S.O.S. is the 10th episode of Season 5 of Alias and the 98th episode overall. Sydney sends a distress message so the APO team can locate her, but to retrieve it the team has to enter the CIA headquarters undetected. When they get trapped inside the building, they call upon an old friend to help them escape.
At sea on a cargo ship, Sydney hurries to the lower deck, finds a radio, and issues a distress signal. At APO, Jack tells Sloane that Prophet Five has Sydney. Marshall recovers Sydney's transmission but it's deleted by a Langley insider before he could listen to it - meaning Prophet 5 has infiltrated the CIA. They determine to go to Langley to recover the message. Marshall and Dixon join a group of tourists at CIA headquarters. Meanwhile, Tom goes to the Payroll Department to complain about a missed paycheck. Rachel, pretending she has an interview, leaves her cell phone with the guard. The cell phone is actually a device that infiltrates security. Tom commandeers a Payroll Dept. desktop and, using the data sent from the cell phone, grants Rachel security access to the CIA server room. He also unlocks the Witness Protection records room. Marshall distracts onlookers by announcing he's cracked the code that appears on a monument. Dixon sprays a surveillance camera, causing an "Anthrax alert." Rachel then slips into the server room but finds that Syd's transmission was purged. Jack tells her to pull the hard drive, knowing that it will raise the alarm and cause a lockdown. He calls Weiss for help. Weiss arrives and apologizes to Dixon, whom he calls "Ambassador." While he escorts Dixon and Marshall out, he gives Dixon the key to get Tom. Marshall ducks into an office, locates Rachel with surveillance cameras and guides her through a maze of servers. On the boat, Sydney holds Peyton at gunpoint and asks her to explain the ultrasound images posted in a room. She faints, however. She wakes to find herself being prepped for surgery.
At APO, Marshall and Dixon inspect the hard drive and discover that the person who purged the records had Alpha Black clearance. Only seven directors have this clearance. They also find the secured cell phone numbers that enable these men to access the code. Marshall says he can trace which phone was used to access the server. Tom uses Marshall's PC to decode the info he downloaded from the Witness Protection records. The data contains photos of his murdered wife along with the name and location of a man. Later, Tom pays a visit to the man.
Jack convenes a meeting with the seven directors; Marshall locks in a match and calls that phone. When Director Davenport's phone rings, Jack immediately shoots him and forces him to divulge Sydney's whereabouts. CIA security arrests Jack. The doctors perform an amnio on Sydney and decide to operate. Dixon arrives on the ship and realizes it's abandoned except for the infirmary. He spots the post-op Sydney and takes her to the helicopter.
At the hospital, Jack tells Sydney that the baby is fine, that the mysterious surgery actually corrected a placental abruption. After a few minutes, an armed guard tells Jack that it is time to go and a confused Sydney reluctantly says goodbye to her father.
- Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
- Ron Rifkin as Arvin Sloane
- Carl Lumbly as Marcus Dixon
- Kevin Weisman as Marshall Flinkman
- Rachel Nichols as Rachel Gibson
- Amy Acker as Kelly Peyton
- Balthazar Getty as Thomas Grace
- and Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
Special Guest Star
- Elodie Bouchez as Renée Rienne
Special Guest Star
- John Aylward as Jeffrey Davenport
- Cate Cohen as Tour Guide
- James Handy as Division Director Devlin
- Kathe Mazur as Doctor Lynn
- Charlie Mattera as Security Guard
- Alan Polonsky as Technican
- Emmanuel Todorov as Guard
- Oleg Vidov as Laborer
- Perry Wolberg as Allen Korman
- Michael Yavnieli as Suited Agent
- Number 47: (hidden) Allen Korman, the man whose profile is uploaded by Tom, was born in February 1959 which makes him, at the time this episode aired, 47 years old.
- When the APO team arrives on the tanker to rescue Sydney they slowly approach the ship and land (instead of rappelling or boarding the ship with speedboats), which made them excellent targets for any of the ship's security detail.
- Goof: When Tom Grace uses Marshall's program to decrypt the data on his memory stick, they use the same footage to show the cracked encryption key, 132007479, as they used when the team was hacking into the hard drive stolen from Langley. It's highly unlikely that the encryption keys would be exactly the same in both cases.
- Elodie Bouchez (Renée) is removed from the opening credits, she is now listed as "Special Guest Star". Amy Acker (Peyton) joined the opening credits.
- This is the last episode that Greg Grunberg is in the series.
Allusions and References
- Marshall: I got it! Sorry it just came to me. I play a lot of Sudoku.
Sudoku is a popular logic-based placement puzzle. The aim of the puzzle is to enter the digits 1 through 9 in each cell of a 9×9 grid so that each row, column, and 3×3 region contains exactly one instance of each digit. A set of given digits constrain the puzzle such that there is only one way to correctly fill in the remainder.
- Tom: Wait are you suggesting we break into the CIA headquarters?
- Jack: Yes.
|< Season 4||Alias Season 5|
|#01||Prophet 5||#06||Solo||#11||Maternal Instinct||#16||Reprisal|
|#02||...1...||#07||Fait Accompli||#12||There's Only One Sydney Bristow||#17||All The Time In The World|
|#03||The Shed||#08||Bob||#13||30 Seconds|
|#04||Mockingbird||#09||The Horizon||#14||I See Dead People|
|#05||Out Of The Box||#10||S.O.S.||#15||No Hard Feelings|