Friday, August 9, 2013

S2 E19 – Endgame

With what happened in Tuscany and losing track of Irina and Sloane, Sydney is very frustrated.  So she vents these frustrations out to Jack, telling him that they have got to find a lead, he tells her that right now there isn’t any.  So she asks him about Caplan’s  wife, Elsa, who has been back for two months, and Sydney wonders why they only have a ten page debrief form her.  Jack tells her that if she thinks she can get more to go find Elsa.

Just as a side note, with the information about how long it’s been since Caplan was abducted, being two months, it also tells us that Sydney and Vaughn have been sleeping together for two months now as well.  Right now they are a very happy couple.

Sydney meets with Elsa at the park and is polite and asks about her son and does all the pleasantries.  But when Sydney asks if Elsa would be willing to come in to do some hypnotherapy to see if she can remember anything else that was said while she was captured, Elsa flat out tells Sydney no and then Sydney tells her that they are out of leads on finding her husband.  At this Elsa gets really defensive and starts putting words in Sydney’s mouth and doesn’t let Sydney get a word in edgewise.  Elsa calls for her little boy to come telling him that they are leaving.  Sydney is left wondering what just happened.

Back at Sydney’s apartment Sydney and Vaughn are lying in bed and Sydney is telling him about her experience with Elsa in the park that morning, and told him that she was so stupid for implying that Elsa wasn’t doing enough to save her husband.  Vaughn tells her that no one is harder on themselves than she is.  Then when she doesn’t respond immediately, he playfully squeezes her nose and then starts kissing her a Then she goes back to work on the papers that she has in her lap. 
Vaughn gets out of bed and we get to see a great view of him wearing only his boxers, he grabs a backpack and gets some clothes out of it.  While he is doing this Sydney is watching him and then starts to smile.  Then she breaks out into a huge grin and tells him that the backpack is getting a little ridiculous.  He laughs, and asks her what she means.  She takes a breath and then indicates towards the other sides of the room and tells him the middle drawer is his.   He looks at her, then at the drawer and then back at her and gets a smile and says, Yeah?  She is blushing, but smiles and tells him that it’s just a drawer.  Then he tells her, “I’m just saying it’s a great idea.” She asks him if he is sure, and he tells her yeah.   Both of them are absolutely ecstatic about this new development.   Sydney can’t stop smiling at him and watches him as he takes his backpack over to the drawer and places his items in it.  Vaughn keeps looking back at Sydney, almost as if asking if this is real.  He has wanted to be with her for so long, and this is just another step that tells him that they are going to be together for a while, which makes him happy.  As Vaughn is walking back to the bed, he keeps looking back at the drawer.  When he reaches the bed, he gets back in next to Sydney and looks at his drawer again.  Then he tells her; “I love my drawer!” At this remark, Sydney just starts to giggle and puts down her papers so she can now kiss him and caress his face a little.  He smiles at her and tells her that if they are going to keep working, he needs to go make a sandwich. 
This to me is another indicator of how comfortable they are together.  We’ve seen him staying at her house in the morning to finish breakfast and read the paper when she has already left, he now has a drawer there, and he feels comfortable making a snack in the kitchen with her in another room.  I know that these are all really simple things, but I think that they add up to make them perfect.  But keep in mind, my version of perfect is not without obstacles, it how they deal with their obstacles and differences in opinion that make them my perfect couple.

Sydney does watch as Vaughn walks out of the room, and then she goes back to working when he is out of sight.  But before he can even get started on making his sandwich, she calls him back.  I love how she can say his name and he is right there for her.   She is looking at her papers and telling Vaughn about a call pattern she has found in Elsa Caplan’s phone records.  After explaining it to him, Vaughn wonders who made the calls.

Obviously we can’t go for the easy answer, but Sydney ends up at Elsa Caplan’s home again and asks her about the phone calls. Sydney tells her that they traced the calls back to someone they believe to be working for the Russian SVR, Russia’s CIA, and they placed him under electronic surveillance, and that an hour ago the man received a fax from an unknown source.  Elsa tells Sydney that she doesn’t understand what she is trying to tell her.  Sydney tells her that they believe that her husband may have been working for the Russian SVR as well.  Elsa doesn’t seem concerned about this, which has Sydney a little concerned.  Elsa only wanted to know what the fax said.  Sydney tells her that it was a single word, that when translated into English means Endgame.   Elsa turns away and thinks for a moment and then turns and tells Sydney that her husband is going to die.  Sydney tells her that they don’t know that, but Elsa says that she does.  That’s when Sydney realizes that it is Elsa that actually works for the Russian SVR.  Elsa tells Sydney that is why she didn’t want to be hypnotized; she didn’t want the CIA to find out.  Sydney finds out that Elsa had a similar mission as Irina once did, to come to the USA and seduce a man to keep tabs on his work.  Also at the beginning of their relationship she inserted a tracker into his arm that had a secondary purpose, which is to release 50 milligrams of cyanide into his bloodstream.  The fax means that they are activating it.  Elsa says that she just committed treason against her government because she wants to get her husband back.  She is telling this to Sydney because she loves her husband.

Back at the Rotunda, Sydney and Jack have and argument about how Elsa Caplan is being processed.  Sydney tells Jack that she has found someone that deals with Russian spy equipment on the black market and she can get a tracking device from him so she can find and remove the tracking chip before it releases the cyanide in 42 hours.  Then we see why Jack is so upset, he tells Sydney that he is not going to risk her life by using Intel that she got from a Russian spy.  Sydney then has to remind Jack that Elsa is not Irina.

After this conversation Sydney knows that Jack wants her to have nothing to do with Elsa, but Sydney goes to visit her anyway.  But knowing that Jack would probably listen in, Sydney uses one of Marshall’s gizmo’s and prerecords a message into her watch that when pointed at Elsa, only Elsa can hear it.  In the message she tells Elsa to tap out the locator codes in Morse code, because even though the CIA isn’t sending in a team, Sydney is going. Jack does see over the monitor that Sydney is there and he orders that Elsa needs to be in solitary and that no visitors are allowed.  A guard comes to remove Sydney from Elsa’s company and Sydney gets the codes just in time.

We do see a little conversation between Dixon and Diane where Diane tells him that he isn’t responsible for Emily’s death.  Sloane is the one who put her in harm’s way to begin with. Diane is now very supportive of Dixon working with the CIA.  Right after that we see Sloane make a call to Evil Francie asking about her source still being in place, and she tells him that he is.

Next we see that Sydney is driving and notices that she is being followed, so she pulls into the parking lot of a drug store.  While inside, she pays attention to other people that are inside the store while she walking down the aisle, she does reach for her phone though.  

It quickly turns to Weiss and Vaughn discussing Vaughn’s new drawer, Vaughn tries to play it cool and tells Weiss that it was only a gesture of convenience.  But once he looks away from Weiss he smiles to himself.  Weiss asks him what he put in it, and then Vaughn wants to know why he even cares.   Weiss tells him, “What do you mean, Why do I care?  Do you know how spoiled you are?  You know, a drawer... I wish I had a girlfriend to say, ‘Hey, you want a drawer?’ As Vaughn’s phone is ringing, he tells Weiss that he will give him a drawer at his place. Weiss tells him that he doesn’t want a drawer in his place.   

Vaughn answers the phone and says Hello and it is Sydney on the other line and she tells him that it is her.  he asks her if she is okay, and that Marshall told him that her father shut her down this morning.   She tells him that she just needed to get out, cool down a bit.  She tells him that her dad was right and she wishes that she could do more. You can see that the car that was tailing her is also listening to her call.   Vaughn tells her that they are working on corroborating Elsa’s Intel, and asks where she is.  She tells him that she is at the drugstore just picking up pictures that she had developed.   While she says this she is picking out an odd assortment of items; which includes shelf liner, a blond wig, and some tape among other items.  She then gets a little weird and tells him, “I think there’s this great one of us. You could hang it in your hallway by the coat rack.” We now see Vaughn and he is now confused, and asks; what? But she goes on with this strain of conversation. “Although the developer said some of the pictures might not come out because I used the wrong film speed or something.”  You can tell that she is hoping that Vaughn will catch on that she is going to try and tell him something in code. But she continues and we see Vaughn look to Weiss completely confused, but paying attention to every word she says, he knows she is up to something.  She goes on, “Next time, he said to keep in mind; I should use a slower roll.”  She is very careful to make sure that the last six words that she said sounded important.  Vaughn at this point has stood up and asks Weiss for a pen.  Then more casually, but still obviously in code she tells him, “I’ll probably be another 20 minutes. I’ll come over when I’m done?”   Vaughn knowing something is going on, but not sure what tells her okay, yeah, bye; trying to tell her that he’ll work out her code.  Sydney then tells him okay bye, and breathes a sigh of relief.

After seeing how confused Vaughn was during the phone call, Weiss looks at Vaughn and asks him what is going on.  Vaughn tells him that Sydney wanted to hang a picture next to the coat rack in his apartment.  Weiss doesn’t see a problem with this, but Vaughn tells him that she’s never been to his place and he doesn’t have a coat rack.   Weiss then figures out that maybe it was a message and asked what exactly she said.  Vaughn tells Weiss that she said, “Keep in mind I should use a slower roll.”

I do have to ask, why in two months of them dating has Sydney never been to his place, especially since he lives alone, and she has roommates?  They have also found bugs in her apartment at some point, so when they want to work and play at the same time, wouldn’t his place make better sense?  I am guessing that the Alias team doesn’t want to build a Vaughn’s house set.  That is my only conclusion to this question.

Sydney goes to the checkout and pays for her items and notices the girls by the makeup giggling, and asks the checker where the bathroom is.  In the bathroom, Sydney transforms into an Alias.  She uses the shelf liner to create a skirt and tapes it onto herself, uses cut of nylons to cover her hair so she can put on the wig, and she removes her jacket.  Takes a deep breath and approaches the girls in the makeup area and makes friends with them.  She eventually even gets a lunch invite from them and is able to leave the drugstore with them so that the agents following her don’t notice her leave.

Vaughn has figured out the code though and tells Weiss that she is using a skip sequence cypher text. He tells Weiss to take the first word from every word and rearrange them. We see Vaughn write it out and then he shakes his head and tells Weiss that she is going to Russia. 

Later that day Vaughn approaches Jack and asks if he wanted to see him. Jack tells Vaughn that Sydney obviously Sydney knew that he was listening to their phone conversation, and that she also knew that by the time he decoded the anagram, she would be halfway to Russia.  Jack tells him that he is going to give Vaughn the benefit of the doubt and assume that Vaughn had every intention of reporting it to him.  Vaughn goes to say something, but Jack goes on, saying that he is doing this because when Sydney makes contact with him again, Vaughn will tell her exactly where she is.  Vaughn tells Jack that if he had known what she was doing he would’ve tried to stop her, and tells Jack that now that she is gone there’s nothing they can do to change her mind, she has 40 hours to find Caplan, why don’t they support her and give her some backup.  Jack tells him that if it isn’t obvious to Vaughn yet, everything that Jack does is to protect Sydney.  He goes on saying that for all they know Elsa could be working with Sloane and that she helped plan her husband’s kidnapping so Sydney could be walking into a trap.  Vaughn points out that there is a possibility that she isn’t going into a trap and that she will save Neil Caplan’s life.  Jack does not like this, he becomes even more serious than usual, and tells Vaughn that they are not having a debate and just because Vaughn has gotten comfortable with his daughter, doesn’t mean that he should be comfortable with him.  Jack continues saying that if Vaughn doesn’t report his next contact with Sydney immediately; Jack will take action that he will regret.  Vaughn now hates the fact that his girlfriend’s dad is his boss, but you can also see that Vaughn is debating actually following orders or helping Sydney when she calls.

The next day or so, not really sure, but Weiss gets a phone call while at the Rotunda, he answers and it is Sydney, she apologizes for having to call him, but Vaughn’s phone is probably tapped she tells him, and then asks if he is there.  Weiss throws the phone to Vaughn telling him to guess who.  He is happy to hear Sydney’s voice.  She tells him that she got the tracker from the contact in Russia, and she put in the codes that Elsa gave her, and she has found Caplan.  He is in Spain in a building that used to be a software company.   She tells him that she is on her way now.  Vaughn tells her that her father knows what she is doing and thinks that she could be walking into a trap.  Vaughn goes on to tell her that he’s not sure if Jack is wrong, and that he is supposed to convince her to come home.  She tells him that she will, but when she has Caplan, she tells Vaughn that her father can’t see straight when he looks at Elsa, he only sees Irina.   Sydney admits that it could be a stupid mistake, and if it is, so be it, but she believes Elsa.  And with that statement, Vaughn tells her that he is coming with her.  Sydney tells him that she can’t ask him to do that, he tells her that she doesn’t have to.  Then he tells her about an ally behind a hotel and that she should meet him there.  They hang up and Vaughn grabs his jacket and stands up to leave.   Weiss stops him and tells him that Jack is going to shoot him in the face.  Vaughn tells him that he needs to tell Jack that she called on your phone, and you gave it to me.  He then reminds Weiss that they only have 10 hours left to find Caplan.  As Vaughn is walking away, Weiss tells him that if they end up sharing a cell in federal prison, he’s not giving him a drawer. 

Two small things; one it’s nice to see that Weiss getting shot really has loosened him up, if this had happened before he would’ve gone right to Jack after Vaughn left, remember him telling Devlin about Vaughn’s hunch about Sydney possibly going rogue to save Will?  Number two, I work for an airline, and it is impossible to get from Los Angeles to Spain in less than 13 hours unless the CIA is flying a Concorde even after the Concorde was taken out of commission in the US.  If that is the case, I guess he could make it there in 6 hours.  Sorry most of their flights bug me, but this is the one example that really sticks out the most.

Back in Sydney’s apartment Evil Francie is doing her job for Sloane and takes Will’s cell phone and adds some device into it.  Then while Will is at work at the Rotunda and is talking with Marshall when he gets a phone call, he takes it and Francie is asking him to log on to a website for her to get a recipe.  While she is asking him questions about the recipe she is hacking into the CIA’s network and accessing the satellite images from when Emily was shot last week.
In Spain Sydney is waiting in the ally for Vaughn to show up, when she sees him approaching she climbs down from her hiding spot.  He gets out of the car and before a word is spoken they run to each other and kiss.  A couple days apart will do that to them.  She then gives him a hug and thanks him for coming.  He asks how much time they have, and they don’t have much, only 12 minutes.  She asks if he brought gear with him and he is excited when he repeats her question in the form of a statement.  Then he opens the trunk and shows her the gear that he brought.  He tells her that he talked to Weiss after he landed and the satellite shows that there are five figures in the building.  She tells him that Sloane and her mother could be a block from where they are now.  He tells her that if they are, they won’t surrender to them.  She tells him that she knows.  She tells him what will be the best way to enter.  Then he smiles at her and says, “Not that I’m a huge fan of you disobeying the CIA, but that was pretty good…. The way you got away.”  He grins and laughs a little she smiles and tells him thank you.

Sloane is sitting at a desk watching the footage that Evil Francie sent to him over and over again of Emily dying.  When he decides that he wants to see who the sniper was.  When he sees that it was Dixon, he is not at all happy.  He makes a phone call and tells the person on the other line that he needs her to do something else for him.

One thing that I find fun is how well they work together.  For instance Vaughn only has to say Syd, in a certain way and she immediately knows that someone is behind her, and she needs to attack quickly, and after her first few blows Vaughn comes in to give the final blow to knock him out or brake a facial bone for trying to hurt Sydney.  When Vaughn was cornered in this episode, even though he easily could’ve taken a shot he saw Sydney sneaking up on the guy, so he played along with what the guy wanted and then let Sydney start beating him up from behind.  Now I am sure that some of this comes with their initial training to be field agents, but the way they work together to make sure the bad guy won’t be getting back up anytime soon, is a lot of fun for me to watch.  Sydney and Vaughn reach Caplan, and find out who is still in the building.  When he tells them a young blond British guy just left, they both say Sark, and Vaughn says that he’ll go after him.  Sydney works on Caplan to get the device out and finds out that he knew his wife was SVR, and he’s actually NSA, but they don’t officially claim him.  I do find it interesting that since SD-6 has gone down, when Vaughn has the chance to go after Sark he will.  Sark and Vaughn will become the ultimate foes over the course of the series.

Once back in LA, Sydney approaches Jack and tells him that she knows she is not in a position to ask for any favors, but still requests that whatever he plans on doing to her, to please leave Vaughn out of it.  Jack tells Sydney that Vaughn will be escorting the Caplan’s to an island, because he granted Elsa Defector status, and he admits that she is not Irina Derevko.  Sydney tells him that they were able to get a lead on Sloane and Derevko because of what they found on the computer they had Caplan working on.  He tells her good, but if she ever goes around him again, he will have her transferred and finding them will no longer be part of her job description.

I guess it is the part of the relationship where they have to go on double dates, because now they are on a double date with Dixon and Diane.  Luckily there is no weird gift giving this time.

At the Rotunda Marshall catches up with Jack and tells him that he found an information hemorrhage, that someone without authorization accessed the system and downloaded 10 gigabytes worth of satellite footage form Tuscany.   Jack is not happy when he hears that it was footage from Tuscany, and tells Marshall that they are on a secure system, and then asks how they hacked in.  Marshall tells him that they didn’t, but it came from this office.

Outside of the restaurant, the couples are each waiting for their respective cars to come from the valet.  Dixon is surprised that the CIA has season tickets to the Lakers, Vaughn even tells him that they are really good seats.  Diane’s car is the first to arrive, to kisses Dixon and tells him that she will see him at home after she gets the kids, and she goes and gets into her car.  Dixon tells Sydney and Vaughn that it feels good to have everything out in the open.  Diane drives off and as Dixon gets into his car, but then gets out to tell Vaughn and Sydney one last thing, but as he goes to tell them Diane’s car explodes. And we see that it was Evil Francie that hit the detonator.


  1. 'I love my drawer' is my favorite of all of Michael Vaughn's quotes. It's one thing to see him and Sydney relaxed and happy with each other; Sydney kissing him and caressing his face while he smiles and squeezes her nose. The drawer is not a simple gesture to the former double agent & former handler and they both know it. After almost giving up on a chance with each other; the drawer is a sign of permanent domesticity and commitment. It's just like if she gave him his own key to her place and considering the chaos they face everyday, it's refreshingly normal and domestic. Vaughn sees that Sydney wants him in her life in a permanent way like he wants too so he's touched by her gesture of love. No wonder poor Eric was envious, lol. :-D

    1. I love that scene as well. Just seeing them unable to contain their happiness in that moment makes me giddy. Seeing his smile as he walks back to the bed, and tells her that he loves the drawer, is one of my favorite moments. (Don't ask me to choose my all time favorite though, because I can't choose.) But what I find interesting in this episode is not only do we see them basically living together, but that Vaughn is always at Sydney's. Vaughn even tells Eric that Sydney has never been to his apartment. I think that this filters back into the theory that I have about home for Vaughn. His apartment isn't a home, it is probably barely a house to him. With how often they travel I can't see any single man putting together an apartment that would seem more than just a place to sleep. But for Vaughn he is happiest where ever Sydney is. Because no matter where they are, whether it be in Sydney's apartment, or in a foreign country, once they are together again Vaughn considers himself home.

      As far as Eric, I was really happy that he finally found love with Nadia, I just wish that they would have expounded on how much he lost at the beginning of season five as well. He lost his best friend and his lover, not to mention that he didn't even make it to Nadia's funeral. :(