A bit of a spoiler follows for those of you who didn't get a chance to watch the series finale of 'Alias' last night.
There's a flashback scene towards the end of the last episode where Sydney (Jennifer Garner), supposedly in college, comes home one day and hands her dad Jack (Victor Garber) an envelope full of cash. She says something to the effect that it's about time that she paid her dad back for some of her college tuition and such. With a bemused expression on his face he asks her 'What? Did you rob a bank?' She replies 'No, but I've been working at one or the last month.' Upon hearing the name of the bank, Jack realizes that Sydney has been recruited by SD-6. He's clearly upset, and in a fairly harsh tone of voice he proceeds to try and persuade her to quit her job. Sydney reacts with shock, hurt and bewilderment. At this point in time, she doesn't realize that her father is an SD-6/CIA agent as well. 'I didn't come here to ask your permission. I've made my decision.' And then she runs out of the room.
I found it kind of interesting that at no point in time did Victor try to hand the money back to Sydney. He was clearly upset about the way she had earned the money, but he accepted it nonetheless. So, that scene got me to thinking about how I would've reacted if a closed friend or loved one had offered to pay back a loan or bought an extravagent gift for me with what I suspected was 'illicit' money (i.e., cash that they'd earned through questionable means). Would I risk offending that person by refusing the money?
I knew of a girl in high school whose dad paid for everything in cash. He was always walking around with a huge wad of cash in his pocket. A lot of folks who lived through the Great Depression still hide their money under their proverbial mattresses, so it wasn't that big of a deal, except that he drove really flashy cars and engaged in a lot of conspicuous consumption, which fueled the rumor that he worked for the mafia. I'm not sure what I would've done if I were her daughter. Looked the other way until I became an adult?