Alias

Season 2 Episode 3

Cipher

5
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 13, 2002 on ABC

Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • The list of Russian authors on Sark's laptop, Will saw during his hypnosis:
      1) Dostoevsky
      2) Nabokov
      3) Tolstoy
      4) Chekov

    • Goof: The luge sled is capable of speeds of up to 150 mph and she needs to go two miles in 12 seconds. At 150 mph, it would take her 48 seconds to go two miles.

    • The high-powered "luge" that Sydney uses to race the flames of the launch is shown to reach 125, whether that is mph or kph, which is a high speed. One would assume since she is racing for her life, that she isn't going to slow down even as she exits. As she exits the exhaust tunnel, she immediately "tucks, ducks and rolls" off of the "luge". Any motorcycle aficionado will tell you that isn't a smart move without plently of buffer between you and the concrete. The suit Sydney is wearing doesn't appear to be thick or leather, at the very least the suit should be in shreds and at worst, Sydney would be road taffy.

    • Goof: In the scene right after Sydney comes out of the exhaust tunnel with fire behind her, you can see the wire for the luge pulling her.

    • In a real satellite launch the payload (the satellite) would be very carefully wrapped in a cocoon at the very top of the rocket and be multiple layers deep into it. You would not be able to access it while on the launch-pad, let alone in a hurry. Satellites take months or years to assemble.

    • When touring the launch facility the greeter talks about how environmentally friendly the launch is, and how the propellent gas is processed. However the exhaust tube leads to an open-air area, and there is no evidence of any waste collection or the high volumes of water that are usually pumped into those areas to help keep down the heat.

    • When sitting outside the launch facility, Dixon is dressed in full camouflage, right down to the face paint, & sitting next to a tree, to further "blend in"... Then he opens his laptop, to gain access to the Launch Site's security camera's... He uses a Mac Powerbook because amidst all that Blending he opened a Bright silver laptop, with a Glowing Apple logo on the other side of the screen!

  • Quotes

    • (Jack visits Irina in holding)
      Jack: I want to make something very clear to you. There are people here who believe you can repay the debt you owe this country, through your continued cooperation... I am not one of them. And if Sydney in any way becomes victim to your end game... I will kill you. She spent most of her life believing you were dead... She'll get used to it again.

    • Irina: You know, you haven't yet asked me how I could shoot my own daughter.
      Sydney: No, I haven't.
      Irina: I assume you wouldn't need this combination so urgently if you didn't know where the music box was. Sark won't hesitate to kill you. I don't want to lose the chance to explain myself someday.

    • Marshall: (to Sydney) ...if you're stuck in the ducts when the rocket launches, then, well, boom. And I'd miss you.

    • Barnett: Well, I'm sorry, but I am not in the habit of helping a father manipulate his daughter. No matter how good his intentions may be.
      Jack: I see. And is your opinion here based on what's best for Sydney, or for the agency? Because the fact is if Sydney doesn't talk to Laura, the CIA learns nothing.
      Barnett: So you still think of her as Laura, even though that was her alias.

    • Sydney: Seeing her again, I'm realizing there are these gaps in my memory from around the time she left. Dad... do you remember the Thanksgiving play I was in that year in school? Because I sort of do. I mean, I have an impression of it, but I can't remember... was I a pilgrim or an Indian...? (He stares off.) What?
      Jack: You were neither. You were a turkey. You were the only turkey that was spared to celebrate the harvest.

    • Sydney: You want me to talk to her again.
      Kendall: Mr. Sark has assumed control of your mother's operation -
      Sydney: Please stop referring to her as my mother.

    • Dixon: Watch your step. If you fall through the ice, it'll freeze over in four seconds.
      Sydney: Good to know.

    • Sark: It was you giving us problems at the launch. I'd offer you passage back to civilization, but my submersible only seats four.
      Sydney: It's the thought that counts.

    • Irina: Speaking of Ms. Adams... just before I left I remember her encouraging you to try out for your school's Thanksgiving play. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but in the twenty years since I last saw you I often wondered... what part did you play?
      Sydney: I don't remember. It was around the time I was told my mother had died. Everything else is a blur.

  • Notes

    • This episode won the 2003 Excellence in Production Design Award for "Television - Episode of a Single Camera Television Series". This episode was nominated for the 2003 C.A.S. Award for "Award Outstanding Sound Mixing for Television - Series".

    • Music from this episode includes:
      "Spanish Moss" by Saint Low

    • While Sri Lanka is a good spot for launching satellites, the location may be a nod to science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke who first predicted (some say invented) communications satellites and who lived in Sri Lanka for a good part of his life (up until his death).

    • If you look, the rocket that is going to be "launched" is a Saturn V - the rocket that boosted the Apollo missions to the moon. This is made very clear in part because of the very distinctive black/white paint scheme. The images used were a combination of stock from real 1960s and 1970s launches, CGI, and models, but the film used most was taken from the launch scene in the movie Apollo 13 (created with CGI because no one has launched a real Saturn V since Skylab was put into orbit in 1973). The only exception to the Saturn V being used are in the close ups with Sydney - seeing her walk the gantry (obvious CGI created for this episode) and when she is tying in the cicuit board. Everything else is Saturn V stuff.

  • Allusions

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