Season 4 Episode 6


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 09, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
245 votes

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Episode Summary

After being infected with a hallucinogen, Sydney starts to lose touch with reality. Vaughn and Jack must rush to find an antidote before Sydney puts her life - and others next to her - into danger.

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  • Alias meets Mulder & Scully

    While I'm not loving the standalone-ness of these eps, I am digging the way the emotional baggage is being unpacked. It's kind of sad how Syd and Vaughn can't just talk about stuff, but instead need pretense and hallucinogens, but hey, this is tv and it makes for interesting viewing. Dare I hope that we get to focus on some Jack emotional insights? Please?

    Last night felt a bit X-Filish to me. I need some continuity here people.

    Vaughn is just super hot this season. I loved the opening hockey shots. I loved how he wants to bite her. But I am a bit concerned about how she bit him and no one in the Apple Room is concerned about it.

    Last 5 minutes of the episode made it for me. The Sloane/Dixon scene and the line from Jack about the bullets being removed.

    But, yo, J.J.? Quit messing with my show. If this is what S4 is going to be like...I just can't watch. Ok, I can watch, but I have to refrain from buying the DVD's. Ok, I can buy them, but I won't like it. So there.moreless
  • Review

    Another train wreck implodes itself onto season 4, this time with Vampires and bad visions of Sydney. I love the action-adventure on the show, but watching Sydney and Vaughn go at it in the middle of the alley (while somewhat funny) just made me shake my head over and over at what the writers have been doing in the last couple of episodes.

    The whole beginning scene of the man attacking Sydney was just...horrible. He looked like a real life vampire. Even his teeth looked like he had gone to the dentist and had Vampire fangs put in them. Then to top it all off the random blood pouring out of his mouth? That automaticaly made it bottom of the barrell classifcation. The only decent part to the episode was the only thing that felt real. The scene with Nadia and Weiss coming back from a date was good and I also LOVED the scene with Arvin and Dixon. Sydney always tells everyone how she feels about Sloane, was glad to hear someone else say it. Overall though, just...terrible.moreless
  • It may jump the shark, but in a good way, it was amazingly written, very spooky too. It should have been a haloween episode.

    First of all, the plot was great. It would never happen, but it was great. A creepy guy had some drugs go through his skin and bit Syd. She starts halucinating and almost kills her dad and Vaughn. It totally jumps the shark but was really good. The acting was pretty good, they did a good job at being able to tell what was real and what wasn't but also being believable for a second where youre like, "did he say that? oh it was a halucination, i get it". All in all it was great, would never happen, but was great. The only complaint was the beginning was kind of shaky.moreless
  • Crazy Vampire Spy Lady

    Another episode which sees Alias almost becoming complete sci-fi, this starts off feeling a lot like some weird vampire story, before settling into more familiar Alias territory.

    Nocturne sees Sydney being bitten by a man infected with a virus. She soon begins to feel the effects of the bite, hallucinating about betrayals from friends and family and seeing creepy spiders and coffee mugs full of blood...

    Jennifer Garner really impressed me in this episode. For so long, Sydney has been slightly cold toward everybody and Garner didn't really have to stretch her acting abilities. Thankfully, Sydney's paranoia in this episode gives Garner a good chance to show off her acting skills, and she does so excellently.

    The most memorable aspect of Nocturne was the amount of blood and guts featured throughout. There were two self-inflicted gunshot wounds to heads, an exposed brain, blood bursting out onto Sydney and a creepy vampire man. God, talk about overkill!

    The only bad point about the episode was the fact that nobody noticed that Sydney was getting affected by the bite. It's an age-old tradition on various TV shows to ignore the character that's blatantly changing but the fact that everybody ignored her sudden gasps and screams was a little far-fetched.

    Nocturne wasn't perfect but it was an interesting change of pace for Alias, which is something seen a lot so far in season four.

    Director: Lawrence Trilling

    Writer: Jeff Pinkner

    Rating: B+moreless
  • Nocturne

    Nocturne – What We Believe

    The episode Nocturne was in the early part of season 4, the section that I see as basic stories, never as good as the ones in the second half. To me this episode had nothing wrong with it; it was just in the early stage where they’re not as memorable, not as “ohmigod what was that!” as the later eps. The story of this episode was one that seemed to blur the lines of reality and fantasy in Alias, we all know vampires aren’t real, yet here they were being used in an episode plot.

    Running through out this episode we got to see the beliefs of the characters, whether or not they were true, right or wrong, some of these beliefs were:

    Vaughn Believing Sydney Is Afraid

    I can admit this season we haven’t seen as much between them as we did in season 2, although I would only have put it down to the fact that the writing chose not to focus on their relationship, more on other things. Obviously I was wrong, Vaughn has seen that Sydney is holding back, that she is afraid of something and he wants to try and sort out whatever problems they have.

    Watching this you can tell that the episodes have been shuffled around from the order in which they were written, originally “Nocturne” came after “Welcome to Liberty Village” as in Liberty Village they managed to sort out their differences and realise that things were going to be okay, what I wonder was if the producers shuffled the order to make it seem as though there were even more unresolved issues between Sydney and Vaughn or the more likely case, that there were other reasons.

    The Doctor Believing Sydney Was Fine

    Obviously for plot reasons, they needed Sydney’s disease to develop so she could have hallucinations, so we could see her deepest fears acted out. What is weird is the fact that even if they caught it they wouldn’t have had a means to ure her, but still she wouldn’t have been allowed to go out on the mission and then a lot of what happened, a lot of what was played out would not have occurred.

    Weiss Believing He’s Staying Over

    Well we get a chance to see how the Nadia/Weiss relationship is growing; apparently he may have had to chance to stay over. The problem I have with Nadia and Weiss getting together is that there is no reason, no passion behind them, it just seems like the writers want all the loose ends tied up. With Sydney and Vaughn we saw this awesome build up, and behind them we see this passion, their love for one another but with these two they have much less focus in the show therefore we don’t see what’s going on behind it all, where the feelings are.

    Dixon Believing It Was A Mistake To Send Sydney Into The Field

    For a while I forgot that Dixon held the director role, he was the leader of the JTF in season 3. We got to see his authority from this role some through a little once again in this episode when he suggested it was not a good idea for Sydney to go out into the field. Of course his confrontation made Sloane angry because Sloane believes that he is always right, leading him to make the oh-so-cold comment about Dixon being a dimwit because he never figured out SD-6 was rouge. I feel that it was fitting for Dixon to make this call, his persona and his past would definitely call for an intervention like this, and it was of course nice continuity.

    Sydney Believing She Spilled A Mug Full Of Blood

    With most of Sydney’s hallucinations, they had a symbolism, they voiced her fear, but this was one of the visions that I could not decipher. Could the blood symbolise her pain or the thing that she has seen in her life, or am I completely off course? It to me seems a mystery, something in the episode with no apparent relevance.

    Sydney Believing She Saw Vaughn and Lauren Kissing

    Well we discover the scars have not yet healed, something that could be understood given her circumstances. The hallucination made a lot of sense, Sydney was holding back in her relationship with Vaughn because she was scared of being hurt again after last time, feeling betrayed because Vaughn married Lauren during her missing two years. It was nice to see that all was not forgotten, that Vaughn and Lauren of course hurt Sydney a lot and that despite things going back to the way they were she needed to hold back, just in case.

    Sydney Seeing The Count Shoot Himself

    This was the other hallucination that didn’t make sense, what did seeing the guy kill himself have anything to do with anything. My main theory is that he was the link to Nocturne and that Sydney knew she was dying because of it, in theory, watching him die was like watching herself die from the effects of this guy’s drug.

    Sydney Believing Sloane Told Her He Was Going To Betray Her

    It’s been clear all along; Sydney does not trust Arvin Slone, especially after what he did to her, to Danny and Francie. This guy effectively came close to ruining her life, yet here she is once again working for him. On some level, Sydney must expect his impending betrayal; after all I think most people suspect Sloane of having a shady end game, getting to see the hallucination was only confirmation of a fear most people suspected she held. What Slone said, how he’d betray her and the people she cared about would die was like everything that happened through season 1 and 2. He betrayed her by making her believe SD-6 was a legitimate branch of the CIA and killed Francie and Danny, simply put she feels that it could happen again, but will it?

    Sydney Believing Jack Hated Her

    It’s clear through his actions, always looking out for Sydney’s best interests that Jack cares for Sydney more that anything else, yet it can be understood why Sydney would fear that her father heated her, like said in the hallucinations, he may see a lot of Irina in her, Irina the woman who betrayed him, broke his heart.

    Bringing this fear up may have come as a surprise to many people but looking at it, at the world Sydney lives in, everyone has hidden secrets and agendas and a fear like this would not be irrational.

    Sydney Believing Vaughn Was Bad

    Like the previous fear, it is not unlikely in Sydney’s life to suspect others of having ulterior motives, especially looking at some of the things that have happened to her. This fear is really a continuation of her vision of him and Lauren and her holding back in their relationship but this was where the major confrontation was held. Watching the two fight was really good, we saw Vaughn not wanting to hurt Sydney but Sydney to far gone on the Nocturne to recognise her love for Vaughn and to recognise that Vaughn would never hurt her.

    At the end of this episode it seems their problems were resolved, Vaughn visited her in the hospital and they got a chance to talk about it, and hopefully things are beginning to get better.

    Dixon Believing He Would Be Relived From His Position For Blasting Slone

    Well wasn’t it awesome action, except this time only with words. To be honest if I were Dixon, I would expect to be fired for telling Sloane off like that as well, his words were powerful, truthful and also very hurtful should Slone choose to take great offence to what he said. To be honest I’ve got to say good on ya Dixon! It was nice that someone finally put that sleazebag in his place.


    Sydney had to teeth marks on her neck but Cahill had ordinary teeth?

    Sydney’s temp went from 111 deg. F to 115 deg. F

    The effects of Nocturne prevent the need for sleep

    The Grappig Group, Why call your company the Funny Group?

    Spiders are good luck?

    This episode was dedicated in loving memory of Tricia K. Goken, 1969-2005


    Sydney: (about bites on neck) “You think it’s sexy don’t you?”

    Vaughn: “Only if I did it.”

    “What’s going on her, girl stuff?” – Vaughn

    “Dixon, in the eleven years that you worker for me at SD-6, I came to recognise your brilliance as a field agent but during those eleven years not once did you suspect that you were working for a renegade organisation.” – Slone

    (Ooh, that’s cold)

    “Sydney’s not as trustworthy as her mother, I’m going to kill her just like I did her mother.” – Jack

    (Erm… okayyy…)

    Jack: “Shh, don’t talk, you can’t imagine how much I hate it when you talk.”

    Sydney: “What?”

    Jack: “The reason I killed your mother, I had a desperate need to make her voice stop ringing in my ears. What torments me now is that every time I look at you, I see your mother’s face.”

    Jack: Your mother killer me, just like I’m gonna kill you.”

    Sydney: “I won’t let you!”

    Jack: “How can you, your tied up?”

    (That was an evil laugh moment)

    Vaughn: “You took the bullets out”

    Jack: “Seemed a reasonable precaution.”

    (No duh!)

    “I would have said this earlier but when I get done it’s likely that you’ll have me relieved from my position and I didn’t want to do that while Sydney was in the field. I’ve asked myself, countless times, why I never saw the true nature of SD-6, for a while I punished myself over it, finally I realised, my only failure was that of imagination, despite all the evil I had encountered, I’d never imagined a person could exist as thoroughly evil, toxic as yourself. I wont make that mistake again. You want us to believe you’ve reformed, that for the love of your daughter you’ve decided to listen to the better angels of your nature, Arvin, lets be honest, you don’t have any, and on that inevitable day, when your true motive reveals itself, I promise you, I’ll be there, I’ll be waiting” – Dixon

    (You go guyfriend!)

    What’s In A Name?

    Nocturne comes from the name of the drug Sydney becomes infected with.


    The fact we don’t get to see what brings Nadia and Weiss together


    Seeing Sydney’s fears, how they affect her and how they may be resolved


    Dixon’s monologue

    Scene Of The Ep

    It’s between Sydney and Vaughn in the hospital at the end and Dixon’s monologue.moreless
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

Nick Jaine

Nick Jaine

Dr. Maneesha Jain

Guest Star

Julie Ann Emery

Julie Ann Emery

Nancy Cahill

Guest Star

Liza de Weerd

Liza de Weerd

Anna - Dutch Student

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Sydney asks Jack to tie her up, which Jack does. Yet Jack, who is a trained CIA professional and veteran, elects to tie her hands together in front of her, which is one of the least secure ways of tying her up. He should've tied her hands behind her to better immobilize her.

    • Not real a goof, but when the teacher said. "Het is grappig. Begrijp je. Vertel hen: 'Het is grappig.'" I could not understand what she said and I am Dutch. Sounded like she put the words through a meat grinder. Sydney said it a bit better. Like I said more of a comment than a goof.

      The person sounding Dutch was the girl in the classroom answering in English! The teacher really messed the pronunciation up, and yes, Sydney did a bit better.

    • The flat in Amsterdam clearly has US light switches and power sockets, not Dutch ones.

    • How does Vaughn know he's found the antidote? All we see is him rummaging through a disorganized lab and picking up a test tube. Even if it was labelled (as what, "antidote to bad batch"?) wouldn't the label be in Czech? Just how many languages do Vaughn and Sydney know?

    • Goof:
      When Sydney crawls into the crawl space in the beginning she goes to "pick" the lock on the door. The camera flashes to the lock snapped shut but when she inserts her "tool" into the keyhole you can see it's already unlocked as she even turns it and opens it a bit.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Dixon talks to Sloane)
      Dixon: You want us to believe you've reformed, that for the love of your daughter you've decided to listen to the better angels of your nature... Arvin... let's be honest... you don't have any.

    • (Sydney's under the effect of a psychoactive drug)
      Sydney: Dad, do we have any tranquilizers?
      Jack: No.
      Sydney: Then I think you better tie me up.

    • (Jack during an interrogation)
      Jack: Tell us what you know about this man (Jack shows a photo to the interrogated) I'll only say if you chose not to cooperate with us... you will regret that decision for the rest of your life.

    • (Sloane's talking to Dixon)
      Sloane: Dixon, in the 11 years you worked for me at SD-6, I came to recognize your brilliance as a field agent, but during those 11 years, not once did you suspect you were working for a renegade organization.

    • Sydney: I know what this is. This is a game to you. A cruel joke at my expense.
      Vaughn: What's a game?
      Sydney: You and me. Admit it.
      Vaughn: No, Sydney, Sydney, listen to me. What are you scared of?
      Sydney: I am scared. Scared you're gonna betray me again. LIke you did when you married Lauren.
      Vaughn: I would never, ever hurt you.
      Sydney: Stop. Stop right there.

    • Vaughn: What's going on here? Girl stuff?
      Nadia: People stuff.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Music from this episode includes:
      "Rough Around The Edges" by Teitur
      "The Dope Show" by Marilyn Manson

    • This episode received the 2005 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Hairstyling For A Series.

    • This episode averaged 11.32 million viewers.

    • The episode was dedicated "In Loving Memory of Tricia K. Goken 1969-2005." Tricia Goken was a script supervisor on Alias for several years who had recently moved to Maryland to be with her future husband, Denis G. Tri. Both died in a car accident caused by icy roads on January 29, 2005.


    • "Better angels of your nature."

      Dixon uses this line when talking to Sloane near the end of the episode. The line itself comes from Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address, referencing the reunion of the war-torn country.

    • When Cahill attacks Sydney in the Amsterdam flat, he bites her and then vomits blood on her. This is an homage to the British film 28 Days Later; persons infected with rage transferred their disease (rage) by vomiting blood on their victims.