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Season 3 Episode 17

The Frame

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 28, 2004 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
194 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sydney and Vaughn must track Kazari Bomani down to get hold of a piece of the Rambaldi puzzle. Meanwhile, Jack reveals his suspicions to Senator Reed about his daughter Lauren's allegiances, and Vaughn decides what to do about his marriage.

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  • Alias depicts some spies as Yeah, right.

    Spies, including CIA agents, are often depicted as heroic individuals.

    Homeland. Zero Dark Thirty.

    But if you've ever had the misfortune to actually know one, as I have, you'll know that they are lying sacks of s**t without a shred of honesty or decency. They have no qualms about using your friendship for everything it is worth, then stabbing you in the back. You're just part of the job they have to do.

    Alias depicts some spies as "good" and others as Lauren Reed is the latter.

    Don't believe it. They're all like Lauren.moreless
  • Syd and Vaughn almost. (again!)

    Now that Lauren is full on bad guy, she has been sporting some hot getups and is looking better than ever. While the last 3 or so episodes have been disappointing, Lauren, at least, has upped the eye candy considerably. This only barely scrapes above average, but at least it propels the season forward for the final few laps, as the characters slot back into their uncomfortable comfort zones, awaiting the massive piece of **** that will no doubt destroy the fan, let alone hit it. The idea that Lauren must kill her father in order to regain Vaughn's trust is absurd even for this show, and the idea that Peggy Reed is Covenant is also hard to swallow. Still, Jack's pursuit of Lauren added some much needed momentum, and with Sloane up for the death penalty and Bomani about to retrieve the passenger, the remaining episodes to a hit or miss season should be interesting…I hope.moreless
  • Sydney to Vaughn:"I guess we won't be getting that cup of coffee."

    Sydney to Vaughn:"I guess we won't be getting that cup of coffee."

    I thought that in this episode Lauren would finally be unmasked and that Jack or...Vaughn would apply the Inferno protocol on her(nah..I guess it's too good to be true).Yet,with Senator Reed's death,not only did she clear herself of any suspicion,but she also won her husband back.This is what we call "two birds one stone".One thing about her:we know that she's completely evil but she couldn't pull the trigger to kill her father and for a second there I thought that she might actually have a heart.But this thought vanished as soon as she barked into the house and gave that fake hug to her mother.Sark's right complimenting on her acting skills...

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and this is what Lauren and Olivia's case shows.What Olivia did to her husband was anything but shocking to me and this is for two reasons.First of all,I didn't like her comment to Jack about Lauren("the government is lucky to have her").From that moment I was certain that she wasn't who she appeared to be.Secondly,the whole "man married to a duplicitous wife" thing has been used so many times on Alias that I wasn't surprised at all when Olivia did what she did.If we were talking about another show,this would definitely leave me astonished,but on Alias it's in danger of becoming cliche.

    The scene in the restaurant was the most interesting one.Lauren,the woman Vaughn isn't in love with,has his father's watch fixed.But she doesn't know that he prefers it broken because it symbolizes his love for Syd.And speaking of which,I really liked the fact that she fought for him and didn't display the usual-on such occasions-"I'm really sorry" face.Unfortunately,she lost the fight.

    It's really hard to believe that Sloane will be executed.Firstly,he's one of the greatest tv villains of all time and an inseperable part of the show.His death would signal Alias' downfall,I think.Secondly,we all know what a sly old fox he is and that he certainly has plenty of tricks up his sleeve.Besides,he still knows a lot more about Rambaldi than the others do(did you notice his reaction when he was told the third crystal had been found?),so killing him off before we got all the answers about Il Dire would be very disappointing.

    Having Rambaldi back is just wonderful.I loved the whole "hidden disks and underwater caves" stuff and how they add another historic figure to the story apart from Pope Alexander VI.This really provides a lot of depth and mystery to the Rambaldi mythology.

    Notable Quotes:

    Sloane:"You have such a beautiful smile,Sydney.I miss it."

    Sydney:"If you're executed,I'll be a witness.I'll smile then."

    Vaughn:"If I need it,can I crash on your couch?"

    Weiss:" just have to wipe off the Cheese Nips."

    Sark:"Have you been made?"

    Lauren:"Of course not.If he knew I was Covenant he would arrest me,not break up with me."


    --The "Passenger" plot has returned.We learnt that's inside the "Irina" box and is Irina's legacy,according to Bomani.

    --Something pleasantly surprising that I noticed in this episode is that it made references to several previous ones.1)We saw Kishell again,the man with the mangled face and throat from "Snowman".2)Lauren had Vaughn's watch from "The Passage I" fixed,3)Sark told Lauren that after Alice's father had died,Vaughn went back to her,which is something that happened in "The Abduction" and finally 4)the crystal map that Syd and Vaughn retrieved from the Russian consulate looks a lot like Sol D'Oro from "A Broken Heart".

    --Although I loved Syd and Vaughn's escape from the Russian consulate,it's been ages since I last saw an action scene.And I don't mean "gunfire" action but "kick-ass" action.

    --Sloane's reading the "Iliad"?And in ancient greek?Wow..

    --I loved Syd's new hairdo with the bangs.She looks both beautiful and more mature.Of course,Garner looks gorgeous in everything.

    --This episode's creepy moment:Lauren's "full of satisfaction" smile at the end.

    --This episode's locations:Mexico City,Mexico;Gaborone,Russia(?!?) and Sea of Japan

    --This episode's alias:Syd,posing as a Russian couture designer,wears a light-green satin dress and has orange-coloured afros.

    --This episode's gadgets:Marshall's choker that contains a microphone,through wich he can reconstruct the phrases used by the Russian consulate general so that Syd can fool his security system.

  • Review

    I thought this episode was okay, with a lot focusing on how Lauren was going to get herself out of trouble. The endgame was to kill her father and make it seem like the whole thing was his idea and that he was the mole. The planned worked and I must say I did like the twist that the mom was in on it to. It wasn't as shocking because we really didn't get to know too much about her character before she betrayed the country as well, but either way it was still interesting that Lauren couldn't go through with it and her mother had to intervine. Other then that big twist though the episode wasn't all that exciting. The title lives up to its name, as it was the only real major turning point in the episode. Overall, just middle of the road kind of episode for me though.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

James Sharpe

James Sharpe


Guest Star

Henry G. Sinitzyn

Henry G. Sinitzyn

Petr Berezovsky

Guest Star

Dimitri Diatchenko

Dimitri Diatchenko


Guest Star

Kevin Sutherland

Kevin Sutherland

CIA Agent Blake

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The official cause of Senator Reed's death was suicide. However, judging by the angle of the gun pointed at him, it looks like he was shot either in the forehead (if he was kneeling), or the chest (if he was stood up). In either case, it is pretty obvious that he didn't commit suicide.

    • Lauren pointed a gun at Senator Reed and told him to put his hand behind his head is a lot like when Derevko did it to Sydney in the season 2 premiere. In both situation someone ended up dead, but the shooter and the person getting shot is not who we expected.

    • Number 47: (hidden) When Marshall monitors the helicopter and the four divers, its frequency shown onscreen is 14375.298.

    • Alice was mentioned for the first time since the fall of SD-6 in "Phase One."

    • Number 47: When Vaughn and Sydney go underwater, her monitor shows 434 meters of profundity (4 (3+4=) 7).

    • Number 47: Jack's user account's reference number is 024785.

    • When Jack accesses Lauren's e-mail, the subject of one of the messages is "FW: Photos for Alias Ep. #315".

    • Goof: Lauren's last access date into her computer was in 3/26/04, but if the show jumped forward two years, this year should be 2006.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Jack: All I have is a paper trail. Not definitive proof but the beginning of what Director Dixon and I believe to be a strong case for the existence of a mole.
      Senator Reed: Other than Sloane?
      Jack: Or instead of him. At this point, that is unclear.
      Senator Reed: Is it that hard to identify a traitor? Honestly, sometimes I think you people just get too close.

    • Sloane: Ah, you have such a beautiful smile, Sydney. I miss it.
      Sydney: If you're executed, I'll be a witness. I'll smile then.

    • Lauren: My access extends beyond my husband.
      Sark: Perhaps, but Vaughn is central to the CIA's efforts regarding The Passenger, so you must do everything possible to keep him close.

    • Sark: Have you been made?
      Lauren: Of course not. If he knew I was Covenant he would arrest me, not break up with me.

    • Sloane: In order to maintain my cover, I had to grant Bomani access to certain Omnifam resources. Check the report, Sydney. I detailed all of this.
      Sydney: You're here because you committed treason by spying on your country. I won't put much stock in your reports.

    • Vaughn: If I need it, can I crash on your couch?
      Weiss: Yeah... You just have to wipe off the Cheese Nips.

    • Marshall: Okay, now this is what I was looking at. That's your basic land mass. But then if I compare the topography with oceanic mapping... heh, Sloane is a genius. (Sydney looks at Marshall funny) I mean an evil, horrible genius. Bad man genius. But still, genius.

    • Sydney: Vaughn. I am sad for you. For you and Lauren. That you have to go through this. But I'm also hopeful. That's what scares me.

    • Senator Reed: I could tell The Agency I learned there was a mole in the Rotunda six months ago, and that I've been conducting my own investigation. I'm a senator on the intelligence committee. No one would say a word.
      Lauren: You would do that for me?
      Senator Reed: Off course I would - I love you.

    • Bomani: (To Sydney) I could never have found these without your help. I thank you for that. You remind me of you mother. I'm sure she will be pleased to know I got the keys from you. After all, The Passenger is Irina's legacy.

    • Senator Reed: It'd break your mother's heart if she ever found out about this. I know because it broke mine.
      Lauren: If it's any consolation, I believe the cause I'm working for is just.

    • Dixon: We've looked everywhere on Earth.
      Sloane: Really, Marcus? Have you? Or is it simply that you've looked everywhere on land?

    • Jack: I understand this is difficult.
      Senator Reed: No, no, it's not, because there is nothing here. Lauren is a patriot, and I will not allow you to ruin her reputation based on innuendo and supposition.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Kishell: The box you lost has not been opened since the time of Rambaldi. Though there is a legend Joseph Stalin made the greatest effort.

      Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin was the second leader of the Soviet Union.