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Season 4 Episode 10

The Index

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 09, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
226 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Dixon enlists Sydney to help him prove that Sloane is double-crossing the CIA and using APO to steel the Blackwell Index, a master blackmail list, and to reconstruct the Alliance. Sydney makes her way into Sloane's house so as to copy the encryption key from his secure phone and crack his calls. When Nadia finds her, she becomes disappointed in her sister. Meanwhile, Vaughn discovers something disturbing about his father when he visits his comatose uncle.moreless

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  • Shades of Grey

    For me, this is what Alias is about. It's not the action or the explosions, but the complicated character development and instances that cause Sydney to compromise some of her beliefs for what she feels is the greater good. In this case, she risks her strong bond with her sister to infiltrate her boss' study in order to appease her long-time working buddy, Dixon. It's not easy being Sydney Bristow.

    It's rare to find Sydney on the other side of the fence – she's usually the epitome of an upstanding citizen/agent, so to see her not only lie to Nadia, but use the fact it's her birthday as an excuse to manipulate Sloane into inviting Sydney to his home, is a shade of grey usually left for the likes of Jack or Irina. When Nadia discovers what Syd is up to, her response is so powerful ('birthday cake is ready') because Mia portrays her utter disappointment of Syd in her eyes. And with her birthday speech, you could tell Sydney regretted her actions so much, and to see both of them smiling and celebrating, it was so awkward and complicated, it's what Alias does best.

    The Index is hardly the best of the series, but it's certainly one of the stronger episodes of early season 4. We get a really fun mission for Syd, where she plays an American tourist in France with Pixie-like hair and a real tude, which was a bundle of fun. We also get Sydney and Dixon pulling a S1 Vaughn and Sydney meet, I liked that a lot. Her mission infiltrating Sloane's office is a rehashed storyline, but with different risk factors this time round, it works well. And Nadia gets her first big Alias stunt; when she smashed through the warehouse and killed those guards, it was a truly awesome moment. Overall, a great episode of Alias!moreless
  • Review

    I'm happy that there are not anymore stand alone episodes in this season, allthough an officail storyarch really hasnt formed yet you can see that there is one is the making now that Jack and Arvin have some kind of a master plan with this index that the APO has uncovered. The scenes with Vaughn felt very out of place with the episode. He goes to see his uncle...who never wakes up...there is a woman who poses as a nurse to make sure that he gets the little black book. What effect this has on future epsiodes I dont know, but it wouldnt shock me if Alias brought another person back from the dead. Sydney and Vaughn might be dating this season, but I dont feel the spark like I did in season 2 when the producers made sure we all knew how much they were into one another. Infultrating Arvins house was cool, with Nadia catching her sister in the act. I like how Jack and Arvin planned the entire thing, making Sydney and Dixon wrong for a change. Cant give the episode higher because it still doesnt establish that much needed storyarch, but still a good episode...moreless
  • The Index

    The Index – My Allies

    The Index is an episode that looking back does not seem one of imperative significance but after watching it I realise that this episode was one of the few that set the bar in mystery and in some of the character relationships.

    Sydney and Dixon

    Although they are finally working together once again on a task force, Sydney had yet to form a strong working relationship with Dixon, until now. When they come together with Dixon’s need for him to guilty and Sydney’s surprising need for him to be innocent they finally are drawn together in a way they haven’t been in years, and it’s something I have definitely missed.

    Dixon’s rigorous surveillance show his need for Sloane to be convicted – after convincing himself to work below a man that he hated, a man that tore his life apart in a scathing search for revenge, he finally has a way to bring justice and no matter what he must cling to it. I fell, despite his over-zealous need for something that con only be trouble, that this brings morals and a new depth to Dixon’s character that’s always been there but never been exploited.

    Sydney can connect with Dixon in this state, she’s felt this way about Sloane many times and has done her best to bring him down –but for once she is hoping that he is innocent – it’s funny how Nadia has changed things.

    Sloane and Devereux

    The Alliance have gone without a mention for quite a long time, we’ve gone through many other baddies and they’ve stayed under the radar, until finally we have in the setting of APO aka SD-6 Lite, the return of the organisation.

    In my opinion if The Alliance were to return it should cover more that one episode, used the way it has it’s become one of the ever changing baddies, one of the disposable single episode nasties that is dismantled by Super-Sydney by the episode’s end and to me that’s bringing down a mighty organisation, one we were brought to feel was much more than this.

    In spite of that, Devereux and the Alliance were good characters, serving a reasonable purpose to the best of the capacity it was given.

    The way Sloane contacted Devereux was very suspicions and although in the end his reasons seemed legit, the episode’s ending seems to imply otherwise, and this time it may involve Jack, with Alias you never know….

    Sydney and Nadia

    When Nadia thanked Sydney for the birthday party, everyone knew Sydney felt a whole lot of guilt, her ulterior motives weren’t just bad in a sense that she was breaking into her boss’s office but that she were using her sister as a means to do so. Sydney’s rarely ever seen as a bad guy, someone who uses people for her own ulterior motives but for once we get to see her do something we know is baaad.

    When she gets caught the expression on Nadia face shows everything that could be going on in her head, realising that Sydney used her to have an excuse to get into Sloane’s house and that she never would have set up a birthday dinner otherwise. A sentence as mundane as “Birthday cake’s ready” took on a whole new meaning – Nadia didn’t have the energy or the ability to comprehend the current situation at that moment, utter hurt and disappointment.

    When she makes her birthday speech her words are obviously a stab at Sydney, yet I feel that Nadia of all people should know not to jump to conclusions when it comes to these things, in her world, nothing is as it seems.

    When Nadia saves Jack and tells Sydney that she hopes one day that she will do the same, you can see that there may have been a rift created, one that will heal with time.

    Dixon and Chase

    From her very superior lecture, to the childish “you’re right” and then to the sexy flirtation, Dixon gets to see many sides of Chase, and we begin to see that despite it all there could be something between them.

    Compared to Dianne, Chase is a strong woman who knows Dixon’s kind, and to keeps it short I think that they’d make a good couple.

    Jack and Nadia

    We never get to see these two working together, so you can imagine that it would be out of the ordinary for Jack when it’s Nadia that saves him. To be honest I don’t see it affecting their relationship, it would just seem like something she had to do and Jack will continue on like nothing happened, they fight for the same side so they’re bound to help each other out from time to time – it just so happened that it occurred now, a nice touch.


    “Blackwell? What a worst dressed list?” – Weiss

    “Sydney, figure out a way to get yourself arrested.” – Sloane

    “He’s using us again, and that’s not something I’m gonna let him do.” – Dixon.

    Sloane: “I take it you have no problem brining Nadia up to speed?”

    Weiss: “Yeah, I already did, last night.”

    Sloane: “Excuse me?”

    Weiss: “Uhh, we were working, we work late, we actually like it. There were other pe- Jack was here!”

    Sydney: “I used to meet Vaughn here, when he was my handle at the CIA”

    Dixon: “Must’ve been romantic.”

    Dixon: “I’m just not realising how difficult your life was at SD-6”

    Weiss: “What do you think Arvin?” pause “Uhh, Mr Sloane”

    What’s In A Name?

    The Index comes from The Blackwell Index”

    Scene of the Ep

    Dixon and Sydney, when Dixon is telling Sydney of Sloane’s possible evil-ness.


    No Vaughn on the mission


    Bill Vaughn may be alive


    Nadia driving into the warehouse and shooting everyonemoreless
Greg Grunberg

Greg Grunberg

Eric Weiss

Kevin Weisman

Kevin Weisman

Marshall J. Flinkman

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Sydney Anne Bristow

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Marcus R. Dixon

Ron Rifkin

Ron Rifkin

Arvin Sloane

Michael Vartan

Michael Vartan

Michael C. Vaughn

Michael Des Barres

Michael Des Barres

Miles Devereaux

Guest Star

Lynne Moody

Lynne Moody


Guest Star

Kevin Scott Allen

Kevin Scott Allen

French Police Officer

Guest Star

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett

Hayden Chase

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Sloane said that 3 CIA analysts were killed when the Index was stolen, but the written briefing Dixon has when he meets Sydney in secret indicates that 4 agents were killed.

    • Goof: Chase tells Dixon that Sloane is authorized to contact his former associates. In the previous two episodes he had to step down as APO Director because the situation involved former associates.

      One would assume that if Sloane were unable to contact any of his former associates he would be pretty useless at his job. In the previous episodes it was stated that Sloane could not have contact with a select number of his former associates who were on a list, including Anna Espinosa and Sark. It seems that the man he contacted in this episode is not on that list.

    • Number 47: When Dixon runs a backtrace on one of Sloane's calls it shows the address "Avdage Stepe 47".

    • Number 47: Sloane's vehicle ID shown in the satellite tracker is 30947 28436.

    • The dinner scene in Sloane's house is very similar to the one in season one's "Page 47."

    • The show revisits the false TV cliche that something can be put in a coin operated locker and will stay there indefinitely until someone with a key collects it. In truth these lockers are emptied regularly and if an item is left inside it is stored and the locker rekeyed, otherwise the operator would suffer financial loss, While as the story turns out in this case the envelope could have been placed in the locker in the last 24 hours, why did Vaughn just accept that the package was still in the locker when he got to it, if he thought his uncle placed it there?

    • Goof:
      Sydney welds through a metal grate and touches the metal immediately. Unless that was some sort of special CIA cool welder she should have been burned by the hot metal.

    • Goof: Near the end, Nadia crashes through the garage door of building 37 in the red Mustang. A few minutes later, the car is seen without a scratch.

    • When the overview of Brussels is shown, there are mountains in the background. In Belgium there aren't any mountains as high as those shown, and certainly not around Brussels. Also, the map indicating the "port area" isn't Brussels. Another detail: when you need a "fast car" in Europe, one wouldn't import an American Muscle Car for the occasion, but use what's at hand. So the Mustang isn't exactly in place. They did get the plates right, though. However, all the Belgian cars use the same plate.

      Also, there is no Rue Voltaire in Brussels. There is only an Avenue Voltaire which is indeed close to the dockside.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sloane: I take it you have no problem bringing Nadia up to speed?
      Weiss: Actually, I already did last night.
      Sloane: Excuse me?
      Weiss: Ahh...Mmm... We were working, we work late, we actually like it... There were other peop- Jack was here.
      (Sloane gives Weiss a complicit look)

    • Director Chase: So what you're saying is that you've been illegally been tapping you superior's phone.
      Dixon: Keep an eye on Sloane was a mandate, one that you specifically charged me with.
      Director Chase: I didn't condone breaking federal laws to do it.

    • (Sloane tasks Sydney to retrieve an artifact)
      Sydney: Wait you want us to steal the decoder from the French Police?
      Sloane: Right now it's been housed in the Paris prefecture, Sydney figure out a way to get yourself arrested.

    • (Sydney tries to convince Nadia to celebrate her birthday)
      Marshall: Hey guys, are you planing a party?
      Nadia: There is no party.
      Marshall: Because I'm a really good DJ, if you need it... Anyway speaking of parties... Sloane's having one... In the briefing room right now.

    • Sloane: Among the items retrieved was the Blackwell Index.
      Weiss: Blackwell? What is this, worst dressed list?

    • Nadia: I had no idea what to expect from tonight. I've never celebrated anything with family before. And I wasn't even sure I wanted to, but Sydney insisted. Now I see what I've been missing all these years... the chance to know my family for the kind of people they really are.

    • Sloane: The Chinese have a saying: "One joy scatters a thousand griefs." So it is in that spirit that I wish you, Nadia, the same joy that you bring to me every day. I never dreamed that something so precious would come into my life. Because of you, I am a changed man.

  • NOTES (4)


    • The Matrix
      When Sydney jumps onto the helicopter from the roof of the police station, the camera angles are exactly the same as in the movie The Matrix when Morpheus jumps into Neo's chopper.