12 out of 13 nots
for awesome spy stuff, characters I cared about, and actually having an ending

So, I managed to make my way through all five seasons of the TV show Alias.  Damn, that was some good television.

I remember back when it was airing, and I didn’t watch it because it was “from the creator of Felicity”, and I had not liked Felicity at all.  Somewhere about mid-third season, I tuned in and watched one episode, and while the central story of the episode had a clear beginning, middle and end, all the peripheral story elements were utterly confusing.  They were breaking into a secure facility, I understood why they were going there and the problems, the action was great, but all the details… a random comment, a reference to an earlier event, a look shared between two people, it was all lost on me.  I remember telling myself at the time, “I guess I need to watch it from the beginning.”

I was right.

From beginning to end (with only a minor turbulence toward the end) this show was probably some of the tightest writing I’ve ever seen, and it maintained a healthy balance of action and drama that just sucked me in, and kept me watching, five seasons straight in about a month.  Wow.  If you have the means, I definitely recommend watching this show.

I did mention the show did have a problem.  During the fifth season, from episode one through about episode fifteen, it seemed like they were preparing for the departure of one or more main characters and were spending some time developing new stories for new characters, however I recalled “problems” with the fifth season (a hiatus for Jennifer Garner to give birth, time slot movements -rarely a good thing- and lower ratings that previous years -season four was their highest rated), so knowing that in advance, I always felt that time spent on the new characters was “time wasted”.  However, even that didn’t hurt the fact that once the show was known to be canceled, the final two episodes mark what I might just have to call one of the most satisfying TV show endings I have ever seen.  Those two hours alone, the payoff, is such a wonderful cap to a great run.  I only wish more canceled shows were able to, were allowed to, end so gracefully.

Looking back, I do wish I had watched the show when it aired, but I am very glad that I can say that I’ve seen it.  And it gives me hope, that even though Lost, “from the creator of Felicity and Alias”, sometimes seems to lose its way, that it will have a payoff that makes any misstep worth it.

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