Picks and Pans Review: I'm So Over...

updated 11/28/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

>Alias

I remember it well: the second season of Alias, when our gal Sydney Bristow—played with star-making sizzle by Jennifer Garner—really hit her stride. There was her oh-so-delicious sexual tension with smoldering Agent Vaughn (Michael Vartan), the epic battling with her super-spy mother (Lena Olin), and a candy-colored parade of campy-vampy disguises.

That was then and—deep sigh—this is now. In its fifth season, Alias has had one very large problem: its star's belly. Early on, the writers had Syd—whose pregnancy on the show mirrors Garner's in real life—continue her field work, which made for preposterous scenarios in which she jumped pregnant off a cliff (!) and attempted the sexy secret agent thing. (Emphasis on secret. It's tough to be inconspicuous when that telltale pregnancy waddle takes over, something even a goddess like Garner can't escape. As one who has waddled the waddle, I say hallelujah to that.)

More recently, Syd has been reduced to coaching a newbie spy, who comes across like a blonde Sydney Extra Lite. To be fair, Alias had lost most of its mojo well before the pregnancy plotline: Lena Olin's character is MIA; the Rambaldi mythology at the heart of the series is beyond untangling; and worst of all, Vaughn appears to be dead (though he is set to resurface—in a dream?). Still, I've come too far to quit watching now. Here's hoping a post-pregnancy Garner storms back as one bad mother.

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