Monday, March 15, 2004

Alias - 3x15 "Facade"

Alias Deconstructs!

Hot-red wiggery combined with faked out hotels and Von getting slashed? In what heaven did I wake up, Sunday night at 9pm PST?

I'm a total sucker for plots where the good guys fabricate an entire environment and then pose as the bad guys in order to fool another character, if only because I get to see familiar characters take on whole new perosnae. Granted, that's a trademark of the show, but this particular episode showed the nuts and bolts of such an operation of how the people involved ended up in a rubber dress, like a behind-the-scenes look or the skeleton beneath the skin.

Which takes me to Syd's latest costume (I shall conveniently forget that there was a nose ring, though). Phwoar. Not just the wig, but the leather trenchcoat -- when she took that file out of it, that was just so cool, like the show suddenly turned into a suave cyberpunk thriller. That's not all. When we first see the costume, she's adjusting her wig and I can't tell you how hot and bothered that made me because of how intimate a gesture it was. We almost never see Syd "in between" costumes, it's either civilian dress (casual and business), or we see her sprung fully armored/disguised Athena-like from Zeus's pate. (I'm ignoring for the moment her various states of undress.) So when there's a small "slip" in her well-groomed disguise, I feel like I'm in that same corridor with her. It's more naked a moment than when she was scrubbed down in the buff.

Still, what's a discussion of Alias without the usual "For a genius, Syd's pretty dumb" bits? "Yo hey I'm going to try and show you how I've been through similar trauma by all but admitting that I killed your brother this is empathy do you see??"

For Von's lousy accent, he got a knife across his arm. I call that a just punishment.

To end on a high note: the teaser was masterfully directed. "My kids' favorite color's red" is a chilling line that begins to portray the soon-to-be-dead-man's family without explicit exposition, and as the wrong wire in the bomb gets cut, a brief and quiet pause suggesting that disaster was averted before cutting to the CIA briefing with images of the carnage, allowing the horror to sink in slowly and awfully.

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