Thursday, November 10, 2005

Alias - 5x06 "Solo"

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"Just pretend that I'm not here."

Nice to see how meta Alias has gotten. (An aside: Balthazar is an even voider space than Vartan, which strangely makes him much more tolerable. Or until Rachel and Balthy hook up.)

Seriously too much meta in this episode, which is a sure indication that Alias is even more out-of-ideas than when it resorted to making two characters double-agents, the role Syd played in season 1. Marshall rehashing the spork? More like Marshall reliving his one past glory. You resort to this self-conscious dialogue when you have nothing new you can add to the show, and you feel you can only revisit the forumla established from long ago. But a pale shadow of the former self -- self-parody, in other words. E.g. "I'm going to put on my strappy shoes and tiny dress."

And what's up with this bad dialogue (see also Rachel's showdown with her ex-best friend)? Rachel Nichols hasn't shown much acting chops (fortunately she's shown plenty of other assets), but this kind of dialogue will further lose whatever respect I have for her character. (And those shoes weren't even that strappy! I was disappointed.)

And the quick editing during the girly showdown? The editors weren't trying terribly hard to hide the fact that neither of the actresses could throw a convincing punch.

But then again, this hokiness might be a good thing. By no means can this episode be taken seriously, a good development because, as I've complained before, the new solemnity of Alias is a big dud. At least the increasing self-referentiality might signal the return of the FUN to this show.

Which is a good thing, since last week I had almost given up watching Alias forever. This episode went a little way to restoring my hope. A little.

(But what was up with the most gratuitous and pointless cameo (Mia Maestro, who received all of 10 seconds of comatose airtime) ever?)

Indie rating: Cat Power - "Empty Shell"

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