On Alias

Only Ourselves to Blame

By Leigh Adams Wright

Alias is all about deceit, both on the macro-level–family betrayals and professional double crosses–and on the micro. Every mission Sydney Bristow completes employs more subterfuge than the average person engages in during his or her entire adult life. (Or at least more than I do in mine.) She sneaks, she lies, she bats her considerably effective eyelashes. It’s par for the course for the average spy, male or female.

But there’s a difference in the ways men and women on Alias perform their espionage duties. Vaughn never has to flirt with the door guy; Dixon may have to wear dreads once in a while, but he’s always fully clothed. It’s only Sydney and her fellow female agents who end up parading around half naked and charming their way past high-tech security systems into top-secret labs.

Sure, it’s not the only tactic Sydney uses in her fight for truth, justice and the American way, but feminine wiles are a favorite weapon in the Alias female spy’s arsenal.

Just take a look at all the fake relationships we’ve been presented with, at all the somehow (despite rigorous agency training) hapless men and the women who pretended to love them: Jack and Irina, Christian Slater and that blonde chick, Will and “Francie,” Vaughn and Lauren, Senator and Olivia Reed. (You have to wonder what they’re teaching those KGB girls, and their Covenant heirs.) It happened so often, one would think the audience would have started to get bored–but we didn’t. It was just as delicious a  …

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