Sydney Bristow

Sydney Bristow

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... without any real stability. Sydney’s mother died while she was young. Her father’s detached parenting and overt dedication to work constantly disappointed her.

Living... in Los Angeles, California, facing danger at every turn. As a double agent, Sydney has to be extremely careful about trusting anyone. Even those closest to her could turn out to be enemy spies. 

Profession... special agent and PhD candidate. Sydney was recruited as a freshman in college by a black ops division of the CIA, called SD-6. Upon joining, she was told that SD-6’s mission was “the retrieval and study of intelligence, both military and industrial, throughout the world that is critical to the superiority and survival of the United States of America." For seven years, she was a loyal and dedicated agent. She has just recently discovered that SD-6 is not actually affiliated with the CIA. Instead, it is a branch of the Alliance of Twelve – an international crime operation that is an enemy of the United States of America. After SD-6 betrays her, Sydney turns to the CIA and begins working as a double agent. Her aim is to destroy SD-6 from within.

Interests... normalcy. All Sydney wants is a life without danger, where she can trust people without question and not lose years of her life without noticing – a challenge several agents face when they are brainwashed and “wake up” in a new location several years later.

Relationship Status... mourning and seeking revenge. After her boyfriend Danny proposed, Sydney breached agency confidentiality and told him about her work. SD-6 murdered him to contain the spread of information. She becomes a double agent in part to avenge his death.

Challenge... surviving. Sydney has one of the most dangerous jobs imaginable. Staying alive has proven to be an incredibly difficult task. Working for SD-6 has made her stronger, but also colder and removed from normal emotions. When sharing an intimate moment with her sister she half-sarcastically says, "The thought that I did something that might have given you a warm and fuzzy feeling makes me want to kick my own sister out of my house. "

Personality... intelligent, determined and strong, both mentally and physically. She is trained in multiple forms of combat and often performs death-defying physical feats. She is fluent in 20 or more languages and an expert in covert tactics. Sydney prides herself on being self-sufficient and accomplishing missions alone. She often says, “I’m going in. Alone.” Although she has experienced more trauma than most, she remains one of the most successful and level-headed CIA agents in the field.


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