Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Alias: Passage Part 2 (2.9)

It makes sense that Jack would start to come around to Irina at the same time as we are. Man, it's hard to see Lena Olin as evil. She's just too precise in her movements and seductive with her voice. Here we began to see glimmers of Jack and Irina's old life together, the two of them reminiscing about funny incidents from years ago and not following it up with an abrupt turn-around in emotion, suddenly remembering how bad everything became. It's cute, naturally marred by the ambiguity, but a sign of where things could be headed. Sydney also called her "Mom" for the first time, something that made Irina cry. These feelings are certainly genuine, right? It can't just be an elaborate ruse, especially at this point in time. I can't remember how shit goes down, particularly towards the end of the entire series, but right now I've entirely fallen for Irina Derevko.

Passage Part 2 continues to play on those complex allegiances, though, with Irina being all buddy-buddy with the head of a nuclear facility and happy to torture Jack in front of Syd. But it's all a fake-out, another elaborate plot Irina's orchestrating in order to help her family and clue in the CIA. Everything's so positive right now. Even her shooting Syd in the season premiere is explained away here, Irina claiming she was being watched and had to prove her loyalty. Gosh, this is complicated.

This was a showier episode than its predecessor, with all the nuclear warheads and the James Bond theatrics. It's gorgeously photographed, though, the India scenes bathed in that attractive sepia-color. It's actually something the show does well on a consistent basis, the blocks of color over the frame whenever the cast travels to some exotic locale. Instantly it projects scope and budget.

It's also fun seeing the return of Rambaldi, appearing for the first time in a while with the discovery of a four hundred year-old flower. Alias has always been so cool with this kind of thing, the strange mythological set pieces and discoveries that all tie in with this screwy genius. By definition it grants the show a narrative spine that links the missions in every additional episode, and I always find them a little more absorbing when Syd's looking for something related to it, rather than in pursuit of some kind of terrorist disc or whatever.

Passage Part 2 lacked the 'dysfunctional spy family' hilarity of Part 1, but increased the action and spectacle. There's sustained tension from the very beginning, the landmine scene especially, while Lena Olin's range continues to breathe additional life into the series. A

Guest stars
Terry O'Quinn (Kendall); Derek De Lint (Gerard Cuvee); James Lesure (Craig Blair); Marshall Manesh (Rajive); Wolf Muser (Ramon Veloso); Iqbal Theba (General Arshad); Joseph Ruskin (Alain Christophe)
Writer Crystal Nix Hines Director Ken Olin


  1. This is my favorite episode of season, although I love every episode :) Sydney and her family are the coolest most awesome parents ever, thought very problematic and dysfunctional. :) keep doing your amazing reviews of an amazing show and happy new year 2013!!!