The episode opens in the blood mobile with Sydney telling Vaughn that she killed a man, a man that she cared about. Vaughn reminds her that Noah was an assassin, and that if she didn’t kill him, he would’ve killed her. While she is talking to Vaughn we see flashbacks to Sydney’s initial training, and it is Noah who trained her in fighting. She goes on that it really affects her, to not know who to trust, having to expect betrayal, people plotting secrets, anger. She says that she is becoming what she despises. She became a double agent to bring Justice to Danny’s killer. But now she is wrapped up in wanting revenge. But everything is becoming more diluted and confusing. She wants to find her mother, but she knows that doing that will actually make SD-6 stronger. She’s not sure whose side she’s really on anymore. Vaughn thinks about all that she is telling him for a few moments, and you can see that he has been really sincerely listening and contemplating how to help her. But he gets up and gets out the map of SD-6. HE shows her the map that he showed her in the second episode, and then compares it with one now. Showing her what they have done, and accomplished, and that the map doesn’t include some of the items that she has kept out of the hands of SD-6 and other terrorist groups. You can see him beam at her as he explains that she has accomplished more than she knows, he is so proud of her, and he wants her to know how amazing she is. She brushes it off and tells him that her mother and Khasinau are out there, he tells her that they will find them. She gathers her composure back and tells him that she has to go to class. She stands up to go, and it’s a small gesture, but he takes her arm as she passes him to stop her. With that gesture, I could see that he wanted to go on about what a great job that she is doing, but he knows where the boundaries are, so he goes to the first aid kit and gets an ice pack for her fist. He takes her arm and holds her hand in his, as he places the ice pack on and reminds her to take care of herself.
After hearing Francie talk about how you can’t catch a rat with a basic trap, you can only trap them if you have the good stuff, the stuff that they want. Sydney finds Vaughn and tells him that they need to approach Khasinau the same way. Use the ampule of liquid that he tried to steal from SD-6 to bring him to them instead. Sydney tells him her plan to lure them in with a black market sale. She knows of a museum that they could rob (only to return everything thru back channels) but to let the rumor get out that another ampule was discovered there. They want Khasinau to come to them, they want to be noticed. Vaughn takes the idea to Devlin, tells him the plan, but when Vaughn says we Devlin pauses. Vaughn explains to him that he knows he isn’t a field agent, but SD-6 isn’t in on it, and that agent Bristow will need back-up.
Wait a minute here, Vaughn is a pure intelligence officer; something that I realized in this episode. Sydney essentially turns Vaughn into a filed agent. Vaughn is actually a senior CIA officer of sorts, he has been trained in many areas, but he works in the office, in the first season he has his own office. Now I’m not sure what official CIA ranking is, but from what I figure, the ones who stay behind and have an office of their own, generally are pretty high on the totem pole. But it started when he helped Sydney break in to the Vatican, and is continuing here. He is working his way to field agent, nothing would make him happier than to be Sydney’s partner on missions rather than the voice in her ear. I believe that it is partially his need to protect her that is driving this. If he is with her while she is on assignment, he can rescue her if needed. A huge step forward in moving along the relationship is to change his status to be closer to hers within the CIA.
While they are on the initial mission to steal from the museum, they keep all of their conversations on the level, nothing personal, all business. But while Sydney is actually robbing the safe, Vaughn is very concerned with watching his watch and counting her available seconds left to complete mission before being caught.
Sydney and Vaughn meet and they are very excited that their plan worked. Vaughn tells her that he has set up a broker to set up the sell. They go over the details of the plan and then they talk about the Sat phone that has been set up, Jack has made sure that SD-6 won’t be able to intercept the intelligence from the phone. Back at SD-6 they found another way in; they were able to set up a tap on Khasinau’s phone. They found out about the meeting that Vaughn and Sydney are setting up. Sydney’s deal says that they can have the principal player and two backups on each side, Sark will be negotiating for Khasinau. Sloane tells Dixon that if they are bringing two each, that they will have four. Vaughn begins to imply that Sark may have seen her in Moscow, she quickly tells him that he didn’t and that he won’t recognize her there. Also that he better not be thinking of bringing someone else in, that this is her op. You can see him trying to protect her again, but he knows that she will not allow it. They will leave that night.
Once in Denpasar, Vaughn watches her enter her meeting with Sark. Upon listening to the conversation between her and Sark though and finding out that Sark wants her to prove who she is by fighting him with an ancient weapon from her Alias’s culture. Vaughn is very against this idea, he repeatedly tells her not to do it, but she ignores him. Vaughn is on the edge of his seat concerned for her until he hears the conclusion of the fight. While Sydney and Sark are testing the merchandise, Vaughn warns Sydney that Dixon is at the gate. Dixon enters into the area that the meeting is taking place and holds them at gun point. Sydney becomes very aware of the disguise that she is wearing and wonders if it will be enough.
In other news, throughout the episode we have been seeing a lot of Will. First we see him receive a call from Deep throat, (person listening to the flower bug) who tells him that he has everything he need to run the story. Will tells him that he is done with the story and tells him to stop calling. He immediately calls back and tells Will that he was kidnapped by Jack Bristow, the threats aren’t for real. Will does find a picture of Jack in Sydney’s apartment and takes a closer look at it, covers the picture in saran wrap and colors around the eyes and realizes that it was Jack. Back in the newspaper office, Will sets up a meeting with another writer he is friends with. They meet outside, he tells her about being kidnapped and he gives her a manila envelope containing a story. It is a story that he doesn’t want printed, he doesn’t even want her to look at it, but if anything happens to him, she needs to have it printed. She wonders what is going on, and he tells her that he is going to see his kidnapper. Will meets with Jack at a bar, and asks him about SD-6 and if Sydney knows or not. As well as telling him that if he works with him, he’ll help him find his source, since Jack would probably want to know who keeps dragging him into the SD-6 story when he doesn’t want to be involved. They meet later and Will asks all of his questions again. Jack tells him that he works for Intelligence, and that’s all he needs to know. He instructs Will on what they will and will not do. He gives Will a plan for contacting Deep throat, and tells him to act like he is afraid of Jack. Jack also tells him that Sydney is not involved. He tells him that he needs to keep this to himself or more people are going to die. Back in the office, Will gets the courage to talk to the flower again and tells it, he’s not sure if anyone is listening, but he’s back on the story.
- Items that I found noteworthy…
- When Sydney goes to visit, Emily in the hospital, Emily tells Sydney that working isn’t as important as her personal life, she needs to keep perspective. Even working for SD-6. Sydney confides that Emily knows to Jack.
- Sydney tells the people at SD-6 that she is going to the Desert during her vacation time.
- A man from the Alliance comes and tells Sloane that the date and time has been set for when Emily would be eliminated.
- Vaughn is very protective over Sydney in this episode. An attribute that throughout all circumstances in the series will stay consistent.