Jack Bristow (Victor Garber in Alias)

Jack Bristow


Alias was a 2001-2006 espionage/drama TV show, created by J.J. Abrams and starring Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow.

It was quite successful and popular, reveling in a high-energy serial thriller style. As such it was packed with action, drama, plot twists, disguises, treason, fringe science elements, super-spy fights, convoluted dramatic reveals and other pop serial aspects.



  • Real Name: Jonathan Donahue Bristow.
  • Other Aliases: Raptor.
  • Marital Status: Marriage probably annulled.
  • Known Relatives: Sydney Bristow (Daughter), Irina Derevko (Laura Bristow, former wife), Yekaterina “Katya” Derevko (sister-in-law), Elena Derevko (sister-in-law, deceased), Michael Vaughn (Andre Micheaux, son-in-law), Isabelle (granddaughter), Jack (grandson).
  • Group Affiliation: APO, CIA; formerly SD-6.
  • Base Of Operations: California.
  • Height: 62 Weight: 195 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black-Grey

Powers and Abilities

Jack is a highly experienced agent, with an extensive history of undercover work, and an expert in lying. He has a wide array of skills applicable to his profession, and is an accomplished armed and unarmed combatant.

He is a superior strategist, applying it both in the planning stage of missions, and on the fly, whether in regards to missions or manipulations of his colleagues to meet his goals.



Recruited to the CIA, Jack became close friends with colleague, Arvin Sloane. Jack headed the Project Christmas program for the CIA. It assessed the possibilities of training young children to model them into being prepared for a future career in espionage. But the project was eventually dropped.

He met, fell in love with and married Laura, a professor of English, and they had a daughter, Sydney. Laura apparently died in a car accident while Sydney was still young. Jack learned soon after that she was actually a KGB spy named Irina Derevko. Suspected of complicity, Jack was taken into custody for a long while.

He named Arvin and his wife Emily as Sydney’s temporary guardians. But even after he was cleared, he couldn’t raise her himself. Thus, he hired nannies to look after her.

After a while he was recruited by Arvin into SD-6. Jack worked for the Alliance of Twelve, a criminal intelligence agency, although he was actually a double agent for the CIA.


Arvin recruited Sydney into SD-6 without Jack’s knowledge. Thus, when Jack learned that she had gotten a job at Crédit Dauphine, the front company for SD-6, he ordered her to quit it. He did not reveal what he knew about it, since Sydney didn’t know he worked there or about his time with the CIA.

The argument drove further distance between them. Sydney continued to work there despite his wishes, eventually becoming a field agent.

Jack then learned that Sydney told her fiancé Danny about her job. He tried to get Danny to safety before SD-6 security section has him executed to contain the information leak. But he failed to get to Danny in time.

When Sydney refused to come back to SD-6 after Danny’s murder, she too became a security risk too. However, Jack rescued her from a retrieval squad. He confessed that he also worked for SD-6, and explained the organization’s true nature.

Jack took Sydney to an airplane he has arranged to take her into hiding. She refused and retrieved an artefact for SD-6, proving her loyalty. However, she then turned herself in to the CIA, offering to be a double agent. They accepted her. Sydney then learned that her father also still worked for them.

Director of Operations

Jack moved into the main SD-6 office, working with Sydney. He used his position as Director of Operations to help cover her CIA counter-missions.

When Sydney was taken into custody by the FBI based on some Rambaldi prophecies, Vaughn told him that another CIA agent, Haladki, was formerly FBI. He would thus know where Sydney was being kept. Jack roughed him up, threatening to kill him unless he talked. After he did, Jack warned him to tell no one about their meeting. He then led Vaughn and Weiss in freeing Sydney, allowing her to prove her innocence.

He later came suspect that Haladki might be a mole for Khasinau. Jack kidnaped and tortured Haladki, who confessed. Realising that Haladki would also have reported that Sydney was a double agent, Jack executed him.

When Irina turned up alive, and turned herself in to the CIA, Jack did everything he could to keep Sydney away from her influence. He even framed Irina for trying to kill Sydney. He admited his culpability when he realised the effect it would have on Sydney. Yet Jack continued to keep a close eye on Irina. That was even though they had grown close again, through working together.

Irina finally made her escape, having done what she wanted in custody. But she seduced Jack the night before, and convinced him that the tracker she was equipped with for her meeting with Sloane could give her away. Jack agreed and removed it. But secretly implanted Irina with another. This new tracker later allowed the CIA to catch up to her. Yet she again managed to escape.

Is Sydney dead?

When Sydney was believed to be dead, Jack received evidence that she wasn’t. He then contacted Irina for help finding her. But when the NSA learned of this contact with Irina, Jack was taken into custody. A a year later the amnesiac Sydney did turn up alive, and forced the NSA to release her father. After they were reunited, he helped her in her quest to recover her memories.

When Jack learned that Irina had put a contract out on Sydney’s life, he saw that the only way to protect her was to kill Irina. So he gained CIA authorization, then arranged to meet Irina, and slew her. Sydney later learned that he had killed Irina, which drove a wedge between them.

This lasted until she learned why he did so. Jack hadn’t told her because he didn’t want her to know what her mother had done.

Along with most of the team, Jack moved over to the CIA’s new black ops unit, Authorized Personnel Only (APO). There he worked as Sloane’s deputy? Jack Bristow took over when matters involving Rambaldi came up. Jack and Arvin were also aware that Elena Derevko had been making moves, and they ran a private investigation on her.

Authorized Personnel Only

They discovered that she had accessed their system via her identity as the owner of the orphanage Nadia (Arvin’s daughter and Sydney’s half-sister) had been brought up in. Only at this point did they reveal their information.

The investigation of Elena also revealed that it had been her who had set up Sydney’s assassination. Elena’s goal had been to provoke Jack into killing the double she’d set up to look like Irina. They located and rescued Irina, and she joined them in tracking down Elena. Once Elena’s plot has been dealt with, Jack let Irina go rather than return her to US custody.

Sloane had allied with Elena, but he changed sides again to help defeat her. Nevertheless, he was removed from directorship of APO, with Jack taking his place. Jack tried to help him stay out of jail. But even he was surprised by how Sloane overcame the problems to return to duty.  Thus, Jack remained suspicious of him.

Shortly after Sydney discovered she was pregnant, Vaughn was shot and left for dead by rogue CIA agent Gordon Dean, working for Prophet Five. With Vaughn badly wounded, and knowing Prophet Five wouldn’t stop until he was dead, Jack arranged to have his death faked. Vaughn was transported to a safe house in Bhutan, with only Jack and Sydney knowing the truth within APO.

Video interlude

A two-minute sequence featuring Jack and his wife.


Prophet Five

They focused APOs resources on finding Prophet Five. In so doing they learned that it was a powerful covert organization, with operatives highly placed within most governments and intelligence agencies around the world. That included America and the CIA.

Sydney went into labour while they were infiltrating a Toronto bank to recover a Rambaldi artefact. They were accompanied by Irina, whom they then realised has been working with Prophet Five. But they were forced to accept Irina’s help when a Prophet Five squad raided the building. While Jack dealt with their enemies, Irina delivered their granddaughter, Isabelle, before disappearing.

APO managed to identify the heads of Prophet Five. But the information was soon rendered useless when Sloane, who by now was openly working for Prophet Five, performed a coup, killing the leadership. Sloane then blew up APO headquarters. Jack, Sydney and Vaughn tracked him to Rambaldi’s Tomb. During the ensuing gunfight, Sloane was shot dead and Jack critically wounded.

Sark managed to escape with a Rambaldi device. Jack ordered Sydney and Vaughn to follow him, even though they all knew he wouldn’t survive until help arrived. After Sydney and Vaughn departed, Jack got hold of a belt of explosives, and re-entered the tomb.

He discovered that Sloane had fallen dead in a pool of a Rambaldi fluid which had returned him to life, making him immortal. Arvin offered to share it with Jack, who refused. Bristow then detonated his explosives, killing himself and leaving Sloane trapped for eternity.

Sydney and Vaughn later had a son, whom they name after Jack.


Stiff and formal, Jack has an imposingly professional persona. The betrayals he’s endured have left him emotionally distant, even from his own daughter. Thus, he has trouble connecting, although he has grown closer to Sydney during their time working together.

He is a consummate strategist, looking at all the angles of a situation, determining who wants what, and how to get them to do what he wants.

Ruthless and able to be coldly brutal when necessary, Jack has done nasty things as part of his job. Thus, he doesn’t flinch when called upon to do so. His primary agenda is always the protection of Sydney (and later her children too). He will go to whatever lengths he feels are necessary (torture, murder, betraying his country) to ensure her safety, despite her wishes.


“Just so we’re clear : you report this conversation, you’ll never wear a hat again.”

(Being questioned by Adrianne Kane)
Kane: “With whom have you had intimate contact over the past ten years, Agent Bristow ?”
Jack: “I’m curious to know where you’re going with this.”
Kane: “More secrets have been revealed through pillow talk than through torture. If there’s a prostitute or a stewardess out there you think may have heard you talking in your sleep, I need to know about it.”
Jack: “There is one way for you to verify if my nocturnal activities are a security risk, Ms. Kane, but somehow I think we’d both prefer the torture.”

Irina: “I remember the first time you introduced me to Sloane. You were both working at the CIA, he came to the house for dinner. You were true friends.”
Jack: “Yes. We shared a similar unsentimental patriotism… and a devotion to our wives. But Sloane changed and… it was Rambaldi that did it. I’m not sure what it is – he never told me – but Sloane has a personal connection to Rambaldi.”
Irina: “I lived for years with the same obsession, to find a higher meaning in Rambaldi’s work. I never understood how you managed to avoid getting caught up in it.”
Jack: “I had something neither of you did.”
Irina: “Sydney.”

Sydney: “Thanks. You told Kendall your judgment wasn’t to be trusted and then agreed with me to reinforce his doubt.”
Jack: “Kendall’s ego predisposes him to favour decisions in which he is overruling others. You argue your way, I’ll argue mine.”

Weiss: “Come on, there’s got to be a way. What would Jack do in this situation ? Jack is the king of this sort of thing.”
Marshall: “Well, first he’d probably glower a bit, right ? And then he’d probably blackmail or torture somebody. Right ?”

Jack: “It must have been lost in the mail.”
Sydney: “Your invitation ?”
Jack: “Unless it was an e-vite. I don’t read… e-vites.”

Elizabeth (talking about Sydney): “Unless she’s wearing a very convincing disguise.”
Jack: “—I’m going to be a grandfather. A very young grandfather.”

Jack: “You do not leave edged weapons within the reach of children.”
Sydney: “She’s four weeks old, Dad.”
Jack: “Particularly young Bristow women !”
Sydney: “She can’t even hold her head up. I think we’re safe.”

“You beat death, Arvin, but you couldnt beat me.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Jack Bristow

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Government Agent
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 020 HP: 025

Artist (Actor): 08, Artist (Pianist): 04, Charisma: 07, Detective: 06, Medicine: 04, Martial Artist: 04, Medicine (Surgery): 04, Military Science: 06, Thief (Forgery, Locks and Safes, Security Systems, Stealth): 05, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 06

Expertise (Parachuting), Iron Nerves, Languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish), Leadership (see Game Theorist section below), Scholar (Lying).

SIA (Protect Sydney {and Isabelle}).

APO (High), Intelligence Community (Low).

Game Theorist

Jack is a master strategist, often using Game Theory to work out the optimal way to carry out a mission. In game terms this allows him to assign HPs via Leadership prior to the mission beginning. The HPs are assigned to a particular action, and if this does not occur for any reason, the HPs are lost.

Emergency Caches

Jack has a number of caches set up in unknown locations, which he has set up for emergencies. They contain a large assortment of weapons, medical supplies, and other unidentified stuff. They also have safes, from one of which he withdrew $3M without emptying it. In effect he has access to 17 APs of Wealth if needed.


As an agent of the CIA, Weiss has access to their resources when on missions. Sometimes his job requires that he kill those who present a threat to his country, and the CIA provide a measure of protection from legal repercussions (and loss of HP awards). Thus, he has the Licence to Kill Advantage (found in the literary James Bond character profile on WORG).

CIA contacts also allow him the Omni-Connection Advantage, along with a Low-level Connection to the CIA. He also has access to more resources than on his own, having effectively 10 APs of wealth, provided he can justify it as necessary for his mission.

He has a level of authority provided by his position, along with the associated responsibilities, and so has Medium-level Government Credentials.

If he goes rogue, he could expect the CIA to bring their resources to bear on trying to bring him in, giving him the Enemy Drawback.

Previous Stats

Prior to the fall of SD-6, Jack had the Secret Identity Drawback.

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Alias TV series, Character played by Victor Garber.

Helper(s): abc.go.com/primetime/alias/profiles/cia_bristowj.html (defunct), wikipedia, KalEl el Vigilante.