Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Alias: "All The Time In The World" For a Better Finale Than That...

It’s been a long nine months now since the series finale of what I will probably always declare as my absolute favorite show of all time. Long enough for hundreds (thousands?) of babies to have been conceived and birthed all around the world. Long enough for me to have moved three times and shot through several jobs. Long enough for my collector’s edition complete series DVD box set to have arrived and been viewed 94085734057 times – in search or either nostalgic comfort or proof that my theories are correct; probably both. Long enough for unmentionable amounts of money to have been spent on alcohol and therapy, much of which likely had to do with the unresolved feelings I have toward the so-called “perfect” finale of the show I so adored.

Not long enough, however, for the general population of ALIAS fandom to come to the same realization that I did just seconds after the finale ended. What was that realization, you might ask? Well, I’m more than thrilled to share it with you. Ready?

The finale of Alias sucked. Big time.

Now, before all of you go jumping down my throat in defense of the episode… I shall speak in defense of my own opinions first. And hopefully you’ll see exactly what I mean. Because, really, I'm right. About everything. And you'll love me for it.

A lot of what I’m about to list will likely be expounded upon in later blogs, since all of it bothers me so unbelievably much that I could never sum up the issue with every single thing in one short paragraph. Nonetheless, shall we begin? Good.

1) What in the name of Rambaldi was going on with the prophecy? This isn’t even an issue that faults the finale alone; this started bothering me at the beginning of Season 4. But honestly, why did the writers keep adding new things to the prophecy (or, in their opinions, creating “new” prophecies) instead of focusing on explaining and fulfilling the original one that had been confusing us for five years already? It made it feel as though nothing really got wrapped up. We were left still wondering about far too many things that had been “prophesied” in the past. Not cool.

2) Spy Daddy’s death was, for the most part, unfulfilling. I had prepared myself that he would likely be killed in a heroic manner. I had readied myself and I was okay with the whole idea. I actually liked the whole idea, really. But then when I saw how it played out? Give me a break. Going back to the prophecy for a second, it always said that The Chosen One would stop the greatest power. To me, and to many others, that meant stopping Sloane – not Spy Mommy, which we’ll get to later. Well, they made it such that Spy Daddy was the one that stopped Sloane. Spy Daddy was the one that fulfilled the prophecy. He should have died truly heroically: saving the life of Syd, Vaughn or even little Isabelle. By giving his own life for theirs, he would have completely had me sobbing into my Kleenex and feeling as though the circle was complete. He had proven his fatherly love. It’s all I ever wanted from him. And yeah, I know you can argue that he really did do all of that – I have more to say in defense of this opinion, so just wait for another blog on this subject later. Mm-kay?

3) Okay, what the effing hell was with the pool of magical Rambaldi life-juice that Sloane fell into? Um, no. The bastard was shot dead. By The Chosen One, as prophesied, and he should have stayed that way. Sure, yeah, he was supposed to find the secret to eternal life. It’s been the pot of gold at the end of his crazyass rainbow the whole time. We get it. But was it necessary for him to actually succeed? Seriously, the coming-back-to-life thing only added 30 extra “cheesy” points onto the already relatively cheesy finale. Shoot him dead and let the CIA keep the magic juice somewhere secret until someone worthy of living forever comes along. Like, ya know, Michael Vaughn.

4) The Cheese Factor. It actually began in the episode before the finale and spilled over into the start of the finale. Syd and Vaughn on what might as well have been Mount Everest? I may be a bit picky and elitist about how things are done, but on this particular issue I find it hard to believe that anyone didn’t laugh out loud. The CGI of that snowfall and their mountain surroundings was so below par of what ALIAS has always put on screen. It made my brain hurt just looking at how pathetic and cheesy the whole thing was… OH, AND!

5) Syd and Vaughn, as a couple, were incredibly disappointing for a finale episode. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to take Vaughn away from the viewers for practically the entire season and expect that we’ll sit patiently, trusting you to bring him back and give us the ending we’ve always hoped for, then you could – ya know – give us that ending. He was gone the entire damn season! Could we not at least get some kissies and cuddles? Sure, yeah, they kissed a little and they cuddled a bit. But they hadn’t seen each other in at least a full year. You expect me to believe they wouldn’t be making out from time to time? I realize Isabelle was only 4-ish months old at the finale, but where was the Spy!Sex??? They just felt so… distant… from one another. They’re longest kiss was right before she rappelled down the laughable CGI cotton candy mountain, and I’ll be the first one to say that it was a completely chemistry-less kiss. There was nothing to it at all. Boring. She watches her mother die on the roof and he comes up seconds later… and they share a very weird hug. She doesn’t run to him, thankful to have his comfort nearby. He doesn’t embrace her tightly; desperately glad she’s okay. I mean… what? If people want me to, I’ll go into this further… but for now I’ll stop myself. Beware though; if anyone tries to say the lack of chemistry was because of Jen & Michael’s lack of a relationship… well, let’s just say you’re better off not trying that excuse.

6) Rachel Gibson and Thomas Grace. Why? Why? WHY? Had there been another season of the show in which to establish some sort of worthwhile relationship between them, then okay – spend precious finale time on them. But you know what? They had only been around hardly one whole season. And screen time during the finale was wasted on wrapping up Tom’s back-story and his unrequited love for Rachel. There was a time when I thought they’d be really cute together and I was a bit intrigued about Tom’s past, but given the circumstances? Given that this was the last episode EVER? I couldn’t have cared less. My brain would not have been endlessly questioning who killed his wife or why. I wouldn’t have spent hours trying to reconcile whether or not he really wanted to be with Rachel. But they spent time answering those questions, and now – instead – my brain hurts because five-year-long questions that actually deserved explanation… got swept over or ignored altogether due to lack of time. I cannot mention how much I hate this about the finale. HATE.

7) Where was Weiss? I get that Grunberg was busy with another show, but could they seriously have not had him show up for five seconds in the last scene? I wasn’t that bothered that he wasn’t around at all for the saving of the world portion of the finale. What really bothered me was that last bit of the episode, in the future on the beach. Am I the only one that would have liked to see a house-warming party or even birthday party for Isabelle with Uncle Weiss there to help eat the cake and entertain with tricks on his yo-yo? It just felt wrong. Did anyone ever even tell him that Vaughn was alive?!? These are the types of unanswered questions that plague me…

8) Whatever happened to Will? Did the end of the evil mean that he could leave witness protection? I mean, hell, the last moments of the episode were a good 5 – 7 years in the future. I would have appreciated an update on more people than Marshall, Carrie and Rachel. What happened to Jonah!Will and his painter fiancée-to-be??? They should/could have been at the aforementioned party. It would have been the only proper thing, really. And with that said, I really could go on to wonder where the hell Vaughn’s mother ever was… but again, we’ll leave that for another day. Maybe.

9) Isabelle proved to be “special” by completing the puzzle that only geniuses can complete. Well, fine, I think we all knew she would be brilliant and the second coming of the Super Spies. HOWEVER. I had always imagined that they would make it a bit more interesting and historically fitting than just “she’s the daughter of Sydney, of course she’s brilliant.” I’m going to have to save this whole shpeal for it’s own separate blog, but I can sum up my point like this: daughter of a Rambaldi descendent = the second-coming of Rambaldi that was prophesied (and apparently forgotten about afterward) in Season 3. More on that later.

10) This is the big one, kids. This – number ten on my longwinded list of issues – is the be-all, end-all of why the finale pissed me off so effing much: Spy Mommy was actually, truly, absolutely evil. Wait. What?!? I’m sorry, but anyone who had been paying an ounce of attention for the past five years would have known that there was no way in hell that Irina Derevko was really one of the bad guys. She was a good guy pretending to be a bad guy in order to reach an ending of the greater good and save her family from all the REAL bad guys. The fact that the writers stepped away from the history and continuity they’d built in order to cop-out for an “easier to explain” ending… well, that just… that just makes me want to focus an entire new blog entry on how angry that makes me.

Just so it’s clear though, I didn’t loathe and despise every last second of the finale. The fact that Sydney and Vaughn got to escape to their little deserted part of the world and raise their family (with Baby Jack!) together… that in and of itself was worth it all.

It just seems to me that after five years and so much devotion (especially from those of us who never turned off the TV – not once – after Vartan was given the shaft), we as viewers deserved more than what we were given. More than the hastily pieced together story that didn’t do much justice to the history we fell in love with.

Then again, I was usually drunk while watching the show – as I believe we all needed to be for the sake of our own mental health – so really, what do I know?

Oh, right. Everything.

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