Production code
November 25 2001
Written by
Roberto Orci
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Jack Bender

Color-Blind is the seventh episode of Season 1 of Alias. While helping Shepard escape from the asylum in Bucharest, Sydney discovers the shocking connection he has with her past. Meanwhile, after tracking the computer virus secretly planted by the CIA, Sloane is confronted by Alliance representative Alain Christophe, who suggests that one or more moles may have infiltrated SD-6. Will continues to investigate the woman claiming to be Danny's mistress and Sydney finds out the truth about her father's involvement in her mother's death 20 years earlier.

Plot Overview[]

Sydney is trapped within the walls of the Mangalev institute in Bucharest, Romania. Moments after finding SD-6 Agent Fisher - his throat, slashed - she runs through the corridors, pursued by guards. They catch up with her in a lab area. She fights them off, but she is immobilized when Dr. Kreshnik shoots her in the back with a tranqulizer dart.

Sloane tells Jack that Sydney and Fisher have missed their scheduled contact. They agree that Sydney has gotten through worse situations than this. Sloane says he believes in Sydney as if she were his own daughter.

Sydney awakens in an electroshock tub full of water, with her hands and bare feet tied up. Kreshnik tells her he knows that she works for SD-6, and that she is at the mental institute to find out where Martin Shepard buried Parkashoff. He knows that she needs Parkashoff's DNA to read the FTL code. He just wants to know if she got the information from Shepard. Sydney says Shepard didn't tell her anything, but Kreshnik doesn't believe her. The voltage is turned on.

Vaughn contacts Jack to meet at a Chinese restaurant, but Jack is none too thrilled about this break in protocol. Vaughn tells him that they've discovered K-Directorate had an agent at the mental institute, and he wants to pull Sydney out. Jack knows this would blow Sydney's cover. Vaughn says to pull her out of the service. Jack tells Vaughn that taking down SD-6 is what "gets Sydney up in the morning." "Or did you think it was those meetings she has with you?" Vaughn wants to know what Jack's problem with him is, and Jack tells him he knows Vaughn pulled his file. Vaughn explains that Sydney wanted to see it because she suspects he used to have KGB affliliations. Jack leaves Vaughn sitting at the table alone. They do not appear to part as friends.

After some time of torture, Kreshnik desides Shepard must have really told Sydney nothing. He orders her killed. Sydney tells him that he won't be able to get the information from Shepard - it can't be tortured out of him because he's been programmed to forget it. She is still his best chance to get the location of Parkishoff's body. Sydney assures she can extract the coordinates of Parkashoff's body from Shepard, as they have some basis for trust because Shepard thinks she is a patient -- but only if Kreshnik allows her to live. Kreshnik grants her a stay of execution until nightfall.

Sydney finds Shepard on a roof patio and tries to talk to him. He tells her he's seen her somewhere before, but she knows he hasn't. She tells him they will both be killed unless they help each other get out. He says he would rather die than leave there because of the way he is now. He leaves her, and goes back inside. Dr. Kreshnik looks down on her from above.

Sydney tries again to talk to Shepard. He is drawing a landscape and has colored the sky yellow. Sydney says she knows that he can't see colors. He accuses her of being one of the people who made him the way he is. Sydney says that he was programmed to follow orders - to kill people. Shepherd doesn't want to believe her - he thinks the things he's been remembering are delusions, not real events. He can't stand hearing what she's telling him and pushes her away, calling for the guard. Sydney tells the guard to tell Kreshnik that she has the information.

At work, Will sees a report that a young woman was found dead in the park. He recognized the picture as Eloise Kurtz. He tells his boss that now another murder is linked to Danny Hecht's. He wants to put in more time on the story. She says to leave his notes on her desk, and she'll decide.

In his cell, Shepard dreams of seeing a banner that says "Happy Birthday, Sydney" with her picture below it. He wakes up, eyes wide with the horror at what he's remembered.

The guard is taking Sydney to see Kreshnik, but she overpowers him and gets his keys. She dresses as a janitor and works her way to the exit. The door has to be opened with two keys simultaneously. She fits one key on the map handle and almost gets the door unlocked when she is grabbed by Kreshnik and a guard with a stunner. As they drag Sydney down the corridor, Shepard appears and knocks Kreshnik down. Sydney takes out the guard, and then uses the stunner on Kreshnik: "Hurts, doesn't it?" They get the keys and open the door. Outside, they hijack a police car and take off.

At SD-6, Sloane informs Marshall that the virus found in the network was planted by SD-6 itself as part of a security drill. He congratulates Marshall on catching it faster than they anticipated he would.

Sydney and Shepard reach a safe house, and Sydney calls Vaughn's number. Jack answers because he's had her calls forwarded to him. He's relieved to hear she's safe and gives her the flight details for their escape. Shepard wants to know why she came looking for him, and Sydney tells him about needing to find Parkashoff's body. Shepard tells of discovering that his dreams were not nightmares, but memories of people he'd killed. That's why he put himself into the institution - so he couldn't kill again. Sydney says it wasn't his fault. He calls her by name, and Sydney asks how he knew what her name was. He confesses that he saw the birthday picture, and tells of the night he went to her apartment and killed Danny. He is deeply sorry for what happened. Sydney runs outside sobbing with grief and horror.

Shepard was programmed by SD-6 Agent McCullough and Sydney tries harder than ever to forgive him, in the face of a killing for which Shepard was not truly responsible. Will now has cold feet -- he fears crossing a line with Sydney by defying her wishes to let go the details of Danny's murder, but after having pleaded earlier with his editor Litvack, he finds the story due for reassignment if he drops it.

Thanksgiving dinner is served at Sydney's, and Charlie proposes to Francie, which she accepts joyously. When Jack arrives, he tells Sydney that the FBI investigated him 20 years earlier, suspecting he was KGB, leading to the pursuit which forced his car off the road -- killing her mother Laura.

Back at SD-6, Sloane has decoded the FTL communique, using Parkashoff's DNA, which reveals news that another Rambaldi artifact has been sent for analysis at Oxford's Department of Engineering. Sloane assigns Sydney to follow but Vaughn forewarns -- Anna Espinosa was last sighted leaving Bucharest, before Sydney, and may also be on the job.



Guest Starring[]




  • Carl Lumbly (Marcus Dixon) does not appear in this episode.
  • Jack and Vaughn meet each other for the first time.
  • Goof: Will's friend at the DMV calls to tell Will he has Eloise Kurtz's car, but although Will did try to recommend his friend he never got to tell Eloise a name.
  • Goof: When Jack and Vaughn meet at the restaurant, Jack picks up his cup to pour himself some tea. When the camera angle changes while he's still pouring, the cup is sitting on the table.
  • Goof: When Shepard is having a black and white flashback to when he killed Danny, you can see the shadow of the camera operator on the wall right before the bathroom is entered

Aliases Used[]


  • "The Wait" by The Pretenders
  • "Everything's All Right (I Think It's Time)" by Jude
  • "Not In This Life" by Natalie Merchant

Allusions and References[]

Jack: It was the height of the Cold War. After they caught Boyce and Lee in '77 everybody was under suspicion.

  • This is an allusion to Chris Boyce and Daulton Lee who were soviet spies and whose story is told in both the book The Falcon and The Snowman by Robert Lindsey. Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton star in the film of the same title.

James Hong makes an uncredited appearance as a maître d' in a Chinese restaurant (where Jack Bristow goes to meet Vaughn). He had a similiar role in Seinfeld episode "The Chinese Restaurant".