Alias

Season 3 Episode 8

Breaking Point

4
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 23, 2003 on ABC
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
208 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When Sydney is taken into custody by the NSC, Jack and Vaughn have no choice but to ally themselves with Sloane to rescue her. But with only hours to spare before she is forced to undergo a radical surgery to recover her memories, they must put together an extraction team, headed by freelance operative Brill (Richard Roundtree, Shaft). Meanwhile, Lauren faces an impossible choice -- side with the NSC, who she wants to believe is doing the right thing, or with her husband.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Dark episode

    9.5
    Is Sydney trained to withstand torture of all kinds? And is this NSC ultimately showing in the series that CIA is good, all other agencies bad?
  • Lines are blurred, sides are chosen, and this season knocks another one out of the park! Can it keep this up?

    9.0
    Season 3 is gaining considerable steam, as it offers up yet another corker of an episode. Syd undergoes some seriously twisted ''fair treatment'' by the NSC, and Lindsey becomes such a despicable character, I cannot wait for his inevitable demise! He was a weasel before, but now he's practically asking Jack to put a bullet between his eyes.



    Speaking of Jack, that little op where an unlikely alliance of Sloane, Vaughn and Jack infiltrate that facility in order to obtain blueprints to the NSA prison was tremendous fun. The minute I heard 'What do I have to do...'' I knew it'd be a fun little distraction. It's also an interesting song choice: Sloane is trying to prove to Jack that he truly does love Syd, and sees her as his daughter figure, while Vaughn is proving he still cares deeply for Jack's daughter, and Jack, of course, is making moral compromises for the one he loves.



    (what the hell is Sloane up to? Does he need to keep Jack alive, is that why he took the bullet? Or does he sincerely care for him? As Alpha would say, ayeayeayeaye!)



    I know I'm a broken record, but I frickin' adore Garner. She is such a committed actress - she physically transforms in this episode and it's something you very rarely see. She just looks so depleted, and Jen really sells it. The characters of Lost, yeah, sure, they're stranded and all, and have a bit of mud thrown onto them, but they still look too groomed. Syd looks like a train-wreck and Jen gives it her all, you really feel for Syd here.



    I read it somewhere before, and I have to wholeheartedly agree: the second it's revealed that Syd's cellmate was an agent, they should have left it at that. There was no need for his little retort, spoon feeding the audience, as if we already didn't know how empathetic Syd can be. It completely undermined that scene, which could have been an extremely powerful moment if he were to just get up and walk away.



    Overall, it's an episode that thoroughly shakes up the season. It would appear that it's Syd and Co. against the NSC - how things are resolved should prove to be very interesting indeed!moreless
  • Syd to Dr.Vasson:"You'd better make sure I'm a vegetable when you're done with me."

    9.5
    Is Lindsey so evil?The answer to the question is:"oh yes,to the bone."This man is corrupted and I hate him.He's heartless.His wickedness knows no bounds and I think,in terms of nastiness,he surpasses even Sloane.Ok,I'm exaggerating a little bit,but,you know,Sloane has a complex personality and we have met many aspects of his character,so it's difficult for me to hate him.And how could anyone do so,especially after what he did for Jack?



    But,enough with Lindsey,let's put this subject aside.This was an excellent episode which included action,betrayal,switched loyalties and humor.It didn't follow the standard format of the series-Syd going on a mission,various locations-,yet it managed to keep me amused until the last minute.Great performances,great scenes,great lines...



    Vaughn,Jack and Sloane were forced to work together to save the most important person in their lives:Syd.They lost her once and they can't afford losing her again.If they did,it would be fatal for them.Anyway,the scenes between the three of them were so funny and entertaining.Several times I caught myself laughing-when Vaughn and Jack chatted about the latter's "storage facility",when Jack put on the "Noo Yawk" accent-and these funny moments provided a prop for us to handle Syd's torture scenes.An ease seems to develop between Jack and Vaughn and I hope it lasts..



    Lauren had a prominent role here.She was hovering between her husband's safety and what it was morally right.Fortunately,in the end,she decided not to shut her mouth and help the good guys.Last week,I was really mad at her,but now I started to like her again.I think-well,I'm certain-the writers did this so as to make her more difficult to hate,as people don't like her.But I do and I think they should give her a chance.Plus,she killed that thin guy off.



    Now,as I said before,who could possibly hate Sloane?Up to now,I was pretty much sure that behind all this humanitarian facade there was this sly old fox who manipulated everyone and everything.But,here he performed a stunning act of self-sacrifice in order to save Jack's life.If he had an endgame,certainly,he wouldn't risk his own life.I mean,if he was so obsessed with Rambaldi and his immortality pursuit,would he put his life in danger?So,is Sloane good afterall?Maybe,especially if you take into cosideration that Emily's gone and Jack and Syd are the only people he has left,as he says..But you can never be sure about this man and his motivations..



    The scenes at Camp Williams were very ghastly.This place felt like it was detached from the rest of the world.Could you imagine Syd spending all her life there,seperated from her people?The Cambell/Schapker guy was there to make her realize that she couldn't stand by while the shrink was about to brainwash her.If she did,she would end up like him.I liked the fact that she fought for her freedom and attempted to escape from there.Even more I liked the fact that despite reaching a breaking point,she didn't fall for Lindsey's trap.She isn't the innocent girl we used to know..



    The closing scene of the episode was just pure perfection and,definitely,among my favourites.I cannot explain why,but the image of all our heroes returning home and being again with their closed ones,all in the middle of the night was so good.All the team back together.They made it..



    Notable Quotes:



    Dixon to Lindsey:"Mr.Lindsey,I would expect nothing less from you."



    Lauren:"What you're suggesting is that I willfully participate in an orchestrated cover-up."

    Vaughn:"No,but I would have hoped you be a person about this."



    Vaughn:"You just agreed to pay him two million dollars."

    Jack:"Three."



    Vaughn:"The fact that you're even letting me see this place means it's not your only one,right?"

    Jack:"You're smarter than you look."



    Vaughn:"I didn't know you wore glasses."

    Jack:"Only during surgery."



    Vaughn to Jack:"You're starting to like me again."



    Marshall:"You're going to bust her out,aren't you?Kick some NSC booty?Can I just say,love?"



    Sloane to Jack:"As usual,Jack,you're in danger of outsmarting yourself."



    Miscellaneous:



    --The theme song aired at the beginning of the episode.This has happened again,only in "Masquerade".



    --Dixon took all the blame foe Syd and the others and he has my respect for this.



    --Did you notice Jack's expression when he was glaring at Lindsey?Why does something tell me that he's going to pay for what he did?



    --Schapker's performance was stunning.I owe him credit.



    --Where's Weiss?



    --Brill was very funny to watch.Hope we see him again,soon. He also knew Vaughn's father.



    --The designation on the helicopter which transported Syd to Camp Williams was W547SA.Again,number 47.



    Excellent episode.Third season rocks!!



    alias004moreless
  • Review

    10
    Without a doubt the best episode of season 3 so far and I think one of the best episodes of the entire seires. It didnt have a profound cliffhnager like Phase One or The Telling, nor did it have some monumental thing happen in it (the fall of SD-6) but it was just one of those episodes that was just written to perfection and the acting from everyone involved made it all that much better.



    The three man mission with Arvin, Jack, and Vaughn was really well done. I like how Arvin got shot at the end of the attempt and I like how Jack managed to save his life when he could have very easily ended it right then and there.



    The scenes with Sydney in prison were also good to, watching Lauren sturggle with herself emotionally with Lindsey took over the investigation and tortured her for information that she didnt give him in the end.



    The extraction was also a very good part of the episode, with Lauren provided the final kill to the random man that punched her in the face. Also - brillant acting from the man in the cell, I thought that was pretty blockbuster acting from his part.



    Overall, likely my third favorite episode all time from the series, Phase One and The Telling being the first two.moreless
  • Jack and Sloane saves the day!

    9.0
    Finally... may I say... finally.



    Season 3 has been lacking one thing: NOT by the book action.



    I loved that in the first two seasons Syd was forced to work for 2 organizations at the same time, thus, working against her own people, which created incredibly intense, nerve wracking situations.



    Season 3, on the other hand, apart from some minor things, have been very 'by the book'. This episode breaks that, thank god.



    Also, say good-bye to Sark/Allison for a little while - which I really don't mind at all.



    Syd is captured, and Jack wants to rescue her. Vaughn, Sloane and Jack's old team joins this op. Later on, Lauren joins too.



    Now the episode has been flawless apart from one thing. Highlights:



    -- Jack is a badass. Incredible.

    -- Vaughn realizing he still loves Sydney.

    -- Sloane!!! He's über-cool.

    -- I never saw that trick coming with the bald guy.

    -- Some nice ass kicking.



    But, as I mentioned, there was one thing I really hated... LAUREN.



    I really liked how, she was introduced as a bad character: someone you are meant to hate. However, in this episode, it seems, the writers are trying to force us to like her. Well, that won't work with me... and that's such a pity.



    Pity, because she had a major part in the episode, which I simply cannot approve. But still, overally, very solid episode.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

Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree

Brill

Guest Star

Erick Avari

Erick Avari

Dr. Vasson

Guest Star

Pruitt Taylor Vince

Pruitt Taylor Vince

Cambell/Schapker

Guest Star

Kurt Fuller

Kurt Fuller

Lindsey

Recurring Role

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