Tuesday, August 6, 2013

S2 E15 – A Free Agent

Seeing a reverse from the episode in the CIA hospital where Sydney wakes up to find Vaughn watching her sleep, we now see Vaughn asleep in Sydney’s bed with a huge smile on his face and Sydney watching him.  I love see that even after the excitement was over, they held hands during the small amount of sleep that they actually did get.  But seeing Sydney content with watching him sleep is a nice contrast.  We’ve seen Sydney happy before, but not happy in a sense of everything is actually going fairly good in her world for once.  Usually we see a small but of happiness in the middle of utter chaos and it’s nice to see this side of her.  She asks him how they are going to stay awake that day, and Vaughn being content with the situation asks her who cares.  Sydney goes to ask him something and says his name, well she says “Vaughn.” He stops her and asks why she doesn’t ever call him Michael.  She tells him that she does sometimes, and then begins again by saying, “Vaughn.”  He has a small laugh and asks what.  Then she tells him that she is graduating that day. To which he is incredibly surprised and asks her when she had time to take a class this year.  She doesn’t answer his question, but tells him that she wasn’t planning on going to the ceremony, but then lying there she remembered why she had worked so tirelessly to get all of her papers written instead of just accepting that she would be an agent for the rest of her life.   Vaughn is watching intently wondering where she is going with this train of thought.  Here is where they are so great together, he knows what she is thinking, and he thinks a moment before saying anything.  Then he asks if she is going to quit the CIA and she nods her head that she is.  For him, you can tell he is conflicted on this point.  She has become his partner, and he wants to keep working with her and spending that time together.  But he also knows that overall she will be a lot safer out of the CIA and in truth that is all that he has ever wanted for her, to be safe and happy.
At the Rotunda Sydney is with Jack and Kendall telling them that she will be leaving the CIA.  Kendall tells her that he won’t accept her resignation, and she tells him that it was just a courtesy, and that she doesn’t need his approval.  Jack rings in telling her that he’s always wanted her to lead a normal life, but right now, the CIA needs her, but ultimately it is her choice.  As the final blow Kendall tells her that if she leaves she is also giving up her right to visit her mother, since civilians are not permitted there.  After Kendall leaves Jack tells Sydney, “Legally he’s right, but ethically he’s an Ass.”  I love how delicately Jack puts things.
Now I’ve recently become bitter about this portion of the episode, because the DVD shows that they cut what has become one of my favorite scenes of the episode.  So I will include that scene in my descriptions.  After Sydney’s discussion with Kendall she is on fire with hatred towards him, and she storms out and into the parking garage.  Vaughn follows closer behind her and calls out for her to wait for a second.  Once she realizes that she has someone to talk to about this, she starts to let it all out.  She asks if he saw the smirk on Kendall’s face and tells him that from the first time she met him when he was interrogating her, that he enjoys taking pleasure in the mind games.  But we don’t hear the rest of her train of thought, Vaughn now has the perfect strategy and ability to change her focus.  He just leans in and kisses her, and this isn’t just any ordinary kiss, now it isn’t quite a SD-6 aftermath kiss, but it is a kiss that would knock you off your feet. And after the kiss, she seems to have trouble remembering what she was going to say, and they both stand there for a moment with their foreheads touching and breathing hard.  Then Vaughn shares his own opinion about her leaving, “The truth is, if you left, I think you would’ve been bored anyway.”   He smiles at her and the kissing resumes.  He has had two years to get to know her on an emotional level and honestly how many relationships really have deep emotional connection before anything gets even close to physical.  He knows how to best calm her down, he has always known.  Out of everyone in her life, even before they became a couple, he was the one who knew her best, and them finally working out the obstacles just brings them closer.
Back at Sydney’s apartment Sydney is getting ready for the graduation ceremony, and she gets a phone call.  After saying Hello, she gets the surprise of a lifetime.  Sloane is on the other line congratulating her, but telling her that he is still having a hard time coping with the fact that she and Jack were double agents.    Sydney takes a moment to walk away from Will and Evil Francie so she can talk, Sloane even comments on the silence and tells her that it’s their first honest conversation and she has nothing to say.   But once she is able to speak, she doesn’t hold back anything she tells him, “Listen to me you son of a bitch. You have been a plague on my life. You repulse me. Every time I sat across from you listening to your lies, all I could do was fantasize about slashing your throat!”  I love that now that she is freed from SD-6 she can really tell Sloane how she feels and she doesn’t have to pretend with him anymore.  Plus after him telling her that she is one of his favorite people, I’m sure just made it that much better to finally get off her chest.  But Sloane continues to be evil, and tells her how he actually orchestrated her being able to get to the Intel to bring down the Alliance.  He knew that if she was fed the Intel, the Alliance would be gone and wouldn’t bother him any longer.  He also tells her that he tells her this only because he knows that having him still alive is going to tempt her to come after him, but that she shouldn’t.  He tells her that he has made it so they can both be free, but as much as he wishes her well, he will end her life if she gets in his way.  And with that she hangs up on him.  I think that with that phone call it is easy to say that Sydney won’t be leaving the CIA anytime soon. 

After her disturbing phone call, I wonder if she still made it to her graduation ceremony because we next see her in the conference room with Jack, Kendall, and Vaughn as she tells them about her phone call.  When Vaughn hears the details, he is visibly upset and concerned for Sydney.  Then they go into the details of the next mission.  It turns out that during all of the raids of Alliance facilities, Sloane and Sark must have moved all of the Rambaldi artifacts, because they haven’t been able to recover any.  That and Sark was caught on camera kidnapping a mathematician and his family.  They determine that this mathematician would be able to help Sloane put all of the Rambaldi pieces together, Vaughn asks what happens if that does happen, and Jack tells him that it is most likely to be a weapon since most of Rambaldi’s prophecies relate to warfare.  At this Sydney realizes that Sloane is never going to stop destroying people’s lives, she even says, “This is never going to stop.”  I think Sydney has realized that she can’t leave, she has to stop Sloane.  Kendall with his perfect timing, hands her a stack of papers, and tells them that they are her resignation forms, she can sign them and she will be out. And with that Kendall and Sydney just stare each other down.

Sydney goes to tell Dixon that he has officially been cleared and that the CIA would like to offer him a position with them.  They discuss how long she knew, and he is maddened at the idea that she kept it from him.  he tells her that he never wants to see her again. On the other side Marshall happily joins the CIA and is amazed when he sees the Rotunda.  Vaughn introduces himself to Marshall and welcomes him to the CIA, Marshall jokes that he’s heard that before.  Vaughn laughs but tells him this times it’s for real.  Then Marshall turns and sees Sydney and they hug.  Then Marshall goes off on one of his rants when Sydney asked him a question and it is pretty funny to see Vaughn looking to Sydney while Marshall is ranting to confirm if he is always like this.  Once Marshall walks away Vaughn gives Sydney a great look of Wow, he will be interesting to work with.
I think that for the sake of everyone, now that Sydney and Vaughn will be together for pretty much every mission, it may not be necessary to detail every interaction that they have any longer.  Sometimes even skipping over missions and overall plot lines of the episode; I figure if you read this you’ve seen the show before and don’t need a full breakdown as I have somehow gotten into the habit of in the last few episodes.  But it is interesting to note that while Sydney and Vaughn are dating, their personalities have proved that while a little PDA is okay in the form of a thankful or sympathetic hug, but while at work, they try to stay on task and professional.   This is something I will elaborate more on when we come to season three and their obstacles there.
From the last mission that Sydney and Vaughn went on to find flight data from a plane that Sloane had chartered they are now sent on a mission to Zurich.  Luckily Vaughn has contacts with some local mercenaries that don’t know that he is CIA, but Vaughn is sure that Sloane would’ve used them as well.  Once there Vaughn approaches the contact not as the CIA, but when the contact is not as helpful as Vaughn thought necessary, he reveals that he is CIA.  The contact makes a crude remark and Vaughn pulls out his first move that he makes when he is close to a bad guy.  He takes his head and slams it against the bar and breaks his nose.  Sark will learn this to be Vaughn’s favorite move quite well in the future.    Also the way Sydney and Vaughn work together here is fantastic, she is in the background covering for him as a reversal in roles.  They are able to seamlessly able to corner both of the bad guys into making sure that they don’t signal anyone and that they give the needed information.  There is one thing about Vaughn; he does not mess around when he is in charge.  He has no problem with using his strength to control a situation, or with using unconventional methods to get information.  For instance in this scene after breaking the guys nose, he pours alcohol all over his head and then holds a lighter next to his head threatening to burn his face.  Sydney can kick some ass, but I think that I would be more afraid of what Vaughn would do, he seems like he comes up with more creative forms of interrogation.  But what I find really amazing is his skill to be able to recover from being that ruthless to being the most caring guy in the world.  Once he finds out that the mathematicians, Caplan, family is actually in the building they are in, he immediately calms down to tell Sydney, and once they reach them Vaughn immediately picks up the little boy and comforts him until Mrs. Caplan is in a position to take him back after Sydney helps her. 
Once they find out their next mission Sydney and Vaughn get into a car and start heading for a bank, where they believe either Sloane or Sark must be robbing.  In the car, Sydney is relaying information to Marshall and Vaughn is relaying information to local authorities I assume.  Sydney is kind of driving like a mad man at this point, driving through red lights, and in and out of traffic.  They are both off the phone at this point and Vaughn is looking at Sydney a little strangely, but finally he can’t take it anymore, and has to say something.  He mentions that he guesses it’s pointless to say that they should probably wait for back up.  But she just keeps a very determined look on her face.  A moment or two later Vaughn is now holding on to the bar above his head, and looks terrified, he tells her that she is going too fast, and then has to yell her name when he sees a pedestrian that she is approaching too fast.  She seamlessly parks in front of the bank, and I couldn’t see his face at that moment, but I am sure he was relieved to be out of the car.  I love this scene, as he gets to see her driving skills in action, and it terrifying him is priceless for me.

They enter the bank together and tell the bank that they are being robbed; the bank tells them that they must be wrong and shows them the vault footage.  But even with Sloane’s disguise Sydney is able to recognize him.  And she sees where the tape is lopped and points it out to them.  Sark warns Sloane over coms that Sydney is there.  Vaughn and Sydney pull their weapons as well as Sloane’s security team.  Everyone else in the bank gets down on the ground.  Sloane tells Sydney that he warned her, that he can’t guarantee her safety in situations like this.  She tells him that there is no way that she will allow him to walk out.  But in the typical Sloane style he turns the conversation, and looks at Vaughn.  He says, “Ahh… You must be the man that Sark told me about, the man that Sydney was willing to kill me for.”  Vaughn’s response is perfect, he simply states, “She would’ve killed you for a lot less.”  Which is completely true, but Vaughn was the first thing/person that she was really willing to do it for after learning that Sloane killed Danny.  Sloane informs them that he has rigged the entire bottom floor with C-4 and that he doesn’t walk out of the bank, no one will, and tells them to lower their guns.  Vaughn is once again great with this, although understated.  He knows that this battle is truly between Sydney and Sloane.  So he doesn’t make a move until Sydney does, she will decide how things will play out from here.  In the past when he was her handler, he instructed Sydney on what the CIA wanted from Sloane and the Alliance, but now they are partners and he knows that Sydney is much more capable at calling a bluff from Sloane than he is and he doesn’t have a problem letting her control the situation.  So when it comes time to lower the weapons, Vaughn holds his up until he sees Sydney give in, and then he follows, the same happens when they are told to put their weapons on the ground.  Once they have done that, Sloane tells Sydney that now she will drive him out of there.  Sydney is not too happy about this one, but she isn’t willing to risk the lives of everyone in the bank and the surrounding area, so she takes the keys, albeit with malcontent.  

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