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'Alias' nostalgia react: Will Tippin backs down

Season 1 | Episode 15 | “Page 47” | Aired March 3, 2002

Well … that was short-lived. After half of season of me obsessing about when Bradley Cooper’s Will Tippin would really get in the ring with the whole spy game, his espionage career seems to be over as quickly as it really began. Of course, this is Alias, so I’m not putting a ton of stock in what it seems like. In “Page 47,” Will gets a rude wake-up call about how serious what he’s involved in really is (and he would be 100 percent dead already if it weren’t for Jack intervening). Agents kidnap him, beat him, and, at least for the moment, convince him to drop his investigation into SD-6 by threatening his family and not-so-secret crush Sydney.

Meanwhile, in the world of the Real Spies, two important things happen. The first is that Sydney wears this wonderfully ridiculous, Malibu Barbie–meets–Ellie Mae Clampett getup on a mission:

alias season 1 sydney costume


When Jennifer Garner gets to really change her look on the show (we’re talking when the big-girl wigs come out), I get really jealous of how she gets to a) try on so many different looks and b) look amazing in every single one of them.

This mission is also a standout because, when she’s almost caught, Sydney pretends to make out with one of the unconscious henchmen she’s already disposed of as a cover. It’s a really fun little bit of her thinking on her feet, and it’s just weird enough to be kind of hilarious.

But the second bit of real spy business is about a thousand times more dangerous than retrieving Rambaldi documents from the boat serving as their drop point. It’s more dangerous than the goons Syd has to knock out with aerosol tear gas (or whatever knock-bad-guys-out eye spray she was equipped with). It’s more dangerous, even, than how embarrassing it would be if anyone knew how close she got to making out with someone so gross.

Jack and Sydney have to steal a Rambaldi page (and replace it with a CIA-created counterfeit) from Sloane’s very own home. Sydney reconnects with Sloane’s ailing (cancer, I think) wife, who decides to squeeze in some socializing before she dies and throws a dinner party. Sydney is allowed to take a guest and brings Will (who has just been beaten by SD-6 and is a day away from the decision that will determine if he lives or dies; talk about awkward for Sloane and Jack, who are the only ones who know Will’s maybe fate). Jack finagles an invite somehow because Victor Garber didn’t have much else going on in the episode.

It’s the kind of daring and stupid mission that really sums up Sydney as a spy. She says yes, even though it’s a terrible idea, because she always says yes. Sloane knows what she’s up to (he all but catches her leaving his office after the swap), but he doesn’t quite accuse her of anything. Sloane knows about Sydney. He has to, right? He just doesn’t want to admit it to himself OR he’s secretly working to bring down SD-6 too, and he just needs to keep her cover for the good of his real cause. Either way, I can’t wait for Sloane to finally acknowledge that Sydney is a double agent.

When the CIA gets the real Rambaldi page, which is blank, they’re able to uncover the secret disappearing ink below the surface. It’s a sketch of a woman who looks an awful lot like Sydney.

Alias Sydney Rambaldi

It reminds me of the Ever After sketch of Drew Barrymore, and that’s not a bad thing.

What do you think of Will backing down? And about Sloane—he has to know what’s up, right? Discuss it in the comments!

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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