Whoosh! ...



Season 1, episode 21
Series 121
1st release: 05/05/02
2nd release: 08/25/02
Production number: E650
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

Amy Irving (Emily Sloane)
David Anders (Sark)
Derrick O'Connor (Khasinau)
Joseph Ruskin (Alain Christophe)
Wolf Muser (Ramon Veloso)
Kamala Lopez-Dawson (Dr. Shah)
Philippe Bergeron (Lucques Trepanier)
Christopher Dukes (Alpha team leader)
Yvans Jourdain (Second door guard)
Angelo Nogara (Make-up artist)
Tom Waite (Interrogator)
Greg Grunberg (Weiss)

Written by Erica Messer and Debra J. Fisher
Directed by Ken Olin

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


Will makes a startling discovery while helping Jack smoke out Deep Throat in Paris, where Syd is set to pull a switcheroo on Khasinau with the captured Sark's aid. Meanwhile, Dixon begins to suspect all is not on the up-and-up with his partner; the Alliance fills Sloane in on the plans for Emily's elimination; and Vaughn begins to pull away from his favorite agent in an effort to save his -- and her -- life. TV Guide On-Line

Life as Will knows it is about to change forever when he's sent to find the person responsible for leaking information to him about SD-6. Meanwhile, Sloane finds himself on the cusp of finally tracking down Khasinau when SD-6 captures "The Man's" right-hand man, Mr. Sark; Dixon becomes suspicious of Sydney's activities; and Sloane continues to await the Alliance's decision regarding the fate of his wife, Emily (Amy Irving). SD-6 HQ


This synopsis is by Sally Dye.


Scenes from previous episodes, culminating with Dixon confronting Sydney and Sark in the middle of their transaction in Denpasar. Sark still has the genuine ampule, as Sydney hasn't had a chance to substitute the fake one. Vaughn throws a small grenade into the area, and Sark takes off. Sydney tells Vaughn over her transmitter that Sark still has the ampule, and he tells her to get to the extraction point. Dixon goes after Sydney, while Vaughn chases Sark. Dixon catches up with Sydney and they fight, with Sydney getting cut on her right arm. Vaughn catches Sark and handcuffs him to a fence, getting the ampule from him. Against orders, Vaughn then leaves Sark and knocks Dixon out from behind just as he is about to either shoot Sydney or unmask her. When they return to the gate, Sark is gone.......

Back in LA, Will talks to his source. Per Jack's orders, Will sets up a meeting by telling the source that he knows about "the circumference."........

In London, Sloane meets with the Alliance to ask them to let Emily die of her cancer rather than be assassinated. He discovers that they know about Edward Poole's part in the assassination of Jean Briault -- i.e., that he manipulated Sloane into killing him. The Alliance is now prepared to go to war with Khasinau, but they want to get information from him about his operations, not to kill him. If Sloane will find out what Khasinau is after, they will take the situation with Emily "under advisement.".......

Back at SD-6, Sydney returns, supposedly from a week's vacation, and talks to Dixon. He tells her that SD-6 captured Sark in Denpasar. As Sydney is leaving, she bumps into another guy with her wounded right arm. Dixon notices her wince of pain.

Act I

Jack tells Sydney the operation in Denpasar was sloppy and that Sydney's search for her mother is causing her to make bad decisions. Sydney tells him that SD-6 got Sark........

Sloane interrogates Sark. He tells him he wants to find Khasinau. Sark asks for a glass of wine first........

Will gets a call from his source containing instructions for their meeting.......

Weiss tells Vaughn he took the heat for losing Sark. He says Vaughn needs to stop caring more about Sydney than about his job.........

Sloane has wine brought for Sark. Sark makes it clear that he knows SD-6 is not CIA. Sloane later tells Sydney and Dixon that they have arranged for Sark to meet Khasinau at a dinner club in Paris. Sydney protests the fact that the plan is not to grab Khasinau but to steal a Rambaldi paper from him and substitute a counterfeit, but Sloane overrules her. Sydney is to take the place of a lounge singer in the club. Marshall provides her with a ring that will record Khasinau's EKG so they can get past the security on his vault.......

Will tells Jack about the meeting plans. He is to be on a street corner the following evening -- in Paris.

Act II

Sydney meets Vaughn: "Please tell me my countermission is to grab Khasinau!" But Vaughn says it's not. She is just to switch the Rambaldi page with a fake one. Vaughn is very brusque, and Sydney asks what's wrong. Vaughn says nothing's wrong and leaves, with Sydney looking after him with a very puzzled expression.........

Emily tells Sloane she doesn't want to die in the hospital. He promises her she won't.........

In Paris, Dixon and Sydney arrive at the dinner club. Sydney is disguised in a bright red wig and matching lipstick. Sark is inside at a table, waiting for Khasinau. Jack and Will pull up outside, and Jack gives Will some methamphetimine to counteract the sodium pentathol they are sure to give him later.........

Khasinau joins Sark at his table, and Sark gives him the fake ampule. Sydney comes onstage and sings "Since I Fell For You". She comes offstage and sings to Khasinau while she records his EKG on the ring. The info transmits to Dixon, and he heads to the vault, where he gets the Rambaldi page and substitutes a counterfeit one for it.........

Meanwhile, Sydney sees two men bring Will into the club. She leaves the stage and gets to a back room just as they inject Will with truth serum. Jack is monitoring what is going on over a transmitter. Sydney bursts in and takes out the guards in a series of brutal martial arts moves. Will just stares in a dazed state of shock. When Sydney turns to face him, he lets out a shocked yelp of surprise as he finally recognizes her.


Sydney asks Will how he got there, and he stutters out that he was following a story. Jack recognizes Sydney's voice and guns his car toward the club. Sydney drags Will out, radioing to Dixon that she will meet him at the extraction point. Khasinau's men see Will and Sydney leaving and a gun battle breaks out. Sydney is forced to fight most of Khasinau's henchmen. She knocks out the last one with a jumping, spinning kick that knocks his gun away from Will and kayos the guard all in one move. Will is still open-mouthed in amazement. Jack is waiting outside the club and they jump into his car. Sydney is angry: "He came here with you?!!!" They take Will to be disguised. Jack tells Sydney that he had to step in to keep Sloane from executing Will, and that someone in intelligence has been steering Will toward SD-6. Sydney says that the men interrogating Will were not in intelligence -- they were Khasinau's men. Jack surmises that this is Khasinau's plan to bring down SD-6, and for some reason, he is focusing on exposing Jack and Sydney as well. When Will comes out in his new disguise, Sydney hugs him and makes him promise he will not say anything about any of this.........

Christophe calls Sloane to tell him the Alliance has decided to grant his request to spare Emily because of her condition.......

At home, Dixon dreams about when he was shot in Argentina and Sydney radioed for help, identifying herself as "Freelancer" -- her CIA code name. The next morning, he asks Sydney about her wounded arm. She says she fell while hiking, but he has a skeptical look on his face.

Act IV

Sloane is pleased that Sydney and Dixon obtained the Rambaldi page, even though they lost Sark. Sloane explains that he put a radioactive isotope in the wine Sark drank, and they are tracking him by satellite. He asks Sydney to stay behind, and thanks her for not reporting her conversation with Emily. He tells her that Emily has been given a reprieve, and that's more than Sydney's fiance was given. Sydney later tells Vaughn that it was the first time Sloane had expressed regret over what he did to Danny. Vaughn tells her that the CIA is drawing up a contingency plan to protect Will -- witness protection program or possibly recruitment. Sydney doesn't want that to happen and is sad that Will will probably never trust her again: "You should have seen his face in Paris. It was like he was looking at a stranger." Vaughn says he wasn't looking at a stranger, he was looking at Sydney and for the first time really seeing her.......

Sydney goes to talk to Will, who is in a CIA safe house. She tells him why Danny was killed. He says that it broke his heart when he thought she had no answers for what had happened to the man she loved, and that's why he pursued the story even when she asked him not to. But he promises he will never ask her anything about any of this: "Sydney, I don't love you because of what you do or what you don't do. I just love you.".......

Sloane is at the hospital when he gets word that Sark has landed in Geneva and sends a team to apprehend him. Emily's doctor comes in with her test results and tells them that Emily is apparently going into remission. Emily is thrilled, but Sloane has a stricken expression on his face as he hugs her........

Sloane's team arrives in Geneva and finds evidence that Sark has had a blood tranfusion. They can no longer trace him........

Will hears a knock on his door and assumes that he is finally being brought something to eat. When he opens the door, it's Sark. Sark raises a gun and shoots Will point-blank in the chest.

To be continued.


This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

"Freeze! Turn around. Hands on your head," Dixon says, holding Syd at gunpoint. Still in disguise, a veil over her face, Dixon does not recognize Syd. With his arm as a lever, Syd delivers a roundhouse kick to Dixon's gut. He grabs a knife from his shoe and slashes Syd's arm, slamming her against a gate. Just as he picks up his gun to aim again at Syd, CIA Vaughan jumps from a wall to whack Dixon unconscious.

And, that is just for starters. Not only Dixon comes close to "unveiling' Syd in this episode. Will does too, as he follows leads from the mysterious voice on the phone--now dubbed "Deep Throat". Syd's father, Jack, helps Will set a trap for Deep Throat, not suspecting that the "voice" to be caught in this trap will be Syd. But, that is later.

For now, Sloane faces off with the Alliance in London, trying to save his "dying" wife's life. The Alliance still insists she be killed, for her breach of security. She knows about SD-6. Sloane tells the Alliance, "Should you choose to intervene, I will be forced to resign." Looking around at these cold and craggy "old men" faces of the Alliance, I wonder how many here, potentially replacements for Sloane, would be worse. These are definitely not "the good guys". But, to Sloane's safisfaction, the Alliance now decides to go against Khasinau, and to put killing Sloane's wife on hold.

"I assume your plan includes assassination," one of the Alliane members says to Sloane, "Your plans must change." The Alliance now wants Khasinau alive for "intel". This Alliance, all the actors who play members, are convincingly deadly, like watching a roomful of pit vipers slither around.

Back in LA Syd asks Dixon, "Did you miss me?" She is pretending to be just returned from a vacation in Palm Springs. "For the record," he says as the conversation ends, "I did." Syd is bumped painfully on her injured arm as she walks away. Dixon becomes even more suspicious that the veiled woman he slashed in Denpassar was Syd.

SD-6 interrogates Khasinau's representative Sark, extracted from Denpassar. Over a glass of wine--which we find out later is laced with a non-lethal radioactive substance for tracking--Sark and Sloane "collaborate". "You will lead me to Khasinau," Sloane tells Sark.

At CIA Headquarters Vaughan's partner Weiss chastises Vaughan for letting Sark get away in Denpassar, and to instead save Syd. "I know you genuinely care for her. I do too," Weiss says. But, Vaughan is letting his affection cloud his judgement. "I don't know how to be Syd's handler without making it personal," Vaughan says. Later, in a briefing with Syd, he tries "coldness" but that only confuses Syd, who wonders why he is acting that way.

Syd is assigned to go to Paris to snatch a document from Khasinau, a page from Rimbaldi's manuscript. SD-6 wants the page. CIA will supply a fake. The "plot thickens" as they say in old melodramas, as if in Alias plots could get any thicker.

Deep Throat sends Will to Paris too. Jack follows to monitor Will's interrogation after he is picked up by Deep Throat's henchmen. No "henchwomen" are noted. The "bad guys", for Khasinau at least, are all in fact "guys". Deep Throat turns out to be Khasinau.

But, Syd's throat too has a surprising warble. Posing as a nightclub singer, Syd sings to Khasinau, a hand on his chest in the audience. And she sizzles! Strikingly stunning in a bright red wig, heavy makeup, jet black low cut bustier and long black pants, Syd is remarkable. And, her vamped delivery of "Since I Fell for You," is not bad. Her hand on Khasinau's chest, with a ring devised by SD-6 tech expert Marshall, allows Dixon--on remote--to record Khasinau's heartbeat. This allows Dixon to break into Khasinau's safe.

Does no one just use simple combinations anymore? Like face recognition perhaps? That is what happens for Syd, still on stage, when one of Khasinau's henchmen takes Will into a back room. Syd sees them, then hurriedly makes an excuse--in French--to "leave the stage". As if she could.

Just as Will is about to be questioned by gun wielding interrogators, Syd crashes into the room, legs and arms flying, knocking men in all directions. Great sequence. The fights in this episode are expertly choreographed and exciting to watch. Are all those moves Garner's? If so, she is getting very good indeed at faking martial arts expertise. Will's reaction, when he recognizes Syd, is astonishing. He cries out in shock!

I feel the same! I did not anticipate that Syd would let Will recognize her, or see her "in action". That is a script surprise! And this is a terrific script. Kudos to writers Erica Messer and Debra Fisher. Ken Olin is the director. Olin can be counted on for first rate Alias episodes. So, whistles and applause all round.

"Who the hell are you people!?" Will says to Syd and her father Jack, from the backseat of Jack's "getaway car". This is only after Syd has knocked out a roomful of guards, untied Will from a chair, fled the restaurant through gunfire and falling glass everywhere, shot at more henchmen, and done some even more dazzling midair, flying across the room high kicks. Wow! Let me say that again. Wow! This Sydney Bristow must be training now on "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" movies. Way to go, Syd!

The scenes that follow with Will are intense. Holding Will tightly, before CIA agents take him to a "safe house", Syd says, "You cannot tell anyone about this. Do you promise?" And, later, in the "safe house", Will tells Syd, "I don't love you for what you do, or for what you don't do. I just love you." Tears in her eyes, Syd say, "Thank you."

Meanwhile, Dixon's suspicion of Syd gets more prodding from dream memories of being wounded and nearly unconscious in Argentina while Syd called for help, identifying herself as "Freelancer". He confronts her about her injured arm, wanting "full disclosure". She lies instead, and Dixon's suspicions continue.

For Sloane "there's good news, and there's bad news". The "good news" is the Alliance decides to let Sloane's wife die in the hospital of cancer and not to shoot her. The "bad news" is, she is not going to die. Her "test results" are in, and her cancer is "in remission". Sloane wonders how he will convince the Alliance to spare his wife. More complications.

And more emotion from Sloane. Calling Syd into his office, Sloane thanks Syd--with a tearful and breaking voice--for not turning in his wife after she told Syd she knows about SD-6. "That's more than I did for you," he tells her. Her own love Danny Hecht was murdered by SD-6 for the same knowledge. "Please don't tell me you're feeling sympathy for Sloane," Vaughan tells Syd later. She does not. I do, for a second or two. That is about all the time we get in Alias before we are on to the next scene.

Next, legs are stepping over unconscious or dead CIA bodies in the "safe house" where Will is being held. Will expects a hamburger, the food he ordered. The legs, though, are Sark's. When Will opens the door, Sark shoots him in the chest. Bang! And that is the end of the episode. The word "Alias" drops onto the screen, and I rewind the VCR. This is an episode that deserves to be seen again.

Is Will dead? Or just tranquillized and kidnapped by Sark for Khasinau? In a week we will know, but--this being Alias--we will probably have even more questions then.


Review of episode on Zentertianment

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