Maternal Instinct


Production code
April 19 2006
Written by
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Tucker Gates

Maternal Instinct is the 11th episode of Season 5 of Alias and the 99th episode overall. When Irina appears at Sydney's house, she persuades Jack and Sydney to go with her to Vancouver to retrieve The Horizon. which is being safely secured in a bank. While they try to get the item Peyton also tries to get it and all the action brings on Sydney's labor.

Plot Overview[]

After Davenport's ambulance is ambushed by mercenaries, he's assassinated by Irina Derevko.

Jack informs Sydney of Davenport's death and says that CIA Director Devlin suspects a mole in the APO office. Since APO is under investigation, and because a condition of his release is to close the Prophet Five case, Jack vows to continue the investigation without documentation.

Sydney tells Jack that Prophet Five wanted to know about "Leo-47 Norte." Jack and Dixon recall that it was an SD-6 mission that took place in a French territory. Jack assigns Dixon to fly to France and contact Renee Rienne. Jack also directs Sydney to go to a safe house.

Irina waits for Sydney at her apartment. Irina admits knowledge of Prophet Five. She says that Prophet Five wants to pursue "The Horizon," which they believe Sydney knows about. Sydney says that she doesn't but that she had shared the name of the French mission with her father.

Despite Devlin's ongoing investigation, Jack enlists Marshall's help to break into their archives and look up a contact for the "Leo-47 Norte" mission. He finds out about Jean Bertrand's involvement and forwards this information to Dixon. With Renee Rienne, Dixon forces Bertrand to reveal more about The Horizon, which is stored in a safety deposit box in a Vancouver bank.

Posing as an Italian family, Irina, Jack and Sydney infiltrate the bank. As Jack and Irina inquire about safety deposit boxes, Sydney hacks into the bank manager's computer.

With Rachel's help, Sydney locates The Horizon's box and relays the info to Jack. Irina tranquilizes the manager and starts to work on retrieving The Horizon. With the lead that Irina had provided them, Peyton and her armed men from Prophet Five arrive in the Vancouver building and kill the guards.

With the The Horizon -- which is booby trapped -- in Jack's hands, Irina attacks him. Jack deflects her as Sydney enters. It dawns on Sydney that Irina orchestrated her abduction for Prophet Five. When Irina insists that Peyton will kill her too, Jack responds by saying he will kill Irina first. Suddenly, Sydney's contractions begin.

Believing she's helping Jack and Sydney, Rachel, under Sloane's direction, deletes records of Sloane's outgoing transmission to his Prophet Five contact.

With Peyton's team on the move, Irina leads Sydney and Jack to the roof, where a helicopter will extract them. Peyton watches them on a surveillance camera. She picks up a rocket-launcher and blasts the copter to pieces. Jack tells Sydney to keep a gun on her mother as he goes back down to fight Peyton's team. After killing her henchmen, Jack squares off with Peyton. He takes aim at a nearby fire extinguisher, which explodes, killing her. Or so he thinks.

Irina tells Sydney that the KGB forced her to bear Jack's child to ensure his loyalty. When Sydney was born, she says, she had to choose between being a good agent or being a good mother -- or fail at both. She chose being a good agent. At this moment, Sydney goes into labor. Jack arrives to calm Sydney down as she goes into labor.

With both her parents' support, Sydney delivers a baby girl. Irina bolts with the pouch containing The Horizon, while Sydney and Jack swaddle the baby. Marshall receives a call from Irina, who tells him that Sydney and Jack need extraction.

In Bhutan, a horseman speeds to an isolated hut by the hillside. He relays a message to a monk sitting calmly in the middle of the room. The monk then walks to another room and shares the news of Sydney's infant daughter with Michael Vaughn.



Special Guest Star[]

Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]

Special Guest Star[]


  • Robert Dolan as Agent Barker
  • J. Michael Flynn as Alex Moreau
  • Ivo Nandi as Bertrand
  • Lama Chödak Gyatso Nubpa as Lama
  • Keith Sellon-Wright as Dr. Ellis


  • Goof: When Tom Grace is talking to Sloane and Devlin at APO, the wrong eyebrow is scarred. It is usually over his right eye, but in this scene the scar appears on his left eyebrow. This means the footage was likely mirrored when aired since the scar is real, and not make-up.
  • Number 47: the cypher Sydney gives to her captors is LEO 47 NORTE.
  • When Jack and Irina break into the safety deposit box at Queens Bank in Vancouver to recover the Horizon, Jack uses a spray solvent to disable the locking mechanism of the box. He then carefully opens the door from the bottom and removes the drawer avoiding the sizzling and steaming area he sprayed. However, in the same scene seconds later, Jack closes the front door of the box revealing it looking completely unmarred and not harming Jack in any way when he touches it.
  • Maternal Instinct first aired in America four months after the previous episode due to Jennifer  Garner's Maternity Leave.
  • On Netflix and Amazon {Prime} there's a previously on Alias and on the DVD there's is no Previously.

Aliases Used[]

A daughter of her parents who are opening a bank account for her kid.




Allusions and References[]


  • Irina: We're going to be grandparents.
  • Jack: I'm trying to ignore that fact.

  • Jack: Call off your team, right now!
  • Irina: They’re not my team.
  • Jack: I don’t believe you.
  • Sydney: Dad!
  • Irina: You need to believe me, because if Peyton’s here, she’s here to kill me too.
  • Jack: She’s going to be very disappointed, because I’m about to beat her to it.
  • Sydney: Hey Dad!
  • Jack: I thought I killed you once, this time I’ll be more thorough.
  • Sydney: Dad!… baby’s coming.