The Horizon


Production code
December 14 2005
Written by
Josh Applebaum and André Nemec
Story by
Teleplay by
Directed by
Tucker Gates

The Horizon is the ninth episode of Season 5 of Alias and the 97th episode overall. Sydney is kidnapped in Madrid and the captors begin to probe her mind in order to find something only known as The Horizon. Elsewhere, Renee Rienne and Jack Bristow are hellbent on finding Sydney and brutally interrogate Aldo Desantis.

Plot Overview[]

Michael Vaughn arrives in Sydney’s apartment and starts preparing dinner. He also tells a very pregnant Sydney that she is going to be a great mother. Sydney looks at herself in the mirror and sees a vision of herself, strapped in, with wires attached to her head. She regains consciousness and finds out that the vision is reality and “recently” being with Michael Vaughn was part of a dream. A doctor injects her with a chemical and she protests helplessly.

Two days earlier, Peyton stabs a man who has access to CIA archives in San Francisco. She breaks in and retrieves Vaughn’s files. She calls Aldo Desantis and arranges a meeting.

At the APO briefing room, Jack tells them that the CIA archives were breached and they had identified Peyton as part of Prophet Five. He added that she stole files of killed agents in the line of duty, including journals and protocols. Sydney knew that he meant Vaughn. As Jack tasks Sloane to oversee Rachel analyse the intel, he asks Sydney to meet with Renee Rienne who might provide information about Prophet Five’s motives.

In a warehouse, Peyton’s team listens on mission tapes. This leads them to believe that Vaughn had told Sydney crucial information about Prophet Five, and Sydney might not even be aware of it. Peyton calls Desantis and he recommends a doctor who specialises in extracting information.

In Madrid, Sydney meets with Rienne who confirmed that Vaughn didn’t keep anything on record related to Prophet Five. Just then, Sydney notices two men moving menacingly toward them. She and Renee start moving away. Though Renee kills the two men, Sydney gets abducted by another group and is thrown into a van. As another van attempts to follow Sydney’s, Renee shoots it and opens the door to find Desantis.

Still trapped and bound in the interrogation room, Sydney listens to the doctor explain to observers behind a one-way mirror that the chemical he injected will force hypnosis. When the doctor asks her to find a happy moment with Michael Vaughn, Sydney’s subconscious reverts back to the time Vaughn had proposed to her. In this dream state, she gains awareness and frantically tells Vaughn in the dream that Prophet Five is using her. Vaughn is taken aback at Sydney’s knowledge of Prophet Five.

Renee contacts APO and tells Jack about Sydney’s abduction. Jack moves the team to locate Sydney and points out that since Desantis is involved, this means involvement of Prophet Five experimental medical procedures. Jack asks Sloane if he knew another Prophet Five contact and Sloane denies it. Later, Sloane privately begs his Prophet Five contact to plead for Sydney’s release but to no avail.

At the lab, the doctor continues the regressive process attached to Sydney’s memory of Vaughn. She recalls speaking to Vaughn on a hospital bed minutes before she lost him, and her conscious mind breaks through in this memory and starts talking to Vaughn about Prophet Five once again. Living in that state, she realizes that the drink she had given him that was recommended by the nurse caused Vaughn’s body to crash. As she refused to let him die, Vaughn tells her to let him go, since this is the only way to defeat the people holding her captive. She recalls another memory where they were stuck in a jail cell, and she refuses to let Vaughn go.

Jack interrogates Desantis and threatens to torture him more after cutting one of his ears off. Just then, Renee finds a recurring address located in Hungary through a notebook that she retrieved from Desantis. Jack realises that one of the dates listed is Sydney’s delivery date. Jack leaves the room and Renee shoots Desantis.

Meanwhile, the doctor once again urges Sydney to dive into her memory. She recalls a moment where she speaks with Vaughn at the pier, and in a similar pattern, Vaughn urges her to let the memory of him go before they hurt her further. In the memory, Sydney’s phone rings and she hears the doctor’s voice on the other end, asking her to draw a map. In the memory, Sydney and Vaughn tell each other that they give each other strength.

Sydney’s memory jumps back to one of her first meetings with Vaughn, where they spoke about SD-6. When Vaughn shows Sydney the real map of SD-6, the doctor asks a semi-conscious Sydney to read the information on the map. After Sydney says “X-23 Norte,” the observer from behind the mirror tells the doctor to end this procedure. A satisfied Irina Derevko prepares to leave and orders Peyton to tell their associates that the location has been found, and to keep Sydney comfortable.

On a deserted beach inside Sydney’s head, she meets with Vaughn. They listen to the waves and Sydney expresses how much she wants to stay with him. Vaughn encourages her and tells her that together, they will defeat these people – especially after they find out that Sydney had given them the wrong information. He has to go so they can stop using her.

Renee and Jack arrive in the Hungarian address listed in Desantis’ notebook. They go into a deserted building, and were surprised to find a room where a nursery was set up. Meanwhile, with the chemicals wearing off, Sydney opens her eyes and finds Peyton unstrapping her. With one hand, Sydney stabs Peyton with the drug and escapes. Still groggy, she finds her way around the narrow corridors. She bursts through a door and realises that she is on a ship, in the middle of the ocean.



Guest Starring[]

Special Guest Star[]

Special Guest Star[]


  • Dominic Comperatore as Italian Doctor
  • Evam Helmuth as Man in a Suit
  • Mark Kelly as Agent #1
  • Elisa Leonetti as Audio Tech
  • Natsuko Ohama as Noodle Vendor


  • This episode shows Sydney’s date of birth, when Sydney confronts Peyton, on board the ship she stumbles across a folder that reads: BRISTOW, S. DOB: 4/17/75.
  • While Sydney's under hypnosis she visits several locations, that were previously seen on the show: Sydney and Vaughn about to jump into Sovogda, when Vaughn proposes to Sydney (4.21 Search And Rescue); Sydney at Vaughn’s bedside where he dies (5.1 Prophet Five) - Sydney and Vaughn when they were captured in North Korea (3.12 Crossings); Sydney and Vaughn at the pier, after Sydney’s SD-6 mission in Morocco goes bad (1.4 A Broken Heart); Sydney and Vaughn’s briefings in the mesh cage (Throughout Seasons 1 and 2); Sydney and Vaughn in the “LA County Blood Drive” van, where Vaughn shows her the SD-6 map (1.2 So It Begins).
  • Neither Michael Vartan (Vaughn) nor Lena Olin (Irina) were billed as Special Guest Star at the start of the episode, probably to keep their appearances a surprise (despite the fact that Vaughn was in the opening scene).
  • Although it appears Irina Derevko returned in this episode, Lena Olin simply did a voice-over. With some clever re-working of existing footage (taken from 2.2 Trust Me) the scene was made to look as if Irina actually stood in front of Kelly Peyton.
  • This is the last episode Amy Acker is a guest star. Since 5.10 SOS she was credited as a series regular. Similarly, this is the final episode with Elodie Bouchez as a regular.
  • This epidode has an audio commentary.

Aliases Used[]




Allusions and References[]

  • Sydney: I want to go away, just you and me and our baby; somewhere no one can bother us, on a deserted island.

This could be a possible allusion to JJ Abrams other show Lost about a group of plane-crash survivors on a deserted island


  • Vaughn: What do you think about orichiette.
  • Sydney: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it, wait a minute don’t tell me you cook.
  • Vaughn: There’s a lot of things about me you don’t know.
  • Sydney: Do you clean too?
  • Vaughn: I’ve been known to, why? You thinking of hiring me?

  • Desantis: So this is how you do it? Bring in a man in a suit to scare me into talking.
  • Jack: You’re right, the suit shouldn’t scare you… what should scare you is that I’m a very concerned father.

Sydney:I want you all to myself.

  • Vaughn: You just threw your phone in the Pacific....twice.