Season 3, episode 12
Series 312
1st release: 01/18/04
2nd release:
Last update: 01/21/04

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SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye
COMMENTARY 1 by Adriane Saunders
COMMENTARY 2 by Beboman

Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
Ron Rifkin as Sloane
Michael Vartan as Vaughn
Carl Lumbly as Dixon
Kevin Weisman as Marshall
Melissa George (Lauren Reed)
Greg Grunberg (Eric Weiss)
David Anders as Mr. Sark
Victor Garber as Jack Bristow

Isabella Rossellini (Katya)
Griffin Dunne (Leonid Lisenker)
Arnold Vosloo (Mr. Zisman)
Byron Chung (Colonel Yu)
Francis Chau (Mr. Cho)
Leo Lee (Mr. Kwan)
C.W. Pyun (Ki-Jong)
Emma Bering (Sloane's secretary)
John D. Kim (Soldier no. 1)
Randall Park (Korean soldier)

Written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec
Directed by Ken Olin

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


KNOCK KNOCK. WHO'S THERE? BORING EPISODE. -- Boring episode who? Boring episode that makes watching ants transport microscopic grains of food to their anthill practically glisten with excitement and anticipation. Yeah, there's kissing, between both Vaughn and Syd and Spy Daddy and Isabella Rossellini, but all the spit-swapping in the world couldn't drag this episode kicking and screaming out of the gutters of boredom. Newly Evil Lauren and Fake American Accent Sark couldn't even save it. Hell, Vaughn almost nearly kind-of-if-she-hadn't-stopped-him-the-dumb-bitch telling Syd he loves her and only her couldn't resuscitate it. In fact, it was so boring, I didn't even watch it. The entire recap is from my imagination. So, please, enjoy this "Syd and Vaughn Get Married and Go Live in Provence" episode of "Alias." TwoP

sniff sniff do you smell a**? Crossings - Because I certainly smell a**. And it's coming from the direction of this episode. I'm sorry, but it's true. What happens during the show, you ask? Well, there's a trip to North Korea, Lauren's still eeeeeevil, Vaughn nearly tells Syd he loves her, Isabella Rossellini kicks ass and digs around in Jack's liver, and I'm not sure if anything else happened past this point because I really zzzzzzzzzz. TWoP


This synopsis is by Sally Dye.


Scenes from previous episodes, culminating with Lazarey being killed by a sniper, who turns out to be Lauren.

In North Korea, Sydney and Vaughn, beaten and battered, are led from their prison cell and put against a wall. A firing squad raises their weapons and begins firing.

Some days earlier, Dixon reports that a Covenant official named Lisenker wants to defect and is willing to provide all kinds of info on the Covenant in exchange. Sydney and Vaughn are to meet the defector in a Gai-Li marketplace in North Korea. After the meeting, Lauren asks Sydney if she would like to have a girls night out on Tuesday. Sydney is puzzled, but agrees.

Lauren meets with a Covenant agent named Zisman and tells him about the defector. He says the agents must be eliminated. He sends her to get info on where they will be boarding the plane. Lauren goes to hq and is about to pick up Vaughn's file when he interrupts her. He wants to know what she thinks she's doing. She is alarmed, but he is talking about the girls night out. She convinces him that she just wants to get to know Sydney better. When he leaves, she gets the info.

As Sydney and Vaughn get on the plane, a sniper fires darts at the pilot and copilot, but they don't appear to notice.

Zisman tells Sark he must go to North Korea and meet the defector. Sark wants to know who the CIA informant is, but Zisman doesn't tell him.

On the plane, the pilot and copilot begin to get sick. Sydney and Vaughn are unaware of this as they sit in the passenger area. Sydney is trying to make conversation, but Vaughn is basically ignoring her. Sydney finally asks what's wrong. Vaughn says wearing a fake smile at work is not working for him any more. Suddenly the plane goes into a sharp dive. Sydney and Vaughn get to the cockpit and discover that the crew is dead. They take over the controls. (Meanwhile, back in LA, Lauren sits at her desk looking at a picture of her and Vaughn.) Heat-seeking missiles are fired at the plane, but they manage to avoid them by turning off the engines. They try to restart the engines but can't.

Act One

The plane crashes in North Korea. A nearby military installation sends out men to look for the crash site.

Jack tells Lauren about the plane crash. She pretends to be shocked and upset. Dixon calls them in to a meeting and says that the head office has ordered them to stand down and do nothing to rescue Sydney and Vaughn. Jack leaves the office angrily. Dixon says that he is ignoring the order and will not disavow Sydney and Vaughn.

Jack e-mails Irina and tells her about the situation. She says she has allies and to be at Sydney's apartment at 8 p.m.

Sydney and Vaughn survive the crash. They hear the military convoy approaching and rig the plane to explode. They escape into the jungle.

Sloane calls Jack and says he wants to help. Jack says when he needs Sloane's help he'll let him know and hangs up.

Sydney bandages Vaughn's wounded arm. He winces when she tightens the bandage, and she says that's for being a jerk on the plane. They set out to search for transportation so they can meet the defector on time.

At Sydney's apartment, Jack opens the door to find a woman unknown to him. She doesn't introduce herself, but says that Sydney and Vaughn are alive. She wants something in return for her help, though -- she wants Jack to kill Arvin Sloane.

Act Two

Weiss tells Lauren that Jack called and Sydney and Vaughn are alive. Lauren doesn't seem to know whether to be exasperated or relieved.

Vaughn and Sydney come upon an abandoned vehicle. They work on the engine. Vaughn apologizes for being distant. Sydney confesses that she slept with Will. She wants Vaughn to know that she's moving on. Vaughn doesn't seem to find this reassuring. They get the vehicle started and drive off.

Lauren calls Zisman and tells him that the operation was a failure -- Vaughn and Sydney are alive.

Jack and the mystery woman visit a Mr. Cho, who welcomes "the Black Sparrow". She calls in a debt from him, but when he hears that she wants to arrange an extraction from North Korea, he refuses. She stabs two chopsticks into his hands, nailing them to the table. Jack takes out the bodyguards. Mr. Cho chokes out that Mr. Kwan can help her. They leave him still pinned to the table.

Sydney and Vaughn arrive at the Gai-Li marketplace. They spot the defector at a table, but they also see Sark approach him. Sark tells Lisenker that he is CIA. Sydney and Vaughn interrupt, with Sydney holding a knife at Sark's groin. Lisenker doesn't seem to know who to believe. The military arrives, and Lisenker bolts. In the confusion, Sark gets away, but Sydney, Vaughn and Lisenker are caught.

Act Three

Jack reveals that he knows the woman must be one of Irina's sisters -- Katya. She wonders how Jack could be married to Irina for five years and not know who she really was. He wants to know why she wants Sloane dead. She says it's not for him to know, but if he doesn't deliver, she will call off Mr. Kwan.

Vaughn and Sydney are interrogated but say nothing. Lisenker tells the guards that they are CIA. The guards take Lisenker away and beat Sydney and Vaughn. Then they leave. Sydney and Vaughn hold each other.

In Zurich, Jack checks his gun, then goes to Sloane's office and says he has an appointment.

Act Four

Katya calls Sloane and says he has a message -- "Back off, Irina". She says Sloane should be suspicious of all his friends, including the one who is there to see him. Then she calls Jack and says to abort the plan. Jack can't avoid seeing Sloane, so he tells him he was just in the area and stopped to tell Sloane they were making progress on Sydney's rescue. Sloane seems to realize the lameness of this excuse and eyes Jack suspiciously.

Vaughn tells Sydney that he pushed her away because he didn't know how to be around her. Sydney kisses him, and he kisses her back. They hear the guards approaching. They are led out into the courtyard. As the firing squad prepares to fire, Sydney and Vaughn look at each other, and then resolutely ahead. When the soldiers fire, they kill the North Korean officers. One of the soldiers releases Sydney and Vaughn and introduces himself as Mr. Kwan. They get back into the prison and get Lisenker out of his cell, but Sydney punches him first for giving them up to the guards. Then they fight their way out of the prison.

Back at hq, Sydney and Vaughn bring Lisenker in. They are greeted joyously by Weiss, Dixon and Marshall, who hugs them both. Lauren approaches, and Vaughn goes to her and they embrace. Sydney watches sadly until Jack comes in, and then she runs to him. He tells her that her mother is the one who found her.

Jack meets with Katya. He is angry because he has realized that she warned Sloane and now Sloane is suspicious of him. He wants to know how Irina can benefit from this. Katya says that Irina's plans will someday be known. She kisses Jack and says that was from Irina. Then she kisses him more passionately. Jack is a little stunned and asks who that was from. Katya: "Too many questions." She leaves with Jack staring after her.


This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

Two quick rewinds to remind: Jack demands Vaughan back off from Syd. Lasarey under guard on ambulance cart is shot from above. Syd, gun drawn, scans building tops. Segue to above. A large case is snapped shut. The sniper's rifle is inside. We see the back of the assassin, Lauren Reed--Vaughan's wife and fellow CIA agent. When she turns, she says into her cell phone:"The matter's been taken care of." A surprise! Lauren is with the Covenant!

Segue straight to Vaughan and Syd, battered and bruised, on the floor of a North Korean holding cell, kissing. Another surprise! Guards enter, drag both upright, and push them outside into an open courtyard. A firing squad is there. Under command, rifles raise to shoulders. An order is given. Bam, bam, bam! Machine gun fire splits the air. Segue then to notice: "72 hours earlier." All right! We get the ending before the beginning this week. This episode promises to rock!

So it does. From start to finish, "Crossings" rocks! First rate episode! No complaints whatever. I enjoyed this episode enough to watch it twice.


Particularly well edited and directed. Kudos to Ken Olin, director par excellence as usual, and to Kristin Windell, an editor new to Alias. For all segues between scenes: A plus for picture puzzle perfect. Expertly done. Camera and photography, script (Nemic and Applebaum--new), likewise. Well done. Clap, clap, claps all round.


Yahoo! Back to subtlety and strength and silent power in portrayals. Michelle George (Lauren Reed) is riveting in her wordless reactions to action. Tightly controlled, she is walking a thin line to avoid detection as a double. Her unease as she sends Vaughan to his probable death is eloquent. Memorable too is her absorbing the shock of Vaughan's possible survival without giving herself away to Weiss. George is a fine actor to be sure.

Likewise, the new kid on the block: Irina's sister and rescuer of Syd and Vaughan, Isabella Rossellini, dazzles Too cool! Mother Irina has a sister cut from the same mold as herself: coldly confident, quick to act, and pointedly intelligent. All this Rossellini portrays with a glance or a move into a room. This is like an acting lesson. How to be good, how to be very good! Great casting!

Thumbs up to the regulars too this week for acting. No ham. No melodrama. All believable and true to character. Well played scenes. Terrific dialogue. Garner and Vartan are faultless in all their interactions.


1--Irina is mentioned more than once in the plot. "How did you find me?" Syd asks her father at the end. "Your mother found you," Jack replies. And, so she did. Jack emails Irina for a contact in North Korea. She sends her sister, in blood and behavior both. A plot to kill Sloane unfolds. "How will this play to Irina's advantage, or your own?" Jack asks. Her sister answers, "One day, when you least expect it, Irina's intentions will become known." Is that a promise? I hope! May Irina (Lena Olin) deliver on those intentions in person! Let us all hope!

2--Katya, Irina's sister, alias "The Black Sparrow, visits Koreatown to collect a debt from a Mr. Cho. With lightning speed and a totally untelligraphed attack, Katya stabs skewers through the backs of his hands! He screams. Guards react, Jack is stabbed in the ensuing scuffle. Do not mess with this babe! Yeowie! She expects him to find a way to extract Syd and Vaughan from North Korea. She leaves him with skewers still nailing his hands to the table. Tossing a piece of paper on the table, her parting shot is this: "Everything you need to know. Don't fail me." This, Katya delivers with the tiniest of smiles. Cold but effective.

This whole episode is full of highlights. Here are a few more. Syd shuts off the jet's engines to fool heat seeking missiles bearing down. Clever, that. The missiles collide with each other. In the North Korean courtyard the face of one machine gunner scanned by the camera turns out to be Syd's and Vaughan's rescuer. He guns down the firing squad. A skillful "fool the eye".Escape from North Korea takes a page from endings in the new TV-series "Cold Case. We get slow motion, no dialogue but an overlay of lyrical music as wrap up action unfolds. After the hugs on return to Los Angeles, CIA Headquarters, dialogue is interjected again.

Jack faces Katya outdoors in an open plaza. After minimal explanations, Katya gives Jack a light kiss. "That was from Irina," she says. A slight pause. Then, she follows up with an embrace and passionate kisses. "And who was that from?" a surprised Jack asks. A little shake of her head, then she steps back to walk away. She says, "You ask too many questions." The last line of the background music is this: "...say Hallelujah." My sentiments exactly. Great episode. Great new character.


This commentary is by Beboman.

I have to thank this week's "Alias" episode for putting me in the right frame of mind to sleep. It had been a long day, I was tired and I was looking forward to my Sunday dose of "Alias". After the way the characters were left last week, I was sure this week's episode was going to be just great.

Well, it did not happen that way. Watching grass grow might have been a bit more exciting. This was the most non-happening episode I have seen in a long time.

We know that Sydney and Vaughn have feelings for each other; that is nothing new. So, let's get on with it. After finding out last week that Lauren is a member of the Covenant, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that she is the one providing the information about Sydney and the CIA's moves. So, let's move on and try to reveal her. I mean, now Jack and Vaughn have something else in common besides their love for Sydney. Now both men have been used and betrayed by their wives.

The only salvageable moment in this episode was the introduction of Katya, played by the wonderful and beautiful Isabella Rossellini. This new character might be very interesting to the plot of the story if they use it right. Her ties to Sloane and the Bristow family might be very interesting to explore.

Katya's character is so totally different from Sydney's mom, Irina. Katya is more direct and out there. I like her boldness. It was refreshing to see that.

For the rest, like I said before, this episode just put me to sleep. So I will say goodbye for now and hopefully next time I will have more to say.


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