Jonathan "Jack" Donahue Bristow was the father of Sydney Bristow and a fellow double agent for the CIA at SD-6. He assisted his daughter in bringing down the criminal organization and assisted the CIA at their base of operations in Los Angeles thereafter. He was recruited to APO, a black ops division of the CIA, by former superior at SD-6 Arvin Sloane, who ultimately betrayed the U.S. government in pursuit of the findings of Milo Rambaldi. Jack was left in charge of APO after this.
In a final effort to stop Sloane, Jack sacrificed his own life to trap an immortalized Sloane in a cave for the rest of eternity.
- ID-CLASS: USS-CI-2300682
- Call Sign: Black Bird (SD6), Raptor (APO)
- Present Location: Los Angeles
- Place Of Birth: London, Ontario, Canada
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 195
- Characteristics: Left-handed
- Training/Special Skills: Physics, Aeronautics, Engineering, Game Theory, Cryptology, Linguistics.
- Languages: English, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Czech
- Education: Doctorate, LAS.
- Wife: Laura Bristow (a.k.a Irina Derevko)
- Daughter: Sydney Bristow
- Partners: Katya Derevko
- Grandchildren: Isabelle Vaughn and Jack Vaughn
Jack kept his affiliation with SD-6 a secret from Sydney, who also worked there. His cover was that he worked in supplying airplane parts. Jack was one of the few people working at SD-6 who knew its true allegiance; that it was a branch of the Alliance of Twelve, and he was working with the real CIA against SD-6 (Truth Be Told).
Shortly before Season 1, Daniel Hecht called Jack to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. Jack was shocked that Daniel would ask as he clearly did not know his daughter very well, but accepted (Truth Be Told).
Working as a CIA mole in SD-6
Jack was informed that Sydney had told Danny that she worked for SD-6, and so he was tasked with killing Danny to prevent a leak of information regarding their agency. After Danny's death, Sydney attended the funeral and Jack observed from his car. He then found out that Sydney was being targeted by Sloane because she was a potential threat and managed to save her from some attacking agents. He explained that he also worked for SD-6, and said that SD-6 was part of the Alliance of Twelve, a criminal organization, and not the CIA as she had been led to believe. He tried to get to Switzerland, but she refused and ran away. He later went and told her that her request to be a double agent for the CIA had been approved, and informed her that he was also one working against SD-6 (Truth Be Told).
Sydney met with her father at SD-6, who said that it would facilitate their plan if Sloane knew that she knew that Jack worked at SD-6. Sydney asked if he knew that they were going to kill Danny. He said that he did, and she slapped him. Sydney told him never to speak to her again, then left. He later told her that he booked a flight for Danny to go to Singapore but he arrived too late; he had already been killed. Jack told Sloane that Sydney had gone away for a few days, when in fact she had gone to get a nuclear weapon back that SD-6 had sold to terrorists (So It Begins).
Sydney approached Jack unannounced and asked him about the many questions she had regarding the past. However, Jack was reluctant to answer and irritated that she had approached him unheralded. Later, Marshall was unable to open a locked case containing a rare Rambaldi sketch, and so Jack was called in to assist. Jack contacted K-Directorate, who was in possession of the key that opened the case, and offered to meet at a neutral location and the two agencies to open the box together. Sydney dismissed the idea but Sloane said that K-Directorate did not know that there was another half to the code that SD-6 already had, so they had nothing to lose by showing the enemy this half. Sloane left and Sydney asked Jack one more time; did her mother know that he was with the CIA? He said that she did, and there was no secrets between the two of them. However, Sloane later asked Jack if he told Sydney the truth about her mother's death, and Jack shook his head (Parity).
Working at the CIA
Working for APO
18 months before Season 4, at the British Embassy in Vienna, Jack was sent to kill Irina Derevko. He asked to meet with her privately, and told her that she had broken his heart. She brushed it off, saying "that was another lifetime. I won't do it again." They kissed, and Irina tried to leave. Jack refused to let her, asking what it was like to order a hit on her own daughter. Irina said that he was not supposed to find out, and Jack shot her, dead. Little did he realise that it was, in fact, a doppelgänger that he had shot and the real Irina was still alive, and being tortured by her own sister Elena Dereveko, concerning her knowledge of a book written by Milo Rambaldi called the Il Diluvio which she had destroyed to try and protect her daughters, Sydney (The Chosen One) and Nadia (The Passenger). (Search And Rescue).
Jack learnt that Marcus Dixon thought he saw Irina Derevko alive when he was shot by Elena, her sister. Sydney assured him that Dixon must be wrong, but Jack was less sure. When Sydney reminded him that it was Jack who shot Irina, he said that they have seen doubles before, citing the Helix Project. Sydney said it seemed too convenient that the only person who could stop Elena was being dangled in front of them, but Jack thought her refusal to accept the idea suggested fear. He said that they had to pursue every lead (Search And Rescue).
They used Lucian Nisard who informed them that Irina was alive and Jack had murdered a duplicate. Jack told Nadia that Irina was alive, and that she was in Guatemala. The two met Sydney in Tikal, Guatemala to find Irina. Jack waited downstream as Sydney and Nadia broke through Elena's guards to get to their mother. She was escorted back to the CIA, but arrested upon her return to the States. Sydney managed to talk Director Chase into releasing her to help stop Elena, who had constructed a huge Mueller device over a city in Russia that was sending the citizens mad. Jack gave Irina her deal; once she helped stop the device, she would return for life in prison. She accepted, and Jack told her that not a day went by that he did not regret "killing" her (Search And Rescue).
The team got to Sovogda in Russia and met with Agent Brodien from the DSR who had already sent a team in. He told them about the infection before himself being killed by one of the infected. The team made it into the subway to travel to the epicentre of the Mueller device to shut it down. Jack reactivated the train's wirings while Nadia and Sydney got the lights working. However, only Sydney returned. Nadia radioed in, saying that she was being chased by the infected. Sydney and Vaughn tried to get her out the back of the train, but Nadia was caught by the infected. They pulled into the station by the epicentre of the Mueller device, where they saw Arvin Sloane. Surrounding him were the dead bodies of Elena's men, sent to kill the APO team. Sloane tried to convince them that he was there to stop Elena, but the team did not believe him. Sloane began issuing orders until Jack punched him in the face, knocking him to the floor. Jack said that Sloane was no longer in charge of this team (Before The Flood).
The team were contacted by Marshall and Weiss who said that Elena was trying to uplink a subaudible frequency to the Russian mil-sat network to distribute the infection world-wide. The second that the bombers were scheduled to destroy Sovogda, the frequency would be broadcast causing the effects of Sovogda to occur worldwide. Weiss told them that they had around forty minutes to stop Elena. Marshall sent them building blueprints, but they realised that Elena would have every exit guarded. Jack told Sloane that he would help them get in, or he would shoot him. Sloane said it was possible to get to the roof, but stopping the device would be less easy. Irina explained that she could shut down the device by stopping the ionisation, and the only result would be the impact of the water. They got to Elena and Irina knocked her to the floor with her gun. Sloane put Elena in a chair and Jack and Vaughn went to the computers to stop the mil-sat network from uploading the frequency. However, they could not retract the transmission (Before The Flood).
Meanwhile, Sydney arrived on the roof. Just as she got there, Nadia arrived. Sydney soon realised that Nadia had been given the infection, and she was guarding the device. Via comms, Jack and Irina urged Sydney to take Nadia out, but she said she could not do that to her sister. They fought for a short amount of time and Sydney managed to overpower Nadia, chained her away from the device's control box. Sydney managed to get into the main circuit board, but found a blue and a white wire. Irina did not know which to cut, and she asked Elena. When she refused to answer, she told Jack to start torturing her. Before he could do so, Elena told him to stop, and said to cut the white wire. Irina immediately shot Elena, and told Sydney to cut the blue, other wire. Just before she could do it, however, Nadia began to strangle her with the wire that she had escaped from. As Sydney was about to die, Sloane arrived on the roof and shot Nadia. Vaughn arrived and, with Sloane, took Nadia into the elevator as Sydney cut the blue wire (Before The Flood).
The Mueller device exploded, and water flooded Sovogda. The team made it into a safe location away from the water. Meanwhile, back at APO Marshall looked at satellite footage of the building and saw that it was no longer there, assuming the rest of the team was dead. They were alive, however, and in the streets Vaughn requested an evacuation from United States air support. As he did so, Jack told Irina to leave. He said she could reach the border by daybreak, and told her that he would tell the CIA that "no one can hold on to Irina Derevko for too long." She smiled and they kissed (Before The Flood).
Jack was angry when he found out that Sydney had helped Michael Vaughn after it was discovered that he might in truth be a double agent and was working with a women wanted by the CIA, when Vaughn was shot over a dozen times by an agent of a group called Prophet Five, he went to Italy to confront her about what he’d learned about Vaughn, but Sydney told him she was with child and then explained what was really going on, he told Sydney and Vaughn that if Vaughn came back he would always be a target, and that his presence would place Sydney and their unborn child in jeopardy, they agreed that he had to die so he helped his daughter Sydney fake the death of her fiancé and father of her unborn child.
He became his daughters anchor to sanity, he went with her to all of her doctor’s appointments and later helped build his grandchild’s crib with his daughter Sydney. He comforted her when it was discovered that there were twelve main members of Prophet Five.
Sydney began working closely with Renée Rienne the same women Vaughn had been working with for many years, Jack authorized this and even worked himself with her and arranged several missions with her to help out APO against Prophet Five.
Jack sacrifices himself by detonating a bomb to trap Sloane in a cave for eternity.
Laura Bristow (aka Irina Derevko)
Jack fully believed Derevko's cover as Laura Bristow, his wife. He told her about his job with the CIA, which is not recommended for agents. When the APO team tricked Jack into believing he was in 1981 during the later stages of his radiation poisoning, Jack confessed his deep love for her (Mirage).
Although he presumably executed Irina when he thought she had ordered a hit on Sydney (Resurrection), he found out she was still alive (The Descent). He confessed that every day since supposedly killing her he had regretted the choice he had made (Search And Rescue).
Although Jack did not give Sydney the greatest childhood, he was deeply protective and proud of her. He worked hard for the CIA but regretted missing important events in her life, such as her birthday. He even went so far as to decide to leave the CIA so he would be around more for her childhood (Mirage).
- Jack Bristow: Sometimes a satisfying lie, Sydney, can do more good than the awful truth. (The Awful Truth).
- Jack Bristow: You beat death, Arvin - but you couldn't beat me. (All the Time in the World)