Mark Watches ‘Alias’: S04E14 – Nightingale

In the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of Alias, I DON’T UNDERSTAND. I NEED ALL THE ANSWERS, OKAY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Alias. 

EXCUSE ME, I DON’T GET THIS. I don’t!!! I keep thinking about everything Sloane and Jack have said to one another, but it doesn’t make any sense to me at all. What they hell are they planning?


I truly feel like there’s no closure in this episode at all, but it’s clear that it was designed that way. “Nightingale” opens a million doors, and it closes none of them. Let’s start with the most obvious one: What the fuck is Nightingale? We know from “The Orphan” that Bill Vaughn brought Nadia to that orphanage in Argentina, recovered, and then sought out “Nightingale.” Here, we learn that it’s not a person, but a device, one that HORRIFYINGLY MELTS PEOPLE. So, it’s a weapon that… can’t move around? Must be used in old nuclear reactors? Something like that? I don’t understand the application of this nightmare; it seems so impossible to use other than the worst weapon in the world. Seriously, I thought that one that froze people and made them crumble into pieces was bad, but this cold open is worse! Demonstrably worse! Why did that scene last as long as it did!!!!!!!!!

What the fuck does any of this season’s plot have to do with it?

Bill Vaughn

At the very least, there’s some forward momentum in the relationship between Vaughn and Sydney, who decide to conspire against Sloane and Jack. Which is just so ENTERTAINING to me!!! If there’s anything here that makes “Nightingale” worth it, it’s the unreal cat-and-mouse game of two groups trying to out-manipulate the other. All of this is done in the service of discovering the mystery of Bill Vaughn, and Alias brilliantly gives us a reason why Sydney is supportive of Vaughn. It’s not just out of love; she was right where he was back when her mother was still alive and in her life. She knows what it’s like to be tormented by familial secrets, and she knows what that drive feels like, how obsessive it can be. Rather than stand in his way or convince him otherwise, she helps him, first by going to her father, and then by choosing to lie to Jack when she realizes that Jack and Sloane can only stand in the way. It’s… strangely romantic??? Seriously, these two are in such an interesting place within their relationship, since they’re definitely giving it a second try. And what better way to grow close than to discover potentially traumatic truths about your dead parent???? Right???

I don’t see how he fits in to all of this, either. My only guess is that Bill had to know something about Nadia being The Passenger and… hid? her? in? an? orphanage? Maybe??? And the Nightingale is… not related? Maybe related? 

I am not even grasping at straws. The straws are in another room at this point. 


And don’t even get me started on Sloane and Jack, EXCEPT I HAVE TO GET STARTED ON THEM BECAUSE WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING. At this point, I can only accept that Alias is an elaborate conspiracy fifteen years in the making just so y’all could get me on camera and watch me squirm. There might be clues here, but guess what? They’ve all flown over my head. Somehow, these two are planning some sort of “agenda” that involves Bill Vaughn and the Nightingale and unfortunately for me, they don’t ever speak with any discernible sense. Oh, they clearly understand one another, but the writers design their conversation so that the audience is still left in the dark. I expect Sloane to be a hot mess, and Jack certainly isn’t a moral paragon, but… is there a good reason behind this? What would make it worth it for Jack to so openly manipulate his daughter? (Note that he does this in the same episode where he sacrifices himself for Sydney! Like, he’s gonna die from that exposure to radiation, right??? Shortly? HOW DOES HE SURVIVE THAT?)

I honestly don’t have a theory, and it is all your fault.

The video for “Nightingale” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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