The Abduction


Production code
December 15 2002
Written by
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Nelson McCormick

The Abduction is the 10th episode of Season 2 of Alias, and the 32nd episode overall. Jack meets Alliance counterintelligence head Ariana Kane, who is sent in to investigate Emily's disappearance and to discover who is trying to blackmail Sloane. Meanwhile, Marshall is sent on his first mission with Sydney as his partner. Vaughn schedules Will to take a CIA psych test. Francie gets suspicious over Sydney and Will's secretive behavior.

Plot Overview[]

Sydney tells Will that Devlin would approve of him doing research if he undergoes a psychological evaluation test. Francie walks in on their conversation and wonders aloud about the secrecy between Will and Syd. Later on, Irina tries to explain to Syd why she worked with the KGB, and calls herself a fool for abandoning her daughter. They hug but guards separate them.

Sloane threatens Sark with torture, questioning his allegiance after the failed mission in Kashmir. Sark declares his loyalty to Sloane and suggests that a leak could have come from within SD-6. Shortly thereafter, Sloane organizes a mission pairing Sydney and Sark. He describes the NSA's Echelon Satellite System, which filters transmissions and indicates threats to national security. Sark informs the group that Cuvee is in possession of an Echelon terminal and is moving it from its Paris location via armed transport. They must steal the terminal and bring it back to SD-6.

At the CIA, Vaughn gives Syd the countermission: she is provided with a deletion program that she will upload to the terminal, so when SD-6 turns it on, the hard drive will be wiped clean. Vaughn says that Alice's father died; Syd offers condolences. Meanwhile, Jack tells Irina that he believes she and Sark are still in league. He offers her a deal that would relocate her to private prison in Puget Sound in return for a full explanation of why she turned herself in.

In Paris, Sydney and Sark disable their target, a guarded truck, but learn that it was a decoy. Sydney gives chase to a man who emerges from another vehicle and finally grabs the terminal. Meanwhile, Sloane introduces Jack to Ariana Kane, the head of Alliance counter-intelligence, who is investigating Emily's mysterious reappearance. Later, she interrogates Jack, who explains that Sloane recruited Syd without his knowledge in order to ensure his loyalty.

After Will's taken the psych test, he and Syd talk in a bar about having to keep Francie in the dark. As Sydney justifies her secrecy by calling it a "gesture of love," Vaughn and Alice enter. They all exchange hellos, and Syd/Will turn to leave. As she departs, Sydney looks back at Vaughn with a longing glance. Vaughn does the same.

Back at SD-6, Sloane tells the team that a failsafe erased the Echelon terminal's hard drive. Cuvee, he says, may be able to reverse engineer a new terminal based on duplicate software that he's stored on a secure server in London, so he wants Syd to delete it. Marshall says the server can detect any electronic intrusion, so it must be cracked manually by a polymorphic algorithm — something only he can do. A nervous Marshall accepts his mission.

Vaughn tells Sydney that Marshall must be taken into protective custody after the mission because he has a photographic memory and will recall the system files even if they're deleted. He is, essentially, a human reboot. Sydney cautions that SD-6 is Marshall's life, and that the truth would be difficult for him to handle. In London, Sydney and Marshall arrive at Royal Albert Hall dressed impeccably for the London Philharmonic. They sit behind Thatcher Powell, Cuvee's head of IT security, who is the only man with access to the secure server. They sedate him, steal the access key and go to the server facility. While Sydney is trashing a couple of guards, Marshall is shot with a tranquilizer, which makes him too woozy to hack into the server. Sydney revives him with a kiss, and he quickly succeeds. They retrieve the software and return the key before Powell awakens. But they are observed by a mysterious man in a wheelchair.

After Syd and Marshall split for their return flight, Marshall is taken into custody — but not by the CIA! At SD-6, Ariana insists to Sloane that Jack is the prime suspect because he is unafraid of Sloane and is therefore hiding something.

When Jack visits Irina to discuss the deal again, Irina states that she has nothing to confess and that she turned herself in to make up for past mistakes. She also says that she will now allow Jack to debrief her, in addition to Sydney.

A terrified Marshall is in the custody of … "Suit and Glasses."



Guest Starring[]

Special Appearance By[]





  • The song being played in the concert while Sydney slips the sleeping drug into the British gentleman's drink is the Stokowski transcription of JS Bach's "Sleepers Awake" cantata.
  • Before coming to Credit Dauphine, Jack worked undercover for SD-6 at Jennings Aerospace. This company is used by Sydney in her alias on this episode.
  • At 17 minutes into the show, this episode has the latest entrance of the opening credits of the entire series run.

The Show[]

Behind the Scenes[]


  • "The Wreckoning" by Boomkat
  • "Beauty of The Rain" by Dar Williams
  • "Don't Try This At Home" by Chumbawamba
  • "Sleepers, Awake" by J.S. Bach

Filming Locations[]

  • Orpheum Theater - 842 S. Broadway, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA

Allusions and References[]


  • Sark: You know, it's a pity we're traveling separately. We could've used the opportunity to get to know each other better.
  • Sydney: (sarcastically) Yeah, I'm broken up about that too.

  • Jack: There is one way for you to verify if my nocturnal activities are a security risk, Ms. Kane, but somehow I think we'd both prefer the torture.