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Alias/The Coup

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The Coup
Season 1, Episode 14
Airdate February 24, 2002
Production Number E643
Written by Alex Kurtzman &
Roberto Orci
Directed by Tom Wright
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The Box (2)
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Page 47
AliasSeason One

The Coup is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Alias. Sydney's personal life intersects her work during an operation in Las Vegas.

Starring: Jennifer Garner (Sydney Bristow), Ron Rifkin (Arvin Sloane), Michael Vartan (Michael Vaughn), Bradley Cooper (Will Tippin), Merrin Dungey (Francie Calfo), Carl Lumbly (Marcus Dixon), Kevin Weisman (Marshall Flinkman)

and Victor Garber (Jack Bristow)

Guest Starring: Evan Dexter Parke (Charlie), David Anders (Sark), Allison Dean (Stella Campbell), Keone Young (Professor Choy)

Co-Starring: Ray Laska (Floor Manager), Stephen Liska (Ilyich Ivankov), Jorgo Ognenovski (Lavro Kessar), Patrick Pankhurst (Brandon Dahlgren)

Featuring: Christopher Grey (Security Guard), Douglas Robert Jackson (Dealer), James Lew (Quan Li), Joe Toppe (Security Officer), Frank Patton (Roulette Dealer), Bobby Rodgers (Reverend), John Fletcher (1st Card Player), Hamilton Mitchell (2nd Card Player)

Uncredited: Ken Olin (David McNeil)


Plot Overview

SD-6 nemesis organization FTL is essentially disassembled when their leader is assassinated by a man named Sark. Apparently an employee of "The Man", Sark also led a team to attack FTL at the same time SD6 was under siege to take FTL's Rambaldi artifacts making this new organization a significant holder of Rambaldi objects (although SD-6 is unaware that the item taken by McKenas Cole is in CIA hands). "The Man" is apparently coordinating a meeting with the heads of K-Directorate to discuss sharing Rambaldi information.

The operation is to plant a bug on Brandon Dahlgren, a go-between for K-Directorate who will receive information on the meeting time and location with the intent on identifying who "The Man" is. A permanent resident of a Las Vegas casino, the operation is to have Dixon replace a fraternity ring with a duplicate containing a bug during a poker game. Dixon, undercover as a member of the Jamaican Parliament, has his identity forged by Sydney while she uses the casino security cameras to rig the game to ensure Dixon's victory. Sydney has to go off communication when she spots Francie and Charlie and Dixon is forced to play the final hand blind and bets a personal token against Dahlgren's fraternity ring. When it's clear Dixon's three Kings will lose to Dahlgren's flush, Dixon palms the fraternity ring and replaces it with the duplicate. Sydney then notices that security is headed to the private poker room, where the real Jamaican delegate's staff has called the casino and blown Dixon's cover. Sydney and Dixon disable the security guards and are able to escape.

Using the bug, SD-6 finds the location of the meeting between "The Man" and K-Directorate will be in Moscow. Observing remotely with a fiber optic camera, Sydney ropes across the open street and positions herself outside the window. When able to see inside, Dixon makes note that the K-Directorate representative sent is actually it's leader, Ivankov. "The Man" is not present, but Sark is. He details the offer which is $100 million in exchange for K-Directorate's Rambaldi artifact. Noting the object is priceless, Sark kills Ivankov and then offers the same deal to Lavro Kessar, the new head of K-Directorate. Kessar accepts the deal just as Sydney loses her footing and alerts the guard below who begins firing at her.

Will meets with McNeil in prison who, based on confirmation that his daughter will be safeguarded, offers to give Will information on SD-6. McNeil says that his encryption software included an undocumented logging feature which will contain a list of all of the people who have used it. He gives Will instructions on how to get the file, named Dolphin, from the computer room of his old employer's building. Will, under cover of interviewing OT Technologies CEO Larry Glasser, gets into the computer room and copies the Dolphin log.

Sydney, while posting flyers on campus for Charlie's recent performance, stumbles on information that Charlie had been cheating on Francie for several months and had only recently ended it. On hearing word that Sydney was going to Las Vegas, Francie and Charlie decide to take a trip to Las Vegas of their own. While observing on the casino cameras, Sydney sees that they were prepared to have a spontaneous Las Vegas wedding. Leaving her current operation, Sydney takes Charlie aside and gives him the ultimatum that he tell Francie about the cheating or she will. When it becomes clear that he hasn't confessed, Sydney tells Francie the truth. Francie initially reacts so badly that Sydney thinks their friendship is over, but she eventually returns knowing Sydney was telling the truth.


  • Sydney and Dixon disable three casino guards. Sark kills the leaders of both FTL and K-Directorate as well as their security staff.
  • Marshall gives Sydney a fiber optic splicer with a 'razor prism' able to cut into a fiber optic cable without disruption. The two also use a bug contained in a fraternity ring replica and a fiber optic camera with audio.
  • Dixon goes undercover as Darion Buchanan, a delegate from the Jamaican Parliament. Sydney goes undercover as an underdressed casino waitress.
  • Sydney notes, for the first time, her heavy reliance on makeup to coverup bruises from combat.


  • McNeil's passcode is 4747.

Arc Advancement



  • Sydney considers dropping her school career as her initial motivation was her mother. However, her father is able to talk her into continuing her studies.
  • Sydney finds out that Charlie has been cheating on Francie. While initially in denial, Charlie admits to it, ending their relationship.



The Show

  • First appearance of Julian Sark.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Sydney: I felt sick. All those people still in there. Patriots, believing they work for the U.S. Government. None of them realizing the information they gather is being used by heartless men like Arvin Sloane. For an organization that would trade their lives for a profit in a heartbeat. I just wanted to rip his finger right off again. Does that make me a bad person?