Alias (2001–2006)
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The Box: Part 1 

When former SD-6 agent McKenas Cole with his crew of bandits take over SD-6, Sydney has to forget her previous plan about quitting the agency and has to focus on her mission with Jack to ... See full summary »


Jack Bender


J.J. Abrams (created by), Jesse Alexander | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Garner ... Sydney Bristow
Ron Rifkin ... Arvin Sloane
Michael Vartan ... Michael Vaughn
Bradley Cooper ... Will Tippin
Merrin Dungey ... Francie Calfo (credit only)
Carl Lumbly ... Marcus Dixon
Kevin Weisman ... Marshall Flinkman
Victor Garber ... Jack Bristow
Quentin Tarantino ... McKenas Cole
Joey Slotnick ... Steven Haladki
Agnes Bruckner ... Kelly McNeil
Sarah Shahi ... Jenny
Patricia Wettig ... Dr. Judy Barnett
Jennifer Tung ... Toni
Ben Hernandez Bray ... Tchen (as Ben Bray)


When former SD-6 agent McKenas Cole with his crew of bandits take over SD-6, Sydney has to forget her previous plan about quitting the agency and has to focus on her mission with Jack to save their colleagues. In the meantime, as he was about to quit his work on a story, Will Tippin gets an unexpected push to continue from the third party. Written by evamatijevic

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

payback | kgb | russia | betrayal | vault | See All (8) »


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Quentin Tarantino is billed as a Special Guest Star. See more »


Cole tortures Sloane by injecting a super-concentrated derivative of hot sauce. Capsaicin, the active chemical ingredient in spicy foods like hot sauce, has a paradoxical effect at sufficiently high doses: instead of causing pain, it relieves it. It's a common ingredient in topical pain relieving ointments. See more »


Michael Vaughn: What the hell is your problem, Haladki? Reporting me to Barnett?
Steven Haladki: I don't have a problem, I told you. You have a problem.
Michael Vaughn: You know what? This might shock you: my business is not you business.
Steven Haladki: I am looking out for the good of the agency.
Michael Vaughn: Yeah? Then you should quit.
Steven Haladki: Stay out of my way.
Steven Haladki: Did it make you feel better about yourself when you told Barnett that I got Sydney a Christmas gift?
Steven Haladki: You are too emotionally attached to that woman!
Michael Vaughn: Oh, like you would know anything about being emotionally attached ...
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References Die Hard (1988) See more »


Alias Theme
Written by J.J. Abrams
Performed by Michael Giacchino
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User Reviews

Lies are the most dangerous kind of captivity (Part 1)
1 July 2016 | by evamatijevicSee all my reviews

Before I start my usual rant on rights and wrongs from this week's episode, let me just say that this was well spend hour of my life. I know it was a little bit too "talkative" for other people's likings (according to some, too much talking in this hour was purely because of Tarantino; but I can't really judge considering that even tho I saw 85% of his work I still can't wrap my mind around him). Unlike many, I do not see this episode as part of some two part larger story because this one had all the qualities of the regular Alias chapter : there is a mission (Sydney wants out), something goes wrong and a cliffhanger at the end. I don't care what the title says, for me this was perfect stand alone episode with awesome scenes, story and even Tippin was at his best.

When it comes to a traditional recap there is not that much to add really, except some really clever subplots thrown in to fulfill characters developments. One thing we all need to understand is that "The Box" is a push towards deeper and more complicated plot (e.g. The Man, that whole struggle for Rambaldi's artifacts.. ). Neither Will nor Vaughn were boring, which is something. Will's investigation takes darker turns and his subplot feels like a very odd distraction from what's really happening considering that he is the only "normal guy" out there. His struggle with that secret world of spies and SD-6 serves as needed contrary to Sydney's and Vaughn's struggle with reality. And for the first time, Vaughn's subplot finally feels like it's headed somewhere interesting. And that Haladki guy is awesome, but not in a positive way. He is boring, but he is awesome. It's really complicated, try to understand. Or even better, watch the episode.

Unfortunately, every show does the "prisoner crisis" kinda thing so we have to live with it. Only good thing is that they did it so early in the series that now there is no need to worry about whether will they use that story or not . Plus, watching Sydney and Jack working together and at the same time trying to overlook an obvious generation gap is amusing. "The Box" also does that funny thing with parallels where bad guys (SD-6) are able to work together to somehow help each other in the time of crisis but the good guys (CIA) can't stop talking about something so unimportant as one man's relationship (not even a real one) with a woman. And the best part is that that with this whole real hostage situation the doors were opened for us to see a characters inside of their everyday masks where they feel like a hostages of their own lives.

Naturally (because it's a Part 1) most of this episode sets the scene for the next week, but it still (thankfully) holds enough energy for itself. It's a strong episode with good character development and several intense scenes packed with humor from time to time. Seriously, you should watch it.

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