Nomad (nomadicwriter) wrote in the_retelling,
Nomad
nomadicwriter
the_retelling

5x09 The Horizon

1. Hi, Vaughn! The reveal of the doctor's voice is very cool here; you really do think it's just going to be a "Sydney angsts over missing Vaughn" dream sequence at first. I like the music over this sequence, too.

2. Assuming the disguised voice is Irina, she at least seems to care about the safety of the baby. (Though whether that's for sentimental or Rambaldi-related reasons is probably debatable.)

3. This is actually a good use of the "2 days earlier" thing, for a change.

4. Peyton remains badass. I like.

5. Aw, how cute. Sydney still believes she's going to get to give birth in a hospital. She should know how her life works by now. And yay for the fact that Jack is with her, being supportive daddy! This whole scene is gold.

6. I love Jack's delivery on the bit about her boss at the bank being happy to lighten her workload. (Also, that's an unusual fashion statement for him with the grey shirt and the semi-casual jacket. And has he got his hair more slicked down or something? He just looks different somehow.)

7. Heh. I love Sydney's expression of wide-eyed 'What? Any day? They guaranteed me another three weeks!' panic. And the looks she and Jack shoot each other after the doctor leaves. Oh, I love them when they're doing family stuff together.

8. Nice subtle moment with Sydney seeing the Vaughn-alike dad looking at the babies. And then, bless him, Jack manages do exactly the right thing for once with the giving of the rattle. And that tiny little smile while he's reminiscing! Aww. I love how him talking about being able to keep her safe back then ties in to the scene way back in early season one when thinking of Syd as a baby was his way of beating the lie-detector tests.

9. Why on Earth would Marshall assume it was a mistake that Grace was listed as having once been married? I mean, it's not like Grace is Rachel's age. Couldn't they have got this exposition out just by having Marshall try to start a chat about it instead of the whole checking it with Langley schtick? It's bizarre.

10. Lucky Rachel gets to work with Sloane. It's a rite of passage, Rachel. Sooner or later, everybody in the intelligence world ends up working with Sloane.

11. That's a jazzy tie Jack's got on there. (Well, compared to his usual sombre choices.) He must be all excited about getting to be a grandpa.

12. Jack's, "We're going to fix this," is kind of neat because it's quite an odd word choice in the surface context of finding out why Peyton broke into the files, but makes perfect sense in the context of 'we're going to fix things so Vaughn can come back'.

13. That's some awesome double knife throwing by Renée there. Also, it's got to suck for Syd that at this point her only role in a crisis is to try and get herself to safety. (Especially since she fails at it.)

14. That's a pretty good reproduction of the proposal scene there. I'm impressed. And I like that Sydney starts to work out what's going on. She's like her daddy in Mirage, able to tell there's something not quite right about the happy fantasy.

15. It's really rather fitting, given his history, that Sloane is the one to express concern about Sydney's baby.

16. Oh, bad Sloane. Bad Sloane. Not telling Jack about your continued contact with Prophet 5. Although I guess I can see why, since Jack would totally be willing to screw over your chance of saving Nadia to help Sydney. You are on provisional naughty status that will be lifted if you show evidence of using your connection to help without telling Jack about it.

17. ...*pats Sloane* Good boy. He sounds and looks sincerely panicked, too. And even says please. Aww.

18. I have to say, I'm getting unexpected Jack/Renée vibes off this first encounter between them.

19. "What should scare you is that I'm a very concerned father." *snick* Jack's role in the Alias universe summed up in five seconds of screen-time.

20. And then he just cuts the guy's ear right off. Damn. Jack is hardcore. Although clearly not up on that whole thing about torture being a poor way to get accurate information.

...I can't help thinking that this all must be deeply freaky for Renée, considering this guy's still wearing her father's body.

21. It's neat how Sydney tells dream-Vaughn that he will get to see Isabelle; it seems on the surface like Syd getting lost in the memory and forgetting how things ended, but in truth she does still have reason to hope that Vaughn will get to meet his child.

22. This Syd and Vaughn in a cell sequence brings to mind the prison cell of pre-evil-Lauren cheating kisses. Which is not really a good thing. Still, I like that Syd's own subconscious is fighting for her to let go of the memory of Vaughn to protect herself.

23. Hee. The delighted way the doctor guy says, "They're back together," totally makes him sound like a demented Syd/Vaughn shipper.

24. Jack is leaning against a wall with his arms folded. Love.

25. All of Syd's lines about wanting out to go and be with Vaughn on a deserted island take on new meaning knowing she knows she's alive. They really set this whole thing up very well throughout s5.

26. So Prophet 5 are after the SD-6/Alliance/etc. org chart Vaughn showed Syd? That's... odd. I don't get what it's supposed to tell them, or why the info couldn't be got from other people. (Like, say, Sloane?) Or, you know, just nicked from the CIA's filing department. I hear it's super easy to walk in and steal stuff from the CIA. Captives, Rambaldi artefacts, bodies in suspended animation, whatever.

27. Lena Olin! Was everybody spoiled for this, or was it all a big surprise?

28. And so we learn that Sydney gave them a false name. Even when she's drugged out of her mind, she's awesome. She's like her daddy that way.

29. I remain strangely fascinated by the Jack and Renée partnership. They're not really even interacting that much, and yet they just have a really cool vibe between them. I wish we'd had the chance to see more of them working together.

30. This intercut is meant to make us believe that Jack and Sydney are in the same place, but once again we know they're not because the lighting filters are different. Oh, Alias. Your colour-coded location shots thwart your plot tricks once again.

31. A fully stocked nursery. Okay, that's just creepy. Was Irina in on the part of the plan that involved taking Isabelle away from Syd, or working against that? I could easily believe it either way.

32. And Syd's on a boat in the middle of nowhere. You can see she's totally thinking about leaping off and swimming for it, eight and a half months pregnant and all, until she realises there's no land in sight anywhere.

+++

At last, the plot arrives! And it's really pretty good. Great episode, and excellent use of Michael Vartan's temporary return. I just wish they'd kicked this arc off two or three episodes earlier so things wouldn't have ended up so rushed later on.
Tags: 5x09 - the horizon, discussion post
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