Despite a downturn over the last two seasons, this week’s episode of Alias introduced two new lead characters and was an exciting reboot of the show’s central premise. I’m hoping for a return to some of the freshness that made Alias such a great episode-turner in the first couple of seasons. In this episode, titled “The Shed”, Sydney and new agent Thomas Grace’s attempt to track down the bad guy, Gordon Dean, lead them to new girl Rachel Gibson (who works for Dean). Syd and Thomas interrogate her and learn that she believes she’s been working for the CIA. It turns out that Dean is her version of Sloane. There are some major echoes to Alias episode one as Rachel goes back into Dean’s office to try to get access to Dean’s files.
Over the summer, Alias fans might have heard about Jennifer Garner’s pregnancy being written into the story and that she would have new agents to mentor. I honestly didn’t have much faith in that concept. But when I heard that the new girl was going to be another “Sydney”, working for her own “Sloane” at her own “SD-6”, I got a little excited. Rather than cheesy, I think it will be interesting to have Sydney become a mentor not only to just any new recruit, but one that’s gone through the same kind of thing that she has—it adds the kind of psychological undertones to the story that make Alias good. Because Rachel is a computer expert, there were even some pretty good scenes where Marshall got to share some of his own wisdom, in his own hilarious, Marshall way. I think this new twist on the Alias concept has some possibilities, so I encourage any of you out there who had given up on Alias even before the rubber masks and the green elixirs, come back and give it another chance—I think cool things might be in store.