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Season 2 Episode 5

The Indicator

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 03, 2002 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
230 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Sydney discovers a terrifying secret when she's sent on a case to track down a new generation of weapons. Meanwhile, Vaughn suspects Jack of setting up Sydney's mother to take a fall. Sloane tells Jack the truth about Emily's death.

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  • Protecting the secret..

    Mom seems out of the picture and now all the bad things go after father again - he staged the things in Madagascar, ordered the explosives to get read of mother.

    And Vaughn gets that and he is not only one but even bigger secret will be revealed when Sydney goes to a mission and realize the weapons she has come to spy on are children and that brings back her own memories - she did the same things.. and by going deeper she figures it all out and to be honest, that was a stunning turn.. what a trick.. I never even thought that. She never had a change..moreless
  • Trust no more

    Cuando lo que más querés te decepciona, cuando te das cuenta que no sólo te mintió sino que lo hizo para sacar provecho él, perjudicándote. Ésto le pasa a Sidney en este episodio y espero que le sirva para replantearse quienes son los malos y quienes los buenos o, mejor dicho, que nadie es tan malo ni nadie tan bueno en esta vida tan compleja aunque parezca tan simple (a la vez que es una cosa es la otra).

    Bien Vaughn delatando a Jack, bien el misterio de la mujer de Sloane (demostrando que nadie es tan inteligente y nadie tan tonto).moreless
  • Review

    The end of the episode made one of the most blcokbuster reveals of the entire series up until this point. I thought the entire episode was pretty boring actually, but it did have a lot of high points in it that made me like the episode. I thought the continuation of Emily Sloans mystery took a huge turn in this epsiode when the drug that makes it seem that she could be alive was brought to Arvins attention. I think in the next episode we will continue to see him lose it, maybe even dig up his wifes grave to see what is in it. The end of the episode was just...amazing. I see Vaughn and Sydney growing closer and closer byt he episode and it is just a metter of time until the love triangle becomes full circle will Will and Vaughn. Overall, I think the episode was just what everyone expects from season 2 at this point - nothing but surperb.moreless
  • This episode reveals a lot about Sydney and her past and completely changes her relationship with her father.

    Sydney was always said to be an amazing spy to have skills like no other person. While her skills have always been hers it seems she has had some training along the way. The scene at the beginning is the only real big action scene which was very cool but that was pretty much it for the episode.

    Again we turn to Marshall; I don’t think his funny explanation of gadgets will ever get old. Lena Olin was missing from this episode but that didn’t stop Jennifer and Garner and Victor who plays her father Jack from doing great scenes together. The scene at the end in the rain is especially powerful.

    This episode has a lot of ground to cover. Most notably is the next generation weapon, which turns out to be sleeper agent kids. Which I find to be very creepy. From the beginning I had a feeling this might lead back to Sydney it only makes sense that she being the amazing agent that she is was part of the original project. The nice surprise was that it was her father who was in charge of the project and that what Sydney’s mother was sent to do was to uncover information about this very project. Now either the writers had planned for this to be the case all along or they found the perfect match to everything they set up as a back-story for Sydney and her family. Meanwhile Vaughn finds out that Jack was behind the bombing of the cabin not Irina. He plans to tell Sydney but after the Christmas project ordeal she figures it out for herself. I thought that finding out Jack was behind the bombing would take longer but I guess the timing worked well coinciding with Sydney learning the truth.

    As I already mentioned the writers did a great job in making this piece of the puzzle work in perfectly with what had already been established. Each twist was great ad they defiantly know where they are taking everything they are doing this season. And once again they are doing a top-notch job with the dialogue.

    The episode was just one more piece to solving the great puzzle that is Alias and that makes it a 10 out of 10 in my book. This episode is going to have long-term ramifications for Sydney and her father. Their relationship seem to have been getting as each episode went on this season but now it might never be the same.

    Special Effects: 8

    Acting: 9

    Direction: 10 Writing: 10

    Style: 10

    Final Rating: 9.4moreless
  • This was one cool episode.

    Francie's restauraunt is now open for buisiness.

    Irena left her earings behind in her cell, and Sydney found them. Irena is definately up to something.

    Irena doesn't show up in this episode.

    Sloan tells Jack exactly how he killed Emily and why, and how Emily may have evaded her death. So the question now, is she really alive?

    Vaughn figures out that Jack framed Irena and tells him if he doesn't tell Syd the truth he'll tell her himself.

    Sydney finds out that her father made her a part of project Christmas. And that she was trained to be a spy at a very young age. And she works out what Irena's real mission was when she was sent to spy on Jack & the CIA.

    The end was cool, with Syd telling her father that she'll never forgive him for what he did. Then she goes to Vaughn and cries on his shoulder.

Kevin Weisman

Kevin Weisman

Marshall J. Flinkman

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Sydney Anne Bristow

Merrin Dungey

Merrin Dungey

Francine 'Francie' Calfo

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Marcus R. Dixon

Ron Rifkin

Ron Rifkin

Arvin Sloane

Michael Vartan

Michael Vartan

Michael C. Vaughn

Amy Aquino

Amy Aquino

Agent Virginia Kerr

Guest Star

James LeSure

James LeSure

Agent Craig Blair

Guest Star

Stephen Markle

Stephen Markle

Senator Douglas

Guest Star

Kevin Sutherland

Kevin Sutherland

CIA Agent

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Goof: When in Buenos Aires, Sydney is fighting a man she is supposed to capture and he tries to stun her with a "stun gun". Sydney fights him off and kicks him into his indoor pond where he is electrocuted because of the gun. Sydney reaches out and snatches him out the water throwing him to the ground, to save him from electrocution. However, basic understanding of electric burns will tell you that this is impossible without being shocked as well as the original victim. Sydney should've been electrocuted as well as the man when she pulled him out, but she is immediately shown functioning perfectly.

    • Goof: When Sloane steps out of the shower to see the wine glass and looks in the mirror to re-adjust his towel. His man-thong to make it look like he was naked is clearly seen.

    • Number 47: When Sydney is giving the IP address to the CIA, she opens port 47.

    • Sydney hacks into a server with the IP address "". The hostname for this IP address is "alias1.starwave.com".

    • Goof: When Sydney traveled to Budapest, she left her car in front of the Parliament building. In this episode there is a red star on the Parliament building. The red star hasn't been on the Parliament building since 1989, when communism failed in Hungary, and the building has since been renovated. So that scene is a bad montage with Sydney (in 2002) and the Parliament building (before 1989).

    • Goof: When Sydney cuts the power at the Triad research leader's place, in the first shot everything blacks out including the rope-lights, but in the next shot, the rope lights are on.

    • It is understandable the show uses stock footage when Sydney zips around the world as easily as going to the supermarket, but producers should bear in mind the show is seen everywhere. When Sydney goes to Buenos Aires, some vegetation covered hills are seen, like something in the Brazilian jungle. Buenos Aires is flat as flat can be - no hills closer than 300 miles.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • (At Francie's restaurant kick-off party)
      Sydney: Where'd you find all these people?
      Francie: Can you believe it? I invited 100 people, thinking that maybe 70 would show up-
      Will: Well you said you were worried-
      Francie: He tells his entire N.A. meeting.
      Will: They're good people-
      Francie: I'm sure they're fantastic, but we make 90% of our profits from the bar - they don't drink!

    • (Vaughn interrogates De Souza)
      Vaughn: This is not a good time to be a terrorist, Manolo. A couple of years ago you would've had some civil rights. Now we just through you in a cell, no attorney, no due process.

    • Will: I have this new friend of mine in my work detail: Tommy Marijuana. We call him Tommy Marijuana, because there's Tommy Marijuana and Tommy Crystalmeth.

    • SD-6 Agent: There are no fingerprints on the glass. The wine is a '99 Hadley Cabernet Franc, unremarkable vintage. What is remarkable is what I extracted from inside the wine. I was so surprised I redid the test but I'm certain. It's VTX, a calcium-based antidote. Extremely scarce.
      Sloane: Antidote to what?
      SD-6 Agent: Uh, mainly heart attack inducing toxins. Kertotic acid, um, sodium morphate. VTX simulates death, it slows the lungs, nearly stops the heart, which is how it prevents the poisons from causing cardiac arrest. And then when the VTX is, uh, is metabolized. The, uh, body, it returns to normal.

    • Kerr: Agent Bristow, I've seen your profile. Your spatial intelligence is stellar. It's...It's no surprise that you can solve the puzzle.
      Sydney: But I wasn't solving it. When I was standing there, staring at that puzzle, it was like I remembered where every piece belonged. There wasn't any thought involved. You said the KGB developed a similar project, it's possible that my mother new the techniques and maybe she -
      Kerr: Agent Bristow. If you are looking to uncover a trauma then I need to warn you. Hypnotic regression can trigger severe nightmares, flashbacks, acute depression -
      Sydney: Understand that to do what I do, maintain my cover at SD-6, I compartmentalize a lot. But the idea that I might have been programmed to be a spy... I can't tuck that away. I need to know what happened to me.

    • Vaughn: I saw de Souza. He told me that you hired him to rig those explosives.
      Jack: Irina Derevko would eagerly destroy all of our lives.
      Vaughn: I'm not a big fan, either. It still doesn't justify what you did.
      Jack: You do good work, Agent Vaughn. But your consistent shortcoming - you should know this - is your naive sense of morality. Evil must be eliminated by whatever means necessary.

    • Kerr: We had no idea that the sixteen Next Generation weapons would turn out to be children.
      Sydney: They were being trained as sleeper agents?
      Kerr: That appears to be the case. See, the best spies have certain traits: proficiency with numbers, three dimensional thinking, creative problem solving. These abilities are all in evidence as early as five years old.

    • Jack: Sydney, Washington has made a decision regarding your mother. What she did to you invalidated her agreement with the CIA. The government is pressing charges. They're going to seek the death penalty.

    • Vaughn: I don't see why you're denying this possibility!
      Sydney: I understand that your authority has been superseded by my father and that maybe you feel irrelevant. But he saved our lives. Remember that! I won't wait to hear from you.

    • Vaughn: Okay. I'll confer with your father about your counter mission.
      Sydney: My father?
      Vaughn: He didn't tell you? Based on your father's instincts in the Madagascar incident, Devlin gave him operational approval.

    • Sloane: In his last communication to our sources in Vienna, Hater informed us that the triad was engaged in a plot to deploy and develop sixteen "Next Generation" weapons.
      Dixon: Any idea what "Next Generation" refers to?
      Sloane: No, which is a major source for concern. According to the communiqué, testing of the weapons is advancing ahead of schedule which means they may soon be put into the field.

    • Vaughn: The Triad? You never mentioned them before.
      Sydney: It's a loose coalition of organized crime entities. They deal in mainly drugs and prostitution, but over the past couple of years they've made a significant foray into weapons.

    • Sydney: I have this memory, when I was six years old. My mother had just died in a car accident. I felt so scared. You were never home, so who was going to take care of me? Then I overheard you talking. You were in your study on the phone. You were talking about Christmas, about me. You were taking care of my Christmas presents. Suddenly, I-I felt so safe. You were taking care of me. That memory's a lie. You weren't talking about that at all.
      Jack: Sydney.
      Sydney: I've seen the footage. Mom's briefings with her KGB handler. She was sent here for one specific purpose, to steal information from you about a project you were developing for the CIA. An operation to train children to be American spies. Project Christmas. Ever since Mom came back, you were afraid she'd figure out what you did to me. You weren't trying to protect me from her, you were trying to protect your secret. So the first opportunity you had, you set her up... in Madagascar.
      Jack: Sydney, understand something--
      Sydney: No, Dad, you understand something. You took away my choices in life. You programmed me to be a spy. I will never forgive you for this.

    • Agent Craig: Listen I heard about Weiss, how's he doing?
      Vaughn: It was rough, but they say he's gonna be okay, which is more than I can say about the nursing staff.

    • Will: When I was in sixth grade, I was sort of anonymous. You know, you had the smart kid, and the funny kid, and the good athlete. And I was just Will.

    • Sydney: Sixth grade was an awkward phase for me.
      Will: Oh, come on. You, awkward?
      Sydney: Yeah. Big teeth and little eyes. And I always was a foot taller than everyone else so I sort of hunched over.

  • NOTES (4)