Façade is the 15th episode of Season 3 of Alias, and the 59th episode overall. Sydney and Vaughn must convince bomb maker Daniel Ryan that they are part of The Covenant in order to find out where he has hidden one of his devices. But Sydney discovers that her ties to the bomber could lead him on a suicide mission.
Daniel Ryan, a freelance bomb maker whose bombs are impossible to defuse, destroys a bank in Belfast as a calling card to The Covenant. If he fails to cut a deal with The Covenant in 48 hours, he'll give notice to other terrorist groups with a bombing in the U.S. When the CIA learns that The Covenant is to meet him at the Black Stag Bar in Belfast, they send Weiss and Sydney.
Using Covenant defector Leonid Lisenker as a source of info, Sydney poses as a Covenant agent. To improve her credibility with Ryan, she rescues him from an attempted CIA kidnapping led by Weiss. Ryan wakes in a CIA-built replica of the hotel room in which he does business with The Covenant. The ruse nearly fails, but Lisenker appears and vouches for Sydney. Ryan accepts the deal on the condition that the details be handled by Sark, whom he's never met but knows is The Covenant's North American co-commander.
Vaughn appears, posing as Sark. Ryan tells him the details will be given to him on a flight from Rome to Paris by an associate who will recognize him. He says the second bombing will be called off once the associate meets Sark. The CIA hurriedly issues a communiqué that compels Sark to board that flight, which Vaughn is also on. The associate never shows up, however, meaning that Ryan wanted Sark on that plane an unknown reason.
Sloane, sleeping with Judy Barnett, receives a call from a desperate Sydney. He says Ryan's brother Christopher was killed by The Covenant. After some research, Sydney remembers that The Covenant made her kill Christopher to test her Julia Thorne identity. Ryan plans to get revenge on The Covenant by blowing up Sark's flight.
On the plane, Vaughn arrests and handcuffs Sark. After a call from Sydney, he finds the bomb the cargo hold. Marshall discovers that the detonator is based on barometric pressure — the bomb will explode if the plane descends below 18 thousand feet. If Vaughn detaches the motion sensor, Marshall says, they may be able to fool the bomb into thinking it's in high altitude.
Sydney, Weiss and Lisenker reveal themselves to Ryan, hoping the revelation convinces Ryan to stop the bomb. Sydney appeals to Ryan's compassion, saying she was tortured by The Covenant and made to assume the Julia Thorne identity.
Vaughn uncuffs Sark, and together they try to disable the motion sensor. Ryan agrees to help and dials in a deactivation sequence. It's only a ploy — he had heard a rumor that Julia Thorne had killed his brother — he activates the bomb, as well as the one Marshall had been studying in his office!
With the clock ticking, Jack chokes Ryan until he passes out, then revives him. If he doesn't give them the code, Jack says, he won't be revived next time. Ryan gives it up with one second to spare. The danger over, Sark attacks Vaughn, who knocks him out and turns him over to the French authorities. When Vaughn returns, a tearful Sydney embraces him.
- Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
- Michael Vartan as Michael Vaughn
- Carl Lumbly as Marcus Dixon
- Kevin Weisman as Marshall Flinkman
- Melissa George as Lauren Reed (Credit Only)
- Greg Grunberg as Eric Weiss
- David Anders as Julian Sark
- Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
- J.J. Abrams has been openly critical of some of the developments of Season 3, mainly from the point of view that Sydney spent too much time and too many episodes looking back at what happened to her in her missing two years and not thrusting forward. To that end, Abrams is a passionate advocate of this episode, which he and director Jack Bender refer to as their The Crying Game episode.
- Ricky Gervais was very nervous about appearing in a straight acting role but was hugely relieved when told that he wouldn't have to do it in an Irish accent.
- Ricky Gervais' co-writer, Stephen Merchant, was present onset throughout the filming, mainly because he didn't want to miss the opportunity of seeing an expensive Hollywood production being filmed. A lot of Ricky Gervais' dialog was improvised, as director Jack Bender found it helped to naturalize his performance.
- Melissa George does not appear in this episode.
- This episode has an audio commentary.
- Sydney Bristow: Emma Warfield; Disguise includes a red/black wig, a nose ring, black pants and a long leather jacket covering her clothes/a red jacket, short black skirt and black combat boots.
- "Whiskey in The Jar" (unchanged in Netflix version)
- "All My Life" by Rosie Thomas (unchanged in Netflix version)
Allusions and ReferencesEdit
- Weiss: That was good, right? It's called method acting. I was shot in the neck once. I can do it again.
- Sydney: The son of a bitch lied to us.
- Jack: Yes, and we lied to him.
- Weiss: Yeah, but the difference is we were trying to save lives.
- Vaughn: Okay. I see four wires leading out from the motion sensor: red, green, yellow, and black.
- Marshall: Can you see which one is looped to the power source?
- Vaughn: Yeah, the red one.
- Marshall: The red one. Okay, go ahead and cut that.
- Marshall: Nonono! wait.
- Vaughn: I hate it when you do that!
- Vaughn: Mr Ryan I'm Julian Sark.
- Ryan: they said you are a pretty one.
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