Season 4 Episode 14


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Apr 06, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
214 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sydney and Vaughn risk their lives trying to find out the truth about Vaughn's father. Finally, we find out why Jack and Sloane seem to be conspiring together against Sydney and Vaughn.

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  • Sydney Bristow's European Vacation

    Tagline for "European Vacation": For over two thousand years, Europe has survived many great disasters. Now for the real test. Chevy Chase & his family are coming from America!

    Is it just me, or do Sydney Bristow's "disguises" which ostensibly help her "blend in" actually stick out like Halloween costumes?

    In this episode, Sydney Bristol in a dirndl does a fair imitation of Clark Griswold in lederhosen, to equally comical effect.

    Don't episodes of "Alias" come across more like The Pink Panther than Jason Bourne?

    The result is a "laff But is it really what the creators intended?moreless
  • This is a very Alias like episode, it contains all the great elements that the fans love the show for. To name just a few, there are scientists experimenting with super weapons, action and fight scenes, foreign languages, people playing each other...moreless

    This is a very Alias like episode, it contains all the great elements that the fans love the show for. To name just a few, there are scientists experimenting with super weapons, action and fight scenes, traveling around the world, foreign languages, intrigues and people playing each other. One of the best aspects of this episode is that Sydney’s father finally gets a bigger part again. His ‘absence’ or being passive during the whole beginning of the season was definitely a lacking element. This episode now leads the viewer deeper into the nature of the agreement that Jack has with Sloan. You can’t really tell on who’s side he’s really on or whether he’s playing Sloan or Sydney or maybe both. And that’s what keeps the tension high.

    Besides the fact that we get more and more clues that Vaughn’s father might still be alive we finally learn that Irina is still taking actions instead of being dead, as one could have suspected earlier. We are now waiting for the moment our heroine Sydney will find out about this. Excitement, fear and suspense are all over this episode, especially as Sydney is trapped inside the reactor and is about to be dissolved by the cruel Nightingale device. Really, inside me I was shaking although I knew and told myself: “She’s gonna make it, she always does.”

    But the coolest part besides the bar fight in this episode is the German. I always love it when there are German characters or locations and especially when they talk German. But as usual the language, respectively the things the characters say are perfectly correct German whereas they seem to lack actors with the proper pronunciation skills. Although the scenes are to be set in Munich even the waitress in the backroom has a horrible and strong American accent. And we all know about Jennifer Garner’s problems with German pronunciation, which follow her through all the season.

    Nevertheless I love every single time she has to speak other languages as much as I love her changing her disguises.

    Nightingale makes you hungry for more Alias, now that the secrets are about to be lifted and now that the season finally has got an absorbing arc. Enjoy!moreless
  • Review

    We got a little more information on Jack/Arvins new found partnership - somehow involving Elena Derevko. Season Four still hasnt shown me too much of a theme - though the search for Vaughns father is becoming somewhat of a concern for Jack and Arvin. Season 4 might soon proove to be about Vaughns father and whatever master plan is brewing between Arvin and Jack. Its hard for me to think of what would possibly make Jack join forces with Arvin Sloane. The scene in the reactor was kind of boring. It went from 60 seconds to 30 seconds in an on screen time of 8 seconds, but then from 3 to 4 took about a full on two minutes. Granted Marshall found a way to slow it down - but still. The end of the episode with Jack suffering some kind of pain from the reaction at the plant was the only real interesting thing of note.

    I also enjoyed the scene at the beginning when Sydney and Vaughn had to extract information about Nightingale. Overall, average episode nothing too exciting or pivotal but nothing boring.moreless
  • An excellent episode with pivotal shifts in character relationships especially Sydney/Jack and Sydney/Vaughn. Excellent \"minor\" scenes with Nadia and Weiss and sets up what may became a very entertaining story/season arc.moreless

    Alias 4x14 – Nightingale

    “It was my daughter’s life”

    Jack Bristow

    Well, where to start with this episode. It was both thrilling and entertaining while managing to cover a lot of ground story wise. We discover (unusually so for Abrams series) what appears to be the meaning of Nightingale – the word told to Vaughn in a previous episode by the woman who ran the orphanage that Nadia lived at (in the aptly titled episode “The Orphan” 4x12). I am inclined to believe that this may be a misnomer – and there is much more behind the word “Nightingale” and what Vaughn’s father Bill really had to do with it.

    The episode interestingly focussed on the B plot from the previous three episodes (that began in The Index 4x11) – the B plot this time the duplicitous actions of Sloane and Jack (hinted at also in The Index). So where does this leave the characters.


    These two characters, and their relationship, have seemed to progress in leaps and bounds (partly due to the initial episodes being aired out of order) – I like that Sydney and Vaughn have established such a secure relationship that he trusts her with his secrets, and that Jack’s relationship with Sydney may once more undermine it. I am puzzled where Vaughn’s regret over killing Lauren has gone – as he has all but gotten over it since his discovery that his father may be alive. However, I am happy that these two are back together (although I don’t know for how long based on rumours that Jennifer Garner is having trouble working with her ex).


    As Abrams hinted in many interviews, season three lacked an element of conflict between Sydney and Jack. At first, in season four, it was that Jack had killed Sydney’s mother, Irina Derevko, and now it looks like his interaction between Sloane is threatening the new found “détente” in their relationship (yes, also an episode of Alias). I found it particularly ironic as I was surprised that they were getting back together so soon – and then I went “aha!” as Jack went and told everything to Sloane. I think that someone else’s speculation that Sloane and Jack are working to save both daughters could well be on track.

    Weiss/Nadia/Marshall and Dixon

    Despite minimal screen time for all these characters (likely due to episodes that centred on them – Nadia – The Orphan and Marshall – Tuesday.) Dixon has one scene sparring with Vaughn and has minimal lines and Weiss has a very cool scene with Nadia where he asks if he can get food with them (not knowing they’re going to Munich!).

    Twists and turns

    As per usual this episode has major hints for the latter half of the season (to be expected by episode 14 and after such major character episodes!). First, we have what might become the big villain for Season 4 – Elaina Derevkon – another of Sydney’s insidious aunts! Also, we have several revelations about Nightingale and Bill Vaughn – as well as further insight into what Jack and Sloane have planned. The final twist of the episode is also shocking (although apparent before it is revealed) – that Sydney’s father has been exposed to radiation poisoning.

    Ultra cools

    (1) The awesome fight scene in the bar – go Sydney and Vaughn!

    (2) The appearance of Robin Sachs (Ethan Rayne in Buffy – so what if his character here was boring!)

    (3) Jack playing on Sloane’s side

    (4) Sydney/Vaughn (So you can tell I’m a Syd/Vaughn shipper!)

    (5) A mention of yet ANOTHER of Sydney’s extended family (Where the hell is Katya!!!)

    So, that’s it folks. Excellent episode – but I have to say I’m surprised by the amount given away in the one episode – I believe this is likely due to the “one off” type episodes which added very little, if nothing, to the season arc. Perhaps Abrams had considered including information there but ended up saving it all for this episode.

    Can’t wait for the next instalment!

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

Elya Baskin

Elya Baskin

Dr. Josef Vlachko

Guest Star

Robin Sachs

Robin Sachs

Hans Dietrich

Guest Star

Marat Oyvetsky

Marat Oyvetsky


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • There is no "Sherwood Library" at UCLA. (And the building they showed as the library is not on UCLA campus).

    • Goof: Jack says he has ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir. The wine bottle at the table is a Bordeaux-shaped bottle, not a Burgundy-shaped bottle that Pinot Noir wines use.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (Vaughn's having second thoughts about the search for his father)
      Sydney: We don't know your father's dead.
      Vaughn: Yeah! At this point I do.
      Sydney: After all the progress you've made, how can you just-
      Vaughn: How can I just what!? What have I got? Some journal with his handwriting, that shouldn't even exist? And a word, one word: "Nightingale". What the hell does that even mean? Some random woman mentioned it to me, I would have been better off if I'd asked for the goose that lays golden eggs.

    • Sloane: Well I have to hand it to you Jack, I never thought you'd be capable of exploiting your own daughter, I certainly couldn't do that.

    • Vaughn: We come clean with APO like your father wanted, we draw up a mission that'll get us Nightingale, then we run a counter-mission.
      Sydney: Like the old days.

    • Vaughn: Are you out of your mind?
      Man: (snorts) I'm not the one that injected myself with an unknown substance. (pause) So, now that we've established your's a matter of how far you're willing to go.

    • Jack: The more you co-operate the less pain you endure.

  • NOTES (2)