1. The suspense of the show is compromised when Sydney's life is in danger; conversely, if the success of the mission is in question (since, obviously, Syd's more likely to fail than die), the show can engineer a genuine amount of suspense.
2. Sydney is the moral barometer of the show (credit where credit due -- thanks Emily!); if the audience is supposed to distrust Sloane, you betcha Syd's going to be giving him a big slice of stinkeye. In this respect, there's an attempt to align the viewer with her, and (here's the part where I talk about my thesis) by extension, Alias suggests that its audience does not have a true "self" that is not constructed by the show or the act of watching the show. I deserve a cookie for that, I think!
3. I forgot, there are things I could talk about for this episode. Like, MR. CROOKED TEETH VON GETS HIS
Indie rating: Nobukazu Takemura - "Icefall"