"Truth Be Told"
Written and directed by J.J. Abrams

Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) is being tortured by Chinese men who are holding her head underwater. She speaks to them in Chinese but they don’t seem to like what they hear. In a classroom in L.A., Sydney finishes up an essay, stalling to get more time from her professor. She walks around campus with her boyfriend Danny, who listens to her talk about how she thinks she got a D, even though she’s normally a very good student. As he’s crouching on the ground, looking through his bag, he reminds her of a date they had once and starts singing loudly. He then proposes and Sydney accepts. Later, Sydney shares the news with her best friend Francie Calfo (Merrin Dungey), who wonders if Sydney has told their friend Will yet. She hasn’t, nor has she told her father yet. Francie thinks that Sydney’s late mother would be very happy for her. Sydney debates calling her father, mentioning that Danny called him to ask his permission to marry Sydney. In a flashback to that, Danny calls Jack Bristow (Victor Garber), who doesn’t seem to care either way what Sydney does. Sydney goes to a building called Credit Dauphine (taking off her engagement ring in the process), and though it appears to be a normal corporate building, it’s actually headquarters for a secret organization called SD-6.

She meets up with her coworker Marcus Dixon (Carl Lumbly), who thinks that she has a glow about her. In a conference room, they meet with their boss Arvin Sloane (Ron Rifkin) and technology genius Marshall Flinkman (Kevin Weisman) to discuss a man named Mueller who recently died. Sloane assigns Sydney and Dixon to go to Taiwan to retrieve Mueller’s plans for an experiment and find out what happened to a mole named Quintero. Marshall gives them a lighter that scrambles video and a lipstick tube that takes photos. Sydney and Will Tippin (Bradley Cooper) run on a track and discuss his unfortunate love life before Sydney finally tells him that she and Danny are engaged. He tries to be happy for her but obviously isn’t that thrilled. At home, Danny talks about how excited he is that he and Sydney will have children someday. She takes him into the bathroom, turns on the shower, and tells him that she works for the CIA. He doesn’t believe her, but when she finally convinces him, he gets mad and leaves. Back in her torture chamber, Sydney is drugged. In the present, she explains to Danny how she was recruited - she was approached as an undergraduate and offered a job with a covert branch of the CIA. She tells him that she wanted to find someone to give her life meaning after her mother’s death, and it’s him. She just happened to meet the CIA first. Danny is still upset and heads out for a walk after Sydney warns him not to tell anyone what he’s learned.

On their flight to Taiwan, Sydney asks Dixon if he’s ever told his wife Diane what he does for a living. “If there’s one rule you don’t break, that’s the rule you don’t break,” he replies. In Taiwan, they dress up and attend a fancy party. A drunk Danny calls Sydney and leaves a message on her answering machine as Dixon pretends to pass out so Sydney can get into a restricted area. Danny tells Sydney that he doesn’t want to lose her just because she has a dangerous job. Someone listening in on the phone call hears him talking about spies and picks up the phone to call Sloane. In Taiwan, Sydney spots the device from the diagrams she’s seen and takes photos of it. She makes it out of the restricted area with a little time to spare and pretends that she got lost while looking for a restroom. Back in L.A., Sloane tells Jack that Danny knows the truth about Sydney, and now something has to be done. When Sydney and Dixon return, Dixon is approached by agents at the airport and tells them that Sydney isn’t with him. She heads home and finds her apartment ransacked. In the bathroom, she finds Danny dead. She races over to Credit Dauphine and asks Sloane what he did. He tells her that she’s responsible for what happened, and since she put them in a bad situation, he had to respond in the proper way. She attacks him, exclaiming, “You killed the man I love!” “No, Agent Bristow,” he replies. “You did.”

Sloane sends Sydney to see Agent McCullough (Angus Scrimm), who performs test to see if Sloane can still trust her. When she’s finally allowed to leave, she emerges from the building just in time to see her car being towed. In Taiwan, Sydney is drugged, then questioned by a man known affectionately as Suit and Glasses (Ric Young) who wants to know who she works for. She tells him to write down “E-T-I-B E-M,” then reverse it. “I’ve got bad news for you, man,” she says. “I’m your worst enemy. I’ve got nothing to lose.” SaG points out that she has teeth. Back in L.A., Sydney attends Danny’s funeral. Later, she replays her and Danny’s answering machine message in order to hear his voice. Three months later, Sydney gets a page from Sloane in the middle of a class but doesn’t respond to it. Dixon comes to campus and tells her that she’s had more time off than she’d planned and Sloane wants her back at work. In fact, he wants her to go after the Mueller device. Sydney tells him to get Quintero on it, but Quintero is dead. Dixon warns that if Sloane doesn’t have confidence in someone who is in this as deep as Sydney is, they might come after her. She apologizes and leaves. Later, she’s shot at in a parking garage and uses her phone to distract her assailant and get the upper hand. Another car approaches and she points a gun at it. Fortunately, or possibly unfortunately, the driver is Jack.

In the midst of their getaway, Jack warns Sydney that SD-6 no longer trusts her and will kill her if she doesn’t follow his directions. He explains that he works for SD-6 as well. He’s arranged a way for her to get out of the country and lie low for a while. “Who are you?” she asks. Jack tells her that she needs to trust him because she doesn’t know who she’s dealing with. Sydney asks for more clarification. He explains that a decade ago, a bunch of agents from different countries went freelance and formed the Alliance of 12. Sydney thinks that they’re mercenaries and enemies of the U.S., but Jack informs her that he’s a member. SD-6 isn’t a black-ops division of the CIA - it’s a branch of the alliance, which means that Sydney is working for the enemy she thought she was fighting. She doesn’t believe this, but Jack tells her that all lower level agents have been lied to. He tries to convince her to let him help her, but she would rather have him stay away from her. In Taiwan, SaG goes for Sydney’s teeth; she tells him to start with the ones in the back. In L.A., Sydney secretly meets with Will on the roof of his office building and asks for his sister Amy’s passport and credit cards. She dyes her hair red, like Amy’s, then heads to the airport with her ID and flies to Taiwan. Unfortunately, before she can get to the Mueller device, she’s knocked out.

SaG offers Sydney painkillers in exchange for information. She gets the upper hand, using her chair to overpower him and escape. She heads to a lab and finds the Mueller device, which includes a red ball filled with something that looks like water. She grabs it, then blows up the lab to get away from the guards. Sydney takes the Mueller device straight to Sloane and says, “I’m back.” He seems pleased with her return. She then goes to the CIA and asks to speak with a man named Devlin, asking the receptionist to tell him that he has a “walk-in.” As Agents Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan) and Eric Weiss (Greg Grunberg) look on, Sydney writes out pages of information on SD-6. She later meets with Vaughn, who tells her that they could use another double agent at SD-6. She notes that if she weren’t going to be hired, he probably wouldn’t have told her that there was already a double agent. She guesses that he’s bluffing and wants to find out if she’s a triple agent and is going to report back to SD-6 that there’s a mole. Vaughn says he has an instinct about her and offers her his dentist’s phone number. Sydney visits Danny’s grave and encounters Jack, who tells her that there was nothing he could do about Danny. She replies that just because she knows the truth about him doesn’t mean she’s willing to accept him. Jack tells her that Devlin and the CIA want her in. He’s also appreciative that she didn’t name him in her statement. Sydney realizes that Jack is the other SD-6 double agent. He warns that they’re into dangerous stuff and she should have taken his offer to leave the country. Sydney asks how she knows Jack is telling her the truth. He replies that they’ll have to learn to trust each other. He gives her a phone and walks away as it rings.

WELCOME TO SPY COUNTRY: Sydney, Francie, Jack, Dixon, Sloane, Marshall, Will, McCullough, Suit and Glasses, Vaughn, Weiss

R.I.P. (OR SO WE THINK): Danny

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Danny: “I’m calling because I’m planning on asking Sydney to marry me and…I was hoping to get your approval.”
Jack: “Danny, let me ask you a question.”
Danny: “Sure.”
Jack: “How well do you know my daughter?”
Danny: “Um, we’ve been dating for two years….”
Jack: “Because if you feel the need to ask me about this scenario, I have a sense you don’t know Sydney at all.”
Danny: “Sir, I love your daughter and I want to marry her. That’s why I’m calling.”
Jack: “First of all, Danny, the truth is, this is just a courtesy call. Like when you say to your neighbor, ‘We’re having a loud party on Saturday night if that’s all right with you.’ What you really mean is, ‘We’re having a loud party on Saturday night.’”
Danny: “Mr. Bristow--.”
Jack: “Sydney doesn’t give a da%$ what my opinion is. What interests me is that you do.”
Danny: “It’s just a custom to call the father, that’s all this is--.”
Jack: “Well, then, I’ll tell you what. I may become your father-in-law, that’s just fine. But I will not be used as part of a charming little anecdote you tell your friends at cocktail parties so they can see what a quaint, old-fashioned guy Danny really is. Are we clear?”
Danny: “Yes, sir….”
Jack: “Good. Then welcome to the family.”

Sydney: “I’m back.”
Sloane: “All right.”
Sydney: “I’m taking a week off. I’ve got midterms.”

Back to Alias episode guides

Back to Fun and Games