Production code
March 17 2002
Written by
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by

Q&A is the 17th episode of Season 1 of Alias. Sydney is heavily questioned by the FBI concerning her past and her current activities at SD-6. Fearing that the FBI might detain her longer, Jack and Vaughn must find a way to make her escape before she blows her cover as a CIA agent.

Plot Overview[]

Sydney wears a short-haired wig, and is behind the wheel of a big American car, fleeing from a squad of police cars. Where is she trying to go? And where did she escape from? The high-speed pursuit ends on a pier, with Syd surrounded by cops. With nowhere else to turn, she slams her foot to the accelerator and plunges her car into the water.

We find Sydney chained to a chair. It is a day earlier, and we are in the moments immediately following the FBI taking her into custody. FBI Special Officer Kendall now questions her, before a team of interrogators. The CIA are out of the picture, and the questioners are delving into Sydney's background, and her connection to the Rambaldi prophecy. They ask her to start from the beginning - the very beginning.

She explains how she was recruited by SD-6, trained at Credit Dauphine and in a painful moment, she must also relive SD-6's murder of her fiancé, Daniel Hecht.

Sydney explains how she learned the truth about SD-6 from her father. She then joined forces with the CIA and became a double-agent. She confirms much of what they already know - that her father is in the same situation, and that Arvin Sloane recruited her, and brought her into a life of espionage. But which does the FBI want to believe more - Sydney's truth or The Prophecy?

Meanwhile, Jack tells Vaughn that her cover with SD-6 will be destroyed if she remains in FBI custody much longer. According to Rambaldi, the woman in The Prophecy will never have seen Mt. Subasio in Italy. Vaughn has a wild scheme to break her out of custody and prove her innocence. Vaughn and Jack agree that she must get to the mountain somehow. If successful, their action would defy The Prophecy.

Through a chance conversation, Vaughn learns that Haladki used to be with the FBI. He asks Haladki about Sydney's location but gets no help.As the questioning intensifies, Sydney talks about her mother - a deceitful woman who worked for years as a KGB spy and while being pursued by an FBI agent, she went off the road, and disappeared with her car into a river.

Sydney goes on to explain how her life as a double-agent works: SD-6 gives her a mission, then she meets with Vaughn who gives her a CIA counter mission. She refers to the explosion at Badenweiler, to illustrate how contradictory this situation can be.

Jack uses brute force and a deadly threat to force Haladki to divulge Sydney's location. The daring plan is put into action. Jack, Vaughn, and Weiss rescue her and explain the proposed solution to the Rambaldi prophecy. Sydney is angry at first, as her escape now makes her a fugitive but she agrees to travel to Mt. Subasio.

When Haladki learns of the rescue, When immediately knows who was behind it. He discovers that four unmarked cars were taken out, and reports these license plate numbers to the FBI.

Wearing a short wig as a disguise, we find Sydney's drive to the airport interrupted, when the police quickly give chase. And in an ironic moment across town, Will and Francie watch the pursuit on television, unaware that their best friend is the subject.

After plunging the car into the water, Sydney has a burst of insight and breathes the oxygen from the tires. She stays submerged for over ten minutes - long enough get away.

Before boarding the plane, she meets with her father and reveals how she escaped. And, if Sydney managed to fool the police this way, couldn't her mother have done the same?



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]




  • Number 47: Haladki says that they have decoded 47 Rambaldi predictions.
  • SD in SD-6 stands for Section Disparue (the section that disappeared).
  • The payphone scene is supposed to take place during 1992, but a flyer for the 2000 movie Requiem for a Dream can be seen.
  • This episode was nominated for three Emmy Awards in 2002 for "Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series", "Outstanding Makeup for a Series (Non-Prosthetic)" and "Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series".
  • The episode's title is Q & A, short for "Questions and Answers" as a lot of questions were answered during this episode.
  • This episode didn't include Sydney's opening narration.
  • First appearance of Terry O'Quinn as Kendall.
  • This episode has an audio commentary.
  • This episode is the first to hear a character call Vaughn Michael.
  • Sydney states during her interrogation that she met Arvin Sloane for the first time when she was initially brought to the SD-6 headquarters, but we later learn that Sydney lived briefly with Arvin and his wife Emily when her father was detained after her mother disappeared.

Aliases Used[]



  • Smash Mouth - Diggin' Your Scene

Allusions and References[]

  • Sydney says that she had thought that her mission in SD6 would be "over by Christmas." This is likely a reference to the hopes that World War 1 would be over by Christmas 1914. It was not over until 1918.
  • Visual: Sydney breathing air from the tire.
This is a nod to the James Bond film A View to a Kill.