Friday, May 26, 2006

Buh-bye, ALIAS

This is a post from the blog. I thought I'd run it here since that site is twisting the formatting for some reason (and it's no doubt due to my ineptitude on the computer)....

Bitter, frustrated, sad, and somewhat happy. How can I feel all of these things at one time?

Because I finally watched the ending hours of ALIAS.

It's both magical and strange that a work of fiction can dictate my mood like this, but I guess I was expecting too much from the finale. Yes, I loved seeing a happy ending for Syd and I thought what happened to Sloane the Eeeeevil Minion was tasty, yet I'm left with a stinging sense of disappointment. What was really answered? Why did I bother to care about anything Rambaldi if the writers were only making up the mythology as they went along? Clearly nothing was planned. How could it be with an ending so shoddy? I'm seriously let down by Rambaldi's endgame--eternal life? Didn't we already know that way back when? For a show that used to be so twisty, there was a dull lack of surprises.

And those loose ends... Oy. Could they have been left flapping in the wind because JJ Abrams wants to do a movie? Why else would he be so coy about revealing the actual identity of Rambaldi? Why else would Sark be allowed to go free and run around to cause more trouble when Vaughn knows damned well he's nothing but trouble (and, oh, what lovely trouble. "The beautiful man is dying!" Definitely one of the top crack-me-up-until-I'm-spraying-lemonade-out-my-nose ALIAS lines.)?

A lot of aftermath reaction on the Web seems to indicate that I'm not the only one feeling shortchanged by the lack of explanations. In fact, due to this ALIAS finale, a lot of people seem to be swearing off mythology shows like LOST now because they're afraid of suffering from "the X-FILES syndrome" where nothing is explained to satisfaction. Me? I'm not at that point yet. I'm still LOST's panting puppy, a glutton for self-inflicted punishment.

So let's review. How did the finale match up to my previously posted wish lists?

But will these last hours really tell us everything we ever wanted to know about Rambaldi?

And how about all those shadow organizations that our Bombshell, Sydney Bristow, has been fighting? Will we finally get satisfactory answers about those???
Okay, the answers to this question turned out pretty well. Prophet 5--gone. Put to bed. Bye bye.

Not to be cynical, but I know that my curiosity will never be appeased and, strangely, I'm okay with that. I realized long ago that ALIAS was never about answering the MacGuffins.
Whatever, Green. I lied like a snake in the grass right there. Really, really lied.

In the end, I guess I don't really want to know why that big red zombie ball was Rambaldi's "endgame" as much as what makes Irina, Mother of all Spies, tick.
Hmm--I'd say Irina's character development actually took about fifty million steps *backward* in the finale. And you know what? Depriving the audience of a final showdown between Irina and Jack was like Thomas Harris making Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter a couple at the end of HANNIBAL. Unforgivable.

I want to know if Jack really is good or bad.
I'll give JJ this--Jack went out like a champ. Best ALIAS line ever with "You beat death, but you couldn't beat me." Awesome.

I want to know why Sydney's baby was glowing in her womb
Because...Isabelle was a Project Christmas baby and she came equipped with bulbs? What *was* the glowing all about? Yet another question that will go unaddressed.

why the heck Vaughn's death was faked.

I'm super giddy that he returned, so I'm not going to bitch and moan about this one.

1. Is Rambaldi alive?

2. Get Sydney and Vaughn together pronto. And, please, do not kill Will.
Thumbs up here.

3. Give me a Francinator versus Sydney throwdown that exceeds the one at the end of Season Two
When Irina first started getting frisky with Syd, I was like, "Hey, ho, here we go!!!" But...not even close to the ultimate spy fight from season two. I think Irina's lack of characterization in this final hour put a real damper on the fisticuffs for me.

4. Put the new kids (Rachel and Tom) on the backburner and concentrate on our old favorites.
This sooooo didn't happen, and the momentum suffered for it. True, Tom had a moving death scene, but all the subplot stuff between him and Rachel was stupifying. Actually, it was like that long, ever-growing hallway in POLTERGEIST. You know-- when JoBeth Williams is running toward the door to get to her daughter but she can't reach her destination because THAT DANG HALLWAY KEEPS LENGTHENING AND KEEPING JOBETH FROM GETTING ON WITH IT.

5. Resurrect the character of Sark. And I'm talking about the old Sark, not this namby-pamby waif who became Lauren's love bunny or the dork who couldn't even outsmart Lydia/Rachel. I want him nasty and ruthless again--a worthy opponent.
Here, I'm a happy camper, even with that cheesy shot of Sark in the epilogue. What, was he posing for the cover of an 80's New Wave album with those sunglasses? ("The beautiful man is dying!")

6. Oh, and just as the cherry on top of the request sundae? Please have MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III live up to the hype.
I did enjoy it, and I hope it was worth the effort JJ spent on this movie at the cost of paying more attention to the culimination of five years in which fans loyally stuck by all the crazy plot threads and dense mythology.

Don't get me wrong. I still adore this show. But I feel like you do with anything you love: when it disappoints you, it hurts. Still, we've got seasons one and two to remember: two incredible runs that beat almost anything else on TV or at the movies. So thank you, JJ, the cast, and the creative forces for all your hard work. R.I.P. with fonder memories.


Karmela Johnson said...

OMG, you've pretty much summed up everything I've felt about The X-Files, everything I was feeling about ALIAS and everything I will feel about LOST when it finally ends but couldn't fully articulate. It's the FELICITY-series-finale-syndrome all over again! Jaybrams doesn't know how to do a satisfying series finale if it came in a twelve-step program, dammit! And I'm slowly weaning myself off of LOST for this exact reason. Too many loose ends. To few payoffs. Jack freaking DIED??? NO!!! Even though I loved it that he died on his own terms, by his own hand, protecting his family to the very end. But c'mon! What was with that pseudoromance between Tom and Boobs McPhee? SHE'S FOR SARK! If there was a villain sexier than That Beautiful Man who can be turned by pussy (pardon the French), it's SARK!

Sigh...truly unsatisfactory indeed. I mourn with you! I gnash my teeth with you! Hey, I've linked to your blog from mine! Have you seen Carol Stephenson's pictures of the lifeguards from Daytona? How did I miss that???

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Karm, we can mourn together. We can even form a mutual mourning society with all the other sad ALIAS fans. It's astounding that a storyteller like JJ can't wrap it up, and I'm seriously getting nervous about LOST, even though I'll never be able to stop watching it!

Poor Jack. I wanted him alive, too, but I'm content with the way he left. I just keep telling myself he had to die *someday,* and at least he did it in the way he wanted it. (sob) And that Pseudoromance (LOL, it deserves a cap)between Tom and Boobs? Too late for me to care much. (LOL for your French Sark description, too.)

I still have to watch the finales for GREY'S ANATOMY, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and 24. I hope those cheer me up....

I'll have to look at Carol's pix! And thanks for linking to my site. I'll put yours up on mine, too! (You're a Mutual Mourning Society member so it only makes sense.)