Alias

Season 3 Episode 9

Conscious

4
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 30, 2003 on ABC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
203 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

After making a shocking discovery in the desert, Sydney agrees to submit to an experimental procedure conducted by an eccentric doctor, designed to retrieve her lost memories. But while Jack and Vaughn look on, Sydney's mind proves surprisingly resistant to letting her remember her missing time -- and the process of recovering it could end up killing her. Meanwhile, Lauren makes a great sacrifice in order to make her alibi believable to Lindsey after breaking Sydney out of NSC custody, and Sloane finds himself boxed in by an unlikely enemy -- one who wants to see Sydney Bristow eliminated permanently.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Dream a little dream...

    10
    This episode merits a 10 rating purely for Jack's expressions alone. Not only do we get to see him smile (TWICE!) but his reactions when listening to a doped up Kaya and Brezzel were flippin' hilarious! Victor Garber rarely gets to do comedy, but here it really goes to show that actions (or in this case reactions) speak louder than words.



    The remainder of the episode, much like Dr Brezzel's procedure, is experimental, trippy, and downright entertaining. There's so much to pick at and long-term fans are rewarded quite a bit, where fans who only jumped on at season 3, I'm sure, will have no idea what's going on. The continuity touches alone boost this above your average Alias dosage, but the fact that it happens to be compelling, funny, and awkward is simply icing on the cake.



    Akin to that of Buffy's ''Restless'', this episode serves to hint at what's to come - some of the dreams being rather literal, others open to interpretation: there's some great visual gags on offer, I loved Marshal and Weiss using a rambaldi artifact as an ashtray, very amusing. The fight between Syd and Lauren was also neat, and it does a good job casting even more mystery over her -- was she simply a shape shifter, or does she have ties to Sydney's disappearance. That birthday scene where she cuts the cake only for blood to ooze from it was a startling piece of imagery aswell.



    I especially loved the transitioning from one dream to another. The part where Syd opens the van that leads into a hallway looked ace. Or seeing 3 different Sydneys at different time intervals onscreen at the same time. Very surreal. And, of course, you had Good Syd (in white) against Bad Syd (in black). A very Matrix-esq fight scene ensues, as well as conformation that the covenant had been using Sydney for the past 2 years.



    Jennifer Garner should be allowed to run around in slow motion in every episode. I couldn't get enough of her as she raced through those hallways, she looked amazing. And that cliffhanger was a doozey. The best of the season by far (''Oh my God...''). Could it be any more of a tease?



    There are too many classic moments in this one: Sydney delivering a nasty right hook to Lauren being a personal highlight, even if I do like her character. And Lindsey is snivelling fiend, although he should know better than to blackmail Sloane. It aint gonna end well.



    It's the first 10 for this season! It's nice to mix up the formula every now and then, but I wouldn't want every episode to be this wacky. All in all, it was a stunning episode. Some great casting in the form of David and Sarah, and everyone seemed to be on top of their game.



    (p.s. How awkward was that scene when Syd kissed Vaughn thinking she was in a dream-state? I felt soooo bad for her...)moreless
  • Syd:"What if what we're looking for isn't metal"? Jack:"Then we're screwed.Not an unfamiliar situation".

    9.5
    Syd:"What if what we're looking for isn't metal"?

    Jack:"Then we're screwed.Not an unfamiliar situation".



    This was another dark,mysterious,unearthly,psychedelic episode,but it was amazing and gave us a little insight into what might have happened to Syd during her two-year absence.The peculiar doctor Brezzel with his eccentric behaviour,apart from being probably the most funny and entertaining element so far this season,proved to be quite helpful:he gave answers to most of our questions.However,by the end of the episode,a bunch of new ones emerged...



    But,apart from the dream sequences,which occupied the biggest part of the episode,there were some things that actually happened in real life:Syd and Jack dug up Lazarey's left hand and they gave it to Marshall for analysis.Dixon was arrested in front of his children and Lindsey ordered Sloane to kill Syd,threatening to reveal his endgame.Ok,so..Lazarey was or is Rambaldi's follower.We don't know if he's dead,but if he is,Syd is not responsible.And is Lindsey telling the truth?Ah..just as I'm starting to believe Sloane's repentance,he shows up with his so-called evidence and ruins it.



    There were two dream sequences here.Both of them offered us valuable intel,but they also had some underlying symbols.In the first dream,Syd wakes up in an ambulance and sees Vaughn standing next to her and hears him say how much he loves her.This clearly shows her desire to be with him.Just as they start kissing each other,Vaughn transforms into Sloane who unexpectedly jerks Syd out of the ambulance.This,in my opinion,indicates that Sloane is an enemy-ok,as if we didn't know that-and that Syd should watch her back because he is planning on harming her(again).Then we see Syd's appartment where she fights Allison and kilss her(well,this is what we used to think).Then some men in black come and take her in the ambulance.They say something I couldn't hear.Syd begins to wake up and they inject her with anaesthetic and she falls asleep.I suppose this one didn't symbolize anything.Then we see a young Syd going to her birthday party.Except for the presents and the birthday cake,on the table we see Rambaldi's music box.Syd is again in adult form and cuts the cake.It transforms into Lazarey's hand.The fact that the cake is cut by adult Syd symbolizes her incomplete childhood due to her parents' absence.Rambaldi's music box indicates Syd's connection to him still from her early years.Lazarey's presence,Syd's guilt for having killed him(at least,this is what she believes).Next,Syd runs to catch the ambulance up.She opens the door and enters a building.She sees herself on a stretcher being carried by the men in black.She follows them and she reaches door 47.As she's about to enter,Lauren appears.Syd follows her and they engage in a fight.Lauren strangles her before she can reach door 47 again.Does Lauren symbolize Syds' shackles that keep her away from the truth behind her missing years?



    In the second dream,Syd is in a car with Dixon being the driver.They're between 60's and 70's.She gets out of the car and enters a building.She sees Marshall and Weiss smoking and using Donato's clock as an ash-tray.She enters the room in which she previously fought Lauren.She spots her again and this time she is the one who tries to strangle the other.As she is doing so,Lauren transforms into evil Sydney.She has superhuman abilities,but real Syd manages to reach a gun and shoot her doppelganger six times.Evil Syd is dead and good Syd finally enters room 47.She sees something which causes her to say "Oh my God"..The time period indicates that Syd is stuck in the past.Dreaming of riding in a car means that Syd desperately wants to move on with her life.But,"how can she face the future when her heart is drawn to the past"?Also,is evil Syd actually Julia Thorn?



    And now some other things:during Syd's dreams there are many Rambaldi artefacts and things which are closely related to him,such as number 47.Does this mean that he is somehow linked to her disappearence?What sort of thing was happening in room 47?Experiments,maybe?Why was Lauren in Syd's dreams?Is she behind her two-year absence?Did she meet Syd during the latter's two missing years?Too many questions that I don't think will be answered soon.This is Alias,afterall...



    Notable Quotes:



    Syd:"I suppose I owe you a thank you".

    Sloane:"Sydney,as long as you're alive,you'll never owe me a thing".



    Lindsey:"Where's Sydney Bristow?you covered for her once and it cost you your job.Do it again,this cell will be your home for the next 10 years".

    Dixon:"My lawyer's name is Shelly Byrd".



    Dixon:"What I know here is that sending agents to arrest me in front of my children is the last mistake you'll ever make as a Senior Director of the NSC.I've known men like you.Men who pretend to be patriots.You are always revealed".



    Jack:"I used to think you didn't have much of a spine".

    Vaughn:"Has that assessment changed at all"?

    Jack:"No".(smiles)



    Kaya:"I was in a tangent once".

    Jack:"How nice for you".



    Miscellaneous:



    --No theme song this time..



    --Dr.Brezzel and his lover Kaya were very funny to watch.Very interesting characters.Wish we saw them again some time in the near future...



    --Dixon is a hero.He has a ready wit,too.It's unfair for him to be in jail.



    --Have I mentioned how much I hate Lindsey?This man must die a horrible death.And I want either Dixon or Jack to do it.



    --Syd didn't mind punching Lauren in the face.In fact,she seemed to enjoy it.I think it was out of character for her.On the contrary,Lauren's actions made me like her more.She was fair enough to Syd.



    --What's with St.Aiden?



    --Does facon has something to do with bacon?I didn't understand what Dr.Brezzel said about it.



    --This episode's locations:New Haven,Connecticut



    Great,but not perfect.Well,it was close..



    alias004moreless
  • Review

    8.0
    Someone said it in an earlier review, you will either love this episode or you will hate it - I, for one, was not one of the people that loved it. This episode is monumental to the third season of the show. Sydney has lost two years of her life and having us find out something of what has happened to her during the course of the two years is going to be a huge factor - this episode did not satisfy my "What happened to Sydney Bristow?" question that I have been asking myself for a long time now.



    The dreams with Sydney were very dull and not very well written. This is the kind of episode that you would need JJ Abrams for, as he could better know what the audiance is looking for with an episode like this.



    Outside of Sydneys dreams we have Lauren researching the missing hand that seems to belong to the man we thought that Sydney murdered. Turns out that is not the case and the only thing keeping this episode from being one of the worst episodes of Alias has ever seen. Overall, with such importance answering the season theme of "what happened to Sydney" this episode doesnt do what it needs to do - answer question. It confuses, it doesnt answer.moreless
  • Review

    8.1
    Someone said it in an earlier review, you will either love this episode or you will hate it - I, for one, was not one of the people that loved it. This episode is monumental to the third season of the show. Sydney has lost two years of her life and having us find out something of what has happened to her during the course of the two years is going to be a huge factor - this episode did not satisfy my "What happened to Sydney Bristow?" question that I have been asking myself for a long time now.



    The dreams with Sydney were very dull and not very well written. This is the kind of episode that you would need JJ Abrams for, as he could better know what the audiance is looking for with an episode like this.



    Outside of Sydneys dreams we have Lauren researching the missing hand that seems to belong to the man we thought that Sydney murdered. Turns out that is not the case and the only thing keeping this episode from being one of the worst episodes of Alias has ever seen. Overall, with such importance answering the season theme of "what happened to Sydney" this episode doesnt do what it needs to do - answer question. It confuses, it doesnt answer.moreless
  • Weird, freaky dreams that SEEM to reveal stuff but who knows with Alias?

    9.5
    This episode...hmmm. What to say. Well, Sydney is taken to the place of a professor David Gronenburg, who spends way to much time on drugs with his little ditzy sex slave. Sydney and Jack find the severed hand of Lazarey, and tests conclude that the hand was cut off four months ago, while he was alive, meaning Sydney did not really murder him. Also, Lindsey approaches Sloane and tries to set up the assasination of Sydney.



    The dream sequences were pretty trippy. Sydney gets to see a bit of what happened after the fight in her apartment, but as the professor says, no way of knowing how much is actually real.



    Also, that darned number 47 pops up again, this time the number of a room Sydney was held in. Right as she opens the door in her dream, cut to credits. Darn cliffhangers.



    Good episode. Kinda weird, but not was weird as the one where Sydney was digging into her own stomach.moreless
Greg Grunberg

Greg Grunberg

Eric Weiss

Kevin Weisman

Kevin Weisman

Marshall J. Flinkman

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Sydney Anne Bristow

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Marcus R. Dixon

Ron Rifkin

Ron Rifkin

Arvin Sloane

Michael Vartan

Michael Vartan

Michael C. Vaughn

Sarah K. Peterson

Sarah K. Peterson

Sydney Bristow (Age 7)

Guest Star

Boris Hamilton

Boris Hamilton

Customer

Guest Star

Susan Han

Susan Han

EMT

Guest Star

Kurt Fuller

Kurt Fuller

Lindsey

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • To differentiate between Sydney and her sub-conscious, one of her is wearing white (herself) and one of her is wearing black (her sub-conscious).

    • Number 47: The time shown on Sydney's brain monitor in Dr. Brezzel's flat is 13:47:15.

    • Number 47: The fireworks in Sydney's dream - represents the 4th of July - 4-7 - 47.

    • Number 47: During Sydney's flashbacks, the room she was wheeled into while unconscious was numbered 47.

    • When Sydney is defibrillated the paddles are outside her clothes are on the wrong side of the body.

    • Goof: When Sydney is fighting against herself, she shoots herself six times, in two rows of 3, and each row of three bullets are completely parallel to each other, but when we get a new view of the scene of the shot Sydney, the middle bullet hole in the lower row of bullets is below the other two, and not parallel like it was before.

    • There's a rather large air bubble in the first injection that Brezzel gives Sydney.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Lindsey: Where's Sydney Bristow? You covered for her once, and it cost you your job. Do it again, this cell will be your home for the next 10 years.
      Dixon: My lawyer's name is Shelly Bird.
      Lindsey: Your only play here is to tell me where Sydney Bristow is and who broke her out. Was it her father?
      Dixon: What I know here is that sending agents to arrest me in front of my children is one of the last mistakes you'll ever make as Senior Director of the NSC. I've known men like you. Men who pretend to be patriots. You are always revealed.

    • Jack: You're sure the DNA matched Lazarey's?
      Lauren: Yes. Which means Sydney didn't kill him. Lindsey has nothing on her. She can come home.

    • Dr. Brezzel: (About Sydney) She's in a tangent.
      Kaya: I was in a tangent once.
      Jack: How nice for you.

    • Jack: I used to think you didn't have much of a spine.
      Michael: And has that assessment changed at all?
      Jack: No. (Both smile)

    • Sydney: What if whatever we're looking for isn't metal?
      Jack: Then we're screwed. Not an unfamiliar situation.

  • NOTES (7)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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