Alias

Season 4 Episode 20

The Descent

4
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 18, 2005 on ABC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
226 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
After a tactical group infiltrates the DSR and steals Rambaldi artifacts, CIA director Hayden Chase discovers that the alarms at the DSR were disabled from Nadia's computer, allowing the raid to happen, and shows up at the apartment to question her. Soon Sloane and Jack arrive and suspect that Sophia, who had access to the computer while she was living with Syd and Nadia, is Elena Derevko. They follow her trail to a dead Rambaldi follower, a stunning betrayal, and a presumed dead family member...moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • More Alive Than Dead

    8.8
    Right from the opening scene, The Descent is one of the most exhilarating episodes in Alias history. There are so many twists and two massive shocks which nobody would have guessed.



    The Descent begins with APO discovering Sophia's true identity: Elena Derevko. APO desperately search for Elena and follow her trail to a follower of Rambaldi who has turned up dead and eventually a raid on her Prague headquarters.



    Where to begin? This episode has so many amazing moments. The Indiana Jones-style hunt for the Sphere of Life seen in flashback featuring Sloane and Nadia is extremely fun and the cracking glass which Nadia has to walk across to get to the Sphere is incredibly nerve-wracking. The only annoyance is that everything seems too easy during these scenes. The caves haven't been stepped in to for thousands of years and everything's so easy to get into. It would have been better if we saw some trials to get to the Sphere, like the quest to find the Holy Grail in the final Indiana Jones movie.



    It's always good to see Bad-Sloane back and he again returns in this episode. Like in the past, you question his motives and he's so enigmatic that you have no idea if what he is doing is really some highly thought-up plan to take down Elena. Who knows?



    Elena shooting Dixon is a massive shock but (I know I'm being morbid) it's a shame that Dixon didn't actually get killed off. He's the shows most underused character (well, except for Weiss, who may as well be invisible) and it would have been even more of a shocker to see the writers were confident enough to murder a character who has been there right from the beginning. But, his shooting does lead to the best Alias cliffhanger since Francie was murdered, that he saw Irina being taken away by Elena's men in Prague! It's a big shock that she's alive and I hope that her apparent "murder" at Jack's hands won't be resolved in a cop-out manner.



    After so many stinkers this season, it's nice to finally get an episode of Alias which is extremely tense and extremely exciting.moreless
  • Review

    9.8
    Im going to looooooooooooove hearing the explaination from Jack Bristow on this little mystery that has resurfaced. How can Irina Derevko possibly be alive if Jack put a bullet in between her eyes, it doesnt make any sense. The only conclusion that I keep coming back around to is that Jack is a traitor, even though I dont want to believe it. For some reason I keep thinking, as we get closer to finale time, that may be the big cliffhanger of season 4.



    Either way - another strong episode to finish out the season. The last 5-6 episodes have been some of the best of the series....just sucks that the first 12-14 episodes were horrible. Vaughn asking Sydney to marry him should be an interesting scene in the next 2 episodes (depending on what she says). I thought Arvins betrayal was one that we all saw coming at some point. 44 episodes as a bad guy. He almost made it 44 as a good guy too, but seems he has rejoined the dark side in this episode, making his offical count 41 episodes as a good guy. About 35 more then I had expected. But with this show - who knows, maybe he has an even bigger plan to win back the hearts of everyone in the APO.



    Glad to see osme Rambaldi storylines again, something refreshed me about the way I felt like I was watching Alias again. It has been a long time since I couldnt stop watching (Granted Ive watched all of season 4 in 3 days, but still...the last episodes have reminded me why I watched for so long)



    The "One Year Earlier" scenes were brillant. Loved how the writers brought them all together so perfectly. Arvin going for the box and "Rambaldi" punished him for it. Its the scene that made him a changed man and credit to the writers for putting it in. Strong episode from season 4, one of the strongest.moreless
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

Victor Garber

Victor Garber

Jonathan 'Jack' Donahue Bristow

Jeremy Brandt

Jeremy Brandt

Lead CIA Agent

Guest Star

Andrew Divoff

Andrew Divoff

Lucien Nisard

Guest Star

Jodi Fung

Jodi Fung

Nurse

Guest Star

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

Katya Derevko

Recurring Role

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett

Hayden Chase

Recurring Role

Sonia Braga

Sonia Braga

Elena Derevko

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof:
      When Sloane and Sydney are standing in front of the TV looking at their own image from a camera nearby, Sydney raises the remote control to switch to another channel. However the Sydney in the picture does not move her hand.

    • Yanking the glass shard out of Sloane's chest the way Nadia did is an extraordinarily bad idea. The proper field procedure is to apply pressure to the wound around the glass shard. Nadia, as a field-trained agent, would have known this.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sydney: Don't. Touch. The fur. Alright, you may touch the fur... Once.

    • Vaughn: I'm sorry, maybe it's only me, but what do you mean when you say "Rambaldi's end-game"? What is it? Is it a scenario? A weapon?
      Sloane: In Elena's hands most likely an apocalypse.

    • Nadia: (about Elena's treachery) I just feel stupid, I trusted her.
      Marshall: Hey I don't blame you, I mean she was like family. Don't put this on yourself, hell I trusted Sloane for 6 years, before I found out he was evil.

    • Katya: Irina spent the last years of her life tracking Elena, she was determined to stop our sister from enacting her end-game, and she would have done it too, but you had to go put a bullet in her head.
      Jack: I was set up, Elena put a hit out on Sydney, framed Irina for it.
      Katya: Oh! I see so you executed my sister on a misunderstanding… oh then all is forgiven.

    • Katya: Is that look on your face supposed to be intimidating? You forget, Jack- I've seen your tender side.
      Jack: I need everything you know on Elena's operations- right now.
      Katya: What makes you think I know anything?
      Jack: Call it an instinct.
      Katya: Do you intend to torture me?
      Jack: If I have to.
      Katya: While I know that would be enjoyable for both of us, I should warn you, I have quite a bit of stamina. But you already know that about me.

    • Marshall: Hey, man, congratulations, that's fantastic! I'm sure Mr. Bristow's gonna be thrilled.
      Vaughn: Really? I'm just hoping he doesn't shoot me on the spot.

    • Elena: My men think you're here to kill me.
      Sloane: You should hire smarter men.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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