Wednesday, August 7, 2013

S2 E16 – Firebomb

As we begin the episode Sydney is very unhappy having to escort Sloane out of the bank.  Vaughn is on coms telling the local authorities to stand down and let her go.  Vaughn is not happy with the entire situation, he has to let Sydney go with Sloane and he can’t accompany her, plus he now has to make sure that the C-4 placed by Sloane isn’t going to go off.  So Vaughn makes his first call to Marshall to find out how he can disable to signal from the detonator to the C-4, once he gets his answer from Marshall, he tells him to start tracking Sydney and tells Marshall the type of car she is in, when Marshall wants to know more about the car because he is thinking of buying one, Vaughn hangs up on him, he doesn’t have time for a Marshall rant.
Once Sydney hears from Vaughn that the C-4 is safe from being detonated, she is more than happy to tell Sloane that since he is on the CIA hit list, when she kills him, she won’t even be breaking the law.  But unfortunately Sark was able to rescue Sloane before Sydney has to chance to execute him.
After returning from Zurich Sydney, Vaughn, and Kendall have a quick meeting, and Sydney makes it very clear that they are not using their resources wisely.  They could’ve had Sloane if they had tasked some satellites to be over the area like Sloane had himself.  Kendall tells her that he was in her custody yesterday, so why didn’t she take care of him them; she becomes even more enraged and tells him that she was in his custody.  Vaughn tries to calm to situation down, and succeeds, that is until Kendall tells them that they are doing everything that they can.  Then Sydney becomes furious and tells him that they aren’t even close.
Luckily Sydney was able to calm down, because we next see both Sydney and Vaughn entering her apartment happy.  He makes a remark about how her favorite part was watching the Zamboni at the hockey game, then she tells him that no, coming home with him was her favorite part, to which he gives her a kiss.  After the kiss he takes her hand and they are walking towards the bedroom and she teases him that the Zamboni was a close second, he laughs and kisses her hand.  Unfortunately the mood is somewhat ruined when Vaughn’s phone rings.  He rolls his eyes as he answers the phone and we see Weiss on the other end telling him that Kendall has something that he wants to some him to see.  Vaughn whispers to Sydney that it is Weiss. Vaughn asks if it can wait, and Weiss tells him apparently not, and that he wants Sydney too, and asks if he is with her.  Vaughn tells him no and he hasn’t seen her, but Weiss goes on to hackle Vaughn asking if he is in bed with her. Vaughn tells him that he is trying, and to find out what Kendall wants.  Sydney has walked over and gotten a drink from the fridge and looks at Vaughn and asks if it is Kendall, and he nods yes to her.  But before he can say anymore, he is hearing the conversation that he and Sydney had when they walked in the door coming thru his cell phone.  Weiss keeps talking, but Vaughn holds his finger to his mouth to indicate for Sydney to be quiet and he walks though her hallway until he finds where the reception of the conversation and the now buzzing is the best and it is coming from a light switch.  He tells Weiss that they will be there soon, and hangs up on a very confused Weiss.
They get Sydney’s tools out and open up the light switch to find a bug inside.  They both go back to the Rotunda and talk to Jack and Sydney doesn’t understand how her apartment could be bugged, she has bug killers and other countermeasures in place.  She then remembers that she and Will talk about work there sometimes and that he needs to know about it.  Jack tells her that it’s being taken care of, but she needs to make a list of everyone who has been inside the apartment.  He also says that Kendall is waiting for them, and that he will look into the bug some more.   Jack takes the bug to Marshall, who tells him that he made the bug for Sloane when he was at SD-6.  They work out a plan to try and track where the bug came from.
After a briefing regarding new information about where Sloane is, Sydney is sent to get information and a location of a man called Kabir from Dixon who had infiltrated his operation while working for SD-6.  When Sydney arrived she is told point blank by Dixon and his wife Diane that they have made a decision to move on and that he wants nothing to do with the CIA.

While Sydney is with Dixon, Vaughn meets up with Will at the storage unit, and asks if Will has a suit. Vaughn tells Will that even though he has only been working for a small amount of time, his briefs have been good, and he will be giving an oral presentation to the director on Kabir.  Will kinda freaks out that he is a writer, not a speaker.  Then Vaughn tells him how he will get to the CIA, then Will asks if talking to the director is a big deal and Vaughn tells him his that it is.
When Will arrives at the Rotunda, he isn’t in his suit, so Will asks him about it.  Will tells him that it’s been a little while since he tried it on, and it no longer fits.  So now Will is overwhelmed and feels fat.  Has Will really put on that much weight since the season premier when he went to court?

During the meeting Will is incredibly nervous and Sydney has to calm him down a little, but when the other analysts come up with information that he doesn’t think is that great, he comments on it.  Jack wants to know if he has a better idea. So will tells the group about what he has found.  Kabir has an ex-wife that really hates him, she divorced him when it was made legal to divorce someone you were forced into marrying.  She hates him so much that she has hidden their child so Kabir can’t find him.  Will was even able to find court records on it.  He tells the group that she hates him so much that she would probably pay them to take him down.  The entire group is impressed and Kendall sends Sydney and Vaughn to Mexico City to find Kabir’s ex-wife.

Meanwhile, Sloane and Kabir have decided to use their new weapon on Kabir’s ex-wife and Sark is instructed to take the weapon to Mexico City to show Kabir the usefulness of the weapon.  Once there Sark makes a comment to Sloane that if the equations are wrong by even a micro tessler, things could go very wrong, Sloane instructs him to do it, Sark makes a remark that it’s easy for Sloane to say when he is 3,000 miles away.  Sloane tells him that he will wait to hear from him, and Sark sets the timer for five minutes and gets out of dodge.

At the embassy for the Vatican in Mexico City where Kabir’s ex-wife works, Sydney is disguised to look like an old woman and walks up the stairs and into the church to look for the woman.  Vaughn instructs her where to go and when Sydney does find her she asks for the information, but she doesn’t want to talk.  Over coms Weiss talks to Vaughn telling him that Echelon picked up a few keywords like terrorist, weapon of mass destruction, and Rambaldi.  Vaughn asks if they know the coordinates, and Weiss tells him that the coordinates match where he and Sydney are at right now.  Vaughn relays the information and tells Sydney where to meet him.  Sydney tells the woman that she has to come and she still refuses to help, so Sydney knocks her out.  Vaughn meets them at the door and carries the woman to the car and they all drive off.
We then see Sark’s device go off and the people that didn’t evacuate from the church in time all burst into flames.  Weiss is telling Vaughn that there is a huge inferno showing on the satellites right behind where they are, so Sydney and Vaughn keep looking back and see nothing and ask Weiss what he is talking about.  Finally Weiss is watching the satellite and the inferno just disappears, and he can’t explain it.  So Sydney suggests that they go back, Vaughn gives her a look that I saw as a question of if she is sure, then they turn around and go back to the church.  Sydney and Vaughn walk in and look around and are horrified as they see the charred remains and outlines of where the people stood that remained in the church.  Kabir’s ex wakes up and walks into the church and finds them, and after seeing the devastation herself she agrees to tell them how to find her husband.
Jack and Sydney are discussing Sloane’s motivations in executing such a dangerous weapon purely to take out the wife of a drug lord and not using it for something bigger.  But they are interrupted by Weiss, that is his job this episode to interrupt people, he tells them that the cleaners finished with Sydney’s apartment and they found more bugs, audio and visual bugs.  At the mention of Visual, Sydney questions this and Weiss with a knowing look, tells Sydney that a video transmitter was found inside the TV in her bedroom.  Sydney immediately knows what this means.  Someone has been watching her escapades with Vaughn.  You can tell form the look on her face that the last thing she wants is that video to be found and her father to review it.  Jack tells her that they are still working on checking on the people on the list that she gave them for people who were in the apartment.

With the Intel that they received from Kabir’s ex, Sydney is sent to Kandahar to break into Kabir’s home to steal the device, and hopefully disable alarms so the tactical team behind her can come in and grab Sloane, Sark and Kabir.  But once inside she found that the house had been remodeled and the ex-wife didn’t know the new layout.  While fighting with some guards her mask came off which was hiding her heat signature from the alarms and she is caught. 
While Sydney was on her mission, Vaughn was on coms with her the whole time and heard her being captured.  I can imagine that listening to that, it was truly one of his worst fears coming to fruition.   And you can see the fear in his eyes and hear it in his words when he tells Kendall that Sydney has been compromised and that he needs to send the tactical team in to go rescue her.  Kendall asks if the weapon was defused, Vaughn is angry and asks what difference it makes. Kendall tells Vaughn that if Kabir still has the weapon, now that he has been alerted, he’ll use it.  Vaughn tells him that he needs to issue the order and if Kendall doesn’t Vaughn will.  Kendall reminds Vaughn that there is no defense against the weapon as Marshall told them earlier, and that the tactical unit wouldn’t stand a chance.  Vaughn becomes furious and tells Kendall that they can’t just leave her there. Kendall tells Vaughn very plainly that unless they can find another way in, he’s afraid that’s all they can do.  At this Vaughn just looks down, not knowing what to do, and then looks up and tries to murder Kendall with his eyes, but that doesn’t seem to work. 
As I am watching the episodes again, this time paying even closer attention to every detail so that I can include as much as I find relevant here.  Also I tend to multitask when I am watching TV, so some idiosyncrasies I probably didn’t notice.  But since typing this is giving me something else to do while watching I am watching more carefully and I am noticing things that I hadn’t seen or caught on to before.  As I watched the interaction between Kendall and Vaughn in the last scene when Vaughn is fighting for Sydney’s life, I am reminded of the fight that Sydney had with Kendall over trading Sloane’s life for Vaughns.  And how Sydney refused to just sit there and do nothing.  I think that this scene is a great example of another Alias parallel.  You know that Vaughn will not just sit and wait, he will find a solution and do everything in his power to get Sydney back.
Knowing that Vaughn will do anything to get Sydney back, it’s not surprising to find him at Dixon’s door in the next scene.  He introduces himself to Dixon and tells him that he works with Sydney.  Dixon tells him that he is out and Dixon is not happy about being approached again.  Vaughn stops him from going on and tells him that Sydney is in trouble.  Dixon asks him to respect my decision, and Vaughn becomes adamant that he can’t do that, not when Dixon’s decision may cost Sydney her life.  It’s not very visible, but when he says this he chokes up a little, you can tell it is taking all of Vaughn’s will power to stay focused and not to think about what could be happening to Sydney right now.  When Dixon questions this with the way that he looks at Vaughn, Vaughn tells him that when Dixon wouldn’t tell Sydney how he infiltrated Kabir’s, Sydney found an alternate route and it turned out to be faulty information, and she was captured.  Vaughn continues saying that unless they find another access point, no one will be sent in to get her out.  The way Vaughn is looking at Dixon, you can tell that if he doesn’t agree, Vaughn is thinking of ways to force him to give the information, which as I mentioned before Vaughn can be ruthless when he has to.  Dixon tells Vaughn that it isn’t that simple, and Vaughn tells him that is it, that he will either help save Sydney’s life or he won’t.  Diane approaches them at this point and asks Vaughn to leave, and Vaughn tells her that he’s sorry, but he can’t do that until he gets an answer.  There is no way that Vaughn is going to easily give up on getting Sydney back home with him.  But you can see how conflicted Dixon is, he wants to respect his wife’s wishes, but he also can’t let Sydney die when she has saved him so many times before.

We see a lot of moments where Sydney is captured, including a moment where Sloane begs her to comply with Kabir’s wishes and tells her that he has to go now, and then kisses her on the head and leaves. Kabir even has someone get out his torturing tools and leave them next to Sydney for her to think about.  Finally he has had enough and tells her that he is going after the part of her knee that once it’s damaged, it never regenerates and he places a giant nail on her kneecap and is about to hammer it in, and she braces for impact when Kabir is shot. 
Sydney looks up and sees Vaughn there, she is overwhelmed with emotion and just wants to touch him to make sure that he is real, and then she asks how he found a way in, then she looks up and Dixon is telling them to get going and asking about the device.  Sydney is now breaking down; she can’t believe that Dixon came for her. Vaughn helps her up and helps her regain her balance and then they all are able to escape with a few fights along the way.

Back at Sydney’s apartment Sydney is taking a bubble bath and Vaughn brings her a glass of wine.  She looks as if she is barely holding herself together.  She takes a sip and is appreciative of the alcohol, and   gives him a small smile and hands the glass back to him as he has sat down next to the tub.  He just looks at her, he isn’t smiling, but you can tell that he is just being there for her, nothing has to be said, and they stay that way for a moment.  Then he decides to try and lighten the mood and tells her that the Kings are in town on Friday night, she gives him a slight smile, then he tells her that she can watch the Zamboni, and he also smiles slightly.   When she doesn’t answer, he doesn’t pressure her; he just takes a sip of the wine and waits for her.  She finally opens up, and says, “What we saw….At the church…. Every time we think we’ve seen the worst….”  She takes a deep breath and sinks down lower into the tub.  You can see where all of her worry is at.  This is one aspect of Sydney that really impresses me, she has self-preservation, but even after being captured and almost tortured again, her thoughts are still on the people that were killed, and what Sloane or other terrorists may do to innocent people next.  Also Vaughn is so sweet; he knows that talking about a future date or trying to lighten the mood isn’t what she wants.  She wants to be sad, so he lets her, but he stays with her and gently caresses her face, and just lets her be in that moment and he will stay and will be there waiting for when she is ready to talk.
As the episode concludes we see what Sloane’s motivation was throughout the episode, it wasn’t this device that microwaves people, it was a statue that Kabir had, and Sloane had manipulated Kabir into giving him.  He breaks the statue and it is reveal that a missing center section of a Rambaldi document was hidden inside of the statue. And being able to piece together the manuscript was the ultimate goal for him.

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