Season 5 Episode 5

Out of the Box

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 27, 2005 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
303 votes
  • Review

    The trend of every episode in season 5 is getting worse continued with this episode as it had nothing in it that I found even close to being significant to the plotline. Renee opens the box to find out that it was her father - only the later find out it isnt her father. The "Helix" excuse to double a person is something that the show has run out of. They have done it four times now and each time it has gotten less and less monemental to the overall plotline.

    All of the scenes with Renee/Thomas/Sydney/"Renees Father" felt very forced and pointless. Even Dixon/Marshall/Rachels trip into the valut to get information was boring to watch. Arvin Sloane blackmailing the woman he needed to get into APO was the only big thing of note in this episode. Hopefully he will get the season back on track in the next episode with some lying and backstabbing. Overall, one of the worst episodes of the series and the worst episode of the season.
  • 7.7
    Not really a fan of this show, this episode only showed up on my Tivo because of a keyword search. I probably would've enjoyed this more if I was up to date on all the previous plot points, but Alias, for the couple of times I watched it is a very entertaining show. It's a James Bond or Mission Impossible movie that you get to watch every week. Add in some political drama with the big wigs and it's all good. This episode may have pushed some points a bit too far as Sloane has approached an almost supervillanish level. Now, this is all fine and good, but when you have a spider that can see through metal and an assassin (Renee) that can cross two mine fields without a scratch, this show loses a ton of realism and pretty much becomes a comic book. Now, this is episode 93/105, so the writers know it's almost time to go and I can forgive their overly dramatic flair this late in the game.. would've been more upset if this was a cornerstone to the series though.
  • Great episode, not what I expected!

    Well, I knew Renee stole the machine that the man was contained in, but I had no idea she stole it because it was her father... Which also turned out to be a lie. He turned out to be a double, which is awesome, because they are bringing back doubles into the series, I loved the part of the show dealing with "Evil Twins." I did really wish this guy was Rambaldi though, secretly disguised as Renee's father, but they got rid of my theory when they called him doctor whatever at the end of the episode. It would be great for a live Rambaldi for the end season in my opinion, but we'll just have to see how it goes.
  • The plot thickens.

    So today Sydney and Tom went to go talk to Renee after she stole a chemical called Atropine ZX. They then found out that it\'s Renee\'s father Luc Goursaud who was in the box but then when mercenaries came they found out that Luc Goursaud isn\'t really Luc Goursaud but Dr. Desantis (genetically altered) who Dr. Desantis (in disguise as Luc) had originally said froze him, Dr. Desantis (as genetically altered Luc) then escaped with the mercenaries. See I can keep up with the fast paced, twisted plots Alias has, which is what this episode provided a lot of. (Sorry to any English teachers out there about the long run-on sentence.)

    I thought today\'s episode was a smart way to have Sydney involved in the action without having A.P.O send her. I mean would the C.I.A. really be sending someone into the field in their second trimester? I think not. So this was a good way for them to send her on a (supposedly) non-risk mission and just happen to have action come along the way.

    The whole Dr. Desantis being frozen for 20 years plotline formed more questions in my head and didn\'t really answer any about his situation or give any more information about Prophet 5. I guess the cloning thing will never really leave Alias just like that darnn Rimbaldi Plotline (which hasn\'t came up at all yet this season). Ever since cloning came up in Season 2 it was revived again last season with Irina and now this season with Dr. Desantis and Renee’s father.

    Ahhh......I forgot how much fun it was to watch Sloane be evil. Watching him threaten the Senator made me remember how much I miss the old Sloane. Sloane did seem upset though after he delivered the threat which makes my “Sloane really is evil” theory not so concrete. I Want an Evil Sloane!! Is that too much to ask for? :)

    All In all I did enjoy the action and plotlines but it just felt like it was missing something. Maybe I\'m just realizing how much I miss the old characters but it just didn\'t feel right.

    Funny Lines:

    Tom: \"My mother always said if someone was worth shooting once they were worth shooting twice.\"

    Jack: \"Sorry I never met her. She sounds like my kind of women.\"

    Finale Rating: 2 1/2 out of 4 Stars

    - Tim Bronx
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  • I’m quickly losing interest in what was once my favorite show of all time.

    It seems as if the writers are trying to re-create Sidney and Sloane in Rachel and Gordon Dean yet they are falling far short of the incredible drama and relationships that existed in the early seasons of Alias. In my opinion Rachel can never measure up as a replacement for Sidney. What was once great about this series (Sidney’s double life, her troubled relationship with her father, her many disguises, her insecurities yet kick ass skills as an agent, the tension between she and Sloane, her trusting relationship with Dixon, i.e. seeing her as a real person and not just a CIA agent) is all gone. Now it is more about the missions and less about the person. Plus I would really like to see some answers to the big Rambaldi mysteries surrounding Sidney. It made the show so interesting to have this Rambaldi element woven throughout it. What a disappointment if the writers just ignore all they have been leading up to and never address how Sidney is involved in the Rambaldi story. It’s better in my opinion to end the show with a big bang if Jennifer Garner does not want to continue acting in it then to have it deteriorate into a drastically inferior knock off of the original.
  • What happen to this show? It's suks!

    After third season, this show going to down. Really bad. Garner with the same smilles. Horror. I think, it's time to Alias "quit", time to quit or change the storyline a little. If continuous the same "bleh", going to quit in one more season, maybe two seasons. Death to Arvin Sloane, this man don't die? It's for ever?! []'s
  • Episode could have been better.

    Sloane up to his old tricks, so what else is new. Frankly I am tired of everyone coming to his defense. He claims to be reformed to the good guys but as soon as he is away from them the old Sloane is right there. Enough with Nadia, kill her or find a cure since she isnot even on the show anymore.
  • the thing that got my interest in this program in the first place was the spy thing, and now we are left to wonder who is sloan working for and what exactly do they want, while trying to cure nadia of this horrible disease that she was injected with .

    the thing about this episode that has me wondering what is coming next is we are not sure who sloan is working for(if it is from a previous season that you others know, sorry i still need to catch up) and it shows that sloan apparently is working again for the bad guys. sloan threatens the woman who can get him reinsated to ensure his reinstatement, and we know that his motives are more than that of personal preserverence, they are for his daughter, nadia, who was injected with a disease in a previous episode. it keeps you wondering, where is sloans roll going to end up? fighting for the greater good, or the greater evil....
  • What exactly is their point? And with "their" I mean the writers.

    Hmmm... it's not bad. There are a lot of shows out there that are much worse than Alias. Maybe that's why I have a different standard for this show. So, last episode was quite a filler, in the way, that absolutely nothing happened except that Sloane might be (reluctantly) evil again. Which actually is a good thing, since I think everyone here likes Sloane the most, when he's up to no good.

    This episode we learn, that the man in the box is nothing but an imposter, Helix is not dead yet apparently. Syd en Rachel are living together, apparently she can just move into Nadia's room. And Syd's reaally reallly pregnant! But that's it. Jack does nothing, Sloane does a little threatening. The mission Dixon, Marshall and Rachel are tasked to do looks like a boring training-op.

    With all four season, there were a lot of episodes I kept because I wanted to rewatch them again. We now have had five episodes and there's not a single scene I can think of that I'd actually want to see again.

    This does not bode well...
  • "I'm the man in the box..." -Alice in Chains

    Sloane is released from prison - his very confining box - loosed into the world again to wreak his havoc in the name of saving his daughter, thanks to his benefactor, Gordon Dean. Should we be surprised that they know each other?

    Not only is Sloane out of prison, he has already started his nefarious behavior. Asking Jack for a favor of helping him be reinstated to APO was pure audacity, and yet, Jack beat him to it. He already asked that Sloane be reinstated all on his own.

    Cue Gordon Dean, who needs Sloane at APO. He knows that Sloane's security clearance rests on Senator Lewis, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee. So, Dean provides Sloane with tools help “persuade” Senator Lewis to reinstate his status. Sloane shows up at the skating rink where Senator Lewis’ daughter was practicing and convinces her that it is in her best interest to reinstate him.

    As it turns out, Sloane’s tactics work, as Dixon learns that Sloane’s full clearance had been reinstated – at Jack’s request.

    Meanwhile, APO learns the nuridium was being used to power a cryogenic chamber that has been stolen – from the US Army Storage Facility in Frankfurt, Germany – stolen by whom? Renée Rienne. Damn! All I can say is, either Renée is one badass chick, or we need a new army.

    Despite the fact that Renée has stolen the body, Syd believes that there is a good reason – she worked with Vaughn for seven years after all.

    So, Syd and Grace pay Renée Rienne a visit, and find that the man in the cryo chamber is awake. Awakened by Renée thinking that he is her father. Her father who was taken 23 years ago by a man named Desantis.

    And now, her father is being sought after. So much so, that highly trained personnel are there to retrieve him – after he activated the beacon. As it turns out, her father is not her father. He’s Dr. Desantis!

    Final thoughts and observations:

    Sydney to Rachel: “We’re both going through transitions, we might as well keep each other company.”

    Having Rachel around clearly helps ease the loneliness, especially at a time when Sydney really needs people with whom to feel close.

    Dr. Desantis: "The girl is alive."
    Gordon Dean: “Then keeping an eye on her won’t be a problem.”

    Creepy that the last scene we see is Sloane under the eerie red light, walking into APO.

    Dixon: "I suppose having him (Sloane) here at APO will allow us to keep a close eye on his activities.”
    Jack: “Yes, that thought had crossed my mind as well.”

    Hmm…we can definitely count on Dixon to keep a vigilant eye on Sloane, and obviously Jack knows something is awry with Sloane. First his improbably release from prison, and now full security clearance restored.

    Quote I couldn't stop laughing over:

    "Apparently, you can't get good beef jerky in Germany."

  • I actually gave up on it and changed the channel.

    Ugh, this episode was terrible! Since J.J. is busy trying to come up with stories for Lost, he’s just really dropped the ball on Alias. With two main characters gone and Jennifer Garner pregnant, it’s going down hill fast. This episode was beyond predictable and just slow in some places. I actually gave up on it and changed the channel. I used to be that I was glued to my set and engaged in Alias, but since the end of season three, my interest has been waning as I feel the quality of the show has also. This episode just feels like a good example of it.
  • The man in the box is revealed ... somewhat. And Arvine's back.

    In this episode, we find out who is really in the box, sorta. It's Alias, you never know, but in the beginning they say that it is Renee's father. Renee is the girl who was working with Vaughn in the premiere, if you forgot. Anyway, when Syd and the new guy go to find them, there is an attack. It turns out that they are tring to take her father, who I don't really think is her father because he has no memories of his daughter. They take him to a hospital, and Gordon Dean comes to talk to him. Back in APO Sloane basically makes threats to get back to his old position. He says that he wants to find a cure for Nadia. (Does anyone know if she is coming back?) In the end of the episode you see him walk down that tubular hallway and meets Jack at the end. I liked the episode, and I really hope that it is doing better in the ratings.
  • Overall, this episode maintains the quality of the previous episode, all while managing to incorporate the new characters into the overall plot structure more than ever.

    So much for the theory that the man in the box was Vaughn! The writers are tossing out some surprises along with the usual retreads, and that’s a good thing. In a season where plot twists and character returns are all over the press, taking away much of the suspense, it’s good to know that some mysteries endure.

    This episode certainly complicates “Prophet 5”, and also gives that movement a little more history. So along with the 30+ year project, which happens to coincide with the whole Rambaldi plot without actually mentioning it at all, there’s something that happened 20 years earlier involving a rather disturbing version of the oft-used doubling technology. There’s a mad doctor running around using these prophetic genetic experiment guides to either transplant brains, or perhaps even worse, replace one person with another from the inside.

    Beyond the obvious resonance with this season’s “Invasion”, there are some intriguing possibilities. The writers have already used doubling technology to physically change a person’s appearance and, even worse, convince someone that they were, in fact, Arvin Sloane. The logical progression is the complete takeover of one person by another from within.

    Where does this impact the plot as it stands? Two possibilities come to mind. Both are related to the larger mythology, which of course means Rambaldi. The history of the Rambaldi endgame has always been tied to his immortality and eventual return, the “second coming” suggested in “Full Disclosure” during the third season. (If this is a five-season series, as it seems to be, consider how that episode sits squarely at the mid-point of the series arc.)

    Dr. DeSantis’ technology, on the face of it, seems designed to take one person’s personality or intelligence and transfer it, through genetic re-engineering, to a new body. The connection to the Rambaldi endgame should be obvious. Everything that Sloane did within that context was designed to pacify the mass population. Presumably, some enlightened soul was supposed to come along and rule the sheep. Who better than Rambaldi himself, like a New Age immortal Pharaoh?

    So, back to the two possibilities. The Rambaldi serum from the early third season, used by Alison Doran to survive being shot up and nearly killed, could have been used to restore Vaughn. He could then be the unwilling new test subject for DeSantis. Take the tissue sample of Rambaldi from the third season as well, mix it up with some of the other devices and plot elements over the years, and it’s not hard to imagine that Vaughn comes back as someone other than himself!

    But therein lies the second possibility. Not every element of the original Rambaldi prophecy has come to pass, and it was already revealed in the third season that Sydney was supposed to be the genetic mother of a reborn Rambaldi. Could Sydney’s child become a target in this endgame as well, directly or indirectly?

    This is all assuming that Rambaldi and his grand design will ever be referenced or advanced again, which is not necessarily the case. However, it’s hard not to believe that the writers are trying to dance around the network mandates and still tell the same story they intended. Even if the old plot elements are never referenced directly, there’s no reason to believe that this season’s arc isn’t connected to the past, especially given how important Sloane seems to be for Gordon Dean and his plans.

    Speaking of Sloane, his actions in this episode were somewhat disappointing. Sloane is always fun when he’s stomping on every possible moral consideration with relish, but it’s far better when his manipulations and schemes are subtle. As much as the scenes in this episode were enjoyable, the old Sloane would have been reinstated using far more subtle means.

    Rachel’s slow but steady introduction to field work takes another step in this episode. She seems a lot more confident playing support for Dixon than she would have been in the previous episode, and while it might have been better to take it slowly with Rachel, getting her into action quickly is probably a practical solution to Garner’s growing immobility. Besides, Rachel is a hottie, so they should take advantage of that!

    Thomas Grace is still something of a cipher, so the writers should try to focus on him in the future. He has a past, obviously, and it’s shady at best. That ought to be explored, and if it means less “Sydney as Mommy” time in future episodes, all the better. There also seems to be something brewing with Dixon. Clearly, Sloane’s return to APO is going to be interesting, because Jack has been letting his guard down this season, and that’s never a good sign.

    Renee isn’t quite the interesting character that the writers seem to think she is, but now that the new characters are getting fleshed out more, the effect isn’t so worrisome. Once upon a time, Sydney’s diminished presence felt like the kiss of death, but time is proving that to be partly incorrect. How well things progress will depend greatly upon the skill of the writing staff.
  • Getting very tired of people not being who they say they are.

    Yet another episode where some person claims to be someone they are not. I don't care for that Renee woman. She seems to always need a shower. Getting held up in an abandoned warehouse is just plain stupid. And for the love of all that is good and holy when are they just going to shoot Sloan?
  • The man in the box comes out and Arvin's back on the bad side.

    First of all this episode was classic Alias of old. Well written, well directed and well structured.

    It wasn't anything amazing but it was certainly above what we're used to getting these last few years.

    Shame about the low screen time Rachel Nichols got in this episode. I mean, she's going to be Syd's "replacement" soon so don't just ignore her from time to time.

    Thought that the element of the siege was great but it could easily have been played out a bit better which was a shame - especially the revelation that the man was not Renee's dad - seemed rather dull way to play it out.

    It was fairly obvious from the beginning that Gordon Dean would be ARvin's benefactor, which is probably (although obvious) one of the best ideas the alias writer's have had in a loooonnggg time.

    Anyway great episode tonight.. not too much to say except that do we really need more of Slow-mo Sloane walking with the eerie music. I mean taht was done last week as well!!!
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