Alias Season 3
Let me say first off that I *really* love the Alias series. I love the multiple sides of each character, I love that the heroine is smart, skilled but also vulnerable. I think that season 2 was *fantastic* and incredibly well done. That all being said, I was a bit disappointed with Season 3. I think if I'd seen Season 3 first - without any background - that I would have been blown away with what it offered. However, Season 2 was so incredibly brilliant, so well crafted from start to finish, that Season 3 was just not up to that same standard. I'll try to give this review without giving away any of the key plot points in this season.
First off, some of the episdoes have HUGE plot holes that truly defy definition. Sydney, who is super-fast at running and super-accurate at shooting, suddenly loses these skills when it's convenient. Characters see-saw incredibly from feeling one way to feeling the exact opposite with very little reason. Some product placements in the show are completely blatant and obvious - but not only that, the placement is done in such a silly way that you get BAD impressions about those products.
However, the huge issue I have with this season is with the entire premise. Season 2 was brilliant. Sydney and Vaughn built up an incredible relationship, full of strength and meaning, and the big cliffhanger at the end of Season 2 was that she'd been "lost" for 2 years and presumed dead. Vaughn had remarried.
So we begin Season 3 with Sydney back - still loving him - and Vaughn having "moved on" but of course still in love with her. Good enough - this has been done on Star Trek and many other shows before. However, it was REALLY EVIL to have a good part of this season involve a married man - i.e. Vaughn - with a wife who married him in good faith, and Sydney being the "other woman"!! What, were you supposed to root for Sydney to break up a married couple? Root for Vaughn to leave his wife, who he loved? The whole thing was completely nasty as far as I was concerned. Regardless of what might be revealed later in the season, the whole premise was just nasty. I took no pleasure at all in watching any of those episodes.
On top of this, both of Sydney's friends - Will and Francie - are out of the story. Both helped make Sydney a full, rounded, human character. Now all she had was her way-too-obsessed father and her cheating-in-his-heart married boyfriend. In the meantime, the main plot - Rambaldi - has been dismissed in a completely ridiculous way. Sloan says "Oh it only gave me blank paper and "peace" when I assembled it, so I gave up on my 20 year quest." As if! Plus he threw away the paper as being meaningless? And everyone accepted this? There was no longer any real immediacy or meaning to what the group was doing. Even as the season neared its "climactic ending", the things brought in seemed forced and artificial. The final season cliffhanger was completely silly. Again, compared to Season 2 which ended with an amazing twist that made you really think and wonder, Season 3 ended with a NON-revalation which made you wonder, "What was THAT all about?"
I definitely watched season 3 and still consider Alias to be one of the best series out there. I am really sad, though, that they "fell" so much compared to Season 2. Obviously they had the skills from Season 2. They could have made the series just as incredible. Why did they go with less well written plots and with the inane product placements? Were they thinking they could coast now that people were so in love with Season 2? Surely we viewers deserved more than that, given how much we supported them!
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