The Coup


Production code
February 24 2002
Written by
Roberto Orci
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Thomas J. Wright

The Coup is the 14th episode of Season 1 of Alias. Sydney and Dixon are sent to Las Vegas to gather information from a K-Directorate agent who has ties to the group that attacked and nearly destroyed SD-6. Meanwhile, Sydney learns some shocking news about Francie's fiancé, Charlie, while Will begins his journey in discovering what SD-6 really is, and Jack continues to try to be more of a father to Sydney when he helps her decide whether or not to continue with graduate school.

Plot Overview[]

After the assault on SD-6 by an unnamed organization, Sydney discovers that rivals FTL were attacked and wiped out, and their leader executed - on exactly the same date.

The impact of another, priceless Rambaldi artifact being stolen has profound influence upon Sloane, who also explains that this unknown group has contacted K-Directorate, proposing to share information. SD-6's objective is to determine the time and location of the meeting between K-Directorate and the mystery group, and Sydney and Dixon will be sent to Las Vegas to plant a listening device on a K-Directorate agent.

When Sydney tells her roommate, Francie, about her upcoming "business trip," she and her fiancé, Charlie, are inspired to go to Vegas themselves - though Sydney tries to dissuade them from this particular voyage.

Meanwhile, David McNeil explains to Will that he installed a back-door program in the software that he developed. Following McNeil's instructions, Will sneaks into the headquarters of the company where McNeil once worked. He is able to recover and download a "digital guestbook" of everyone who has been using McNeil's software - the next clue in Will's quest for the truth about SD-6.

On campus, a student tells Sydney that she had been dating Charlie, but they had broken up. Unbeknownst to the student, she was dating Charlie at the same time as Francie was. Sydney is stunned, as Charlie has been engaged to Francie for some time. But before she can tell Francie the news, Sydney must leave for Las Vegas.

Upon arrival, Sydney enters the casino, disguised as a cocktail waitress. To her dismay, Francie and Charlie have chosen the same casino. She narrowly avoids them, barely maintaining her cover.

Meanwhile, Dixon masquerades as a Jamaican diplomat and enters a poker game with the K-Directorate agent and Sydney, who has hacked into the surveillance system, can see the cards of all the players.

Dixon taunts the K-Directorate agent into wagering his ring - which he intends to switch for an identical one containing a listening device. But while Sydney is feeding Dixon information, she sees Charlie and Francie in the casino wedding chapel on a different CCTV monitor.

In a daring gamble, Sydney leaves Dixon unattended, and races to the chapel. In private, she warns Charlie that if he doesn't confess, she will tell Francie about the affair. After stopping the quickie-wedding, Sydney returns to her post as Dixon switches the rings.

Moments later, the casino alerts their guards that Dixon is an imposter.

Exercising quick thinking and reflexes, Sydney takes down the casino guards and helps Dixon escape.

With the aid of the bug, Sloane has learned the location of the meeting between K-Directorate and the unknown group. He issues Sydney and Dixon to go to Russia to eavesdrop and Sydney makes plans to exchange info with Vaughn, at a private meeting at Griffith Park. Vaughn also shares how much he'd like to be able to say yes, to becoming part of her personal life some day.

In Moscow, the clandestine meeting takes place at night, in a desolate office building with blown-out windows and a gentleman known only as Mr. Sark negotiates to buy the Rambaldi artifact from K-Directorate. But when his offer is declined, the leader of K-Directorate is killed by his own bodyguard, and a remaining lieutenant is left to finish the negotiation.

He agrees to Sark's deal, while Sydney observes, suspended from a military-style harness, dangling outside the window. But when her foot accidentally knocks debris to the ground, this alerts the guard below and Sydney hangs precariously from the side of the building as a machine gun fires away at her.



Guest Starring[]





Aliases Used[]



Filming Locations[]

  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • Aladdin Casino & Resort - 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • Merry-Go-Round, Griffith Park - 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Griffith Park Observatory, Griffith Park - 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA

Allusions and References[]


  • Sydney: "Is that a hickey?"
  • Sydney: "All those people standing there. Patriots. Believing they work for the U.S. Government. None of them realizing the information they gather is only being used by heartless men like Arvin Sloane for an organization that would trade their lives for a profit in a heartbeat."