Production code
February 9 2005
Written by
Jeff Pinkner
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Lawrence Trilling

Nocturne is the 6th episode of Season 4 and the 72nd episode overall of the show Alias. After being infected with a hallucinogen, Sydney starts to lose touch with reality. Vaughn and Jack must rush to find an antidote before Sydney puts her life - and others next to her - into danger.

Plot Overview[]

A woman teaching English to foreign students believes she's being watched. Convinced she can't escape, she draws a gun and kills herself.

Sydney and Vaughn, playing hockey when they get the call, report to Sloane. He explains that when Nancy Cahill, an undercover narcotics agent, shot herself, her last words were "Tell them it's funny." Cahill's husband Jason, also an agent, has gone off the grid. Sydney and Jack are to search the Cahill's Amsterdam apartment for clues.

In the apartment, Sydney unlocks a crawlspace door and follows a passage to a room plastered with disturbing drawings. She's suddenly attacked and bitten in the throat by a feral Jason. Jack shoots him dead.

As Sydney undergoes a battery of tests, the doctor says the Cahills came in contact with a drug that caused an acute melatonin imbalance, which incited their acts of extreme violence. Sydney's diagnostics indicate that she's fine.

Sloane says Langley wants to find the drug, who manufactured it and what it's used for. Marshall traces the calls Nancy made and begins reconstructing erased files on her laptop. Weiss says Jason was trying to determine what he was infected with, even after Nancy locked him in the closet.

Sydney can't sleep and begins hallucinating. Her temperature reads 111.

Jason's files indicate he had a meeting scheduled in Bucharest with "The Count," a drug supplier. Sydney mission is to pose as a Cahill associate and meet The Count. Dixon tells Sloane it's a mistake to send Sydney out so soon. Sloane harshly reprimands him.

In Bucharest, Sydney has a recurring hallucination of a spider. Marshall calls Jack to say the drug's incubation period is a few days, like a virus, and permanently alters brain chemistry. Jack tells Vaughn that they should have her in sight at all times. At the meeting, Sydney imagines Vaughn kissing someone. They take The Count into custody, and admits he recently delivered samples of a drug called "Nocturne" to Jason. Once the delusions begin, there's no stopping it. Sydney, increasingly off-kilter, imagines Sloane threatening her. Sydney chokes The Count, who offers that the drug came from Prague and was an old sample meant to be destroyed.

Nadia finds a group called Grappig, which means "funny" in Dutch - an affiliation of biochemical scientists in Prague led by Dr. Letuza. Nancy had found out where it came from but was too far gone. Vaughn says Letuza may have developed a remedy if he knew he made a bad batch. In Prague, Vaughn searhes for Letuza's files. Sydney grows fearful that Jack will kill her. She asks to be tied up and Jack obliges. She imagines Jack comparing her to Irina. Sydney head butts him, takes his knife and cuts herself loose.

Vaughn finds vials of antidote and returns to see Sydney crying over an immobile Jack. She says she killed him, but it's a trap. She has a gun, forces him to his knees. She says their relationship is a cruel joke at her expense and that she's scared she will betray him again. She fires but the gun has no bullets. They fight. She beats him with a pipe. Jack wakes and subdues Sydney with a sleeper hold. Jack had taken the bullets out. Vaughn administers the antidote.

In LA, Sloane says Interpol has raided Letuza's office and eradicated the Nocturne threat. Sloane admits to Dixon that sending Sydney was a tactical error. An angry and humiliated Dixon says he never saw the nature of SD-6 because his only failure was that of imagination -- he never imagined a person as thoroughly toxic as Sloane could exist. When Sloane's true motive reveals itself, Dixon promises to be there.

Sydney and Vaughn kiss in her hospital room. She sees a spider on her bed. Vaughn brushes it away and says spiders are good luck.



Guest Starring[]





  • The episode "Nocturne" from the fourth season is dedicated to script supervisor Tricia Goken who died in a car accident.
  • Ironically as Sydney and Vaughn move to rekindle their relationship onscreen, in real life Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan had just split up.
  • The fake cadaver of Jason Cahill cost $10,000 to make. It was created by the same company that crafts the fake bodies for "Nip/Tuck".
  • This episode has an audio commentary.

Aliases Used[]




  • "The Dope Show" by Marilyn Manson
  • "Rough Around the Edges" by Teitur

Allusions and References[]