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On TV Today's Date:

Truth Takes Time
original air-date: 03-16-03

Be kind. Rewind: During the last episode Vaughn was being investigated for his unauthorized investigation into Irina's past, a hypnotized Will gave Evil Francie satellite information that sabotaged Jack's mission, and Spy Mommy herself embraced the dark side when she joined forces with Sloane and handed over part of the Rambaldi manuscript.

The previews for this week's episode warned us all not to miss the first 90 seconds of the show, implying that something important would take place in this time span. And they were right. Something important did happen. A cheap storytelling trick was used to get the viewer hooked for the next 58 minutes.

The opening had Sydney and Irina chasing after each other through a tunnel. They exchanged gunfire, and as Irina climbed to her escape, Syd shot her.

Now here's the trick. Just as Irina hits the dirt, the camera cuts to Syd's face. We watch her climb out of the tunnel and then see her stare mournfully at someone lying on the ground. She bursts into tears and kneels down next to this person. And then…we're all in Los Angeles five days earlier!

Obviously this was done to build the suspense, to make you wonder is Irina Derevko really dead? But this technique felt cheap and clichéd because as any Alias fan knows, nothing on this show is what it seems. With that as a given, most everyone watching knew that the person Sydney was crying over wasn't her mother. But, of course, we just had to find out who it was now that they showed us the ending.

So, we backtrack. Syd found out her mom betrayed them all, Vaughn got the CIA's equivalent of a slap on the wrist for his little "investigation" into Derevko, and Kendall was pissed when Jack was given control of the mission to bring in the Terrible Trio (Irina, Sark, and Sloane). It's easy to see how this would frustrate Kendall.

So Jack extracted the tracer that Marshall implanted in Irina's shoulder and then injected her with an undetectable honing device of his own. BIG DEAL. Despite the fact that he had the presence of mind to do this, he still let her get away and this does not warrant any congratulations if you ask me. And just when did Jack inject her? It's implied that it was done while the ex-husband and wife were making out in the last episode, but wouldn't she have noticed?

Of course, this would all make perfect sense if Spy Mommy and Daddy were really working together to bring down Sloane without anyone else's knowledge. Plus, the usually skeptical Jack saying that Irina wanted to save Sydney's life when she lead Spy Girl and her boyfriend (whose ass kicking courtesy of Sark was the funniest part of the entire episode) out of the building before the bomb went off, just tells us all that he knows something we don't know. As if this is anything new.

Anyone want to place bets on what that tie Evil Francie gave Vaughn really is? A tracking device seems to be the most obvious answer, but it may be something far more sinister (perhaps a genetic poison like the one Marshall was talking about). Any guesses?

The Emily-Sloane stuff was supposed to be all warm and fuzzy, making us all believe that Arvin actually has a heart somewhere inside that chest of his, but this fan isn't buying it. Some will argue that he was willing to give up his Rambaldi obsession for his now cancer-free wife, but old habits die hard. Sloane would have found a way to keep both of them if things had turned out differently.

Which brings us back to the beginning (or ending, whatever). Now, since we were all good little boys and girls and waited patiently to find out what happened, we got to see that our suspicions were right on target. It was not Irina that Sydney was crying over, but poor Emily, who was accidentally shot by Dixon while attempting to take out Sloane (who ended up escaping with Irina and Sark).

Now, it seemed that Mrs. Sloane truly loved her husband, but whether or not he loved her just as much is still unclear. Yes, it looked like she was dead (looks can be deceiving, as we learned the last time Emily turned up "dead"), but if he really cared for her you'd think that he would have stayed with her instead of hopping in that helicopter. So his life was in danger…so, what? He said that he had no life without his wife, but in the end his actions said the exact opposite. Ron Rifkin, who's usually wonderful at playing the man we all love to hate, just didn't seem up to snuff in this episode, making it hard to believe that all Sloane really cared about in this world was Emily.

In the last few minutes, we see Syd and Vaughn lying in bed together. They hear a beeping somewhere in the room. They discover that it's being emitted by the earrings that Mommy Dearest wanted Sydney to have. Being the smarty pants that they are, the twosome figures out that the beeping is actually Morse code, and the message that it spells out reads "Truth Takes Time," which is the title and main message of this episode.

We can't expect mind-blowing revelations every week, so we have to settle for decent (despite some cheesy plot devices) installments that keep the story moving forward. Even if it wasn't as exciting as the previews made it out to be, "Truth Takes Time" did what it was suppose to do; it let everyone know that there are bigger, and hopefully better, things to come.

Rebecca Sparling

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