Right from the beginning you hear them fighting. It stems from instinct versus experience and logic. And when Vaughn tells her that it is an order, she doesn’t respond well. But once back in LA, they have their spat, but once again, Vaughn is able to get Sydney to calm down and think about what really needs to be done. How she needs to be careful, and even if she doesn’t like it, she needs to remember that SD-6 isn’t the only enemy that they are dealing with. Anna Espinosa is just as much of a threat.
In this episode you see Sydney begin to want to have a relationship with her father. She is hesitant to do so, but she invites him to join her for dinner later on in the week and he accepts, also a little hesitant to do so. (I know that this doesn’t have anything to do with Sydney and Vaughn’s relationship, but I think that how Sydney forms and rebuilds relationships with those close to her is an important trait to note as it will come into play in her love life later on.) I believe that Sydney is hesitant due to now knowing that her father has lied to her for her whole life, she wants to get to know him, but doesn’t know what she can trust. Jack is hesitant for the same reason I believe but form another angle. He has lied to her and isn’t ready to come clean about everything. He still has a lot of secrets; he doesn’t want to hurt her more than he already has.
After learning of her next mission, Sydney meets up with Vaughn at a car wash. Vaughn comes in, and apologizes for being late. Sydney immediately picks up on the fact that something has upset him. She asks him multiple times if he is okay, he does the typical response of yeah, and I’m fine. But then she asked him if he had a fight with his wife. There is a slight change in Vaughn’s demeanor. Instead of answering the question, he says “what wife” him finding out that she thought he was married was almost a light bulb moment for him. He is quick to tell her that they aren’t even remotely close to being married. Even asking if she thought he was married the whole time. He sees that somewhere down the line when she is ready, there might be a chance for them. I think that after this point Sydney even begins to look at him differently. It was small, but there was a slight smile from here when she found out that he wasn’t married. He does finally ask why did you think that I had a fight, she only answers with I don’t know, did you? It was at this point that I realized how much attention Sydney has been paying to Vaughn. She can see when he is upset. She does smile that she was right about the fight though, as does he. As they depart though, once again, Vaughn tells her to be careful. He is always going to be concerned about her going on missions.
When she returns from her mission, upset over the death of a colleague that she knew from SD-6, she talks with Will in her bedroom. He brings up the kiss from last week and how it was awkward. He tells her how they can make it less awkward, she asks how and he kisses her again. This kiss is awkward. He blames himself for making a move too soon, which in truth could be a huge factor, she tells him to stop, not worry about it, but that she has to go to dinner with her father. But I think that she is upset by the kiss because of a few reasons, she knows that Will is in love with her, but she doesn’t have feeling for him. She just watched a man die, and she is starting to think about Vaughn now that she knows that he isn’t married.
As we watch Sydney at the restaurant waiting for her dad knowing how hard it was for her to ask him in the first place is heartbreaking. Then to see her receive the phone call of him telling her that he won’t be able to make it, but yet see him in the car watching her breaks your heart even more. I think that Jack just isn’t ready to open himself up yet, knowing all the secrets he has kept over the years and knowing that she may want some answers to questions that he has protected her from. But it is in this moment where Sydney is happy that Vaughn is not married, because if she still thought this, I don’t think that she would’ve have called him to meet her if she thought that he was. She needed someone who knew everything, that she trusted, and that she could be vulnerable with. And she is the type of person that wouldn’t want to do something so emotional with a married man.
The meeting between the two of them at the pier is one of my favorite scenes in the series. She tells him that she hasn’t had dinner with her father since she was a child. She becomes so vulnerable. One aspect of this scene that I love is that since it is night and they are somewhat secluded, they can be a little closer together, although not too close, and that he feels safe enough to be able to look at her. And the way that he watches her, is amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it. But if you were to watch this without context or even sound, you can see how genuinely concerned for her he is as well as how much he cares for her. He even takes her moment of despair and tries to make her laugh, and succeeds, if only for a moment. But then to hear his speech to reassure her about what she’s doing and how well she is doing it shows how impressed he is with her. But then to end it with telling her that no matter how down she may get she can always call him. In fact, I love what he tells her so much, I have the quote below.
“Okay listen to me, there’s something you need to know…. When you first walked into my office with that stupid bozo hair, I thought you were crazy. I mean, I actually thought you might have been a crazy person. But I watched you and I read your statement. And I’ve seen… I’ve seen how you think, I’ve seen how you work, I’ve seen who you are. In this job you see darkness; you see the worst in people. And though the jobs are different and the missions change and the enemies have a thousand names, the one crucial thing, the one real responsibility you have is to not let your rage and your resentment and your disgust darken you. [Vaughn pauses and the lyrics of the background music become clear. “You’re in the arms of the angels”] When you’re at your absolute lowest, at your most depressed, just remember that you can always… You know, you got my number.”
After he says this, we see take this in and look at him, and then she grabs his hand and hold on to it. He was able to take everything that was bothering her and somehow make it okay. No, one little speech isn’t going to solve all of her problems, but knowing that someone understands and is going to be there for her when she doesn’t know what she is doing or who she is becoming with all the evil around her helps.
I have always been a huge fan of using music to convey emotion. But the music in this scene is one of the best uses I have ever seen. They play the music louder than usual, because the lyrics are so great, but the placement of one phrase of the song during his speech was true brilliance on the part of the director/editor. That is why I placed the note inside of his speech with the words of the song. To her, he is her angel. He will always watch over her, be there for her and even save her when he can, as she said in the previous episode; “My guardian angel.”
- Items I found noteworthy…
- Sydney can sense when Vaughn is upset about something personal, even while he is talking about the mission or the job.
- As Sydney and Will are talking in her bedroom she sees him playing with her luggage tag, it doesn’t have her real name, it has an Alias of Kate Jones.
- At the end of the episode Will is getting information about the flight that Danny was on and found out that he was to travel with someone else, a Kate Jones.