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Season 1, Episode 6
Airdate November 18, 2001
Production Number E635
Written by Jesse Alexander
Directed by Daniel Attias
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AliasSeason One

Reckoning is the sixth episode of the first season of Alias. While Sydney delves deeper into her father's past, she must also uncover the location of a body from the mind of a mental patient.

Starring: Jennifer Garner (Sydney Bristow), Ron Rifkin (Arvin Sloane), Michael Vartan (Michael Vaughn), Bradley Cooper (Will Tippin), Merrin Dungey (Francie Calfo), Carl Lumbly (Marcus Dixon), Kevin Weisman (Marshall Flinkman)

and Victor Garber (Jack Bristow)

Guest Starring: John Hannah (Martin Shepard), Nancy Dussault (Mrs. Calder), Evan Dexter Parke (Charlie), Lori Heuring (Kate Jones/Eloise Kurtz), Eugene Lazarev (Dr. Kreshnik), Sarah Shahi (Jenny), Maurice Godin (SD-6 Agent Fisher)

Co-Starring: Daniel Betances (Pearson), Neil Dickson (John Smythe), Haley Gilbert (Rachel), Arabella Holzbog (Laura Bristow), Paul Lieber (Bentley Calder)

Featuring: Cole Petersen (Boy), Tom Waite (Guard #1), Nancy Wetzel (Amy Tippin)

Uncredited: Greg Grunberg (Eric Weiss)


Plot Overview

Following the unfortunate bombing of the CIA agents in the factory in Badenweiler, Sydney and Dixon race through the night. Overcome with grief, Sydney is slow to react so they have to split up. Dixon subdues one of their pursuers before he can find Sydney and they escape. Sydney covers her freezing by saying she was reminded of Danny's death.

An organization named FTL has been decommissioning assets for some time, and they have found several electronic greeting cards that play a tune. Embedded in the music are digital messages encrypted with a key. The encryption keys were being manufactured on a floating laboratory that was destroyed. One eight functional decoders were made, and one was provided to an FTL agent posing as art gallery owner John Smythe. The op is to visit a gallery opening and collect a functioning decoder from the gallery safe and to also plant a bug in the office to further collect intel.

Sydney meets with the husband of the FBI agent mentioned in case 332L. Although dead, she shows Sydney a picture of Agent Calder and she recognizes it from the newspaper report of her mother's death. It appears that Agent Calder was investigating her father and following him that night. Something forced the two cars to crash and Sydney's mother and Agent Calder were killed. She confronts her father with this information but he is unwilling to give her additional information because she doesn't have clearance.

Sydney and Dixon go undercover to London as an art buyer and his girlfriend. Dixon distracts security blocking access to the restricted area by lighting a cigar and then maintains the attention of Smythe by offering to buy the entire collection. Sydney is able to sneak back and break into the office area just as the motion sensor security is arming. Covering it with a hat, she breaks into the safe and retrieves the decoder. As soon as she plants the bug, the hat falls off the sensor and a silent alarm is triggered. The security guard leaves the main floor to investigate while Sydney hides above on scalding hot heating pipes. Narrowly avoiding him, she rejoins the main floor and poses as the bored socialite who has changed her mind about wanting the art.

The decoder is determined to have an additional layer of security and requires a DNA sample from an authorized individual. They know of few authorized people but believe that FTL agent Gareth Parkashoff will work. He was recently assassinated and the location of his remains are currently unknown to all but the man who killed him. His killer is Martin Shepard, a sleeper who is only triggered by a specific poem. Shepard, currently inactive and interred in a mental hospital in Bucharest, Romania. Sydney is to go undercover as a mental patient while SD-6 Agent Fisher will pose as her doctor. Sydney is committed and finds Shepard eating alone, but attempting to recite the poem caused him to attack her. While the orderlies are subduing Shepard, it becomes clear that they know her real name and put her in a straight jacket. The mental hospital is actually a K-Directorate front run by Dr. Kreshnik. Sydney escapes from the straight jacket and finds Agent Fisher with his throat slit.

Will continues to press into details on the Kate Jones he met earlier. Tracing her license place from their meeting, he finds her real name is Eloise Kurtz. Coming to her door in Hollywood, he asks her for information but leaves with a face full of Mace. She calls later to apologize and confesses to be an actor paid $2000 to pose as Kate Jones. She suggests they meet later but when he arrives her apartment is completely vacated and the walls are freshly painted.

Marshall, suspicious about the sluggish performance of their computer system, runs a bandwidth report and finds evidence of the worm. He quickly disabled outgoing network access, although CIA has managed to gather approximately 2% of their files. Sloane calls his superiors and suspects that they have a worm in SD-6.


  • Sydney beats three men while wearing a straight jacket and both she and Dixon evade fire from three men with automatic weapons. Dixon defeats one man in hand to hand combat.
  • Sydney and Dixon go undercover as an art buyer and his girlfriend. Sydney later goes undercover as Camilla, a bipolar mental patient, and Agent Fisher poses as Dr. Fontanella.
  • Marshall gives Sydney a listening device shaped like an actual bug and is passive until activated by a satellite-based microwave signal. She also has stylish infrared sunglasses and a watch that displays safecracking information.


  • Jack explains that FTL vacated their forward base and support station, moving all the heavy equipment, including the T-47s.
  • The motion sensor's activation code Smythe punches in is 2472.


  • Stars - "Going, Going, Gone"
  • Garbage - "Tornado"
  • Lisbeth Scott - "Be Still My Soul..."
  • Huffamoose - "Zero Hours a Week"

Arc Advancement



  • Vaughn's father died working for the CIA when he was eight and is one of the unnamed agents signified by an anonymous star in a memorial at Langley.
  • Charlie's mysterious dealings with Rachel are revealed to be part of a lifelong goal he has to be a singer, with Rachel as his piano player. He debuts in a club with Francie in the audience and they make up.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments