The Box (Part 1)


Production code
January 20 2002
Written by
Jesse Alexander
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Jack Bender

The Box (Part 1) is the 12th episode of Season 1 of Alias. When armed intruders take over SD-6, led by McKenas Cole, a man bent on exacting revenge on ex-boss Sloane, Sydney and Jack must work together to save their colleagues. Meanwhile, Will fears that his investigation of SD-6 and its link to the murder of Eloise Kurtz is placing his life in jeopardy.

Plot Overview[]

Sydney is stunned when she learns that her mother was a KGB agent. The news is too much for her to bear, and she tells Vaughn that she is going to resign from SD-6.

At the same time, a group of heavily-armed intruders sneak into SD-6. By the time that Sloane realizes what is going on, the intruders have taken control of the building.

As Sydney enters SD-6, Jack catches up with her in an elevator. He warns her that the Alliance, the men Sloane works for, will kill her if she tries to quit.

Their elevator comes to an abrupt halt, and Jack realizes that Sloane has triggered the emergency lockdown procedure which can mean only one thing -- someone has broken into SD-6.

Sydney and Jack sneak from the elevator, and make their way to an empty room in the basement. By splicing into the surveillance system, Jack and Sydney discover that the intruders have taken everyone hostage - including Sloane.

Meanwhile, Will Tippin decides that the SD-6 story is too dangerous to pursue. Daniel Hecht and Eloise Kurtz have already been killed, and he fears the same fate for David McNeil's daughter if he continues.

At the newspaper office, Will receives another call from the mysterious voice. Will insists that he is no longer pursuing the SD-6 angle, but someone doesn't want him to give up. An unmarked envelope, containing another clue, is waiting on Will's chair. He refuses to open it, as he wants nothing to do with SD-6.

The leader of the intruders is McKenas Cole, a former SD-6 agent who is now working for an unknown group. Cole tortures Sloane for the access code to the SD-6 vault. However, because of the security measures that have been activated, opening the vault will trigger an explosion.

Jack tells Sydney that the entire SD-6 building will be destroyed. In Marshall's workshop is a scrambling device that can be used on the vault door, so that even if Cole gets the code, the vault will not open. Sydney must retrieve the device without being discovered.

Meanwhile, Will goes to a restaurant to meet a contact for a story. To his surprise, it is Kelly McNeil who shows up. Someone has clearly arranged this meeting, and Will refuses to talk.

Kelly follows Will to his office and pleads with him to continue investigating SD-6. He is persuaded and finally opens the envelope that was left on his chair. A mysterious key falls out. What will it unlock?

After learning that Sydney's mother killed his agent father, Vaughn receives orders to visit a CIA psychiatrist Judy Barnett. He insists that he is fine, but Barnett asks about the Christmas gift for Sydney. Barnett wonders if his relationship with Sydney is "appropriate."

Vaughn confronts Haladki, the agent who informed Barnett about the gift. There is clearly bad blood between these two men.

Meanwhile at SD-6, Sydney retrieves the scrambling device and applies it to the vault door, moments before Cole arrives. Before Sydney can escape, Cole and his men hear her in the airshaft. They begin blasting away at the ceiling, the bullets narrowly missing Sydney.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]





  • 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.
  • Goof: In the corridor with the red lasers there is not a single hole or mirror in the walls where the light could come from or where it would be reflected.
  • Goof: Cole's group get by the red lasers by waiting until a guard turns them off. The Bristows get by because Jack has clearance to turn them off briefly, like the guard. But how does Vaughn get by the lasers?
  • The failed mission that Cole was on was in 1996. Cole said that the KGB contacted the CIA through various channels to confirm whether or not he was a CIA operative, but the KGB was disbanded in 1991.
  • Quentin Tarantino is billed as a Special Guest Star.
  • Sydney suggests she and Vaughn should go see the L.A Kings who "are in town next week" are playing the New York Islanders. This episode was aired January 20th 2002 and the Kings actually played the Islanders one night before this episode aired, which shows that Season 1 takes place in 2001/02.
  • Although credited Merrin Dungey (Francie Calfo) does not appear in this episode.
  • Michael Vartan really loves the L.A Kings.

Aliases Used[]



  • "How Can I Keep From Singing" by Enya ... changed in the Netflix version
  • "Dragula (Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare Mix)" by Rob Zombie
  • "Arctic Sea" by DemetRa (Available Source)

Allusions and References[]

Cole drives up in a van marked "McTiernan Air Conditioning". This episode is based on Die Hard, of which John McTiernan is the director.