Luckily Sydney is a lot calmer under water than I ever would be. She is able to get herself free and Dixon is able to pull her out. Once back in LA she recounts the story to Vaughn of telling Sloane that she corrupted the music box before Sark was able to get to it and Sark did take it. Vaughn asks if he believed her and she tells him that Sloane was mostly just relieved that she made it back safely, we see her flashback to Sloane giving her a welcome back hug. She tells Vaughn that after the hug she went home took a shower and then came to meet him. Vaughn is playing it somewhat cool here; he is very businesslike again, he’s not cold to her like he was in Rendezvous (S1 E21). But like I mentioned in the last episode I think he’s realized that he can’t have her and needs to start acting like it. He tells he what she needs to know about how the mission went, but doesn’t go deeper. That is until he sees that Sydney is contemplating something, he asks her what’s up, and she says that once again the Intel her mother gave was correct and that she helped them again. But she is hesitant to talk about it, and he can see this. He tells her that she can talk to him about her mother, and she tells him that she knows but that when she does its harder on him than he tries to make it seem. He tells her that it’s his job, but she protests she killed his father, and that he doesn’t have to pretend with her that it is upsetting for him. But he quickly reminds her that she doesn’t need to withhold anything from him, he can handle it. She makes a comment that it isn’t fair to him, and he tells her that maybe it is, but he didn’t join the CIA for fairness. He does ask her if after all that her mother has done to her is she ready to forgive her for them. She tells him that she doesn’t know. He then goes on to tell her that her father doesn’t feel the same and that right now, he is asking for Irina to be relocated.
Sydney and Jack do have an argument over what value Irina has to the CIA. She tells him that she has been useful, and that he needs to be aware of it. He tells her that she is getting too personal already, she rebuttals that she has been nothing but professional. Jack tells her that he watched her tell Irina that she was a turkey in her school play, to which Sydney responds that she has enough spying in her life to worry about and that having to worry about him spying on her interactions is not fair. He warns her that she has always wanted her mother back in her life and now she has her back, not to fall prey to her manipulations. She tells him that she is not that naïve.
Sydney and Will have a nice little conversation, Will wondered if the information that he gave the CIA was useful, and Sydney apologized for not telling him sooner, but that the information was huge. Will is relieved because he is feeling rather useless right now since he used to be this great reporter and now he is doing community service and washing dishes. Sydney reassures him, but gets a phone call; Will just looks at her and asks “Good guys or bad guys?” I love Sydney’s reply telling him that it’s neither, it’s her father. When meeting wither her father, she is told that when SD-6 did a raid on Sark’s compound, they found a man there who knows where the book is that they were looking for in Barcelona. Jack interrogated him himself and found out where the book is hidden. When the man was brought into SD-6 it was clear that he was ill, although all tests showed negative. They believe that he was infected by Sark with something that they were testing and that the first sign of the illness was bleeding form the fingernails. (I know this may seem trivial, but I promise it is not.) Jack goes on to tell about the interrogation of the man, who told him that the location of the book was so remote that it would be hard to describe, but he did create a map for Irina. Jack tells Sydney that Sloane will be sending her to get the map and that the CIA has made a fake map for her that she will swap out. Once Sydney realizes that this meeting is in place of her usual meeting with Vaughn after an SD-6 briefing, she wonders why Jack is there giving her the counter mission instead of Vaughn. Jack gives her an insufficient answer. So first of all, Sydney is well aware that she has a crush on Vaughn and her father just preempted her from a good reason to interact with Vaughn. Then Sydney realizes exactly what he is doing, that he is trying to keep her from talking with her mother about it. Jack is adamant that Irina doesn’t need to be used and that they were doing fine without her. Sydney tells him that before they were stagnant with taking down SD-6, and now Irina is helping. She goes on yes, they have both been betrayed by her, but the difference is that she is willing to drain any bit of information out if her to take down SD-6 sooner so that Sydney can leave this life of spying as soon as possible. Jack is taken aback, he just learned two things, one Sydney is going to talk to her mother no matter what he says to her, and two Sydney is anxious to leave this life, one that has brought them closer together. He is now in a place where he needs to fix this, and has to work out a plan to stop both of these actions.
Even though Jack tried to preempt a meeting between Vaughn and Sydney, they still made time for one before her mission to Russia to get the map. When I talk about a giddy smile made by one of the two lovebirds, usually it is Vaughn who has the giddiest smile to see the other and building up that sexual tension that I love so much, but this time it is Sydney. She is sitting in the storage unit waiting for Vaughn and as soon as she realizes that he is coming, she can’t help a huge grin form forming on her face. Vaughn also smiles as he approaches her, but this time Sydney’s smile wins. I think that this is further proof that Vaughn is going to try and move on, albeit he doesn’t do that great of a job of stopping all forms of flirting. Vaughn mentions Jack trying to preempt their meeting and Sydney tells Vaughn that she went to see her mother anyway and that she had good Intel for them. Vaughn reminds her that she can talk to him about her mother. It’s insane for her to worry about him with all that’s going on, he can handle it. But that after he heard what Jack did, he realized how hard it must be for not only Sydney to have Jack pulling stunts like that, but also how hard it must be for Jack. That it must be insane for him to have his dead wife, for lack of a better term, back in his life knowing what she did to him. But Vaughn’s biggest concern with what Jack is doing is that he is making Sydney’s life harder. Then Vaughn makes the reason for their meeting clear, she already knows her counter mission. He reminds her that he is there for her. What he says calls me back to their scene at the pier last season, ironically, or maybe not with how Alias like to parallel, was episode 4 as well of the season. He tells her, “So before you leave for Moscow… I just wanted to say that you might feel alone in all this, like you don’t have an ally. I’m your ally, never question that.” This sealed the deal for her. Seeing that someone cares for her so much that he is willing to put aside his own feelings so that she can have a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent to about how crazy her family situation is, brings her to tears. She tries to hide it, and no tears fall, but she knows that she has found a true friend if not something more. They both smile at each other as she leaves. You can see in this moment how much they want to be together, but they know that they can’t. And the way that Vaughn's smile fades away as she walks away proves it.
While on her mission in Russia, Sydney realizes that she will need to use Vaughn in a way that she never wanted to, she is trapped and calls Vaughn for help, she tells him that her mother mentioned secret passages when she spoke with her before and asks Vaughn to go to her mother and ask for help. Vaughn runs to Irina, and relays the needed information to Sydney and Sydney is able to escape. While he is on the phone with Sydney he doesn’t even have a second thought as to who he is with and is completely focused on saving Sydney. And I love the fact that his last words to Sydney as he hangs up with her are, see you at home. (More on this under noteworthy items) But once he hangs up he finally realizes that he is now alone with Irina again and she is going to try and elicit feelings form him that he doesn’t necessarily want to deal with. Like when she told him that he looked like his father. But he proves to be the stronger person here. She asks him how he says thank you to the person that killed his father. He just looks her in the eye; I’m pretty sure he knows what she wants, but he tells her that you don’t and walks away. Vaughn has realized that he needs to take the Intel that she gives them and work with it, as it has been helpful, but he is not going to be manipulated. Something we will see as the series goes on. And the way that Irina looks after he walks away, she is very aware that she will need to tread lightly with him, because he is not going to fall for her antics any longer.
When Sydney does make it back they talk about how Sark had invited Sydney to come work with him, and she denied him. She made the comment that Sark is like the good looking guy in High school who knows he’s good looking and doesn’t know how to take no for an answer. They talk about the map that she recovered and how the tech is unable to figure it out. Sydney wonders if it is in a code that the man and her mother devised. Vaughn isn’t happy about it, but he does remind her that her mother did help out. It’s almost as if he is saying, I don’t like it, but if she’s here let’s use her. Sydney agrees and even relays the request that her mother had about her earrings that were taken from here when she turned herself in.
When Sydney goes in to talk with her mother and gives her the earrings, Irina starts right in with the manipulations. She goes right in for where she has realized Sydney is vulnerable, Sydney’s desire for a real family. Irina tells Sydney that the earrings belonged to Irina’s mother and how much she would’ve loved her had the circumstances been different. I think that it is in moments like these that I dislike Irina the most. She is even worse than Sloane in how she is unwilling to compromise her agenda for anything. She will use any means possible to get Sydney to trust her so that the inevitable betrayal can take place in the way that Irina needs it to. But Irina does eventually break the code for Sydney.
When Sydney goes back into the rotunda to talk about what she learned from her mother, Jack is furious that any interactions took place. And he becomes furious and when Sydney tells him that she is going to go get the book. Vaughn tries to be diplomatic and tell Jack that all of the Intel that they have gathered has been accurate. Jack nearly explodes at Vaughn telling him not to talk to him about that woman, and that of all people Vaughn should know better. Kendall breaks in and tells all of them that he is sending Vaughn and Sydney to get the book that night and that jack is to deal with Sydney’s cover at SD-6.
Jack becomes a little conniving here and hires someone to plant explosives in a building, and to make sure that if anyone were to enter that building, no one would survive. Jack is a whole different breed sometimes; the lengths that he will go to get his way are endless.
While Sydney and Vaughn are in Madagascar preparing to retrieve the book, they are about to enter when jack asks the tech to switch over to the infrared satellite. Upon doing so, he tells Sydney to hold her entry. He tells Sydney to look underneath the house. Upon doing so, her and Vaughn find that the house is wired to explode. Sydney has this moment of realization that her mother lied to her. Vaughn is quick to get Sydney away from the explosives. Sydney wonders why if her mother wanted her dead, why did she let them get this far. Vaughn tells her that there are enough explosives to destroy anyone who walks in as well as everything in it, that she must be using them to destroy the book that they have been after, which has her entire operation detailed in it. While Vaughn is telling the rest of the men to secure the area, he is knocked down by Sark. Sark instructs his men to go get the book; Sydney and Vaughn just look at each other and as Sark’s men get closer, Sydney and Vaughn hit the ground for cover knowing that the building is about to explode. Once they get up Sark is gone. After confirming that they are okay to Jack, Vaughn takes Sydney by the back and guides her away from the scene. Back at the CIA, Kendall makes the call to have Irina relocated to Camp Harris for unrestricted interrogation. Jack got the exact response he wanted. Irina is being moved, and Sydney has been disillusioned about her mother having correct Intel.
As the episode concludes, Sydney is apologizing to her dad that she doubted him, telling him that he was right about her mother and that she should’ve listened. I know Jack had his reasons for doing this, but he plays too dirty for me to really appreciate it, at least his time around.
- Items that I found noteworthy…
- Sydney is very aware that Vaughn has a very deep connection with his father. It’s something that she will always respect and be aware of. When he speaks of his father, she knows that Vaughn is serious.
- Now more on the word home. With this blog, I am trying to review their relationship purely on the episode at hand and not look too much into the future unless it is a plot point that I know will be important to remember, and then I try to only tell that story. This is not my first or even second or third time watching the series, but this is the first time that I noticed the use of the word in this episode. I am racking my brain, on how to best explain this without having to talk about where the two of them are when the mention of being home comes up again. But without going into the exact details, I will talk about this more in depth when I rehash S3 E5. But from what I can see, subconsciously Vaughn is only at home when he is with Sydney. – By the way, I am getting super excited to talk about that episode now. It’s almost tempting to go to that episode and start writing, and just not post it to the blog until I get to it, but I will be good and just stick with where I am, although I may YouTube that moment later.