Alias 4x14 – Nightingale
“It was my daughter’s life”
Well, where to start with this episode. It was both thrilling and entertaining while managing to cover a lot of ground story wise. We discover (unusually so for Abrams series) what appears to be the meaning of Nightingale – the word told to Vaughn in a previous episode by the woman who ran the orphanage that Nadia lived at (in the aptly titled episode “The Orphan” 4x12). I am inclined to believe that this may be a misnomer – and there is much more behind the word “Nightingale” and what Vaughn’s father Bill really had to do with it.
The episode interestingly focussed on the B plot from the previous three episodes (that began in The Index 4x11) – the B plot this time the duplicitous actions of Sloane and Jack (hinted at also in The Index). So where does this leave the characters.
These two characters, and their relationship, have seemed to progress in leaps and bounds (partly due to the initial episodes being aired out of order) – I like that Sydney and Vaughn have established such a secure relationship that he trusts her with his secrets, and that Jack’s relationship with Sydney may once more undermine it. I am puzzled where Vaughn’s regret over killing Lauren has gone – as he has all but gotten over it since his discovery that his father may be alive. However, I am happy that these two are back together (although I don’t know for how long based on rumours that Jennifer Garner is having trouble working with her ex).
As Abrams hinted in many interviews, season three lacked an element of conflict between Sydney and Jack. At first, in season four, it was that Jack had killed Sydney’s mother, Irina Derevko, and now it looks like his interaction between Sloane is threatening the new found “détente” in their relationship (yes, also an episode of Alias). I found it particularly ironic as I was surprised that they were getting back together so soon – and then I went “aha!” as Jack went and told everything to Sloane. I think that someone else’s speculation that Sloane and Jack are working to save both daughters could well be on track.
Weiss/Nadia/Marshall and Dixon
Despite minimal screen time for all these characters (likely due to episodes that centred on them – Nadia – The Orphan and Marshall – Tuesday.) Dixon has one scene sparring with Vaughn and has minimal lines and Weiss has a very cool scene with Nadia where he asks if he can get food with them (not knowing they’re going to Munich!).
Twists and turns
As per usual this episode has major hints for the latter half of the season (to be expected by episode 14 and after such major character episodes!). First, we have what might become the big villain for Season 4 – Elaina Derevkon – another of Sydney’s insidious aunts! Also, we have several revelations about Nightingale and Bill Vaughn – as well as further insight into what Jack and Sloane have planned. The final twist of the episode is also shocking (although apparent before it is revealed) – that Sydney’s father has been exposed to radiation poisoning.
(1) The awesome fight scene in the bar – go Sydney and Vaughn!
(2) The appearance of Robin Sachs (Ethan Rayne in Buffy – so what if his character here was boring!)
(3) Jack playing on Sloane’s side
(4) Sydney/Vaughn (So you can tell I’m a Syd/Vaughn shipper!)
(5) A mention of yet ANOTHER of Sydney’s extended family (Where the hell is Katya!!!)
So, that’s it folks. Excellent episode – but I have to say I’m surprised by the amount given away in the one episode – I believe this is likely due to the “one off” type episodes which added very little, if nothing, to the season arc. Perhaps Abrams had considered including information there but ended up saving it all for this episode.
Can’t wait for the next instalment!