Season 4 Episode 18


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 04, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
237 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jack's illness has caused him to hallucinate about a cure. Sydney must recreate the time when Jack was working for the CIA and hid the only man who might be able to help him now. For this, Sydney must play her own mother. Meanwhile, Sophia moves in with Sydney and Nadia.moreless

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  • Review

    At first I thought I would have hated the idea of Jack seeing things, but when I realized that the writers had been planning this for about three episodes in the making now I had to give props where props were do. The writers came up with a nice little story arch here, Jack hallucinating the entire doctor thing ever since he returned from his trip where he was infected.

    I thought the beginning of the episode started off with a bang, picking right up where we left off in the last episode. Sydney and Vaughn met Dixon at the club where they secured the vile.

    Watching Elena, "Sophia", in action was good to see for the first time too. I think they cast all three deceiving Derevko women very well. I would have thought she would have waited a bit longer before she implicated Nadia like that, surely there will be some kind of an investigation in the next episode as to why the vials were moved from one facility to the next one from Nadias laptop. Why she wasnt questions when this came up is beyond me, likely because her and Weiss just ran out of the APO to try and find the file. And it was Marshall who brought it up.

    Either way - fantastic acting in the "flashback" scene with Jack. Victor did a great job there in showing how every decision he made in his current job was hard for him when he was a loving father. Solid episode, a rare one from a season that has proven to be less then.moreless
  • Jack's has some bad hallucinations and Sydney has to play her mother to save her father's life.

    When in previous episode Jack digs inside of his hand medicine capsule I thougth how horribul this illness could be but it was nothing beside what happend in this one..!!

    Finds out that doctor who was attend Jack's gene mutation illness has bin whole time just some hallucination that Jack is having.

    It was so ''beautiful mind'' moment when they find Jack sitting in empty room putting in himself something what he thought would be the cure which doctor is gaving to him.

    It was sooo sad when Syd had to play her mother! Because they need to know where Jack was hidden this doctor who he has bin imagine, who really had been investigated gene mutation over 30 years ago until Jack hide him. It was great actorwork that scene when Jack and ''Laura'' talked about Sydney.

    Well then my favourite moment comes when Syd leaves in FINLAND (my homecountry), to find the doctor. This time they had (I guess) real footage from coast of Helsinki and no skycrapers (which we don't have in here). And there were Viking Line boat!!! :D Anyways the next was off course some place else but it was raining (typical in here).

    And then they are already back in L.A with the doctor...

    It was very good episode (not my favourite anyhow). Credit to Victor Garber who was so amazing. Jennifer Garner was just so grate like she always is :)

    Sorry, for the errors in writing.. I don't have time to read over it now!moreless
  • Best episode of the entire season!

    After Jack exposes himself to fatal radiation in order to save Sydney's life, Sydney must now find a way to get her now delusional father to reveal information on how to locate a cure.

    Now, Jack has always been one of television's best character. From the very first scene he has in the pilot episode, we know that the man is smart, assertive and downright cool. However, best of all, Jack always proves himself with action rather than words. That why we do not need him to say it even once out loud to know that he loves Sydney and she'll always be safe with him.

    This episode takes his character to the next level. It cleverly contrives a way for us to see what Jack was like as a husband and father before Irina betrayed him. The result is both touching and heartbreaking. Jennifer Garner and Victor Garber have superb chemistry as father and daughter!

    You won't see this one coming, This is beacuse even though this season's main storyarc about an impending apocalyspe takes a backseat, the episode's more laid back Jack/Sydney plot manages to top all the trills of previous weeks. Truely a timeless series classic!moreless
  • Amazing. great acting and well writen script.

    I loved to see the sentimental side of Jack, he's always serious and doesn't show his emotions but on his episode we could see how much he loved his wife and daughter.

    great acting. Especially from jennifer garner and Victor Garber.

    Favorite quote:

    Marshall: - even when he is hallucinating he's serious (something like that)

    Best moment:

    When sidney was pretending to be her mother. The way that her father talked to her it was heartbreaking.

    This episode allowed us to see Jack as a husband and a father instead of an agent. It also showed us that Sophia Vargas is a cruel and deceiving woman, which make us look forward to see what she is doing next.

  • Mirage

    Mirage – Out of the Ordinary

    The title says it all; Mirage was complete out of the ordinary. The episode was unlike anything else Alias and I liked it! The dynamic, the emotions, the relationships were at their best.

    One thing that may have made the episode so great is the fact that there were so many things out of the ordinary… this episodes running theme.

    Out of the Ordinary:

    Dixon Shoots Hydrosek Guy

    A light example to begin with but after last week’s moral dilemma of whether or not to shoot Raimes the way Dixon shot that guy at the start of the episode was a bit of a 360 turn. One thing that did satisfy my need for continuity a little was the look on his face after he touched the guy; at least there was some remorse.

    Sydney Visits Jack’s Apartment

    It was weird even seeing his apartment, but after she said that she’d never even been there it was clear this was certainly out of the ordinary. When talking about her relationship with her father she talks about how dysfunctional it is, which was a nice nod to their ever-present trauma. The way the apartment looked surprised me, in my opinion it didn’t really capture Jack, it almost had too much feeling, style even. I don’t know how I would have pictured the house that Jack lived in but I did expect it to be extremely minimalist (which it almost was) and very white (which it wasn’t really)

    The symbolism of what it took Sydney to visit this apartment, the possibility he was MIA, showed how broken they are, hopefully this being the first step towards repairing their relationship.

    Jack, happy?

    In some of the scenes of today’s ep Jack seemed happy, which to me was weird. Of course later on I found out he was hallucinating, maybe that’s why, but it was still very weird. I assume it must have been written into the script that he were to act that way, I wonder why the writers chose such a demeanour?

    Main Character Dying

    It’s not strictly out of the ordinary but the concept of a main star of a show being given a quick-killing terminal illness without the intent for them to leave the show is a bit weird, no? It just proves to you that this is Alias and everything is a bit different

    Jack Talks of Laura as His Wife

    Okay, okay so when we found out he was hallucinating it explained a lot but I didn’t know that when I took this note and it struck me as odd. It actually went to fit in with a better purpose, cause the later story... so meh.

    Jack Hallucinating the Whole Time

    Being Little Miss Spoiler Queen that I am I’m rarely floored by Alias surprises, unless it’s when I’m reading them on, but honest to goodness I did not see that coming! It was an excellent little surprise and it fitted the story so well, my only question being how did Jack get the meds in his bathroom if he wasn’t actually seeing a doctor? They looked like legitimate prescription drugs and obtaining them would be a whole new level of hallucination. Another thing that I thought was weird that there was once scene that can’t have been a hallucination, the one where Jack goes to get the poison to “cure” himself… otherwise how could he get it??

    Anyways I approve whole-heartedly with this story move!

    An Intruder Not Being Caught

    I am, of course, referring to Coke Bottle Glasses going into Nadia’s laptop; people always get caught in this situation!! Well given that it’s always the goodies that get caught and never baddies I beginning to see a pattern. I was so disappointed when Nadia didn’t find him; I was looking forward to a Nadia/Weiss vs. Elena/CBG fight L Oh well, I guess we’ll leave that mystery for another day…

    Sloane Hatching His Plan

    I’m not saying that Sloane hatching a plan is out of the ordinary, just the way he was acting when he did, all talkative and intense, un-Sloane-ly. It’s things like this that make me think he really is a villain and that APO is just his creation to serve him a better purpose.

    Sydney and Vaughn’s Interaction Before She Was Laura

    I just loved the way they seemed happy, couple-ly and it’s not exactly out of the ordinary but after last week it felt that way. I love the way their relationship has developed, the way Vaughn helped her through it as such, it just gave me the warm fuzzies

    Sloane Knowing Where Everything Goes in Jack and Laura’s House

    Not really out of the ordinary but it is kinda creepy, you gotta admit. Shows just how much time Jack and Slone spent together, they were best friends after all, just the thought of a “bond”

    Jack Thinking Laura Was Perfect

    So we already knew he thought this but knowing she was Irina Derevko makes her far from perfect. Of course the writers would be going for irony in this scene and they certainly got it…

    Irina Knew Jack Was An Agent

    It was extremely weird finding out that Jack told Irina everything, or am I missing something? Wouldn’t one of them have brought it up in many of the reports read about their “relationship”?? Wouldn’t we have known before now? It was quite weird I thought maybe Jack subliminally twigged that Laura was Sydney and told them what they needed to know inadvertently but I’m pretty sure I’m wrong.

    But why make this part of the story that is Laura/Irina and Jack?? It’s a confusing move

    Jack Open and Emotional

    Just like Sydney in “Nocturne” Jack’s true feelings came out by way of hallucination, the scene was brilliant, the writing, the acting and the dynamic of it all were excellent, fitted in with wherever Alias is going. The way he spoke of Sydney made her cry, it was so sweet the way he loves his daughter and his wife, kudos to Victor Garber and Jennifer Garner for their acting in this scene

    Liddell 30 Years Older

    After many eps of seeing the guy the way Jack must have remembered him it was weird seeing him the way he was actually, old perse. It was good to know that the guy was actually till alive and evidently able to help Jack. They way his character was used was clever and effective, I like!

    Elena plugged Coke Bottle Glasses

    Not shocking in “Oh she killed him!” sort of way, because we know she’s a bas-ass, just to why she would do it… It was a sort of hmm… moment


    The guy identified only as “Coke Bottle Glasses” was in Legally Blonde

    The scientist Jack meets looks at first glance like Bradley Cooper

    Nadia is: Agent-087SANTOS

    They hired someone to be young Sydney, sweet J

    Sloane knows lots about the Bristow’s, eerie

    Evidently Laura hated Arvin

    In Jack’s hallucination the surviving doctor’s rat’s name was Milo, Rambaldi reference??


    “You must tell me if I become a burden” – Sophia

    (If only Nadia knew…)

    “Dinner, food? Are you kidding me, yeah!” – Weiss

    (Hmmm… food :D)

    Sydney: “Thank you Marshall, remind me to kiss you”

    Weiss: “What did she say?”

    Marshall: “Nothing”

    (Cute J Marshall going all awkward, how Marshall, who’s even cuter J)

    “Sydney deserves to know she is the most important thing in my life, she and Laura of course.” – Jack

    (Eerie, it was the first sign he thought it was 30 years ago but also nice to know how he feels about his daughter)

    “Yes, he could (disappear) if he was hidden by my father.” – Sydney

    (Sydney knows her fathers potential)

    “She asked me if you were tall, dark and handsome, I told her you were tall.” – Nadia

    (Aww, Nadia and Weiss make a nice couple, nice to know where they stand J)

    “You know it’s not too late, we can still have Weiss dress up as Irina, I’m sure he’s make a great housewife” – Vaughn

    (I love the mental image of Weiss dressed as Irina)

    “Besides we’ve got snipers everywhere if it starts to get inappropriate” – Vaughn

    (Eeewy mental that it brings, but also funny and kinda sweet)

    What’s In A Name

    The name of this episode most likely originates from Jack’s hallucinations, the mirage of the doctor and also of the mirage APO created of Laura to reveal the location of Liddell.

    Scene Of The Ep

    Before and including the scene where Sydney is Irina, from when she’s talking to Vaughn and then pretending to be her mother.


    No one’s caught Elena yet


    The relationship dynamics of this ep (Weiss/Nadia Vaughn/Sydney, Jack/Sydney etc)


    The overall story and where this could be going

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

Vladimir Mashkov

Vladimir Mashkov


Guest Star

Taso Papadakis

Taso Papadakis

Aleksander Petrovich

Guest Star

Michael McKean

Michael McKean

Dr. Liddell

Guest Star

Sonia Braga

Sonia Braga

Sophia Vargas

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: Considering that Nadia looks more like Irina than Sydney does, (as seen in photos in the episode "Ice,") wouldn't she have been a better choice to pose as "Laura" for Jack's "hallucination"?

    • Nadia's APO network login is: AGENT_087SANTOS

    • It's been established that Kradic is very why does he discuss his plans in front of the waitress? Even if the waitress wasn't Sydney, she would be a liability.

    • As of this episode, six actresses, have played the part of Irina Derevko/Laura Bristow.
      Lena Olin: Season 2 Regular. Has played Irina, for the longest period, is usually associated with the character.
      Uncredited Actress: Season 1, episode 6. First person to portray Irina, in picture's kept by Sydney.
      Uncredited Actress 2: Season 1, episode 19. Second appearance of Irina, this time in a KGB briefing video, discussing her relationship, with Jack.
      April Webster: Season 1, episode 22. Used in the last shot of season 1, to set up Irina as a major character in season 2. They were still auditioning for the full time role of Irina, and Lena Olin had not yet been cast.
      Mia Maestro: Season 4, episode 4. Lena Olin was not available to create a set of pictures used in this episode, so Mia Maestro, who play's Nadia, her onscreen daughter, stepped in, to replace her, as Irina. She is also the 1st of two, series regulars, to play Irina Derevko, in season 4, the other is Jennifer Garner.
      Jennifer Garner: Season 4, episode 18. Jennifer Garner played Irina in this episode to extract intel, from her father Jack, who, while unstable, believes she is her mother Laura [Irina].
      Besides Lena Olin, Jennifer Garner has had the most substantial screen time, as Irina, and she is the only actress to play Irina, as her alias, Laura Bristow. She is also the second actress to play Irina, while playing a another main character on the show, the other is Mia Maestro.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Marshall: Oh, hey, did you hear the news? I get to run an initial analysis on the Hydrosek this afternoon, I love Level 4 biohazard toxins.

    • (Elena invites Nadia for dinner)
      Nadia: Are we free for dinner tomorrow?
      Weiss: Dinner? Food? Are you kidding me? Yes!

    • Sydney: I remember the time. I don't remember them. My dad. . .was my dad. He was never around when I was a kid. He was always away on business. My mom. . .I don't know what my dad was like around my mother, or what she was like around him. I don't know how to do this.
      Vaughn: Syd, it's just a job. It's another alias like all the others. Just trust your training. Follow your dad's cues. Follow his leads. Besides, I've got snipers everywhere if he starts to get inappropriate.

    • Sydney: I don't know how I'm gonna do this?
      Vaughn: Well, you know, it's not too late. We can always have Weiss dress up as Irina. I'm sure he'd make a great housewife.

    • Marshall: Wow. Mr. Bristow hallucinated the one man who could actually save his life. Even his delusions are lucid.

    • Vaughn: This is where your dad lives, huh.
      Sydney: What did you expect?
      Vaughn: I don't know, a bunker or something? You've really never been here?
      Sydney: No.
      Vaughn: That's very strange.
      Sydney: As opposed to everything else about my relationship with my father.

  • NOTES (3)