Alias: Season 2, Episode 3

Cipher (13 Oct. 2002)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Action, Drama, Mystery
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Sydney must travel to Sri Lanka to outwit Sark in order to find a crucial piece of Intel from a computer disk that she recovers from Rabal. Meanwhile, Jack faces Sydney's mother for the ... See full summary »



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Title: Cipher (13 Oct 2002)

Cipher (13 Oct 2002) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Janet MacLachlan ...
Jane Banks
OPS Director
Mr. Vashko


Sydney must travel to Sri Lanka to outwit Sark in order to find a crucial piece of Intel from a computer disk that she recovers from Rabal. Meanwhile, Jack faces Sydney's mother for the first time in almost 20 years in her prison cell to discuss Sydney's well being. Also, Will finally meets Vaughn, and Sloane is haunted by his wife's death when someone begins sending him anonymous letters which have Emily's handwriting on them. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

13 October 2002 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Marshall is explaining the luge, he tells Sydney she can go 150 miles an hour, but also that she can travel 2 miles in 12 seconds (600 miles an hour). See more »


Dr. Judy Barnett: Well, I'm sorry, but I am not in the habit of helping a father manipulate his daughter. No matter how good his intentions may be.
Jack Bristow: I see. And is your opinion here based on what's best for Sydney, or for the agency? Because the fact is if Sydney doesn't talk to Laura, the CIA learns nothing.
Dr. Judy Barnett: So you still think of her as Laura, even though that was her alias.
See more »

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The real battle....
27 March 2015 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

is as always between the long arc and the short arc.

I am writing this review from the far future. Well actually 2015 but in relation to when this was produced, that really is the far future.

It is a great series. But in revisiting it, episode by episode, I see things that reviewers contemporaneous to the show might have missed.

Reviewers at the time fell in love with Garner (who didn't?) and loved the whole Mission Impossible, Bionic Woman, Femme Nikita thing.

Looking back I cannot help but feel that what we were really seeing was the resume for JJ Abrams being painstakingly crafted week by week, script by script.

Now (in 2015) a Hollywood deity, Abrams made his bones with this series. And it shows. Props JJ.

This episode in particular is interesting. The short arc is the series of Bond-like trips to crazy locations to do crazy things. It is SUPPOSED to dominate. However watching from the far future I find the long arcs (Sloan "haunted" by his guilt and Sydney's mother connecting with her, played by Lena Olin, one of the great femme fatales of the era) MORE interesting.

To this reviewer, the moment when Olin asks Garner, why are not wondering how a mother could shoot her own daughter?, is the high point.

Just sayin

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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