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'Alias' nostalgia react: Is that Quentin effing Tarantino?

Season 1 | Episode 12 | “The Box (Part 1)” | Aired Jan 20, 2002

We have stunt casting! I repeat, we have stunt casting. This is not a drill. My latest expedition into the world of Alias featured none other than Quentin Tarantino as the crazy espionage-y villain of the week. He plays McKenas Cole, who is hell-bent on getting major revenge on Sloane. It’s not exactly a shocker, but Tarantino is REALLY believable as the crazy/creepy guy. I’m 110 percent okay with this casting decision.

The real story is that Cole’s team takes over SD-6, capturing everyone except Sydney and Jack Bristow, who escape like father/daughter John McClanes through the elevator shaft and proceed to plot to save their fake friends at SD-6 from peril. It’s an interesting decision for Sydney, who was planning to quit SD-6. She doesn’t want to go into CIA witness protection. She just wants to go put in her two weeks and retire from the spy game, even though everyone around her says that’s a million percent impossible. Sydney’s logic is that Sloane constantly breaks the rules for her in weird, fatherly ways, so he’ll probably do it again. Yes, the plan might be a little (no, a lot … a lot a LOT) ridiculous, but the logic behind thinking she can pull it off? I can see where she’s coming from. Sloane does consistently risk his job and life for her. Who’s to say he’d stop when she quit the job?

The episode ends on a cliffhanger (it’s a two-parter, so that was a given), so I have no idea how Sydney and Jack succeed in rescuing the rest of SD-6. I assume that they do because there are 10 more episodes in season 1 alone, but who knows? Maybe SD-6 goes kablooey and the second half of the season takes a dramatic turn. I doubt it, but it’s possible. The point is, I’m not really concerned with SD-6 or its fate right now. There were bigger things going on in the episode—like the Sydney/Vaughn relationship heating up, and Will Tippin dirty-dancing with death (he’s GRINDING with it at this point).

Sydney and Vaughn

  • Sydney told Vaughn she was going to quit the spy game, then basically segued directly into asking him out. He was all flustered, but you know, also SO flattered and giddy. The butterflies in his stomach at that moment were fluttering SO hard. It’s the kind of delirious crushing that’s usually reserved for tween girls freaking out over boy bands. I’m digging it. I’m especially interested thanks to some hints from commenters (thanks, Allison, Mark, and lala412!) last week that my intended-as-ludicrous theory that Sydney and Vaughn are actually half-siblings might not be totally out there after all. It’s like season 1 of Veronica Mars—I need to know how this plays out.
  • Vaughn got in moderate trouble at work for giving Sydney a Christmas present. His flustered response (demanding to know the policy that prohibit agents from sharing in the celebration of a widely recognized cultural holiday) is priceless.
  • Vaughn assaults another CIA guy—the one who ratted him out about being in LOVE with Sydney. Will Vaughn face any repercussions for this? I kind of doubt it. CIA’s HR department would be like, “You’re too dreamy reprimand.”

Will Tippin

  • Will is in big trouble and even he knows it. When he’s waiting to meet a source about a story, he’s approached by Kelly McNeil, the daughter of a man Will knows has information about SD-6. He says he’s done investigating SD-6; she pulls a Will Tippin and ignores his wishes, then follows him and continues to harass him until she gets her way. It’s kind of cute and fitting. She does eventually get him to open the mysterious envelope he’s been hanging onto. Inside? A mysterious key. Will is in so deep now, I’m no longer worried about him dying in the immediate future. This is going to be fantastic, and I can’t wait for the moment when he realizes Sydney is a spy. I hope they see each other in a place neither of them should be at the same moment and make “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” faces at each other. Bonus points if they’re each pointing a gun at the other.

Is there any more interesting casting for me to look forward to down the line? Does Vaughn stay this adorably awkward about his love for Sydney?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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