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'Alias' nostalgia react: 3 theories about Sydney's role in Rambaldi's 'Prophecy'

Season 1 | Episode 16 | “The Prophecy” | Aired March 10, 2002

When we last left our heroine, she had just discovered that the blank page she recovered for the CIA contained a very creepy, disappearing-ink portrait—of a woman who looks just like Sydney Bristow. The oh-so-creepy catch? The drawing is something like 500 years old.

In “The Prophecy,” Sydney undergoes a series of tests (mental and physical) to determine if she fits the rest of the prophecy about the woman. Surprise, surprise: She fits the bill. The prophecy says that the woman in the picture will “render the greatest power unto utter desolation,” so the secret paranormal studies department of the United States government takes Sydney into custody, STAT.

Alias Sydney Rambaldi


Since it looks like I’ll have to wait until at least next week (but probably a while longer) to find out what kind of destruction Sydney might pull off, I’m left to imagination and guesswork for now. Here are my three top theories about how Syd might play into the Rambaldi prophecy:

1. She doesn’t! Since this is Alias, I have to start by assuming that I’m being lied to. Yes, everyone is saying that Sydney fits the prophecy, but does she really? This could all be a hoax or a plot to get her out of the field. Of course, if the CIA/X-Files-y department keeps her in custody for too long, it will blow her cover with SD-6 and, as she pointed out herself, probably her father’s too. Is that all part of the plan? Does Jack want Sydney out? Does Vaughn? Does Sloane? This could go a lot of ways.

2. It’s a Harry Potter/Neville Longbottom situation. For those of you who are not giant nerds, let me explain. In the Harry Potter series, Harry finds himself the subject of a prophecy as well. We later learn that two babies actually fit the prophecy: Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom. By assuming that it referred to Harry and going after him, Voldemort made Harry the subject—when really, it could have gone either way. I think this could be really relevant to the world of Alias. Maybe Sydney does look like the Rambaldi girl and maybe she does have all of the genetic quirks he described .. but she (and the rest of mankind) would have been just fine (thankyouverymuch) if the government hadn’t swooped in and reacted to her as Prophecy Girl.

Now that the government has done that, maybe it’s set off a chain of events that technically places Sydney at the heart of rendering great power for utter destruction (for instance, she might be forced into drastic measures whilst trying to escape the government). But that wouldn’t have even happened if she’d just been left alone.

3. Rambaldi was a bad guy; even though Sydney will destroy things, they will all be bad things. What if Rambaldi was on the wrong side of this fight? What if the thing on the receiving end of Sydney’s “utter destruction” is something we should all want “utterly destroyed,” like kale or the complete Nickelback discography?

Knowing Alias, the real answer is probably something so insane, I won’t have even seen it coming.