A big thank you to any and all of you who saw my plaintive request to vote for my friend Allie in the TV spinoff contest last month. She won and we got to go to some really awesome events in New York last weekend--it's delightful being a plus-one!
While Jabrams didn't make it to any events last weekend, I did get to ask some questions of Andre Nemec. He's currently helming ABC's Life on Mars but was previously employed as a writer on Alias. I have my list of five questions I'd ask JJ Abrams if I ever met him, and so I went Alias-specific with Mr. Nemec.
#1: Irina Derevko was evil--seriously?
He says, without a doubt, yes. From the very beginning, the writers knew SpyMommy was never going to be good. They knew it would come down to her ultimate choosing Rambaldi over Sydney Bristow. Mr. Nemec said that the intention was always for Irina to be the one thing that Jack couldn't understand and Sydney couldn't fix. Always. She may have loved Sydney in her weird, twisted way, but she was serious about caring about Rambaldi more.
Mae says, "Well, then, Lena Olin was way too good at playing evil-as-good."
#2: What was S.A.B. 47 really supposed to be?
I explained my confusion about how the end of season three made it seem as though we would be returning to some Project Christmas-esque details about Sydney's childhood--that Jack had done something really shady in the past that had negatively influenced Sydney's life. Seriously, what was the deal with Lauren's whole "you think it's a coincidence you are your sister are both agents?" if it just turned out that, oh, Jack killed Irina.
Mr. Nemec said he didn't want to say they had made mistakes on Alias. That's how he started answering my question. But they knew coming into season four that they wanted to put Jack and Sydney in contention and they wanted to bring Irina Derevko back into the story. ("By killing her?" I asked. "Yeah.") That was what they came up with. They knew returning to Project Christmas wasn't going to move the story forward at all. Okay.
#3: Couldn't the Followers of Rambaldi dig up Sloane and wreak more chaos on the world?
Mr. Nemec says, "Well, yeah." But he didn't think that would ever really happen, because over the years, the Followers of Rambaldi had become a corrupt organization, culminating in Sloane's leadership. Without Sloane, the group, which was already pretty fragmented, is nonexistent and doesn't pose a threat. Even when we're talking about eternity.
I hope I get to have more conversations like this one. Because Mr. Nemec was so nice and really seemed to enjoy chatting about Alias. I mean, wouldn't you like talking about the intricacies of your work with someone who really wanted to understand them? Because I would love to explain the details of the bill I'm working on, but it's freaking boring. Alias--not boring. And he actually had answers! I mean, I love love love deconstructing Michael Vaughn with Mae, but at the end of the day, we can't come to any conclusions. Writers literally construct these universes. If he says the Followers of Rambaldi can't dig up Sloane, then they can't. If he says Irina Derevko was always, always evil, then she was.
Ah, sweet relief.