The Awful Truth


Production code
January 12 2005
Written by
Jesse Alexander
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Lawrence Trilling

The Awful Truth is the 3rd episode of Season 4 and the 69th episode overall of the show Alias. Sydney must seduce a murderous arms dealer in order to track down a stolen NSA code-breaker. Meanwhile, Vaughn fears for Weiss's life, and Sydney and Jack argue about telling Nadia the truth about her mother.

Plot Overview[]

(Nassau, The Bahamas) Sydney and Marshall arrive incognito at a bank under the pretense of creating an account while Vaughn and Dixon create a diversion. When the manager leaves momentarily, Sydney and Marshall access an account.

Back in LA, Weiss and Nadia - who's now living with Sydney, hit it off at a party Sydney hosts. Jack crashes the party, says her Bahamas mission paid off, they have info on Bishop, owner of the account, and Valta. He wants to know if she told Nadia that he killed Irinia. Sydney hasn't but thinks it best if she does.

Sloane says Valta, a computer that will revolutionize info gathering from satellite networks, was stolen from the NSA headquarters 10 days prior by Martin Bishop, who will be deliver it to a German terrorist group. Bishop, a British ex-pat living in Spain, awaits final payment before delivering Valta. The team must recover or destroy the computer.

They determine that Valta's whereabouts are stored on a powerful server on Bishop's estate in Andalusia, Spain, and they can only hack into it from the inside. Once in Spain, the team sets a trap for Bishop using Sydney as bait - she portrays a mysterious woman caught in an overturned car. Bishop rescues her and invites him to her home. He tells her not to wander the grounds.

Jack administers a psych test to Nadia. He tells Sloane that he's learned enough to deal with the problem.

With Vaughn monitoring the situation, Sydney sneaks away and finds the server in the basement. She determines that Valta is located at Malaga's Alameda Yards in container C0717. Bishop's suspicion is raised when he runs into Sydney as she returns to her room. Sloane sends a team to Malaga to find Valta and tells Jack that Sydney may be in trouble.

At Alameda Yards, a CIA team destroys Valta, but Weiss is captured. Bishop is informed of the raid and learns that someone accessed his server. An alarmed Sydney signals for help, and Vaughn and Dixon go in only to find the house empty. Marshall tracks Bishop by his cell phone signal.

Jack tells Nadia he doesn't blame her for Irina's infidelity and hands her classified documents before they are dispatched to Spain, where they liaison with Vaughn. Bishop holds both Weiss and Sydney captive. Bishop hopes to off them up to the terrorist group as a replacement for the computer. Sydney breaks free of the ropes and beats the guard -- Weiss now realizes she's black ops. They go after bishop. Vaughn meets up with Weiss. Sydney trails Bishop, jumps on top of his car and shoots him through the roof. He slams the breaks and she tumbles off. He's about to shoot her when he is killed by Nadia, who pumps a few extra rounds into him. She says he was the one who killed Irina, their mother - Jack lied to her!

Later, Jack admits to Sydney that he adjusted details in the documents to manipulate Nadia and give her closure. He says a satisfying lie can do more good than the awful truth.



Guest Starring[]




  • In this episode, guest star Peter O'Meara plays Martin Bishop, a smuggler who has stolen an NSA code-breaker. Martin Bishop was the pseudonym of Robert Redford's character in the movie "Sneakers", about a team of security pros who must retrieve a code-breaker stolen by men posing as NSA agents.
  • During the party while Jack and Sydney are outside, Nadia opens the door to the porch to ask them a question. In the background, "You All Everybody", Charlie's song from "Lost" can be heard playing.
  • This episode was Emmy nominated for Outstanding Stunt Coordination.
  • This episode averaged 14.92 million viewers.

Aliases Used[]



  • "You All...Everybody" by Drive Shaft
  • "Walkie Talkie Man" by Steriogram
  • "Genevieve" by Greyboy
  • "No Regrets" by The Von Bondies
  • "Chamption" by Buju Banton

Allusions and References[]


  • Sloane: As Nadia acclimates to this life, to a new family...she needs support...and you have put my mind at ease.
  • Sydney: The thought that I did something that might have given you a warm and fuzzy feeling makes me want to kick my own sister out of my house.
  • Marshall: Hungry what  I'm starving and you're taking three.
  • Dixon: These are for my kids.
  • Marshall: Well these are for Mitchell.
  • Dixon: Your son is 14 months old .
  • Marshall: Is that too young to have pizza?