Alias

Season 3 Episode 7

Prelude

5
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 09, 2003 on ABC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
201 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Jack takes drastic measures to ensure that the NSC never finds out the truth about Sydney's murder of a Russian diplomat. But his actions place a heavy strain on Vaughn's marriage, as Lauren gets closer and closer to the truth about Sydney. Meanwhile, Sydney agrees to go on a mission with Sloane in order to thwart plans to obtain the operating system to a deadly weapon -- and she discovers an unlikely ally in the hunt for her missing two years.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Best episode of Alias so far!

    9.0
    Best episode of Alias so far!



    Scenes of torture reveal the true nature of "The



    They prove that private individuals are fully justified in concluding that such abuses are immoral, and that they are fully within their rights to defy "The Government" and break Bristow out of captivity.
  • The calm before the storm!

    9.0
    That opening dream sequence was mightily gross, wasn't it? Syd's reaction to her nightmare was just another example of why Jennifer Garner was destined for fame - she really knows how to convey so many different levels of emotion without little hassle at all. Hats off to her!



    This is the episode to prepare us for what's in store for our leading lady, and it aint pretty. Since the start of the season, Jack has cautioned Syd about the repercussions she'd face if she were to allow the NSC to know she murdered Lazeray, repeatedly mentioning the invasive procedures involved in retrieving those lost memories. Here, we get an example of what might happen to Syd if she were to willingly participate in having the neurosurgery...again, it aint pretty.



    The love triangle is taken to new heights as Syd and Vaughn almost, while Vaughn and Lauren once again have a bit of a falling out. Jack's measures to ensure the safety of his daughter take another drastic turn into the shades of gray territory, as he has Vaughn and his wife kidnapped and Javier killed, all to protect his daughter. He's a rather scary good guy, isn't he? This makes things even more gruelling for the newlyweds.



    The mission this week was hella fun for all kinds of reasons. Probably the best fight scene since The Telling, Ninja-Bristow really kicks ass in this one. Recalling moments of Elektra, Syd wields some conveniently placed Sai and lets the guards have it. Very cool sequence! The entire Sloane element worked, too. Why did Syd choose to give him this info? Why is Sloane giving the key to her now? Is he working for the NSC? Is the entire thing a setup? How did the NSC find Syd, then? So many questions!



    And so Syd is captured! Her future doesn't seem bright. With all of this foreshadowing of invasive procedures worse than death, times look tough for our heroine. But then again, what's Alias if our leads aren't in peril every now and then? Bring it on!moreless
  • Dr.Siegel to Syd:"I'd consider death as an option before this procedure."

    9.5
    What else is Sydney going to go through?Her nightmares have begun to haunt her,she's forced to work with Sloane,the person she hates the most,and in the end,she's captured and about to be brainwashed by the NSC..



    Although I like Lauren-I really do-and I felt sorry for her when she asked Vaughn how he could have betrayed her in that way,her actions later in the episode made me lose all the sympathy I had for her.Not only did she tell on Syd,but she also landed Lindsey on the CIA,and this is a person I cannot stand..



    Javier Perez was playing with fire and he ended up dead.Actually,I felt shocked,but at the same time,amazed by Jack's actions.He didn't hesitate to kidnap Vaughn and Lauren and the way he killed Javier was awesome.I have to give him credit for that.This guy was just infuriating.He only made Syd's life miserable.Anyway,Jack always puts his daughter's well-being above all and this is why I love his character.



    Also,I liked the clever throwback in season 1 and 2 with Sloane conducting the briefing at the CIA and the scene between him,Marshall and Dixon.But what puzzles me is why Sloane has been so obsessed with Syd lately.Why did he want her to be his handler and now accompany him on his mission?What's he aiming at?The clue he gave her shows clearly that he plays a significant role in her missing two years.But this,in turn,arose more questions;had Sloane and Syd been communicating with each other during the latter's disappearance?And if yes,why?Had they been working together on something or had Sloane just been controlling her in some way?



    Except for Jack and Sloane,Vaughn was the third person here who tried to help Syd.When he realized that her life was in jeopardy,he did everything he could in order to protect her.Now,not only is he in danger of losing his job,but his marriage,too and despite saying that he loves his new wife and even attempting to hurt Jack for putting Lauren in danger,I hardly believe him.The scene in the airport,despite being touching,showed that Vaughn still has feelings for Syd.Talking about Syd,she was about to kiss him,but she quickly realized that trying to seperate a couple isn't morally right.Anyway,Vaughn back in "Succession" said that he had moved on,but has he really done so?Well,I don't think so...



    And now,let's go to the most interesting part of the episode:the dream scenes.At first,it opens with images of an angel statue and birds,all these in psychedelic colors:black,blue,green,purple.During these scenes there is a hoarse voice telling something,but,unfortunately,I couldn't hear it very clearly.The second time I saw the episode I heard it said Milo.These strange images are followed by an incredibly disturbing dream sequence of Syd pulling a long,bloody tube from her belly.The scene is unvarnished and graphic.Syd was told that the nightmares would have some bearing on reality.If her wound was so big and severe how did she manage to recover?Did she take a similar medicine to that of Allison's?



    At the end of the episode,Syd discovered an important clue:a packet of pills with her alias,Julia Thorn,written on it.But while we were about to get some answers,the NSC burst into the appartment...Why were she taking those pills?



    Notable Quotes:



    Dixon:"I don't want to see anything more revealing than a weather map."



    Sloane to Dixon:"I always knew you were destined for great things."



    Syd:"Why me?"

    Sloane:"Because this mission cannot be done alone.I will not risk my life unless I'm going in with the best."



    Sloane:"By the way,you look beautiful."

    Syd:"Spare me."



    Sloane:"You know Sydney,we should dance."

    Syd:"Like hell."



    Lauren to Vaughn:"You followed your orders,I followed mine."



    Miscellaneous:



    --The title of this episode is totally appropriate.Prelude is an event which serves as an introduction to a more important event.This means that what we saw here is just the introduction of the main part,which is the next episode,I guess..!



    --Marshall,in a strange way,seems that he still respects Sloane and sees him as his boss!



    --The trap with the boy was very smart.I didn't see it coming,as nobody else,I guess...



    --We learn that Sark never got to know his father.So,why is he so desperate to avenge his death?Well..ok..800 million is not a small amount of money..



    --Ok,the fightscene was awesome,but were those really Jennifer Garner's stunts?



    --Marshall's Gadget:this was one of the coolest gadgets ever-a tiny car that camouflages itself to its surroundings and it has a camera on the front so that it can be guided by a remote control.Also,when it gets next to security systems,it can disengage them.Marshall gives Syd a device to attach to the maser,which will corrupt the chip inside the maser and create a new one.



    --This episode's alias:Sydney poses as Christina Meyers,Sloane's executive assistant.



    --This episode's disguise:a simple black outfit and a simple black mask.



    --This episode's locations:Nogales,Mexico;Beijing,China;Rome,Italy



    This was a dark,odd,unusual,psychedelic episode.I totally enjoyed it.



    Alias47moreless
  • Wow...

    9.5
    This episode was the one that I'd been waiting for since I learned about Sydney's memory loss. They built it up from the very beginning of the season and had us on the edge our seats until now. Jack once again has to stop Lauren from finding the truth out about Sydney and Vaughan struggles with the notion of not telling her. Then, on top of that Sydney has to go on an undercover mission with none other than Arvin Sloane himself. The interaction between the two of them was classic and although Sydney wanted to break his neck with every glance his way, he manages to give her a crucial piece to the jumbled puzzle of her memory. A key to a location that may reveal the truth and a cryptic code which we've yet to find the meaning of. Sark of all people reveals the true identity of Julia Thorne and all the dominoes that had been intricately set into place come falling down in the blink of an eye. It came out of nowhere! Lauren reported Sydney and went behind Vaughan's back to do it. Now Sydney is stuck in a detention facility and Vaughn had to aid her before she was captured. You can still see the love in Michael's eyes and he couldn't let Sydney go at the airport before she headed for Rome. He is in an impossible position and once can't help but sympathize with his character. I can't wait until the next episode because I expect Jack and Vaughan to go after Sydney and hopefully their greatest fear won't come to fruition, that of course, being the death of Sydney Bristow. The viewer can rest assured that Lindsey will do everything in his power to get results even if it is at the expense of one beloved ex-double agent. I can't wait until the next episode and I simply love good television. Well-written...moreless
  • Review

    8.5
    The episode was good, but nothing amazing I didnt think. I liked the overall plot and how it moved foward, but the rest of the episode was just weird for me. Watching Sydney and Vaughn on a mission is always intense because of the connection between the two. Watching Sydney and Marshall is always fun because of the comedy between the two. Arvin and Sydney dont belong working together on a mission, even with Arvin trying to play into her head like he was doing thisn time around. I dont know - wasnt feeling Arvin Sloane in this episode as the primary antagonist- though many would claim he is no longer one, i still dont buy it. He has an endgame just as Irina had one.



    I thought the part of the episode with Jack going to Mexico so that he could kill the key witness was a little out of character for him. I could see him caturing him and keeping him somewhere, but to kill him seemed way out of character. I dont know - it was just an odd episode all around. Nothing much to get excited about.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

Luis Antonio Ramos

Luis Antonio Ramos

Mexican Detective Sanchez

Guest Star

Nando De Stafano

Nando De Stafano

Passing Man

Guest Star

Clifton Collins Jr.

Clifton Collins Jr.

Javier Parez

Guest Star

Kevin Sutherland

Kevin Sutherland

CIA Agent Blake

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Look closely: After Vaughn and Lauren return from Mexico and Vaughn confronts Jack about their ordeal, Vaughn pushes Jack against the wall and threatens him. When Jack pushes Vaughn away and walks out the door, you can see the reflection of a boom mike operator in the glass of the door.

    • Number 47: The gizmo Sydney uses to open the vault, displays several numbers, at one point you can see the set "471318".

    • As with many American TV shows, this episode shows a certain stereotype of Mexico -- the police are unshaven and look like they haven't taken a shower in days, and the jail is a rickety shack, for example. And also, like most American shows, they employ actors who speak an unidiomatic Spanish and with an American English accent. The scenes in China, by contrast, show well dressed and clean shaven Chinese soldiers, these actors seem to speak a rather decent Chinese, and they also show a rather sophisticated environment.

    • Vaughn seems to have recovered from his near-fatal stabbing very well in less than three weeks.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Vaughn: You should go.
      Sydney: Vaughn... why are you doing this? My life is already a disaster... now yours is, too.
      Vaughn: What happened between us... everything... the way it is... isn't anyone's fault, Sydney. And even though everything's changed... some things don't. I'm not gonna lose you twice.
      (They hug and almost kiss)
      Sydney: Thank you.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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