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Alias: The Box, Part 1

Sydney: "I can't believe, of all things, we're saving SD-6."

Poor Sydney has had it up to here, and as much as she wants out, she knows she can't do it.

This was the ultimate in father/daughter bonding activities – and, ironically, in the service of SD-6. What a team Jack and Sydney made. And they really do have a bond now, no matter how far they still have to go.

Quentin Tarantino, as his usual oblique, hyper self, was very believable here as a crazed, former SD-6 spy. Ron Rifkin was also just fabulous; he always gives Sloane such tremendous depth. And Victor Garber's Jack continues to be my favorite character. Poor Jack! Now he knows that his wife was KGB, and assigned to marry him. How nuts is that?

There was lots of Will in this episode, as he started considering dropping the SD-6 story. Hey, Will – I'm sure it's too late: should have done it a long time ago. I thought it was Jack who was playing with Will to keep him from going public with the story, but Jack was in the elevator with Sydney when Will got the call in the bathroom. So who the hell is calling Will? And now that he's met McNeil's daughter, what is he going to do?

The "your mom killing my dad" thing was definitely a major issue for Sydney and prospective honey, Vaughn. The shrink development was a LOT of fun. We got to see a new side of Vaughn, too, when he went after Haladki, who is clearly a threat to Vaughn's relationship, such as it is, with Sydney.

This week's cliffhanger: Sydney was left literally hanging this time.

Bits and pieces:

— Sydney and Vaughn, first hug! And Sydney asking Vaughn out on a date? Going to a hockey game?

— More about Sloane's wife being sick, although we still haven't seen her.

— Two new characters were introduced in this episode: the toad-like CIA agent Haladki, and Dr. Barnett. ("Did you purchase a Christmas present for Agent Bristow?")

— This was also the first episode that mentioned "The Man."

— There are 50 agents at SD-6? That's the number Sydney mentioned.

— Really loved the shot of Sydney and Jack on top of the elevator.

— Sloane to Cole: "I can't be the first person to have difficulty taking you seriously, can I?" Balls of steel, Arvin, balls of steel. Dixon and Marshall also showed some serious bravery here.

— This week's itinerary: Mostly the air ducts and the Conversation Room in SD-6.

Three out of four spies,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Quentin Tarantino! I'd forgotten he was in this, but then I remembered the...wait for it...shut your eyes...hold your babies close...


    All that build-up, so little screaming. Tarantino perfectly expressed McKenas Cole's misshapen self-image and deluded sense of his own awesomeness: so bad they made him regret the day he was born? Yeah, but Sloane didn't even bat an eye. No wonder Sloane left Cole to die in Chechnya: he's a wimp with a predilection for black suits and skinny ties.

    On the Sydney/Jack front, this was a good episode, too. Not just because they got a chance to work together without having the time to think about the family drama, but also because Sydney needs some time to step away from her problems and realize the importance of what she's doing. No epic exit for her, at least not right now. She's too much in it to just walk away.

    In this week's parallel structure report: both Sydney and Will tried to opt-out, and both got roped back in.

  2. The van in the parking garage was labeled "McTiernan Air Conditioning." John McTiernan directed Die Hard. I can't believe I missed that. Maybe I hadn't seen Die Hard in 2002. :)

    Yes, I'm doing a rewatch, too.

  3. First hug. Sigh...

    Love Sydney and Jack working together. They make quite a team.

  4. Love love love Quentin! He was creepy and entertaining at the same time. And, despite being evil, Sloane was very cool. I actually admired him here. Just a little.

    My favorite part of the episode though, was when Sydney went up into the ducts. Jack placed his hand on the outside of the duct as if to touch her and say he loves her. He's turning out to be a really good dad.


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