In Dreams... is the nineteenth episode of Season 4 of Alias and the 85th episode overall. The APO team sets a trap in Paris that manages to snare the Sloane impostor. After Jack uncovers the origin of the Sloane clone, Marshall devises a way to shock him back into his own reality. But this technique poses a potential danger to the real Sloane.
Sloane's impostor (Sloane 2) arrives at an Italian monastery to discuss with Father Kampinski his experiments on breeding the aggression out of bees. As Kampinski shows him a supposedly extinct orchid mentioned in Rambaldi's Vespertine papers, Sloane 2 offers 50 million dollars in exchange for a cutting and the text. Denied, Sloane 2 has an accomplice trigger Rambaldi's Mueller Device, which causes the bees to attack and sting the monks to death.
Sloane informs the team of the orchid theft and orders them to recover the orchid and find the impostor. Marshall says that this orchid has properties that heighten receptivity. Privately, Jack confronts Sloane, blaming him for this predicament.
The team sets a trap for Sloane 2, bringing him out by pretending to put the Vespertine text up for auction in Paris. Via surveillance, Dixon and Vaughn chase a man attempting to steal the papers. They stop a delivery truck. In the back, they find Sloane 2.
During questioning, Sloane 2 invites Sydney to work with him. He proposes eliminating the world's bad guys and fostering harmonic coexistence by administering the orchid extract to the general population via drinking water.
Marshall points out that Sloane 2's brain patterns are identical to Sloane. He also recalls working on an SD-6 program for brain imprinting that Jack says was run by Calvin McCullough, a senior partner in SD-6. Project Brainstorm's purpose was to explore experimental technologies for interrogation, brainwashing and transferring memories. They conclude that finding McCullough will lead them to the orchid.
Vaughn and Dixon approach McCullough in Buenos Aires. He admits that he made Sloane 2 believe that he is Arvin Sloane, but that Sloane 2 double-crossed him and kept the orchid for himself. As he calmly adds a packet of cyanide to his coffee, he declares that his employer wouldn't let him be interrogated. He drinks up and dies.
Sloane confesses that through Omnifam he contaminated the drinking water of 400 million people worldwide as the first phase of creating a more peaceful species of human. The second phase, based on Rambaldi's teachings, was to introduce the orchid's nectar into the water supply. But without the orchid, Sloane's attempts at duplicating the formula failed. Now that Sloane 2 has the orchid, however, he has only to drop the nectar into the water supply to bring the affected people under his control.
Marshall tells the team that Sloane 2 was created from Sloane's own brain scans. He postulates that the Sloane clone won't reveal the orchid's location unless he stops believing that he's Arvin Sloane. The only way to do this, he says, is to shock Sloane's personality out of him using a traumatic memory. In order to present the most vivid memory, Sloane must relive the past.
Jack hypnotizes Sloane and guides him through his memory. Sloane's sees his pregnant wife Emily and they decide that their daughter will be named Jacquelyn. They are devastated when Jacquelyn dies shortly after birth.
They upload this painful memory to Sloane 2, who suddenly reveals that he's a prisoner of war named Ned Bolger. He says that the orchid is located in Switzerland. Shortly thereafter, he switches back to the Sloane 2 personality and breaks down.
Sloane refuses to wake up, preferring to alter his memory and live on happily with Emily and a healthy Jacquelyn. Forcing him awake, Marshall says, may kill him. Nadia nonetheless wants to get him back. She gently tells Sloane that he can't stay in his dream because his must undo what he's set in motion. When Sloane admits that he's ashamed of his past, Nadia says she believes that he can redeem himself.
Sloane awakens and Nadia embraces him. Alone with Jack, Sloane reveals that Rambaldi meant nothing to him until after Jacquelyn died, when he used the writings to fill the hole in his heart. Seeing Ned showed him how much of himself he had lost. He promises to rectify his misdeeds, though every day is a struggle.
- Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
- Ron Rifkin as Arvin Sloane
- Michael Vartan as Michael Vaughn
- Carl Lumbly as Marcus Dixon
- Kevin Weisman as Marshall Flinkman
- Mia Maestro as Nadia Santos
- Greg Grunberg as Eric Weiss (credit only)
- and Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
- John Benjamin Hickey as Father Kampinski
- Angus Scrimm as Calvin McCullough
- with Joel Grey as Another Mr. Sloane / Corporal Ned Bolger
- and Amy Irving as Emily Sloane
- Mark Gantt as Balfour
- Mia Mazo as Karina
- Nick Spano as Brother Angelo
- Carol Androsky as Nurse
- Michael Forest as Auctioneer
- Toshi Toda as Takenada
- Ayodele Adeyemi as 'Ngumbe
- Robert Phares as Monk
- Greg Grunberg (Eric Weiss) does not appear in this episode.
- Number 47: US Army Corporal Ned Bolger's Serial Number reads 112762. 1+1+2 = 4 followed by 7. makes 47.
- Number 47: The Vespertin Papers are submitted to the auction as lot 47.
- Jennifer Garner directed this episode when other directors were unable to direct; she has said she does not intend to pursure a directorial career.
- When Arvin Clone states that some of Rambaldi's inventions and plans were follies, it's most likely a jab at the Rambaldi clone plotline that dominated Season 3. JJ Abrams has been openly critical of the writing of Season 3.
Allusions and References
- When the APO team captures “Arvin Clone”, Jack interrogates him, Arvin Clone, mocks Jack’s methods since he says, Jack himself trained him to withstand torture, like the one he faced with “McKennas Cole’s needles of fire”.
- Arvin Clone’s alluding episode “The Box (Part 2)” when ' McKenas Cole 'breaks into SD-6 to recover a Rambaldi artifact.
- Ned Bolger: To think you could call this actor, this clown, Arvin Sloane and make me doubt my own identity.
- Jack Bristow: Tell me how do you account for the fact that in the recent past this man created and ran an international relief agency called Omnifam, the world knows his face as Arvin Sloane.
- Ned Bolger: He’s a CIA stooge with my good looks and I can prove it, the affair in Santiago, I noticed that both Marcus Dixon and Sydney Bristow, were in on that mission, it begs reason to believe the same two Agents would ever work for the man… who killed their loved ones.
- Sydney: So he's simply a delusional megalomaniac with benign intentions?