While season one was about the threat of SD-6 discovering her identity, season two dealt with her personal relations: her romance with CIA handler Vaughn (Michael Vartan), her reunion with her duplicitous mother (Lena Olin, The Unbearable Lightness of Being) and hiding her agenda from outsider friends while revealing it to her former SD-6 comrades. Season three catapulted Sydney two years into the future (with amnesia!) facing a suspicious new agent (and Vaughn's new wife) and more prophecies of Rambaldi, a cross between Da Vinci and Nostradamus whose writings and artifacts became a deadly obsession for Sloane. Seasons four and five went all over the map, introducing a new black-ops unit, a half-sister for Sydney (Mia Maestro), two new agents (Balthazar Getty and Rachel Nichols), and more bad guys before its final showdown between Sydney and Sloane. Due to the show's cancellation and hurriedness to finish season five in a shortened amount of time, some plot points and questions were never answered.
On the DVD
The entire Alias series comes housed in a replica of the Rambaldi box, an intricately designed gold case with red velvet lining, embossed with "IRINA" on the lid just as it was on the show. Inside, each season's discs are housed in its own storybook case, and a small hardcover companion book features the show's cast and crew answering fans' burning questions, particularly the unanswered storylines such as "Who was Deep Throat?" (the anonymous tipster who kept calling Will in season one, whose identity was never revealed). Hidden in the Rambaldi case's false bottom(!) is a bonus disc of material not found in any previous DVD release. The featurette "Case Closed" interviews cast members at the close of the show, with footage of their very last set takes (It's touching to see veteran stars Garber and Kevin Weisman, who plays lovable techie geek Marshall, struggle not to cry while season five newbie Nichols weeps openly). The included fan tributes are amusing to watch; one inventive obsessor hangs a red Japanese lantern above his bed and calls it his own personal "Mueller sphere." Other featurettes explore interviews with the cast after the pilot was filmed; the significance of the number 47 throughout the series; the numerous networks of villains (The Covenant, K. Director, Prophet 5, etc.) But the best quote from the bonus disc comes from an interview with Rifkin, who assesses Sloane's complex motives with: "He's bad. Sloane is bad. Sloan is baaaaad. Sloane. Is. Bad." If you're a die-hard Alias fan and don't own any of the previous seasons on DVD, this one is for you. -- Ellen A. Kim