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Alias - The Complete Fourth Season
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The action explodes in ALIAS' phenomenal fourth season. When Sydney leaves the CIA to join a powerful new Black Ops unit, she has no idea of the reunion in store for her. Family secrets are revealed and old adversaries come together for a year of betrayal, suspense, and breathtaking surprises. It's nonstop excitement -- from the spectacular two-hour first episode to the stunning impact of the season's final seconds. Experience all 22 heart-stopping episodes of season four in a sensational six-disc set. ALIAS features "the best acting and most addictive plot lines on television," raves CNN.com. Now with exclusive bonus features, including a conversation with Jennifer Garner, bloopers, deleted scenes, and more, this spectacular set makes TV's most exciting show even better.
True to form, at the beginning of its fourth season J.J. Abrams' Alias proceeded to reinvent itself yet again--and the results looked quite a bit like the first season, but with a decided twist. Super agent Sydney Bristow (Emmy nominee Jennifer Garner) found herself once more working for a covert secret-ops group that was "off the books" and headed up by Arvin Sloane (Ron Rifkin) as she was partnered with... Hey, wait, wasn't Sloane a bad guy before? Well, yes, he was, but having been "rehabilitated" from his evil ways, he's now Sydney's new boss--nevermind the fact that he's trampled all over her life in more ways than one--and head of the CIA's new super-secret division, APO (for Authorized Personnel Only), which also includes all of Sydney's old friends, as well as her dad (Victor Garber) and love interest Vaughn (Michael Vartan). But as Sydney and Vaughn struggle with their budding relationship in the wake of his wife's death, and Syd also comes to realize her father may have had quite a bit to do with her mother's abrupt disappearance, a few monkey wrenches are thrown into the works. There's the emergence of South American agent Nadia (Mia Maestro), who's Syd's half sister--and the daughter of Sloane; the reappearance of Syd's nasty nemesis, Anna Espinosa (Gina Torres); a Sloane doppelganger (Joel Grey); and a mysterious cabal intent on harnessing the power of the legendary Rambaldi device.
Alias was definitely all over the map during its fourth season, and a few off-screen factors managed to take their toll onscreen as well. The end of a real-life relationship between Garner and Vartan gave Sydney and Vaughn's scenes a lack of romantic spark, but at the same time a decided tension, as the two warily circled each other and deepened their relationship; they clicked best in the episode "Welcome to Liberty Village," in which the duo infiltrates a Stepford-like suburb as a picture-perfect couple. And the absence of Lena Olin, as Syd's mother, was definitely felt, as her character became a looming presence despite little screen time. Where Alias succeeded this year was in the dramatic impact individual episodes had: "Nocturne" was a captivating tale of Sydney in the throes of deadly hallucinations; "The Orphan" affectingly fleshed out the enigmatic Nadia's background; "In Dreams" (directed by Garner) probed the subconscious of bad guy Sloane, who wasn't as evil as you might think; and "Mirage" forced Sydney to impersonate her mother in her father's fevered dreams. Don't worry, there was plenty of action--especially in the season's final episodes, which prominently featured a deadly Sonia Braga--and despite its ups and downs, Alias remained one of the most intelligent, compelling dramas on television. --Mark Englehart
- All 22 Episodes from the 2004-2005 Season
- A Chat With Jennifer Garner
- Meet Mia: Syd's Little Sister
- Director's Diary
- Marshall's World
- Blooper Reel
- Deleted Scenes
- The Guest Stars Of Season 4
- Anatomy Of A Scene
- Agent Weiss' Spy Camera
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The relationship between Sydney and her father Jack Bristow (Victor Garber) is tested once again when Syd learns that her father murdered her mother in cold blood after learning Irina had put a contract out on Syd's life. They actually filmed the scene, which is shown as a flashback. I absolutely love the chemistry between Victor Garber and Lena Olin. This does produce a slight continuity question, however. When the flashback is shown, toward the end of season four, it says "eighteen months earlier" at the bottom of the screen. Eighteen months prior to the end of season four would place this event as sometime during the middle of the third season. Since Lena Olin did not appear in the third season, one has to conclude that Jack carried this out off-screen, which is certainly fine, but it would have to have occurred right after Jack and Irina stopped communicating via IRC instant messaging, which was actually towards the end of season three in an episode called "Blood Ties." So if the murder of Irina Derevko occurred eighteen moths prior to the end of season four, that means some significant time had to pass between seasons three and four.
Anyway, I digress ... it turns out Irina Derevko is alive! Alias pulls this off beautifully ... think back to season two and the Francie/Alison fiasco. Season four also sees Greg Grunberg and his character Eric Weiss (Vaughn's best friend)get a lot more screen time as Weiss and Nadia become an item. The always awesome David Anders returns Julian Sark. Fan favorite Gina Torres (Syd's former K-Directorate nemesis, Anna Espinosa) returns as well. Season four reintroduces Katya Derevko, played to perfection by Isabella Rossellini, who was featured in three episodes in the third season) and the third (and deadliest) Derevko of them all ... Elena, played by the wonderful Sonia Braga. This is the only season to feature all three Derevko sisters.
Some other highlights from this season include "the Arvin Clone," Sloane (Ron Rifkin) being placed in charge by the CIA legitimately, Vaughn (Michael Vartan) learning more about why his father was killed and what he was really involved in, Sloane's attempts to be a father (which make Jack look like the poster child for fatherhood). We also see much more of Marshall's' life as a father and a husband; he even pulls an interesting deception over on Jack.
One final thing to mention ... as much as I enjoy the chemistry between Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan, it is the chemistry between Victor Garber and Ron Rifkin that truly made this series amazing.
especially in this season. All Alias fans should get season 4, if only to watch just once.
And see the way the story actually ended, before they knew the show had been renewed
for seson 5. Sydney, her mom and sister save the day, & the planet,
and it will bring a tear to your eye, EVEN though no one dies. that's all I'll give away!
I actually liked it this way, because all the episodes were so good and imaginative.
But I also didn't complain when they were renewed and all the ALIAS fans got another
season (season 5) kind of like a gift. But WOW! did they take ALIAS in a different direction.
Guess they had to after season four.
Now, if they'd just get on with making some ALIAS made for tele movies...
The usual cast of Jennifer Garner, Michael Vartan, Victor Garber, Ron Rifkin, and etc. are accompanied by the absolutely adorable Mia Maestro, who plays Sydney's half-sister Nadia Santos. Throw in some nice guest stars like Angela Bassett, some Derevko sisters (yes, plural) and a person or two who you probably thought was dead, and you've got a great season, culminating in the ultimate family team-up to take down a terrible Rambaldi device that could trigger the next apocalypse! And of course...The Chosen One must battle The Passenger. And only one...will survive. Unless you want either one to be in the next season, in which case, they might live. But I'm not sayin' if they both survive or not, 'cause that'd be a spoiler.
And the big shocker at the very end of the season, wow. Let's just say not everyone is who they claim to be. Now I don't know what happens in Season 5, except that somebody gets a clip or two unloaded in 'em and there's probably a double or a clone or two somewhere in there. (I saw a few moments of the series finale...not knowing how great a show it was at the time.) Whatever the case, while I admit there was a creepy episode or two in there, Season 4 comes on strong and has a well-deserved place amongst the other three seasons, all of which I enjoyed. Trust me, you won't be let down by Season 4 if you enjoyed the other three. I highly recommend it.
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