Homepage > Joss Whedon’s Tv Series > Buffy The Vampire Slayer > Reviews > Buffy/Alias Comparison in Tvguide.com Matt Roush column - Spoilers
« Previous : Buffy 6x07 "Once More, With Feeling" - Behind The Scene Report Screencaps 03
     Next : Horrorbrain.com Top Ten Buffy Episodes Part 1 »

From Tvguide.com

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy/Alias Comparison in Tvguide.com Matt Roush column - Spoilers

Friday 7 October 2005, by Webmaster

Hey, Matt fans! Don’t forget you get new Ask Matt answers two days a week now, so check in on Fridays and Mondays for new columns.

Question: I followed your advice over the summer about the rumors surrounding Michael Vartan on Alias. I decided to ignore them and wait and see. Having seen the premiere, I am now thoroughly disgusted with this show that I once loved. They kill off a popular, beloved character and rehash old story lines... ancient manuscripts, secret doom and gloom organizations, revenge for dead fiancÚ etc. Obviously the writers have given up on this show, so why should the fans stick around? And the cryptic words from J.J. Abrams about "he’s not dead until the fat lady sings"? Come on, bringing yet another character back from the dead?! Irina, Emily, Sloane, not to mention the "missing" Sydney and the doubled Francie... as much as I hate to see Vartan go, I’ve had my fill of resurrections on Alias. Get an original idea already! What’s your advice now? Should I keep watching out of loyalty and hope that "they" know what they’re doing? Or should I hop over to one of the other offerings at this time slot? Not to be overly dramatic, but it all just breaks my heart! - Andrea

Matt Roush: Whew. I’m a wreck after reading dozens of impassioned letters like this - most of them angry and put out, some cheering the show on. I could probably fill today’s column with nothing but Alias reaction, but I promise I won’t. (For the record, this column was assembled before the second episode aired.) I led with Andrea’s because it so closely mirrored many of the points in my morning-after Dispatch, which concluded with me professing my loyalty to a show that because I’ve followed it this long (like West Wing, which I also hope is on the way out), I’m sticking with to the last improbable drop. A sentiment that led TaMara to write in to say, "You are such a BETTER person than I am. Picking loyalty over jumping ship. I knew about 20 minutes in that this would be the last Alias I watched, unless some entertainment guru told me there was a ’not to miss episode’ coming up. Even had I not known about MV leaving, the episode would have been very disappointing. A sad, sad start, very discouraging after a great season last year, and probably one of the best season finales last spring. But there is so much new and fun on, I won’t grieve long... just move on, which is what ABC should do."

And now this from Vera: "I can predict that you’re going to get a lot of angry letters about Thursday night’s Alias, so I wanted to send you one from another point of view. I thought the season opener was terrific: fast-paced, exciting, emotional and adventurous. They’ve definitely thought through the plot for this year, and it shows; I haven’t thought Alias started off this well since Season 2. As for the "death" of Michael Vaughn - you know, I could deal with it if it were true, but I don’t think it is at all. Certainly they left themselves some wiggle room with Jack’s mysterious visit to Vaughn’s hospital room. I think there’s a major mystery brewing here, and I loved it." From your fingertips....

Some other highlights from the e-mailbag: From Mike T: "I watched the premiere, I laughed, I cried, I jumped out of my seat and screamed twice as loud as I did the last 15 seconds of last season. We all know the ’shippers are going to jump, and that’s a mistake. Whether or not this is the last year, I just want to know: At what point are J.J. Abrams fans going to trust him as much as they do Joss Whedon? Has he not proven that he can spin a great story and knock you on your rear only to pull you back up again? People who are going to jump ship on this show because of Vaughn’s death had better not come crying back mid-season if there are more shockers ahead. That’s the nature of J.J. Abrams’ storytelling! We’ve all known it for four years now... and I for one am staying put on Thursday nights." Yes, this is a very good reason for staying tuned. It reminded me of how, despite the presence of those infernal Slayerettes in Buffy’s final season, I wouldn’t have dreamed of bailing before it was over.

From Justine: "I’m sure you will be receiving many a diatribe about Alias and the ’demise’ of Michael Vaughn. I thought it was a brilliant and gut-wrenching hour. The stakes have always been high, and I think it was time someone paid the ultimate price. The premiere left me with lots of questions to be answered and no mention of Rambaldi. Why was Sydney paired with Vaughn? Was there more to the file that Jack showed Sloane? Is Vaughn really even dead? Maybe Jack succeeded in saving Vaughn when he couldn’t save Danny. I for one am not ready to write off this show, just because it took a chance." Another good point. Even giving Vaughn a final deathbed scene exasperated me, because it looked to me like he’d taken more bullets than Sonny Corleone at the tollbooth in The Godfather. Even on a show as fantastical as this, now and then someone’s gotta die. And on Alias, as we all know, death is very much a relative term.

And finally, from Liz: "So now that Alias has premiered and Vaughn’s demise is out in the open, how do you feel about the way it was handled? As someone who has been watching since the beginning, and stuck by the show through the bad storytelling and worse acting of the third season and the aimlessness of the fourth season, I feel betrayed - this is the thanks I get? The murder of my favorite character and the ending of the main reason I watch the show - the relationship between Sydney and Vaughn? I just feel like even if all the conspiracy theories surrounding Vartan’s departure are bunk and he really did want to leave on his own, there had to have been a better way to write Vaughn off the show. I don’t see how there can be a satisfying ending to the series if Sydney cannot leave the world of intelligence and settle down with the man she loves and have what she’s always wanted - a normal life. Thoughts?" Well, there’s always motherhood, not that it helped Syd’s own mother achieve normalcy, I suppose. Again, I’m going to roll with the punches for a while before making my final judgment call. But for me, the premiere was a pretty underwhelming experience.