I just finished watching the first episode on “Alias”, Season 2, Disc 4. There’s only one other time I can remember that I felt compelled to yell back at the screen during a TV show, and that was an episode of “Twin Peaks” where Bob crawls out from behind a planter in the Palmer living room. The only thing that kept me from screaming back “oh hell no you didn’t just do that” at the last 5 minutes of this episode is that I started watching it at 1 AM and I got neighbors. (Plus, I’m a suburban white guy, so I shouldn’t be saying that kind of thing anyway).
I know I said they don’t like to drag out plot lines, and instead just throw everything at you at once, but this is crazy!
Everything after this is a big SPOILER for “Alias,” so stop reading if you haven’t been watching the show and think you might want to at some point.
Damn! How could they do that to Francie? I’d seen bits of a couple of the episodes before, where Sydney and Francie were fighting it out inside their apartment, so I knew that she was a double agent. But I was fine with that. So all the time they’re super-best-friends and confiding in each other, I’m thinking, “Just you wait.” Sure, it’s odd that her cover is that elaborate, and that she’s not really doing anything double-agenty the whole two years they’re living together, but that’s far from the most incredible thing they’ve had on the show.
So Sydney tells Dixon the whole truth, and that’s fine, it’s about time. And then we see that Sloane knew that they’re double agents, and sure, of course, he had to — the show creators are hip enough to realize how ridiculous it is that their cover hasn’t yet been completely blown, and so they’re handling that well. And then she kills Rutger Hauer in the same episode that they introduce him, and I’m thinking that that’s a real waste of a character, but okay fine. And then she and Vaughn start making out, and the Alliance is shut down, and everybody’s happy but I know of course that that’s not the end of the series and they’ll find some clever way to keep it going.
So Sloane’s got a big plan in effect; yeah, we picked up on that. And Sark’s in on it, okay fine; he’s a boring character but whatever turns you guys on. And then he calls Francie and that’s cool too — here’s where we learn of her deception. And they move back to the kitchen and there’s blood all over the wall, and I’m thinking, “Hot damn! She made out with creepy reporter guy so she could get close enough to kill him!” And I’m all excited because I’ve wanted him dead for a while. But then they pan down and it’s not him!
It’s Francie with a bullet in her head! No! He killed her! J.J. Abrams killed his shallow, two-dimensional best friend character! Have you no shame at all?
Even knowing that she was a double, I didn’t see that coming! I thought, worst case she’s been a double all along, working for the Alliance to get info on Jack and Sydney. Better would’ve been if she’d been working for Irina Derevko, to keep tabs on Sydney after her “death.” Best of all would’ve been that somebody contacted her after creepy reporter found out everything, and recruited her to gather info to keep an eye on him and Sydney.
But to just shoot her in the head? That’s just cold. I thought that was the rule of this show: they don’t kill anybody you care about. And even knowing that she was a two-dimensional character who never really did much of anything, and that the sitting around the apartment talking about boys was the most boring part of the series, and that I thought she was going to turn evil, I still got attached.
Now I’m going to be up for at least another three hours to watch the rest of this damn DVD.
Well, imagine how shocking it was watching the series WITHOUT thinking the entire time that Francie was a double agent and then seeing her shot. You don’t KNOW from “WHOA!”
That said, I wasn’t upset by it. Francie was boring, and they managed a way to keep the actress on the show while also making her a lot more entertaining.
Also, I’m pretty sure this episode was the one where J.J. Abrams tried the whole “new begining” thing for the first time, in an attempt to get more viewers who hadn’t been following everything since the begining. I’m pretty sure they premiered it after the Superbowl and thus had many more moments of Sydney in her panties hoping to keep the drunken football fans watching.