The Solution


Production code
21 April 2002
Written by
John Eisendrath
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Daniel Attias

The Solution is the 20th episode of Season 1 of Alias. In order to catch Khasinau and get closer to finding her mother, Sydney and Vaughn set up an undercover transaction for a Rambaldi artifact with Khasinau's representative, Mr. Sark. But Sydney's cover may be compromised when a SD-6 agent is sent in to thwart the sale. Meanwhile, Will is enticed to continue his investigation of SD-6 when he learns the identity of one of his kidnappers. Emily tells Sydney that she knows about SD-6, which forces Sloane to make the most difficult decision of his life.

Plot Overview[]

Sydney has become despondent, after killing Noah Hicks - aka "The Snowman" - a man she once loved. Vaughn bolsters her spirits by showing her a map of all the groups affiliated with SD-6. Red circles indicate the groups that she has helped destroy. This gives her the energy to continue her life despite the problems caused by constant deception.

At the apartment, Will and Francie discover a rat in the kitchen. While trying to deal with the pest, Will receives a phone call from his source - "Deep Throat" - and the mysterious caller urges him to resume the investigation of SD-6. The voice also provides him with another crucial clue - Jack Bristow was the man who kidnapped Will.

When Sydney returns home, Francie talks about setting a trap for the rat. This sparks an idea - perhaps the way to catch Khasinau is to set a trap for him as well. Sydney explains her idea to Vaughn.

Since Khasinau wants the ampule containing the solution that Cole tried to steal, they should offer to sell him the liquid. This way they can capture him, and hopefully find Irina Derevko, a.k.a. Sydney's mom. The Kherefu Art Museum in Algiers is a formerly suspected trove of Rambaldi artifacts and Sydney suggests that they stage a break in. They will dupe Khasinau into believing that a second vial of the solution has been found and this vial is to become the subject of their transaction.

Before Sydney departs, Emily Sloane admits that she knows about SD-6. Although her husband never said a word, she tells Sydney that she picked up on it from little clues over the years. Unfortunately, Emily reveals this to Sydney in an SD-6 operated hospital.

Pretending to be French insurance agents, Vaughn and Sydney visit the museum. In order to test the security system, the power is turned off for a few minutes and, during this brief interruption, Sydney is able to steal the alleged Rambaldi artifacts.

Upon their return, Vaughn then spreads the word that Raslak Jihad, a radical terrorist group, was behind the robbery - and that they now have the priceless liquid which will reveal Rambaldi’s invisible writing. He makes it known that the group will sell it for the right price, and Khasinau takes the bait. A meeting has been arranged in the Indonesian town of Denpasar, where Khasinau’s aide, Mr. Sark, will trade diamonds for the liquid.

Sydney is disappointed that Khasinau won’t be present at the trade but Vaughn has his own plan. They will bring the real solution, in case Sark wants to test it, but Sydney will then switch this for a placebo. The fake vial contains an element that can be tracked by the CIA.

Meanwhile in LA, Will submits a sealed envelope - containing his piece of SD-6 reportage - to Abby, another reporter at the paper. He explains that if he should disappear, the story should be published immediately.

At last, Will confronts Jack - and explains that an unknown source gave him the information. Jack denies any involvement, but immediately he pays a visit to CIA Director Devlin. He suspects Haladki may be a mole, leaking the information to Will.

Determined to find the mole, Jack agrees to help Will. He confesses that he gave the pin to Eloise Kurtz - the pin that doubles as a surveillance device - although he did not kill her. He tells Will to use the device to inform the unknown source that his SD-6 investigation is back on.

Meanwhile, Tambor Barcelo, head of security for the Alliance, visits Sloane at SD-6. Emily’s hospital room has been bugged, and the Alliance is fully aware of her conversation with Sydney. This woman must now be "eliminated" just as Daniel Hecht was. Sloane is outraged and refuses, but Barcelo knows all about Jean Briault’s murder. Sloane’s position in the Alliance is shaky and he is in no position to object.

Sloane instructs Marshall to tap Edward Poole’s cell phone and, in doing so, they discover Khasinau’s phone number. By monitoring this line, Sloane learns about the meeting in Denpasar; he orders Dixon to make an appearance and to recover the solution.

In Denpasar, Sydney shows up for the trade - wearing dark skin foundation and a veil as a disguise. Sark asks her to prove her Raslak Jihad identity - the members of whom practice an ancient form of martial arts. Sark leaves her no choice but to fight him using a latajang - a pole with curved blades on both ends. Although she has never used one before, she quickly adapts and demonstrates skill with the weapon.

After Sark is satisfied, the exchange is made. Before she can switch the real solution for the placebo, Dixon and a team of SD-6 agents interrupt their meeting. With a gun trained directly upon Sydney, Dixon finds something disturbingly familiar about this woman.



Guest Starring[]




  • During the fight between Sark and Syd near the end of the episode, there is a situation where Sark is pushing down his weapon onto Sydney's who is trying to withstand his pressure. During those shots the position of Sarks upper hand on the weapon changes from holding the stick to flathandedly pushing the stick, back and forth several times.
  • When Vaughn and Sydney set up the exchange with Khasinau's representative, Vaughn is accompanied by an operative who had a custom made Remington 700 sniper rifle.
  • Sydney fights Sark using a Latajang, a specific Indonesian weapon.

Aliases Used[]



  • "Coming Down" by Trickside
  • "I'm Gone" by Alison Krauss & Union Station

Allusions and References[]


  • Michael Vaughn: Now, when you and Sark meet, you will actually be able to test each other's merchandise, which is why we need to give him the real Rambaldi solution. After he confirms that the liquid is authentic, you'll make the deal, then switch the vial with an identical one containing colored water and a radioactive isotope we can track via satellite.

  • Will Tippin: This is an article I've written. Abby, you've got to do this for me. Make sure you keep it sealed, and don't mention this to anyone. And you got to promise me you're not going to open it, unless something happens to me. And if something happens to me, you got to publish it.

  • Emily Sloane: When you look back ... family, your friends. That's what matters. Work, your job. It wouldn't seem that important. (Sydney nods a little.) Even your job. Even working for SD-6.