on 28 May 2006
Alias finishes its five year run with a fantastic final season. From the shocking first episode picking up from Season Four's cliff-hanger to the finale of the entire show, this season acts as a celebration of the some of the greatest Alias moments.
There is much going on in this season with Sydney's pregnancy, her relationship with Vaughn is explored for the first time in a while from a fascinating dimension, there is the arrival of two new APO agents in Rachel Gibson and Thomas Grace, the awesome Amy Acker plays Payton who is a supremely evil villain, Sloane battles as to what extremes he will go to for his daughters safety, there is the arrival of a mysterious French assassin Renée Rienne and there is a new sinister threat to Sydney's life in Prophet Five.
This season has to be up there with the earlier seasons in terms of suspense and plot drive. There are some nasty shocks particularly after the hiatus for Jennifer Garner's maternity (Eps. 10-17) as this fantastic series was coming to an end. There are long term storylines from the series explored and also some fascinating new ones with the revival of Rambaldi, the return of Will, Sark, Anna and Irina, Sloane's obsessive side and the dynamic between father and daughter as Jack gears up to be a grandfather but also to what extents Prophet Five will go to, if Sydney's baby is in danger, Rachel learning some of the lessons we have seen Sydney learn and some surprising deaths.
Of course there are some bad points. The shock in the first episode did not go down that well with many fans though on reflection I felt having watched the whole season it worked well with the story arch of the show. Also the arrivals of Rachel and Tom at first felt a bit false and Irina's decisions do feel a bit out of touch with where we felt the character was going. Finally the hundredth episode of the show which should have been the show's swansong failed to hit all the right notes and a season without a constant dose of Weiss can never be perfect! Though overall these bad factors are bordering on irrelevant with how much there is that is good this season.
Aside from the wonderful main cast, former regulars return with David Anders, Bradley Cooper, Merrin Dungey, Greg Grunberg, Mia Maestro and Lena Olin with former favourites Amanda Foreman, James Handy, Gina Torres. There are also new additions Tyrees Allan and Amy Acker. Playing good or bad they all add a great deal of depth to a fantastic show.
Overall this season is a fitting farewell for a series that the fans have all adored. It has every ingredient of Alias that we love. There are plenty of deaths, plenty of surprises, plenty of betrayal and most of all plenty of fun! However everything must come to an end, sadly even a great show like Alias.
on 2 September 2006
I have watched Alias from the beginning, and I absolutely adore the show. I would have liked to see the ending that had been planned by the makers instead of this one, but I couldn't bring myself to lop a star off. I loved it too much.
It is true that they raised a lot of questions and started a lot of complicated story arches that then fell short, but that was only because the show was cancelled halfway through and then had to simlipify the ending. If they had been given enough time to make the other seven or eight episodes, the series would have tied together better, but the ending they gave us was pretty great, if not completely satifying to lovers of the show.
Still, they kept the magic up through the final 2 hours of Alias. I actually cried twice at the unexpected character deaths, and then once more at the end. There were also some typical laugh-out-loud Alias moments, and enough cringe-worthy bits to keep everyone who doesn't want too much fluff happy. Overall, it was a fantastic ending to a fantastic show.
on 19 July 2006
I can recall Jennifer Garner, the golden-globe winning star of the hit-show Alias stating that "At the end of every season we're just like 'this is it, ok, bye!'".
Indeed, it's always seemed to be a boyish quality that's emanated from the cast and crew of this show, created by J.J.Abrams (who went on to create Lost, and direct the late Mission Impossible film), and it's a charm that's undeniably been reflected in the show's stamina for a long time now, but sadly, during the Christmas sweeps of 2005, all the charm in the explosion-filled world of Alias couldn't secure Sydney Bristow another season, and in its fifth year, this really was `it'.
The decision to can the crazy spy-life this May was in no small part thanks to shoddy treatment from the show's network, ABC, and yet it was thanks to the early call of the reaper that Alias got a chance to rev up before it ascended into TV heaven. In fact it enjoyed what was, perhaps, its greatest season yet.
What's particularly impressive about the quality of this season is its shockingly awkward opening - the premiere opens with a scene clearly shot the previous working year, but after that it's dodgy camera-work and shifty prop-placements as Jennifer Garner is clearly pregnant. It's almost a joke as she walks to a party in Venice, sporting some kind of hand-scarf that covers the bulge in her stomach. It's even sillier than we're used to, but Jennifer Garner continues to play her character with elegance and grace, which is just as well as she's the one responsible for giving the writers such a sudden cliff-hanger of their own.
It's a shame that the season has to open so uncomfortably, especially considering the main event of the episode itself, but, at the end of the struggling starter, the audience is informed that four months has passed, and all is well once again in the world of Alias...
In contrast, something not handled awkwardly would be the introduction of not one but three new characters. First comes Renée, a chic-chick who's deadlier with a pair of pistols than Lara Croft and just as busty too. She's a French belle, a beautifully spoken assassin whose presence on the show is fresh and appropriately dark. She does in fact remind one of Irina Derevko, Sydney's merciless mother, long absent from the show, barring her brief stint in the climax of the fourth season.
Tom Grace, played by Balthazar Getty, is added to the APO team, and acts as a genuine (if a little bland) rock for this season's final addition, Rachel Gibson, to rely on. He's not unlike the beloved Will and Francie for Sydney in the earlier seasons, but the fact that he works for such an esteemed branch of the CIA gives him a much newer edge, as well as the chance for an interesting sub-plot towards the end of the season.
Ms. Gibson, played by Rachel Nichols, blends drama and soap-opera Garner style with a tint of her own new mix, which is mostly brilliant stuff; her greatest highlight perhaps is the alias of a timid prostitute in her first solo mission in the sixth episode.
Alias has always had the best casting, and the most interesting characters (bar none, in my opinion) and Nichols might be the greatest new member to the team this year, were it not for the fantastic presence of Amy Acker who plays the electrifying, helicopter shooting, old-enemy associating, afraid-of-nothing (until the end - you'll see) Kelly Peyton. She's a formidable foe, and if there's anyone here who really deserves a spin-off, she's the one my money would be on.
As the season draws into it's final 8 episodes (with the bill for the entire season reduced from the normal 22 down to a meagre 17), it really is never a dull moment. There's so many faces to cram in, in so little time: Bradley Cooper, Lena Olin, Mia Maestro, David Anders, are all back along with many more, reprising their roles on the show that give tribute to just how vast the cast of the Alias universe has become.
But what is it exactly that made this season just so good? My vote would go for its spirit. Jennifer Garner, along with her cast of familiar and not-so-familiar faces marched this show past the beckoning reaper's bony fingers and made it shine as it neared its untimely end, bringing intense drama, believable mythology, high-budget action and relatable dynamics together smoothly and strongly, working from the writing, which took an equally upbeat turn as the writers neared the climax of their five year run.
Just wait until you see Renee slinging daggers at bad-guys after Sydney, or until you see the Bristow family on another mission together, or Irina flip a CIA ambulance at the wheel of a monster-truck. Or until you witness the deaths. Or the resurrections. Like I said: never a dull moment. And boy, will you know it when you watch this DVD.
Alias was funny, sexy (even whilst Garner was preggers), suggestive and ground-breaking, and despite everything that the Bristow's may have suffered over the series as a whole, they still came out on top in the end, as they always have and always will do in the hearts of those who will remember them.
Rest in peace, Syd. We were happy to see you go out the way you did.
on 27 November 2006
This is one of my favorite shows. It was never a ratings winner, despite cast defections and a host of other problems, it's a miracle for fans that it managed to stay 'on the air' for five seasons. This is a strong, if not entirely successful, attempt at a return to the quality of the first two seasons,(not to be missed)... after two lackluster middle years. The outrageous plot lines and 'over the top' action are back on hand; along with a refound sense of humor and a rededication to the family drama that was always the underpining of this hugely entertaining, totally preposterous, story. A real treat for long time viewers this year is the reemergence of such familiar faces as Will Tippen, Francie Calfo, Julian Sark, Irina Direvko and, fan favorite bad girl, the delicious Anna Espinosa. We leave this show as she often left Sydney... with a 'lipstick kiss' on the glass.
If you haven't seen the earlier seasons of Alias then I recommend that you go back to the first one, and watch them all the way through. We have enjoyed them so much that we actually bought all five seasons on DVD. It would've been cheaper to rent them, but we voted with our wallet in this case.
Alias was created by JJ Abrams who has gone on to great success with films (Mission Impossible) and more mainstream TV (Lost). Alias is where he honed that craft, and developed his style made up of all-action, shock-reversals and utterly incredible plot twists.
The final season of Alias has all of these things. It also has a fair dollop of unwelcome sentimentality; something which the series has always suffered from, to be fair. The opening epiosdes are awash with soppiness, which doesn't sit too well with the series' usual themes of high drama, spy-thriller action. That's why it's only four stars, not five.
Once the simpering is brought under control, the series get immensley better. The star, Jennifer Garner, was pregnant for the first half of the season so is supported by several new cast members who take on the high-kicking, shoot-em-out stuff. Even so, the pace is pretty fast and the plot threads develop in a typically Alias way -- wildly unbelieveable but thoroughly enjoyable.
Alias has always been a cross between the 007 movies of the 1970s, Mission Impossible and Charlie's Angels, and this season is no exception. That description is a bit unfair, maybe; Alias is also better than all of those series and has kept our attention and kept us on the edge of our chairs for five years. Good trick!
The final half of the final season was awesomely enjoyable. Cast members get killed off! Cast members get resurrected! We finally get to understand whattheheck it was Rambaldi's prophecy was about!
If you enjoyed the earlier seasons then you can buy or rent this one with confidence. Grit it out through the opening sentimental episodes, and enjoy the wild ride at the end.
I'm really pleased this series went out with a planned, considered finale. So much more rewarding than those tv programmes which just fizzle out (or worse; drag on when they should've been shot!).
on 5 May 2013
The fifth season was not supposed to be the last as it was supposed to go for at least 7 seasons .I remember the interview with Jen Garner december 2005 on good Morning America where she was talking about the fifth season and how much she was enjoying it .Then week later the show was being cut and as such the 17 episodes were made . The show continued with Syd working for APO , the black ops unit and Sloane running it again .Syd was coaching a chick who was recruited in a similar way to syd and basically Sloan`s end game comes around and there is a fight to stop it .!!Greatness and I don`t see anything on TV , today which compares to this Pro CIA , competition and wholesomeness that is in this show .Most other shows today , drugs and criminality positive and pro , fit , healthy cast member guns , adventure and US competing successfully are demonized.
on 7 August 2007
Because I have a question. How many times does someone have to be shot in the chest before they actually die? In Alias, the answer appears to be infinity, and this for me totally ruined this season. Without mentioning names, various characters get shot multiple times in the chest and yet they can talk, get up, walk and - after a little medical attention - make a full recovery.
There are plenty of other examples of Alias falling further into farce this season, with unbelievable storylines (and I don't mean that in a positive way). If that doesn't bother you, and hasn't already annoyed you in seasons 3 and 4, then you will probably enjoy this season because there is a lot of action, new developments, some good new characters (particularly Amy Acker, coming over from Angel) and a lot of plot twists. The series is very well made and very dramatic, so there is still a lot to like and admire.
I just wish they'd consulted a doctor.