Search And Rescue


Production code
18 May 2005
Written by
Monica Breen
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Lawrence Trilling

Search And Rescue is the twenty-first episode of Season 4 of Alias and the 87th episode overall. Rambaldi's catastrophic endgame begins to fall into place as a giant version of the Mueller device is found floating over a city in Russia, driving the citizens mad. After a wounded Dixon reveals that Irina is alive, Sydney, Nadia, and Jack set off to find her. Irina had been captured, and then duplicated using Project Helix, in order to give the impression that she was dead.

Plot Overview[]

Jack regretfully recalls the time he shot Irina in Vienna, under the belief that she was responsible for putting a hit on Sydney. Sydney arrives in the office and tells Jack that Dixon, who claims that he saw Irina, could be delusional. Jack says that he killed a woman he believed to be Irina, and reminds Sydney of the doubling technology of the Helix Protocol.

Marshall bursts into Jack's office and reports that they found Elena's associate, Lucien Nisard, who worked with The Covenant. Jack tells Marshall to check the Blackwell Index via Sloane's computer.

Suddenly, TV screens in the APO office display news reports about Sovogda, a Russian city in chaos. Marshall then receives a video feed from a hacker in Moscow, showing raw footage of anarchy. The footage reveals a giant red ball hovering in the sky - Rambaldi's Mueller Device.

The team believes that Sloane and Elena have activated the Rambaldi device in Sovogda, which resulted in unbridled aggression in its citizens. They conclude that the city's contaminated water supply combined with the chemical properties of the orchid made the residents susceptible to the Mueller device. The only solution is to disarm the device properly -- and Irina Derevko, who is being held prisoner by her sister, is the only one who can do it. They need to force Lucien Nisard to reveal her location.

Vaughn comforts Sydney and tells her that they're going to get through this. As he was about to bring out the ring and propose, Marshall arrives and says that it's time to leave.

They arrive at a dance club in Ibiza, where Sydney goes in with Vaughn and spots Nisard. Sydney and Vaughn make out -- and as Sydney makes eye contact with Nisard, she invites him to join them. They go to the bathroom where Sydney and Vaughn transmit his PDA contents to Marshall. When they find that the Helix Protocol is mentioned, Sydney dunks his head in the toilet and asks about Irina. Nisard confesses that Elena doubled Irina and confirms that the real Irina Derevko is in Guatemala.

When Sydney and Nadia arrive in Tikal, Guatemala, Jack guides them via a satellite layout of the camp until they locate an underground cell. They open the hatch, finding Irina.

"I knew you'd come," Irina tells Sydney, and they escape. As guards chase them, Sydney walks into a trap and is strung upside-down. Irina rescues Sydney while Nadia holds the guards off. They run to escape as more guards arrive. Sydney throws a grenade at them and, along with Irina and Nadia, escapes on a raft.

On the plane, they tell Irina that Elena and Sloane have enacted their plan. Irina shares that she found a Rambaldi manuscript - Il Diluvio - which revealed Rambaldi's desire for a complete cleansing through apocalypse. Though Irina destroyed the manuscript, Elena tortured her to get the info, forcing her into dozens of cardiac arrests. Irina admits that she finally broke and told Elena everything. Now, they must go to Sovogda and stop them before they move to another city.

Irina breaks down when she realizes who Nadia is. Later, as they look over a map, they agree that Sloane and Elena must be somewhere in Sovogda but safe from the Mueller device. Suddenly, Jack gets a call from the pilot, and their plane is diverted by official orders from Langley.

As they land, police cars arrive and arrest Irina, who is still a fugitive. Sydney goes to Director Chase and argues that Irina is the only one who can help them. Chase says the matter will be resolved in a few hours by a Russian air strike. Sydney points out that this will release toxins in the atmosphere and results will be catastrophic. She begs Chase to trust her.

As the team prepares to parachute into Sovogda, Vaughn pulls Sydney aside and says that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. He gives her the ring and asks her to marry him. Overwhelmed and delighted, Sydney kisses him and tells him to ask her again on the beach.

The plane's rear door opens and Irina, Jack, Vaughn, Nadia and Sydney jump out.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


  • Ron Rifkin (Arvin Sloane) does not appear in this episode. It is one of only two episodes (the other being Full Disclosure) not to feature Rifkin.
  • When Sark was brought in to APO, he had to wear a bag over his head, presumably to prevent him from discovering its location. Apparently no such precaution was required when bringing Irina to the top secret location.
  • Number 47: When Marshall examines the data from Lucien's PDA, there are two reference numbers with 47 one starts with 47 and one, as seen, is ref# 547-43-****
  • When Irina says "Jack, I understand why you believed you had to kill me, but the truth is, if the situation had been reversed, I would've found another way." It is a lot like when Sydney tells Vaughn if it had been him who had been killed or missing, she wouldn't have given up, she would have found another way.
  • Carl Lumbly does not appear in this episode - presumably as Dixon is recovering in hospital after being shot by Elena in the previous episode.

Aliases Used[]



  • "My Neck, My Back" by Khia

Allusions and References[]


  • Jack: The Russian government’s officially claiming an industrial accident.
  • Sydney: And they expect that story to last?

  • Vaughn: That's him. How do you wanna play this?
  • Sydney: You want to be rough, or do you want me to be rough?
  • Vaughn: You’re always rough.
  • Sydney: No, I’m not.
  • Vaughn: Yes, you are.
  • Sydney: That’s not true.
  • Vaughn: Yes, it is.
  • Sydney: Are you talking about at home or on ops?
  • Vaughn: Both. Hey, I’m not complaining.
  • Sydney: If I’m rough it’s because you like it when I- Are we on comms?
  • Jack: Yes, you're both on comms, right now.

  • Vaughn: Want me to bite you again?
  • Sydney: Shut up.

  • Nisard: Is he going to join us, or just observe?
  • Vaughn: I think I’ll just watch.
  • Sydney: Suit yourself.
  • Sydney slams Nisard against the wall.

  • Vaughn: Syd, come here. I had it all planned out.
  • Sydney: What?
  • Vaughn: I was gonna take you to the beach, Santa Barbara. We’d go out for a walk, maybe when the sun was setting. But now we’re here, and I don’t know what we’re jumping into. And I may never get another chance to do this again. Sometimes I wake up before you do, and I watch you sleep. And I’m overwhelmed because. . .you’re so amazing. And I don’t know why I’m lucky enough to have you in my life, but you’re here with me. And I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you trying to make you as happy as you make me.
  • Sydney: My God, Vaughn.
  • Vaughn: Sydney Bristow, will you marry me?
  • Sydney: We’re gonna make it out of here.
  • Vaughn: Is that a yes?
  • Sydney: Ask me on the beach.