Season 3 Episode 4

A Missing Link

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 19, 2003 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
217 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sydney discovers a link to her missing two years in the form of Simon Walker, the dangerous and sexy leader of a group determined on retrieving deadly biological weapons. Meanwhile, Vaughn struggles with his own feelings of jealousy and longing while Sydney is on her mission, aware of the pressures his job is putting on his marriage to Lauren. Jack takes matters into his own hands to protect his daughter, purposefully revealing Sydney's deadly secret to Dixon in order to preserve her position inside the CIA.moreless

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  • Things finally start to heat up as we uncover parts of what happened to Syd during those missing two years.

    Season 3 finally gets moving with A Missing Link, an episode that finally divulges on what happened to Syd during those 2 years. It's an episode filled with conflict, surprises, sex appeal and absurdity - Alias is back on form!

    So Syd didn't just kill Sark's father then? It's heavily implied that her new alias, Julia, reveled in the kill. Interestingly enough, we know from the last episode that Sydney didn't break during whatever conditioning she was put through at the hands of the covenant, so she took the lives of innocent people of her own accord. Interesting.

    Aint Julia Thorn something else? Garner looked absolutely stunning in her bad-girl getup, and her 'interview' mission was a lot of fun. Of course she would have died on impact from such a height, but it wouldn't be Alias without the occasional death defying, illogical madness that Syd must go through. And any improvisation that requires Miss Bristow to strip down to her undies and dive into a pool gets a thumbs up from me.

    The episode succeeds in making whatever activities the Covenant have planned interesting, as it bleeds into Sydney's quest to find out what happened to her during that time. It just goes to show the kind of prostitution an agent has to go through, as it is also heavily implied Julia had a rather sexual relationship with Simon, which seems very out of character for Syd. An agent's gotta do what an agent's gotta do, I suppose.

    The thrill factor is also back, finally. There are several gasp-worthy moments in this episode, plus one hell of a cliffhanger. That scene where Syd cleverly tells Simon that Michael Vaughn is her contact really got my adrenaline pumping as Marshal (''Flinkman residents'') and his girlfriend tried to upload that file in time for Simon to see he's a wanted man on the Interpol database.

    Jack telling Dixon that Syd murdered Sark's father was another shocker, and having Vaughn, under orders, withhold this information from his wife was an effective way of applying more pressure to an already unsettled relationship between Lauren and Vaughn (that tiff over what type of gun Sark was using came out of nowhere!).

    The ending, however, is what bumped this episode from a solid 8 rating to a 9. It was impressively shot and those final words from Sydney spoke volumes (''You never should have betrayed me'') right before she guts Vaughn and sends him packing down a hill. Powerful stuff.

    Overall, this was a welcomed return to form. There were so many delicious character moments peppered throughout, and the covenant storyline finally seems to be going somewhere. It'll be interesting to see how the season will develop these plot-strands, and if they can manage to keep up this level of storytelling, for the remainder of the season, or at least the first half. More like this, please!moreless
  • Sydney Bristow is back in true form...

    When the last season ended, I couldn't help but wonder where they would go with the story. I also felt like the beginning of this season was forced and lacked the confidence that the prior seasons had. The first three episodes seemed empty, almost like they were trying to start from scratch with a story that is already two seasons old. But, essentially that is what they had been doing...until now. Jennifer Garner seemed to put the overemotional, overreacting character aside for this episode and brought back poise to a character that we have grown to love. Everything from the quick-change theft culminating in a death-defying dive to the supposed murder of Michael Vaughn reminded me of past episodes that made me start watching this show to begin with. This episode was revealing in many cases. For one, we found out that Michael and his new wife's relationship is experiencing some turbulence. We also learned some details about Sydney's other life as "Julia." Arvin Sloane's manipulative nature is once again beginning to resurface as he presses Lauren, in an attempt to evoke a certain reaction out of her. Weiss seems to be the new shoulder now that Francie and Will are gone, but I don't mind him. His comedic timing and delivery is exceptional.

    All in all, a good episode. I'd just consider the first three episodes an extended season premiere. Episode 4 was truly the missing link this season needed. Once again, another cliff-hanger...but it wouldn't be Alias without them.moreless
  • Review

    Season Threecontinues to roll on without much of a problem from me. I thought letting Dixon and Vaughn in on the killing was a little early. I get the fact they need to hidethis from the NSA - so I still see why Jack had to get the virus to upload it onto Dixons computer. You would have just thought Jack would have thought of this whole plan sooner and told Dixon about it al ready. Though I guess he needed them to be mroe involved with the Covenent right now.

    I like the new character they introduced and I like how Sydney was able to stay a mole in this episode even though she was questioned on several occassions. Vaughn getting stabbed in the end was a good ending, I just dont get the big dramatic fade out scene - we all know that he isnt dead which is why Sydney stabbed him in the first place. Little over the top there I though, but Im just nitpicking.

    Either way - fantastic episode as Season 3 continues the upward climb towards being the greatest season yet.moreless
  • .... & Juliet

    What has Sydney been doing in those two missing years? Apparently she was an assassin named Julia and she dated someone named Simon. Offcourse.

    Simon and his gang clearly didn't trust Sydney at first. I really thought the thing in the Hotel was cool (even though jumping from such a height, doesn't really seem smart ;)) but even after that they didn't trust her. If dear Simon loved her, would he really be that suspicious? Well, the spy world is a hard one!

    I really wonder who is responsible for Sydney's missing two years. At first I thought it was clear that The Covenant was. But Simon worked for Sark who works for The Covenant, so I assume Simon does too. But he clearly didn't know that Sydney was Julia. I still suspect Sloane ;)

    So now Vaughn and Dixon know about Syndey killing Lazuray. I don't really get why Jack just said it, without telling Sydney. Altough it's probably better because she wouldn't want to hurt Vaughn, and telling him does. Atleast now the NSC is kept out of the picture!

    I still kinda like Lauren, but after this episode I have even more the feeling that Vaughn also loves Sydney. The way he looked when she kissed Simon :D. Pfff, I just want to see them together. But now he got stabbed, wich I'm sure was the best solution...but it must hurt!

    This one was very average. I'm not sure if I really loved it.... ^-)

  • A sexy Sydney, a stabbing, another great episode.

    Yet another near perfect episode in a season that\'s getting better and better. And better. Sydney goes on a mission to recover information on an airborne virus and meets a dealer who knows her, but not by her real name. Sydney realizes that this man is a link to the past two years of her life. Later Vaughn questions her as to why she did not appear surprised when the man called her by a different name, but Syndney tells him it\'s better for him not to know.

    Jack, in order to ensure Sydney\'s position in the CIA, decides to reveal to Dixon that Sydney is the killer in the videotape, so that Vaughn will be prohibited from telling his wife about it and to prevent the NSA from hearing about it.

    Sydney returns to the dealer and gets caught in a lie, and Marshall has to rush to save her by making a fake criminal record for Vaughn. At the end, the dealer\'s men capture ole Vaughny and uncover things on him that connect him to the CIA. Sydney\'s new \"friend\" is about to kill him but Sydney asks to do it. She pulls out a knife and whispers \"You never should have betrayed me\", and stabs him in the gut, and they push him down into the ravine. THE END!

    Wow, what an awesome episode. I like how they\'re going about with the mystery of The Covenant and the past two years of Sydney\'s life. This particular episode has a lot going for it, and the final scene was really great and in a way character defining. This episode deserves it\'s good score.moreless
Greg Grunberg

Greg Grunberg

Eric Weiss

Kevin Weisman

Kevin Weisman

Marshall J. Flinkman

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Sydney Anne Bristow

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Marcus R. Dixon

Ron Rifkin

Ron Rifkin

Arvin Sloane

Michael Vartan

Michael Vartan

Michael C. Vaughn

Carlos Del Olmo

Carlos Del Olmo


Guest Star

Marco Zunino

Marco Zunino

Hotel Manager

Guest Star

Fernando Jimenez

Fernando Jimenez

Police Officer

Guest Star

Amanda Foreman

Amanda Foreman

NSA Agent Carrie Bowman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • When creating the Interpol database entry, Marshall not only gives Vaughn's height as 1.60 meters (5'3") but he converts to inches incorrectly, writing 60" (5'0") -  both figures much under actor Michael Vartan's actual height of 6'0" = 1.83 meters.

    • Number 47: On the security system of the storage facility you can see the point SW9847.

    • Towards the beginning Dixon, Marshall, Weiss, Vaughn, Sydney and Jack are all in the conference room talking about the virus the Covenant has. Sydney says that it is a level four pathogen which is the highest classification. Viruses are actually classified into groups followed by a Roman numeral. There are three categories: DNA viruses (groups one and two), RNA viruses (groups three-five), and Reverse transcribing virus (groups six-seven). Ebola falls under RNA viruses in group five. Also in group five are rabies, measles, and mumps.

    • Again in the scene where Sydney jumps from a high floor into a pool we expect to see two things happening, but they don't. First of all such a jump would force a lot of the pool's water to jump out as if a bomb exploded. That does not happen and we can only see the water's reaction as if someone from the ground level had just taken a plain dive. Also such jump with the above consequences should have first splashed all of the surrounding guests and even if that did not happen, it should have made them curious about the strange woman that has just jumped from a building floor inside the pool, half-naked, in the middle of a party. Yet we see no reaction and a man just gives her a towel as if everything is all right.

    • Goof:
      When Sydney steals the diamond necklace out of the hotel she jumps off the balcony into the pool and returns to the van where she shows the necklace which is around her ankle. However, in the shot where she jumps off the balcony there is no necklace around her ankle. In the first shot in the pool it isn't there either, but in the second shot in the pool the necklace suddenly appears around her ankle. However in the pool it was around her left ankle, in the van it is around her right ankle.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Sydney: (To Vaughn) You never should have betrayed me. (Sydney stabs Vaughn)

    • Sydney: Why did the NSC want me in on this?
      Lauren: I wanted you. Michael said you were the best.

    • Sydney: What piqued his interest was hearing Simon Walker call me Julia and then kiss me like his prom date.

    • Marshall: (Holding a machine that could reveal the sex of his baby) You know, I could find out right now.
      Carrie: Touch me with that thing and you die.

    • Weiss: (About Sydney, To Michael) Whatever she just did, man, she's good. She is really good.

    • Michael: I'm losing the signal.
      Weiss: I'm aiming the mike right at her.
      Michael: I should have worn the ring.
      Weiss: Get over yourself. Okay? No one aims the mike like I do.

    • Sydney: You know, peach isn't really in this season.
      Michael: I heard peach was the new green.
      Sydney: I thought beige was the new green.
      Michael: No beige is the new peach.
      Sydney: Okay.

    • Jack: We can assume what they've stolen is a precursor agent requiring further synthesis.
      Weiss: Okay, does everyone here speak science?
      Marshall: Yeah.
      Weiss: No, Marshall, they don't.

    • Sloane: (To Lauren) I must admit, I was concerned for you when Sydney resurfaced. I remembered seeing her with Vaughn: their relationship reminded me of my own with my late wife. It was the kind of bond that even death cannot sever. Hmmm, well apparently I misjudged.

    • Sydney: I can't afford to make a distinction between professional and personal - not in my life. I mean, this job took two years from me. Everything is personal.

    • Jack: (To Sydney) When you compelled the NSC to release me from prison, you told me you'd done so because... you needed your father; that you needed my strength. Twelve months in solitary would have an effect on anyone; something that allowed me to stay focused was your... strength. Don't lose it now...

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music from this episode includes:
      "Fumba Rumba" by Chucho Merchan
      "Emotion Lotion" by Chucho Merchan
      "Kool As A Rool" by Chucho Merchan


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