The Shed


Production code
October 13 2005
Written by
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Tucker Gates

The Shed is the third episode of Season 5 of Alias and the 91st episode overall. Sydney is forced to partner on a mission with new APO agent Thomas Grace. They discover that Rachel Gibson -- a spy suspected of being involved in activities against the U.S. -- has something shockingly in common with Sydney. Meanwhile, Dixon must accompany Sloane, who's given a 72-hour pass from prison to acquire a possible cure for his daughter, Nadia.

Plot Overview[]

A woman arrives at a secured lab in Istanbul where scientists in protective suits experiment with a liquid substance. She shoots a guard and punches a code to enter the lab. Holding the scientists at gun point, she steals two vials and breaks a third before locking them in and bolting. They die instantly.

In the APO office, Marshall shows a video feed of this theft to the team. The liquid, he says, is called Substance-33, a deadly nerve agent that kills in seconds. He identifies the woman as a lackey of Gordon Dean, based on her knowledge of the code and the computer she used to hack it.

Marshall traced the hacker's signal to Prague. Jack gives the case to Sydney, Marshall and Tom Grace. Sydney privately asks Jack why Dixon isn't going. Jack says that Dixon is with Sloane, who was allowed to meet a contact with information about Nadia's cure.

Inside his prison cell, Sloane tells Dixon that he's paying Dolzhenko, the contact, $300,000 for a lead. Later, in Omsk, Sloane convinces a wary Dixon to allow him to meet Dolzhenko alone. At the meeting, Dolzhenko points a gun at Sloane and steals the money.

In Prague, the APO team tracks the hacker to a coffee shop. Armed with a microprocessor concealed at the back of a mint pack, Sydney enters the café, and speaks to a man with a laptop, assuming he's the hacker. Just then, the signal fades - the real hacker has left the building. Tom and Marshall give chase and capture her.

The team interrogates the hacker, whose name is Rachel Gibson, in a hotel room. Tom catches her transmitting a signal through her watch, and she admits she's a black ops CIA agent. After she passes a lie detector test, Sydney says she was in the same situation 13 years ago - when she believed she worked for the country but was actually an enemy.

When Marshall confirms that Rachel's signal went to Gordon Dean, not the CIA, Rachel cooperates. She agrees to download the encryption key from Gordon Dean's Vlasska office nearby in order to enable a file transfer from Marshall's PC.

Rachel, thanks to Sydney's remote guidance, successfully downloads the encryption key. As Rachel walks to the elevator, her friend, Kelly Peyton, joins her. Sensing Rachel's panic, Sydney receives the key in a quick brush pass. Marshall begins his server download.

Back in Dean's office, Peyton, who has been observing Rachel's change in behavior, alerts Dean. After spotting the file transfer, Dean and Peyton leave the building and trigger a bomb.

Marshall discovers that Dean had triggered an EMP that fried all electronics. Tom rushes out the hotel room to help Rachel. Bombs explode as Tom makes it to Dean's office. He finds a semi-conscious Rachel beneath the rubble and cradles her in his arms. Sydney, who arrives shortly after Tom, meets his gaze silently.



Guest Starring[]


  • Alex Demir as Guard
  • Ondrej Habinak as Russian Officer
  • Dan Koz as Baseball Cap
  • David Pressman as Walsh
  • Hrach Titizian as Lead Scientist


  • Number 47: On Vaughn's hockey magazine which Sydney looks at has the number '4738273' on it.
  • Number 47: The shipping container with the "Substance 33" is 1147.
  • Goof: An EMP disables all electronic equipment within its blast area. Therefore, Rachel's communicator shouldn't have even beeped or made static.
  • Although credited, Elodie Bouchez (Renée Rienne) does not appear in this episode.
  • Actress Amy Acker (well known for playing Fred/Illyria in the WB hit show Angel) starts her recurring gig in Alias, playing Kelly Peyton. She had previously tried to get the part of Nadia, but she wasn't accepted and the part landed to Mia Maestro.

Aliases Used[]


  • A USB hard drive with 250 GB of storage disguised as a working credit card designed by Marshall (who mentions using the credit card for baby supplies)



Allusions and References[]


  • Marshall: Anyway, this woman here, that's who I think works for Dean.
  • Jack: You think? Based on what? Your pen-pal?

  • Marshall: That's a nerve agent, called substance 33. It was developed by the Russians during the Cold War. Remarkable Stuff. You know, in a end-of-civilization sort of way.
  • Sydney Bristow: I want to tell you a story, stop me if I get something wrong. You were approached in college, some place public, in a quarter or walking to class. A man asked you if you wanted to serve your country, when he told you it was for the CIA you just- you couldn’t believe it… but you took the tests, they were easy for you, they made you feel good about yourself. You probably started work at a false front, some phantom company that had you doing entry level analysis. Maybe you wondered why you were never sent to Langley, maybe you wondered why you weren’t being trained with other recruits. When you got promoted… you met the director of your division, Gordon Dean, he offered you a position on his team… Dean took you under his wing. He convinced you that you were so important, you just had to be out there, helping him save the world... how am I doing?
  • Rachel Gibson: You read my file.
  • Sydney Bristow: No, I didn't. Thirteen years ago, the same thing happened to me... only I had been lied to. What I was told was the CIA was in reality a criminal organization. I think you've been told the same lie.