The Indicator


Production code
November 3 2002
Written by
Jeff Pinkner
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by

The Indicator is the 5th episode of Season 2 of Alias and the 27th episode overall. Sydney discovers a terrifying secret when she's sent on a case to track down a new generation of weapons. Meanwhile, Vaughn suspects Jack of setting up Irina to take a fall. Sloane tells Jack the truth about Emily's death.

Plot Overview[]

Sydney testifies before a CIA panel, claiming that Jack saved her from a trap engineered by Irina. Finding Irina's earrings in her now-empty cell, Sydney thanks Jack for saving her life.

In Vienna, SD-6's Austrian connection Neils Haber is murdered by Triad — a coaltion of drug and flesh peddlers nove moving into weapon sales — for selling intel. He had said Triad was developing 16 "next generation" weapons hidden in a bomb shelter under the Magistrate's Bureau in Budapest. Sydney's SD-6 mission is to photograph the weapons and retrieve specs.

Vaughn, who has now lost countermission approval to Jack, angers Sydney when he suggests that Jack had set up Irina during the Madagascar mission. At Francie's restaurant opening, Jack gives Syd her countermission — to hack into the computer, steal the files for the CIA, and download dummy files for SD-6. He also tells her that Irina is facing the death penalty for breaking her agreement with the CIA.

Vaughn speaks to Manolo Souza, a US national being held for transporting explosives in Madagascar. Souza tells Vaughn that he was working for Jack, confirming Vaughn's suspicions.

In Budapest, Syndey, wearing a blond wig and glasses, infiltrates the Magistrate's Bureau by claiming to be working on her family tree. She hacks the computer and downloads the files, but when Dixon leads her to the research room, she finds a man instructing young students how to assemble a gun. The weapons are children!

Another agent explains that they're being trained as sleeper agents. European standardized tests locate the brightest children, who are then given a month-long training program that's erased from their memory and sent back home. Supposedly, the KGB was developing a similar program in the 80s.

Sloane tells Jack that Emily's name was forged on a B&B registry weeks after her death. He admits that he poisoned her with sodium morphate, but only after doctors confirmed that her lymphoma would return. He asks Jack to find out who else was in the running for Alliance membership. At home, Sloane finds a glass of wine ominously waiting for him. When he has the wine analyzed, he finds that it contains VTX, an antidote to sodium morphate that simulates death.

At the CIA, Vaughn identifies the instructor as former KGB psych ops agent Valery Kolakov. Against Jack's wishes, Sydney offers to get Kolakov, who's now in Buenos Aires. Later, Vaughn tells Jack that he'll go to Sydney if Jack doesn't tell her about Madagascar.

In Buenos Aires, Kolakov attacks Syd with a stun gun but is electrocuted when she throws him into water. She finds a spatial relations puzzle and completes it in seconds. When Sydney undergoes hypnosis back home, she sees herself giving a gun to her father! Syd confronts Jack with her memories — Irina's mission was to uncover "Project Christmas," a plan Jack developed to train kids to become American spies. Syd claims that Jack has been afraid she would figure it all out. "You programmed me to be a spy," she says, "I will never forgive you for this."

Having realized Jack's deception, Sydney finds Vaughn and the two embrace as she cries in his arms.



Guest Starring[]





  • Sydney hacks into a server with the IP address "". The hostname for this IP address is "".
  • IP address resolves to Disney Worldwide Services in real life.
  • Sloane is already wearing a towel as he leaves the shower.

The Show[]

Behind the Scenes[]


  • "This World" by Zero 7
  • "Brimful Of Asha" by Cornershop
  • "When I Get You Alone" by Robin Thicke
  • "Verdi's Canzone del Salce - Ave Maria" by Miriam Gauci/BRT Philharmonic Orchestra
  • "The Golden Age" by Beck
  • "River" by Joni Mitchell ... changed in the Netflix version

Allusions and References[]