Family has always played a role in ALIAS TV show!

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Family has always played a role in ALIAS, and while it would be inaccurate to describe it as a family drama, doing so wouldn't be too far of a stretch. The complex relationship between Sydney and her father has always been a major component of the show, but family matters multiplied to embrace nearly every character in the show. The beautiful Argentinean actress Mía Maestro joined the cast as Nadia Santos, supposedly the daughter of Arvin Sloane and Sydney's mother and hence Sydney's half sister. (MAJOR SPOILER WARNING: I say "supposedly" because in the season finale Jack Bristow tells Irina Derevko that Nadia is a remarkably woman, and Irina affectionately replies, "I wonder where she got that from." To the attentive viewer it obviously implied that Irina, at least, thought that Jack and not Sloane was the father.) Nadia also spends time getting to know her father Sloane, while developing a relationship with Eric Weiss. Meanwhile, Sydney and Vaughan repair their relationship after the travails of Season Three. The "family matters" feel of the show was perhaps best epitomized by the end of the next-to-last episode of the season, where Jack, Irina, Vaughan, Nadia, and finally Sydney all parachute from an airplane in Russia.

From the first episode ALIAS has stood out for its superb cast and consistently brilliant acting. Before I continue I want to emphasize that ALIAS remains one of my favorite shows, and I was delighted when I heard that it had been renewed for a fifth season. This is clearly not an inexpensive show to produce, with its large and talented cast, impressive array of guest stars, and extravagant sets and special effects. But thankfully the powers-that-be at ABC gave the green light for a fifth season. I would, however, like to make two minor and one major criticism of the show. If I get my wish for Christmas, it will be for the makers of the show to resolve the main problem in the show. First, the two minor complaints. One concerns the final seconds of the season. One of the most hallowed rules of good writing is that if you are going to bring about a major plot change, it needs to have been foreshadowed earlier in the narrative. Sudden and dramatic shifts can not only feel tacked on and inconsistent, but can leave the viewer feeling deceived. This is how I felt when in the closing seconds of the season Vaughan revealed to Sydney that it was no accident that she had been sent to him in the first episode of the series and that his name was not Michael Vaughan. This simply was not credible, and in going back and watching several key episodes from the past, I cannot find that there has been even the slightest hint that Vaughan was playing a double game. So, it truly did feel "tacked on." My second criticism is that the Rambaldi prediction of Season One, namely, that someone who looked like Sydney would be involved in the fate of her sister in some pivotal event, was a thunderous dud. Unless, of course, the season finale was not the foretold event. But it is part of a larger problem: for four seasons we have seen an ongoing involvement in the legacy of Rambaldi, but the payoff has been rather slight. Despite random attempts, the Rambaldi elements of the show too frequently feel like they have merely been inserted, without being fully integrated.

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