Back in Micro Self Storage, Vaughn is wondering about the repercussions that could be going on after spoiling SD-6’s plan in Kashmir and the CIA getting its hand on the Rambaldi flower, and he is especially concerned if Sloane has any idea of Sydney’s involvement. Sydney reassures him that she is safe, but Sark’s deal may be crumbling, and that she has another problem, she has to go on a mission to France with Sark of all people as her partner. The shock on Vaughns face is great, but then it almost turns to fear, he wonders why she has to go with Sark. Sydney having to partner with Sark is not an idea that Vaughn likes much. She tells Vaughn about the details of her mission, which is to go to France to retrieve a terminal that would give SD-6 access to the Echelon program. Echelon is a program used by governments to monitor all communications for terrorist activity. Vaughn explains what kind of problems would occur if the Alliance was to access Echelon, and it isn’t good. They go over the counter mission and share a smile before she leaves.
As Sydney is leaving he stops her and tells her that he is going to meet with Will tomorrow to help him prep for his psych evaluation. Vaughn convinced Devlin to let Will continue to do research if he were to pass this psych test. Sydney is very appreciative of Vaughn being so willing to help her friend. Then she looks him over and tells him that she likes it. He isn’t sure what she is talking about, and asks what. She tells him the new suit, but he didn’t think before his answer. He tells her that it isn’t new, and that he doesn’t wear it that often, and that he came from a funeral. And right after he says funeral, he realized his mistake, but he knows he has to go on, but you can tell he doesn’t want to tell Sydney this part of the story. He tells her that Alice’s father died, Sydney isn’t sure how she is supposed to respond to that, but tells him that she is sorry, and even asks how she is doing to be polite. He tells her that Alice is okay, not really but that she will be fine. Sydney hates this, she hates that she is sitting here talking to her crush about his girlfriend and how they are doing. But Sydney is very gracious in this scene and even tells Vaughn to let her know if they need anything. Now Vaughn is no idiot, he knows that this is not a good moment for Sydney, but he also knows that she has made it clear that she doesn’t want explanations, so he just smiles and tells her okay.
Sydney and Will are at a bar talking about Will’s Psych test and he tells her how insane some of the questions are, and she explains what they are trying to figure out with them. He tells her that he feels bad about Francie; how they have to stop talking when Francie enters the room and how he used to tell her everything and now he can’t tell her anything. Sydney tells him that she knows what he means, but after what happened with Danny and then him, she thinks that it is a gesture of love to lie to those closest to her that aren’t part of her secret world.
There is a lull in the conversation between Will and Sydney and then Sydney’s face turns from happy and carefree to upset and then we see what changed her so quickly, Vaughn has just walked in to the bar with Alice. Before Will has seen them, he watched her face transform and wants to know what’s wrong, but Sydney can’t say, but he looks where she is watching and can immediately tell what the problem is. Sydney takes a deep breath in and smiles and stands as Vaughn and Alice approach. Alice has spotted her and asks what Sydney is doing there and then says Rita, right. I wish that they would’ve shown Vaughn’s face as he walked toward Sydney’s table so I could get an idea of what he was thinking before approaching, but they didn’t. Sydney goes along with the cover that she was given when she met Alice in the hospital and smiles as she greets Alice. Vaughn smiles and says hey Rita. Then Sydney introduces Will, and Vaughn shakes hands with him and tells him he’s Michael, and then Alice introduces herself to Will as well. They have the typical niceties where Sydney explains to Will that she works with Michael at the State department. Will is very good at playing along with the whole charade. Sydney tells Alice how sorry she was to hear about her father, and as she says this, you can see that Vaughn is not a fan of this situation. But after a moment he looks at Sydney and smiles, I think that if we were to have watched the whole thing from Will’s perspective we would have seen that Vaughn didn’t take his eyes off of Sydney. But Alice tells Sydney how great Michael has been to her during the whole thing and how amazing he is. Sydney becomes uncomfortable, but has to keep playing the part, but she looks at Vaughn and then tells Alice that he is an amazing guy. I think Sydney is trying to shoot bullets at Alice through her eyes as she watches Alice put her arms around Vaughn though. And Vaughn’s smile as she says this and watches her melts my heart. But Will has finally caught on to a few things that he hasn’t fully seen yet not ever seeing Sydney and Vaughn together before and he knows he has to help Sydney out. So Will looks at his watch and tells Rita that they are running late, and tells Vaughn and Alice that they are meeting friends. They exchange more pleasantries as they go to leave. But as Sydney and Will leave and Vaughn and Alice find their table, both of them each have a moment where they turn to watch the other leave. They both hated that interaction.
Off topic for a moment, can we go over how lucky they were that Will knows about Sydney’s double life at this point? I’m sure he would’ve played along, but would’ve had a lot of questions. Because Alice came up to them, and immediately called her Rita and that would’ve been the first problem. Will has actually met the people that Sydney works with at SD-6, like Dixon and Sloane, but she has never mentioned a Michael. And how would she have explained where she knew Michael from since she had already told Alice that she works with Michael at State. I think it’s an interesting concept to think about.
After Sydney is given her next assignment from SD-6 to go to London with Marshall to decrypt Couvet’s files about the Echelon from a server, she meets up with Vaughn to go over what the counter mission will be. And she is very concerned that since SD-6 wants Marshall to bring back the data with them, but Marshall has a photographic memory and once he sees the files he will remember them. She tells Vaughn that she can’t give SD-6 a fake Marshall. Then Vaughn explains that since they can’t sabotage the mission after Kashmir, so they are going to pull Marshall out of SD-6. They have looked at every possible other way to keep SD-6 from getting the info, but they don’t have another option. Marshall will be taken to Langley for an extensive debrief and will have the option to join the CIA after if he wants. Sydney is concerned because Marshall doesn’t know any life besides SD-6, and she knows what it feel like to find out that you’ve been living a lie. Vaughn promises that he will make sure that they make it as easy on him as possible. She finally accepts that Marshall will be leaving SD-6, and wonders what she will need to tell Sloane. Vaughn tells her that they will intercept Marshall on his way home from the airport, so as far as she knows the mission went on without a hitch. She tells him that she needs to go pack, but doesn’t go to leave. Then Vaughn mentions the other night at the bar, he is about to say something personal to Sydney and he gets closer to her to do so, but Sydney can see that he is going to try and explain again, and she isn’t up for that yet, so she asks if he saw the camera’s. With her question he becomes deflated and tells her that they sent an agent to get the tapes so that they couldn’t be linked together. Sydney tells him good, and then takes a deep breath before telling him that Alice seems really nice, Vaughn tells her that Alice had said the same thing about her. You can tell that they both want to say more, but at the same time, don’t. So Sydney smiles, squeezes his arm and then turns and walks out of the locker. And he can’t stop watching her as she walks away. They both want to be together and it really frustrates them, but they are trying to be professionals and it is proving to get harder each and every day.
At the end of the episode, Vaughn gets a phone call telling him that they didn’t pick up Marshall at the intercept point and that someone else picked him up first. Vaughn wants to know who got to him, and the next thing we see is Marshall strapped to a table and Suit and Glasses Asian torturer guy is in a wheelchair, thank you Will Tippin and your one in five stabbing, asks Marshall if he enjoyed the symphony.
- Items that I found noteworthy…
- There is a scene between Marshall and Sydney where Marshall asks Sydney to take some pictures while she is in France for him. He tells her that since he is supposedly working for an International bank, his mother thinks that he travels all over the world, but in truth he’s never left southern California. Then he shows her a picture that has been photo shopped with him at the Sphinx. Now there isn’t an official commentary to back me up on this, but it is an inside joke about the show itself. Alias goes all over the world, but in reality they stay on the Disney lot and stay in southern California for all of their locations.
- At SD-6 an Alliance counter intelligence officer has been brought in to investigate Emily’s faked death and to see who is trying to blackmail Sloane and the Alliance. By the end of the episode, she is convinced that Jack is the one who killed Emily and blackmailed the Alliance.
- Marshall is hilarious while on mission