Season 2 Episode 11

A Higher Echelon

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 05, 2003 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
226 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After completing his first mission with Sydney, Marshall's life is placed in mortal danger. Meanwhile, Ariana Kane suspects Jack as being the prime suspect in the disappearance of Sloane's wife. Vaughn learns the truth about Jack's involvement in the murder of CIA agent Haladki and Sydney confides in Francie about her feelings for a fellow co-worker.moreless

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  • Double Trouble

    Ariana Kane (gran Fane Dunaway) desconfía de Jack, culpándolo de matar a la mujer de Sloane. Jack está en problemas porque confía de Sloane. Sloane no está muy interesado en que Marshall, Jack, su mujer o Sidney vivan o mueran, con tal de conseguir sus objetivos. Marshall termina salvando a Sidney (como debía ser) y es lo más grande que hay.

    Qué difícil que es saber quienes son los buenos y quienes los malos, sino pregúntenle a los capos de la CIA que ya confían de Irina. Jack miente para que se descubra la verdad (o para no morir en el intento). Suerte a todos, buen capítulo.moreless
  • Syd:"Are you ready for party?!" Dixon:"Syd,I speak nine languages.Techno is not one of them!"

    I loved this episode!And I loved it because this episode doesn't have much of Sydney and it acts as a sort of bridge episode with very little Rambaldi-almost not a bit- and sad Sydney moments.Definitely,it isn't the barnstormer of the last few,but it's a more than satisfying hour of television,with some wonderfull,breathtaking stuff in the Jack subplot and a lovely moment of triumph and bravery from Marshall.

    The main theme of the episode was cleverly plotted with 3 agencies fighting against each other in order to obtain Echelon.Luckily,the CIA won thanks to Irina.But at what cost?What is she planning to do?She is totally manipulating Sydney who stood up for her and here she won over Jack,too.And fortunately,Marshall was saved with Syd's aid.Here,he prooved that he is a hero,loyal to his country and to his boss,who shows no loyalty in return

    The subplot with Jack,Ariana and Sloane was fabulous.Ariana prooved that she is very clever,achieving in doing what nobody else could,to unveil Jack,but she is also a pain in the ass!She forced him to go through all this;to take prints,make fake passports,even creating that video wich was quite convincing.However,I can't believe the fact that after all these the CIA made that tiny mistake and all went wrong.Sloane showed,for one more time,how wicked,nasty,vicious and evil he can be.At first,he didn't seem to care one iota about Marshall and then he betrayed his friend,Jack.


    --The hard drive with the incriminating data that Syd was looking for in the first mission was being repaired in room 147(47).Suit and Glasses hold Marshall on the 47th floor.That's the number again!

    --Following his injection by Will in "Almost Thirty Years" Suit and Glasses has proven to be the 'one-in-five'.He is paralyzed confined to a wheelchair.Syd had the chance to do away with him,but instead she left him in his misery...

    --Will passed his CIA phycological test and entered CIA.Vaughn gave him a cover;he'll be working for Trade Roads travel magazine,a CIA front organization.This is a clever development and now only Francie is out of the plot.

    --In my opinion,it was stupid of Kendall to give Irina some of the United States' most top-secret,confidential and privileged information.


    Marshall revealing the "code" he has worked out of the tooth puller;Syd dancing at the party.

    --This episode's injuries:Marshall's mouth is prised open and Suit and Glasses pours resin into his mouth.This is one half of an epoxy binary compound.If Marshall swallowed the hardener,the resin would solidfy and suffocate him.

    --This episode's locations:Ho Chi Mihn City,Vietnam;Mexico City,Mexico

    --This episode's aliases:Syd arrives in Vietnam as a microsatellite expert,Nina Bails from Tech-Sky Industries.Dixon quickly adopts the identity of Roderick Milton,her nerdy colleague.In Mexico City,Syd is just a costumer in a nightclub and Dixon is a DJ.

    --This episode's hot looks:While under the alias of Nina Bails,Syd looks very hot with her own hair up in a bun with a chopstick-style grip.In Mexico City,Syd wears a red track suit,beret and cut-off gloves-clubbing gear,apparently.As a DJ Dixon has dreadlocks.

    --This episode's gadgets:SD-6 supplies a projector that strobes in a sequence that sends people to sleep in seconds.Syd can protect herself by wearing special glasses.

    Jack's standard issue SD-6 pistol is a 19 Compact(a Glock)

    This episode's cliffhanger:Sloane telling Ariana Kane where Jack is...

    Jack:"That was the extent of his concern.It was as if someone had overcooked his steak."

    Sloane:"Our efforts do our prayers..."-not criticized-

    **Lots of fun**

  • Review

    Not my favorite storyline in season two so far. Marshall is caught and tortured briefly by the man with the glasses, but gives up after a couple of simple torture tactics and then goes on to building a game of pong. I like the comical scenes with Marshall in them, but I can only take them in small doses an episode. There is so much more I would rather see that too many scenes with him in them actually brings the episode down. I thought the scenes with Jack bristow and the woman investigating him were actually the highlights of the episode. I thought the scene with him and her at lunch was true Alias form and I loved how they wrote and planned out that entire scene. The ending wasnt really cliffhanger quality, just that I think Arvin is now done fully putting all of his trust in Jack like he used too. Im looking for all this to come to a huge conclusion sometime soon, theres no way Jack can continue to work undercover.moreless
  • Another great episode, as always. This season just rocks!

    Another great episode, as always. This season just rocks!

    Poor Marshal kidnapped & almost tortured by the Chinese Torture Guy. At least this time he didn't pull any teeth out.

    I love how Marshal out-smarted him and made him think that he's recreating the Echelon program, and then sending a signal to SD-6, so that Syd & Dixon could go rescue him. And Marshal was more than happy to finally get a chance & rescue Sydney. Good thing he still had the parachute.

    Sloan didn't surprise me one bit, changing Marshal's security codes and not wanting to attempt a rescue.

    And betraying Jack right at the end, he really is evil. It's obvious that Jack didn't kill Emily & he knows it, and I don't even think that Emily is dead. Sloan loved her too much to kill her. I still think that the blackmailer is Sloan.

    Irena once again proved to be a great help to the CIA. When she smiled her evil smile after the CIA asked for her help, now I'm sure that Jack is right, she is definately up to something.

    Syd tells Francie that she has a crush on a guy from work named Michael. Francie tells Will, (poor guy was totally crushed), and Will tells (or should I say warns) Michael not to hurt Syd.

    And Will finally has a job as a CIA analyst.

  • I have a crush on a guy at work!

    This was one exciting episode! It had the action, the hate, the love and the thrill.

    So thank god Marshall survived! And how! I mean I knew he was great but I thought that he might actually spill the code, but our 'sweetheart' Marshall was so smart to send codes to SD-6 and to make a ping-pong game to win time. Plus, the parachute was great! I still love him :)

    So Sydney finally admitted that she has a thing for Vaughn, uuhm Michael. As if it wasn't obvious ;). Loved the way that it went from Sydney to Francie to Will ( he looked hurt ) and then to Vaughn who got a warning from Will. He still protects her :). Maybe next epi will finally give some Vaughn/Sydney material. 'The Getaway' sounds like a date;)

    So Jack is in some serious problems. I love the talk with the investigator ( who still has a scary and familiar head ). And the way they did it with the cellphone, and the ink. Where is Jack's handler? 'Cause Vaughn is around Jack a lot nowadays. Now Sloane doesn't even trust him anymore. That's going to give some major problems.

    Will is hired with the CIA. This is good. Plus, Dixon was back again, complete with the Rasta-hair ;)

    So mom did once again everything right this time. But I'm starting to trust her less and less. If she'd really care for Sydney's sake, or the worlds sake for that, she wouldn't have had any terms to look for the doorway. She did though, and that only says that she actually has a double agenda. Perhaps Jack was right all along. But he's starting to trust her now too. She really is something.

    The way it was race against time, really had me caught. It was very exciting. So all kudos for that! Great episode!

Kevin Weisman

Kevin Weisman

Marshall J. Flinkman

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Sydney Anne Bristow

Merrin Dungey

Merrin Dungey

Francine 'Francie' Calfo

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Marcus R. Dixon

Ron Rifkin

Ron Rifkin

Arvin Sloane

Michael Vartan

Michael Vartan

Michael C. Vaughn

Faye Dunaway

Faye Dunaway

Ariana Kane

Guest Star

James LeSure

James LeSure

CIA Agent Craig Blair

Guest Star

Shawn Michael Patrick

Shawn Michael Patrick

SD-6 Forensics Expert

Guest Star

Ira Heiden

Ira Heiden

CIA Agent Rick McCarthy

Recurring Role

Terry O'Quinn

Terry O'Quinn

F.B.I. Special Officer Kendall

Recurring Role

Ric Young

Ric Young

Suit and Glasses

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Very subtle, but when Marshall hugs Dixon near the end the song playing says, "here by my side an angel," and when he hugs Sloane - "here by my side the devil." The actual title of the song is Weapon by Matthew Good.

    • Number 47: The hard drive that Sydney must find is in for repairs on level one, room 147.

    • Number 47: Marshall is being held in the storage room on the 47th floor.

    • An easily recognizable corridor has been used in at least 3 episodes which supposedly occur at different locations:

      2x01 - The Enemy Walks In : Time: 30:56

      2x06 - Salvation : Time: 22:20

      2x11 - A Higher Echelon : Time: 37:59.

    • What's the point of putting Jack's fingerprints on the wheel of the rental car he rented in Taipei? It was months ago that Jack rented the car - it would be more suspicious if there were clean copies of his fingerprints on the wheel - rental companies clean their cars, and rent them out to other people. There should be dozens of other customers' prints on the wheel, assuming there were any prints at all.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Vaughn: Hey, Will. I got your psych report back. You did well.
      Will: I'm not a sociopath.
      Vaughn: Well, I didn't say that.
      Will: Do I have a job?
      Vaughn: Yes.
      Will: A paying job?
      Vaughn: Yes. As an analyst. You'll be asked to review classified documents and file reports. Think of it as writing articles only now your source material is classified. In fact, your cover is as a journalist.

    • Sydney: (Out of the blue) I have a crush on a guy at work.
      Francie: Really? Who is he?
      Sydney: Someone in my department. We've worked together for about a year now.
      Francie: You're kidding, what's his name?
      Sydney: Michael. He's... I don't know how to describe him... he's smart and funny and he's so cute.
      Francie: Hot cute, not goofy cute?
      Sydney: Hot cute.

    • Marshall: (to Sydney) Hi. My name is Marshall K. Flinkman, and I'm here to rescue you!

    • Kendall: I just got off the phone with the director again and he asked me again if I knew we were in the intelligence business.

    • Marshall: I swear on my mother's grave, I don't know. And though technically Mom's still alive, she has picked out her gravesite, so--

    • Dixon: I speak nine languages. Techno is not one of them!

  • NOTES (2)