Tuesday, July 2, 2013

S1 E1 - Pilot – Truth Be Told

It’s pretty hard to discuss the romance aspect of Sydney and Vaughn for an episode that only features Vaughn for maybe 5 minutes.  But you can’t start to begin to understand their relationship without knowing where Sydney came from before going to see Vaughn initially.
Sydney is so happy, she loved Danny so much.  She welled up with tears when she talked to Francie about the engagement.  You can tell how happy she is.  Although I did find it interesting that she removed her ring prior to going into SD-6.  So you know that she is dedicated beyond measure to her job.  She loves Danny and the thought of having to keep part of her life so secret from him after he mentions wanting a family truly upsets her.  So making the choice to tell him about her real job is a big deal, even knowing what the rules are. Sydney has integrity about her that I love, she hates lying to the people that she loves; which is why she feels so compelled to tell Danny the truth.  But at this point in her life, she wants to continue with this career choice of hers to work for SD-6 and the CIA, as far as she knows.

Working as a spy validates her life, as does Danny.  But as she told Danny, she found the agency first.  So with that statement, I have to conclude that if she had to choose between Danny and the agency she would choose the agency.  Danny loves her and has a hard time accepting the fact that he won’t know where she is all the time and that having a family may become a problem at some point with her career choice.  But he can live with it.  He just chooses a horrible way to tell her.

Her reaction to finding Danny is so undeniable that she doesn’t know what to do.  The silent scream just kills me; you can see the amount of pain she is in.  Then going to SD-6 to find out what they did, the confrontation with Sloane shows the hatred for him that will grow and inspire many if not all of the decisions that she makes for the rest of the series.  It’s important to the Sydney / Vaughn relationship to see how much she hates Sloane in this moment.  It is that hatred that makes her stay away from SD-6 for 3 months, the reason that security section goes after her, Jack tells her the truth about himself and SD-6, and she eventually meets Vaughn.   The hatred of Sloane is a driving force for her.

Her loss of innocence is a big factor in this episode as well.  It marks probably the last time that she will ever call her father “daddy.”  She learns that even though she sees bad people and evil all around her as she worked for SD-6, that there is even more evil in the world than she could even begin to understand at this point.

Once she does realize what is at stake and has a moment to think it through, she knows exactly what to do.  Her integrity will drive her to do what she knows is right.  She also knows the best way to do it.  If it had been me, I would have ran to the CIA told them everything and then ended up in witness protection somewhere.  But her hatred for Sloane and knowing that he could do this again to someone else drives her to take the course of action that will bring him down.  Get back in his good grace, by doing the mission that he wanted her to do, proving to him that she is of value to him, and then going to the CIA to tell her story.  Add in the fact that she was willing to be tortured for what appears to be hours on end and not give in to them, she could easily give up Sloane, but she doesn’t.  She has a goal and she sticks to it. 

Once in the real CIA she is determined to tell them everything.  And we finally get to see Vaughn for the first time.  They have very little interaction, in that moment him even talking to her while she is telling her story is annoying.  The thought of eating didn’t cross her mind, but I love that Vaughn thought to bring her something.  When sitting in Vaughn’s office, she stares at the picture of Vaughn and his girlfriend (Alice) I believe it is in envy of being with someone.  You can see how truly sad she is.  Then when he comes in and turns it around so she doesn’t see it, I think that it’s his first moment of, you know this girl, she’s kinda crazy, but she’s cute.  But he isn’t ready to share his life yet.  When he talks to her, he does have a look in his eye of you truly are amazing, maybe that is just a crush from Michael Vartan on Jennifer Garner, who knows.  But I like it.  He gets to business, but he wants to be friendly, so he tries joking with her, but she isn’t in the mood.  She doesn’t trust him, but you can tell that he wants to work with her. He says he has an instinct about her. I love the way that he smiles when he sees how fast her brain works when they talk about having another double agent within SD-6.  From the very beginning, he cares about her well-being, he wants to make sure that she has a dentist, & that she won’t be seen leaving the CIA.  That is all that we see from Vaughn, but it is enough to know that he will be a big influence on her as the story continues.
JJ Abrams thoughts on writing the scene between Sydney and Vaughn.  This is from the DVD Commentary on the Pilot

  • Items that I found to be noteworthy...
    • After Danny died, it took her months to get back to her regular life.
    • Within those three months she does have a moment of moving on when you see her listen to the answering machine for the last time with Danny’s voice.
    • When Sydney is writing her debrief, it is Vaughn who thinks to bring her food and a drink, even though she is disinterested.
    • Vaughn is very concerned with Sydney.  He wants to make sure that she is taken care of.
    • First appearance of the Mueller device.
    • Although Sydney was upset with her father, she didn’t name him in her debrief. So you know that even if she thinks she hates him, she doesn’t want to bring bad things upon him.

  • My own questions that came up; knowing what I know from upcoming episodes.
    • When Vaughn told her that he had an instinct about her, had his father’s watch already stopped?  Or was that later?

    • I know Dixon mentions that it’s been three months, but how much time did it take for her to return to SD-6.


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