This season marked a decisive shift in the aesthetics of Alias. Costumes were rarely pieced together from unused rubber and thrift store wigs, but fashioned with an actual budget for evening gowns and frilly lingerie. More importantly, the injection of Irina into the series moved the level of discourse away from entertaining and deliberate implausibilities and towards an emphasis on more "important" fare, i.e. JJ's (fetishized) "relationships." With such a weighty issue bogarting the attention of the show, a lot of the lifeblood -- namely, the cheeky humor -- was drained out of the show, and the ensuing solemnity resulted in increasingly perfunctory storylines mired in the labyrinthine and bottomless, aimless machinations of Rambaldi prophecy and the constant backstabbing and double- and triple- and counter-reverse-crosses between Jack, Sydney, Irina and Agent Vacuum Cleaner -- aka Von because he SUCKS: ever see how crooked his teeth are? And how in "The Telling," when he's trying to pull a sad face, it's exactly the same as the one other facial expression he has? Yes, I am trying to ruin him for all you.
(There are a handful of episodes that don't take themselves quite as seriously as the rest of this po-faced season (e.g. 2x03 "The Cypher," 2x04 "Dead Drop" and 2x21 "Second Double"), but for the most part, it was dullsville interspersed with a sped-up forcing together of Von and Syd.)
I think after endless complaining on my part, I've finally zeroed in on what bugs me about this season.
Indie rating: Autechre - "61e.CR"