Season 4 Episode 19

In Dreams...

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 11, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
216 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The APO team sets a trap in Paris that manages to snare the Sloane impostor. After Jack uncovers the origin of the Sloane clone, Marshall devises a way to shock him back into his own reality. But this technique poses a potential danger to the real Sloane.moreless

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  • Review

    The only reason that this episode doesn't get the "10" is simply because it doesnt stand up (barely) to the episodes that I have also given a 10. Phase One. Resserection. The Telling. Full Disclosure. All of these episodes exhibit perfection and while this one comes very close, it falls a tad bit short of it.

    The beginning of the episode went on for a little too long. The six-minute infultration that the fake Arvin Sloane goes through to acquire the Orchid needed to be much shorter. After this episode his character is gone - and they explained well enough later on that his brain was tricked into thinking he was Arvin Sloane, we could have gotten the connection that he was an evil, sadistic person without wasting the six minutes early on in the episode.

    That was the only bad part of the episode though - everything else was amazingly well done. I liked the scenes at the auction, where the real Arvin Sloane was able to help in the capture of the fake - by realizing that the woman in the auction room was a fake and a decoy, essentially capturing himself in the process.

    Moving onto Dixon and Vaughns storyline, trying to get information from the retired SD-6 agent who killed himself. Kind of surprised they didnt do anything when he reached into his jacket, but they were pressed for time at the moment Ill let it go.

    Then obviously the highlight of the episode...the dream state that Arvin was put in. I actually almost teared up for the sadistic man for a second there. Terrific acting by Ron Rifkin in this episode and in this dream state in particular. Overall, best episode of season 4 - hands down.moreless
  • Dream in My Coffee

    An action-packed episode which features some excellent action set pieces as well as featuring some genuinely sad scenes featuring Sloane.

    In Dreams... has APO capturing Arvin Clone and questioning him about a rare Rambaldi orchid, which can suppress anger amongst humans and animals, making the world more peaceful. When APO discover that Clone and Sloane both have the exact same brain pattern, Sloane must journey inside his mind to relive a painful memory from his past, in order to extract the location of the orchid.

    The main attraction of this episode is that it is directed by Jennifer Garner. It's upsetting to discover that she only took up the chance after a shortage of directors and has no plans of taking up directing as she presents some excellent visuals from start to finish of this episode. She shows that she can handle both action scenes as well as the lighter scenes between Sloane and Emily.

    This episode featured some extraordinary acting. Ron Rifkin was superb throughout and you genuinely felt for him toward the end when he had to choose between staying in his dream world and returning to reality. Joel Grey was (again) massively creepy as Arvin Clone and it's a shame that the writers have disposed of him so quickly. He would have made an excellent recurring bad guy. It was nice to see Amy Irving back again. I really liked her character during seasons one and two and she was brilliant in this episode as well.

    In Dreams... is a visually stunning episode with some excellent revelations throughout. I loved the killer bee outbreak at the beginning and I loved Joel Grey's fantastic acting as the clone. A brilliant episode.moreless
  • In Dreams

    In Dreams – Pieces Of A Puzzle

    Not surprisingly the general consensus for this episode is that it was too slow, maybe not even that good but I really enjoyed this episode.

    The show is the characters and without them, without being able to see them, their emotions, their beliefs and so on there is nothing to build on.

    Many people aren't as happy with Season 4 as the others but in actual fact it is one of my favourite seasons.

    In my own opinion and experience, I find that with Alias the first 9 or so episodes of a season are never as good as the end, a bit slow moving and then you get to the end and it all comes together, all comes out and there’s this awesome story (it even happened with Season 3, on a smaller, less sense-making, lets-fix-this-mess climax)

    In Dreams began to prove to me that although Alias may not always be wham, bam action it has an emotional side, one that it needs, at least in my opinion.

    This episode wasn't my favourite, of course, but it still had its moments. It may not be the exact same Alias we knew back in season 1, but to be honest changes are good.

    The climax of this season looks really good and if In Dreams is anything to go on the emotional level of all this then we're in for a roller coaster, not that that’s a bad thing :)

    Alias to me and to most people is one big puzzle. They give us pieces of that puzzle from time to time, give us clues to a character’s history or motive and then it can go ignored for episodes at a time. To me, the episode In Dreams began to give us more of these puzzle pieces, ones we knew we needed and completely different ones, ones we didn’t know existed as such.

    These pieces were:

    The Mueller Device

    Whether or not this device had more than one purpose we finally learned at least one of them, we knew it was a battery and we discovered it powered something that turned those affected by the Rambaldi serum evil. I was really glad to finally see a purpose for this elusive device although I had always believed its purpose was to create and breed the “Ebola-like” virus that Vaughn contracted mid-season 2. The way this device has been reintroduced into the story had intrigued me, and has been well done, not like it was just brought back into the picture because they couldn’t think of anything else.

    The Orchid

    From the way the scientist spoke of the orchid I take it that this orchid has lived a long time, like the 400 year old flower, back in season 2, that Rambaldi used to test his immortality theories on, if so, despite Sloane’s anger at the suggestion 3 episodes ago, the immortality theme has been far from abandoned and despite not being Rambaldi’s endgame is still a major piece of the Rambaldi puzzle.

    Clone and the magical, identical brains

    Arvin Clone himself was a major puzzle and the way he spoke when he first came into APO began to confuse me. I wasn’t sure what to think when he seemed so convinced he was Sloane, I assumed he was just like Slone, too stubborn to blow his cover or that he was just deranged and had been altered in some way or another by one of the many Alias methods. I was right on the money with the second when we discovered McCullough had altered his brain to make him believe he was Slone. When I tried to explain it all to my sister the way I opted to word it was like a contrast to Project Helix. Project Helix changed the person’s physical appearance to make them look like another, although they still had their own mind, their own brain so to speak. The process used on Clone was the exact opposite; it left his appearance untouched but changed his brain to be exactly like another’s. The way this occurred was farfetched, it wasn’t something I would have thought of before, being able to make someone have an identical brain to another but it certainly can effect the story line from now on, unless our agents are sent in to destroy it, much like they did to Project Helix back in season 2. McCullough obviously is working for someone, my money’s on Ylena, given her current involvement in the Rambaldi storyline, yet why would she want to steal something to put in the water if she already has the Hydrosek water contaminant? If I am right there is obviously a Rambaldi involvement in the whole water-contaminating biz and it might have to do with the (major spoiler alert, highlight and copy to read) Rambaldi endgame Ylena puts into play this season finale


    After appearing 3 episodes ago, Jacqueline remained a mystery; a piece of a puzzle until we discovered it was Sloane’s dead daughter in this very episode. To be honest I think the death could have been more scandalous, more Rambaldi involved, yet the emotional complexity was well written and well acted, I just didn’t see the point of making it the resolution to the mystery, it’s not like something Alias does.

    Having a dead daughter and now knowing about it may add to Sloane and Nadia’s relationship, which to me isn’t a bad thing, having these two connected will do well for the storyline.

    The Return of McCullough

    It was a nice blast from the past to see this familiar face pop up again after disappearing sometime in Season 2. There was no reason obvious to me to why they chose this specific character to reintroduce into the story, but I’m not complaining.

    When Vaughn and Dixon questioned McCullough and he refused to divulge the location of the orchid when he brought out his own sugar I knew right away, for no apparent reason that it was something to kill him with, was it just me that was totally obvious to? What further confused me was that after reintroducing this character, one that had a fairly large role in Alias for a season and a half after being gone so long, why kill him after a few minutes screen time? Weird….

    The Formula and Omnifam

    After revealing in Season 3 one of the main reasons he set up Omnifam was to gain access to information that may help him find Nadia, I didn’t question Sloane in having another motive, things began to slide into place when we discovered that he did so so he also carry out one of Rambaldi’s plans. What I don’t see right now is the purpose of all of this, how it fits into the big picture, Rambaldi is back and in a big way but what does all this mean, why bring it up? In Alias there is always more to the story and I won’t be duped into thinking that this isn’t all part of a bigger plan.

    Breaking Clone

    The way the broke down Clone was a convenient way to explain who Jacqueline was, despite being a seemingly dead ended story, at least for now. The scenes in Slone’s subconscious were like that of “Conscious” where Sydney was sent back to relive her past and to try and remember where she’d been for 2 years. Sloane’s may not have been so changing, yet they were still revealing and in the same style.

    When I say Amy Irving’s name in the guest star list while reading spoilers I got excited at the prospect of her return, I was glad she was back although it was only in a memory and was not alive as I had hoped.

    When they administered the memories to Clone I assumed he would watch all of it but instead they flashed across his mind and then shazam! He was back. I was surprised at how quickly he changed and was sceptical to whether or not ‘Ned’ was playing along or whether the writers realised there were only a few minutes left in the episode, then, he went insane. It began to seem more real then, although it was confusing, at least they got the location of the orchid. My hope/theory is that they’ll go there and find Ylena/Sophia and her badass side will be revealed, hopefully, hopefully….


    Rambaldi Guy: “You, got to hell.”

    Clone: “No you first” (shoots him)


    Dixon: “Smile and look like a lot of money”

    Nadia: “Dollars or Euros?”

    Dixon: “Euros, definitely.”

    (Scary, in this exchange I thought Nadia was Sydney, they’re more sisterly than I thought)

    “What kind of question is that, of course I know you!” – Clone

    (Well that was what began to confuse me, he knew them and knew everything about them???)

    Nadia: (to Jack) “Marshall would like to see you.”

    Clone: “Tell him (Marshall) that I say hello.”

    Jack: (leaving)“Try not to kill him (Clone)”

    (Cute exchange combining the Jack-ly-ness that I love with the eerie-ness of Clone)


    The Rambaldi papers were Lot 47

    The ep was Jennifer Garner’s directorial debut, although she does not intend to direct in future.

    Sloane used that dilettante word again!!!

    Marshall had a gun in the auction scene

    McCullough came back, albeit for a short time.

    Scene Of The Ep

    Sloane’s memories

    What’s In A Name

    The name of this episode was evidently taken from Sloane’s memories, or dreams, that in his dreams a sad secret hid, only to be revealed.


    Lack of Dixon, Marshall, Vaughn and Weiss use in this ep


    Where this is going


    The return of Amy Irving

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

Victor Garber

Victor Garber

Jonathan 'Jack' Donahue Bristow

Joel Grey

Joel Grey

Sloane 2/Ned Bolger

Guest Star

Ayo Adeyemi

Ayo Adeyemi


Guest Star

Carol Androsky

Carol Androsky


Guest Star

Amy Irving

Amy Irving

Emily Sloane

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Arvin Clone's in custody at APO)
      Arvin Clone: To think you could call this actor (looking at Sloane), this clown, Arvin Sloane and make me doubt my own identity.
      Jack: Tell me how do you account for the fact that in the recent past this man created and ran an international relief agency called Omnifam, the world knows his face as Arvin Sloane.
      Arvin Clone: He's a CIA stooge with my good looks and I can prove it, the affair in Santiago, I noticed that both Marcus Dixon and Sydney Bristow, were in on that mission, it begs reason to believe the same two Agents would ever work for the man… who killed their loved ones.

    • Sloane: (about Arvin Clone's actions assuming his identity) I'm going to rectify this Jack… I will clean up this mess, that I have made.
      Jack: I'd like to believe that Arvin.
      Sloane: But you can't.
      Jack: I've heard it before.
      Sloane: I know… well all I can tell you Jack is I'm trying, and every day is a struggle… every day.

    • Sydney: I saw it on your face. You knew. You knew what he did and you ignored it. I want to know why.
      Jack: Sydney-
      Sydney: He's sick, dad, can't you see that?
      Jack: He was at the height of his obsession with Rambaldi, but he abandoned his scheme.
      Sydney: You still trust him.
      Jack: I trust that when he laid the seeds for this crisis, he thought he was doing something good, that he didn't see this as a trigger for global genocide.
      Sydney: So he's simply a delusional megalomaniac with benign intentions?

  • NOTES (5)


    • When the APO team captures "Arvin Clone", Jack interrogates him, Arvin Clone, mocks Jack's methods since he says, Jack himself trained him to withstand torture, like the one he faced with "McKennas Cole's needles of fire". Arvin Clone's alluding episode "The Box 2" when McKennas Cole breaks into SD-6 to recover a Rambaldi artifact.

    • When Nadia is coaxing Sloan back to reality, she says "Be Brave". If you can remember, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawn tells this to Buffy as she coaxes her to realize she must come to terms with reality that she isn't in heaven anymore.