Production code
October 28 2001
Written by
Daniel Arkin
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by

Doppelgänger is the fifth episode of Season 1 of Alias. Sydney's secret double agent status is jeopardized after smuggling a biotech engineer into SD-6 from her mission in Berlin. Will meets a woman who confesses that she was having an affair with Danny shortly before his death. Vaughn informs Sydney that her father may be working for a third secret operative agency.

Plot Overview[]

In São Paulo, Sydney evades Sawari's bodyguard after watching a paramedic team implant a bomb into the pacemaker of UCO speaker Patel. When Sydney awakens in a run-off canal, she contacts Dixon, who grabs a dazed Patel at the UCO conference, and steals an ambulance. As Dixon proceeds to surgically extract the bomb, they are being pursued by Jacqnoud, who controls the detonator to the device. While Sydney drives, Dixon removes the bomb – just as Jacqnoud activates it - and launches it beneath Jacqnoud's car, abruptly ending the chase.

In Los Angeles, Francie tells Syd that they are throwing a big Halloween party – at Sydney's apartment. While setting up, Will tells Francie that he's been investigating the death of Danny, whom he has learned was to be on a flight to Hong Kong, not Singapore, and seated next to a woman named Kate Jones - neither of whom made the flight. Will meets up with the mystery woman, and has clearly done his homework – she even admits to having had an affair with Danny. But Will stuns her when he points out that, according to her social security number, Kate Jones died in 1973 – and she races away from the meeting place.

Jeroen Schiller works for the Hensel Corporation with information on a vaccine against biological warfare and Sydney and Dixon's mission is to help Schiller get safe passage into the US.

Later, Vaughn introduces Sydney to CIA agent Paul Kelvin, who has been chosen based upon his resemblance to the German. Arriving in Berlin, Sydney uploads the files from Schiller's computer to a remote server, disguised as a network supervisor, before making their escape. Upon removing Schiller from Hensel, agent Kelvin, in further disguise, trades places with Schiller – without Dixon's knowledge – and doubles as the SD-6 captive, while Schiller returns home with the CIA.

Back at SD-6, Kelvin feeds Sloane a partial computer program that will also run a CIA control into their network, enabling a "back door" for them to see into the SD-6 database. As Sloane questions the CIA operative about the location of a vaccine, which is being perfected into an inhaler form – Kelvin realizes he does not know about this. Sloane becomes suspicious, even more so when he learns that Sydney changed the drop-off point at the last second.

Knowing that her cover would be blown if Kelvin doesn't learn the location of the inhaler, Sydney asks Jack to assist in ferrying the information to Kelvin in SD-6 custody as she has acquired the location from the real Schiller. Jack had already been called in to SD-6 to wrangle the information out of Kelvin/Schiller which provides him the perfect opportunity.

With Sloane viewing on a monitor, Jack quietly feeds Kelvin the location – before breaking his arm and passing a convincing message to Sloane about his SD-6 loyalties – and Kelvin screams out the location of the plant – Badenweiler, Germany.

Sloane sends Sydney and Dixon to Badenweiler to retrieve the Hensel Vaccine Inhaler, and then destroy the plant so no one else will have the vaccine. Vaughn informs Sydney that the CIA will rendezvous with her in the building, make a switch with the inhalers and disable the explosive to save the building and its contents. Before departing, Sydney questions Vaughn about case 332L in Jack's file which flags up Agent Calder. Vaughn reveals that Calder was FBI not CIA and the case had no record. Sydney assumes that the only reason the FBI would be associated with Jack was if he was suspected of selling secrets.

In Badenweiler, Sydney disables Dixon's bomb, makes the switch with the CIA agents in the building and gets out. Dixon hits the detonator, and of course, nothing happens. But prepared with a second detonator device, that Sydney knew nothing about, Dixon completes their mission by blowing up the building - with the CIA agents still inside.



Guest Starring[]





  • When Dixon enters the building to find Patel, he tells to Sydney that the explosive device will be remotely detonated. Since both Sydney and Dixon would know that to trigger a remote detonator, the remote would have to be in a certain proximity to the bomb; it is unbelievable that they would not have driven Patel directly away from the building after kidnapping him.
  • The Brazilian kid tells Sydney: "Miss, don't worry, you are not dead" and when she asks for the time he replies "I don't know." Later on, Sydney tells the ambulance driver "a doctor, a doctor, please."
  • It seems strange that the "terrorists" were planning to detonate the bomb in the middle of an important meeting, but plan to do it nowhere near the meeting.
  • In the Scene in Berlin with Sydney walking, we see a blacked out building (Lower Right Hand Corner), and an American flag.
  • Goof: When the car with the bad guys blows up, there is no engine. edit »
  • Goof: When Sydney steals the ambulance, the original driver is visible through the passenger side window. As Sydney pulls away, the driver remains visible while the van moves off frame. Instead of Garner driving the vehicle out of the shot, the camera crew just rolled right to get the appearance of the van taking off and the foley artists inserted a peal-out sound.
  • Sydney and Dixon find out that the bomb inside Patel is controlled by a remote detonator whose range is about 15 meters judging by the distance between the cars during the chase before Jacqnoud can trigger it. As the bomb also equals 300 pounds of TNT how did he plan to survive the UCO bombing if he has to be that close to detonate it and the bomb is that powerful.
  • This episode was nominated for the 2002 Golden Reel Award for "Best Sound Editing in Television - Dialogue & ADR, Episodic".
  • The casting of the hacker is an in-joke since Kevin Mitnick is one of the world's most famous hackers, and was jailed for three years. Due to the conditions of his release that he could not use a computer, his parole officer had to be notified and the computer, monitor, and keyboard he used were not connected.

Aliases Used[]


  • "I'm Wrong About Everything" by John Wesley Harding
  • "Get Down Massive" by Freestylers
  • "Trans Am" by Leroy

Allusions and References[]

A Doppelgänger is a double or a look-alike of a person. The theme of the "doppelgänger" has appeared in several media forms such as Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray," and in Star Trek. The title of this episode refers to the "doubles" Kelvin and Schiller. The theme has also appeared on several occasions in Alias, most notably in the case of Allison Doren.


  • Vaughn (referring to switching Schiller with Kelvin): This is the main reason we made the switch in Berlin.
  • Burnett: We had Kelvin give Sloane access to a bogus website with just enough real information about the vaccine to keep them occupied for months.
  • Sydney: Is that really worth risking a man's life?
  • Weiss: No, there's more. Once SD-6 downloads and runs the bogus program, it'll give us a backdoor into their computer systems.
  • Sydney: In other words, we have access to their entire network - files, contacts, accounts?
  • Vaughn: This is a huge step in shutting down SD-6.
  • Sydney: Nice!
  • Burnett: It was Agent Vaughn's idea.
  • Vaughn (at Sydney): You look so surprised.
  • Sydney: No, I... (stutters)
  • Vaughn: Yes, it was my idea.
  • Sydney: Amazing idea.
  • Vaughn (smugly): Thank you. I know.

  • Will (to Francie): Okay. You're bummed the kid came and Charlie didn't...
  • Francie: Shh!
  • Will: What? You gave me some advice - I took it. Now it's my turn to give you some.
  • Francie: What advice did I give you?
  • Will: About the Kate Jones thing. I'm giving it up, you're right. It can only end badly. So, it's my turn to give you some. You love Charlie. You don't wanna lose him. So don't be an idiot, okay? You got to talk to him and don't deny it, don't wait. And don't piss me off. That's exactly what I did when I first met Sydney. Okay? So use me as a cautionary tale and call Charlie. (hands Francie phone)
  • Francie takes phone and kiss Will on the cheek.

  • Sydney (to the real Schiller): Arvin Sloane is not affiliated with the United States government. He's just a man... who used me... the same as he was going to use you... He made me think I was giving myself to God and country but it was all a lie... a lie that cost my fiancé his life. If I go back to SD-6 without the location of that plant, they will take the life of another innocent man... There's only one person who can stop that - and I'm talking to him right now. Mr. Schiller... please.

  • Sydney: ... I don't know how much longer I can do this. Sit in these meetings with Sloane, look at him as if I don't despise him, as if I don't want to leap across the table and use the skills I've learned at SD-6 against him. So what the hell do I do next, what's my counter-mission?

  • Will (to Eloise Kurtz posing as Kate Jones): I have a contact who tracked your credit card from another one of your flights out of LAX. From that they got your Social Security number. I did a trace on it. See, here's what doesn't make any sense. Kate Jones... you died in 1973.