Authorized Personnel Only

Authorized Personnel Only (APO), is a fictional black ops unit within the Central Intelligence Agency in the American TV series "Alias". It was formed at the beginning of Season 4 and is headquartered beneath the Los Angeles Subway system.

History and background

Its first director was Arvin Sloane, who also gave the organization its name as an inside joke since the main entrance to APO's headquarters was behind a maintenance door in the Los Angeles subway system marked "Authorized Personnel Only". Concerned that increased public scrutiny of the CIA and resulting red tape has impeded their ability to do their job, the CIA asked Sloane to set up the covert unit as one that is still governed by U.S. laws, but unhampered by bureaucratic chain of command with no accountability except to themselves. Sloane was chosen because of his experience running SD-6, which successfully posed as a CIA black ops division for several years. All of its initial members were hand picked by Sloane, and in order to maintain APO's cover as a unit that officially doesn't exist, all members from previous seasons officially resign from the CIA under varying circumstances to work for APO.

Although headed by Sloane, APO ultimately answered to CIA Director Hayden Chase, and at the end of Season 4, Sloane was removed from his post and replaced by Jack Bristow, who remained in charge of APO into Season 5. Sloane ultimately returned to APO as assistant director, although unknown to his colleagues he was now a mole for Prophet Five, a criminal organization that also pretended to be the CIA in order to recruit. Sloane was allowed back into APO in order to use its resources to find a cure for Nadia Santos, his daughter, after the events of the season 4 finale.

Personnel

The first agents recruited and their new call signs are:
*Jack Bristow - Raptor
*Sydney Bristow - Phoenix
*Michael Vaughn - Shotgun
*Marcus Dixon - Outrigger

Nadia Santos (Evergreen) later joined APO at her request. Marshall Flinkman (Merlin) was recruited to serve as tech support. Eric Weiss also became a member after crossing paths with Sydney and Vaughn during an APO mission.

In the 5th season, APO gained two new members following the (apparent) death of Michael Vaughn, Eric Weiss's transfer to Washington D.C. and Nadia's being hospitalized for her illness. Thomas Grace (Sidewinder) was recruited from another division of the CIA, while Rachel Gibson (Oracle) was a former, unwitting agent of The Shed who thought she was working for the CIA while under Gordon Dean.

As the series approached its finale, numerous changes occurred in APO. Arvin Sloane was removed as director and replaced by Jack Bristow. As Sloane's endgame began to come to fruition, involving moles within the CIA itself, Bristow began to hide information from CIA oversight.

In the series finale, APO headquarters was destroyed by a large bomb planted in the subway by Julian Sark, who was under orders from Sloane. APO and the subway was evacuated, but agent Thomas Grace died in the blast. (The episode revealed that APO headquarters was within a few blocks of Los Angeles City Hall, meaning that APO must be in the Civic Center Station).

The series ends with a "flash-forward" to several years into the future (roughly 2014). Marcus Dixon is referred to as "deputy director" but it is not indicated whether APO still exists in this future time.


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