Synopsis of The Box, Part 1

Written by TK

Sydney stomps out of the CIA meeting. Her dad tries to stop her and calm her down. Sydney is pissed. Jack explains how her mother just used him to get information out of a top-ranking CIA officer, and how falling in love with him was just a setup. Sydney asks if her mother's urge to have a family was part of the setup too.

At home, Sydney goes through her hat box of memories of her mother and throws stuff into a fire.

Sydney meets with Vaughn. She laments the loss of her image of her mother, and says how the truth changes everything. She apologizes to Vaughn for her mother killing his father. They hug.

A crew of people in workman jump suits in a van breaks into the garage at Credit Dauphine. They stop to quickly clip the lines to the security cameras. A guard from the control room notices the loss of signal and rather unconcernedly goes to check it out. The guard sees the crew trying to break into the air conditioning ducts and pulls his gun, but he's knocked out from behind before he can do anything.

Sydney tells Vaughn that she doesn't want this job anymore. She says she needs someone in her life to be real. Vaughn says that what they're doing now, this is real. Sydney laughs and says that this isn't real, and she wants out. Vaughn asks if she wants to enter witness protection. She says she doesn't want to hide. Vaughn worries that Sloane will kill her, but she thinks he won't. Sydney casually asks Vaughn to go to a hockey game with her next week, and he tells her that she can't do this.

Jenny comes to Will's desk at work and delivers him the information on McNeil's last appeal. She also jokes how she found out that SD-6 is an ingredient in artificial sweeteners. Will worries that he's doing more bad than good with this investigation, and he's hurting the people he's trying to help. He worries that he's put McNeil's daughter in danger, and thinks maybe he should get out while he still can.

The crew in jump suits comes into the Credit Dauphine building through the air condition ducts. A Credit Dauphine employee turns off the lasers in a long hallway, about to walk down it, and the crew takes him out and runs down the hallway, getting to the end just before the lasers come back on. One of the men in the crew takes off his jump suit and is wearing a nice black suit underneath. He grabs a fake cup of coffee and prepares to walk onto the main floor of SD-6.

Sydney drives into the garage.

The man in the suit with his coffee walks in. Sloane is on the phone in his office, asking to speak to his wife's doctor. Sloane's computer automatically scans the faces in the office, running them against face recognition software. Sloane spots the strange man and curiously waits for his computer to run the recognition.

Sydney parks her car and starts walking across the garage. The van is still there, blocked the A.C. duct that the crew broke into. The driver of the van catcalls Syd and she ignores him. As she passes by and walks away from him, the driver of the van pulls and gun and aims its infrared target at the back of Syd's head.

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Another car drives in, interrupting the gunman. Jack jumps out of the car and chases Sydney across the garage. He says her quitting SD-6 is suicide. She thinks that because of the way Sloane has protected her before, he'll help her out now. Jack reminds her that Sloane answers to other people, and if he lets her go, those other people will kill both her and Sloane.

Sloane's recognition software identifies McKenas Cole. Sloane slams an alarm button activating failsafe at SD-6.

Sydney and Jack are in the elevator on their way upstairs. Jack makes Sydney think when he mentions that if the people in charge think that she's talked to her friends, Francie or Will, they'll kill them too.

Cole breaks into the control room and kills the remaining guard. Sloane calls the control room, and when Cole picks up, he yells to initiate lockdown on SD-6. Cole grins into the phone and says, "Sure thing, Arvin." Sloane realizes he's too late.

The elevator stops moving and goes dark.

Gas begins pouring into SD-6, and all of the agent son the main floor, including Sloane in his office, pass out.

The elevator's red emergency lights come on, but it's still not moving. Jack examines a panel on the wall and comments that if it had been a blackout, it wouldn't have shut down security.

Will in the bathroom at work. His cell phone rings, and an altered voice tells him to go to his desk. He says he's off the case. The voice simply says, "Leave the bathroom and go to your desk." Will goes to his desk and sees a large envelope sitting on his chair. Jenny answers his phone and then passes him the receiver, commenting on the nasal quality of the guy on the line and another story assignment from his editor. The voice tells Will that the info in the envelope will make McNeil talk. Will says he doesn't want to make McNeil talk. The voice taunts Will, saying that he thought Will didn't scare so easily. Will says he's not scared, and dares the man on the phone to admit who he is and stop altering his voice. There's no answer. Will says not to call him again and hangs up. He crumples the envelope and throws it out.

Cole and his friends enter the main floor of SD-6 with mini-oxygen tanks. The gas clears and they ditch the tanks. The crew starts securing all the unconscious agents. Cole gloats that they're five minutes ahead of schedule. Cole sends a crew member, Chopper, to secure the elevator. The female member of the crew starts working on the computer. Dixon starts to wake up as he's being tied up.

Weiss comes into Vaughn's office and asks him if wants to get a pizza. Vaughn doesn't. He's a bit morose, talking about what it feels like to find out how your father died. Weiss suggests a bar instead of pizza. An annoying agent, Haladki, comes in and talks casually about how Vaughn is going to have to see the office shrink now, Barnett. Vaughn is distressed by this.

In the stopped elevator, Syd can't get a signal on her cell phone. Jack considers that someone could be jamming it. The elevator starts moving. Jack says that in emergency lockdown, the elevator goes straight to SD-6 and opens automatically.

Chopper approaches the elevator, pointing a large gun at it. The elevator bings its arrival.

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The elevator doors open. Chopper walks into the empty elevator with his gun. Jack and Sydney are on top of the elevator. Chopper reports that the elevator is secure.

Jack and Sydney climb through the elevator shaft and get out in another area of SD-6. They find an agent lying on the floor. They get to the laser-protected hallways, and Jack turns off the lasers by putting his finger on a panel on the wall. He comments that it's one of the advantages of high-level clearance. They go down the hall and get to the computer room, which is empty. Jack does some rewiring. Sydney wonders how K-Directorate could have done this. Jack doesn't think it's K-Directorate, because they would fear reprisal. He thinks it's some other unpredictable and less well-known group. Jack's rewiring works and they have access to the 600 cameras hidden around SD-6. They scan the empty rooms. The finally find where the agents are being kept, and see the people guarding them with serious military weaponry. They see five people all together, including Cole.

Cole walks in to where everyone is being held and says he wants to talk to Sloane and catch up. Cole comments that this place hasn't changed, but Sloane looks older. (Sydney and Jack listen in.) Cole says he didn't appreciate being left for dead in Grozny. He talks about seeing his colleagues tortured to death. He says they did their job, but the chopper wasn't where it was supposed to be. Sloane asks what he wants. Cole says he's working for The Man, and The Man wants something from the SD-6 vault. Sloane says that because of the lockdown, the vault is secure and the vault access room is inaccessible as well. Cole asks for the vault access code. Sloane laughs. Cole talks about the "conversation room" downstairs, which is really the torture room.

Will talks about the new story he's working on. Jenny asks him if it's no more McNeil. Will confirms no more McNeil. Will looks at the envelope in his trash can and walks away.

Vaughn sees the office shrink, Judy Barnett. He assumes she wants to talk to him because of the recent discovery of how his father died, but actually she wants to question the appropriateness of his handler/agent relationship with Sydney Bristow. She asks how often they meet, if their meetings are only for operations. She asks if he would say they have a friendship. She asks about the extraction team in Tuscany, and if Vaughn bought Sydney a Christmas present. Vaughn gets more and more defensive and asks who has been reporting on him. Barnett says she can't tell him that. He says he'll just assume, then.

Chopper is almost done drilling into the vault access room, and is getting ready to place the explosives. Jack and Sydney continue to keep an eye on what's going on SD-6 through the cameras. Jack tells Sydney that if the vault is accessed while in lockdown, that all of SD-6 will explode, and there will be no evidence left that it was even here. Jack remembers that Marshall was working on a code scrambler for Sydney's next mission. Jack suggests they use it to scramble the vault's codes so even if Cole gets it, it won't work. They use the cameras to find the scrambler in Marshall's office.

Sloane is strapped into the torture chair. Cole talks about his interrogation when he was captured by the Russians, and how he told the Russians that he was an American officer, but when the Russians contacted the CIA, the CIA claimed no knowledge of McKenas Cole. Cole says that's when the Russian officer got really mad and brought out this box. Cole brings out the box.

Jack prepares to crawl through the ducts to Marshall's office and get the scrambler and use it. Sydney points out that they only have ten minutes before Chopper gets to the vault, and she's probably better suited to be doing this. Jack doesn't like the idea, but can't argue with her. As Sydney climbs into the duct, she mutters that she can't believe they're saving SD-6.

Cole taunts Sloane with the mysterious box. Cole says he wants the vault combination, and if he doesn't get it, he'll open the box... and Sloane doesn't want him to open the box.

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Will is waiting for a developer to meet him in a restaurant, and is surprised when David McNeil's daughter shows up instead, saying he got the message he left her on her voice mail. He tells her he never left her a message. Will is freaked out. She says she knows everything about her father. Will says this meeting never happened, and walks out.

Vaughn confronts Haladki for reporting on him to Barnett. It gets violent. Agent Weiss breaks it up.

Sydney climbs through the duct. She tries to use a magnet to grab the scrambler off Marshall's desk, but ends up with a small round piece of metal instead. She puts the object in her pocket and tries again. Jack watches on the camera, frustrated.

Chopper reports to Cole that the explosives are in place. Sydney is still fishing with the magnet, but it's not quite strong enough. She's just starting to lift the scrambler when the explosion happens. Not only does she lose the scrambler, but Marshall's desk half collapses and the scrambler falls to the floor, out of reach of the magnet. Sydney decides to try something else.

Cole revels in the fact that they're into the vault room. Cole tells Sloane that they have the tech to get into the vault without the codes, it'll just take awhile, but if Sloane gives him the codes, then he won't have to open the box. Sloane coldly comments that he doesn't take Cole seriously. Cole opens the box and takes out a bunch of what he calls Needles of Fire.

Sydney opens a panel in the duct and signals to her dad over the camera. Jack mutters that this is too dangerous, but starts flicking the camera in the agent holding room on and off. The blinking red light on he camera catches Marshall's attention, and Marshall gets Dixon to look at it too. (I assume it was Morse code.) Sydney starts to jump down from the duct, but she makes a noise, and one of the guards starts over to check it out. Dixon pretends to have a seizure and guard attends to him. Sydney drops to the ground, gets the scrambler, and starts to get back into the duct. The guard goes back to check on the sound he heard. Marshall tries to distract him and gets punched in he face for his trouble, but Sydney gets safely away.

Cole waxes poetic about a restaurant in Abita Springs, Louisiana, that has devil-given hot sauce. He says it's nothing compared to what's in the Needles of Fire.

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Cole tapes down one of Sloane's hands, and pushes the tip of a needle against the palm of Sloane's hand. Sloane stops him and says he'll give up the code.

McNeil's daughter tracks down Will at his office and makes him listen to her. She says she actually doesn't know everything, she just knows that SD-6 killed her mother and framed her father for it. She knows that her father won't talk for fear that something will happen to her, so her godfather, Robert Stoller, is going to hide her away somewhere and make her disappear, so that her father can feel free to talk. She can only do this if she knows that there's someone that will help her father. Will pulls out the crumpled envelope from his trash can and opens it. Inside is a key (it looks like an elevator key) on a black plastic tag.

Sloane finishes giving up the code, and then Cole sticks the needle into his hand. Sloane winces. Cole says that it takes a little while for the powder to take effect, so Sloane has time to give them the real code.

Cole marches through the halls of SD-6 with his armed crew behind him. Jack sees them and searches for Syd on the cameras. Sydney gets to the vault and starts to setup the scrambler. Jack watches anxiously as Cole approaches. Sydney turns on the scrambler and escapes into a duct just before Cole gets there. Cole uses his code and is told by the computer: "Access denied." Cole and his crew hear Sydney in the ducts and track her with a heartbeat detector. They shoot at her but miss, but they basically have her cornered at the end of a duct with a fan on it.

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