Friday, January 25, 2013

Alias: Legacy (3.21)

Legacy is a routine breaking-and-entering episode brought to life by a series of fun character moments. Most of the cast have a singular goal here: to rescue Nadia, who is slowly being drained of Rambaldi information by a troubled Sloane. That story isn't hugely rewarding on its own, but does at least feature Sloane once again battling between his conscience and his heart. Nadia means so much to him, only he's still driven by his thirst for Rambaldi and all that that entails. In the end, he abandons further attempts to drain her, proving that there's still some emotional warmth there, even if it may sometimes be buried beneath elaborate myth-arc hooey.

Action aside, it's two season three guest stars that steal the show. Katya remains this feisty presence, somebody who uses her feminine wiles to get what she wants, while insisting on being alarmingly upfront with her feelings for Jack. Is there any more hilarious moment this season than her casual announcement that she finds Jack sexy? Followed by his trademark tight-lipped stoicism, something that leaves Katya wildly frustrated. Being Isabella Rossellini, however, Jack fails in his desire to keep her at a distance, eventually succumbing to temptation and spending the night with her. Yay! Old people sex! That probably read as awfully dismissive, but I'm genuinely happy for these two! Heh.

Toni Cummings also made a great return, flirting with Marshall and trying to lure him over to the dark side, before joining Sydney and Vaughn on their mission to rescue Nadia. Vivica A. Fox is crazy fun here, negotiating her release and disabling security systems and shooting guns all with a kicky smile that screams "I love my job". What sucks, though, is that she just disappears right after Lauren unloads that rocket launcher. She's not killed on-screen, yet she isn't on the helicopter with Syd, Vaugh and Nadia right after, either. They dropped the ball there, considering Toni could have been a fun recurring character.

Unsurprisingly, Lauren and Sark are again written awkwardly into the story. It really feels like the writers have stumbled upon a whole new direction for the show that intelligently links together most of the cast, yet they still need to feature two contracted actors in one form or another. Even the Covenant seems like a ghost from the past at this point. There were at least some further attempts to link Vaughn and Lauren's story with Jack and Irina's this week, Jack telling Vaughn about a secret bunker of his that he can use to prepare for her murder, recognizing his thirst for vengeance. It's intriguing, but Vaughn is such a dull presence on the show that it's hard to care all that much as he rapidly flies off the handle.

Legacy is all about strong pacing and relentless action, but similarly sets out to be fun via the show's protagonists. There are some great bits of interaction here, lots of two-hander scenes that sparkle with wit and intrigue. It's probably one of the better examples of a transition episode that doesn't really go anywhere arc-wise but entertains nonetheless. B+

Guest stars
Vivica A. Fox (Toni Cummings); Isabella Rossellini (Katya Derevko); Mia Maestro (Nadia Santos); Ric Young (Dr. Zhang Lee)
Writer Jesse Alexander Director Lawrence Trilling


  1. I never noticed Toni Cummings disappeared into aether. She clearly didn’t die, but it sucks she is never mentioned again. The fight scene was all over the place, though: (1) Sark conveniently taking the guns out of the suit case and shooting Sloane's guards while they just stood there and (2) new Sloane's guards appearing out of nowhere to take him away just because the story demanded Sloane to remain on the loose. The writers had three fronts on the fight (Sark and Lauren, Syd and the CIA, and Sloane), and weren’t able to write a more coherent confrontation. It was entertaining nevertheless. And it was also the first time Nadia saved Sydney’s life. :)

    Gorgeous shot of Sydney and Vaughn carrying Nadia to the helicopter.

  2. Gotta love Lauren in this episode, she was feisty and beautiful :) alias fan 4 ever!!!!!!!!