Season 4 Episode 1

Authorized Personnel Only (1)

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 05, 2005 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • The guys new codenames at APO are as follows:
      Sydney - Phoenix (because she rose from the ashes)
      Vaughn - Shotgun
      Nadia - Evergreen
      Dixon - Outrigger
      Jack - Raptor
      Marshall - Merlin

    • Kicking off the operation in the train in Belarus, Vaughn says to Sydney "Horoshie siski." That's "Nice boobs" in Russian.

    • The train station shown in this episode is the Union station in Los Angeles.

    • While discussing the files that Sydney recovered, the writers manage to ignore every piece of evidence from the finale of season 3.
      -Lauren's shouting "We're all pawns in the same game! The only difference is that I know who controls me."
      -It's dated 1975, whereas the events that Sydney describes would have happened sometime past season 2.
      -Sydney's NAME is on the cover, right next to "subject".
      They seem to have been heading in the direction that Jack was the one in charge of the Covenant, and was using them as part of some sinister project involving Sydney, but wrote themselves into a corner and changed it.

  • Quotes

    • Sydney: I don't want that, to jump right back in where we were, before everything. To pretend like those years didn't happen.
      Vaughn: Well, that would be nice, wouldn't it?
      Sydney: But they did.

    • Sloane: You'll need to get him to open the case for you.
      Sydney: Do you have any suggestions?
      Sloane: I assume you'll come up with something interesting.

    • Sloane: Quite frankly I was surprised by their call too, until I understood what it is they want: their own SD-6.

    • Vaughn: I'm leaving.
      Eric: Leaving what... the Agency? Is this because of Sydney?
      Vaughn: No, it's not because of Sydney; it's because last year sucked.

    • Eric: (Vaughn is beating a punching bag, obviously angry) Bag's dead, man. You can give it up.
      Vaughn: Thanks for coming.
      Eric: Thanks for sweating.

    • Vaughn: You want to tell me what happened in Wittenburg?
      Sydney: No, actually, I don't.

    • Sloane: I'm sending you, Sydney. I'll give you the details in my office.
      Sydney: Lucky me.

    • Chase: But we can use him now: His contacts, his expertise, and he will be closely monitored.
      Sydney: I pity the man with that job. (Chase looks pointedly at Sydney.)
      Sydney: (Realization dawns on her) Wait a minute…
      Chase: With you here… Vaughn, Dixon, and your father, there's a built-in system of checks and balances. If Sloane missteps… you'll catch him. Now, that's it. This is your assignment.

    • Sydney: When I was approached about joining a black-ops unit within the CIA, I thought I was doing the right thing. And while I appreciate the necessary protocol in assembling a new team, Arvin Sloane is not…
      Chase: (Cutting her off) I understand you used to work for Sloane.
      Sydney: Yeah, a criminal psychopath beyond verbal description…
      Chase: I know all about Sloane.
      Sydney: Then allow me to ask the most obvious question in the history of time: How can the CIA let that man, who ran what amounts to a terrorist cell within the borders of this country, run anything?

    • Sydney: If this is your…decision, Director Chase…I will no longer burden this agency with the hazard of my participation.
      Chase: Are you opting to terminate your association with the CIA?
      Sydney: I will say it in English for you: I quit.

    • Sloane: Because I see in her something I once saw in you: the need to work for what's right. And because you know what it is to put aside personal issues, and that... that's a gift.
      Sydney: It's not a gift. What it's been is a necessity, and it's become a burden, and, quite frankly, something I've run out of patience for.

    • (About Nadia)
      Sloane: She chose to leave intelligence.
      Sydney: You sure she really left? Fake-quitting seems to be all the rage.

    • Sydney: (To Dixon) One thing makes up for all this: having you as my partner again.

    • Director Chase: I'm recommending to the board that you be stripped of classified clearance and assigned to the Dispatch Office at Langley.
      Sydney: You're transferring me... to the mail room!?

    • Director Chase: Even for you, Agent Bristow, your arrogance today is appalling!

    • Komorov: (Opens a suitcase) What is inside can be used for good... or evil.
      Sydney: Me too.

  • Notes

    • Angela Bassett was billed as Special Guest Star in this episode.

    • Music from this episode includes:
      "At Last" by Etta James
      "Cold Hard Bitch" by Jet
      "World On Fire" by Sarah McLachlan
      "Bad" by U2
      "A Dios le Pido" by Juanes
      "The Wind" by Cat Stevens

    • At the start of the fourth season, Alias gets moved from its original Sunday timeslot to Wednesday. The producers grabbed this opportunity to lure some new viewers to the show. To accomplish this it was decided that the first half of the fourth season would mainly be comprised of standalone-episodes (instead of the usual cliffhanger-like, on-going episode structure).

    • J.J. Abrams directed some secondary scenes in this episode after he was unhappy with the way the episode originally turned out.

    • As of this episode, Mia Maestro (Nadia) is now credited in the opening title sequence, while David Anders (Sark) and Melissa George (Lauren) are no longer credited.

    • Although credited, Kevin Weisman (Marshall) doesn't appear in the first half of this episode. However, he has a deleted scene on the Season 4 DVD where he says goodbye to Sydney when she quits the CIA. Mia Maestro also does not appear in this episode.

    • This episode begins in medias res.

    • As of this episode, the title sequence has been changed from its original format to show over 50 disguises that Sydney has worn since the show began.

    • Originally aired as a two hour premiere on January 5th at 8:00 PM.

    • The show begins with a song titled "At Last" by Etta James, which also begins with the phrase "At last".
      This was obviously a play on the fact that the fans had waited longer than usual between seasons three and four.

  • Allusions

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