Alias
Time Will Tell

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Manimal: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Devices and desires

Is the music editor drunk on alt-rock, or what? Some annoying whispery song plays. Sydney's apartment of unlocked doors. Will knocks. She calls out, "It's open." Sydney's working on her paper rewrite, and cracks me up by saying that the professor told her to put more soul in it, so "It's got lotsa soul!" scat-singer style. Will's Nosy Parker-ness asserts itself and he goes through some old leather-bound books and reads a nice inscription from Jack to Sydney's mom. He says it sounds unlike him. Sydney says she's discovering that her father does have a heart, little by little. There's some more boring dialogue, most of which I'm going to gloss over, but the gist of it is that Sydney's going on a lot of trips, and Sydney talks about her work problems in the guise of "embezzlement" from the bank so she can tell Will about the lie detector tests. Will asks if he can make a suggestion for the eightieth time -- Sydney should just quit her job, since she can get a job anywhere. Has Will looked at the want-ad section of the paper he writes for? Unless Sydney scored over 1400 on her SATs and is willing to donate her eggs, there aren't a whole lot of easily-obtained jobs out there for even the best qualified people right now. I hate Will.

Sydney grimaces in agreement, then, apropos of nothing, holds up her hand with her engagement ring on it and says thoughtfully, "I still wear this." Will looks uncomfortable. Just then Sydney gets a call from "Joey's Pizza," and hangs up. She then asks Will what is he doing here. Shouldn't that have happened at the beginning of the conversation? It just seems stilted and contrived here. Is that a dumb rhetorical observation, since we are watching Alias? Oh, well. Will lames that he just came by to say hello. Sydney says, "Hi," all softly and meaningfully. Will does the same back.

Warehouse. Vaughn is giving Sydney a prep lie-detector test, which consists of exactly the questions you think it would, stuff like, "Are you a double agent?" Good to know, though, in case I ever run across one. The machine beeps, and Vaughn tells her that she has to keep the gauge under thirty, since the test monitors the blood flow to "the emotional part" of her brain. God, how I wish I was a neurosurgeon so I could really rip into that statement with some actual knowledge. My mother wishes the same, although probably for not the same reasons. Anyway. Vaughn tells her some gobbledygook about switching her focus, and Sydney gets freaked out and starts hyperventilating about general stress in her life.

Vaughn says she can do this, and asks her a question. She lies, and the gauge stays under thirty. Then he asks her if she's romantically interested in anyone. She gives him a "Who are you kidding?" look. Vaughn shrugs and says, "It could be a question." Sydney says clearly that she's not. The gauge shoots up to fifty-six. Vaughn murmurs, "Interesting." Sydney tells him to ask her that again. He says he doesn't have to, since they have an answer right there. Sydney looks extremely worried. She's silent for a moment, then turns to Vaughn and says, "Hey. If this were for real, I'd be dead right now, wouldn't I?" Vaughn mutters something about them just getting started, but you can tell both of them think she's dead meat. I was so irritated by Vaughn's seventh-grade method of flirting that I forgot to count his forehead crinkles, but there were a lot, so he must be really concerned. It's not that Michael Vartan isn't cute, but the difference between his self-centered method of flirtation really working instead of being irritating lies in a few factors…like, say, having it be George Clooney instead of Michael Vartan.

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Alias

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