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Vermont bound

We're on our way to Vermont on Friday for the Middlebury Open. Alex will be fencing the foil open on Saturday and the epee open on Sunday. If that weren't cause enough to celebrate, we get to stay with the fabulous Flynns who live in the impossibly lovely town of Brandon. Hoorah!

Next weekend, we head to Woodstock NY for the Woodstock Open on Saturday. We may try to make it to the Berkshire Buccaneers' open epee event on March 13th (or 19th, not sure yet which date).

On the Alias front, I watched "Echoes" and "A Man of His Word." "Echoes" was the easier to like but I'm not sure that "A Man of His Word" isn't the more important of the two. There were moments in both shows when I wanted to scream in frustration but then there were moments where the actors rose above the creaking hulk of contrived plot and hackneyed dialogue to a state of grace. The scene in the mortuary, where Sark demands that Vaughn look at Lauren's wounded body, was uncompromising drama contrasting revelations of Vaughn's disgust and guilt with Sark's hidden vulnerabilities. The lamentable tragedy of Sark only really finds full expression in the fanfiction of writers the caliber of Auburn, Eretria, Vanzetti, and Rez, to name my favorites. But in this scene, the promise was realized on screen. Leaving aside that Sark always has multiple intentions to his behavior and the fact that many people actively despise the idea that Sark could have loved Lauren, the power of the scene derives from seeing the invulnerable Sark mourning, his grief expressed in microbursts layered with a newfound resolve and a clarity of purpose that seemed, for once, to originate with him. Sark is usually portrayed as a tool, granted a very dangerous, useful tool, but not someone with clearly defined independence of will. If the writers can sustain it, this scene marks a deepening in the character, one that brings him closer to the mystery of Season 1 Sark, tainted perhaps but hinting at a larger purpose. The scene resonates even more if you remember back to Season 2, when, in another rare glimpse of his vulnerability, Sark wistfully observed that he wants what everyone wants, "that which I never had." So much rains from so little, it was a very Irina thing to say. Betrayal and loss of a beloved has played out for all the major characters in the show. Sark closes the loop. David Anders turned in a fine performance, as good as Victor Garber and Ron Rifkin. I hope he finds a new role soon as he seems ready to make the leap to the next level of acting. And there were other scenes in AMoHW that were almost as compelling but I just couldn't get this one out of my head. That my friends is the way I used to feel about Alias every bloody week! ;)