A Broken Heart


Production code
October 21 2001
Written by
Vanessa Taylor
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Harry Winer

A Broken Heart is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Alias. Sydney and Dixon go on a dangerous case involving the safety of the United Commerce Organization. Francie confronts Charlie about his secret date with another woman, and Will continues to get closer to the truth about Danny's murder.

Plot Overview[]

In the final moments of a cooperative mission, Sydney and her Russian nemesis Anna memorize a 500-year-old binary code written by Milo Rambaldi before it is destroyed. Sydney's inner conflict – as to whether she should give the correct sequence to SD-6 – is confronted by Agent Vaughn, who makes it clear, in no uncertain terms, that her role as a double-agent is in constant jeopardy.

The completed code represents a geographical location for a church in Málaga, Spain, where Sydney and Anna once again meet up – this time as opponents. Sydney bests Anna in a brutal fight, and recovers a gold circular crystal from the church's stain glass window.

She returns it to SD-6, where Marshall's analysis discloses a synthetic polymer, also invented by Rambaldi. The 15th century seer's progressive inventions now appear to be at the root of a much deeper mystery.

Sydney and Dixon are sent off on their next mission – to investigate a plot to eliminate the United Commerce Organization. In Casablanca, Morocco, Sydney adopts the guise of a tourist.

In a crowded marketplace, she attempts to get near Luc Jacqnoud. The client is named Malik Sawari whose bodyguard has had a previous run-in with her. After a powerful battle, Sydney arrives to Dixon's aide, and is crushed to find that their contact, Mokhtar, has only just been slain -- another friend, whose life did not escape harm this time.

At SD-6, Jack is interrogated by McCullough – but we reveal, in a dreamlike sequence, that an unspoken truth about Sydney's mother continues to haunt him. Meanwhile, Vaughn's feelings for Sydney, in a moment of briefing, show through even further – finally, when she breaks down to him about the heartbreaking conflicts in the career of a dual agent, Vaughn offers her his support as a friend.

Meanwhile, Francie's suspicions grow of Charlie's infidelity, so she and Sydney stake him out, CIA-style, until they spy him kissing another girl. And Will unravels further clues about Danny's death and struggles with his own feelings for Sydney.

SD-6's latest clues lead Sydney and Dixon to São Paolo, the location of the next UCO conference, where Sydney witnesses the method to Jacqnoud's scheme. While Sydney observes, a small bomb is surgically implanted into the pacemaker of Patel, the Edgar Peace Prize winner, scheduled to speak at the UCO conference.



Guest Starring[]





  • The UCO in this episode and the next was written as the World Trade Organization, but was changed in post-production following 9/11.
  • Sydney states that Anna Espinosa has been her enemy for three years.
  • Mistake: The picture from Malaga, Spain is actually from Stockholm, Sweden. The building with the clock tower is The City Hall, where the Nobel Prize Banquet takes place.
  • the pier scene with Sydney and Vaughn was in season 5 the final season.

Aliases Used[]


  • "Halfway Home" by Bill Bonk
  • "If I Was An Angel" by Nina Storey
  • "Angel" by Sarah MacLachlan

Filming Locations[]

  • Angeles Abbey Memorial Park - 1515 E. Compton Blvd., Compton, California, USA
  • Mission San Fernando Rey - 15151 San Fernando Mission Boulevard, Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA

Allusions and References[]

  • Vaughn: When you first walked into my office with that stupid Bozo hair, I thought you were crazy.
Bozo the Clown is the second most famous clown character in the United States (after Ronald McDonald). Created in 1946 he is widely recognizable for his oversized red hair.