Watch out for The Man. We don't know who he is (or even if ''he'' is a ''they''), but Jessica Shaw says he's bringing a nice touch of evil to the show
Merrin Dungey, Alias, ...
Credit: Alias: Craig Sjodin/ABC
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Watch out for The Man

Last night may as well have been promo’d as ”A Very Special Episode.” You had a Sydney-Dad heart-to-heart by the carousel, an applause-filled thank-you bash in the otherwise cold-blooded offices of SD-6, Vaughn’s I-have-a-crush-on-you-too speech, and that whole Francie-Charlie debacle. I was beginning to wonder if Lifetime merged with ABC over the weekend.

Thank heavens for The Man. Sure, he seems a little Keyser Soze, but this whole new group that’s after the Rambaldi artifacts sounds brilliantly, moustache-twistingly evil. It doesn’t hurt the creep factor that the representative for The Man is this angelic, blond Brit who looks like he’s more suited to studying Proust in an Oxford library than offing the head of K-Directorate. (I hope Anna Espinosa won’t be out of a job under the new regime. She and Sydney need another hard-core chick duel soon.) As soon as I saw him on screen, I couldn’t help wonder what would happen if he and Sydney had to fight to the death, but also had the major hots for each other. Okay, maybe that’s a little too Buffy-Angel.

But if it’s going to be an issue, the whole romantic-tension-with-Vaughn thing needs to be amped up. They need to end up stuck in some tight circumstance together when a mission goes awry, or he needs find a spying-free spot where he can take her for an actual date. Sure, his ”It would be nice…to be able to see you in public, to actually look at you” speech was a little heartwarming, but frankly, I felt more tension between Will and Sydney last night.

Thankfully, Will is back to being an interesting, fun guy — as opposed to the whiny I-need-an-extension-on-my-deadline journalist from weeks past. His quest to figure out who’s behind SD-6 has definitely become a lot less Hardy Boys and a lot more James Bond. (Bonus points for guest star Ken Olin as the incarcerated computer programmer on a mission to dismantle SD-6. You always knew Michael Steadman would end up in jail!) If, as the teaser for next week hinted, Sydney has to kill Will because he’s getting too close to SD-6, things will get quite interesting. Two weeks ago I wouldn’t really have cared, but he was being that great, protective, Harry-to-her-Sally guy friend last night, so I kind of want him to hang around…which is more than I can say for Francie and Charlie.

Can someone explain to me why Francie and Sydney are friends? It seems like every time they’re together it’s all about red wine and catching up on emotions. Get a shrink, Syd, and drop this dork! I don’t care if Charlie’s cheating on Francie. I don’t care if they get married. I was annoyed, however, that Sydney risked Dixon’s life (not to mention his Jamaican richie wig) to keep Francie from tying the knot Vegas-style with her blander than bland crooner boyfriend.

Of course, whatever minor complaints I had about last night were completely washed away by that last scene. Getting shot at from below and from right next to you and twirling around in your rope-climbing harness to avoid getting killed? How very ”Matrix,” Sydney! Not that any of us thinks for a second she won’t somehow manage to get out of this jam (let’s not forget a few episodes back when she fell something like 500 feet in that cave and only suffered a scrape or two), but with this new force in the picture, Sydney may have just met her match.

What’s your dream story line for ”Alias”?

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