she know where her daughter is?
    • Mr Sark was left with the CIA. Did he escape? I'm sure the CIA has less to offer an ambitious man such as himself than other opportunities. But as long as he's in custody, Mr Sark doesn't have a lot of choices . . .
    • Ah, Jack:
    Life goes on, but not for people who have lost everything that they live for. Jack would have tirelessly used every resource the CIA could provide him in search of their lost agent, his daughter--but eventually the CIA would tire of expending resources in this fruitless quest. Either Jack would resign or go on leave immediately, or he would go off-book, taking actions that would inevitably lead to his eventual dismissal. Alone, he might expend his own resources until they were exhausted, but eventually wouldn't he be driven to consider other alternatives? What if he knew someone who had a device that could be a great aid in his search, someone who greatly desired his services? Sadly, I fear the partnership between Jack and Sloane is a likely one. If Irina's desire really was to protect her husband from corruption, her choice of doing so by denying him her trust may have backfired on her.

    Of course, this assumes that Sydney is actually two years into the future and not simply somehow experiencing a possible future due to the functioning of Il Dire . . . Which would bring up the question of why she would be connected to Il Dire in this way . . .

    Apocalyptic events . . . Remember the event foretold by Rambaldi? The one that coincided with a) the CIA/NSA's recovery of the Di Regno heart and Sloane's revelation concerning a Rambaldi manuscript? Which was the apocalyptic event? Both were part of the same apocalyptic event. Sloane re-upped to the Rambaldi obsession at this time, turning his path back toward, one guesses, conquest and power. Meanwhile, the NSA's control of the heart a) delayed Irina's control of it, allowing Sloane to come back into the game and b) caused Irina to look for a way to force the heart into the open, where it was hijacked along with Jack. And I think that the fact that Jack was taken with the heart may turn out to be one of the most critical of all the pieces of this puzzle. Everyone seems to assume that Sydney's "burning anger" will probably have something to do with Vaughn--but I think it's more likely that it will have something to do with her long-suffering father. (If my insane spec below holds water, it would tend to back up this interpretation . . .)

    Finally, back to Il Dire, The Telling. What, exactly, is it? Sloane doesn't say. The name, The Telling, suggests that this machine might have been Rambaldi's means of forecasting the future, a fortune-teller or "crystal ball" as it were. (Some have suggested it as a time machine, but its name does not indicate that--plus it would have to heal Sydney's cuts as well.) And what is Sloane's purpose with this machine? Good question, but Sloane's demeanor suggests that his intent is hardly kindly.

    Sloane tells Jack that he's keeping him alive "because [they're] friends." But that's hard to believe. Yes, I do think that Sloane is a lonely man, and I do believe that he misses Jack's companionship in his own way. But he wouldn't hesitate to kill Jack, and he's killed others who were close to him for far less than what Jack has done. For all that Sloane seemed to regret turning onto Rambaldi's path, Conrad seems to have placed him firmly back on that path.

    What, exactly, happened to Sloane, anyway? Jack says "You'd been abandoned, left for dead, disgraced." Was this in the Himalayas? Is this how Conrad found him in the first place? Where was Jack when this happened? In what way was he disgraced? Why was he abandoned? Sloane has said that he felt that the CIA betrayed him.

    Getting back to Jack and Il Dire, though. We see Jack sweating it out as he listens to Il Dire come to life. I come to some observations that lead me even further into some wild speculation that I hesitate to print here. If false, my speculation might be entertaining--if it turned out to be true, I'd hate to ruin the fun! I'd hate to be the source of a rampant Internet rumor that caused Mr Abrams and team to reconsider their direction! Highlight and read on, if you dare.

    Random thoughts . . .

    We should have been ready for a timeline ripple, shouldn't we? Series time hasn't exactly been following real time. When Dixon asks Sydney how long she's been keeping the truth about SD-6 from him, she says two years, when for us it was more like a year and a half or less.

    I had to kick myself for not remembering that Eric Weiss was Houdini (it's not like I'm a fanatic, but I am familiar with his story). Houdini was noted for escape acts and, of course, disappearing acts. A nice foreshadowing of Sydney's own disappearing act. (Not to mention Irina's skill as an escape artist . . .)

    So Sark's instincts were spot-on. F-Allison did fancy Mr Tippin. It sucked it turned out that way.

    Was there anyone else who was sort of hoping to see Irina cross paths with Jack when she burst back through the window in that building? It would have been interesting.

    Irina reminds us that Sydney is, indeed, "prophecy girl" (to steal a title from Buffy). Sloane referred to her as his "greatest achievement." Irina reminds her that she has free will ("unless prevented . . ."). Will's survival and Sydney's disappearing act make us ask the question, who is Sydney, really? Just what is she capable of? And if Sloane forced Irina (perhaps through blackmail, threatening to expose her) to conceive a child (tying back into my insane speculation . . .), did he use Rambaldi's technology to enhance that child, to produce a "perfect human being"? Hmmm.

    Sydney, who dressed as Alice in Wonderland during the first season, now uses the code phrase "looking glass." Could this be a reference to Alice through the Looking Glass? Further, the looking glass ties in with Il Dire in the sense that Nostradamus and other seers traditionally used/use a black mirror during their sessions.

    Having experienced syncope, I really appreciated JJ Abrams handling of Sydney's singularly unpleasant disorientation upon slowly coming to in a Hong Kong alley. It's not exactly the same thing, but I suspect it would be quite a similar experience.

    Sydney and F-Allison bring the house down during their fight, making me recall many such fights from Buffy. A very gritty and desperate fight. They sold it.

    Nice moments from the actors all around. Ms Dungey's reaction to killing Will--F-Allison was a cold one, but she felt something for poor Will. Ms Garner was great--nicely understated in her chagrin upon realizing that her wild-goose chase to Zurich was a total disaster that resulted in the abduction of her father, and her confusion upon landing in Hong Kong and finding that the world had moved on--and not in the right direction. Ms Olin was wonderful, as always, in balancing honest emotion and lies, sincerity and ambiguity. And Mr Garber, as usual, gave us a wonderful moment, expressing compassion for his enemy even as he expects death at his hands.

    Discuss . . .

    Where do we begin?!

    Where has Sydney been? What is the meaning of that scar? Why has no one spotted her? Why did they think her dead?

    Dare I even ask whether you think Vaughn is married and to whom? I've already seen pages desperately debating this subject even though I haven't been able to spend much time at the site . . .

    Do you agree that Il Dire, The Telling, is a "crystal ball"? Do you think this is the means by which Rambaldi foretold the future events?

    Why do you think Irina sent Sydney after Sark?

    Everything considered, why do you think Irina wanted Il Dire constructed, rather than kept out of Sloane's hands at all costs?

    How do you think Will will be after all this happened--his girl being someone else and his good friend (and great love) Sydney disappeared and thought dead?

    What do you think Irina's next move is?

    Where, and in what condition, do you expect to find Jack when we return?

    Do you think F-Allison is dead? Or still around?

    Where do expect to find Steve--er, Mr Sark? Do you think Irina will have extracted him?

    The endless summer of speculation . . .

    1. Alternative to 2-year amnesia; look into future.
    2. Added an additional thought to my insane speculation.
    3. Added an additional thought about the specs for the prophecy and parentage.
    4. Added analysis paragraph concerning the "apocalyptic event" from "Countdown."
  3. The Kate Vartan

    The Kate Vartan Rocket Ranger

    Dec 16, 2002
    woah! that was an excellent column, i'm definitely going to come back and discuss when i have more time!
  4. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    Wait until I have time to go back and review Alice through the Looking Glass. I might have to add an insight or two . . .
  5. Milo47

    Milo47 Rocket Ranger

    Apr 3, 2003
    awesome and a half!!!
  6. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Jan 22, 2003
    So. California
    Stunning column VH. I had some angst waiting for it and after reading it, Whew! (y) (y) (y) (y)
    Does this mean we'll see Irina next season? I hope so, just so she can answer your speculations, wild insinuations and everything else...

    I'm going to have to think this one thru point by point.
    And make notes so I can speculate too. :cool:
  7. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    Thanks! I expect that we have to see Irina again--if not on a regular basis, at least periodically. She has too much unfinished business.
  8. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Jan 22, 2003
    So. California

    Yeaaaaa! Hope she's back for more than a couple of episodes. I'd really love to see some more of her with Jack. (oh incurable romantic that I am!)
  9. Sarahmañana

    Sarahmañana Rocket Ranger

    Apr 26, 2003
    wow...that was REALLY interesting. it must have taken a long time! nice work!
  10. kate_jones

    kate_jones Rocket Ranger

    Apr 10, 2003
    I like the idea of the "crystal ball." And the mirror stuff does tie in nicely with Alice in Wonderland, which obviously has some sort of tie-in to the show, whether that is important or not. This way, the writers are given the chance to go back to what happened afterthe big fight scene and slowly explain what happened and how it led to Sydney being in Hong Kong. That is, if it actually is telling her future. It could be showing her a number of different things (ie. her greatest fears, etc).

    I think Irina is having some troubles figuring out what she wants now. She obviously loves Sydney, and doesn't want her to get hurt. But she has also spent years in the pursuit of Rambaldi and what he knew. So right now she's trying to do both. She knows what the Telling is, and she knows that it has something to do with Sydney so she keeps warning Sydney, trying to help her. At the same time she can't be completely truthful and help them stop Sloane for good. If the CIA got the Telling, they would either destroy it or hide it away somewhere and she would never know the truth about Rambaldi. So right now it's anyone's guess what Irina's doing, but sooner or later she'll have to decide between Sydney and Rambaldi.
    On a similar note, someone mentioned that Irina could have been taking care of Sydney during the two years. All of Sydney's wounds had been taken care of and she obviously hadn't been lying in an alley the whole time. This way, Irina could accomplish both her goals - protecting Sydney from Sloane and the Telling as well as seeing what Rambaldi knew (or whatever it is that they all want to find out from Rambaldi). However, this doesn't exactly fit in with the "crystal ball" theory.

    Just my two cents (more like a buck or two)
  11. AliasALIAS

    AliasALIAS Guest

    Great column, vh! You made me see things in a different light, think outside the box.

    I'd like to answer all of your "Discuss..." questions, but I simply don't know :P But taking a shot...

    Going back to Irina's confrontation of Sydney in the ice-skating rink, Irina said that her love for Sydney and Jack wasn't a contrivance. Maybe she wanted Il Dire built, but she hadn't realized how it would affect her family. <I forgot what I was going to say. Shucks...>

    I don't agree with this theory 100%, but I'm going along with it for now. I'd be somewhat disappointed if this was true though, because it's similar to Sydney waking up from a dream--none of it is true.

    :P I don't think Irina would have extracted him. In a simple sense, it would be too hard to get him out of the ops center. But say he was transported to Camp Harris. I'm sure the CIA would take alot more measures in protecting the transport given other Irina-Sloane events.

    I like your idea that she wanted him to be out of the way.
    But possibly because Sark was becoming more loyal to Sloane. Sloane told Sark--not Irina--that he was leaving, yet Irina had to reassure Sark that Sloane would be gone for good (supposedly). But Sark knew where Sloane was. This means he had contact with Sloane. And then again, Irina knew where Sloane was too. Could have been her own research that found Sloane? (I think the more we speculate, the more questions we think of :P )

    Or maybe Irina wanted Sark to get captured, another way to infiltrate the CIA...

    Btw, there's also a book called Through the Looking Glass by Edward Jay Epstein. It's about a KGB infiltration of the CIA. I thought it may be of interest: http://edwardjayepstein.com/archived/looking.htm
  12. VaughnFan13

    VaughnFan13 Rocket Ranger

    Feb 28, 2003
    the ring could just be an engagement ring...he might not be married..if he is married tho, it'll probably be to Alice (grrr...)

    I'm pretty sure Francie's dead cuz didnt jj cut her from the cast because they needed to save money? if that wasnt the case, then i'd think she was still alive
  13. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Jan 22, 2003
    So. California
    This has to be the biggest of all your columns yet. Whew! So now to try to put some of the speculation (wild or not so) and angst into my own thoughts. (God, did I get that right?)

    Anyway, just a few thoughts: How does she do that? Who? Irina, that’s who. First she appears at the Marseilles computer farm belonging to Markovic the same time Sydney does. She and Sark talked about it, but they said nothing about being there when Sydney arrives to get the info that will save Will.
    Second: she turns up at the hockey rink in Los Angeles without warning to do her storytelling to Syd. How did she know Sydney was going to be there?
    Third: she turns up on the same floor as Sydney and Vaughn. She kills the two agents (in the back ruthlessly) and tells Syd to get Sloane. Instead, Syd chases her while Vaughn attempts to find Sloane.
    In between she is seen on what seems to be a rooftop, once not saying anything but looking, with what seems longing, at a building: Looking Glass, aka CIA ops? What? The second time again on the roof with the same building in the background (it’s night in both cases), she calls Sydney to tell her that Sark knows where Sloane is…go to Stockholm.
    SPECULATION: She KNOWS where Sydney is at all times. HOW? What is the link that keeps her tied to Sydney’s moves. The earrings? Didn’t hear if Sydney got those back? Something else (and this is WILD) i.e. the ability to read her daughter’s mind or is a technical gizmo she might have planted in Sydney while in Kashmir…? She did have access at that time. Perhaps, an enhanced genetic anomaly?

    “I came up with the scenario when the CIA needed to let me use their computers.”
    Yet she made the proposal in Counteragent which was before Passage 1 and 2 and Abduction. Time frame a week or two, maybe more? And how did she know Gerard Cuvee was going to be in Kashmir? In Abduction he is identified as the one trying to break into Echlon, then ditto in A Higher Echlon. There were simply too many events that had to take place between her proposal and the actual use of the computer.

    Another thought about the raid in Mexico City. How could the CIA manage to get a strike force team of nearly 20 agents all carrying weapons into a building without anyone saying, “HEY, who are you guys?” I would think that’s a diplomatic no-no.

    The final scene between Sydney and her mother on the rooftop again. That was one blockbuster stunt and you described it in 17 words. (That’s a compliment!) The look on Syd’s face, as her mother falls back, is fear, horror or some of both and well done.

    The double cross: when did that really enter her mind. In Endgame Irina wouldn’t let Sloane kill Caplan “because you need him.” Even Sark didn’t kill him when Sydney and Vaughn showed up. Instead he ran and disappeared. (Vaughn never does seem to catch whoever Sydney sends him after.) Sloane goes to the “Himalayas” in Countdown seemingly leaving everything for Irina and Sark. He didn’t feel good (ha!) or I should say satisfied when he ordered Diane Dixon’s dead. So did he come back and take things back. He used Sark to order the Di Regno heart ripped out of the body of the man. So he’s off and on again and if I were Irina I would plan to double-cross him too.

    About time she said she loved Jack. I think all of us Irina “shippers” were very happy to hear that. She has been highly protective of Sydney during her stay in the glass cell at the CIA and when she’s been out of it. The look she gave Jack on their first meeting after her incarceration was wonderful. At first, there was hope, I think, then just as quickly as that appeared, there came the denouement “the illusion is finally gone.” Then as the weeks passed, it began to grow again. (Drunken toaster scene). Still she does lie to both her husband (technically speaking) and her daughter. Why? To protect them? To keep them from loving her back, knowing her past, which has been ugly, might be too much for them to forgive? “They are more perfect mates (Jack and Irina) than Sydney and Vaughn.” I loved that…altho the Syd/Vaughn shippers might not. Your possible reasons for Irina’s continuing manipulation of Jack are possibilities.
    “If the second suggestion is true, Sydney (you meant Irina) casts herself as much in the role of Jack’s protector as Sydney. But for a protector, she certainly puts her family through a lot of abuse.” Oh but isn’t that so Russian of her?

    “To a large extent, Irina remains an enigma.” We’ve had a whole season to get to know her and WE STILL DON’T! What a terrific fictional character she is.

    Sydney’s odyssey: She was traumatized by seeing Will, fighting Francie and finally shooting her “friend.” She slumped back to the floor slipping into an unconscious state. Here’s a thought: days earlier she hit the back of her head hard on the ice and looking at the fight a few times, she hit her head a couple of times, one being the last time thru the mirror. That she was nearly killed coupled with the head trauma could have sent her into the fugue state. So who found her? My bet is Irina! She has some way of knowing where Sydney is, at least in my opinion (see above comment). A second guess would be Sloane, but he doesn’t know where Sydney is OR wild speculation: Conrad, the mysterious monk…Oh hell, she was transported to his mountaintop and then dumped back into a Hong Kong back alley two years later. The person Francie might have called after “killing” Will? Hummm. Can’t be Sark, because he’s in CIA custody.

    I certainly agree the gunshot wounds Francie sustained were not fatal, but certainly somewhat crippling at least for quite awhile. However, she could still be alive—or not.

    A brief comment about the collection of gametes (female ovum). I didn’t think a woman’s eggs were harvested by surgical incision. (This was certainly bandied about on the forum – “ the scar”)

    The conjecture that Jack has joined Sloane certainly has merit. Sydney is gone, disappeared. His wife also has disappeared. He has no one but Sloane.

    Your completely insane speculation was great stuff and a lot to think about as the summer passes. And it is no more warped and nutty as what the writers put us through!! So we’ll all think hard about this.

    Here’s a note too for you and others to comment on…Di Regno / Derevko, names with similar syllables. Irina knows so much more than we have been told so far.

    Your comment about series time and real time is right on target. And it wasn’t just Sydney’s comment to Dixon. There were others also. But hell, this is Alias and times just don’t matter enough.

    Who is Sydney really? We certainly will find out more next season. We are going to see the deeper meaning of what we’ve been led to believe. There was a time after Phase One when Sydney’s hair and makeup seemed darker and more ominous. If you go back to view the episodes, you might agree also. She will become IMO a force to be reckoned with by not only Sloane, but the CIA, NSA and perhaps, even Irina, although, if anything, her mother will be in her protection mode. We’ll see in September.

    Boy I’m exhausted…what a column! I’m going to post this and then go back to the discussion questions later. I hope members will come to visit this forum over the summer, and especially in September before the new season begins. You do great columns. (y) (y) (y) (y)
    Kudos VH
    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
  14. AliasHombre

    AliasHombre Rocket Ranger

    Mar 2, 2003
    wow, those were all.....long but really good.
  15. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    You're right, I should have taken a look back at the timeline. But, remember, Irina was partnered with Cuvee with Sark as a contact. So, since she was apparently in contact with Sark via the earrings, she could anticipate that she would get access to Echelon and therefore the NSA codes through an emergency precipitated either by Cuvee or Sloane. Sloane, perhaps, when he was at the point of having access to Echelon himself, thought he might not need Irina's help after all at which point he began tapping out the e-mail which nearly nailed Sydney and Jack--but things didn't go the way he'd planned and he had to erase what he'd been typing and go with Irina's proposal after all. how did she know Cuvee would be in Kashmir? Because Sark was in contact with him. It's likely she knew about the Echelon terminal by the time that Sark made the proposal to Sloane. There's no reason that Irina should report the timeline accurately to Sydney. She mixes truth and lies liberally, after all.

    Oops. Fixed.

    As far as the link between mother and daughter, I thought the explanation was likely much more pedestrian. After all, F-Allison heard about the server farm, Sark sent Sydney to the building in Mexico City, and Irina likely has resources that keep an eye on Sydney's movements in Los Angeles. She certainly knew where Sydney was going in Marseilles and Mexico City, so it's not surprising to me that she showed up where the action was.
  16. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    Yes, I saw that in another topic, thank you. But I haven't had time to take a good look at it, so I can't comment on it one way or the other.
  17. Milferd

    Milferd Sydney/Nadia shipper

    Mar 12, 2003
    Clearwater FL
    Great review thank you and good additional theory.

    I can see how some people would feel cheated by a dream or vision explanation for the end if there were no clues that it was a dream. But Sydney got knocked around enough and was given enough emotional shocks that a delusion is a very logical result. Plus with all the clues that the end might not be real I would not be upset that the end was a vision as I only see a dream ending as cheap if there is no warning.
  18. vaughnmyangel

    vaughnmyangel Rocket Ranger

    Jan 4, 2003
    you know i have simmilar theories but I just can thelp thinking it is too obvious for alias!!!!! it is too obvious for her to have visions otr whatever about the future. It isnt like jj to throw something out there that we too easily can guess...there has to be atwist there has to be something wrong with our pictures and theories...i think
  19. Milo47

    Milo47 Rocket Ranger

    Apr 3, 2003
    anything obvious would be in the BACK of JJ's mind right now....he's so creative so we have to pretend to be TWICE as creative as him!
  20. lenafan

    lenafan Rocket Ranger

    Jan 22, 2003
    So. California
    DISCUSSION (Posted next A.M.) I’ve had a night to think about some of these. :rolleyes:

    Where HAS Sydney been? :angel2: Tough question. No answer, because whatever we come up with, it won’t be what JJ has dreamed up. (Oh hell, I do hope this IS NOT a dream?—It can’t be.) So at this point, I’m going to be a realist and say, Irina. It cannot be Sloane because if Irina knows the prophecy, so does Sloane and that Sydney is the one who will destroy him. OR does he think Irina is the one?

    The scar? Unseen marks (Prophecy?). Was something planted in her? OR as some think, removed. I beginning to believe in the supernatural as connected to the show, but still grounded until its proved otherwise.

    Why do they think she’s dead? Or not spotted. Perhaps given the same medication Emily was given. They may have buried her / had a funeral just like Emily? OR none of the above…because when she called “Looking glass”, Kendall had no questions! He just sent her to a safe house. The answer could be there was enough of her blood, DNA, around to make them think she was…Did they put a star up in her memory back at Langley?

    Vaughn? Of course he’s married! Otherwise he would have reacted differently when he saw her. To whom? Alice? (The connections: Alice thru the looking glass.Oh dear, now I’m into the world of Lewis Carroll and the parallels.) It might be…since she was around before Sydney showed up.

    Il Dire a crystal ball? Hummm. It sure made a lot of noise for a crystal ball. And what would it have to do with Jack/Sloane’s relationship. A time machine? Wouldn’t it be too big to “pack up” as Sloane said to do?

    I’m going to digress from questions asked in line and leave all the Irina questions for last.
    Will’s training as a journalist makes it easier for me to believe he has weathered the storm. He was on his way to becoming a senior analyst with the CIA. He has to be pretty grounded, looking for answers from intel he gets from all over. He’s alive and because of Sydney (How we’re not sure.).

    Like you, I think Jack is with Sloane. After all, both Sydney and Irina are gone, disappeared whether they are together or separate. Sydney meant the world to him and so it is very possible. (I make no solid predictions here as I’ve been burned too many times.) Who knows, Jack may have as you suggested left the CIA and turned to the “dark side.” We’ll know more in September.

    If F-Allison is germane to the continuing story, then she’s alive and Ms. Dungey will be back. (See my comments from the earlier part.) That was not a cat-fight as so many shippers suggested. That was a four star, butt-kicking deadly encounter. Up to the last moment, it did seem Sydney was losing. Someone suggested she slashed F-Allison’s throat, but she slashed open her cheek, reached for the gun, and with all the strength she had left, pulled the trigger three times.

    Now to Irina…:cheers:
    Reviewing the tape as many times as I have since last Sunday, I don’t know the answer to why she sent Sydney after Sark. Did she send Sark to Stockholm or did Sloane? It has to be Sloane since Irina could have told Sydney, up front where Jack was. (Of course, by sending Sydney to Sweden, she has time to get to Mexico City and get set for the rescue.) I found it interesting when she tells Sydney, “after all, it’s what free will is all about.” Free Will? Were those two words the reason Sydney believed her?

    Sark says his loyalties are flexible. So what happened to make him contact Sloane and why did Sloane send him to Stockholm? Yipes, the questions are begetting more like a rabbit (Oh dear, back to Alice). Irina wants Il Dire constructed because of the Prophecy. Did Irina extract Sark from the CIA? I don’t think so. He’s safe there and if you are right and he is the other child of our spy parents, he would certainly not be in danger. (Your insane and nutty predictions.)

    Finally what is her next move? I think :angelic:
    but am not sure that she’s going to reappear just as Sydney has. She will be there to protect Sydney with as much power and deadly force that it takes. Irina has, I think, more insight into Rambaldi than we do. (Does she know about Conrad and the scroll given to Sloane? – Another question.) She is playing a game of chess with Sloane. I think also, that Sloane has vastly underestimated her.

    She is the dark Goddess, protector of her child, a mother on a mission…I hope Sydney pays more attention to what she tells her if and when they meet again….… :redhair:

    OK JJ – we’re waiting. :cool:

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