The Frame is the 17th episode of Season 3 of Alias, and the 61st episode overall. Sydney and Vaughn must track Kazari Bomani down to get hold of a piece of the Rambaldi puzzle. Meanwhile, Jack reveals his suspicions to Senator Reed about his daughter Lauren's allegiances, and Vaughn decides what to do about his marriage.
Vaughn and Sydney travel to Mexico City searching for the key to open the Rambaldi box. Via Vaughn's contact Kishell, they learn that the box contains a bio-weapon. In 1941, they learn, two Soviet archeologists found the "map," an etched crystal revealing the location of the key. The men turned on each other, however, and died in the Karoo desert. Kishell has images of Covenant kingpin Kazari Bomani at the site — with the crystal. In the background is a truck belonging to Omnifam, Sloane's humanitarian organization. Kishell says The Covenant refers to the map as The Passenger.
Later, Sloane explains to Sydney that the CIA forced him to partner with Bomani to stay close to The Covenant. If his pardon is revoked, she says, the death penalty will be reinstated. He says all Omnifam trucks can be tracked with GPS. He offers to give her the tracking codes in return for creature comforts.
At a restaurant, Vaughn tells Lauren that he wants to separate. Lauren says it's about Sydney and storms off — straight to Sark, who tells her to kill her father, which would compel Vaughn to return to her out of compassion. Meanwhile, a suspicious Jack prints out Lauren's phone records. Visiting Senator George Reed, Jack meets his wife Olivia. He then reveals to the senator the paper trail leading to his Lauren. Reed is incensed and denies his daughter's involvement.
Marshal tracks the Omnifam trucks to the Russian consulate in Gaborone, where the CIA believes Sark and Bomani have the map. Sydney and Vaughn enter a function at the consulate, posing as a Russian couture designer and a waiter, respectively. They engage in a firefight with Sark and Bomani and escape with the crystal. On the return flight, Vaughn tells Sydney that he's separating from Lauren.
Marshal is unable to interpret the crystal's kaleidoscopic data. Sydney gives Sloane The Iliad in return for his help. He says that there are four disks that fit into the box's carved slots. He tells them to look under water. With this information, Marshal is able to use the data to pinpoint a rock formation off the coast of Okinawa.
Lauren realizes her computer has been accessed by Jack (she has an intrusion detection program). She calls Sark, who again advises her to kill her father and then frame Jack. Lauren visits her father, who's now convinced of Lauren's guilt. He suggests that he can help her get out of it and they could start over to patch their relationship. Olivia walks in, takes the gun from Lauren, and shoots him. She says, "Sark said you might back out."
During the investigation, Olivia tells Jack that, before killing himself, George had grown distraught about asking Lauren to do things that he later regretted. He mentioned the Covenant, she says.
In the Sea of Japan, Sydney and Vaughn scuba to an underwater cave and locate the keys. Bomani arrives and says The Passenger is Irina's legacy. Sydney fights Bomani while Vaughn battles Bomani's mercenaries. Sydney beats Bomani, but he destroys their scuba equipment and flees with the keys. They use a tank with a broken valve to act as a propulsion device to rocket them to the surface. On the plane back, Sydney says Vaughn's problems are unfortunate, but she's hopeful. He asks her out to coffee when they get home.
Dixon refuses Lauren's resignation, telling her that she was acting at her father's instruction with what she thought was approved government protocol. Jack tells Dixon there's no reason to believe it wasn't suicide, but Dixon says they may still have reason to hold Sloane. Vaughn and Sydney arrive and learn of Senator Reed's death. To Sydney's dismay, Vaughn embraces Lauren. Later that night, Vaughn calls Sydney to tell her he's back with Lauren.
Sloane demands to be released after he learns that Senator Reed was Covenant. But Dixon says the senator's records indicate he consulted with Sloane about Rambaldi and that Sloane handed over certain artifacts to him. The pardon has been revoked, Dixon says, and he'll be executed in two weeks.
- Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
- Ron Rifkin as Arvin Sloane
- Michael Vartan as Michael Vaughn
- Carl Lumbly as Marcus Dixon
- Kevin Weisman as Marshall Flinkman
- Melissa George as Lauren Reed
- Greg Grunberg as Eric Weiss
- David Anders as Julian Sark
- and Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
Special Guest Stars
- Dimitri Boudrine as Lubo
- Dimitri Diatchenko as Vilmos
- Herman G. Sinitzyn as Petr Berezovsky
- Kevin Sutherland as Rotunda Techie
- James Sharpe as Technician
- David Di Brienza as Goverment Official
- When Jack is checking Lauren's E-mail account there are several from a Jason Delevan. Jason Delevan was a special technical adviser who was in charge of the on screen graphics and computer simulations on the show.
- Djimon Hounsou and Peggy Lipton were billed as Special Guest Star in this episode.
- Sydney Bristow: Russian couture designer Pelena Alexandreva; Disguise includes short, frizzy red-brown hair and a short silk green dress with black lace trim.
- "Clarity" by John Mayer (unconfirmed in Netflix version)
- "Closing Time" by Bobby Summerfield and Matt McGuire (changed in Netflix version to unknown instrumental)
Allusions and References
At the part when they are getting the man to say Mockingbird in russian. There's a episode called Mockingbird in season 5.
- Sydney: You're here because you committed treason by spying on your country. I won't put much stock in your reports.
- Sloane: I'm not the mole you're looking for.
- Vaughn: Laruen's parents have been married for thirty four years and still love being together. I had oney day off this month, and I spent it playing hockey at the ring with high school kids.
- Weiss: That must be fun.
- Vaughn: If I need it, can I crash on your couch?
- Weiss: Yeah... You just have to wipe off the cheese nips.
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