Whoosh! ...



Season 3, episode 03
Series 303
1st release: 10/12/03
2nd release:
Last update: 10/17/03

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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

Mark Ivanir (Boris Oransky)
Scott Adsit (Pierre Lagravenese)
Pierrino Mascarino (science minister)
Elizabeth Penn Payne (Carolyn)
Arthur Darbinyan (ministry official)
Deeonna Lanay (young girl)
Patricia Rae (young girl's mother)

Written by Jeff Pinkner
Directed by Jack Bender

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


WAKE ME WHEN IT'S OVER. -- Or at least wake me when Justin Theroux shows up. There's something about a satellite and then an anti-satellite thingy. I don't know. Syd and Mrs. Vaughn snap at each other like rabid Chihuahuas. Spy Daddy saves Syd's ass when he manages to corrupt that image of her from that time she killed that guy. Yeah. Seriously? This episode didn't blow my mind. It just plain blew. Television Without Pity

"Reunion" - For the first time in two years, Sydney and Vaughn are reunited as a team to prevent Sark from destroying the nation's satellite communications system. Meanwhile, Jack must find a way to stop Marshall from uncovering the identity of a murderer, and a suspicious Sydney accompanies Vaughn and Lauren as they meet with Sloane to ask for a favor, on "Alias," SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. SD-6.com

For the first time in two years, Sydney and Vaughn are reunited as a team to prevent Sark from destroying the nation's satellite communications system. Meanwhile, Jack must find a way to stop Marshall from uncovering the identity of a murderer, and a suspicious Sydney accompanies Vaughn and Lauren as they meet with Sloane to ask for a favor. TVtome.com


This synopsis is by Sally Dye.


Scenes from previous episodes, culminating with Sydney meeting Lauren Reed, Vaughn's wife.

In a park in Moscow, people are picnicking and playing dominoes. Suddenly what looks like a missile strikes nearby, causing a huge explosion.

In LA, Sydney and Weiss are drinking together in Sydney's new place. Sydney talks about all the things she lost when her apartment burned. Some things she's glad to be rid of, but she says one of the things she misses is a first edition of "Alice in Wonderland" that her mother gave her for her fifth birthday. Weiss says that if she needs someone to talk to after she has to work with Vaughn and his wife, he'll be there.

The next day, Sydney arrives at hq and sees Vaughn and Lauren talking. Marshall brings her a CD he has put together of music of the past two years, on the theory that it might stimulate her memory. They are called into a staff meeting, and Dixon reports that the explosion in Gorky Park was a satellite that fell from orbit. He says there was a subsequent phone call between Sark and the man whose company owned the satellite -- Boris Oransky -- in which they talk about moving on to Phase 2. Sydney and Weiss are to try and intercept Sark when he meets with Oransky in Mexico City. Lauren and Sydney get into a heated argument about whether to apprehend Sark or just surveil him. Vaughn breaks up the argument. Afterward, Lauren tells Vaughn she can't stand Sydney's attitude, but Vaughn defends Sydney and tells Lauren that if she gives it a chance, she and Sydney could be friends.

Jack takes Sydney aside to tell her that the NSC is stepping up the investigation into Lazarey's death. They have found some security camera footage of the murder that Jack has yet to see. Sydney almost wants to tell the CIA everything, but Jack says they might try to reconstruct her memory in ways that could cause permanent brain damage, and he will not allow that to happen. He says that he will try to see the tape.

Act I

Jack and Laura view the NSC security video. Sydney is shown only from behind, except for one brief second, but the image is too blurry to ID Sydney. Marshall says to give him 72 hours and he can clear up the picture.

In Mexico City, Sydney and Weiss prepare for surveillance of the area. Sydney dresses in Mexican garb and mingles with the cafe crowd. She spots Sark at a table, and soon he is joined by Oransky. They exchange photos. Sydney gets closer so she can take pictures of the photos and overhears the name Medusa. Oransky notices Sydney. Sark leaves with the photos, and Sydney tries to get lost in the crowd. Oransky grabs a little girl and calls to Sydney to come out or he'll kill her. Sydney steps out, pointing a gun at him, but three other men surround her. Vaughn, who is monitoring the op, radios Sydney to be prepared for the same trick they used in Thailand. Marshall IDs the frequency that Oransky is using, and they transmit a loud burst of sound over it which immobilizes the men for a moment. Sydney takes out the three guards and shoots Oransky in the leg, but he gets away.

Sydney and Weiss discuss what Project Medusa could be, and Sydney says she remembers hearing something about it at SD-6. She asks Weiss about how Vaughn and Lauren met, and he tells her -- Lauren had deposed the CIA agents after Irina's disappearance.

Marshall says he is ahead of schedule in reconstructing the face of Lazarey's murderer. Lauren says she wants to feed the image into the face recognition database as soon as possible.

Act II

Dixon reports that Medusa is an anti-satellite pulse weapon, which was indeed one of SD-6's projects. They have pinpointed the location of Medusa in a bunker under the Russian Science Ministry. Sydney and Vaughn are to get to Medusa before Sark and Oransky can. To this end, they plan to approach Arvin Sloane, whose organization has dealings with the Science Ministry. Sydney is vehemently opposed to this and argues with Lauren again about it, but Dixon says there is no other way.

Jack finds a man who can create a device to corrupt the video image of Sydney before Marshall can reconstruct it. Jack says he must have it by tomorrow.

On the plane to Moscow, Lauren and Sydney talk. They agree that the situation is difficult. Sydney says she doesn't hate either Lauren or Vaughn, and that's what makes it so difficult.

Sloane is reluctant to assist Sydney and Vaughn with getting into the Science Ministry. Sydney says her obligation is to extract unimaginable pain from him as soon as he is no longer a source of intel for the CIA. Sloane: "I've missed you, Sydney." He agrees to get them on a guest list for a Ministry banquet.


In Moscow, Vaughn and Sydney get dressed to attend the banquet. Lauren reminds Vaughn of their third date, at a banquet in Prague. Lauren then heads back to LA, and Sydney and Vaughn go to the banquet. They mingle, and when they see the guards change, Vaughn sets a charge that knocks out the power momentarily. They slip away and into an elevator, where they change into guard uniforms. Then they make their way to the control room. On the security cameras, they see that Sark and Oransky are there ahead of them.

Back in LA, Jack goes to Dixon's office and begins downloading the disk he had made.

Act IV

Marshall prepares to render the image on the video. While Jack loads the disk, Sydney's face becomes clearer and clearer on the screen.

Sydney and Vaughn enter the bunker where Medusa is and a gun battle erupts between them and Sark's men. Sark escapes and calls back that the exits are locked down and only he and Oransky will get out with Medusa. Sydney fires into the generator and effectively fries the Medusa core. She and Vaughn then escape through a ventilation shaft, just as the sublevel blows up, killing Oransky and almost enveloping Sydney and Vaughn in a huge fireball. They get out of the shaft just in time.

The image of Sydney is just beginning to emerge when the program stops, completely dumbfounding Marshall. Dixon is philosophical, and Jack comes in and commiserates with a chagrined Marshall.

Dixon reports that the Russians have unofficially confirmed that Medusa was destroyed. Jack tells Sydney that he was successful in corrupting the image on the video. Sydney gets ready to leave and finds a copy of "Alice in Wonderland" on her desk. She looks through it tearfully as Weiss comes up and says it's only a third edition -- he was going to get the first edition, but it was like $40,000. Sydney smiles through her tears and embraces him.


This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

Seamless segues. Direct and illuminating interactions and dialogue. Precise pacing. Interlocking and overlapping action. Fast forward all the way. This is an engaging and energizing episode. Four out of four stars. Well done.

Kudos to editing and direction, script and camera and actors, all round. A brilliant ensemble effort. This episode is so skillfully done, satisfying and complete, I am struck again with just how good Alias is, and consistently so,


1--WEISS and SYD: "There must be something that you really love that you don't have anymore," Weiss tells Syd after she tells him the advantages to losing everything in a fire. Syd says nothing. Weiss realizes she is thinking of Vaughan. "I mean a thing," he says, "a thing." Turns out there is: a first edition of Alice in Wonderland. Weiss and Syd are having an amiable and slightly drunk conversation at her new place near the beach. He is a neighbor and more and more a friend. The two actors play well together. Weiss's support is welcome to Syd who lost not only all her belongings in the fire but her friends, and after her two year absence, her lover Vaughan. The bridge from this happily drunken scene to Syd at a CIA Headquarters, interacting with Vaughan and his wife Lauren, is a Patsy Cline song. The lyrics, linking discussion of "things" to love are these: "I've got these little things, and she's got you." The words are timed perfectly to Syd's arrival and having to face Lauren and Vaughan in the conference room. At the end of the episode, after returning from a dangerous mission in Moscow with Vaughan, Syd is reminded again that Vaughan is married to another woman. Close to tears, she discovers on her desk a gift from friend Weiss: a copy of Alice in Wonderland. A hug for Weiss and a smile for Syd.

2--SYD and LAUREN: Sparks fly between Syd and Vaughan's wife Lauren from the start in this episode. Disagreements underline the briefing about Sark's current up-to-no-good-ness. Protocols have changed in the two years Syd has been gone, according to Lauren. Syd disagrees. "Do me a favor," she shouts at Lauren, "don't rewrite history that I lived through." Vaughan cuts in, saying, "Enough!" Hardly that, though. The verbal swordplay between Syd and Lauren continues into the episode until, gently and unexpectedly, Lauren offers Syd an olive branch, saying she can imagine how difficult this all must be [Vaughan married to another woman] for Syd. She does not want Syd to hate her. "I don't hate you, or Vaughan either," Syd says. "That's just the trouble. After that, though no less difficult for Syd's emotions, interactions are less abrasive or sharp. Applause for Garner and Melissa George, the actors who anchor this particular love triangle. Well played all through. Kudos, too, to whoever cast George as Vaughan's fellow agent and wife. Perfect choice. Lauren Reed is believable and likeable and a solid addition to the Alias pantheon of characters

3-LAUREN and VAUGHAN: Complaining after the confrontation with Syd in the briefing, Lauren calls Syd "horrible", "arrogant and self-righteous". Vaughan counters by saying, "You're reacting emotionally." Lauren responds, "No, I'm reacting intelligently." Too cool and true. Vaughan recognizes that "the way things are, no one would blame you if you hated each other." But, he expects that Lauren will end up respecting Syd, maybe even liking her. Well said. "Just remember that I love you," Vaughan tells her. Clearly the feeling is mutual.

4--JACK and SYD: Dialogue between these two is a delight, with Jack as sharp-tongued as ever. "How was the briefing with Lauren?" Jack asks Syd, as she leaves the meeting. "Wonderful," she says sarcastically. "I'm not asking because I'm a fan of interoffice gossip. Tell me how it went," Jack says again. Apparently the CIA now has a copy of the surveillance tape of Lasarey's murder (which Syd committed) and an attempt will be made to identify the killer (Syd, currently unknown to the CIA) through Marshall's digital wizardry. Jack runs interference for Syd, installing a computer bug into the CIA system which eventually forstalls identification.

5--SURVEILLANCE: Weiss and Syd, outfitted in a poncho, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses, are in Mexico to photograph Sark and Russian contact Oransky. Apart from the fact it might have been a better to send someone Sark did not know for surveillance of him, the interlude rocks. Syd is "made", and Oransky flushes her out by taking a hostage in the street. A young girl. "Hey, gringo in the poncho!" he shouts until Syd emerges from hiding, gun extended. The whole scene plays out in CIA Headquarters, audio and video. Vaughan sees the earpiece for communication in Oransky's ear and hustles Marshall to zero in on the frequency, jack up the volume and assault Oransky's eardrums. The distraction is all Syd needs to take out two of Oransky's armed flunkies. The girl is saved, but Oransky skips. A surveillance gone wrong, but a sequence done right. No wasted words or action (in the street) or reactions (at Headquarters). Well-crafted.

6--SYD and VAUGHAN: In Moscow to retrieve the Medusa device in a Russian bunker, Syd and Vaughan play tandem. Dressed in formal wear for an Embassy reception, Syd collects glasses of champagne from a waiter, then glances at Vaughan. A long look and a smile passes between them. Then the caper kicks into gear. The two of them, with only a moment's hesitation, strip, side by side in a elevator, to change into combat gear. In the subbasement Vaughan and Syd discover lots of dead guards. Sark and Oransky are there before them. From the elevator, Syd and Vaughan emerge firing machine guns. Sark traps them and splits, but Oransky, who is still pissed that Syd shot him in the leg in Mexico, stays. Unfortunately for him, Syd wires the Medusa device to explode. "Sydney Bristow!" he screams at the top of his lungs. Syd and Vaughan make their escape out an air vent, bare seconds before a ball of fire from the explosion shoots through. Kaboom! End of Oransky and Medusa, but not yet the episode.

Kudos again for this superb episode. I thoroughly enjoyed the "Reunion",. and look forward to more, next week. Way to go, Alias.


This commentary is by Beboman.

Well guys, it has been a long time since my last commentary for any program. Please bear with me while I get back in the groove of things.

It wasn't until almost mid-second season of Alias that I found the show. I liked it and found it to be very interesting. I loved the fast pace and the chemistry between the actors. I enjoyed the love-hate relationship between Sydney and her mother and the cold, but dedicated relationship between Sydney and her father. I enjoyed evil Sloane. I also very much enjoyed the sexual tension between Vaughn and Sydney. Even after they consummated their sexual relationship, there was still this edge to their love and romance. So, when the season ended the way it did, I wondered how they were going to make it work.

They have made it work, in a way. It just feels, at this time, like they are trying to put a square peg in a round hole. I guess that is what is going to make this season work: How to get Sydney back to her old self and still protect her from the CIA and other agencies finding out she is the killer they are looking for.

I guess during this season Sydney is going to be looking over her shoulder all the time until her father is able to help her find out what really happened during those two years she was gone. We shall see how the writers are able to pull this off, but this is TV Land and anything is possible.

Now, moving on to this week's episode, which I liked. In this week's episode, Sydney gets to work with Vaughn again, both in the field and as her handler back at CIA Headquarters. All this takes place with Vaughn's new wife at the controls.

If I were Sydney, I would watch my back. Lauren is Vaughn's wife and there is nothing stopping her from terminating Sydney.

I found that first briefing very interesting with both of them in the briefing room; it was a battle of wits, power, and egos. Both women wanted to be right, not just right, but also to show Vaughn that they deserved his attention. By the end of the episode, it was obvious that Sydney had gotten the upper hand when it came to work, but ended up the loser when it came to the emotional side.

This episode was full of tension, anger, and some danger, but then what Alias episode isn't. We see that the only thing important for Jack at this time is to save Sydney from whatever happened to her during those two lost years. He shows that he will go to any length to do so, even corrupting the CIA main terminal to save his daughter, especially after she, on her first day back, got him out of solitary confinement in a very conniving way.

Another thing I have found interesting, and it was more obvious in this episode than the previous one, is how close Weiss is getting to Sydney. I always suspected from last season that Weiss may have had some personal interest in Sydney, but lately it seems that he is always at her house and with her. Is Weiss going to be Sydney's love interest this season? I hope not. I just hope they keep them as friends, because Sydney really needs a friend, considering she just lost her two best friends.

Another question I have is what's up with that smirk Sloane had on his face right after Sydney, Vaughn and Lauren left his office. Definitely Sloane knows something or has something up his sleeve that involves Sydney. I for one can't wait to find out what it is.

The episode in general was good. I would not say excellent. There have been better episodes in the past. I found it a bit slow, but I was glad they did not drag out this whole thing about Vaughn getting married and not fighting for Sydney's eternal love. The script was good; I liked the idea of sending Vaughn and Sydney back into the field together. They always made a really good team.

The action part of the show was what I found weak. I have seen better fight scenes in past episodes, but maybe they are just gradually warming up for bigger and better things to come. I certainly hope so.

The ending of this episode was emotional; almost a tearjerker. When Vaughn returns with Sydney, he is greeted by his wife in a very emotional welcome back, the same way Vaughn used to welcome Sydney back. However, there is no one there to greet Sydney that way. Her father gave her a pat on the shoulder, said welcome back and that was that, all this in his usual, almost emotionless manner.

The only great thing for Sydney was finding a copy of Alice in Wonderland on her desk. It was something she had told Weiss was the only thing she missed from her burned house. This was a great touch and, at least in a very subtle way, Sydney also got some form of welcome back other than just a pat on the shoulder.

Well guys, with this I sign off for this week. See you next week for more fun in the sun.


Television without Pity synopsis

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