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 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
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.
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.
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.
****MORE SPECULATION, SORRY****
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…