Sunday, May 02, 2004

Alias - 3x21 "Legacy"

(See I finally realized it might be a good idea to include the name of the episode)

And I thought Alias got its worst episode over with "Taken," but oh no, we receive this gross turkey. The problems are more or less split into two parts, the first suffering from poor execution, and the second plagued by a horrendous script (under this heading, there's additionally a whole host of problems).

First, the production was incredibly subpar -- specifically, the voice over work, which sounded more raw than a primetime show usually has, more like something a reality show would do in post-production. Amateurish effort, lads!

Now for the numerous horrors of the script.

Terrible dialogue. Just two examples I can remember:
  • Katya: "Jack, I find you sexy."
  • Von: "I hope we can see the doctor's face." (I actually pleasured in such a bad line -- whatever makes Von/Vartan look like the dope he is, I'm all for.)

    Most of the problems stemmed from what I'm guessing is some overriding order from ABC to make people understand the context of this episode with the entirety of the series, so a lot of, "Sydney, I am Von, for whom you have pined for many seasons, and that is the dentist what tortured you in the very first episode." "Why yes you're right Von, and I had red hair then too. And lookit, I'm breaking out a new acting face because you just stand there wrinkling your forehead so I've got to pick up your load too." It's a clip show without the clips.

    Inconsistent characterization. With little warning, Von's turned into some gung-ho idiot bent on sating his short term desire for vengeance to the detriment of the CIA (another problem: recycling various themes from TWO older episodes featuring rampaging Dixon). Jack offering, unsolicited, to help out with Von's male troubles. Sydney suddenly aloof after making moony eyes at Von this whole season. (Notice how all my gripes come from Vonage.)

    But perhaps most distressing of all, how the Dentist suddenly gained a thick accent when in the past, he spoke what was essentially perfect English. Further, the show made a big point about the use of the non-lethal tranquilizer gun on the Russians, but when it came down to invading a compound guarded by Japanese help, the CIA broke out the real bullets. While I haven't been keeping track of use of lethal force with regards to ethnicity (specifically with regards to minority extras), if you are in the know, do clue me in.

    Last complaint: Mia Maestro, aka the Sydster, hasn't been given anything to do as Nadia Santos but lie in some passive state. And one of her agent profile pictures looked an awful lot like one of Yoanna's headshots.

    However, despite all that's wrong with "Legacy," Jack's closing line, "I could manage this alone" followed with his mad pimping on Katya made the episode bearable.
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