Phase One


Production code
January 26 2003
Written by
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Jack Bender

Phase One is the 13th episode of Season 2 of Alias and the 35th episode overall. Sydney and Jack are confronted by the new director of SD-6, one Anthony Geiger, who replaces Sloane, whose whereabouts and intentions are unknown. Sydney and Vaughn lead the team to raid SD-6 and shut down the Alliance, and Sydney's friend Francie is killed by what looks like her doppleganger.

Plot Overview[]

Sydney is on board a 747 plane posing as a call girl to appease an unnamed fat man who is eating dinner. After she puts on a red stripper outfit, the man is pleased and the two proceeded to get on the bed. Sydney suddenly pulls out a line of fiber wire and garrotes the man, demanding that he tell her how to access Server 47. After he tells her where the terminal is, she knocks him out. Sydney downloads the information and prepares to escape the plane with a parachute, when one of the man's guards holds her at gunpoint. They get into a fight and Sydney knocks the guard out. Suddenly, the fat man appears and holds up a gun to Sydney. He fires off a shot...

24 hours earlier in Los Angeles, Sydney arrives at CIA HQ about a meeting that is supposed to be held later on in the day. While walking, Vaughn tells Sydney that he can't do his type of job anymore because he's too distracted by Sydney's safety and passion for her. They continue to talk, until Weiss shows up and tells them that there's a meeting going on in the briefing room.

The leader of the CIA briefs the agents about the Alliance of Twelve and SD-6, telling them that they're getting close to taking out the Alliance. He tells everyone that Sloane has been replaced by a man named Anthony Geiger and instructs Sydney and her father to gain Geiger's trust the same way they did with Sloane. Sydney, however, is wary of the idea.

Sydney introduces herself to Geiger and he immediately asks her about her fiance, Danny. She reveals a lot of personal information about his life to him and Geiger wonders why Sydney would bother coming back to her job if the people who work there killed her fiance. Sydney tells him that it was her fault about Danny's death, not Sloane's.

After talking to Sark about Geiger's history, he reveals to Sydney about a computer called Server 47 that was a valuable piece of technology precious to Sloane. Sydney gives this information to her father and they devise up a plan back at the CIA HQ. They find out that this server may be the "silver bullet" to SD-6 and the team finds out that the server is one a plane guarded by a man named Gils Nacor. Sydney agrees to get on the plane disguised as a call girl.

This is where the first scene steps in where the fat man (Gils) holds a gun up to Sydney. She dodges the bullet and shoots out the plane window. Due to depressurization, the door is sucked out (as well as the guard, who gets shredder in the engine). Gils is sucked out of the plane as well and Sydney manages to find a parachute and jumps out the plane as it crashes to the ground.

Back at Sydney's house, Francie announces that her restaurant is doing well and Will is becoming a writer. The two suddenly begin to kiss each other passionately in the kitchen.

Sydney and Jack meet up with the CIA leader and show him the evidence that reveals the location of all the Alliance of Twelve facilities. The leader doesn't agree at first, due to the amounts of C-4, but Jack manages to change his mind.

Later on, Sydney has dinner with Francie and Will and they reveal that they made out in the kitchen. Sydney wants to hear of all the details, which they share with her.

Back at SD-6, Anthony is suspicous of an e-mail on Sloane's computer and calls Calvin McCullough to check it out. While examining the e-mail using a key stroke programme, he finds a clue that revealed everything in one sentence: Jack and Sydney Bristow are double agents.

Jack, unaware that Geiger knows of his betrayal, walks back into SD-6. Using a computer in the boardroom, he is suddenly greeted by Geiger who traps Jack in the room. Jack realizes that his cover's been blown and after being forced to call Sydney, he tells her a secret code that should only be spoken if one of them was captured by SD-6. Sydney tells Vaughn that her father's been captured and that they need to do something before Jack is killed.

Jack wakes up restrained to machine and sees Geiger holding electric tools, ready to torture Jack. The two have light conversation at first, but Geiger decides to torture Jack until he tells him all that he knows and which side he's on. Jack keeps his mouth shut, prompting Geiger to torture him with electricity. Jack starts to scream...

Sydney calls Will and tells him to get Francie and leave town because she's in trouble, but doesn't tell him what kind of trouble she's into. After calling him, she meets up with Marcus at a refinery and reveals everything to him about SD-6. Despite the fact Marcus doesn't believe her (even after she says her father may be killed) he returns to SD-6 to gather the files exposing the corporation. Marcus calls his wife and tells her he loves her, realizing the dangerous information he stumbled upon. He sends the code to the CIA and the raid is approved of.

After massive torture, Geiger strongly tries to coax Jack to comply with his wishes otherwise he'll die. But Jack merely says nothing, even after Geiger threatens to torture his daughter as well. Meanwhile, Sydney, Vaughn and a team of CIA agents prepare to raid SD-6. They chuck a couple of flash grenades into the crowd and begin to assault all of resisting security agents. During the firefight, Sydney splits up from the group to go find her father. She finds Geiger ready to shock Jack to death and holds a gun up to him. Geiger tries to kill Sydney first, but she shoots him in the chest four times and rescues her father.

Sydney thanks Dixon for helping them with the raids, but Dixon merely retorts "Don't talk to me," as he's arrested by the agents. No longer willing to hide their feelings, Sydney and Vaughn find each other after the gun battle, embrace, and share a long, passionate kiss. SD-6 has finally been destroyed.

However, Sark is seen talking to Sloane who is on a beach in the middle of nowhere. He tells him that Phase One is complete and Sloane responds by saying there is still much more that needs to be done and to check up on their new asset to make sure they were on schedule.


Francie is killed by her doppelganger

At night, Francie receives a call from Sark. She tells him that everything's in place and hangs up. The camera suddenly pans into the kitchen, revealing a large trail of blood on the wall. The trail of blood leads to the real Francie Calfo, who now lies dead after getting shot in the forehead.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]




  • This episode is tied as the second highest rated on with Almost 30 Years. The Telling is the only episode rated higher.
  • Due to the Super Bowl lead-in, as well as the traumatic events that appeared in the episode, this was the highest rated episode in the history of Alias, with a total figure of 17,400,000 viewers. However, it was the fourth lowest-rated post-Super Bowl programme on record, with only Next Level Chef in 2023 doing worse in the 21st century.
  • This is the last episode in which SD-6 exists.
  • Originally, this episode was planned to be shown after Double Agent. J.J. Abrams decided to move it up.
  • The code is to SD-6 secured network is SA234564SA.
  • This is the only episode to feature an alternate outtake blooper.
  • This is the first episode to feature the death of a main character (Francie Calfo).
  • Although credited, Lena Olin (Irina Derevko) does not appear in this episode.
  • The bodyguard that Jennifer Garner fights with on the plane at the opening of the episode was the same man she had fought with on "Daredevil" where he had also been one of the stunt guys.
  • A real champagne bucket was used in the fight on the airplane. Jennifer Garner accidentally hit the stuntman and gave him a black eye.
  • The text deleted by Arvin Sloane on his computer at SD-6 and then discovered by Geiger says: "I have learned that Jack and Sydney Bristow are double agents, working against SD-6. Their true allegiances at this point are unknown. But I intend to make it my top priority to find the truth behind this and root out the threat - first with the father, then with the daughter."
  • The full text of Sloanes email, including the deleted section is plainly visible on the screen, before the "replay" was performed.
  • This is the first flashback since the pilot.
  • This episode has an audio commentary.

Aliases Used[]



  • "Back in Black" by AC/DC
  • "American Woman" by Lenny Kravitz
  • "Hands of Time" by Groove Armada
  • "Use Me" by Bill Withers

Allusions and References[]

  • First flashback to a scene in beginning and comes back to it Truth Be Told.


  • Sydney: What was wrong with the black one? Do you think it's comfortable wearing clothes like this?

  • Vaughn: I'm gonna say something, and it may be obvious to you or seem presumptuous; either way, I gotta say it: This isn't working. I've been thinking about this for a while I-I don't know what the hell to do.
  • Sydney: What?
  • Vaughn: I think you know what.
  • Sydney: I need you to tell me.
  • Vaughn: Need me to tell you what? That when you're on operations I can't sleep at night? That when we're in debrief I have to force myself to remember what the hell we're supposed to be reviewing when all I wanna do is kiss you?
  • Sydney: ...Sometimes it is hard to remember what we're supposed to be talking about.
  • Vaughn: That's what I'm talking about. Everything that makes me crazy everyday is...people that would kill us if we're seen together--The Alliance, SD-6, Sloane--are the very forces that brought you into my life to begin with. What kind of a sick joke is that?
  • Sydney: So what are you thinking, that maybe we shouldn't be working together?
  • Vaughn: That's what I was thinking but then I thought, we work great together!
  • Sydney: I know.
  • Vaughn: And the more we work together the sooner the Alliance gets destroyed.
  • Sydney: So what are you suggesting?

  • Sydney: This guy spends his life on a plane?
  • Weiss: A really nice plane.

  • Weiss: There's no way that guy smells as good as you.
  • Vaughn: It's aftershave--I got new aftershave.
  • Weiss: Well, I'd lighten up on it.
  • Vaughn: Yeah?
  • Weiss: Oh, yeah, to the point of non-use.

  • Gils: You think you can steal from us, you little bitch!?

  • Sydney: SD-6 is part of The Alliance!

  • Marshall: Hey, you want some pigs in a blanket?
  • Marcus: No.
  • Marshall: What? Hey, nobody can resist the little pigs in a blanket. They're hot, fresh, out of the oven.

  • Sydney: Thank you.
  • Marcus: Don' to me.

  • Weiss: I just talked to base; we did it. We kicked their asses. Hey...didn't you guys hear what I said? Asses.