Written by Michelle, Amy
Inappropriate agent extraordinaire.
Buyer of Christmas presents.
Refuser of hockey.
And wielder of one mean furrow.
Ah, the furrow. A mystery any avid watcher of Alias must learn to decipher. One might sit episode after episode, pondering what the hell Agent Vaughn was attempting to convey in that one scene, and was it the same as in that other scene? And why the fuck can’t he just twitch his eyes or smirk or spell out what he’s feeling?
Because he’s a lean, mean, trained-to-be-cold-and-distant machine, folks. And because, gentle readers, where’s the fun in that? Alias is an intelligently written show, they’re not going to just hand things to you on a plate! Except for, you know, every single thing Sydney expositions to Vaughn night after night. But we’re ignoring that, because something more important has come up. loki and I, after hours and hours of studying that character that is Agent Vaughn, have cracked his code. And now, because you deserve it, we present our key to Agent Vaughn’s deepest and darkest emotions.
Pay attention, there will be a test after class.
Here we clearly see Agent Vaughn in a confused mental state- he often expresses confusion right after a meeting with Sydney or after being confronted for inappropriate behavior in the halls of the CIA. Here he is probably trying to figure out some puzzling conundrum or trying to master the difficult task of looking at nothing while talking to Sydney! No easy task! Confusion for Agent Vaughn is very clearly indicated by a deep furrowing of the brow accompanied by an ever so slight upturn to the right corner of his mouth. Not to be confused with the slight upturn of the left corner of his mouth, which is more closely aligned with “happy.” See below.
As mentioned above, Agent Vaughn is very clearly happy here. Please note the upturn to the left corner of his mouth, which is highlighted by the deep furrowing of his brow. He is usually his happiest after being asked to a hockey game (though this often quickly erodes into “conflicted”) or after one of his many, many superfluous meetings with his charge.
Here, in case you couldn’t tell, is a very sad Agent Vaughn. He’s having a tough day. Perhaps he found out that Sydney didn’t really like his photo frame. We’ll never really know, will we? We can only hope that the deeper middle furrow and pursed lips will soon be turned slightly more shallow and upturned!
Thanks to the close lines in the furrow, we know that Agent Vaughn is concerned here. He’s probably just found out that Sydney has other friends! And that her life seemingly does not revolve around her clandestine meetings with him! Poor Vaughn.
As mentioned previously, Agent Vaughn is at times conflicted! He loves her, he loves her not! This is often most prevalent during the inner struggle that has haunted mankind throughout the ages: hockey game/bringing down the bad man…hockey game/bringing down the bad man.
What’s Your Furrow IQ?
Think you got what it takes to decipher the cypher that is the furrow?
Go ahead – impress us.
Below we have Agent Vaughn in five different states of furrowhood. It’s up to you to break down the subtle intricacies of the wrinkle, the look and the general emotion behind it all. Take the quiz and we’ll decide if you pass into Spy Games 102.
A: shocked to learn that Sydney has apparently not saved herself for him?
B: sad that he came home to a fat dog?
C: explaining the intricacies of gelling bangs properly to Haldecki?
Here Agent Vaughn is:
A: contemplating Sydney’s next gift…next month is their one year anniversary of sexual tension, after all.
B: pondering the moral quanderies of taking a human life, even if they are evil?
As any expert can tell, here our agent of inappropriateness is:
A: angry. He probably just found out how “fine” Syd’s mission with that sissy-monikered “Snowman” went.
B: ecstatic. He just got the BEST deal on a tea set EVER.
C: feeling a bit peckish. He hasn’t had time to grab a bite to eat, what with all the clandestine meetings he’s got on his schedule today.
Anyone who did their homework can tell by the way the furrows overtake his entire forehead that this emotional Agent:
A: just found out Sydney prefers to go commando.
B: just realized he loves Jack after all.
C: can’t believe what Weiss is telling him. It’s meatloaf surprise at the commissary? YES!
And, finally, Agent Vaughn seems to be expressing:
A: his complete and utter contempt of emotion.
B: confusion. He really, really thought he was calling Joey’s pizza.
C: dismay. Perhaps he was just turned down for an asinine field op?
1) Here Agent Vaughn is:
C: explaining the intricacies of gelling bangs properly to Haldecki.
What? He’s just being a concerned co-worker.
2) Oh, c’mon! Do you even have to ask? Look at that left frontal furrow! Admire the two deep furrows topped off with one pulsing mofo of a vein!
He’s C: happy, dammit!
3) The two deep furrows with the one, solitary shallow furrow by the hairline? That can mean only one thing folks!
B: He really, really loves that tea set.
4) While meatloaf is a tasty treat, Spy Daddy, aka Jack, is one even more delectable treat. Well, the insane Vanessa thinks so. And, apparently, Vaughn agrees. Je nais c’est quas, as those wacky French would say, right Vaughn?
Amy, however, thinks it’s D, All of the Above.
5) A: Emotion is for sissies. Agent Vaughn knows this. It’s all about the furrow guys. Tough men don’t cry, fellas, they purse.
If you got
One right: Not bad. Not bad at all. Not good though, either. It’s back to study hall for you.
Two right: Don’t feel too bad. After all, the furrow is so skilled and complex that it fools the experts at times. Vaughn, as a matter of fact, confuses himself all the time.
Three right: I’m impressed. Your skills are impressive, grasshopper. Ever thought of doing a little field work? No, really, it won’t be a problem. You speak five languages and can get anywhere in the world within 20 minutes, yes?
Four right: Excellent! Bordering on obsessed, but excellent!
All freakin’ five right: Wow. Huh. I just… don’t know what to say… You have a shrine to the furrow in your closet, don’t you? With candles? And maybe some defaced pictures of one Will Tippin? Right?