I know now at least part of why I love the character of Jack Bristow so much on Alias: he is Sydney's Giles, in quite a few ways. She's the fighter, and seems to have the prophecy thing going on . . . but he does absolutely whatever is necessary. He's intelligent, experienced, polished . . . and absolutely none of that polish gets in the way when there's dirty work to be done. Nothing gets in his way. One of my all-time favorite "Ripper" moments is at the end of Buffy season 5, the season finale, "The Gift":
Ben: "Need a ...a minute. She could have killed me."
Giles: "No, she couldn't. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge and make Buffy pay for that mercy... and the world with her. Buffy even knows that, and still she couldn't take a human life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us."
Giles has a side that achieves the end goal by any means necessary, no matter how gritty. And so does Jack. He's her watcher, in a way. And unlike the Giles/Buffy father figure relationship, as far as we know, Jack really is Sydney's father.
Unrelated to that, it it still just a damnable shame that they cancelled Firefly (and John Doe, too, for that matter). Speaking of Firefly, there's an interesting interview with Joss Whedon and Tim Minear about it at Cinefantastique. An excerpt:
CFQ: In putting together the DVDs, obviously you sat down and rewatched the entire run of the series again. Overall, what was your feeling in retrospect?
JOSS WHEDON: Overall, the more I watched, the angrier I got. I think some of the best stuff we’ve ever done is in that show. Seeing every episode, some are better than others, especially because you’re dealing with so many facets of creating a science fiction world on television. There’s budget, you can be a little uncertain about the chemistry of certain costumes or ideas or traditions. Some things register better than others. I see them and I think, "This is really cool." I’m just a big fan geek as always. Every one of them has something in it that makes it really worthy, and that’s pretty much the goal in television. And a couple of them are classics. Actually, my favorite episode was not written or directed by me, which is annoying, but we’ll get to that.
I'm right there with you on that one, Joss. There was some really excellent writing on Firefly. I hope the show gets salvaged somehow -- through a feature movie or whatever. I mean, I don't know if it would ever have produced a line of the caliber of "nancy boy hair gel," but it had a lot of potential. ;)
HOWEVER, regarding television that you can actually watch (for the moment, anyway) . . . well, forgive my presumptions, but if you like my journal, and if you liked Buffy, then you really, really should be watching Alias on Sunday nights. S1 and S2 are now out on DVD, if you get hooked and need to catch up.
Give yourself at least four episodes to get some context, because it has an arc story. It also has some excellent acting. If you know me, you know I am a sucker for big arcs and symbolism, and Alias actually has both. I worry for the show -- I fear it's suffering from the Twin Peaks factor -- that folks are scared of it because it's not episodic. People, go out and get yourself a VCR and an attention span, for crying out loud. I don't want the network execs to get them to dumb it down.
Yes, the show does demand some suspension of disbelief at times. Nothing that anyone who followed the adventures of slayers, vampires, and werewolves can't handle. ;)