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ALIAS

THE NEMESIS


EPISODE NO. 50
Season 3, episode 06
Series 306
1st release: 11/02/03
2nd release:
Last update: 11/07/03


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REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye
COMMENTARY 1 by Adriane Saunders
COMMENTARY 2 by Beboman
LINKS



REGULAR CAST
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
Ron Rifkin as Sloane
Michael Vartan as Vaughn
Carl Lumbly as Dixon
Kevin Weisman as Marshall
Melissa George (Lauren Reed)
Greg Grunberg (Eric Weiss)
David Anders as Mr. Sark
Victor Garber as Jack Bristow



GUEST CAST
Merrin Dungey (Allison Doren)
Kurt Fuller (Lindsey)
Peter J. Lucas (Tupikov)
Colin Campbell (Heinrich Strauss)
Alex Mapa (NSC tech)
Dougald Park (Robert Lange)
Zoran Radanovich (Cell leader)
Emma Bering (Receptionist)
Martin Horsey (Man)
Krassimir (Bulgarian cop)



CREDITS
Written by Crystal Nix Hines
Directed by Lawrence Trilling



Broadcast on ABC, 9-10pm, Sunday nights.

TV GUIDE PROMO

"DON'T POOP WHERE YOU SLEEP." -- Yes, that's actually a line from this episode. Of course, we know what word actually replaces "poop," but that doesn't make it any better. Luckily, we get treated to a bit of pseudo-sexual tension between Vaughn and Syd. Not so luckily, it's rapidly removed from our memory by a couple of totally useless Killjoy scenes and a remarkably frightening leopard coat. But since the coat's worn by Francinator, I guess it's okay. What happens in this episode? Um. That's a really good question. Too bad I was too busy thinking up reasons why Killjoy has an Australian accent to pay attention. Was she raised by Aborigines, then transported to the States? Or maybe she was left to the elements somewhere deep in the Outback...the mind boggles. TWoP

Sydney's emotions are turned inside-out when she comes face-to-face with Allison -- a.k.a. doppelganger Francie -- who was presumed dead but is now a key figure in The Covenant. Meanwhile Lauren's search for Lazarey's murderer leads her closer to discovering a connection to Sydney, and Sydney begrudgingly is assigned as Sloane's CIA handler. Guest starring is Merrin Dungey as Allison Doren. ABC

Sydney, at a bar, wearing a blond wig with brown hair showing underneat and wearing a nice shiny white gown. Something happens at the bar, making Sydney grab a gun and protect, or so it seems, Robert Lange. Robert Lange and Heinrich Strauss exchange a pachage at the bar. Guest starring are Merrin Dungey as Allison Doren, Kurt Fuller as Lindsey, Dougald Park as Robert Lange, Zoran Radanovich as cell leader, Colin Campbell as Heinrich Strauss, Emma Bering as receptionist, Peter J. Lucas as Tupikov, Krassimir as Bulgarian cop, Alex Mapa as NSC techie and Martin Horsey as man. "The Nemesis" was written by Crystal Nix Hines and directed by Lawrence Trilling.




SYNOPSIS:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye.

Teaser

Sydney is running in the park when Sloane approaches her. He says the Covenant is about to make a move. He wants Sydney to be his liaison. He says he misses Emily and his relationship with Sydney and Jack. Sydney says he'll never have either her trust or Jack's respect.

Weiss and Vaughn are playing ice hockey. Vaughn is still upset about keeping secrets from Lauren. He's afraid Lauren will find out and think he was just protecting Sydney.

Dixon reports that the Covenant's new goal is a device that will give them access to Russia's nuclear arsenal. A man named Lange created the device, which can bypass all security for the weapons. Lange has had extensive plastic surgery to try to hide from the Covenant. Sydney and Vaughn are to get to Lange and get the device before the Covenant does.

Dixon tells Sydney she is to take over as Sloane's handler. Sydney doesn't want to, and Lauren is upset at being replaced. Dixon says it is necessary, that Sydney knows the players in this operation better than anyone. When she wants to know what he's talking about, he tells her Allison Doren is alive.

Sark approaches a van, out of which steps a woman. She turns, and it's Allison. Sark looks incredulous. They kiss. Allison: "You look like you've seen a ghost."

Act I

Sark and Allison are in bed. Allison explains what happened that night. She says she woke up in a Covenant hospital three weeks later and has been working for them ever since. Sark says he's been with the Covenant since his father was murdered. He intends to find out who killed him. He says Sydney should pay for the scars she left on Allison. Allison: "She will."

Lindsey says he is glad Lauren is no longer Slonae's handler. Now she can concentrate on Lazarey's murder. He is sending her on a mission and he wants her to keep it from the CIA -- even Vaughn. Lauren looks upset at the idea of keeping secrets from him.

In Vienna, Lauren meets with a contact who says he was Lazarey's partner. He gives Lauren some tapes of phone conversations that Lazarey had just prior to his murder.

In Milan, Sydney and Vaughn examine an x-ray camera that Marshall gave them, which is hidden in a necklace. Sydney says she keeps wondering if Allison still looks like Francie, and if she does, she wonders if she will be able to keep from killing her. Vaughn puts the necklace on Sydney, and they enter a night club, focusing the camera on the patrons one by one, hoping to find someone who has had reconstructive surgery. They find Lange, and Sydney sees that a laser site is on him. She knocks Lange down. She sees that it is Allison, and they exchange fire. Lange runs out, and Sydney runs after him. Vaughn goes after Allison.

Lange gets in an elevator. Suddenly the top breaks through, and Allison drops into the car. She throws Lange to the floor and extracts one of his teeth while he screams.

Vaughn radios that Allison has gone down the elevator shaft. Sydney approaches the elevator and sees Lange's body lying there. Allison comes up behind her and knocks her out.

Act II

Back in LA, Sydney wonders why Allison didn't kill her. Weiss jokes that maybe she likes Sydney. Vaughn says a bigger mystery is how Allison survived being shot three times in the chest. Weiss suggests that she is a werewolf, and only a silver bullet will do.

They examine the x-ray picture that Sydney took of Lange in the night club. Marshall says the tooth Allison took was actually a microchip which could be the key to opening a vault somewhere. They assume the device is located in the vault.

In Zurich, Sydney arrives to see Sloane. She makes it clear she doesn't like the situation, but that she is in control nevertheless. She wants Sloane to get Sark and Allison to tell him the location of the vault where the device is. She says Sloane will be wearing a wire. Sloane asks what will happen if they discover it's a setup. Sydney: "Then I will get to hear them kill you."

Act III

Lauren learns that most of Lazarey's calls were encrypted. She listens to one tape on which she assumes the killer makes an appointment with Lazarey, but the voice has been digitally altered. The NSC tech tells her that the call came from an office building in London. She tells him to try to clear up the tape so the voice can be identified.

Lauren goes to London and visits the office where the call originated. She calls Lindsey and tells him the lease was taken out by a woman she assumes is Lazarey's killer -- Julia Thorne.

In Prague, Sloane meets with Sark and Allison at a cafe. He says their plane is under surveillance and offers to rearrange their travel schedule. Allison doesn't trust him, but Sark tells him they are going to Bulgaria. Sloane asks why Allison didn't kill Sydney when she had the chance. Allison says the Covenant ordered her not to -- there is something they want to retrieve from her memory.

Dixon tells Sydney he wants her to kill Allison if she gets the chance.

Act IV

Marshall gives Vaughn a device that will track Allison through the chip she is carrying. Then Marshall asks for Vaughn's advice on proposing to Carrie. He demonstrates his plan -- to sing a proposal while pounding out an accompaniment on a set of drums. Vaughn manages to say with a straight face that Carrie will surely say yes.

In Sofia, Sydney and Vaughn track the chip to an abandoned hotel. They follow the signal to a room, but find the tooth, not Allison. Then they split up. Sydney finds Allison and shoots at her, but Allison evades the shot. Sydney races after her, but Allison doubles back and ambushes Sydney, knocking her down. She tells Sydney about how she killed Francie. She says it was nothing personal. She says it's ironic, but in the Rambaldi journal that Sydney found, there was a formula for a medication that saved her life. Sydney kicks the gun out of her hand, and they fight viciously. Finally Sydney fires one shot into Allison's chest. Vaughn and the rest of the team come running up. They get the device from Allison and call an ambulance, since she still has a faint pulse. Sydney calls Dixon and apologizes for things not turning out like he wanted. A few moments later, Vaughn discovers that the ambulance didn't reach the hospital. They trace its route and find the ambulance wrecked and all the attendants dead. Vaughn wonders why, if Allison had backup, they didn't help her at the hotel. Sydney says she doesn't think Allison had help. She looks at the dead men: "She did this."



COMMENTARY 1

This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

"You look like you've seen a ghost," Francie impersonator-supposed-to-be-dead Allison Doran says to a stunned Sark. This is the Sark of "flexible loyalties", in sequence from "The Man" aka Irina Derevko (Season One), Sloane and Derevko (Season Two) to the Covenant (Season Three). Sark was also Allison Doran's lover. This "allegiance" he renews in this episode.

My reaction when Allison utters those words to Sark, "You look like you've seen a ghost" is this: "No ghost, just a character I had hoped not to see again." Whether a consequence of the scripts or Merrin Dungey's portrayals, more often than not I found Syd's supposedly "best friend" Francie rather a bore, bland and immature. She struck me as too shallow to be an equal to Syd. As Allison, in Season Two, Dungey spoke and emoted mostly in a monotone.

Season Three, though, shows promise. Season Three's Allison even shows intelligence in her eyes. This is a much improved "look" for Allison. Of course, too, the conversations between Syd and Allison can now be "real'. Everyone's proverbial cats are out of all the various subterfuge bags. Growl.

Syd does a lot of that in this episode, Dixon too. Growling. When did these two become so bloodthirsty. Dixon--this is a CIA Department Director remember--tells Syd, "I want that bitch dead," meaning Allison. If his character is modelled after "real" CIA directors, then I wonder if management at the agency is awash in "loose canons", killing indiscriminately, or rather, highly discrimanently. Whatever happened to due process? Syd wants to kill Allison too, if she "looks like Francie". Does this proviso make Syd's call for blood more reasoned? Dixon has no conditions. Do these two now see themselves above the law, with a carte blanche for killing a part of their CIA job description? To kill or not to kill? That should at least be in question.

Not only Allison has Syd feeling vengenceful. Syd is over-the-top in petty and vindictive remarks to Sloane. Newly assigned to be his handler, Syd treats Sloane with contempt. She is even willing to sacrifice his usefulness as double agent for the CIA to witness his being killed (by the opposition). Who is this Syd? Are we supposed to feel sympathetic to such immoral and self-serving character. For Irina Derevko maybe, but not for Syd! This Syd can go back in the box.Back to the store to shop again. The continuous wish to kill diminishes Syd. Even the character of Allison is more grounded. Allison at least knows when to set feelings aside and be pragmatic. Syd just keeps on grinding her axe to dust.

Why Allison does not kill her, when she has a chance, bothers Syd.. After Allison kills a rescue target of Syd's in an elevator, Allison smacks Syd with a gun butt from behind and leaves her unconscious on the floor. Later, we find out the Covenant ordered her not to kill Syd. Allison has no problem with this command. Did I say I like this character better in Season Three. I do. She is an improvement over earlier versions. Maybe Merrin Dungey works better as a "Special Guest Star" (as in this episode), rather than a regular. The episode revolved primarily around her too, as a "Special Guest Star".

OTHER CHARACTER UPDATES:

Vaughan is ordered not to tell NSC agent wife Lauren that Syd was the one who killed the diplomat Lazarey. This frustrates him to the point of his making a slapshot (hockey practice) into Weiss's padded gut (as goalie).

Lauren, unclued, continues to dog a phone call trail to Lazarey's murderer. Through a taped computer-altered conversation, Lauren discovers the name: Julia Thorne. From her NSC handler comes an order to keep secrets from her husband Vaughan. An unhappy grimace is Lauren's reaction to this prospect. Later she tells Vaughn the two of them need to get away together after current assignments are done. Good idea. Exchange secrets.

Marshall, for benefit of Vaughan's feedback, loudly drums and raps his proposed marriage proposal to girlfriend and expectant mother Carrie. Vaughan tells him, "I think she'll say yes, inspite of the rock jam song." That Vaughan is so generous is laudible, particularly after Marshall has just told him "Let's face it. You've got the looks. I've got the brains." What? Marshall may be dithering and absentminded professorish, but tactless and insulting? I do not think so. An unlikely remark.

Sark is still in bed with the Covenant, and back in bed with Allison. We find out his father was murdered once upon a time. A new mystery, I presume, for Alias to pursue. He wants Syd "to pay" for having shot Allison three times two years back. Probably now he can add a renewed grievance when Syd shoots Allison again at the end in this episode.

The two fight and stare each other down, guns drawn like two gunslingers. Syd gets off the first lethal shot. For one split second, I thought: "This is wild! The writers are going to kill Francie cum Allison again!" But, no, Allison still has a pulse, maybe even more than that, for she later overpowers armed guards and escapes from lockup in an ambulance.

Rimbaldi is mentioned again, his journals and a "formula" for medication which healed Allison's wounds the first time Syd shot her, maybe now too, the second time. "You almost killed me, but you also saved my life," Allison tells Syd in their faceoff with guns.

The gunslinger mentality, now that I think of it, underlines the whole episode and most of the action. No particular highlights come to mind for the episode. I did enjoy Marshall's miniaturized x-ray camera which showed facial and breast reconstructions on the spot, but that is just technology. No particular lowlights warrant mention either. This Alias I rate a 2 out of 4 stars. Lots of flashbacks happen, including one we have not seen before: the actual murder of Syd's friend Francie by Allison in Season One. Interesting but non- essential.



COMMENTARY 2

This commentary is by beboman.

After last week's fiasco of an episode, I was a bit leery about this one. After looking at the title and getting an idea what might happen, I sat down to watch the episode ready for everything.

I was truly satisfied when the first scene was a great interchange between Sloane and Sydney. They are always so good together. It is like watching a great tennis match. They can really volley well. The tension between these two characters is great, not only in this scene, but in the other ones in this episode. Have I said that I just like to see them interact?

Now, I'm going to take a small side bar just to be a bit on the catty side. Did anyone notice that, during the briefing scene, this time around Lauren was sitting on the right of Jack and Sydney on his left, both even with the guys on the opposite side of the room? So, are we to believe that Lauren and Sydney are not going to be rivals anymore and that they are at the same level?

You know, Alison really knows how to make an entrance; she just showed up and went straight for the kiss. She wasted no time picking up with Sark where she left off. Another good thing about Allison showing up is that it explained a few things left unexplained from last season, like what happened after Sydney shot her and how come she was still alive. From Allison we also know that Sydney has some type of secret that the Covenant wants. That is why Sydney cannot be killed. Well, not until the Covenant gets what they want, then Sydney is chopped liver.

So Vaughn is feeling guilty that he is lying to Lauren about Sydney, but Lauren is also lying to him about going out and getting information regarding who killed Sark's father. In the end, we shall see who is guiltier.

Ok, if Sydney is not feeling stressed out by this time, she should be getting there very soon. Let's see, she is trying to hide the fact that she is the killer of Sark's father, she is working as a double agent, she is handling Sloane, she is dealing with Vaughn's marriage and she has to deal with the fact that Allison is back. Man, the stress level is really high.

Moving right along, that fight scene between Sydney and Allison was just great and taking a look at Allison, man she is some super woman. She managed to survive the blast in their old apartment, she managed to survive Sydney shooting her again, and she is some fighting machine. Is there anything that will kill this woman. It seems that whatever it was they used to cure her wounds after Sydney shot her the first time made her into some kind of indestructible human. I hope they are able to come up with something to destroy her before she destroys Sydney.

I have to say that I really did enjoy this episode. It was well written, it moved with style and ease. It did not feel like they were pulling things out of thin air. The acting was great, especially Merrin Dungey, who plays Allison. The rest of the cast was great. I did very much enjoy the drum solo performed by Marshall; good way to tell someone you love them.

I just hope they continue on this track and try to avoid those long, dull episodes like the one last week.



LINKS:

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