Season 3 Episode 1

The Two

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 28, 2003 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
231 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sydney tries to piece together the last two years of her life and discovers the fates of her friends and family. She confronts Vaughn about his marriage and learns the shocking fates of Jack and Sloane. Meanwhile, she is granted temporary CIA clearance on a case that may help her regain her memory.moreless

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  • Fragile Start to What I Hope Becomes a Good Season

    I've been enjoying watching Alias become a fun and solid show the first couple of seasons. As the characters were fleshed out and relationships built, it was great to follow them all through the twists and turns of their lives. The finale from S2 was action-packed and although I let out a big groan when they pulled the "Missing-for-years-but-doesn't-know-it" plot line on Sydney, I was hopeful that this series could fix things and get back on track.

    Fast forward to S3E1 and I have to say there was a lot I did like. The emotional charge between Sydney and her now-jailed father (yeah, didn't like that he was even IN jail). It was great to see them expressing their love after so many years of emotional distance. The sorrow and hurt between Sydney and her love-now-married-to-another Michael (can't blame the guy for moving on if he literally went to her funeral and through the entire grieving process). Dixon getting the respect he deserves (finally - he's one of my favorite characters) and even sweet Marshall with his little pregnant girlfriend.

    What I did not like. Again with a Director/Agency head who is going to give Sydney/her dad trouble and grief. Never mind the fact they both have risked their lives over and over and over again in the name of their country. I wish they wouldn't go down this road again.

    My biggest beef of them all and what probably swung this episode from "good" to "groan"? Sloane. Come on. This man was the head of an internal terrorist cell for over 30 years - THIRTY YEARS AS A HOMELAND TERRORIST. And suddenly, within 3 years, he's now working for the US Government again? Excuse me while I pass out from laughing. Seriously. Some of the worst writing I've even seen in a TV show. Do they really think we are that stupid as a viewing audience? Obviously they are setting something up for later, and in the process are trying to keep Sloane's character interesting after, what I assume is the end of the Rimbaldi plot line (please oh please let that be done - it was interesting at first but it dragged on too long, IMO). I really want to enjoy this show - I'd like to see how the last 3 seasons play out. I just cannot stomach a man responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people, theft and high treason as suddenly perfectly acceptable candidate to head one of our biggest national organizations. Ridiculous.

    I'll keep watching and hoping they fix this issue and get back on track. But for me, for the moment, the magic is gone. Lost in a sea of poor plot choices and unbelievable writing.moreless
  • A new season brings along with a lot of new changes...

    There were plenty of pieces to pick up after the explosive finale of season two, but rather surprisingly, instead of hinting at what happened during those missing 2 years, we're thrown a new set of complications for us deal with.

    As Syd puts it, her world has been torn to pieces and its the gradual decline into madness (kinda) that really sets this episode alight. Her confrontation with Vaughn, where she rips him a new one, is Jen at her best - managing to hit so many emotional beats, she always makes Syd such a compelling lead character no matter the circumstance.

    There's a lot of neat changes to the show's dynamics: Marshall has a girlfriend and even more shockingly, she's pregnant; Pappa Spy has been locked up for a year; Vaughn has a new arm piece; Dixon is head of operations; Sloane is head of a charity organisation and Sydney, seemingly, is a cold blooded murderer.

    All of these additions are interesting sure, but together they make for one serious info-dump. There may be tears galore to be had in this one, but there's no real emotional hook, aside from Syd going rogue in order to release her captive father. What the series had built prior to season 3 was a strong emotional core. This episode serves to disrupt every relationship Syd has and while it's effective in isolating Sydney, it's a bit of a cheat for long-term fans.

    It's also an episode riddled with holes (unusual for this show). That scene where Syd intercepts the meet, dressed to kill, seemed entirely superfluous. How did she know her shot wouldn't have killed everyone in the car, along with destorying the chip? Are we meant to believe that she could easily stroll into CIA HQ the way she did with an Enemy of the State sign over her head and blackmail her senior without consequences? Dixon had an Ariel view of the mission in Paris, Lindsey certainly would have seen two figures standing outside for a few minutes chatting away like two aul ones, surely.

    Regardless, it's a standard episode of Alias, meaning it's pretty good. It plants a lot of future plot developments for the season. Unfortunately it sacrifices a lot of character stuff in order to do this, and so we have a rare episode that feels all about the mission. Pity.moreless
  • Alias returns for a third season with an episode that leaves a lot to be desired.

    If you thought that this episode would reveal where Sydeny has been for the past two years, you really don't know Alias.

    Sydney learns the fates of her friends and family: Jack is in jail for co-operating with Irina, Dixon is in charge of the CIA, Sloane is also working for the CIA, Marshall and his girlfriend are expecting a child and Weiss has lost a little weight. Oh, I almost forgot: Vaughan is now married to another woman.

    The episode is full of shocks but it reveals nothing about Syd's two year disappearance aside from a recording that Jack shows Sydney. On the whole, the episode is mediocre save for the talk between Vaughan and Sydney near the end of the epiosde. The acting in that scene is fantastic, especially the acting of Jennifer Garner.

    The episode is good but nothing spectacular. There's plenty of ass-kicking by Syd and some charged emotional scenes. Worth a look.moreless
  • She's been missing for two years!! I just expected more tears....:)

    So this episode gave abolutely NO answers. Wich makes it kinda cool :). I didn't expect answers but what I did expect was pain, fear, despair and absolute confusion. I found out, that I wasn't happy with Vaughn reaction, and frankly everyone else's reaction except for Sydney's and Jack's.

    If you've ever read my other reviews you'll know I'm a big Sydney and Vaughn shipper. Obviously not seeing them together hurts. I already knew this would happen though (I'm just spoilerish I can't help it :P) but I expected Vaughn to be broken by seeing Sydney again. It seemed to me like he excepted it way too fast. We haven't seen him that much in this epi and that's probably why I have this feeling, 'cause I know it must have been a hell for him. And he must feel real weird now, but I want to *see* him think about Sydney and what happened to her, instead of leaving it all to my imagination.

    I loved Sydney's speech to Vaughn. I can't imagine how she must feel. The man she loves is married to someone else, everyone has a new life while she is stuck in her old one. How can I describe the brilliant actress that Jennifer Garner is....well, I think you all know ;)

    Jack was in prison for working with Irina. That's just so in character :) Very clever! I didn't like the way how fast Sydney got Jack out of prison though. It's also kinda weird that he's back in the CIA. That doesn't make sense, but they have to keep him in the story.

    I love Weiss and Marshall, they're the best. But once again I seems like they're not surprised enough with Syd's come back. She was dead! You'd just think people would react different. (Okay, I'll stop about it :P) It's great that Marshall is going to have a child. That man deserves all the happiness that he can get.

    I don't like the NSC guy. Gimme Kendall! ( can't believe I just said that :S). I'm not sure I like Dixon as a leader either...

    I loved the thing with the car. Sydney just looked so frickin' cool! Those are the kind of action scenes I want to see. Loved the hair too.

    I read a review a while ago wich said that Alias relies on action too much. After seeing this one I can't disagree. This epi should have been all talk and still Sydney manages to immediatly do a mission for CIA. I'm sorry, but that's not logical.

    Sloane is evil. I have no single doubt about that in my mind. Pure evil, and he should be stopped before he can do something evil again (that is if he isn't already doing it). The thing with 'Peace' doesn't make sense either. You're lying man. Give it up, these people WILL catch you eventually. ( where is Will, btw;) )

    Good episode, but not what I expected. I do adore this shows main character, and it's sad to see her being hurt like that. It now even seems that she has done some things in her two forgotten years. Wonder where this story is going to *-) Catch you all later, too see!

  • Review

    Obviously everything that was shocking to Sydney in this episode was going to be shocking for us, so lets start with some of the things that I loved. I liked how Dixon got bumped up in terms of rank and is now running things over at the CIA. While I liked Terry O' Quinn for his role on the show, the CIA needed to start looking a little more like the magic days of the show when SD-6 was around which is exactly what they did. Feeding off that is Arvin Slone, who I both love and hate to see working with the CIA. I think he will flop to a bad guy sometime, which will make this writing good. If he stays goof for more then 6 episodes I would be a little worried about where the show is going. They didnt answer every question, Irina and Sark didnt make an apperence in this episode, which I think is good for the future of season 3. The action scenes were really well done and I really liked both of Sydneys conversations with Vaughn. I liked how the show picked up from the exact point of "The Telling", almost made it seem like a part two. Overall, fantastic episode and a great way to start off season 3. Though I hear it doesnt stay good for long - I hope your all wrong.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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The establishing shot for Paris with the Eiffel Tower shows the tower with a giant, light-up number screen--This screen represents a publicity move in the late 1990s to make a countdown (in days) to the year 2000. In the footage, it's at 821 days. In Season 1 they mention the Patriot Act, dating the show to post 9-11-2001.

    • During the operation CIA headquarters had satellite images of the area showing agents and enemies as dots. When Sydney is talking to Eric she says "We never had this conversation, after the gunfight I disappeared". She obviously doesn't want Eric to report the conversation to CIA headquarters telling them they had talked after the gunfight, but wouldn't they have seen all along via the satellite images that they had been standing next to each other for minutes after the gunfight?

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Sloane: You remember the Rambaldi device? The machine designed 500 years ago by a prophet? All I did was bring all the pieces together and have it assembled. And when I turned it on, it delivered a message, as I suspected it would. I wasn't prepared for what it said. The message was just one word, one simple word: peace. The epiphany I had at that moment... suddenly I saw all the mistakes I'd made, the pain that I had inflicted on the world, the people I loved. So I chose right then and there to give information to the CIA with which they were able to dismantle at least two dozen terrorist cells.
      Sydney: I don't know how you convinced the CIA that you're trustworthy...
      Sloane: Why don't you check my files?
      Sydney: I know you too well. I don't buy any of it.

    • Sydney: They told me you were charged with resisting authority. Dad, I don't understand.
      Jack: I became obsessed with your death; with finding those responsible. And at a certain point in my pursuit, I needed help. So I contacted the one person I believed I could trust, given the circumstances... your mother.
      Sydney: You were working with Mom?
      Jack: At the time, she was number 6 on the CIA's Most Wanted List. The National Security Council, primarily... Robert Lindsey. You met him?
      Sydney: Yes.
      Jack: He discovered that I was collaborating with your mother, so he threatened me, questioned my allegiance to this country. He chose to make an example of me - an NSC power play. And here we are.

    • Weiss: You're not gonna like my suggestion: you should go see Arvin Sloane.
      Sydney: What?
      Weiss: Sloane negotiated a pardon after your . . . death. He's now a consultant for the CIA. Yeah, he now runs a world health organization in Zurich: OMNIFAM.

    • Sydney: Where's my father? Or . . . or my mom - have you heard from her since Mexico City? Vaughn said Will's alive. If there was a fire in my apartment, if he thought I was dead, then how did Will survive? Where is he?
      Dixon: Sydney . . .
      Sydney: And Francie - is she dead? Did they find her body, too?
      Dixon: I know you have a million questions, but . . .
      Sydney: I have a lot more than a million questions! I wish I only had a million questions!

    • Vaughn: I chose not to stay with the CIA after your death.
      Sydney: You're not with the Agency?
      Vaughn: No. I'm a teacher.

    • Jack: Vaughn what?
      Sydney: He got married.
      Jack: Michael Vaughn is just a boy who was never good enough for you.

    • Sydney: You lost weight.
      Weiss: Oh yeah, thanks, I sorta gave up all the foods I enjoy. I'm miserable but I look really good.

    • Vaughn: I came by to see how you were.
      Sydney: Are you kidding me?
      Vaughn: No, I just wanted to make sure that you're...
      Sydney: You didn't come here to see how I am. You came here to see how you are, because you know in your heart what you did. You wanna make sure you're okay.
      Vaughn: I buried you. Consider that for one second.
      Sydney: Don't use rational thought as a defense with me. Not after all you and I have seen. Vaughn, you and I live and breathe madness. Every day on the job there is no rational thought. I can't even pretend to have a conversation about anything else with you. What it comes down to is faith. What I was hoping you would say is, 'Sydney, I gave up on us. I lost faith.' But what you came here for was closure and there is not a chance you are getting that from me. I'm not gonna say, 'I understand,' I'm not gonna sympathize with you and tell you how hard it must be for you. But you want to know how I am? I am horrible! Vaughn, I am ripped apart! And not because I lost you... but because...if it had been me... I would have waited... I would have found the truth...I wouldn't have given up on you! And now I realize... what an absolute waste that would have been!

    • French Contact: Forgive me if I look shocking to you, but I was believing that you were dead.
      Sydney: I was. But now I'm not.
      French Contact: This is why I love our business.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode opens with Jennifer Garner voicing the line, "Last season on Alias", as opposed to the usual "Previously on Alias".

    • Music from this episode includes:
      "Rollin" by Limp Bizkit
      "I Feel Love" by Blue Man Group
      "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" by Rickie Lee Jones

    • As of this episode Melissa George, David Anders, and Greg Grunberg are credited in the opening titles while Bradley Cooper, Merrin Dungey and Lena Olin are no longer credited.

    • Although credited, David Anders and Melissa George both don't appear in this episode.