In Jaipur, Sydney and Renee Rienne tap the router that Anna Espinosa has been using to make her calls untraceable. Meanwhile in Barcelona, Sloane meets with Joseph, his Prophet Five contact, furious that the instructions for Nadia's cure require stopping her heart for thirty seconds; Joseph tells Sloane to have faith in Rambaldi, who designed the cure. At APO, Peyton's call through the router is intercepted. Peyton's location remains hidden, but the team locates the other caller. While APO watches via satellite, a man named Koller receives page 47, and Peyton tasks him to find the message hidden in it. Jack goes to see Sloane, who might know something about the page that Prophet Five doesn't. At the hospital, Sloane covers Nadia's nose and mouth, and she flatlines. Jack arrives, but Sloane shoves him back and injects Nadia with the cure. Moments later, she is revived. Suspicious, Jack and Dixon secretly investigate Sloane. Soon Jack reports to Sydney that Prophet Five may have tried again to blackmail Sloane with the cure for Nadia. Sydney reveals Jack's suspicions to Nadia, who insists on going with Jack as he follows Sloane to a mysterious meeting. They watch as Sloane removes a suitcase from a storage building and leaves; Jack and Nadia break in and find Nadia's things, along with files that support Sloane's claim that Nadia's cure came from research projects that he'd been funding. Elsewhere, Tom and Renee abduct Koller, who reveals that his inspection of the page proves that it's a fake. Meanwhile, Sloane removes the real page 47 from the case and studies it closely. His examination is interrupted by the arrival of Nadia, who suggests that they try to get to know each other. While Sloane checks on dinner, Nadia goes to the study for scissors to remove her hospital I.D. bracelet. She is devastated to find page 47. Sloane tries to explain, but Nadia doesn't want to hear it. She says that he must choose between her and his obsession; his choice is obvious, and she tosses the page into the fire. Sloane rushes to retrieve the page, and when Nadia tries to stop him, he shoves her aside. She crashes through the glass top on a nearby table, and her neck is pierced by a large shard of glass. Sloane kneels by her side as she dies. In Ghana, the APO team stakes out the place where Anna is to meet Koller. However, while the others chase a decoy, Anna (who now looks exactly like Sydney) finds Renee. Without a word, Anna slashes Renee's throat and leaves her to die. Moments later, Sydney finds Renee. After hearing about the ambush in Ghana, Jack goes to Sloane's house, where he finds Nadia's body. Later, Sloane again meets with Joseph. Sloane says that he is ready to complete the final leg of his life's journey, and Joseph welcomes him back.
[Sydney drops the stolen goods outside the call center.]
Renee: Hey! I saw a watch I liked.
Sydney: Probably a knock-off.
Sloane: You're asking me to kill my daughter.
Joseph: I'm asking you to have faith . . . in Rambaldi.
Sloane: You're saying that Rambaldi designed the cure?
Joseph: Well, given that Nadia's illness stems from his invention, doesn't that make sense?
"If things had gone differently, you'd be working with us right now. You'd be there when we realized his greatest achievement." Joseph, with a bit of foreshadowing
Koller: What sort of message? A code? A transfer? A microdot?
Peyton: If I knew that, I wouldn't have to pay you, would I.
Dixon: What about the message?
Tom: You mean the one buried in a 500-year-old piece of paper? Are we taking that seriously?
Jack: We've seen too much not to.
Sydney: Why would they want her?
Dixon: She's good.
Sydney: I know, but Prophet Five has always been low-profile. Anna is on everybody's radar.
Dixon: Maybe they had to get her. Maybe there's something only she can do.
[Nadia is awake.]
Sloane: I'm almost afraid to believe it's true.
Jack (in his emotionless way): Must be an overwhelming relief.
Sydney: I know what Sloane is capable of; you don't have to remind me. But Nadia has her life back because of him.
Jack: Which is why I hope I'm wrong about this.
[Jack arranged for the leave of absence that Sloane requested.]
Jack: You should be spending this time with Nadia.
Sloane: Well, unfortunately, I'm not sure she feels the same.
Jack: Give it time, Arvin.
"I just don't want to get hurt any more." Nadia, on why she couldn't stay with Sloane
Sydney: You should know, while you were sick he was completely devoted to you. I mean, I've never seen him so devoted to anything.
Nadia (with a laugh): Even Rambaldi?
Sydney: From what I've seen, even Rambaldi.
Renee (on comms): Security is armed.
Tom: Aren't they always.
[Koller calls Renee a bitch, and she knocks him out with a punch.]
Renee: I hate that word.
Tom: I'll remember that.
Jack: Regardless of what we find, I believe your father's feelings for you are genuine.
Nadia: I wish that was enough for him.
[Jack pauses for a moment.]
Jack: Sloane's . . . not the only family you have.
Sloane: When I first met you, I didn't know how to be a father. I assumed it meant being needed . . . And then I saw you lying in the hospital, in that bed. And I realized something. I realized that I need you more than you will ever need me.
"It's not an obsession. It's fate." Sloane, revealing that he's already gone
Nadia: I couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't move, I couldn't scream - but I felt everything. So forgive me if I don't have much tolerance for your fate!
[Sydney asks if Renee has considered working for APO.]
Sydney: When are you going to start trusting me?
Renee: I trust you. It's everyone else that's the problem.
Rachel: Is everything alright?
Koller: Wonderful. Considering I might get killed today . . .
Sloane: A few days ago, I was absolutely horrified that you would suggest I turned against APO. That I would kill my own daughter. I realize now that both were inevitable. That death is a necessary sacrifice, necessary to complete the final leg of this journey . . . I have been preparing for this my whole life. I knew it was coming . . . I have betrayed everyone I ever loved, but I was chosen.
Joseph: We appreciate what you've done.
Sloane: This is my road to follow.
Joseph: Welcome back.
by PETER BROWN, Contributing Editor, ifmagazine.com
Up until Season Four of ALIAS I was a die hard fan. I watched the first three seasons religiously -- through all the guff about Milo Giacomo Rambaldi, through Sydney Bristow's sudden disappearance and missing two years of her life, through the utter boredom of the Vaughn/Sydney romance -- I stuck with it. It was a good show with cool gadgets, interesting outrageous ideas and great costumes (mainly donned by the lovely Jennifer Garner).
Season 4 hit and about half way through I lost interest. Even after all of the crazy stuff that had happened before, I couldn't see the crew working once again for Arvin Sloane. Then they introduced crazy, nonsensical plotlines, added way too many characters, Sydney no longer dressed up (plus she had become WAY too skinny) and topped it off with a storyline revolving around big red balls in the sky and zombies. What? Huh?
So, I haven't watch one episode of Season 5 of ALIAS until "30 Seconds" and for those who feel like I do, let me be the first to tell you that it is much improved from where we last left it. Sure, at its core ALIAS is always gonna be far-fetched at the very least, but the cool James Bond with a strong female lead that we had lost in Season 4 seems to have returned -- and it's nice to see Jennifer Garner actually looking healthy again and not Hollywood chic (aka Lindsay Lohaned).
What hasn't changed is the utter belief that Sloane for whatever reason has become some good guy. And by the end of "30 Seconds" any inclination of that had been smashed into a thousand little tiny, bloody pieces. As he not only killed his zombie daughter Nadia (see Season 4) once -- only to resurrect her seconds later (it's complicated just go with it) -- but then to kill her again over his obsession with Rambaldi.
Quick tangent: Does Nadia get paid for the full season even though this was the only episode she actually spoke? Does the actor's union chip in for that or does ABC float the bill? Speaking of Nadia, was I the only one who cringed when she picked up Sydney's baby thinking "Oh no! Zombies love babies!" But I digress.
With only three episodes left, ALIAS has ramped up to a point where it's worth watching once again with Sloane back to his bad ways and a cloned, evil Sydney slicing throats and taking names. It will be interesting to see how it all ends and if Sloane will get what he has had coming to him for five seasons.
(Thanks to Sean for sending the link!)
So Sloane has decided that his life's path involves betraying everyone he loves and killing his daughter. Can I just say? That sounds like a *sucky* path. Actually, it sounds like a cop-out, claiming that he can't help that he's destined to be bad. Don't give me that "necessary sacrifice" business: as the Prophet Five guys have repeatedly told Sloane, "You always have a choice."
Sloane chose Rambaldi over Nadia. I'm not exactly surprised that Nadia died since (evil) spoilers revealed earlier that Mia's appearance this season would be brief. Then the rumor mill let it slip that Nadia would indeed wake up. It doesn't make sense for her to wake up and then just leave, so we knew something drastic would happen. But from the standpoint of the story . . . what a tragedy. After all the times Sloane had hurt her, Nadia was encouraged enough by the findings at the storage building to try to reconcile with him. Sloane, on the other hand, seemed to be pulling away from her. Although he admitted she had a right to be angry, he grew selfish when she wanted to spend time with Sydney. His desire to feel needed sent him back to first love. In the end, in the name of Rambaldi, Sloane had killed his daughter twice.
The other death - Renee's - was completely unexpected. Renee had said that she does better working on her own, and that she doesn't trust the others at APO. Obviously, she was correct on both counts, and going on that mission with them was a fatal mistake. After she revealed that she truly trusted Sydney, she died thinking Sydney had betrayed her. The shot where Sydney finds Renee is, in my opinion, one of the most heartbreaking ever for the series.
It seems to me that Prophet Five set this whole thing up to get Sloane back and to kill Renee. Sloane's decision to stop Nadia's heart at the hospital proved that he still believes in Rambaldi, and the success of the cure no doubt validated his belief. Similarly, Prophet Five called on Koller - who had ties to both Anna and Renee - to ensure that APO would bring Renee in on this mission. If Prophet Five knew the page was a fake from the start, this would explain why they wanted Sloane involved. As for Renee, we know from what Desantis said at the end of Out of the Box that she was hiding her true connection to Prophet Five. Maybe they wanted her dead for the same reason they wanted Vaughn dead.
I'm holding out hope that maybe the Rambaldi serum will save Nadia, or that Renee somehow survived, but, then again . . . I'm not getting my heart set on either of those happening. To undo Nadia's death would make Sloane's acceptance of his "fate" somewhat pointless. And Anna's murder of Renee would prove that yet again that Prophet Five is one step ahead of APO. However, in this episode with numerous references to watching the clock, I think Jack's advice is significant: give it time. As we've seen, it doesn't take long for everything to change.
* TV Guide listed this episode as one of the Highlights of the evening.
* The outdoor/by-the-water background behind Tom and Renee looked extremely fake.
* Tom painting on the building reminded me of the old cartoons where a character paints a tunnel opening then goes through it.
* Doesn't Nadia dying like she did here thwart Rambaldi's prophecy about a battle to the death between Irina's two daughters? Or was it already disproved when Sloane shot the infected Nadia to save Sydney?
* With the page partly burned, will we ever really know what the message was? (Yes, I saw the Rambaldi symbol appear in it; somehow I don't think that was the full extent of the message.)
* In The Telling, Irina said that Sloane believes he's been chosen to realize the word of Rambaldi, and that Sydney is the one to stop him.