Season 3, episode 05
Series 305
1st release: 10/26/03
2nd release:
Last update: 10/28/03

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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

Justin Theroux (Simon)
Djimon Hounsou (Kazari Bomani)
Clifton Collins, Jr (Javier Parez)
Garrett T. Sata (Pit boss)
Virginia Pereira (Receptionist)

Written by Jesse Alexander
Directed by Ken Olin

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


Lauren (Melissa George) senses Syd may be hiding something about Vaughn's stabbing, but must find a way to work with her husband's ex after Sloane is abducted by a Covenant bigwig (Djimon Hounsou). Meanwhile, Jack risks blowing his cover to grill Simon about Syd's lost two years; and Marshall is sent out on his second assignment. Simon: Justin Theroux. Marshall: Kevin Weisman.



This synopsis is by Sally Dye.


Scenes from previous episodes, culminating with Vaughn being left for dead at the foot of a hill after being stabbed.

Three hours later, Sydney is racing to a telephone to call the CIA. She tells Jack that she put the tracking device on Vaughn. Jack wants to know about the biological weapon. Sydney says it is in Simon's room, and she will get it.

Simon meets Sark, and they exchange the weapon for a suitcase full of money.

Sydney goes to Simon's room and searches it. She finds a suitcase and opens it only to find it empty. She hears Simon opening the door and jumps into the shower. Simon comes in and says he has already made the exchange. He gives Sydney her cut. He says he has to catch his flight and "Julia" is free to use the room.

Weiss and a team find Vaughn. The medics go to work on him. Weiss radios that he is in bad shape.

Act I

Lauren sits at Vaughn's bedside. He is unconscious. Sydney arrives at the hospital and talks to Lauren. She says the stab wound punctured a lung and Vaughn was deprived of oxygen. They don't know yet if he has suffered brain damage. Sydney explains the circumstances. Lauren hadn't been aware that Sydney was the one who stabbed Vaughn, and she is upset.

Dixon reports that a plane has been tracked to the Ural Mountains where it dispersed a biological weapon over a prison there. All the prisoners and guards are dead, except for one survivor -- a man named Kazari Bomani. Marshall theorizes that the weapon was tailored to kill everyone but him. Lauren and Sydney are to meet with Sloane, who had been the one to turn Bomani in, resulting in Sloane's pardon.

Jack tells Sydney he has a plan to entrap Walker so they can find out more about Sydney's missing two years. Jack is to pose as a client and hire Simon and his team for a job.

On the plane to Mexico, Sydney and Lauren talk. Lauren says she understands that Sydney was trying to save Vaughn's life. But she says working together is not working out, and she wants Sydney to request a transfer. If Sydney won't make the call, she will.

In Paris, Jack and Simon meet. Jack tells him about a job and says he was referred by a mutual acquaintance -- Julia Thorne. Simon says he'll be in contact about the price. As Jack leaves, Parez takes pictures of him.

In Mexico City, Sydney and Lauren arrive at the meeting place. They see Sloane approaching, but he is intercepted by a gunman who shoots his bodyguard. Sloane is then hustled into a van containing Sark and Bomani. They take off.

Sydney tries to intercept the van, but it gets past her. Lauren pulls up in a car and yells to get in. They take off after the van. Simon calls, but Sydney says she's in the middle of something and has to call him back.

Sloane tries to talk to Bomani, but Bomani knocks him unconscious.

Another car opens fire on Sydney and Lauren. Sydney tells Lauren to hit the brakes and the car goes into a skid. The car slews around and Sydney fires into the car chasing them. Then they resume the chase, but lose the van when a truck pulls out in front of them.

Act II

Bomani and Sark have a beaten Sloane tied up in a basement. Bomani tells him a story about seeing his older brother's arm cut off by terrorists. He says he vowed to do the same thing to anyone who betrays him. Then he swings the machete he's holding.

Sydney hopes Sloane is either in pain or dead. Lauren apologizes for their earlier conversation and says she hopes they can still work together.

Vaughn wakes up and sees Sydney sitting at his bedside. He says he knows Sydney had no choice but to do what she did. Sydney: "I was so afraid I'd lost you." She says she didn't realize just how much she missed him. Vaughn says he missed her, too. They kiss. Suddenly Sydney stabs Vaughn again and says, "How could you do this to me?" Vaughn wakes up again, this time from the nightmare, to find Lauren by his side. She is tearfully relieved when he is coherent and recognizes her. They embrace.


Marshall and Sydney talk about how glad they are that Vaughn has awakened. Weiss interrupts to say Sloane has been found and is asking to speak to Sydney. When she arrives, Lauren is already there. Sloane tells them that Bomani let him go when he gave him intel on the first A.I. computer virus. Sloane wants Sydney to disable the virus, but not to destroy it because that would tip Bomani that Sloane had set him up. Sloane suggests that he could be a double agent, working for the Covenant but loyal to the CIA and providing intel for them. Sydney laughs at the irony.

Marshall says that a high tech lie detector proves Sloane to be telling the truth. Sydney and Lauren argue about trusting Sloane. Dixon says he is going to send Sydney and Marshall to Osaka to disable the virus, which is located behind a casino there. In order to get into the back room where the virus is, Marshall plans to be caught counting cards in the casino. He plays a round of blackjack to prove he can do it: "I had a lot of free time in high school."

Parez meets with Sark, showing him the pictures he took of Jack. Sark confirms that Jack is CIA.

Act IV

In Le Havre, Jack meets Simon and completes an electronic transfer of funds. Simon gets a phone call from Parez, who tells him that Jack is CIA, and that his daughter Sydney Bristow is also known as Julia Thorne. Simon starts to shoot Jack, but Jack shoots him first. As Simon is dying, Jack asks how he met Julia Thorne, but Simon won't tell him. Jack shoots him again.

Marshall and Sydney arrive at the Osaka casino. Marshall is dressed as a moustached Texan, but the moustache itches and keeps making him sneeze. Marshall plays blackjack and wins big. When he has a huge pile of chips, the pit boss offers to take them to the back room and exchange the chips. Marshall and Sydney go with him. When they get to the back room, they take out the guards, and Marshall gets busy disabling the virus. On the security cameras, they see Sark and Bomani approaching. Marshall disables the virus just before Sark and Bomani burst into the room. Under the table, Sydney keeps Marshall from sneezing while Sark downloads the virus.

Weiss, Sydney and Lauren joke with Vaughn in his hospital room. Weiss tells all about their college exploits and has them all laughing. When Weiss gets up to leave, Sydney asks for a ride, and they go out together. Sydney realizes she has forgotten her jacket and goes back to the room. She stops at the door when she sees Lauren kissing Vaughn. She stands watching for a moment and then slowly turns to leave.


This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

"You never should have betrayed me," Syd hisses at Vaughan in last week's episode. Then she stabs him and leaves him for dead. This week--three hours later--Syd is on the run. She is frantic, and races to a phone booth to call CIA Headquarters. "Vaughan is bleeding to death right now! You have to move!" Syd demands.

And, move we all do--at speed--throughout the whole of this perfectly paced and orchestrated episode. Yes! This Alias rocks! It starts at a run and keeps right on going, fast forward all through.

Even the lights are on again. We can actually see the action this week. All colors are clear and vibrant. The faces of actors are easy to see. Gone is last week's everything half in shadow look. For this episode, much of the action is outdoors in bright daylight. But, even indoor scenes are clearly illuminated. Kudos to Photography (Donald Thorin, Jr.) and Camera and Direction (Ken Olin, clap, clap!) and Editing (Frederick Toye) and Script (Jesse Alexander). Well done. Way to go, Alias!

The cameras really do roll for this episode, rock and roll. The camera is ever on the move, seamlessly linking every action and word and reaction. For example, when Syd turns to a door about to open, the door opens in a different scene, with different action and different players. Cool.

There is a really great--perfectly played and filmed--car chase in the episode. Lauren, not "field rated", is at the wheel with an astonished Syd beside her. After Syd shoots one of the armed kidnappers of Arvin Sloane, Lauren screeches up beside her in a car. "Get in!" she says. Syd does. We all do. Then we scream off in hot pursuit of a masterful Alias episode.


1--THE TEASER: Syd running flat out to a phone booth, immediately brings us up to speed--not only figuratively, as to Vaughan's condition, but literally, setting the pace for the entire episode.

2--THE TRANSFER: Lauren demands this of Syd. She demands that Syd transfer to another department. Having to continuously confront Vaughan's "x-girlfriend" is proving too big a stretch. All the exchanges between these two in this episode are riveting and well crafted. The relationship between the two women is paramount and full of seeds for things to come. The dialogue and interactions of both actors are memorable.

3-THE TRICK: We see Syd beside Vaughan's hospital bed, waiting for him to awake. He does, and speaks softly to her. The two of them kiss gently but passionately. Then, shockingly, Syd pulls back. A knife is in her hand. She has just stabbed him again! "How could you do this to me," Syd says. Vaughan could be saying the same. In the next instant we see Lauren in the chair beside his bed. The woman in the room is Lauren, not Syd. Vaughan was dreaming, or hallucinating. Cute trick.

4--THE TRAP: Sark ID's Jack posing as a client to set up a "Julia" contact. Jack and Syd want to extract information about Syd's missing two years. Her alias as "Julia" is a link. The contact gets the word from Sark while closing a theft deal with Jack. He immediately starts baiting Jack with talk of Syd's (aka "Julia") prowess in bed. Victor Garber (aka Jack) is his usual stoney and unreactive best. When the contact turns to pull a gun, Jack is already there. Bam! Jack shoots him first. Never bait a father about his daughter. Well played.

5--THE TABLE: Marshall devises a way to cheat at blackjack, in order to be “invited” into the casino’s backroom. In that room is a computer he and Syd must hack to disable a virulent virus. Marshall is a hoot as a swaggering, card sharpened Texan. His mustache keeps making him sneeze. Syd plays his mistress, smiling and attentive. In the back office Marshall disables the casino owner with a dart from his longhorn belt buckle. A nice touch, that. That touch is followed by another. Syd puts a finger to Marshall’s nose to prevent him sneezing while the two are hiding from Sark. Marshall’s sneeze explodes just after Sark leaves the room. Well sneezed, under the desk, and well squeezed, the casino at the blackjack table.

6-THE TORMENT: In the hospital where Vaughan is recovering, Weiss tells funny stories. His stories and Vaughan’s comments have Lauren and Syd smiling. An amiable and well-intentioned truce continues between the two women. That is good to see. Yet, Syd joins Weiss when he leaves, to leave Vaughan and Lauren alone. Walking out with Weiss, Syd remembers her jacket and returns to Vaughan’s room. At the doorway she observes Lauren and Vaughan touching and kissing. She stands motionless, looking tormented, then turns and walks away. End of episode.

End of episode?! This episode, so fast forward and faultlessly played, whips by in what seems more like five minutes than an hour. Clap, clap, clap. Well done. Compliments all round, script, directing, acting, editing, photography, camera. More, more--encore! Bravo, Alias.


This commentary is by Beboman.

The episode started with Sydney's speed dash to the closest phone to let the CIA know where they could find Vaughn. This was the first and last good thing about this episode.

First, I would like to state that I really dislike this circular motion take that has become very prevalent in many episodes. To tell you the truth, I absolutely don't like it. I get motion sick with it and for a second there, I thought I had to run and get some Dramamine. I think once in a while, for a short period, it is not bad, but for at least a full scene, I found it to be more of a hindrance than a great effect.

After that, we move on to Sydney going into Simon's room to try and get the biological germ, but it was not there. To tell you the truth, Sydney must be some fast undresser to be able to take off all her clothes, put them in a perfect line toward the shower and jump in the shower in just seconds. We should check the Guiness Book of Records so see if Sydney holds the record in that category.

This episode started with some action, but then it got really wordy and stayed really wordy; it just dragged on and on. Not even the interchanges between Sydney and Lauren could inject some excitement into this episode. But between the long, extended scenes, the capture and possible torture (had they shown it) of Sloan could not even inject some needed emotion into this episode.

The only other bright side to this dreadfully slow episode was the car chase. It was very well done and it was good to see Lauren really feel satisfied with herself as the driver. All the while, Sydney worried not only for their safety, but about trying to kill the bad guys. I just had chuckles at Lauren's facial expressions in contrast to Sydney's.

Another scene that could have been better, but for some reason just did not cut it, was the dream scene Vaughn had with Sydney. There was this whole "I miss you" thing and the kiss, then Sydney stabbing him again, and Vaughn waking up to see Lauren by the side of his bed.

Like that scene, there were a few scenes that at first felt like good scenes, but ended up being a let down. I think this episode needed a big dose of passion and some good action sequences or maybe an IV of intrigue to make it wake up and survive.

I really found this episode long and uneventful. Well, maybe not totally uneventful because we saw how great of a manipulator Sloan is, and now he is going to show his true colors. Maybe that will put some life into the following episodes.

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