Friday, November 25, 2005

'Alias': R.I.P.

Well, I hate it when I'm right, but it's official: ABC announced this week that "Alias" is calling it quits in May, when the show completes its fifth season.
I can't say I'm surprised, because I actually think last season's finale (WARNING: Spolier Alert!) felt like a great way to end the series, until Syd and Michael's little car-crash coda. I know I speak for a majority of "Alias" fans that killing Michael off at the beginning of this season was not a welcome—and, I believe, unnecessary—choice. I think everybody would have been happy to finally see our two favorite agents drive off into the sunset, but I guess Syd's life has been too harrowing to work out perfectly. (We'll see, though, because on "Alias," no one is ever quite as dead as they seem.)
Anyway, even though it was more a critical than popular hit, this show has to go down as one of the best action/dramas in TV history, featuring certainly one of the best lead characters to come down the pike in a long, long time. It's made Jennifer Garner a superstar, turned J.J. Abrams into a Joss Whedon-esque cult figure, and provided four years of spectacular, witty, fun, emotional entertainment (and if you think it's easy to mix all of those into one bag and still get your show on the air, you're crazy—just ask the cast of "Firefly"). The jury's still out on Season 5, but I have to give major credit to Abrams and his writing team for rolling with the Bennifer Pregnancy so well. This season is definitely a step down, but only by "Alias" standards. I can only wonder what was on tap for this year had Jen been able to control herself, but I guess we'll never know.
I'm going to hold off on a full-fledged series retrospective until sometime next summer, after I've had a chance to digest all that's in store for this fabulous show's stretch run. The network is promising it will go out with a bang; the last four season finales have been so phenomenal, I can't even guess what in the world the writers/producers have up their sleeves. But the writing's on the wall for "Alias," and I'm glad Abrams and Co. had the sense to shut it down before we reached an "X-Files" type meltdown.
It's been fun, Ms. Bristow. You'll be missed.

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