Season 4 Episode 22

Before the Flood

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 25, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
348 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jack, Sydney, Irina, Vaughn and Nadia parachute into Sovogda. They're supposed to dismantle a giant red ball turning people into zombies. At APO, Marshall and Weiss use the Blackwell Index to blackmail the Russian minister into giving them the access codes to a Russian satellite, they discover that Elena is uplinking the satellite. A CIA agent, Brodien reminds them that the Rambaldi device is broadcasting a subaudible frequency that physiologically alters people who drink it and it is irreversible. Elena learns of the APO team's arrival.moreless

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  • Sydney, Nadia, Sloane, Jack, Irina, and Vaughn go to Russia, and Vaughn proposes to Sydney.

    This episode was an amazing finale. It was so dramatic. I loved watching this episode. It was perfect. It was the perfect way to leave viewers hanging until the season premiere. Nadia is in a coma, Irina is gone yet again, Sydney and Vaughn are engaged... And then, the biggest clliffhanger of all... Vaughn and Sydney get in the car crash. It was so suspenseful. It was definately a series classic. It was very nerve wracking. It was so well written and the actors really shined on the screen. This episode was a perfect installment to the fourth season. It was one of the best episodes of the series.moreless
  • Once again they save the world -- a beautiful climax and a perfect finale for a great series -- then they spend just over a minute at the very end of the show to ruin what should have been a great finale to a great series.moreless

    This _S_H_O_U_L_D_ _H_A_V_E_ _B_E_E_N_ the Series Finale -- they could have cut this episode about 2 minutes shorter and had the good sense to go out on top!

    Instead they gave us season five -- with 17 pitiful episodes hardly worth watching, as they tried to pull together a convulted plot (even more convulted than usual for this series) in a hopeless attempt to set things up for a spin off version of the series.

    Alias wasn't the first series to make this mistake - and probably won't be the last - but it was certainly a classic example of a show that died a lingering and painful death by trying to go back to the money trough once too often.moreless
  • Review

    With all the hype on the forums about this episode (many people consider it there favorite) I would have thought that I would have enjoyed this episode more then I did. This, from my standards, is the worst season finale of Alias to date. Almost Thirty Years had the connection with the Pilot that I liked a lot, The Telling was...The Telling, and I am one of the rare people who thought the entire hour of television in Resserection was very well done. Before The Flood simply doesnt hold a candle to the season finales that came before it.

    Save for the ending scene, I thought the rest of the episode was really bad. And, depending on how they play the finale cliffhanger in the next season, could be one of the most heart-wrenching stories of all time. Sydney and Vaughn, after four years of torturing us with there on-screen connection, finnaly get engaged only for Vaughn to possibly come clean about something that could end it just like that?? The next episode is going to make or break this entire show for me, why establish something for four years just to take it away? It doesnt make sense. Moving onto Bill Vaughn. Why would Vaughn chase her father down only to be revealed his name isnt Micheal Vaughn? Is he Bill, why go on the wild goose chase if he isnt who he was supposed to be. The finale is confusing and unlike Reseruction and Almost Thirty Years, the next episode has a lot of explaining to do. And if Micheal dies - worst waste of my time ever.

    The "Resident Evil" based storyline for the final episode wasnt my thing either. Im all for millions of people dying if they drink water, but turning into flesh eating zombies that turn other people into zombies? Also - how is Nadia pushed to the ground and surrounded by 8-10 zombies, only to be fighting them off in the next scene? Thats impossible. Dont know why this is the highest rated episode of season 4, all four of the episodes before this one reminded me of why I watch Alias. This one brought me back to season 4 as a whole - stupid and...zombies. Only thing missing was an ice man.moreless
  • I want to find the writer who pitched the idea of turning the season finale into a zombie flick and punch him in the face!

    Oh my god...

    Man I heard that season 4 was where the show got weak and apparently they werent kidding. Too many confusing storylines that dont fit well with those done in the past, but the action and direction was still good and there were a few good episodes (I think "Tuesday" is my favorite).

    But then things started to build up with Irina being found and the giant red ball of mass destruction floating over the city.

    I was totally expecting an epic fight between Nadia and Sydney (with no brainwashing involved)...some sort of badass revelation by Sloane that he was fooling the CIA all along...a major epic character death...

    Instead we get ZOMBIES! Yes, zombies! Man, the writers could've though of a million other logical means of increasing the suspense of stopping the end of the world and they come up with zombies of all things! That really sucked away all the seriousness and epicness out of this episode. I couldn't take anything about the episode seriously after the zombies were introduced and the character dialogues started to get pretty cheesy. The only thing about this episode worth watching was the last five seconds. And I'm sitting here thinking...why couldn't the rest of the episode be written like that? Of course I think Michael Vaughan's little revelation should've been built up better instead it comes out of nowhere after dealing with zombies as a "meh"...till the car crash of course. But damn, the writers of this episode must've been smoking something crazy. And we don't even get a kickass Sydney fight.

    Maybe once I start watching season 5, I'll wake up and find that season 4 episode was really a joke all along and we'll get back to real spy stuff and intense character development instead the joke we got here.moreless
  • A great season ender!!

    Ok...first I want to talk about what everybody either loves or hates about this episode ...the last scene. It was the beginning of an admission by Vaughn... then CRASH. Totally shocking! I actually jumped! I thought it was well done. A season finale, if done well, is supposed to make you want to come back for more next year. This episode definitely did that. It defintely has alot to answer next year. For example, what about the hunt for Vaughn's dad if his last name isn't Vaughn, etc. I'm sure the show will answer this though.

    The rest of the episode was good as well. I loved the zombie storyline. Very interesting. The only thing that I wished was more of a build-up between Syd and Nadia. They kinda robbed us of the fight to the death scenario. Maybe they will explore that in the next season.

    Still, I thought it was a perfect ending so I gave it a perfect score.moreless
Greg Grunberg

Greg Grunberg

Eric Weiss

Kevin Weisman

Kevin Weisman

Marshall J. Flinkman

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

Sydney Anne Bristow

Ron Rifkin

Ron Rifkin

Arvin Sloane

Michael Vartan

Michael Vartan

Michael C. Vaughn

Victor Garber

Victor Garber

Jonathan 'Jack' Donahue Bristow

Eric Anderson (III)

Eric Anderson (III)


Guest Star

Robert Patrick Benedict

Robert Patrick Benedict


Guest Star

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett

CIA Director Hayden Chase

Recurring Role

Sonia Braga

Sonia Braga

Elena Derevko

Recurring Role

Lena Olin

Lena Olin

Irina Derevko

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • On the whiteboard in Elena's lair is a list of other cities that she had targeted.
      On this list (written in Cyrillic) are Moscow, Omsk, Zagreb, and Paris.

    • The liquid volume of the syringe changes between the shot where Elena fills the syringe and removes the air from it and the shot where she walks up to Nadia holding the syringe in her hand.

    • Carl Lumbly does not appear in this episode - making it the only season finale without Dixon.

    • For her performance in this episode Jennifer Garner received a 2005 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

    • The names on the Blackwell Index have changed from when it was accessed in the last episode, the name Weiss and Marshall take from it this time was not actually on this list when Jack went into it during "The Descent".

    • Again, they use that mini torch and touch the metal immediately. Unless it was a special CIA cool torch someone should have been burned.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Irina: (smirks at Elena) I'm not gonna torture you. I'm gonna let him do it. (jerks her head at Jack) And he really doesn't care for you. Especially after you tricked him into killing me. One thing you should know about Jack, he hates being anybody's puppet.
      Jack: I'm actually hoping, you don't tell us what we need to know. There's a 50/50 chance Sydney cuts the right wire. I'm willing to take those odds...if it means I can stand here and watch you turn into an animal.
      Elena: You're not a gambling man, Jack.
      Jack: I didn't used to be, but it's been a rather interesting year for me. It's made me re-evaluate certain parts of my life. I'm trying to have more fun these days.

    • Nadia: (to Elena) You're right. (pause) I see my future. Two minutes from now, I see myself killing you.

    • Vaughn: Yeah, you know what? You killed my father. The way I see it, I don't have to ask for your blessings.
      Irina: Despite that, you may have them. Along with some advice.
      Vaughn: Marital advice from you. Wondeful. Like what, don't betray your spouse?

    • Marshall: The Russians rely on the Milsat satellite network to vector the bombs, right? If I can hack into it, I can shut it down.
      Weiss: And violate several thousand international laws?
      Marshall: We're talking about the end of the world. I'm not worried about a tribunal.
      Weiss: That's a good point. Go, go, go, go...

    • Sydney: Vaughn, what are you telling me?
      Vaughn: Well, for starters, my name's not Michael Vaughn.

    • Irina: (to Jack) Look. Rambaldi wrote: "When blood red horses run through the streets, and angels fall from the sky, the Chosen One and the Passenger will clash. And only one of them will survive... "

    • Vaughn: What are you talking about?
      Irina: You're not as covert as you'd like to think.

    • Irina: You may not see me on your wedding day, but I'll see you.

    • Marshall: (calling his wife) Hi, honey. I don't -- I don't have a lot of time. I just... I just wanted to tell you I love you. I don't get to tell you that often enough. What? No, I haven't been drinking! I'm just gonna be home early tonight, okay? Bye.

    • Weiss: What would Jack do in this situation?
      Marshall: Well, first he'd probably glower a bit. Then he'd probably blackmail or torture somebody, right?

    • Jack: No one can hold on to Irina Derevko for too long.

  • NOTES (5)


    • Jack: You really are through the looking glass, aren't you?

      Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) is a work of children's literature by Lewis Carroll and is the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865).