Last night we watched the season finale of Alias. I'll be candid: I found it underwhelming. However, I do think the show can get back on track, and I think they're trying to do just that by delaying its launch until early 2005.
I think the writers got derailed this season by putting too many eggs in one basket, namely, Lena Olin. It is my understanding that the original season arc had a strong Spymommy presence, but then when Lena indicated that the shooting schedule conflicted with her commitments (no matter how much money they offered), they were sort of left to rework the season script.
Both Sydney and Vaughn went rogue at the end of the episode, essentially becoming vigilantes intending to kill Lauren. However, despite their intent, it didn't end up that way (though their intent should certainly be addressed: both were heading over the line). She ended up getting slain in self-defense, and I'd bet my new sandals that we'll see Lauren again. Her shooting was notably similar to that of Francie's replica at the end of Season Two, and in this episode, Lauren as much as told Syd that she was a Project Christmas kid, too. Knowing how traditionally resilient that group is, and knowing that Katja was nearby, merely downed with a stun dart, I feel sure that K. could help Lauren get medical care and be back on her feet.
The whole thing with Jack at the end just doesn't make good logical sense. The writers seem to be trying to go to the "two sides of the same coin" well again, paralleling the father/daughter relationship of Jack and Syd with the father/daughter relationship between Sloane and Nadia. Also, they've been doing much heavy-handed parallelling of Jack/Vaughn with Irina/Lauren issues. Yes, yes, there are more interconnections between characters on this show than AT&T has phone lines, but still, the "big reveal" at the end a) didn't seem like that much of a reveal, and b) didn't seem to make much sense. To quote TWOP: "The what? In the what-what? Huh?"
The show has been great in previous seasons, and has the potential to be great once again. Here's hoping the writers get their focus back with season 4. They have a good chance, as they're adding Angel alums Jeff Bell and Drew Goddard: it gives me hope for better treatment of the mythic part of the series.