"Salvation"
Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman; directed by Perry Lang

Vaughn and Sydney meet on a rooftop and discuss Irina’s trial, which starts later that morning. Vaughn says that he’s arranged for Sydney to watch the opening arguments on closed circuit TV in the ops center. Sydney asks for a joke, so Vaughn tells her one about a grasshopper in a bar, which she ruins. At an SD-6 briefing, Sloane tells Sydney, Jack, and Marshall that Richter (see “Dead Drop”) may have been exposed to a virus similar to Ebola. Sark is having three patients with the similar affliction taken to a hospital in Geneva, possibly to be studied. Jack and Sydney are to pose as a man needing a kidney transplant and his daughter in order to get into the hospital. After the meeting, Jack takes Sydney to a conference room and tells her that he tested Project Christmas (see “The Indicator”) on her because he didn’t want her to be a victim. Sydney thinks that he should have told her the truth before she ended up at SD-6. Jack reveals that he wanted to recruit her into the CIA but Sloane got to her first. Sydney says that she’d like to believe him but she can’t trust him anymore. At the joint task force building, Sydney and Vaughn watch footage of Irina’s trial and learn that she’s pled guilty to all 86 counts she was charged with. In three days, she’ll be executed by lethal injection.

At home, Sydney writes a letter to Devlin informing him that Jack manipulated the CIA into believing that Irina violated her immunity agreement (see “Dead Drop”). She thinks that Jack should have to answer for the charges instead of Irina. At Francie’s restaurant, Sydney tells Will that she wanted Irina dead when she first came back, but now she’s fighting to keep her from being executed. Will is proud of earning his 30-day sobriety chip, even though he was never an addict to begin with. He adds that he’s going to have to sell his car, since he’s running low on cash. Francie cleans frantically to prepare for the arrival of a guy from Zagat’s. Will learns that the guy Francie hired to dress as a hamburger and pass out fliers makes more than he does. At the joint task force building, Vaughn asks Devlin if they can analyze an American first-grade IQ test to see if the Soviets used it to identify possible future sleeper agents during the Cold War. Devlin says that they don’t have any agents available to do the work. On their flight to Geneva, Jack tells Sydney that Irina’s guilty plea is just another manipulation - she wants to spare Sydney her trial because she knows she would lose all of her sympathy. He then gives back the letter she wrote to Devlin. Sydney thinks that Jack was so in love with Irina that he lost his soul when she left. She adds that she thinks he’s the kind of person who, after using her to frame Irina and training her to be a spy, looks at her and sees his greatest mistake. She notes that if he hadn’t been so gullible, she would never have been born.

Will meets with Vaughn and asks him if he can help him get a job. Vaughn tells him the CIA can’t employ him because he has a (fake) criminal record. He adds that he can pay him for a discretionary fund and gives him the IQ test assignment. In Geneva, Jack and Sydney head to the hospital, only acting like a loving father and daughter when people are watching. In the operating room, they release a knock-out drug and Jack gets to a computer to get research on the virus. Sydney finds one of the infected patients, and while she’s preparing to draw some of his blood, he grabs her arm and says, “Irina?” Jack helps her out and they escape with the help of a homemade bomb, lots of shooting, and a helicopter. Jack tells Sydney that the patient mistook her for Irina because he used to work for her - in fact, before she turned herself in, Irina ordered Sark to expose him to the virus. At SD-6, Sloane fills Jack in on the VTX in the wine (see “The Indicator”). Jack thinks that either Emily is alive and is tormenting Sloane or someone else wants to make him think that Emily is alive. Sloane notes that if the Alliance thinks she’s alive, they’ll think SD-6 is rogue and they’re all in a lot of trouble. At the self-storage facility, Sydney tells Vaughn that she doesn’t think she can forgive Jack, but he might be right about Irina’s manipulations. Vaughn tells her that he gave Will a job, which she thinks is nice.

Somewhere downtown, Sloane and Jack emerge from a business lunch and Sloane spots someone who looks remarkably like Emily. He follows her into an empty church, where Jack tells him that he may have PTSD; he notes that he’s walked into a place of confession. Sloane thinks that Emily is alive, and Jack tells him there’s only one way (as unappealing as it may be) to find out for sure. Sydney meets with Devlin and tells him that Irina wasn’t behind the explosives in Madagascar. He tells her that they’ve just received Jack’s statement to the same effect and a hearing has already been scheduled. Sydney promises that she didn’t mean to shift the blame to her father, she just wanted to save her mother. Sydney is summoned to the medical ward, where she learns that the huge Mueller device in Taipei (see “Almost Thirty Years”) may have been the source of the mysterious illness, which means she’s in some trouble and Vaughn is in a lot. The two wind up quarantined together. In the morning, Sydney’s tests come back negative but Vaughn is kept for more observation. The doctor repeats that the first sign of illness is bleeding from the fingernails.

At his hearing, Jack states that he still thinks Irina is a threat and will prove it as soon as she can. He won’t tell the senator in charge of the hearing why he’s had a change of heart and turned himself in. After some more questioning, he says that Sydney convinced him that he’d acted unethically, but the senator thinks that Jack only came forward because he knew Sydney was going to turn him in. Jack admits that he doesn’t want to look on Sydney as a mistake, and he doesn’t want her to possibly die from the mysterious disease believing that he thinks of her that way. Sydney watches the hearing from the joint task force building and hears him talk about how proud he is of her. Later, Sydney goes out to a restaurant, where Vaughn sends her a drink from the bar. He calls her and gives her good news and bad news: he’s not sick, but Jack is going to prison and Irina will still be executed. Sydney tracks down the senator from the hearing in D.C. and tries to convince him to let Jack and Irina off. Sloane has Emily’s grave dug up and discovers that her coffin is empty. Back at the joint task force ops center, a freed Jack asks Sydney how she got the senator to change his mind. She replies that she told him she and Jack know a senator is working for an Alliance member and only she and her parents can figure out which it is. This is a complete lie, but it managed to accomplish what Sydney wanted. As Sydney watches Irina back in her cell, Vaughn discovers that his fingernails are bleeding.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Vaughn: “This grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender says, ‘Hey, we have a drink named after you!’ And the grasshopper says--.”
Sydney: “‘You have a drink named Doug?’”
Vaughn: “Well, I was going to use Phil.”
Sydney: “Well, Phil is certainly no funnier than Doug.”

“Now, your cover is, you’re going in for kidney transplants. Well, now, you’re probably thinking now, ‘Hold on a second, Marshall! We need our kidneys!’” - Marshall

Vaughn: “You talk in your sleep.”
Sydney: “No! What did I say?”
Vaughn: “‘Don’t frost the pie.’ It seemed really important.”

“When I look at her, when I look at the little girl who raised herself to become one of the most extraordinary human beings and one of the finest agents I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, I see only the promise of my own redemption. Turning myself in was the only way I could think of to make that clear to her, to prove that despite…my limited abilities as a father, I love her more than I could ever say.” - Jack


Back to Alias episode guides

Back to Fun and Games