Alias--The Fifth Season
I write film and TV reviews at DVDFanatic.com. Here are synopsis' and links to those reviews.
When Alias first hit TV screens, it was mesmerizing. Part thriller, part camp, J.J. Abram’s pet project was an astounding cornucopia of unpredictable plot twists and cliff-hangers, exotic locales, sexy women, heart-pounding action and the sort of spy mythology that both borrowed from and simultaneously reinvented the universe of James Bond. Inexplicable and impossible, Alias nonetheless somehow transcended its built-in shortcomings and rose to the point of nearly flawless plausibility.
Not an easy thing to do in a show like this.
Secret Agent Sydney Bristow’s (Jennifer Garner) tragic need to suppress the very truth in her private life that she was searching for in her public life made for stellar drama. Surrounded by a cast of characters both sympathetically insidious and darkly virtuous, Alias became a massive cult phenomenon.
At least that was the first couple seasons.
There is a piece of established Hollywood urban legend that states that J.J. Abrams creates wonderful shows that do phenomenally well so long as he is at the helm. But as soon as he alters his focus to another project, his shows tank. Felicity anyone? (Thankfully, Lost seems to be bucking that trend.) It certainly proved true with Alias as Abrams became distracted with producing Lost and directing Mission Impossible III.
Things began sliding in Season Three. The floor dropped out in Season Four. And Season Five died trying desperately to crawl back to something approaching its former self. Increasingly silly, more and more implausible, and continually feeling like a retread of its former glory, the show, in many critic's opinions, gleefully began jumping the preverbal shark. Ratings had dropped so low into the early weeks of the fifth season, that ABC not only cancelled the show, they cut the number of episodes from 23 to 17.
Season five opens with the same literal bang that closed the season four cliffhanger: just as Vaughn is about to admit something of vast importance to Sydney, pregnant with his child, their car is struck. Sydney barely escapes what turns out to be an extraction for Vaughn who is assumed to have been a longtime double-agent. As Sloane's daughter continues to waste away in a coma, a cure is offered him by the nefarious group, Prophet Five--a cure that will bring him back into the orbit of his life's obsession, Rambaldi and set in motion a confrontation that will encompass the return of old enemies and the necessity of new allies in a final, apocalyptic showdown that will ultimately claim the lives of both friends and foes alike.
To read the full review, click here.