Season 4 Episode 4


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 19, 2005 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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  • Ice to See You

    The hiring of various Buffy/Angel writers seems to have had an immediate effect on Alias, as this episode almost completely abandons reality and features people literally smashing to pieces.

    Ice sees Sydney and Vaughn going undercover to track down a deadly new weapon called Ice-5, which when injected into a human body, rapidly turns their body to ice. Meanwhile, Vaughn faces up to the past.

    The Ice-5 device is extremely cool (just noticed the pun) and the special effects as Modell shattered to pieces were amazing. Thankfully, the rest of the storyline never felt like a let down after the explosive teaser sequence.

    The episode is owned, however, by both Michael Vartan and guest star Kelly Macdonald. Vaughn's remorse for killing Lauren is the subplot of the episode and Vartan really nails it. The scene between him and Keira is heartbreaking to watch and excellently played out by both parties.

    There was a lot of action throughout Ice. The big fight scene at the end featured some excellent use of various operating equipment and the close-up of Keira's eye as it frosted over was awesome.

    The photograph subplot was intriguing but I can't actually remember if it was followed up on. My memory of Alias year four is pretty vague, so I'm probably just being forgetful.

    All in all, Ice was an impressive episode, going for more than just visual greatness and culminating in the best hour of the season so far.

    Director: Jeffrey Bell
    Writer: Jeffrey Bell
    Rating: A
  • A stunning episode from an underrated season. Great character development, stellar guest stars (see Kelly MacDonald), and moving parallels.

    "Ice" is one of my favorite episodes of the later chapters of Alias, simply because of the incredible performances given by Michael Vartan and guest star Kelly MacDonald. The episode started off rather nicely, with a man "explod[ing] like a frozen piñata." Soon, Sydney, Vaughn, and Dixon are off on a mission, and the story begins.

    I cannot say enough about the brilliant Kelly MacDonald, introduced as nurse Kiera MacLaine. She plays her role with wit and stern control, touched with a heart-wrenching vulnerability. The introduction of the character's relationship with baddie-of-the-week Fintan Keene (a reveal that he is her older brother) shows one of tension, and conflicted loyalty. As she says, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." The team soon discovers that her real name is Meghan Keene, former IRA. Her actions led to the death of a father and two boys. With a heartbreaking and touching realism she conveys her shame and regret, her conflict, her struggle to break away from her brother.

    This episode is a fine example of the range of Michael Vartan's skills. As he taunts Dixon to hit him, just the beginnings of Vaughn's emotional wounds are introduced. His connection with MacDonald's character is beautiful. The 'flirty priest' gets under MacLaine's skin, and she gets under his. A tavern confessional between the two is incredibly touching – in order to get Kiera to open up, Vaughn tells her about Lauren, about his overwhelming hate for her, and about how he murdered her. He tells her the toll it has taken on him, how he can't close him eyes, can't sleep. Kiera tells him that forgiveness is a tricky thing, and then opens up about her relationship with Fintan. She is, however incredibly resistant to the thought of breaking away from him. The entire scene is incredibly well-written and well-acted, focusing on forgiveness and shame, and redemption.

    As they return to the hospital, Fintan arrives, boasting that his sister would never betray him. Kelly MacDonald is simply amazing throughout this entire scene, as her character watches her brother prepare to inject the substance (Ice-5) that froze the man in the opening sequence directly into the brain of the man who was trying to get her away from the life she hated. And when Fintan turns to her and says, "You do it," the look on her face is painful to see, as she feels both compelled to do what her brother demands and sickened by hurting someone that was trying to help her. Of course, Sydney bursts in, in the nick of time, and a fight ensues. As Fintan spins and stabs who he thinks is Vaughn with the syringe of Ice-5, it is Kiera who gasps.

    Vaughn holds her as she dies; before she passes, she struggles to tell him that she forgives him. She then draws her final breath, and Vaughn can do nothing but look up at Sydney, helpless. On the plane ride home, Vaughn finally closes his eyes, and sleeps.

    Again, this is one of my personal favorites from season 4. Kelly MacDonald's performance plays a big hand in that, but the main reason is that it's nice to see emotional character development in someone other than Sydney. So, it is highly recommended. A fine piece of television from a fine series.
  • Review

    I dont feel like I am watching Alias this season. There really is no overlying plan, no huge terrorist cell that is being establsihed here. Individual missions have been done before in this show by the old SD-6, but the works of Rambaldi were always the topics of the random missions. This season, the missions are random and none of the episodes seem to flow together. In previous seasons, you could never take any two episodes and flip them because the timeline of the show would be incorrect. Season 4 seems to be quite the opposite. Flipping "Ice" and "The Awful Turth" would have little to no effect on anything. I expect that on shows like Numbers, Criminal Minds, and The Sheild...not Alias. Things need to flow in a pattern and Alias is all messed up at the moment. The writing is easy to predict and its bad at that. The "I forgive you..." line said by the woman as Vaughn is holding her was terrible.

    The Alias crew is working too hard to move people into the show. This season they got a new timeslot and they took away what makes the show good. They have given every episode an ending, no cliffhangers like the golden days. This is the worst episode of the series so far and I enjoy that viewers have also thought so.

    Long Live Julian Sark!
  • What the hell was that? Was I watching some low cost horror flick?

    What... the... hell.

    Alias is definitely NOT based on reality. But this episode... Ice-5, a lethal weapon which freezes you from the inside. How cool.

    The episode opens with the founder of this weapon dying - first he loses his leg, then he falls into a million pieces. Surely. It wasn't horrifying or anything, but it was definitely disturbing and sick. Something that shouldn't be on Alias in my opinion.

    What's worse, is that, the rest of the episode is even worse. Sydney goes undercover as a nurse, Vaughn goes undercover as a priest... how exciting.

    The characters' are dumbed down, too. Especially Sloane. He's all good and effective now. What happened to Rambaldi? Why it isn't even MENTIONED?

    Why the hell is Weiss and Marshall credited as series regulars when they hardly get 2 minutes screentime? And why does Nadia get more than them? With her photos... oh gosh.

    The ending was so soap opera, too. No cliffhanger. No, of course not. Season 4 is all about standalone episodes... yeah, ok. I want my Alias back. This isn't Alias. This is a show with the same cast, but much crappier writers.

    Overally, there was NOT even ONE redeeming quality of this episode, except maybe for Jennifer Garner's hot looks.
  • Just for the record i write this review in Finnish, because I'm sick and tired to write in English at the moment. So, anybody who doeasn't understund Finnish can't get anything of this!

    Alussa olin aivan varma että tämä jonkinlainen luultavasti Sydneyn painaijainen. Mutta olisihan minun ahkrrana Aliaksen katsojana pitänyt tietää että tässä sarjassa ei paljoa painajaisia näytetä vaan ne ovat todellisuutta.

    Hieman kyllä järkytyin kun tajusin että sen miehen pää räjähti miljoonaan osaan oikeasti (tai niin oikeasti kun tv-sarjassa voi)

    Tästä lähtee taas kerran jännittävä tapahtuma sarja kun Sydney pukeutuu tällä kertaa lääkäriksi ja lähtee vakoilemaan sairaalaa jossa valmistetaan ainetta joka saa ihmisen jäätymään.

    Sairaalassa Sydney huomaa tarvitsevansa apua ja Vaughn tuleekin auttamaan häntä papin puvussa ja haavan kanssa joka tarvitsee paikkausta. Vaughn saa naislääkärin hoitjakseen ja yrittää iskeä häntä ja lääkäri arasti vastaa.

    Tämän naislääkärin veli on koko Ice-ohjelman takana ja he tarvitsevat lääkärin puolelleen jotta saisivat aineen. Sydney nappaakin sen mutta lääkäri ja Vaughn jäävät kiinni kun he yrittävät karata. Veli uhkailee Vaughnia pistävänsä tätä ainetta joka pakastaisi hänet. Vaughn pistää vastaan ja annos osuukin lääkärin joka jäätyy ja kuolee.

    Matkalla pois Sydney sanoo Vaughnille että hän voi puhua hänelle myös ja käpertyy hänen syliin.
  • Sydney Bristow must save the world again from a bio-weapon that freezes people.... to death.... They shatter into a million pieces. I kid you not! The name : Ice-5. Research on Ices One through Four were abandoned, when it was rev

    We've all seen deadly bio-weapons portrayed in tv and movies before, but never have I seen a weapon so comical (not since Mr Freeze and that
    dreadful George Clooney Batman movie).

    Sydney Bristow must save the world again from a bio-weapon that freezes people.... to death.... They shatter into a million pieces. I kid you

    The name : Ice-5. After years of research they come up with a liquid that makes you freeze and shatter (we pretend that liquid nitrogen never existed). It's the culmination of decades of evil genius (Ices One through Four were abandoned, when it was revealed all they did is give ice-cream headaches).

    This series is doomed if this episode is any indication of quality. Perhaps creator J. J. Abrams is too busy with 'Lost' to keep up the
    quality, or maybe after four seasons they're running out of ideas. But a drink that makes you freeze and shatter? C'mon....
  • "Forgiveness is a tricky thing, isn't it?"

    I know I am probably in the minority. But this was the first episode of Alias EVER that I looked at my roommate and said, "This is boring". I was BORED people. I have never been bored during Alias. Only the few good one-liners ("Evil geniuses are all the rage") kept me from throwing something at the TV and going to bed. I mean, I was stuck in 5 hour hellacious traffic from one inch of freaking snow yesterday. I needed some good Alias, people. J.J. needs to step it up.

    In reply to the quote which this episode is named after, can we forgive JJ for this episode?
  • Ice

    Ice – A Blast From The Past

    To me this episode is a beginning, the first 3 episodes of season 4 were to explain the cliffhanger and introduce characters and relationships for the following season, after that we’re straight down to the story.
    Looking back, now that I’ve seen most of the season a few episodes back at the start of the season, like every season of Alias, I simply recall as not being as good as the ones towards the end. Maybe it’s just me but I have found that every season gets better with age. This doesn’t mean to say that I hated this episode and some of the ones that followed, simply that I don’t feel as strongly about them and that I don’t think they were as instrumental in shaping the season to make it as great as it always is before it ends.

    The recurring theme for this episode was “A Blast From The Past” as to me it featured many things Alias have used before, combining them to improve the show to the next level.
    The things I found returning from the past were:

    The Failed Mission

    The opening scene of the episode, the scene that eerily introduced us to Ice, had a “have I seen this before?” feeling. There was just something about it, the colours, the music it all reminded me of another market scene that I’m sure Sydney too part in while in SD-6. Not to say that makes it wrong, just familiar. The scene itself was just an intro, served no greater purpose than to bring us into the days espionage.

    Vaughn Seeing Lauren

    In the market we see Vaughn look at the back of a woman’s head, to him he’s seeing Lauren until she turns around and well, it’s not. Obviously Vaughn believing he saw Lauren was foreshadowing what was to come for his character in the episode. One thing I felt about it was that it was the first thing of this nature we’ve seen, like the writers were trying to force the concept of Vaughn not over Lauren so it would be more believable later in the ep when he talks to Kierra/Mehgan about it. It was a little rushed, it was almost if they thought; well we saw Vaughn last season all insane coz of his evil-mole wife and then oopsie we made him all happy again, maybe we should revisit that, tie the loose ends up.

    Sydney and Vaughn’s Interaction at APO

    The way the two spoke outside APO near the beginning of the ep was pretty much like the way the were before Sydney went AWOL and Vaughn married Lauren, almost like although the writers had the intention of making their relationship look vulnerable for this ep at least they may as well appear as they’re on the right track, which makes me happy. Vaughn + Sydney = me happy J


    When Sydney goes to the hospital she’s undercover as an aid worker for the UK branch of Sloane’s charity. In my recollection this is the first mention of Sloane’s charity in a while, nice to know it’s still in use, also a nice way to bring it back and remind us they’ve not completely forgotten

    Another Hospital

    This isn’t the first time our agents have gone undercover at a hospital, they’ve also done this back in season to try and find out about the virus Irina was developing, it just goes to show that designer diseases are all the rage in the criminal world. I liked the use of a hospital in this case; it was played out quite well for the purpose it needed to suit.

    The Photos Of Irina

    We got to see lots of photos of Irina, which was nice; it let us see there was a side of her beyond everything else we’ve already seen. The photos did introduce another mystery yet to be solved, is there more to them than meets the eye?? Is the picture of Elena or Katya’s child, or was it simply one of Irina’s (or Jack’s) fabrications. To be honest I hope there is a story behind them, more than we’ve seen cause it sounds really interesting… J

    Sydney Listening to Vaughn’s Flirty Conversation Over Coms

    Just like in season 3, Sydney had to listen to the man she loved flirt with someone for the purpose of the mission, at least this time it wasn’t with his wife…. I can imagine how this will add to the dynamic of their relationship although I can see things getting worse before they get better (mostly because I’ve seen the following 15 episodes J) To imagine what would be going through each of their minds during this dialogue is hard, Sydney may have been upset, felt bad but she may also have been angry. Vaughn knew she would hear what he was saying, did he say it because he felt it necessary for Sydney to hear or because he had to, to save the mission.

    Sydney Saving Vaughn Seconds Before He Became a Human Test Subject

    This scene reminded me of, of course, the season 2 opener where Sydney saves Vaughn from being a human test subject for Khasinau. Of course I’m glad she made it in time to save him, I was just disappointed Vaughn wasn’t able to save himself, after all put in this positions 7 times out 10 Sydney would. I wouldn’t have minded if there had been any emotion after they were safe but it seemed there would have been the same reaction if Dixon had saved Vaughn, it was just something that had to be done because they were on the same side.

    The Way Sydney Spoke To Vaughn At The End

    Much like at the start of the ep, the way the two interacted in the final scene makes me think they’re pulling back to where they used to be. Unfortunately when he fell asleep in the middle of her speech doesn’t exactly foreshadow rosy times ahead, it was nice to see that they’re beginning to work, there’s just more that has to be sorted out.


    Kelly MacDonald (fellow Glaswegian) was playing Kierra MacLaine, exceptional acting on her part
    Kierra bribes some guy with strawberries, kookie
    Mitchell has swallowed a quarter and a toy car
    Vaughn flirting? For the mission I hope….
    Confession in a bar, now there’s a church I can live with.
    Kierra has a Glaswegian (Scottish) accent but Fintan has an Irish accent, they’re supposed siblings, how does that work?
    Vaughn falling asleep, hope that’s not foreshadowing!


    Guy: “ I can’t make it!”
    Sydney: “You don’t have a choice”
    (Something everyone in Alias world should know)

    “Killed He exploded like a frozen piñata!” – Weiss
    (Nice visual)

    “(Going legitimate) Seems to be all the rage among evil geniuses” – Sydney
    (Anyone in mind??)

    Vaughn: “Come on man, it’s gotta look real!”
    Dixon: “Vaughn, I hit you.”
    Vaughn: “Yeah like a girl…”
    (Nice to have these characters interact J)

    “Maybe you under estimate me.” – Vaughn
    (I think we all do…)

    What’s In a Name?
    Ice is straightforwardly taken from the name of the substance APO were tracking down.

    Scene Of The Ep
    Anything with Michael Vartan shone, from confession with Kierra, getting beaten up by Dixon or romantic conversations with Sydney, he owned this episode.

    Seeing what happened to people infected with ice
    Kelly MacDonald, good actress
    Hearing Vaughn say Glasgow