Guest star Quentin Tarantino gets his butt kicked. And not just by Jessica Shaw. But she gives the show's future a nice pat on the head
Alias, Quentin Tarantino
Credit: Alias: Bob Marshak
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Guest star Quentin Tarantino gets his butt kicked

For a show all about the innovative and the original, the presence of has-been Quentin Tarantino (in a two-episode arc, no less) wasn’t exactly a welcome sight. Behind the camera he might have added some fancy visual tricks and great angles on a Sydney fistfight with Anna Espinosa. But Quentin as a former freelance SD-6er? From another, better actor, lines like ”I want to hear you scream!” or ”Good to see you, pigtails” might have been goosebump-inducing creepy. But from Quentin and his Stallone-wannabe lips, they just sounded like ”From Dusk Till Dawn” outtakes. Then again, it was easy not to feel much sympathy when he got his booty kicked by Sydney, Vaughn, and the rest of the CIA thugs.

Actually, it was quite nice to see Vaughn do some fighting this week. Usually, he’s all angsty, pacing around his CIA office in some slightly-rumpled outfit, blabbing on about Sydney’s safety like some Secret Service Rain Man. This week, he actually killed the van dude, dismantled the C-4 detonator, and managed to hold Cole (a.k.a. Quentin) long enough for Sydney to swoop in for the final beating. All of a sudden, Vaughn’s looking a lot less stuffy, and his long-awaited hockey game with Sydney is looking a lot more interesting. Not that I, in any way whatsoever, think the two should hook up. At least not yet. It would just be so ”Hart To Hart” — young hotties in love fighting injustices. Plus, the whole her-mother-killing-his-father thing needs to explored a little more. Speaking of which, hello story editors? What happened to that subplot?

It would be far more interesting to explore Sydney’s mom as KGB double agent than to see Francie making her wedding seating chart. When Francie and Will showed up 21 minutes into the episode, I’d already forgotten they existed. At least Will’s story has some potential, even though I’m a little lost about how the Karen McNeil autopsy is going to factor into Danny’s death. Meanwhile, is Sydney even friends with Will anymore? I kind of liked that whole Harry-Sally thing they had going on in episode one when they shared an awkward kiss. Lately, they haven’t said two words to each other because he’s off being the entire Scooby gang without her. (And how very cartoon-scary of him to show up at the pier in the middle of the night instead of going during a slightly safer time.) Their lives need to intersect a little more. And one more thing: If Sydney has all this security clearance to both SD-6 and CIA information, how come she has no idea what story he’s trying to uncover?

Then again, according to the preview scenes, she may find out more than she ever wanted to know in the next episode. We might also learn what Sloane meant when he said, ”This has changed everything.” Is he going to dismantle SD-6? Probably not. But maybe he’ll bring in new forces or become more vindictive. Either way, it’s clear Sydney’s not going to be able to escape any time soon.

Of course, Sydney in SD-6 means more exotic locations, more killer fighting, and — yes! — far better outfits. It was a relief to see Sydney back in full costume mode in the preview. This whole hostage situation was interesting and everything, but if ”Sex and the City” is bad, I count on Sydney’s fashion sense to keep me going for the week. The black tank top and pants was a little too Linda Hamilton and not enough Lara Croft meets Bond Girl. Next episode’s white beaded number looks killer. And we all know when Sydney has the right outfit, the ass-kickage quotient skyrockets. Good thing we have two weeks to prepare.

How’s Jessica’s ass-kickage quotient?

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