We begin this episode with a call back to the pilot, but this time Jack is running from the Alliance and is greeted in a garage by Sydney in a car yelling for him to get in. Sydney is told about Adrianna Kane and her investigation into jack for the first time and she is not too happy that she is just learning about this. Jack tries to tell her that he didn’t tell her, because it didn’t concern her. But she says that if they are after him and he gets killed, it concerns her. But with the help of the CIA tracking systems, Sydney is able to escape with Jack, and they make it back to the Rotunda where Jack tells Sydney about Sloane killing Emily, and the blackmailing of the Alliance and the actual death of Emily. Then when Sydney is called into SD-6, she tells Jack that she is going to call in sick and help him. But he tells her that they aren’t interested in her, at least not yet. Go to work, act normal so they don’t draw more attention.
One of my favorite quotes from this episode, has nothing to do with the actual relationship between Sydney and Vaughn, but she does say it to him, so I think I can justify adding it in. She has met with Vaughn once again in their trusty locker at the Micro Self Storage and is talking about her recent briefing at SD-6, when she tells him, “There are so many things I hate about Arvin Sloane, but the thing that I hate the most is the way he wraps his criminal activity in the Flag.” Vaughn responds appropriately and tells her that they won’t let him get away with it.
Sydney has already told her about the SD-6 Mission at this point; which is to retrieve a gyroscope that has the ability to turn old missiles that are now duds, back into working missiles that have wonderful accuracy. Obviously SD-6 having this technology or anyone else is not a good thing. So Vaughn tells her that they will make a duplicate that she will pass on to SD-6. But Sydney tells him that Dixon has the photographs and he is already in route to Nice. So he tells her that they will send a team to Nice to make a duplicate there. Vaughn reminds Sydney that she will need to be holding the gyroscope at the end of the mission so they can make a copy of it.
Now that the official stuff is over, Vaughn is allowed to talk about the personal stuff and he wants Sydney to know that they’ve been doing everything they can to help her father. Obviously a statement that he thought would earn him a few brownie points on the how much does Sydney like me scale. But it actually goes the other way for him and you can see how pissed she is, just by hearing this. So she questions him about knowing about what has been going on, she wants to know how long he has known about the Alliance investigating her father, which he tells her has been two weeks. He can see that she may start yelling soon, he’s now experienced with the fighting dirty Sydney, so he attempts to stop it before it can begin. He tells her that he understands that she is upset. He didn’t make it in time. Because she is quick to tell him that yeah, she is. But he keeps trying with telling her that her father explained why they didn’t tell her; that they kept her out of it to keep her safe. But she is having none of that and is talking over him; telling him that he was almost killed and that she had to save him. Vaughn really is a nice guy, but he still has some learning to do where it comes to Sydney. He tells her that he didn’t want to have her have more on her mind than necessary. But for Sydney, this was the exact wrong thing to say, remember she is in her I love you so much, but I can’t be with you so if you piss me off I will kill you stage. She wants to know why he is worrying about what it on her mind; he tells her that it was a judgment call. She then screams at him saying that it’s a judgment call that he’s been making for the last three months. He tries to defend himself saying that involving her had no upside. And this is where she really goes off on him, and says more then she planned on saying I think. “There’s no upside to keeping me informed? You didn’t tell me about Manolo, or that you had discussions with my mother. You didn’t even tell me that you were seeing Alice again.” And with those last words, Vaughn figures out what is really bothering Sydney, and as I pause this to write down what is going on, Vaughn’s face is frozen at the moment where she ends her rant, and you can see a small smile. He does hid it, he doesn’t want to make her more mad, but I think he is happy about her being angry that he is with Alice, seeing her jealous is kinda nice for him. But he just says, wait, what is this really about? Then she tells him that she is too old to be coddled. He tells her that her life is already so complicated, and to forgive him for trying to make it any easier. But then Sydney plays her last fight dirty card, and tells him, “I don’t need you for that.” Vaughn knows that he doesn’t have any more cards to play after that one. The small hopeful feeling that he had when he saw she was jealous of Alice is gone, and after their stare down and her walking away, he just stands there thinking that he may have just lost any chance he will ever have with her. Either way, he’s not looking forward to their next meeting.
Getting ready to go to Nice, Sydney is back at the Rotunda and Vaughn is reviewing what the exact plan will be once she gets the gyroscope. Did you feel the breeze of cool air as they were talking here? Because I could definitely feel how cold it was between them. Basically Vaughn tells her that the CIA team will be set up in a utility room where she will bring the gyroscope to, and it will be duplicated there. She doesn’t respond or even look at him, so he asks if she has any questions. So she finally looks up at him again and tells him that maybe he should go over it again, and that it is pretty complicated, could he make it easier for her. (This reminds me of the second episode in season 1, when she asks him to show her what a paper bag looks like again) She is not nice today, she is not holding back on any of the sarcasm. For the first time, Vaughn has actually had enough of her attitude, and tells her that right now he doesn’t want to be there anymore than she does. I can imagine that he is tired of all the sarcasm and low blows that she has been handing over so easily today. Luckily, before they have a chance to argue any more, Weiss is back, and he is happy to tell them that he is joining them in France. Sydney is very happy to see that he is doing better and give him a hug, all the while Vaughn is looking pissed off. He is not looking forward to a mission filled with an angry Sydney. Weiss asks them to bring him up to speed for the mission and after an awkward pause; Sydney excuses herself to go catch her plane. As Sydney is walking away from Weiss and Vaughn, Vaughn does try and be cordial and tells her that he will see her in France. Weiss can see something is obviously going on between them.
In the utility room in the Nice airport, Weiss is trying to get Vaughn to talk about his fight with Sydney, but Vaughn is still a little angry and really doesn’t feel like talking. Weiss keep trying from different angles but Vaughn still says no, but he appreciates Weiss trying to cheer him up. Then Weiss tells Vaughn to tell Sydney how he feels. Vaughn looks at him like he is crazy. So Weiss continues telling him that he knows that he was the one who told Vaughn that it was a line that he can’t cross, but that was before he almost died. Weiss also tells him that the thing about the white light is a lie, it’s all darkness. Finally Vaughn looks at him and tells him that he understands. But before they can continue that conversation, they hear Dixon through Sydney’s earpiece, telling her that it was game time. So they both start concentrating on Sydney’s mission.
Once Sydney has acquired the gyroscope, she goes into the utility room and Weiss tells her good job, but she is just watching Vaughn on the phone, she doesn’t respond to Weiss at all. Vaughn finishes his phone call which is to base ops telling them that she has just delivered the package and they are ready to start duplicating it. She sets her backpack on the table and Vaughn walks over to her and tells her that they are estimating it will be two hours before it is ready. Sydney can’t even look at him, personally, I think that she knows that she was too hard on Vaughn the other day, but she also doesn’t want him to do it again, so she isn’t about to say that she is sorry. There is a very awkward pause between them, Vaughn is looking at Weiss for help, and he just nods to her. Basically telling Vaughn to man up and tell her how he feels about her. So Vaughn gets a little closer, licks his lips and prepares to talk to her. He starts with something, but you can’t tell what is said, then he starts again. He asks her if she wants to go to dinner. She looks up at him wondering what he is thinking. But he continues and tells her about a place that he saw that looked good. Sydney smiles for the first time and tells him that they can’t do it. He asked why not. She stumbles on her words, but tells him there are a million reasons. Alliance security being the number one problem, they will kill them if they are seen together. But he tells her that the nearest Alliance cell is in Zurich, and that the CIA tracks the SD-6 security section, and there hasn’t been any movement or indication of movement. This is when Sydney realizes that he is for real and asks if he is serious. He has a great response, he tells her; “We’ve been to restaurants and sat near each other, we’ve met in parks and convenience store, and all in LA, where we are much more likely to be seen. Two things…. One, I think it’s not that great a risk, and two, I am hungry. I’m starving…. I mean we’re going to be together anyway. Why can’t we be eating? Aren’t you hungry?” She gives him a huge grin, and tells him that yeah, she is hungry. But I love how excited he is during his speech to her, it is so dang cute. He is just so excited at the thought of being able to go someplace with her. Sure they get to be alone all the time, but it’s always in the storage locker and there is nothing romantic about that. Although years down the road, I think they would tell their kids off all the things that happened there. Then when she is thinking about what to say, whether she will agree to it or not, he just gazes excited at her, he even looks down towards where she is looking to try and catch her eye. She finally says, okay, let’s do it. And I don’t think I have ever seen a happier look coming from Vaughn in the series, he looks like he just won the lottery. She tells him that she needs to change first though, and he agrees, she is still in her alias after all and she’s wearing black and red leather with a purple wig. She would stick out a bit.
Once Sydney is out of earshot, Weiss walks over to Vaughn and says, and, like it’s a question. Vaughn looks up and he can’t keep a straight face, he grins from ear to ear and he even has dimples that I haven’t seen before this moment, and he tells Weiss that they are going to dinner. Weiss does a happy dance, and Vaughn laughs. Then he tells Weiss that he will keep his com on so that if anything suspect comes up, he can let them know. Weiss tells Vaughn that in exchange Vaughn needs to bring back an éclair or two. Can I say that I like this new Weiss a lot better? His near death experience has turned him into a much more relaxed guy.
Back in LA, an agent that works for Arianna Kane walks in to her office and tells her that Sydney has just left the airport with a man that is not Dixon. So she tells him to find out who it is. Arianna Kane has decided that she is also going to look into Sydney a little closer, since Jack often sends Sydney on missions that he designs himself. This is a fact that even Sloane is not too happy about.
Back in Nice, Vaughn and Sydney are being shown to a table; Sydney wasn’t the only one who changed for the occasion. Vaughn got himself looking pretty spiffy as well. It’s always nice to see a departure from his suit and tie. There is something that I love about a guy wearing jeans with a sport coat. But as they are being seated Vaughn speaks French to with the maître d, and he makes a comment that Vaughn speaks French almost as well as he does. (As a side note, I am willing to bet that He actually speaks better French. At least if we are talking about the actors and not the characters. Michael Vartan lived in France until he was around 18 when he moved to California.) They are given menus and are seated. They both are silent and look over their menus, but are mostly looking over each other. Than Sydney tells him, I think that wine help the situation, Vaughn agrees and summons the waiter over. The smiles and being caught by each other watching the other is so cute. They love that they are able to be seen together, but it’s so new to them that they don’t quite know what to do.
After the wine has arrived and they have had a moment to adjust and get used to being together again, they actually have a full conversation. But before we hear them talking, we do hear a camera sound in the background. They talk about Vaughn’s code name being Boy Scout, and how he got that code name. He starts the story and then asks if she really wants to hear this and she just says his name, like come on, I asked didn’t I. So he tells her that he was in training, and that the Boy Scouts have a motto, which she knows, is always be prepared. So he continues that on the first day, he showed up and he didn’t have his field manual, and the instructor told him that that was his one screw up, and form now on you better be prepared. And the whole time he is telling the story he is looking right at Sydney. He can’t take his eyes off of her; he loves the current situation. That is until Weiss speaks up in his ear and tells him that his story is a disaster, and tells Vaughn to tell Sydney she’s pretty, and asks if he is an idiot. At this point Vaughn removes his earpiece and tells Weiss that he is turning him off and goodbye. He apologizes to Sydney for the earpiece. But she understands and smiles back at him.
Outside of the restaurant whoever took the picture inside the restaurant is with another man in a parked car talking about who Vaughn might be. They know that he is not SD-6, so they start checking US databases. They have a picture of Vaughn and they run it through the facial recognition system.
While they are searching we go back into the restaurant for a small moment to catch another snippet of the date, and Vaughn wants to know about all the pets that Sydney has ever had. She is a little thrown off by this. But from the way he is looking at her and leaning in, he has reached the point where he just wants to know everything that is not CIA or SD-6 related about Sydney.
Back out in the car, they find a match, and are able to pull Vaughn’s driver’s license, library card, and a card that states he works for the stats department. They realize that Vaughn must be CIA, not a good thing to Sydney and Vaughn’s date.
The last of the wine from the bottle is being poured into a glass by Vaughn, as Sydney tells him that she can see him playing pool, he says that they should play sometime. Then the maître d comes by and asks if they liked everything. They tell him in French that they loved it. Then one of my favorite parts of the entire episode begins. The maître d tells them that it is too late for them to head off for the avenue, and that they have had much to drink, upstairs he owns an inn. And tonight he would like Sydney and Vaughn to be his guests. He sets their bill and a room key on the table and tells them to please take their time. Sydney and Vaughn both just stare at the key and what it implies. And then they look at each other. Sydney is still in shock, but a smile is starting to come over Vaughn’s face. He picks up the key and places with it a little, then he leans in closer to Sydney and asked if she asked him to do that. She smiles, blushes and looks away. He just stares in amazement at her, but she just tells him that there are so many issues with this; she doesn’t know where to begin. But before she can figure it out, Vaughn tells her to hold a second; he thinks that they should have an open mind about this. She smiles at him and places her hands down on the table. I can’t see their hands, but I am willing to bet that they are at least touching each other’s hands. Then she echoes, “an open mind.” His line here is perfect, “It would be rude to overlook such a generous offer without proper consideration.” At this point they are on the same page, and she tells him that she wouldn’t dream of it. He says okay, and she reminds him that there are clearly issues, and he doesn’t disagree. They just sit there and stare at each other; there is nothing uncomfortable about this silence. Then she looks at him and tells him, okay.
Back in the utility room, Weiss gets a phone call; it is from a tech guy in the Rotunda. Weiss is told that Interpol reported a network intrusion, and then five minutes later someone hacked into US DMV records and downloaded Vaughn’s info. Both of the attacks came from Nice. Weiss hangs up the phone and gets on the coms that he was on with Vaughn, but Vaughn had turned Weiss off for making smart cracks. So Weiss asks everyone around him the name of the restaurant that Sydney and Vaughn are at.
At the restaurant, Sydney and Vaughn are sitting and staring into each other’s eyes when a waiter brings them a phone telling them that Vaughn has a phone call. Vaughn says hello, and we see Weiss tell him that he has been made and to get out of there. At the same time, Vaughn sees men entering the restaurant and yells, “Syd Behind you!” Sydney immediately grabs something and throws it at them with pretty good accuracy, and then jumps behind a counter for cover, Vaughn throws their table on its side for cover and pulls out his gun and starts shooting. He reaches where Sydney is and then they both start running, they run through a hallway that is upstairs, and then out a back door and down the stairs. They make it into an ally before they are cornered by cars coming from both directions.
A man gets out of each car and one of them instructs Vaughn to put down his gun. Sydney and Vaughn are both on their knees with their hands up and a man is putting restraints on them. While he is doing this the other man is asking for the person on the phone to patch him through to Arianna Kane. When the first man goes to put restraints on Vaughn, Vaughn isn’t going to out without a fight, and we get to see badass Vaughn again. Have I mentioned how much I love badass Vaughn? He quickly grabs a knife from his shoe, and stabs the guy tying him up in the neck. Sydney gets out of the way and Vaughn uses the first guy as a shield against the bullets coming from the second guy’s gun. Vaughn was also able to grab his own gun and shoot the second guy while he was being shot at himself. Then Vaughn cuts off the restraints that Sydney is in and she turns around to face him, He goes to pull her in for a hug, but then we hear the voice of Arianna Kane over the man’s phone. So as Sydney is about to put her arms around his neck, she stops and back up and goes towards the phone. Picks it up and hangs up the call. Vaughn checks the pulses of the two men, and finds that they are both dead. Vaughn hands Sydney the keys to the car and tells her to take the car, he will have Weiss come and pick him up. She tells him that she will pick up the copy of the gyroscope before she gets on the plane. He tells her no, they have to abort the mission. Explaining that when these guys don’t show back up at SD-6, they are going to investigate, and this is the one time that they can’t get away with deceiving them. He reminds her that it is too dangerous for her not to give SD-6 what they want right now. She agrees, but then says that they were so stupid. Vaughn tells her that it is his fault, and she tells him that it isn’t. They stare at each other for a moment, you can see that they really want to be able to hug and kiss goodnight, but now is not the time, especially when they hear sirens in the background. Vaughn tells her that they have to go. They stare longingly some more then Sydney finally tells him that she will see him back in LA. Then she runs off. He watches as she rounds the corner and then he picks up his gun and runs off himself.
Back in LA, Vaughn is typing up his debrief report of the mission to Nice, when Weiss comes up and starts reading it over his shoulder. Weiss tells Vaughn that he can’t give that to Kendall. Vaughn tells him that Kendall needs to know why SD-6 has the real gyroscope, and Weiss agrees, but tells Vaughn that it requires a little creativity. Weiss chooses to take the blame, and tells Vaughn to blame him, and say that duplicating the gyroscope took longer than expected, and they weren’t able to get it done before Sydney’s plane. Vaughn tells Weiss that he isn’t going to let him cover for him. Weiss says that it’s his fault too; he’s the one who told Vaughn to take her on a date. Vaughn corrects him and tells Weiss that he told him to tell her how he feels. Weiss just tells him, whatever, anyway I’m just three months past a near death experience and why was he listening to him in the first place. Then Vaughn drops a bombshell, and tells Weiss that he is requesting that he be replaced as her case officer. Luckily Weiss says what we were all thinking and tells Vaughn that he is just being stupid. Vaughn tells him that he almost blew their entire operations within SD-6, not to mention putting Sydney’s life in dander. Weiss tells him, hey, she’s a big girl, she wanted to go to dinner too, and she knew the risks. Vaughn tells him that his judgment was compromised. Then Weiss asks Vaughn to think about all the damage that He and Sydney have done to SD-6. What if all the good work that has been done is because of the way that they feel about each other, implying that them both wanting SD-6 to fall so they can be together has made them work harder to make it happen. Then Weiss is somewhat amazed at his own logic, and asks Vaughn what he thinks of his spinning the situation around? Vaughn thinks about the logic for a moment and then tells him that it’s not bad. Luckily Weiss has some other wise thoughts and tells Vaughn that whatever he chooses to do, he needs to discuss it with Sydney first, because it affects her too.
The other main story line of the episode has been going on in between all the Sydney and Vaughn stuff, but honestly I’m not here to summarize the episode, I’m just here to talk about Sydney and Vaughn. But the final product of the Arianna Kane investigating Jack story does eventually affect Sydney and Vaughn and it was the issue that led to their fight in the beginning of the episode. But while Jack is in hiding at the Rotunda he decided to use Irina. At least use her for her thought process of being sneaky and deceiving people. He thought maybe with her help they could figure out who was really behind the blackmail and Emily’s real death. They decide that it must be someone that is upset with Sloane over killing the one Alliance guy, Jean Briault. So they start looking into what he was doing. Finally after Sydney and Vaughn are back from Nice, Jack is reviewing some of the hotel footage of Jean’s hotel in Peru, and found Arianna Kane in the hotel with him. Jack decided that he will need to get into SD-6 to pull up her financials, because he can get access faster through their front as a bank. Kendall doesn’t like the idea, but goes along with it, because he realizes that Jack is right, and they may go after Sydney soon. But soon after arriving Jack is found, luckily he had done a few things in the server room first. Jack is attacked and Kane starts to interrogate him and tells him that they are waiting for Sydney to show up. She shoots him up with Sodium Pentothal, but luckily Jacks email to Sloane with the proof that it was Arianna Kane went through and Sloane said the day on this one. Arianna ended up being put in the torture chair by security section. Sloane was so happy; he is even taking a week off and leaving Jack in charge.
Once again in their special locker, Sydney asks Vaughn what Kendall said. Vaughn tells her that he told him about her father, but that he didn’t mention anything about their date, if that’s what she is asking about. Sydney asks if he has written his debrief yet, and he tells her that he hasn’t. he tells her that if he tells the truth about what happened, at the very least he will be taken off as her case officer, and goes on to tell her that despite what they did, how stupid they were, he knows that they do good work together, and they need to stay together. Sydney smiles at him and tells him that she agrees and tells him that they do work well together. Then she pulls something out of her pocket and hands it to him. He tells her that he doesn’t understand. She tells him that when she got back to SD-6 and saw her father, it was clear that no one would be asking any questions about Kane’s missing agents, so she gave Sloane the counterfeit gyroscope. Then she looks at what is in Vaughn’s hands and tells him that’s the real one. She tells him “We win.” He says,” At the airport you took them both.” He is very impressed; she amazes him more and more each time. Then she tells him, “Always be Prepared,” going back to his story about how he got his code name. He just looks at her and smiles.
Back at home, Francie and Sydney are relaxing on the couch, and Francie asks her if there was any news on that guy Michael from work. Sydney looks a little pained, and tells her; “No… There’s not going to be. I realized it’s not worth fantasizing about. Nothing’s ever going to come of it.” Francie decides that Sydney needs a drink after that statement, so they go back to Francie’s restaurant and enjoy an evening together.
- Items I found noteworthy…
- Francie went in for a blood test for health insurance. I really wanted to scream that it wasn’t for health insurance sweetie. You need to run and hide now.
- Sloane found a tech guy to make a ring for him that when he is activated the Alliance hears something and sees different things for Sloane’s tracking device than what is really happening. After Sloane gets the ring, he shoots the tech guy and then goes to the Philippines, where Emily is happily waiting for him, minus a ring finger, but with a rose shaped bandage on her finger instead.