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ALIAS

THE ABDUCTION


EPISODE NO. 32
Season 2, episode 10
Series 210
1st release: 12/15/02
2nd release: 07/06/03
Production code: E661
Last update: 08/09/03


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REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye
COMMENTARY by Adriane Saunders
NON-ORIGINAL MUSIC
TRANSCRIPT
LINKS



REGULAR CAST
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
Ron Rifkin as Sloane
Merrin Dungey as Francie
Carl Lumbly as Dixon
Kevin Weisman as Marshall
Michael Vartan as Vaughn
Bradley Cooper as Will
Joey Slotnick as CIA Agent Steven Haladki
David Anders as Mr. Sark
Lena Olin as Irina Derevko/Laura Bristow



GUEST CAST
Faye Dunaway (Ariana Kane)
Petra Wright (Alice)
Ric Young (Suit and glasses)
John Balma (Thatcher Powell)
Charles Constant (Data clerk)
Don Took (Agent Grey)
Kenny Gould (Guard)
Paul Anthony Scott



CREDITS
Written by Alex Kurtzman-Counter and Roberto Orci
Directed by Nelson McCormick



Broadcast on ABC, 9-10pm, Sunday nights.

SYNOPSIS:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye.

Teaser

Scenes from previous episodes, culminating with Sydney, Jack and Irina escaping from the facility in Kashmir. Sydney talks to Will about the unreal feeling of working with her parents together after 20 years. She gives Will info on taking a psych test that might qualify him for CIA employment. Francie comes in and is suspicious that Will and Sydney stopped talking. They try to reassure her, but she doesn't seem convinced.

Sydney meets with Irina, who is now allowed outside for limited periods of time. She knows that Sydney arranged it. Irina tries to explain why she began working for the KGB. She was only 18 and was excited about serving her country. She now finds it hard to believe that she thought anything more important than her daughter. She and Sydney -- both in tears -- embrace, but guards rush over and separate them.

Sloane has Sark restrained with a glass ball in his mouth. A vice-like harness will tighten and break the glass if he doesn't answer questions correctly. Sloane wants to know why SD-6 failed to get the Rambaldi artifact. Sark says it must have been blown up when the Indian planes bombed the facility. He protests his innocence, saying that Cuvee probably also thought he (Sark) betrayed him.

Vaughn and Sydney discuss the Sloane/Sark situation. Sloane is sending Sydney and Sark to Paris to acquire a computer terminal of Cuvee's. Sydney's countermission is to booby trap the computer so the hard drive is erased and SD-6 can't use it.

Marshall asks Sydney if she will take photos while she is in Paris. He will then put himself in the photo to show his mother, who thinks he travels all over for his job. Sydney says she will.

In Paris, Sydney and Sark follow a convoy of trucks. Sark taunts Sydney by telling her he always thought of Irina as a mother figure. Sydney refuses to play along and tells him to get his head in the game. They cause a traffic jam to stop the convoy.

Jack goes to see Irina. She says that technically they may still be husband and wife. Jack doesn't look pleased at this thought. He offers her a deal -- she will be relocated to a private residence if she will tell them the real reason she turned herself in.

Sark disables the men inside the convoy with tear gas, and Sydney blows a hole in the top of the truck supposedly carrying the terminal. She dons a mask and gets into the truck, only to find it empty. They see a man jump from another vehicle with a briefcase and take off running. Sydney chases the man and gets the briefcase. Sark picks her up and they speed away.

Act I

Sloane introduces Jack to an Alliance representative named Ariana Kane, who has come to investigate the situation with Emily and the mysterious blackmailer. Jack says he is probably the person who knows the most about Sloane's situation and therefore is the most likely suspect in a blackmail attempt of this kind. Ariana says that is exactly what he would say if he were trying to make her think he was innocent. Jack says that his only viable strategy is to tell the truth.

Will and Vaughn meet so Vaughn can prepare Will for the psych test. Will is sent to a factory which is a secret CIA facility. Later, Will discusses the test with Sydney. He says that what Francie said earlier is true -- they have to lie to her. Sydney agrees, but adds that she's come to believe that "it's a gesture of love to deceive the people I care about." They run into Vaughn and Alice. Introductions are made all around, with Sydney introduced as "Rita", the name she gave Alice at the hospital. Will notices the undercurrents running between Vaughn and Sydney. Will and Sydney make their excuses and leave, with Sydney looking back at Vaughn looking back at her.

Sloane reports that the hard drive on Cuvee's terminal was erased. They believe, though, that Cuvee made a backup, and Sydney is to go to London to get the backup files. Because of the sophistication of the countermeasures there, Marshall is to go with her. Marshall is no less than dumbfounded at this news.

Act II

Vaughn tells Sydney that they must pull Marshall out of SD-6 and take him into protective custody because he has a photographic memory and will remember all the computer codes once he sees them. Sydney is upset that Marshall's life will be disrupted but accepts it as inevitable.

Ariana Kane questions Jack about his relationship with Sloane. One of her questions is who Jack has had intimate relations with over the past 10 years. He is insulted, but she thinks it's funny.

On the plane to London, Marshall is very nervous because he's never flown before. He tells Sydney that he has a parachute compressed into his jacket, just in case. Sydney is not to worry, either, because the chute can hold them both. Sydney smothers a smile and thanks him. He says it's his job to keep her safe.

Act III

In London, Sydney and Marshall arrive at the Philharmonic, where they have seats behind Thatcher Powell, the man in charge of Cuvee's facility. Sydney drops a drug into his glass and he dozes off. She gets an access card from his pocket, and she and Marshall leave and go to the facility. They get to the right floor but encounter guards who don't buy their story. Marshall speaks some unintelligible language, confusing both Sydney and the guards. Sydney has to fight them both, but Marshall is hit by a tranq dart. Sydney pulls it out before it knocks him completely out, but he is groggy. Sydney asks him what he was saying, and he says he was speaking Ewok. He almost passes out, and Sydney has to keep reviving him. Finally she gives him a big kiss, which brings him back to alertness long enough to access the computer info they need. They get back to the symphony just as Powell is waking up. From across the auditorium, someone in a wheelchair is watching them through a spyglass.

Act IV

Back in LA, Sydney and Marshall leave the airport and start to get in separate cabs. Marshall is excited and happy about the success of their mission. Sydney hugs him and lets him go, watching his cab drive off with a sad expression on her face. After a few blocks, Marshall's cab is stopped and men with guns run up and jerk the car door open. Marshall is bewildered, asking what they want.

Will and Sydney throw a surprise party for Francie, who now believes that the reason for all the secrecy was the planning of this party.

Ariana believes that Jack's answers to her questions are too perfect. Sloane defends Jack, but Ariana is sure that he is hiding something.

Jack asks Irina if she's thought about his offer. She says she thought about making something up just to get to move to a better place, but truthfully she has nothing to confess. Jack says she was right -- they are still legally married. Irina says that until now she has agreed to be debriefed only by Sydney, but now she will talk to Jack, too.

Vaughn gets a call that the agents he sent did not find Marshall as planned. He wants to know who did get him, then.

Marshall is blindfolded and tied up. The blindfold is taken off and he sees someone -- the same "suit and glasses" who tortured both Sydney and Will -- preparing ominous looking dental instruments. He pleads with the man not to hurt him, and the "suit" leans closer and says, "Tell me... how did you enjoy the symphony?"



COMMENTARY

This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

Fantastic. This show just keeps on getting better and better. Bravo for this week's Alias. Bringing Marshall into the plot is brilliant, a clash between comic relief and deadly peril. Bringing the Taiwanese torturer back at the end leaves my head spinning. Where is this all going? Will Marshall survive his first field assignment?

THE PLOT: Updates Syd's friends: Will takes a psychological test for CIA job clearance. Francie wonders if something is going on between Will and Syd. I wonder how long until Francie is drawn into danger. So far in Season Two Francie has just bounced around on the perifery of Syd's life and activities. A consolation, perhaps, is Francie's birthday party. This segues perfectly to Marshall's abduction. Just as the doors of Marshall's limo are pulled open by machine gun wielding attackers and pushed in Marshall's face, we hear "Surprise" announced by a roomful of Francie's friends. Cool.

Syd and mother Irina embrace in an outside courtyard at the prison where she is being held, and are forced apart by armed guards. No touching allowed. Tears show in Irina's eyes. Arresting sight, the two of them backing away from each other, hands raised. Memorable.

Sloane tortures Sark, putting a glass marble--golf ball size--in his mouth. Sark swears allegance and is subsequently assigned to a mission in Paris with Syd. All he had to do for the free trip is suck on the marble and look decidedly uncomfortable.

At stake is NSA's Echelon Satellite System. Sloane wants that so bad, he all but salivates. Syd's CIA counter mission deletes the program from the terminal SD-6 sends her to Paris to steal. A reverse engineer may be possible to duplicate the program. To do this Syd and Marshall are dispatched to London to break into Cuvee's server.

All machinations are well orchestrated, the twists and turns, a fascination and delight. Hilarity enter into plot unfoldment too, and some very snappy, clever dialogue. [See HIGHLIGHTS.]

Faye Dunnaway arrives on the scene at SD-6 as Ariana Kane, Alliance Counterintelligence. She is investigating the "disappearance" of Sloane's wife, Emily. (Remember Emily? She was dead earlier. Now she is only missing. Progress.) Sparks fly between Ariana and Jack, Syd's father, and some of the drollest dialogue heard on Alias to date. Jack is a prime suspect. [See HIGHLIGHTS.]

THE PRODUCTION: Notable are the flawless segues between scenes, visuals to audio, the words or dialogue juxtaposed with interactions, the sights and sounds. An example of perfect segue: Just as Will opens a test booklet in the post office, the scene immediately shifts to a pool table and the triangle of balls being split apart or "opened" to start the game.

Another perfect segue uses the saucer-like bomb Marshall creates to blow a hole in the top of the van in Paris as a link. As Syd pulls it out to use on site, the scene switches to Marshall's explanation back in Los Angeles of how it works. This is followed immediately by Syd actually using the bomb, heaving it over the side of a bridge onto the van. Kaboom!

Loud clapping too for the 18 minute "lead in" to this episode. No commercials for almost 20 minutes at the start draws viewers right into the plot. Lots of action happens. This is no ordinary "teaser". The main course is on the table before "appetizer" even registers. Fantastically well done. Greeeeeaaaaaaat episode!

HIGHLIGHTS:

1) UNEXPECTED and RIVETING SIGHT: Syd and Irina, mother and daughter, backing away from each other in the cell block courtyard. Surrounded by guards with rifles aimed.

2) REPARTEES BETWEEN Syd's father JACK AND ARIANA, the Alliance investigator at SD-6: "A pleasure," Jack says to Ariana, after meeting in Sloane's office. "All mine," is Ariana's clever response. A double meaning, artfully delivered by Dunnaway/Ariana, since Jack clearly does not much like her. Very droll. But Jack gives as good as he gets. Delightful and memorable interactions between these two all through this episode. Well done to scriptwriters and actors alike.

3) MARSHALL ON THE PLANE WITH SYD: This is his first plane ride. He is twitchy and afraid. Syd looks like she has trouble keeping a straight face. There is no telegraphing of what is to come, the abduction and torture at the end. At the concert in London Marshall is saying "Hello" to everyone he passes. Syd reminds him to "be inconspicuous". But, he gets in the last word, saying he thought he actually knew the person just passed. Hilarious.

But more is to come. When police stop the two of them about to break into a secure area, Marshall starts talking in "Ewok" from Star Wars. This provides a distraction for Syd to take out the guards. Even in a floor length gown, Syd kicks butt.



NON-ORIGINAL MUSIC

Boomkat, "The Wreckoning". Label: Dreamworks Records
Dar Williams, "Beauty of The Rain". Label: Razor & Tie Direct, L.LC.
Chumbawamba, "Don't Try This At Home". Label: Universal Records
J.S. Bach, "Sleepers, Awake". Label: N/A



TRANSCRIPT

Click here to read a transcript of The Abduction.



LINKS:

Recap of THE ABDUCTION from Television Without Pity by Kim.
Syd and Sark go on a mission, and then Syd and Marshall have to go on a mission. Yes, Marshall. Who gets kidnapped. I know. I can't talk about it, I'm so worried.

Photographic: an Abduction Fanlisting

Synopsis at Alias The TV Show.

Music in THE ABDUCTION at Alias TV Show

Synopsis at abc.com

Gallery at twoevilmonks.org

Gallery at jeffersonfreestate.org

Synopsis at Dear Sally.




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