Thursday, August 22, 2013

S3 E3 – Reunion

At Sydney’s house Weiss is there and they are getting very drunk, and Sydney is telling him that there have been some advantages to dying and having her house burn down. All the papers and sweaters that she was never going to use again are gone and she didn’t have to make the choice to give them up. She goes on with the train of thought telling that there are pictures, and then she mentions picture frames and we know that she is thinking about Vaughn once again. Weiss then speaks up and tells her that there must be something that she desperately loved that she doesn’t have anymore. Immediately he realizes that he has gone too far and Sydney is looking very stoic, and Weiss tells he that he means a thing that was lost, and Sydney tells him that she knows what he means. She tells him that she used to have a first edition copy of Alice in Wonderland that her mother gave to her for her 5th birthday. And despite the odd relationship that she had with her mother, it was one of the things that she really loved. Weiss pours out the last of the bottle in to their shot glasses and tells her that when it comes to tomorrow and it being her first day of working with Vaughn and Lauren together, he is her friend in there and that if she needs a shoulder to cry on, he will be there for her. She tells him that it will be fine, he gets up to leave, and you can tell that in truth, she really is not looking forward to the next day.
The next day at the Rotunda, Sydney is on her way into the conference room, prepping herself for the briefing that she knows that Vaughn and Lauren will both be in attendance at, before entering she takes a deep breath and enters. The room looks empty and she sighs in relief only to look over in the corner and find Vaughn and Lauren talking there. They all look at each other and the awkward moment is staring all of them in the face. Vaughn and Sydney say hello and then Vaughn asks if she has met Lauren and Sydney and Lauren talk about their awkward meeting yesterday in Dixon’s office. They almost get out of the awkward moment, but Marshall walks in and talks to Sydney for a moment and then realizes the situation they are in and states how awkward it is, which only makes it worse.  But even with that Vaughn can't refrain himself from stealing a look at Sydney and we can see how much all of this is killing him.
During the briefing they learn that Sark will be meeting with someone and Sydney wants to be on the team that recovers Sark, but she learns that they want to leave Sark out there to try and track him to the higher up members of the Covenant. Sydney and Lauren beginning fighting over the best way to proceed, Lauren says that the new technology can accurately track Sark now and Sydney tells her that it isn’t about the technology but the people. They are really going at each other, and everyone in the room is feeling the tension, Weiss even looks to Vaughn (I think) with a look like, wow this should be interesting, Vaughn is also trying to figure out if there is a way to be diplomatic about this and that he is going to hate whatever outcome comes out, but they keep going on. Finally Vaughn has to yell to get them to stop fighting, Vaughn tells them, enough, based off of the phone call Sark said the attack that just happened was only phase one and they need to learn more so they will only track Sark and not pick him up, despite the pleasure he would have with capturing Sark again. Sydney looks at him as if she could kill him, he’s always been on her side before and this is going to take a while to get used to. Vaughn tries to look at her in a way that tells her that he’s sorry, but she isn’t in the mood. Dixon tells Weiss and Sydney to go watch Sark’s meeting and try and get info on phase two of his plan.

After the briefing Lauren and Vaughn are walking through the corridor and as soon as they are alone, Lauren tells Vaughn that she hates Sydney. Vaughn tells Lauren that she needs to remember that Sydney has been though a lot. She tells Vaughn that she is done trying to be polite to Sydney, because Sydney is not her type of person; Vaughn tells her that she just lost two years of her life, and Lauren wants to know if she was nicer back then. Vaughn tells her that he can understand why she would have a problem with her, but Lauren interrupts and tells him that Sydney is the one with the problem, and that she is not going to apologize for being able to remember the last two years or being married to the man that she loves. Vaughn looks at her, and I don’t see any of those looks that he once had with Sydney as he looks at Lauren. But he tells her that she is acting emotionally, but Lauren interrupts again and tells him that she is acting intelligently as she expected Sydney to act, to maybe listen to someone that has been around for the last two years instead of talking all over them, and she is the horrible person she has ever met. Vaughn gets in closer to Lauren and tells her to stop. He tells her that it was Sydney’s first briefing and that Lauren needs to give her some time to adjust, but that no one would blame them if they did hate each other, but he believes that Lauren will actually end up respecting her and maybe even liking her, and then we have to see them kiss, and he tells her that she needs to remember that he loves her. (Yuck!)
After the briefing Jack and Sydney meet up for a moment to discuss that Lauren will be looking into the murder of Lazarey, and that Sydney needs to stay focused and he will make sure that whatever the NSC has found with the footage they have come up with on the murder doesn’t end up implicating her. Sydney wants to tell them that she wants to know what happened to her, but Jack tells her that the procedure they would perform to get those memories would leave her brain dead, and he won’t let that happen. Jack goes into Marshall’s office with Lauren to see the evidence that the NSC does have and it is a very fuzzy picture, but Marshall estimates that he will be able to ID the killer within the next 72 hours.
While in Mexico City, Sydney is in a horrible disguise and is watching Sark’s meeting and taking pictures of what she is able to, it is good to see Vaughn back at base watching and Lauren is there as well, but you can see how nervous he is with her in the field and being so close to Sark, someone we have already discussed how much Vaughn hates. Lauren isn’t sure she likes the look that Vaughn has as he watches her movements. But the man that Sark is meeting notices that Sydney is watching them and Sark advices him that he better make sure that she didn’t get anything, and Sydney runs off. Weiss says that he is going in to help, but is told to stay back. Vaughn looks at the imaging of the area and gets on the headset again and tells her what exit to take, and as he does this Lauren is getting more and more concerned with the concern that he is showing. Sydney makes it out, but once in the open, but Oransky, the man who met with Sark has taken a little girl hostage to get Sydney to come out into the open. Sydney puts down her gun and tries to negotiate with him, back at the command center Vaughn is quick on his feet and is thinking of a way to free the little girl and give Sydney a chance to get out safely. He realizes that Oransky and his men are using ear pieces as well and figures out with Marshall’s help that they are on a different frequency. Vaughn gets back on the headset and asks Sydney to remember the mission in Thailand, and even mentions a person, and then tells her to get ready and he’ll tell her when. Lauren watching this really does like how he can communicate with her so easily and have her know exactly what he is going to do. She is starting to realize exactly how much history they really have together and she is torn about this. She isn’t completely heartless and doesn’t want the little girl killed so she is glad that he can do this, but has to be frustrated with seeing how well they work together. Sydney plays for time while she waits for Vaughn’s signal, once she receives it, Oransky and his men all are in pain from the noise in their earpieces, Sydney starts beating up Oransky’s men, the little girl is freed and Sydney manages to shot Oransky, although he does get away. Back at base Vaughn is a little cautious to look at Lauren, because of the shorthand he was able to use with Sydney, but luckily for him I guess Lauren sees him for being a hero and saving the day and they are happy again.

After the mission, Weiss and Sydney are hanging out together at her apartment again and are making dinner. I think that Weiss wants to be there for Sydney, Sydney wants a friend to be with to feel normal again and Weiss doesn’t hang out with married Vaughn much anymore so hanging out with Sydney is good for him as well. But they are talking about the Intel that they gathered and Sydney remembers hearing Sloane mention something about Medusa, and they talk about the Medusa
myth. Weiss makes a crack that the myth reminds him of a past girlfriend that he had, but ended up dumping him for a roadie at a Duran-Duran concert. Sydney stops in place at the word dumped and Weiss realizes that he’s said something to set her off again and tells her that she wasn’t dumped, but she was dead. She looks at him and realizes that she has been pretty wrapped up in her own life that she hasn’t even asked how they met. Weiss tells her that they met while Lauren was deposing everyone after the Irina incident, and they somehow hit it off. Sydney then asks about the wedding and who went to it, Weiss tells her the details, and then tells her Lauren is a good person, he goes on to say that he doesn’t want to rub it in and make her feel bad, but he doesn’t want to be dishonest about her to Sydney.
Knowing that Marshall is closer to finding out that Sydney is the one who murdered Lazarey, he goes to a contact that can build a software that can corrupt Marshall’s, the contact happens to be someone Jack arrested and isn’t legally allowed near a computer because of the plea agreement Jack placed on him, but Jack pays him a lot of money to do it anyway.

Back in the Conference room at the CIA, they are discussing the best way to get into the science ministry that they believe Medusa is being stored and where they have found that Sark and Oransky are infiltrating to get access to, since that is where the pictures Sydney took in Mexico led them to. Sydney is arguing the fact that after an hour of thinking of ways to get in, it’s a little disturbing that the best they can come up with is asking Sloane for help. Vaughn tells her that through Sloane’s cancer research Sloane has a relationship with the science ministry; Lauren tells her that if they can get into the ministry before Sark, they can destroy it before they can access it. Sydney tells them that she isn’t trying to be the voice of decent, and that she is aware all of them are qualified to make good decisions, but she still sees Sloane as a criminal. But Dixon tells her that unfortunately Sloane is a necessary evil that they have to work with. Lauren goes in for another plea for meeting with Sloane to get his help, and Sydney interrupts her saying that maybe Lauren hasn’t had the pleasure of having to deal with the psychopath known as Sloane, but before Sydney can go on, Vaughn interrupts her with the news that will really make Sydney hate Lauren almost more than being Vaughn’s wife does, Lauren brokered the deal to get Sloane pardoned. Dixon then makes an executive decision, he tells Sydney to drop it, especially when learning that Lauren regularly meets with Sloane. He tells Lauren to move up her meeting with Sloane and have him get them access to the ministry, and then tells Sydney and Vaughn that they will go along to gain access to the bunker within the ministry. And now Sydney and Vaughn realize that they will now have to go on their first mission together. This trip is one that not one person out of the three is now looking forward to. I love the way they filmed them standing at the end of the scene as well, truly demonstrating that this season will really be about the love triangle that is left there.
On the plane to meet with Sloane, Lauren comes and asks to sit with Sydney. Lauren is at least trying to play nice. (I just have a problem with it, knowing her real intentions) But Lauren tells Sydney that she wants to acknowledge that the situation is difficult for all of them, and no one would blame them if they hated each other, but Lauren hopes that isn’t the case. Sydney tells her that she doesn’t hate her, or Vaughn, but that is what makes it so hard for her. Vaughn approaches them with some Intel and he looks a little hesitant seeing Lauren and Sydney sitting together and talking, but he tries to ignore it and act professional.

When they meet with Sloane, he tells them that since he believes that they will end up breaking some kind of law he doesn’t feel comfortable exposing himself or his new relief agency to criminal charges, despite the arguments that both Lauren and Vaughn gave him. During this Sydney is doing a pretty good job at controlling herself, but finally tells him, “You’ve made your obligations clear. Now let me clarify mine. I am obliged to extract unimaginable pain from you the moment you are no longer a valuable source if Intel for the CIA. Personally, I hope you don’t help us out.” With this remark Sloane tells Sydney that he has missed her, and agrees to help.
 Both Lauren and Vaughn are duly impressed. Lauren tells him that he knows how to contact them and then gets up to leave. But it is this moment that I actually love Sloane, one of the few, but he knows how to play with people’s emotions and he wants to play with Lauren and Vaughn’s right now, because in the end, Sloane actually in some bizarre way really does love Sydney. But Sloane addresses Vaughn and says; “Mr. Vaughn, you know, I remember how close you were with Sydney. I’m sure you share my relief in having her back.” Vaughn replies with telling him to get them on the list and walks out with Lauren and Sydney following behind.
In the hotel room in Moscow where they are getting ready, Vaughn is having problems with his tie, something that I really don’t buy, but whatever. Lauren helps him tie it and they discuss their third date, and they look very intimate just talking with each other. Sydney walks into the room looking gorgeous and tells them that she is ready, and tries to smile at them, but it is a very fake smile, but can’t keep it up as they kiss each other goodbye as Lauren is heading back to the states. Honestly I would think that even though Vaughn is trying to be loyal to Lauren as he should be, he would be a little nicer about it and try not to show it off in front of Sydney. But I don’t think that he really has a choice since Lauren wants to make it very clear whenever she has the chance to show Sydney that Vaughn belongs to her, she will. Lauren leaves the room, and you can see that Vaughn wants to comment on how Sydney looks, but holds back. He walks over to her and they turn to leave. He even falls into old habits and goes to place his hand on the small of her back as he used to, but he caught himself just in time and stopped before he actually touched her. I feel bad for Sydney, I really, really do this has to be just an overall horrible experience for her. But I really feel for Vaughn, he does love Lauren, I have to admit to that, even if I don’t want to. But He is still madly in love with Sydney. This whole situation just kills him.
As Sydney and Vaughn walk into to the ministry, Sydney is holding on to Vaughns arm and I’m sure it kills them to have to pretend to be a couple right now, since it is what they both want but can’t have. They go through the introductions of the important people and one of them tells them that Arvin Sloane is an amazing man. Once they walk away, Sydney repeats this and Vaughn only has to say her name and it reminds her that she needs to hold her tongue even if it kills her right now. It’s just another example that shows me just how close they really are; and the type of relationship that they had. They get close to the elevators and discuss in shorthand about their mission. Sydney walks over and gets them both a glass of champagne, and as they are standing a few yards away from each other, Vaughn takes this moment to look at Sydney and she then sees him staring. She smiles at him, and all of a sudden we see Vaughn's dimples come out and he has one of those longing looks that show us how much he cares about Sydney. Not to mention the fact that he can’t even take his eyes off of her as she walks towards him. When she does arrive, he looks down knowing that his mind is in the wrong place and tries to focus. They go back to their mission and are all business; that is until they are in the elevator. They have brought military outfits that will match what the guards will be wearing and they go to change in the elevator, Sydney starts to unzip her dress, and Vaughn looks over and they both realize that watching each other change is no longer appropriate for them. So they both turn off to the side to avoid watching the other dress, but you do see Sydney taking a few looks over at Vaughn anyway.

Once they are dressed in their military outfits, Sydney and Vaughn makes their way to a control panel and they find that Sark is already there and has already killed many members of the guard. They look at another room and see where Sark is and see that Oransky is with him. But they decide to proceed anyway, not knowing how many people Sark brought with him, trusting that Sark doesn’t know that they are coming. They get to the control room and Sydney and Vaughn are able to take down Sark’s guards, but Sark is able to secure himself before they get to him. Once he is secure, Sark gets on the loud speaker and tells them that he had wondered if they would show up, and that he looked for them at the party. Sark also informs them that he has locked down all of the exits out of the room that Sydney and Vaughn are in, and that once the Russian’s find them, he is sure that they Russians will be hospitable. Sydney and Vaughn then look at each other and try to work out a plan. They decide that since they can’t steal Medusa, that they could rig the generator and cause it to blow up, but the entire sub-level would go down with it and they may not have a way out. They look at a vent and Vaughn tells her that they could crawl through, but they might not make it, Sydney touches his arm and tells him that they might it out. They look at each other, take a deep breath and then go for it. Sark and Oransky realize what they have done and that Medusa is fried. Sark tells him that they need to go, but Oransky wants revenge, so Sark leaves him there. Sark at least has the common sense and self-preservation to leave when he needs to. Sydney and Vaughn are already to the vent and are getting in. They are crawling in and they can hear the explosion coming, as well as Oransky yelling Sydney’s name in anger. They manage to jump out of the vent to the ground outside just before the fireball reaches them. You can see that they are both relieved that they made it out, and although he doesn’t say it this time, you can tell that he is doing a quick scan to make sure that she is alright, and then helps her up. I don’t think that it is even possible for Vaughn to not be concerned for Sydney with their history. His priorities have and always will be to protect Sydney.

While Sydney and Vaughn are at the ministry, Jack meets with his contact again who was able to create a worm to hack into Marshall’s software, but he has to run the program from a computer with administrative privileges. Jack gets back to the CIA and makes his way to Dixon’s office, not without some interference, but Jack is pretty good at doing whatever he has set his mind to. He uploads the worm and is able to stop Marshall from identifying the woman in the video that they have. They were only able to get a partial upload.

When they arrived back to LA, I wasn’t too happy with how happy Vaughn was to see Lauren again, but such is life in season three. Dixon congratulates them for a job well done and leaves Sydney alone in his office with Vaughn and Lauren. They tell each other goodnight and have an awkward moment and Sydney leaves the room. She looks as if she could cry, and is trying so hard to keep up her hard outer shell of being okay with the situation. Jack stops her and tells her that he was able to take care of the NSC finding out she was the murderer and welcomes her back. This almost seems to make it worse for her. She used to enjoy going on missions and having Vaughn being her partner, even before they were officially together, but now things are so different, she realizes how hard coming back to the CIA with him there really is. She reaches her desk and finds that a copy of Alice in Wonderland is sitting on her desk. She picks it up and semi smiles, but can’t hold back the tears any longer. Weiss then walks up and tells her that it’s a third edition, she thanks him and then he tells her that he was going to get the first edition, but it was $40,000. She just stops him and turns and hugs him. She is crying and laughing all at the same time. Weiss really came through for her when she really needed a friend.

I might be wrong in this, but I don’t think that I am, In this episode is the only time that we actually see Vaughn tell Lauren that he loves her. In other episodes, he will imply it, say it to someone else, or say you too. Something to that extent, but he doesn’t actually say the words again. If I am wrong I will come back and correct this post, but I don’t think that I am. Also I want to point out a big difference between Vaughn’s two relationships. When Sydney and Vaughn were together, they stayed very professional at work, other people obviously knew that they were together, but they left kissing and other affections for when they were away from work. Vaughn and Lauren are very affectionate towards each other all the time in the Rotunda. I think that there are a couple reasons for this. Sydney has never been one for showing affection publicly, but also with her and Vaughn they had a very deep connection as friends before they ever became physical and that connection was very important to them. They knew how to have a relationship that was more emotionally tied down. Then with how quickly Vaughn ended up moving on, he and Lauren never had a chance to develop that kind of connection. Plus it seems that Lauren is very public about her relationships and doesn’t mind showing it off, regardless to how inappropriate it is. There are many times in this season that Lauren and Vaughn will show affection towards each other in front of Sydney. I think that when that happens there is motivation behind both Vaughn and Lauren for doing so. Lauren wants to make it abundantly clear that Vaughn is hers, when Vaughn does it, I think he is trying to remind himself of who he has to show affection for, especially now because he knows where it should be directed, but he also knows where he wants it directed and they are not the same place. And we do see that as the season moves on, Lauren is the one initiating it more and more and Vaughn is pulling back. At least that is how I see things…


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