Whoosh! ...



Season 3, episode 02
Series 302
1st release: 10/05/03
2nd release:
Last update: 10/06/03

Previous Episode |Alias Guide |Episode Guide |Next Episode

Season 1 |Season 2 |Season 3

SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye
COMMENTARY by Adriane Saunders

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

Kurt Fuller (Lindsey)
Brad Greenquist (Otto Edel)
Al Sapienza (Tom)
Ilia Volok (San'ko)
Andrew Borba (Jim)
Stephanie Venditto (Cathy)
James K. Ward (Rotter)
Fabio Serafini (Klein)
Bill Bolender (Oleg)
Adrian Sparks (Dr. Siegal)
Igor Korosec (Janitor)
B.K. Kennelly (Bartender)
Heidi Dippold (Executive assistant)

Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman-Counter
Directed by Daniel Attias

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


Sydney's search for her past leads to a jailed Sark, but their Q&A is cut short when he becomes the ransom for a pair of abducted CIA scientists, whose kidnappers may be tied to the murder of his father. Meanwhile, Jack contacts an old friend of sorts for info on Sloane's new world-peace project; and Vaughn makes a decision about his future as an operative. TVTome.com

Succession" - Sydney, on the hunt for the truth behind her missing two years, confronts Sark, who is behind bars in CIA custody. But when a new terrorist organization, The Covenant, demands Sark in exchange for two scientists they've kidnapped, Sydney has to arrange a prisoner exchange against her will... only to discover a connection to her lost time. Meanwhile, Vaughn wrestles with the decision to return to the CIA even though it will mean working with Sydney, Jack confronts Sloane about Sloane's possible role in his daughter's disappearance -- uncovering a surprising secret in the process -- and Sydney meets Vaughn's wife, on "Alias," SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. SD-6.com


This synopsis is by Sally Dye.


Scenes from previous episodes, culminating with Sydney watching herself on videotape killing a Russian diplomat named Andrian Lazarey.

In Berlin, two men enter an elevator. A bomb is set off and the elevator first plunges down and then is drawn up and out of the building. The elevator with the two men inside is then towed off by a helicopter.

In LA, Jack determines that Sydney is not presently under the influence of brainwashing. Sydney suggests turning over the tape to the CIA, but Jack vetoes this. He says he will try to contact Irina, and they will continue to investigate.

Weiss helps Sydney move into her new apartment. She says she feels so disjointed. Francie has been dead for over two years, but it feels as if she just saw her last week. Will is now in the witness protection program so she can't talk to him, either. She asks Weiss about Vaughn's wife. Instead of answering her, Weiss tells her that when she died Vaughn "dropped off the face of the earth." Weiss gets a phone call, and he and Sydney head for hq.

Jack tells them of two CIA operatives -- Rotter and Klein -- who have been kidnapped by the Covenant. The CIA is to pick up a package in a Munich theater and follow the demands they find there. Sydney volunteers to go.

In Munich, Sydney enters the theater and locates a box under a seat. She opens the box and finds blood. A man's head is in the box. It's Agent Klein. In his mouth is a note written in Russian.

Act I

The Covenant wants Mr. Sark in exchange for Rotter, the remaining CIA agent. Dixon authorizes the trade.

Vaughn is teaching his French class when Sydney arrives at his classroom. She says she knows he is considering returning to the CIA. She says not to worry about her reaction if he does. Vaughn says for months after her "death" he talked to her every day. When she started answering him, he knew he had to get over her. He says she needs to know two things. One, he was so in love with her, that it nearly killed him when she died. And two, he doesn't regret moving on with his life when he accepted her death.

Jack travels to Zurich and visits Sloane. They trade barbed comments. Jack wants to know why Sloane abducted Sydney for two years, and if Sloane tells him, he will stop trying to discredit him. Sloane says he investigated Sydney's death, too. He tells Jack of the Rambaldi artifact and the message of peace and how it turned his life around. Jack says he can't believe Sloane spent thirty years only to retrieve a message he could have gotten from a fortune cookie. Sloane gives Jack the notes from his investigations into Sydney's disappearance.

Act II

Sydney goes to see Sark. He is surprised to see her alive and amused when he learns she remembers nothing of the past two years. She says she knows he and Alison Doren killed her friend Francie and that Sloane had her abducted for two years. She wants to know how and why. Sark says he was not privy to Sloane's actions or motives.

In Mexico, Sydney and a team of agents bring Sark to the exchange point in the Sonora desert. The Covenant arrives and gets the CIA agent out of the car. The two men start walking toward each other. As they meet, other vehicles approach, and a helicopter flies over the ridge. It's the NSC. Dixon calls Lindsey, who says he wasn't going to let Sark get away. In the confusion of gunfire, both Sark and Rotter are taken away in one of the Covenant's cars.


Sydney confronts Lindsey in the men's room, and makes it clear she thinks his interference caused Agent Rotter to be kidnapped again. He threatens to throw her in prison, and Sydney says to please demonstrate that abuse of power. He says they are in the men's room, and Sydney replies, "Who let you in?"

Sark meets with a Covenant agent named San'ko, who says he owes $800 million for killing his brother. Sark says he doesn't have that much, and San'ko says yes, he does.

Sydney sees Dixon and Vaughn shaking hands. Vaughn is to return as an analyst. Dixon wants to know if there is any concern to be mentioned. Sydney says, "Welcome back."

Jack reports on Sark entering a bank in the Cayman Islands and accessing a vault that held $800 million in gold bullion. It was his inheritance from his murdered father -- Andrian Lazarey.

Weiss reports that they have traced Rotter to Frankfurt. Sydney is to go to a nightclub there and find a man named Otto Edel, a drug dealer who may know where Rotter is being held.

Jack contacts Irina over the Internet. He tells her Sydney is alive. She is incredulous. He asks for info on Andrian Lazarey, and she says she will send all the intel she has. She types "Miss you" and Jack types back, "Miss you, too."

In Frankfurt, Sydney arrives at the nightclub disguised as a biochemist. She finds Edel and tells him she has a way to make his drugs more addictive.

Act IV

Edel is impressed with Sydney's formula. He gives her a vial of his drug. Sydney draws some into a syringe, drawing an air bubble along with it. Then she plunges the syringe into Edel's neck and demands the location of the alarm terminal and the location of Agent Rotter.

Sydney gets to the terminal and is about to enter the code. Vaughn, who is monitoring the operation along with Marshall, notices that there is a network of pipes in the room and deduces that it is a trap. He stops Sydney and tells her she has the worng code. He translates the code and gives it to her. It works. Sydney gets into a room where Rotter is about to be tortured by a doctor. Sydney shoots the doctor and is freeing Rotter when the doctor says, "You were my favorite. I could never break you." Sydney runs to him and demands that he tell her why the Covenant abducted her, but he dies before he can answer.

Back in LA, Sydney meets with other operatives who have "lost time" and are now part of a support group. Afterwards, she goes to Dixon to tell him it just won't work. He introduces her to Lauren Reed, the new NSC liaison, who will be looking into the murder of Andrian Lazarey. Lauren says she is not only the new liaison, she is also Michael Vaughn's wife. Sydney: (faintly) "Hi."


This commentary is by Adriane Saunders.

Laughter is how this week's episode ended for me. Laughter: spontaneous and full of enjoyment. I am still smiling. The ending is simply a word, but that word is unexpected and hilariously inadequate. That word, uttered by Syd, is "Hi".

Here is the lead in to that hello.


Two CIA agents in a booby trapped elevator plunge to what appears to be certain death, only to be shot out the roof of the building as if from a canon. A hovering helicopter snatches the elevator intact and flies away. Elevator and agents inside dangle below. Wild. A bold kidnapping and pizzazzy opening. More Covenant shenaningans.

The Covenant underlies almost all nefarious activities for this week's episode, including delivering to Syd, in a movie theatre, the dismembered head of one of the two snatched elevator agents. Syd has a little trouble catching her breath after seeing the bloody head, but she avoids throwing up. Beware of Covenant plain paper packages. The Covenant, now that SD-6 and The Alliance are both defunct, is apparently the new big gun bad guy and gal consolidation on the chopping block. Bad puns are sometimes hard to resist.


Syd's friend Will is in a CIA "witness protection" program. Syd does not expect to see him again, but we--the viewers--do. His name is on the credits. Francie, though, is presumably dead, having been slashed and shot by Syd two years previously, and burned up in the torching of Syd's then apartment. With luck Francie, the least well-developed character in the Alias pantheon, will not return from the dead. Her name is not so far on the credits.

Neither is Lena Olin's. Syd's mother and master spy Irina does briefly make an appearance as a computerized voice. Syd's father Jack contacts her long distance via his laptop computer. At least she is alive and well. More is to come from Irina, one of the more memorable characters of the Alias pantheon. Olin was even nominated for an Emmy for this role. Well deserved.

Jack is ever more engaging in Season Three. His relationship to Syd is more friendly and fatherly than adversarial. A welcome upgrade. Jack trusts and believes in Syd more now than she trusts or believes in herself, having no memory whatever of the last two years of her life. Though, she does get clues in this episode.

Orci and Kurtzman-Counter are the writers of this week's script, and Daniel Attias, the director. All have provided substance and delight for Alias plotlines and character development before. This week is no exception.


1--TWO THINGS SYD SHOULD KNOW: This comes from Vaughan. Syd has gone to see Vaughan at the school where he now teaches French (which, by the way, is actor Vartan's native tongue). She tells him not to worry about her feelings if he decides to return to the CIA. His response is unexpected: "Two things you should know. I was so in love with you, it nearly killed me. Two, I don't regret having moved on with my life." Syd says little. A taut and believable scene. Well played.

2--PREDICTIONS FROM A FORTUNE COOKIE: Pithy and pugnacious reparte highlight an exchange between Jack and Sloane, in Sloane's office. Jack concurs with my response last week to Sloane's so-called epiphany at the word 'peace' popping out of the Rimbaldi construct. Jack tells Sloane, "You ended up with a prediction you could have acquired from a fortune cookie." Right on. But Sloane gives almost as good as he gets. After Jack is incredulous that Sloane expects him to trust he has changed, Sloane says, "I would have expected you to trust in the consistency of my obsessions." Nice. Perceptive. But Jack has the parting shot. "I am going to bury you," he says. Sloane, surprisingly, looks almost hurt, vulnerable and more human than we have seen him before. Well acted. Sloane appears to genuinely care what Jack says or thinks of him. Interesting. Hurtful or not, Jack's use of language is a delight, so often piercingly insightful.

3--SYD IN THE MEN'S ROOM: After a spectacular and entirely unexpected Mexico desert prisoner exchange double cross, Syd verbally accosts National Security Council director Lindsey in the Men's Room. Lindsey, having skewered CIA plans to exchange Sark for the agent earlier kidnapped in an elevator, incurs Syd's wrath. "What you did is an object lesson in the abuse of power," Syd tells Lindsey. When she stops for a breath, Lindsey says, "If you're finished, this is the Men's Room." Syd's says, derisively, "Who let you in?" Humorous. I do love Syd when she sizzles and minces no words.

4--WITH A BANG AND THEN A WIMPER: Syd rescues the elevator agent from Covenant lockup and shoots the doctor about to, presumably, do the prisoner in. The doctor recognizes Syd, and says, just before he dies: "You kept your promise that you would kill me." A clue to her lost two years vanishes with his death. This is followed by a return to CIA Headquarters and Syd barging into Dixon's office for a complaint, only to be interrupting a briefing with a newly arrived National Security Council liaison, Agent Reed. I like this character already. Another bright and together woman. Dixon introduces her to Syd. Then the surprise from Reed. "I think you should know, I'm Vaughan's wife." Syd's response is hilarious yet oh so appropriate, a stunned and quiet, "Hi." What else could she say? Still, my laughter rocks the room. Garner's delivery of that one word is flawless. Beautiful and hilarious.

End of episode.

This episode definitely ends on a high note, a bang, even for a whimper, Syd's softly spoken "Hi". This episode is full of the unexpected, lots of twists. No fights but lots of fast forward into character and relationships. Garner gets a break from black and blue and taking it on the shins, and we viewers are served up generous portions of great dialogue. Tune in next week for more.

Previous Episode |Alias Guide |Episode Guide |Next Episode

Season 1 |Season 2 |Season 3

Guide Table of ContentsBack to Whoosh!