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Wednesday November 16, 2005 6:59 pm

Alias: Solo

Alias SoloWhen we last spoke about Alias, there were two things that we pointed out:  the new character of Rachel was simply recycling old Sydney storylines, and that actor Balthazar Getty was simply doing nothing.  Sadly, it’s been weeks since we’ve made those first remarks…and absolutely nothing has changed.

This week started off with the detainment of Rachel Gibson’s family.  Now that she has become a target, she has unintentionally put her parents and siblings into harm’s way as well.  To help Rachel understand why a witness protection program is necessary, Sydney gives her a bit of sage advice:  “You do it because you don’t have a choice.”  After having to live a double-life for her friends Will and Francie, Sydney knows all too well how this must go. And so do the viewers.

BTW – when Sydney said that she couldn’t just sit on her pregnant butt because she needed to ensure the future safety of her baby, did anyone else but me laugh?  How could her baby possibly ever be safe?  And what exactly did she plan to do once she finally had the baby?  Put it in some covert daycare center?

Moving on… Because Sydney is as huge as a whale, Rachel is tasked with the lingerie-modeling assignment du jour. APO only has two women on the whole team, so it’s important that at least one be body-worthy at all times for critical tasks.  Although Sydney believes Rachel isn’t ready for solo work, she is forced to concede because she knows her body will not bounce back for another two weeks post-pregnancy.

Before I go any further, I don’t want you thinking that Tom Grace wasn’t utilized at all in this episode, because he was.  When Rachel needed help with her street-fighting skills, Tom was there to be her punching bag. Every girl needs two important men in her life – a gay best friend to go shopping with and a man who is willing to let her beat him up.  And when Rachel was running liked a scaredy cat, Tom was there to hit the pursuing bad guy with a post.  If nothing else, at least he’s a team player!

Ready or not, Rachel needed to use her feminine wiles to gain the important intel of the week.  Although the new protégé was uncertain of herself, Sydney promised that she would be there for guidance – much like Vaughn was there for her before.  I know she’s lonely and pregnant – but if I hear Sydney talk one more time about all the things that Vaughn used to do for her, I just might self-implode.  Without the use of a foreign language to help her (she will have to take Sydney’s crash course later), Rachel manages to get through her task. Despite several obstacles and a few close calls, it was a good first solo assignment.  Let’s just hope for Jennifer Garner’s sake that actress Rachel Nichols is a slow learner, otherwise she may eventually be replaced.  Yeah, right.

NOTE TO PRODUCERS:  If we are going to keep this ‘tutoring’ thing up, let the viewers see something that we never did with Sydney.  Delve further into how she got those skills as an agent. Let us see how Sydney learned to master those thousand languages, etc.  I mean – it wasn’t like she was born an agent or anything.  Okay – I guess she was. But you know what I mean.

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