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'Alias' nostalgia react: Will learns Sydney's secret

Season 1 | Episode 21 | “Rendezvous” | Aired May 5 2002

I have to admit: Alias has really picked up as it nears the season 1 finale. After a season of slowly (painfully slowly) investigating Danny’s death and getting pulled into the web of espionage that is SD-6, Will Tippin has finally learned the truth about Sydney’s job. Earlier in the season, I predicted that he would have already been recruited for some spy work and that they would have each other at gunpoint when the revelation was made.

I was wrong. And I’m okay with that, because I liked the little-girl squealing sound Bradley Cooper made during the moment of the reveal even more than my version of events. Also, Vaughn has already made it clear that Will’s only options at this point are witness protection and recruitment. Either he loses his identity to go do something boring, like join an Amish community (full disclosure: Most of my understanding of the witness protection program and how it works comes from the Mary Kate and Ashley straight-to-video movie Our Lips Are Sealed) or he effectively loses his identity to go risk his life being a secret agent.

I’ve been very invested in the Will Tippin storyline all season, so this is a huge payoff episode for me. Will couldn’t really stay in the dark much longer. He’s a crack reporter, after all. Or at least he’s a pretty solid reporter. Now he’s going to be, I suspect, a thoroughly mediocre spy and a liability to Sydney in the worst way.

Sydney’s life is falling apart (right on track for an emotional season finale). It goes so far beyond Will’s life being in incredible danger. In fact, that may be one of the least problematic things brewing for Sydney.

With Vaughn: Vaughn’s CIA BFF took the fall for him when he ignored direct orders on his mission to check on Sydney (he’s always ignoring orders for Sydney), but tells him that he needs to shape up and that his feelings for Syndey are getting in the way of his job. This is so completely and objectively true that Vaughn can’t even argue with it (he sputters a few halfhearted attempts, but no argument really forms). His response is to go über-profressional with Syd, which weirds her out—since last time they talked, he was obviously in love with her. Sydney is pretty and smart and cool, and I’m sure this subtle (and obviously temporary) rejection is very shocking and difficult for her.

With Sloane: Sloane’s wife has been granted a reprieve from being executed by SD-6 for figuring out Sloane’s secret, but only because she’s dying of cancer with just days left to live. When she gets the news that she might actually be in remission, he’s destroyed because she’ll probably be executed. He does take the time to thank Sydney for not reporting that his wife knew about SD-6, even though she should have according to their protocol. He even apologizes sincerely for having Danny killed and it touches Sydney, which could make her soft when the opportunity to really take down SD-6 comes around.

With her dad: As upset as she is that Will pursued the story when she asked him not to, she’s even more upset with Jack for leading him into even greater danger. They already don’t have the best father-daughter relationship, and this certainly won’t help.

With Dixon: The most serious of Sydney’s problems might just lie with her SD-6 partner, Dixon, who clearly recognized her (even though she was incognito at the time) on a mission she was on for the CIA, while lying to SD-6 and claiming to have taken a vacation. He injured her on the mission, and he notices the injury when they reunite in the office. Dixon has seen enough to piece together what Syd is up to, but it’s impossible to predict what he’ll do. Will his loyalty to Sydney or SD-6 prevail? For once, I’m genuinely stumped, without so much as a prediction.

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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