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Season 1, episode 11
Series 111
1st release: 01/06/02
2nd release: 07/07/02
Production number: E640
Last update: 08/09/03

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SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye
COMMENTARY by Adriane Saunders

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

Aharon Ipale (Hassan)
James Hardy (Devlin)
Francesco Quinn (Sekoulos)
Vincent Lappas (Techie)
J. Anthony McCarthy (Bouncer)
Matthew James Williamson (Bodyguard)
Greg Grunberg (Agent Weiss)

Written by J.J. Abrams and Daniel Arkin
Directed by Harry Winer

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


Series producer (and Thirtysomething alum) Ken Olin guest stars in a pivotal episode that finds Syd under fire and Jack feeling the heat. After delivering terrorist Hassan (Aharon Impale) to the CIA, Syd heads to Crete to locate his top-secret stealth technology. What she encounters instead is a death trap set by Hassan, who backs Vaughn into a corner with a dirty deal for Syd's life. Tvguide.com


This synopsis is by Sally Dye.


Scenes from previous episodes are shown, culminating with Jack pointing a gun at Sydney's head in Hassan's Havana compound. Jack blinks rapidly, sending Sydney a Morse code message. Hassan says if Jack doesn't pull the trigger, he will kill them both. Suddenly Jack turns the gun on one of the guards, and Sydney takes out the other one. They get out of the compound with Hassan in tow and take him to a safe house, where they fake Hassan's death by photographing him covered in blood. While Hassan is lamenting the fact that his suit was new, Jack knocks him unconscious. Sydney treats Jack's wounds and asks him why he didn't say something when she was initially recruited by SD-6. He says he couldn't tell her because that would have revealed his position as a double agent. A helicopter arrives and takes Sydney and Hassan back to the states, while Jack returns and reports to Sloane that the mission was a success. Sydney tells Vaughn the whole story and thanks him for getting her to Cuba so she could save her dad. She talks for a minute about how impressed she was at seeing him in action, and then Vaughn interrupts to tell her he decoded the messages in her mother's books. They were KGB directives to kill certain CIA agents, all of whom were in fact killed. Vaughn says he's going to report that Jack is the one who killed all those agents. Sydney just stares at him, stunned.

Act I

Sloane congratulates Jack on a job well done and then tells the rest of the group that Hassan is dead, but they don't know who killed him. He targets a man named Minos Sekoulos as an associate of Hassan's, who seems to be looking to take over for Hassan. SD-6 has intercepted a call in which Sekoulos discusses a mysterious "package". Sloane thinks it is some sort of weapon. Sydney and Dixon's mission is to go to Greece and get the specs of this weapon from Sekoulos. Marshall gives them a special pair of glasses that can copy Sekoulos' retina so they can get past his security............

In the CIA safe house, Vaughn is having no luck getting Hassan's client list. Hassan wants his family brought to the US, or he will tell them nothing............

Jack thanks Sydney for coming to Cuba to rescue him. He says he knows there are things he should do and say, as a father, but Sydney interrupts: "Dad. It's all right. Really." Sydney walks off, leaving Jack with a sad expression on his face............

Vaughn tells Sydney to be sure she is the one to get the specs from Sekoulos' office. He gives her some fake specs to photograph and give to SD-6. He says that Langley will want Sydney's testimony when he reports what's in the books. Sydney is reluctant, saying they don't know what role Jack played in the murders and that they need him now to help bring down SD-6. Vaughn gives Sydney the personnel files on the CIA agents that were killed and says they both know the right thing to do. Sydney says yes, it looks like her father was responsible for the deaths, but she just needs time to think about what to do. After she leaves, Vaughn takes a small recorder out of his pocket and replays part of their conversation.

Act II

In Athens, at Sekoulos' club, Sydney finds Sekoulos and tries to make eye contact with him to record his retinal scan. Dixon, monitoring by video, says she will have to get closer. Sydney beckons Sekoulos over to her and engages him in conversation, but can't keep his eyes on hers long enough to get the scan. He says to come along to his room, and finally Sydney gets close enough to get the scan. Sekoulos leaves, and Sydney tries to, but is stopped by a guard, who locks the door to the room. She overpowers him easily enough, but can't get the room unlocked in time to prevent Dixon from going to get the specs........

Back in LA, Vaughn threatens to send Hassan to a very unpleasant prison if he doesn't give up the location of the "package". Hassan finally reveals that the weapon is in a silo on the isle of Crete. Sydney wants to be the one to go to Crete, since she didn't get the specs for the CIA, but Vaughn says it's too dangerous to send her there without SD-6's knowledge -- they barely got away with it in Cuba. Sydney suggests that they have Jack present the information to Sloane so it can become an SD-6 mission. Vaughn agrees. Then he plays the recording he made of their conversation. He says he planned to play it for Devlin, but he couldn't do it. He gives her the cassette. He tells her he knows it's personal for her, but it's personal for him, too. He shows her one last file of a CIA agent who was murdered by the mysterious KGB agent -- it's his father. He says he's going to talk to Devlin on Monday...........

Sydney is upset and goes to Will's house. First she asks if Jenny is there, and when Will says no, she goes in, but can't tell him what's wrong. She just asks if she can stay for a while, and he holds her while she cries.


Sydney slips the info about Hassan's weapons stockpile to Jack, and he takes it to Sloane as though he'd gotten it from an informant. Sloane sends Sydney to Crete. She finds the silo -- an underground storage bunker. She sees Sekoulos, and when he leaves, gets into the bunker using a code that Hassan gives to Vaughn. She finds the weapon -- an EM refractor -- but suddenly the doors to the bunker close. Hassan says that the code he gave activated an anti-intruder device. A sprinkler begins to spew gasoline into the room, drenching Sydney and everything else. Hassan says that in a few minutes a spark will ignite the gasoline. The only way he will give up the deactivation code is if Vaughn gives him a commitment in writing, signed by Devlin, that his family will be gotten out of Argentina and given protection in the US. Vaughn runs for Devlin's office while Sydney is still being saturated with gasoline...........

Act IV

Devlin signs the paper, and Hassan gives Vaughn the code. He relays it to Sydney. She punches in the numbers and the gas stops flowing, but when the door opens, Sekoulos is there. He and Sydney fight, and in the process, he sticks his knife into the electric keypad. Finally, Sydney throws Sekoulos backwards and starts out of the bunker. The keypad starts shorting out, throwing sparks into the puddles of gasoline. Sydney leaps out of the bunker just as the whole thing explodes...........

Vaughn and Sydney go to meet Devlin to report what they found in Sydney's mother's books. They are surprised when many other CIA officers enter the room. Devlin comes in and is followed by Jack, who sits at the head of the table and takes charge of the meeting. Jack introduces the others as senior CIA officers. He tells Sydney and Vaughn that he knew his file had been pulled and that they were suspicious of his activities regarding the KGB. He apologizes to Sydney for making this a public display, but says that all the others already know the truth, and he was afraid Sydney wouldn't believe him otherwise. He tells them that the codes in the books were orders from the KGB to kill CIA agents and that those orders were carried out by the agent they were sent to. But, "Sydney, I was not that agent. Your mother was." Sydney just stares at him in shock.


This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

Move over Xena and Gabrielle, Batman and Robin--a new "Dynamic Duo" has arrived, the Bristow's, Syd and her father, Jack. These two rock! Syd dazzles alone in displays of kick butt prowess, but add Jack--and wow! Exhiliarating to watch these two in action, reading each other's signals--dispatching villians in the blink of an eye.

Literally, "a blink of an eye", for that is how Jack clues Syd which guard to down when Jack shoots the gun he holds. That is the gun we saw pointed at Syd's head at the end of Episode 10. And, Morse Code--dots and dashes conveyed with his lashes, is how Jack communicates to Syd. He shoots the guard on her left, while she drops the guard on her right.

Eye contact has many virtues. And, silences, too, play well between these two characters. The intensity and complexity of the relationship between Syd and her father is evermore engaging, and so skillfully portrayed by Garner and Garber. I applaud now every time I see them together in a scene. These two actors are great together. Definitely, a "Dynamic Duo"! Great chemistry!

Syd and Jack fake Hassan's death to fool SD-6, and take Hassan to a CIA safehouse in Los Angeles. Here Syd reports to Vaughan, full of pleased pride at her father's performance in Cuba. "You should have seen him. He was good--a pro," Syd says to Vaughan.

But Vaughan has bad news. The KGB codes in the books Syd's father gave to her mother list aliases of CIA agents who were murdered, 25 years ago. Vaughan thinks Syd's father is that KGB murderer. Syd is stunned.

Syd says to Vaughan, "When I found out what my father did, sacrificing Russek for me--it made me sick. Now I know I would have done the same." But, can caring about someone possibly justify killing someone else? Where is Syd's moral or psychological compass pointing here? And, does she really want to go there?

Sloan welcomes Jack back to Los Angeles, thanking him for--he thinks--killing Hassan. "It's my job," says Jack. A briefing for Syd's next SD-6 mission follows. Greece is Syd's itinery, there to find out about a mysterious "package" Hassan's underworld replacement, Minos Sakkoulas, has in his possession.

"Did anyone see the documentary on monkeys last night?" asks Marshall, after he gets the nod from Sloan to stand and speak to the mission under discussion. Ever the delight, this guy. I love Marshall. He cracks me up every time he appears. And, the slow "takes" Syd gives him in her own responses to his "off the wall" comments, and ditherings, are always priceless.

In the hall at SD-6, his face still battered and patched from his injuries in Cuba, Jack says to Syd, "There's so many things I should do, and ask--as a father." He looks open and vulnerable--and full of hesitations as he speaks. This is afterall unfamiliar territory between these two, father and daughter. "Dad, it's all right, really," Syd says.

Vaughan and Syd again discuss reporting her father to the CIA's head honcho, Devlin, for the 25 year old KGB murders. Syd objects, "We need him right now. We will never destroy SD-6 without my father." She asks Vaughan not to "do anything about this" without her. He shakes his head in compliance. But, after she is gone, he pulls out a pocket tape recorder and clicks on the just finished conversation with Syd. Duplicity!

Next, in Greece, Syd--and Dixon too--hit the nightclub scene, Sakkoulas' headquarters. Here is where Syd expects not only to download computer files for the CIA, but to substitute fake ones for SD-6. To access Sakkoulas office, a retinal scan of the man himself is required. Syd has special sunglasses through which Dixon, via computer, will be able to reproduce Sakkoulas' retinal pattern. These glasses Syd wears into the nightclub.

And, Syd looks spectacular, very sexy and beguiling in the red orange shades she wears for this gig. Her dress and sunglasses are the same tint as her hair. Definitely a good choice of color for Syd or Garner. Wow!

In the nightclub, some entertaining exchanges follow, first between Syd and Dixon via throat mike. Syd wants to know how close she has to get to Sakkoulas for Dixon to do a retinal scan. "How about 2 inches?" he says. "Great," Syd says, without enthusiasm.

Interrupted by an appointment, Sakkoulas has Syd taken to a private room, and locked in. A Sakkoulas' bodyguard tells Syd she will "be much more comfortable" if she stays where she is, awaiting Sakkoulas' return. "Oh, really! Do you?" Syd says two seconds before she decks him with a couple of punches and well placed kicks.

Syd breaks out of the room, only to be confronted again by Sakkoulas and, again, the guard she has just decked. "Are you auditioning to be a dancer, or a bouncer?" Sakkoulas asks Syd, punching his fist into his palm. Then, he tells her, "I can't quite decide if you're my taste," matching word to deed by licking Syd's face.

Right at that moment, Dixon enters the room. As soon as Syd hears his voice, she head whacks Sakkoulas in the face. Dixon takes out the other guard, and they both split.

Back in LA, Vaughan questions Hassan about "the package", none too effectively, utilizing a "my way or the highway" approach. Hassan, not surprisingly, balks. Maybe a course in psychology for Vaughan. That might speed his interrogations.

Hassan, of course, has his own "demands", safe haven for his family in exchange for "telling everything" he knows. But, Vaughan sees "no room for negotiation". Why not? Isn't everything "negotiable"?

"He licked my face!" says Syd furiously to Vaughan. "I understand," he says. "No, you don't! He licked my face!" Syd is not a happy camper. But, Sakkoulas is such a sleazy character, his "licks" would probably gag anyone.

Then, to my surprise, and appreciation--and to Syd's, too, Vaughan returns the tape he made of their previous conversation, saying, "I couldn't bring myself to do this." Bravo! Points for Vaughan. As a friend, which clearly Vaughan is to Syd, making such a tape is not cool. But, returning the tape cancels the error.

I really like this character, Sydney Bristow. She listens, and does not jump to conclusions. When Vaughan lets her know he taped their earlier conversation, she looks attentive and thoughtful--not judgemental. That is laudable.

Then, Vaughan drops another "bombshell". Of the CIA agents murdered by--he thinks--Syd's father 25 years ago, his own father was included. And, he has made an appointment to report Jack to Devlin. He asks Syd, "Are you with me?" Syd, openmouthed, does not answer

She drives, in tears, to her friend Will's house. "What's wrong?" Will asks, wanting to comfort her, "Tell me." Syd asks only to stay for awhile, "if that's OK," and curls up on his couch. "Of course," he says, lying down behind her.

A surprising but beautifully done scene. Believable. Without Vaughan to turn to, there is really no one Syd can confide in, no one to console her about her father, and the choice that faces her.

Though Syd snuggles up to Will, she does not really touch his hands, because she is "cacooning" in her sweater, the sleeves pulled down to her fingertips. Nice touch. Forgive the pun. A very special scene. I, like Syd, appreciate Will's sensitivity to Syd's need to be held, no questions asked.

On site in Crete Vaughan's CIA satellite scan gives Syd the "all clear" to enter the underground silo. No guards are around. Inside Hassan, through Vaughan, gives the "break and enter" code to Syd. But--unfortunately for Syd, the wrong code is deliberately given. In seconds Syd is in big trouble.

A storage room Syd has just entered automatically seals. "Vaughan, I think this is a setup," Syd says, "The room just went into lockdown." Vaughan demands of Hassan, "What did you just do?" Hassan plays his ace. The CIA must extract Hassan's family from Argentina, protect--and confirm that "in writing", or Syd is a fireball.

Back and forth the camera goes, between CIA Headquarters in Los Angeles, and Syd in the underground silo, trapped. Gasoline starts spewing out of pipes toward Syd. Vaughan commands CIA agent Weiss, also in the room with Hassan, to "start typing". Then, Vaughan races up the stairs and flings open the door to his superior officer Devlin's office.

"What are you doing?" Devlin impatiently asks. Frantically, as gasoline continues to pour out on Syd in Crete--Vaughan says, "If I don't get your signature on a protection order for Ineni Hassan's family in the next 40 seconds, Sydney Bristow will die!"

AND THEN THE CABLE GOES OUT on my TV! Can you believe that! Talk about awful timing! Although, with Alias so richly plotted and expertly orchestrated, there may be NO good time for cable to go out. In Alias, every second counts! Syd is "40 seconds" from death, and I have no idea what is going on! Static and a blank screen are all I see.

Minutes later, when my cable comes back on, Syd is hurling herself up a stairway, and sommersaulting across open ground with a fireball exploding behind her. Looks like I missed a really exciting sequence. I am full of questions. How did Syd get out of that trap? Ah, well, I can look forward to a rerun sometime in the future to tell me.

Back in Los Angeles, Vaughan tells Syd, "You're amazing," (for the job she did in Crete). "I'm not amazing," she says. But, she is. I concur. This Sydney Bristow is a remarkable woman. The more I see, the more I applaud.

The meeting Vaughan has arranged with his superior, Devlin--to report Syd's father for KGB activities, and murders, 25 years previously, turns out to be a big surprise. Not only Devlin, but all the senior CIA officers attend. And, her father, Jack--to Syd's and Vaughan's astonishment--"chairs" the meeting. Surprise, surprise.

Jack, when he found out his file had been pulled by Vaughan, called the meeting to tell Syd "the truth", in front of all these witnesses (the senior CIA officers) who already know. He did not think Syd would believe him otherwise. Yes, the codes in her mother's books were KGB, and yes, those codes identified CIA agents to be killed--including Vaughan's father.

"But, Sydney, I was not that agent," Jack tells Syd. The KGB agent who killed so many in the CIA was her "mother"! "Yes, I knew it!" I shoot to my feet and say aloud to the TV, "I knew it!" Even so, the buildup and plotting for this episode's "bombshell" leave me in much the state as Syd--openmouthed.

How does this girl absorb all these heavy emotional shocks and still stay so open? Tune in next week for more.

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