Whoosh! ...


ALIAS

SECOND DOUBLE


EPISODE NO. 43
Season 2, episode 21
Series 221
1st release: 05/04/03
2nd release: 09/07/03
Last update: 08/25/03


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REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye
COMMENTARY 1 by Sally Dye
COMMENTARY 2 by Zero and E
COMMENTARY 3 by Adriane Saunders
LINKS



REGULAR CAST
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
Ron Rifkin as Sloane
Merrin Dungey as Francie
Carl Lumbly as Dixon
Kevin Weisman as Marshall
Michael Vartan as Vaughn
Bradley Cooper as Will
Joey Slotnick as CIA Agent Steven Haladki
David Anders as Mr. Sark
Lena Olin as Irina Derevko/Laura Bristow



GUEST CAST
Terry O'Quinn (Kendall)
Jonathan Banks (Brandon)
Amanda Foreman (Carrie Bowman)
Robert Joy (Hans Jurgens)
Joel Swetow (Jens)
Greg Grunberg (Weiss)
Michael Canavan (Special Agent McCain)
Kristopher Logan (Garth)
J.P. Romano (French guard no. 1)
Kevin Bowens (Alpha team leader)
Jon Dixon (CIA agent no. 1)
Kent George (Sloane's guard)
Paul Keeley (Police officer no. 1)
Michael Yama (Chinese agent)



CREDITS
Story by Breen Frazier
Teleplay by Crystal Nix Hines
Directed by Ken Olin



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

SYNOPSIS:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye.

Teaser

Scenes from previous episodes, emphasizing the fact that "Francie" is now an evil double.

Vaughn and Sydney discuss finding the leak in the CIA computer system. As they make love, "Francie" listens through the bug she planted in the tie she gave Vaughn.

Sark tells Irina that "Francie's" position may be compromised. Irina says that she doesn't want Will to be killed. She says she has a lead on getting the Rambaldi artifacts held by the NSA. She instructs Sark to frame Will for the information leak.

"Francie" hypnotizes Will, telling him that he will be unable to recall details of his personal life. She also does something to his eyes with a laser beam.

Sydney and Will go jogging. Will is telling Sydney that he may apply for a higher level analyst job at the CIA. Just then, two vans converge on them and FBI agents with guns jump out. They handcuff Will and tell him he's under arrest for espionage. Sydney wants to know who ordered this. Agent McCain; "Your father."

Jack tells Sydney that they suspect Will may be the second double created by Project Helix. They found a drug - Provacillium - in Will's car that is used by doubles to keep them from rejecting the new DNA. They also found a surveillance tape. Jack gives Sydney the remote and he, Kendall and Marshall leave the room. Sydney plays the tape. It's of her and Vaughn making love.

Sydney goes to see Will in his cell. She tells him his ocular scan showed proteins common in doubles. Will swears he's innocent. Sydney asks him about the time they kissed. Will says he remembers, but can't seem to recall the details, including what room they were in.

Act I

Sydney asks Jack to let her investigate so that Will can be exonerated. Sydney also wants to tell "Francie" about Will and assign protection for her. Jack agrees.

Sydney and "Francie" talk. Sydney asks if Will has been acting strangely. "Francie" says he's been a little distant. Sydney tells "Francie" she'll be protected and adds that she really doesn't work for a bank.

Kendall says a man named Hans Jurgens may know who the second double is, since he assisted Markovic in the operations. Sydney is to get to Jurgens and find out what he knows.

Kendall wants to send Will to Camp Harris, where he will be "forcefully interrogated" - i.e. tortured. Sydney is vehemently against this. Jack makes the decision that Will is to stay where he is for now.

Dixon goes to see Will. He tells him that his fingerprint was recovered from the remote detonator found amongst his things. He shows Will pictures of Diane's body. Will begs him to believe that he is innocent, but can't recall details of their first meeting. Dixon almost chokes Will to death but stops at the last minute. As Dixon leaves the cell, Kendall tells him that the DOJ has overruled Jack on sending Will to Camp Harris.

"Francie" tells Sark that Sydney blew her cover with her and that she has learned that Will is to be taken to Camp Harris. Sark says this could work to their advantage, but now they have to be sure that Will does not implicate "Francie" when they "interrogate" him. Sark instructs "Francie" to arrange for Will to be extracted from CIA custody and then killed.

Act II

In Berlin, Sydney and Vaughn find Hans Jurgens at a sex club. Sydney is dressed as a dominatrix in red leather. She approaches Jurgens, who willingly goes off with her. Sydney takes him to a room and ties him up, stripped to his underwear. Vaughn enters and starts taking pictures of Sydney and Jurgens. Sydney asks who the second double is, but Jurgens insists he doesn't know. They threaten to e-mail the pictures to his wife and he says there is an off-site server that might still contain that information, but he doesn't know where it is.

Jack confronts Kendall, who went behind his back to get the DOJ order to send Will away. Kendall says he is just trying to protect them all, especially Sydney.

As Will is being transferred along a deserted stretch of highway, a gunshot punctures a tire of his bus and it overturns. The agents in the car following, including Dixon, return fire, but more cars arrive and Will is taken from the bus. He fights back, though, and gets away, shooting his "rescuers" and running into the woods. Dixon takes out the others and is the only one left alive.

Act III

Sydney is furious that Will was transferred. She tells Jack that she still doesn't believe that Will is a double, because that would mean that the real Will is probably dead. Jack says she needs to go home and get some rest.

Irina gets blueprints to the NSA facility but also learns that there is a new security system in place.

"Francie" pretends to be shocked that Will might be a double. Sydney tells her that they don't know any more details. Sydney's phone rings - it's Will. He won't tell her where he is, though. He says he loves her but he can't trust her. He tells her that he did research on Markovic and he had a farm in Marseilles, which might be the server farm. "Francie" is listening to Sydney's end of the conversation and hears Marseilles mentioned. As soon as Sydney leaves, "Francie" calls Sark.

Irina tells Sark about the NSA security system. Sark says they need to use leverage on a CIA agent to get the info on how to crack it. He confesses that he had planned to have Will killed but failed. He says if they can get to the server farm in Marseilles before Sydney, they could trade the info on the server for info on the NSA security system.

Jack tells Sydney that Will's fingerprint on the remote detonator was placed there after it had been wiped clean. He believes that Will has been framed, but it will still take time to get DOJ approval for a raid on the server farm. He tells Sydney to take Vaughn and a team and go there anyway. Sydney knows that the DOJ will not be pleased with Jack, but he says he wasn 't cut out for management, anyway. Sydney kisses his cheek and leaves.

Act IV

Jack is seated at an outdoor restaurant when someone comes up and sits down at his table. It's Sloane. He tells Jack that snipers have him in their sights. He says he forgives Jack for betraying SD-6. He asks Jack when their friendship ended. Jack: "When you recruited Sydney over my objections." Sloane says that if he had known it would cost him their friendship and his relationship with Sydney, he would have done things differently. He asks Jack to come back to their partnership and he will share all he knows about Rambaldi. Jack: "We will never work together again." Sloane says they will. He tells Jack to think about it.

In Marseilles, Sydney leads a team to the server farm. She sprays Vaughn with liquor and he drives up to the gate, pretending to be drunk. While the guards are distracted, Sydney gets in. She gets to the control room, but Irina is there before her. She stuns Sydney and tells her that she's transferred all the data to another location. Sydney can have it if she helps her. Sydney: "Go to hell." Irina says she'll be hearing from her.

Will is hiding at an abandoned factory. A car pulls up and he runs to get in. Will: "Thanks for coming." "Francie" asks if he's okay, and they drive away.



COMMENTARY 1

This commentary is by Sally Dye.

As I am still trying to process the shocking Season Two finale, I can't help but look back to the finale of Season One, which left so many cliffhangers it was almost hard to count them. Of the questions that were raised by the end of "Almost Thirty Years", only about half of them were answered as I expected them to be.

First, the question of whether Vaughn was dead or not was resolved pretty quickly, but had long reaching ramifications way into the season.

Second, I was so sure that Dixon would be persuaded not to report Sydney's suspicious activities. He did, in fact, tell Sloane about it, but the question now is, did Sloane already know that Sydney was a double agent then or not?

Third, I said that on "Alias" dead doesn't always mean dead, but I actually believed that Sloane had killed Emily at the end of that episode. Even when she turned up alive, the real surprise was that the whole thing was a plot on Sloane's (and Irina's, I guess) part.

Fourth, I guess Jack really did kill Haladki, since his brain matter was found on Jack's gun, but we've never seen a body there either, so.......hmm.

Fifth, I was also sure that somehow Will's story's publication would be prevented, but that didn't work out as I expected, either.

Sixth, Sydney escaped "the man" pretty easily as it turned out - the real shocker there was why she was able to.

And seventh, we never really did get the answer to what the giant Rambaldi device did, although it caused some unexpected problems for Sydney and Vaughn down the road.

Now we come to the Season Two finale. And even though it might seem on the surface that there was only one cliffhanger at the end of this season's finale - where has Sydney been for the past two years - there are actually several others. Enough, in fact, to rival the cliffhanger-laden ender to Season One.

Let's get to the most important question first -- is Vaughn really married? There has been a lot of talk that Sydney and Vaughn's relatively happy Season Two relationship was not nearly as interesting as the sexual tension that was present through most of Season One, so it would make sense, I guess, to throw the relationship a curve or two to make Season Three more interesting. Vaughn's guilty expression makes it even more likely that the wedding ring is for real. But things are never really as they seem on "Alias", so I'm waiting to see on that one.

Second, has Vaughn really left the CIA? He said, "They asked me to come back", which makes me wonder, just as Sydney did, back from what? The main problem with the assumption that Vaughn left the CIA is the question of why he, as a civilian, would have been sent to debrief an agent who has been missing for two years. It was more dramatic to have him be the one to tell Syd the news, but it doesn't really make sense, even for "Alias"'s convoluted plot lines.

Third, where is Jack? He would actually seem to be the more logical choice to come to Syd in Hong Kong, unless there is some serious circumstance preventing him. Perhaps he also has quit the CIA. Maybe he finally succumbed to Sloane's pleading for a resumption of their partnership and has gone off to learn about Rambaldi. Or maybe he and Irina are back together. The possibilities are endless there.

Fourth, speaking of Irina, what happened to her? Are she and Sloane still partners? Have they extracted Sark from CIA custody, or are they glad to be rid of him and his "flexible loyalties"? But the possibility has occurred to me that Sark's capitulation in Sweden and his subsequent willingness to help the CIA came a little too quickly to be genuine. Just as Irina planned to get into CIA custody to get information, so might Sark have done so, maybe with Irina's encouragement and assistance.

Fifth, how did Will survive? Francie/Allison actually gutted him in their fight, or at least it appeared so. She really seemed to kind of "fancy him" (as Sark would say) there at the end, so maybe she deliberately didn't make the wound a mortal one.

Sixth, what happened to Francie/Allison? Did those gunshots kill her or just wound her? I would lean toward the wounding possibility just so Merrin Dungey could still be part of the cast. Of course, she would now be acknowledged as a villain, perhaps allied with Irina or Sloane or Sark, if he's escaped CIA custody.

Seventh, what about that Rambaldi device, "The Telling"? What does it do, and more importantly, what has Sloane done with it over the past two years? Did it have something to do with what happened to Syd? How does Syd fit in with that prophecy, which nearly everyone had forgotten about until Irina reminded us of it?

And finally, of course, the biggie - what really did happen to Syd over the past two years, and why doesn't she remember it? Did Sloane cause it to happen? Did Irina have anything to do with it?

So there are actually more cliffhangers this year than last year. Wow. I look back at the Season One finale and see that not all of my questions were answered the way I expected them to be, so my anticipation for Season Three is even more anxious than my anticipation for Season Two was. And that's a good thing for "Alias" fandom. Knowing that there will be some terrific surprises next year is what will make Season Three a great season.



COMMENTARY 2

This commentary is by Zero and E.

"Rambaldi to fill the void"

THINGS THAT WORKED:

-Buried and Revealed

Allison's arrival was overwhelmed by a subtle ruin, her presence marked by a slow-spreading decay. There was an inevitability inherent in her dormancy and, in her wake, something was quietly extinguished, a reflection disrupted. As hollow as the void she filled, it seemed impossible that she might surface in any semblance of a human being, that the callousness of her transgressions would not drown her. But, like many before her, she borrows her humanity from a stolen identity, and even as all to which she acted catalyst comes crashing down, she is salvaged by the vestiges of her past. A. G. Doren. The weight of a name, even in a world overflowing. Every alias a window to the past, every past a key into the present. And it is the very person whom she has betrayed who christens her, who affords her a self as a casualty of Project Christmas. She was never Francie, nor was she anyone else. She was conferred nothing more than the barren role of a succubus in limbo. But, give her this name, give her this past and she is someone. Standing across from Sark, she is a strangely younger woman, somehow unfamiliar in her nuance. Put her in his presence, make her his peer and suddenly their history expands behind them. Hold an old photograph up to an expression of haunted recognition, make her just real enough so that we ask--what if?

And now, in the present, we find that she has anchored herself to this ruse so resolutely that its boundaries begin to evade her. Twice she tries to free herself from the masquerade, twice laying her hands upon the neck of the one pretense of comfort this endgame has offered her. But when she must face him, when she must confront Will's anguished question-- was it always you? -- there is a sudden ambiguity to her resolve.

Merrin Dungey is utterly transformed. Playing a woman playing a woman who used to be the woman she played, she melts, her mechanical facade receding. From the blatant irony of a double's skepticism to her unexpected overflow of grief, her shocking sobs of devastation as she both embraces and destroys the man before her, she is at once buried and revealed. When at last she stands at Sydney's doorway, invoking the name of her mirror's ghost, there is absolutely nothing to remind, nothing that alludes to the woman she once embodied. She is simply Allison Georgia Doren. And she's tired of this game.

-"If Rambaldi's right" (episode 01.17)

Always already a subject, Sydney lived hostage to others' back-alley whims, her fate scripted, scrawled across margins, lifted recklessly from empty pages. She spent the better part of twenty years living backwards, working tirelessly to fuse the fragments of her past into some semblance of a future. Over time, the pieces coalesced, converged to form a self-directed life, a patchwork existence fashioned from her mother's echo. As she at last stepped from beneath the shadow of her splintered childhood, she emerged with two lives, irreconcilable identities each demanding tomorrow's vow. She made her promise, chose Danny, chose to live with the lie exposed. But with a lie exposed comes truth and the truth changes everything.

Her future irrevocably altered, the death of her fiancÚ swiftly unraveling her illusion of independence, she found the bedrock of her epistemology washed away by the very act of confession. All that she labored toward for seven years was devastated by an instant, the cruel revelation that she was the dismantler of her own ideal, that all she worked to know was false. A fraudulent past erased without consultation, the truth changed everything because everything was a lie.

The more Sydney fought to resurrect the time she lent to SD-6, to reestablish a long-forsaken autonomy, the more she found her choices circumscribed by a life predetermined by man's cryptic vision and intent. Her only idol is obliterated, transformed from a mother into a murderous unknown. Her father, too, must be reconceived, repositioned as another draftsman of her fate. And, even as she overcomes the manipulations that defined her origins and course, she slips deeper into the currents of Rambaldi's urgings, her own designs usurped by an enemy's intentions.

The Alliance's destruction is not enough to secure Sydney her freedom. Once more her success is illusory, prepared again by the back-alley men directing her life. An escape that promised liberation only offers fuel to feed her vengeance and she is soon consumed by the frustration of a briefly tasted end. And what they took from her was more than simple victory. In the night, they came and stole her home.

Living in a moment of perfect ignorance, a lull in the swell and decline of worldly chaos, Sydney again spends a few moments jogging with Will. She has achieved some form of stability in her life, a renewed closeness with her friends, a maturing relationship with her father, the comfort and affection of a man who loves her, and a measure of distance from the man she hates. There's so much promise here, the familiar potential of a life on the edge of change, planning a future with Vaughn, the man she loves. But when Will is arrested, taken from Sydney's side, she struggles to vindicate him, a fierce loyalty making Will's fraudulence an impossibility. Clinging to desperate optimism, she cannot bear the weight of another fallen friend. And so she risks all. And so she loses all. But the truth is, it was over the moment that Francie died.

What else could she have done? Where else could she have turned but to her mother, who holds every unspoken answer? How can she reconcile the twistings of her myth with the vast uncertainties of an elected path? Does this battle rage on a dialectic field of play, where fate and free will collide as binaries, or is their interplay more subtle, painting the world in an unsounded ambiguity?

As Sydney sinks into the pile of glass that litters her shattered home, as she at last submits to the exhaustion of so much trust and so much betrayal, she finally lets go, settles into the void of a future unhinged from her past. The eerie hiss of neon summons her from her rest, uncurls her beneath the red throb of a distant city. She awakens in a dream world of illegible words, intangible emblems of time marking her passage. As she awaits reality's ghost, she surveys herself for some allusion to her travel, for anything that might lend testament to her presence. And as she traces the outline of her scar, Vaughn arrives.

She embraces him, the truth not yet descended. But the fear in his eyes and the ring on his finger speak the reluctant and enigmatic truth: two more years of stolen choices, another life that is not hers, the final woman resurrected and returned.

-Go Your Own Way

From Will's swift calculations over the phone as he frantically implores Sydney for absolution and exoneration, to his restless paranoia as he peers around the tightly drawn curtains of the false sanctuary of his hotel room, Bradley Cooper was absolutely phenomenal. Having been scarce the last few episodes, his appearance as a crucial player in this narrative was a vital reminder of how deep its workings run. Facing a miserable Sydney as she struggles to reminisce, to find some trace of her friend, Will seems so small and desperately cornered. Entreating Dixon for a measure of faith, he grows so devastatingly soft, so tragically helpless.

Again he is a stranger in his own life, all certainties undone. A latent bitterness seeps into his words, his dialogue with Sydney expressing an unfamiliar antagonism. He has never before said no to her, never turned on her in any way. But as he clutches the receiver, refuses to hand himself over, for the first time he puts himself before her.

"Syd, I love you. But I can't-- I can't trust you. Not anymore. Meeting you-- meeting you destroyed my life. You wanna help me? Prove I'm innocent."

For a second time he calls upon another woman, unable to accept Sydney's aid. For a second time the woman he loves is unintentionally revealed, unmasked and exposed. There is such a breathless horror as he speaks his panicked warning, such a sense of anguish as he faces his betrayer. As he slips to the ground in Allison's arms, perhaps his devotion will be enough to break his fall.

-"Truth, like time, catches up and just keeps going" (Dar Williams)

"Sydney, I know our relationship is complicated, but I'm your mother and I have to believe that would be the case under any circumstance."

Crouched on the ledge, looming above the nighttime street, we rise with Irina above the city, pull upwards as she stands, hands raised. Pointed lights glow beneath her, illuminating her strange farewell. Her daughter approaches, the sorrow of far too many small betrayals burdening her love. The answers laid before her, Sydney pushes forward, the recitation of empty threats drowning out a truth too great to consider.

Irina is the enthralling fusion of myriad personas, of a thousand strange encounters, each honest in its own right. She arrived as a proficient assassin, the brutal apparition, The Man, head of a rising counter to Sloane's Alliance. She leaves now as a broken mother, a wife lost to some greater end. Desperate to divorce this woman from the likeness of her mother, Sydney is crushed beneath the haunting promise of Irina's love. But how long can she refuse the words she longed to hear? Irina jumps and for a moment everything freezes on the single thought that she might disappear into the darkness, that she might not have intended to return at all. Sydney flinches, dropping her gun with a sharp intake of breath, every other thought engulfed by the fear that her mother is lost. But as she falls, Irina is changed, transformed into her original incarnation. With unmatched ferocity, she carves her own escape, a spray of bullets punching through glass as she plummets. With an eerie patience, she waits for her ascent, reaches back, takes aim, and disappears within. With an incredible, operatic dance of vertical flight, Irina is gone. As she vanishes, leaving Sydney with her enigmatic smile one last time, the words reverberate... "My love for you, for your father, was not a contrivance." But how many times are you willing to say goodbye?

"Ultimately, you do whatever you want. That's what free will is all about."

-Rendezvous

"I used to feel sorry for you. Could you sense it? That you'd been abandoned, left for dead and disgraced. I pitied you. That you needed Rambaldi to fill the void in your life. It was like a religion for you."

As Sloane casually takes a seat before him, a look of acid disbelief betrays Jack's surprise for just a moment. But, his face quickly closes off entirely, hardened in disdain.

"I've missed your poker face."

Jack greets their conversation with glaring condemnation, their first honest interaction in nine years. Sloane plays off Jack's stoicism with an injured amusement, torn between the potential of tomorrow's path and the grievances of yesterday's.

"So, there's something I want you to know. I forgive you."
"Excuse me?"
"Your betrayal of SD-6. I'm curious Jack, when exactly did our friendship end?"
"The moment you recruited Sydney over my objection."
"Ah, I thought so. If I had known that decision would cost me our friendship and my relationship with Sydney, I would have done things differently."

Invoking their history, Sloane pleads for Jack's return with an unnerving sincerity. It truly seems that he would have done things differently, that he wishes to make amends. He speaks of a renewed alliance with charged anticipation, exudes the ravenous fixation of a man driven by obsession.

"Come back to our partnership, Jack. I will tell you everything I've learned about Rambaldi."
"An obsession I have never shared."
"Well, now's the time to sign up. For years I collected his artifacts as if that was the point. I thought Rambaldi's work was that window to the past. Today I am one move away form proving to you that it is so much more than that. And this time, Sydney won't be a pawn in our venture. Jack, sit here for a while. Think about it."
"We will NEVER work together again."
"The thing of it is, you are going to work with me. Sooner than you think."

He leaves his friend in the venom of mutual betrayal, casts aside Jack's disgust, his anger, his cold condescension with sapient insinuation. Sydney will no longer play the pawn. The very presence that anchored Jack will soon be the absence that haunted Rambaldi's collectors, that drove them forward through anxious decades. Having relinquished his stubborn denial of his wife's humanity, what will this man do? Living under an old friend's ominous pledge, where will this man go? Left with a daughter's kiss on his cheek, who will this man be?

-The Reckoning

The final fight was truly an epic battle. Incredible in scale, breathtaking in its flailing precision, it was a no-rules, no-holds, last-woman-standing war of skilled resolve. The build was absolutely tremendous, beginning with the quiet subtlety of their stolen glances as each feigns nonchalance. There is that moment of stillness in Sydney's room, silence hanging on Allison's command. DROP IT. The room explodes. Sydney launches herself, hurtling forward with an almost supernatural surge of power. Glass begins to shatter. She battles her way out of the bathroom, away from Will's prostrate image. She dives over the counter, bullets and bodies flying. Her house becomes her weapon as she hurls a kitchen drawer, flings a cutting board, and slam's Allison headfirst into a cupboard door. Gun unclaimed, the two women throw themselves at one another, Sydney's home coming down from the inside. Seized by Allison, Sydney flies backwards, crashes through the final piece of standing glass, the last unbroken reflection. Groping through the wreckage, she grasps a single shard, lashes viciously at the face of enemy and friend. One. Two. Three. Eyes locked in terror, Allison falls. Sydney falls. Silence descends.

-Kendall-- Showin' suckas how it's done

We've got one more chance to sing our favorite refrain: Kendall's exasperated wit and constant state of utter disbelief get us every time. He's quite possibly the only character on the show who seems to realize just how preposterous things can get. And it's never quite beneath him to comment.

"Yeah, I know what legit means."

"And it didn't occur to you, Mr. Brandon, that a raid on an NSA facility-- "
"I'm not at liberty to discuss the details of the Nevada raid."
"And I'm not at liberty to respect the way that you do business."

"Sloane may have most of the pieces to assemble this Rambaldi device, but I don't think he has them all."
"The Di Regno heart."
"If the NSA's still got it."

Put him with Jack and he's unstoppable.

"What did you think, Jack? That I just forged a transfer order on CIA letterhead?"
"You went behind my back."
"That's hardly unheard of in this office."

"You know, we can help each other. We don't have to be adversaries."
"I appreciate your magnanimity."
"Now you're just mocking me."
"Yes."

DETAILS WE APPRECIATED:

-There's no drug like Provacillium.

-There was something so spectacular about the way Allison's arms extended from behind the cement pillar, a cigarette dangling from her fingers. We loved the way we followed the slow curl of her arm as she pulls her hand back to her body, the way the shot appraised her foreign stance as she, in turn, beheld Sark's approach.

-Ken Olin overshot his quota in the finale by one. Mr. Abrams lagged behind, producing but a single bare-chested man in the second installment.

-There was something fundamentally absurd about Allison's incredulity concerning doubles. As uncomfortable as the situation was, the way it played out was brilliant.

-"Francie, I ended someone life... two people's lives. I am a killer! ... I shouldn't be yelling this." The way Will cringes at his own tactless commentary is wonderful. He really shouldn't be yelling that.

-We just want to give a quick shout out to Government Issue high-water pants. There's nothing like vulnerable ankles to break your spirit.

-With high-profile guests such as Irina Derevko, Elsa Caplan, Will Tippin, and Mr. Sark, as well as various visitors (Jack and Sydney Bristow, Neil Caplan, Marcus Dixon, Marshall Flinkman, and Assistant Director Kendall), Irina's holding cell was certainly quite the high-traffic, high-demand area. That's what we call efficiency!

-Sydney and Vaughn: Have two people EVER looked hotter walking into a building? You have to love the way they simply take over the room when they fall into step with one another.

-Though Sydney and Vaughn's relationship was somewhat overshadowed by the uncertainty of their reunion and the chaos that preceded it, Vaughn was once again the steadfast ally that he has always been. We take Santa Barbara as a promise. We'll be waiting.

-Jennifer Garner and Merrin Dungey's fight performances were stunning. They imbued their standoff with an energy and skill that were truly exceptional. We're still in awe.

-"Not a problem. My loyalties are flexible." At least he's honest. Sark really is quite the mercenary. He's not easily fazed and this line was a classic: superbly nonchalant.

-Drunken Vaughn(tm) has our vote as the next Alias action figure. There's nothing better than a Frenchman wreaking havoc in Marseilles disguised as an inebriated American.

-Don't ask why, but we liked the shifty and mildly lecherous contact that met Sydney and Vaughn in the Berlin elevator. He was somehow entertaining. We were also fans of the squealing pants-man upstairs. Very strange. Very very strange.

-Will's failed abduction was reminiscent of another scene that Ken Olin shot quite some time ago. He seems to be a master of the finale-highway-nightmare, though we're glad this show as another season in store.

-Some principles of Alias that guided our thoughts
1. You are who you pretend to be.
2. You love whom you pretend to love.
3. All women live two lives twice.
4. Every man has walked to the brink of death, survived something he shouldn't have, and every woman has gone a little further.
5. The ones you don't want to kill... you kill with knives
6. Blood on porcelain destroys a home.
7. Those who seek vengeance find destiny.

Predictions are difficult. Especially about the future. (Niels Bohr)



COMMENTARY 3

This commentary is by Adriane Saunders. Is Will the second double? How can Syd find out? Will Francie kill Will? What does Irina want from Syd?

PLOT:

In this episode Will is set up by Sark and Francie, arrested by CIA under Jack's command, escapes after a gun battle when the caravan transporting him to another lockup is attacked, and not knowing friend from foe, calls Francie for a rescue. Oops!

Dixon is lethal in his grief. After will's fingerprint is found on the detonator that killed his wife Diane, Dixon confronts Will in CIA lock up. He nearly chokes Will to death. "You murdered my wife," he repeats. He recovers himself on the word "murdered," just as he nearly murders Will. Rivetingly well-acted.

Irina OK's the frame of Will, vetoes killing him, later in Marseilles destroys the file that would clear him, but offers Syd a trade for the copy she saved. With a "tune in next week" departure, Irina leaves Syd on the hook. What next?

Syd and Vaughan play counterpoint to track the identity of the second double. More hip sleaze and tight leather as Syd aliases as a dominatrix in a Berlin sex club. Humorously, syd crunches the ice cubes from her drink just before she goes to Jurgen in the club. He is the link to the second double. Later, Vaughan, digital camera in hand, tells Jergen, "Your wife is going to love to have these new pictures to add to your scrapbook." Syd is all over Jergen for effect. In Marseilles Vaughan impersonates a drunk American to distract guards while Syd breaks in a facility, only to find her mother Irina has beat her to it. As usual.

Jack and Kendall exchange sharp remarks. "What is this? Retribution for me taking your parking space?" Jack asks Kendall after Will is transferred against his wishes. Kendall gets his head honcho status back, after Jack relinquishes it by sending Syd to Marseilles behind Kendall's back. For his effort, not only does Jack get to give up his managerial status, which he did not particularly want, but Syd kisses him on the cheek. That is a first. After that, he gets more kudos in a restaurant from oh, oh Sloane. Sloane tells him, "I've missed your poker face," and promises, "We'll see each other again." Not if Jack sees him first.

PRODUCTION:

No particular highlights to mention. There is of course the razzle dazzle of the assault on the caravan transporting Will to another lockup. This is a gripping sequence but for the fact that the only one left standing at the end is

Dixon. All the guards are dead or gone, attackers, likewise. Overkill for effect. There are some funny bits of course (mentioned above), but all in all, this episode is for the purpose of forwarding the plot, little more. It does that. That it does.



LINKS:

Television without Pity. Recap Double Your Francie, Double Your Fun. Second Double - This episode's all about the Will Frame. And the Raunchy Spy Sex. And the Frightening Francinator. And Satan Sloane offering to partner up again with Spy Daddy (can you say Ho!Yay!). And Sydney reclaiming her title as the Worst Spy Ever. And some other stuff. But mostly, it's about fifty-nine minutes, give or take a few commercials, and it's only the first half of a two-parter. Now go away and leave me alone.




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