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'Alias' nostalgia react: The (other) spy who loved Sydney

Season 1 | Episode 18 | “Masquerade” | Aired April 7, 2002

Sydney saw Mount Subasio. Alias is delightfully convoluted sometimes, and I happen to love Jack and Vaughn’s lawyerly plan to prove Sydney isn’t the woman in the Rambaldi prophecy. It works (I would say it was easy, but they did have to break Syd out of federal custody, shuttle her out of the country, and then she had to climb a whole mountain, so it was actually really, really difficult) and she’s released from her FBI hold (buh-bye, Terry O’Quinn). That means back to the daily grind of almost dying for SD-6 and the CIA.

Alias Mt. Subasio

And that was that. For now, at least, it doesn’t seem like Syd’s stint in her FBI hold will play into the show much. The real impact of that arc is Sydney’s realization that her mom is still alive and, we’re led to assume, the Rambaldi woman (cue dramatic DUN DUN DUN music).

Sydney is done playing by the rules, as she is every few weeks, and decides to go to Sloane for a favor—against the advice of her father, who says that Sloane is not a man you want to owe favors to. But Sydney does what Sydney wants to do, and she asks Sloane to help her find her mother. He agrees and, just as Jack warned, makes it clear that she now owes him a big favor, which he might cash in on at any time (cue another, much quieter DUN DUN DUN).

Of course, Sydney is all, “Mom who?” after the person she does find on her Masquerade mission. It’s Noah Hicks, a spy we’ve never heard of before who used to date Sydney when they were both in their early days at SD-6. But he left without a word and broke her heart!

Except that he didn’t leave without a word. In a covert attempt at being the leading man from a Nicholas Sparks novel, he sent her a coded message that would look like junk mail. Apparently, if she had seen said message she would have known instantly what he was trying to say to her, but no one else at SD-6 would ever have guessed (so I presume it was written in inside jokes and pillow talk). Too bad Sydney filters her spam messages to her spam mailbox like a normal, predictable human being. How could Noah ever have guessed that? So, he’s been undercover for years infiltrating K-Directorate. But his cover is blown big-time during Sydney’s mission, so they have to extract him. It doesn’t make the most sense in terms of the spy stuff, but it makes tons of sense in terms of the dramatic tension of the show stuff.

Now, Sydney’s love triangle is a love cube, because what she really needs to do is break more people’s hearts when she makes a decision. Alias has done a good enough job of making Will and Vaughn both seem like viable options for Sydney, so bringing in a third interest is almost overkill. Almost. Really, it’s just a delay tactic. By introducing a third love interest whom we don’t care about to distract Sydney, she doesn’t have to make a choice in the Vaughn-Will love showdown. (For the record, she will pick Vaughn, I think. Will is the Nice Guy BFF and the Nice Guy BFF is a red herring in love triangles. Being the best friend means what it usually means in real life: that you are friend-zoned and maybe being strung along as a backup, but definitely not the leading lady’s OTP. Don’t believe me? Go talk to [SPOILERS] Jacob Black, Gale Hawthorne, Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, etc.)

So where does that leave Noah? He’s rough-and-tumble. He has a history with Sydney. He knows her world in a way even Vaughn can’t relate to. He has all of the markers of a good contender for her love, but I think he’ll be gone—sooner than later. What might happen to him? Here are my best theories:

1. He’ll betray Sydney. Maybe he never tried to contact Syd at all. Maybe he left as part of a long con, to be used against her at the worst moment ever. Maybe he’s even involved with her mom! Maybe his loyalty is really with K-Directorate now. The ways he could betray Sydney are endless. This betrayal will just be another way to send Syd’s world crashing down.

2. He’ll leave again.Whether he does this for her “own good” or just because he can’t handle the fact that she’s really in love with Vaughn/her growing obsession with finding her mom/her weird double-agent status/other thing he can’t handle, the result will be the same: Syd heartbroken again and unable to trust anyone who claims to love her. This is a good option because it gives her more excuses not to commit to anyone else.

3. He’ll die. This one seems likely because a lot of people who get close to Sydney tend to do it. Plus, seeing another man who was devoted to loving her die (it would almost definitely be her fault) will make her afraid to love again, which—you guessed it—gives her more excuses not to commit to anyone else.

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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