Jump to content

Alias Stars Admit They Didn't Understand Show's Mysterious Plot

The last post in this topic was made more than 14 days ago. Only post in this topic if you have something valuable to add. Irrelevant posts are not allowed and you will be warned/banned for spamming old topics.

Recommended Posts

Alias stars admit that even they didn't understand the show's mysterious Rambaldi storyline. Before taking on massive movie projects like 2009’s Star Trek reboot and 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams made an initial small-screen impact as the creator of ABC’s Alias. The spy series starring Jennifer Garner as CIA agent Sydney Bristow ran for five seasons from 2001 to 2006.

Of course in addition to his reputation for creating and/or rebooting successful franchises, Abrams has also gained notoriety as the master of the “mystery box,” a storytelling approach that led to the famously twisty and fan-frustrating sci-fi series Lost. But even before perfecting the mystery box on Lost, Abrams showed his love of confusing storylines on Alias through the show’s Rambaldi subplot. As Alias fans well remember, Milo Rambaldi was a fictional 15th century figure patterned after Leonardo Da Vinci and Nostradamus whose prophecies and inventions would come to play a role in the show’s 21st Century spy stories. Though Alias may not have been a fully-formed example of the mystery box at work, it certainly demonstrated Abrams’ love for creating intrigue by introducing layered subplots for characters to uncover, sometimes to the frustration of a confused audience.

But it turns out the audience weren’t the only ones who were sometimes confused by Abrams’ proto-mystery box approach on Alias. The show’s cast was also often bewildered, as several Alias stars revealed to EW. While discussing the arrival of Alias on Disney+, Marcus Dixon actor Carl Lumbly admitted he’s excited to give the show another viewing just to clear up his own confusion about the story. "I look forward to seeing it across the whole series myself because even working on it, I was never exactly certain what had come before and certainly I had no clue as to what was coming after,” he said. Jack Bristow actor Victor Garber added:

"I never. Followed. Any of it. I still couldn't tell you who Rambaldi is. Jennifer [Garner] and I, we laugh about this all the time. I didn't follow anything about that. I'm not smart enough. My imagination doesn't work that way. It's true, I can't lie anymore, I'm too old. I can't pretend that I knew what I was doing. I didn't. There were many episodes where Jennifer and I would look at each other like, 'What just happened?' 'I have no idea.'"

Michael Vaughn actor Michael Vartan admitted that he also struggled to make sense of the show’s Rambaldi plot, saying:

Once they introduced the Rambaldi storyline, things definitely got more confusing and I had a hard time following. I think it was season 5, Victor and I were sitting next to see each other reading this script and he turned to me and he said, 'Do you understand this?' And I said, 'I have no f---ing clue what is happening.' That entire episode, we're just basically reading lines we didn't understand. I had to say — and I still remember this — stuff like, 'the team developed something called micro encapsulated cytokines.' Who remembers that 20 years later? Someone who literally spent six days learning that, that's who.

Of course it’s no surprise to learn that actors are sometimes confused about the over-arching narrative of a show they’re on, as performers really only need to know their own scenes, and don’t have to concern themselves with things like larger story arcs and grand unifying ideas. But it seems that Alias proved a more confusing experience than most, at least for Vartan, Lumbly and Garber. But as Lumbly himself put it to EW, “The anchor of the show is, of course, the relationships in this intrepid group of people on a weekly basis trying to save the world, and the science fiction was like this bizarre icing on the cake.”

Indeed when Abrams’ mystery box approach is working well, the intrigue it generates should feel like the icing rather than the cake. Thankfully on Alias and on Lost, the characters and their relationships were able to hold audiences’ interest even as things sometimes spiraled into insanity on a story level. With Alias now streaming on Disney+, the show’s many vexing mysteries can be revisited by fans, and apparently some of the series' actors will be binge-watching right alongside those fans in hopes of clearing up their own lingering questions about what exactly happened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Avoid unnecessary posts such as 'Thank you', 'Welcome', etc. Such posts will be deleted and user will be warned if it happens again. If caught spamming, the following actions are applicable -

  • First time - Warning
  • Second time - 5000 Points will be deducted
  • Third time - Ban for 7 days
  • Fourth time - Permanent Ban

If the post helped you, reward the user by reacting to the post like this -


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last post in this topic was made more than 14 days ago. Only post in this topic if you have something valuable to add. Irrelevant posts are not allowed and you will be warned/banned for spamming old topics.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.