Previously on Alias: EEEP! EEEEEEEP! OOOP!
The episode opens on Syd, walking through the Apple Store, looking fabulous in her all-black outfit. She passes by Sloane's office and sees the Dean of Inappropriate Touching putting his hand on her boyfriend. Ew! Not like that! No, it looks like Sloane and Vaughn are discussing something, and Sloane never lets any discussion occur without a little inappropriate shoulder caressing. It's just his "thing." Elsewhere in the office, Weiss is berating Nadia for not wanting to celebrate her own birthday. Syd walks up and asks what's going on. Weiss informs her that Nadia doesn't want to have a stupid big-ass party for her birthday. Syd's all, GET OUT! You have a BIRTHDAY? Weiss is all, I KNOW! Who knew? I thought she sprouted fully formed from the brow of Irina Derevko! I was shocked to learn she arrived via womb like the rest of us!
Nadia looks mildly perturbed as Syd and Weiss carry on with their How Shall We Celebrate Grumpy Girl's Birthday routine. Finally, Nadia just says something about how she's not even sure it IS her birthday, because when you're dumped at an orphanage by some random CIA guy in order to save you from your mother AND your father, clearly, you don't get to HAVE a real birthday and the scary nuns with the rulers and black dress fetish have to make up a birthday for you and that's the one you have to celebrate from here to kingdom come and that kind of sucks because now you don't even know how old you are, unless, you know, someone slices you open and counts the rings, right? Syd and Weiss aren't even remotely picking up on Nadia's discomfort with the whole birthday thing, and they kind of hilariously suggest all sorts of activities; from bowling to go-carts to my favorite: bar-hopping.
Marshall walks up at the same moment that Nadia's all, SERIOUSLY? NO PARTY, and he's all, um, you having a party? And Nadia's all, WHAT'D I SAY ABOUT THE PARTY? Marshall offers up his services as a killer DJ and, when the tumbleweeds race through the office immediately after this offer is dropped on the table, he just geeks something about there being a meeting in the Conference Room of Endless Expositions. The kids head there ASAP.
Okay, so when I first saw this scene, I had to rewind it, like, nine times in order to actually get the gist of everything that Sloane was saying, because it packs in about twelve storylines from the past two seasons and I kept going, "Wait, WHAT?" every time Sloane opened his damn mouth. I'll try to keep it as clear and brief as possible for you. Basically, when the Alliance was dismantled, a bunch of files and stuff were confiscated. Among them was a little something known as the Blackwell Index. Weiss smarts, "'Blackwell Index'? What is this, a worst-dressed list?" Hee. Weiss is gay. Or he's a straight man who reads fashion magazines. Sloane just shoots him a "shut up, moron" look and Jack fills everyone in on who Blackwell was and what the Index is.