Warning, some spoilers for Alias.
I’m working my way through the first two seasons of Alias after I caught most of the second two seasons. So far, I’m liking it. I like that Sydney is a physically strong, perfectly capable woman in a predominantly man’s world. I like that she thinks on her feet. I especially likes that she can be emotional, and second-guesses herself, and struggles to deal with the enormity of her job.
Basically, she’s a realistic character who’s gender isn’t an issue – except when they need an attractive young woman to infiltrate Bad Guy’s hangout, and even then, she kicks butt in high heels and slinky dresses. I’m no expert on martial arts and hand-to-hand fighting, but it looks like Jennifer Garner’s doing most of the work herself, a pleasant change to the yeah-right-hundred-pound-Carrie-Ann-Moss-could-take-out-all-those-bad-guys wirework of The Matrix movies.
But I cannot stand the love story between her and her handler, Vaughn. Because I watched the second two seasons (plus the cliffhanger ep to season two) before going back to seasons 1-2, I was under the impression he and Syd were this epic, longterm relationship. She goes missing at the end of season two, and season three opens two years later with Syd having no idea what happened in the last two years. The first person from her past life that she speaks to in Vaughn, who is now married.
And Sydney goes absolutely mental. She carries on about how Vaughn betrayed the memory of them by getting married. This is why I thought they’d been together for a long time. But if Alias works on the one episode = one week format, they were together for three, four months tops. Fair enough they’d been building a close platonic relationship for a year and a half before that, so they had a closer relationship then most couples after a few months, but even so, I don’t see that a four-month relationship is worth not having moved on over after two years. That’s six times the length of the actual relationship.
I get that’s she’s upset that she discovers all this stuff has happened that she didn’t know about, and that she feels off-kilter by Vaughn’s “˜defection’. But if I were her, I’d get over it, because people move on. But Syd craps on about it intermittently for the better part of two years. Vaughn betrayed her. Their relationship is unsalvageable. Blah, blah, blah.
Is there some rule book in TV-land that All Females Must Have One True Love? And that they Never Get Over That One True Love? Even if this particular female is a gutsy, independent women who really should be saying “˜I loved him, but that’s life’? It doesn’t make sense. What’s the point in creating gutsy, independent women only to bog them down in storylines about their One True Love? Are TV-women only truly complete with a One True Love?
I’m not quite ready to give Alias Scarlett’s award for Perfectly Good Tough-As-Nails Females Really Being Softies/Insane/Pathologically Self-Serving Bitches, (TM Scarlett, 2006) because the show as a whole – or at least the first four seasons – show the other faucets of Sydney’s life as complex and fleshed-out. But she won’t be watching season five, ‘coz she hears JJ Abrams sold out to the shippers.
Ah, the wonderful thing about Australian television. You’re warned about shark-jumping years before you actually see it.