Thursday, September 26, 2013

S3 E19 – Unveiled

Watching Sydney sit at her desk and just stare at Vaughn as he stands casually chatting with Lauren and Marshall makes me want to cry for her.  Sydney can’t seem to focus; she just keeps staring at Vaughn.  And after the last episode, I can’t blame her.  She has tried so hard to keep her feelings in check so that she can keep working with Vaughn and Lauren, but seeing Vaughn go back to her after her father died, just makes her become more guarded.   As she is staring, Weiss approaches and she tries to concentrate on what needs to happen, but she can’t stop herself from looking.  Weiss notices this and tells her; “You know, Syd, no one would blame you if you hated him for going back to her.”  As Weiss says this they both watch as Vaughn walks away with his hand on Lauren’s back.  But from this statement, if it wasn’t obvious before, you can tell that Weiss prefers Vaughn being with Sydney over Lauren.  Sydney stands up to go to the briefing that Weiss came over to tell her about.  She then tells him that Vaughn isn’t the one that she hates, and asks how horrible she sounds for saying it.  Weiss then tells her; “Well I’m mad at her, and I don’t even think he’s that cute.”  I love how Weiss has really become Sydney’s rock as far as friendship goes this year.    Sydney does stop and turns to Weiss, not playing into his attempt at a joke to make her feel better.  She tells him; “But it’s not just about them being together. My dad thinks Lauren’s leaking information to the Covenant.”  So as expected, while Jack can’t prove anything, he still suspects Lauren.   Weiss questions Sydney about Lauren’s father confessing to the leaks before he died, but Sydney tells him that his confessions answered all of the concerns that her father had brought up about Lauren, but Sydney still doubts that it was all Senator Reed.  Weiss then coming in and attempting to be diplomatic about the situation says; “Alright, let me just ask you a question. Do you think she’s the mole, or do you just want her to be the mole?”  Sydney then looks a little guilty and they both proceed into the briefing room.
In the briefing room, Sydney and Vaughn are sent on a mission to Berlin to contact a hacker named Cypher to confirm if he made a worm that the Covenant is using that is corrupting medical records throughout medical facilities around the globe.  So along with Marshall they leave the briefing room to get their equipment and more info on their mission.  Now not much besides the usual gathering of Intel for the mission happens here, but I love the look that they give each other as Marshall tells them that he also has a name within the hacker community and that it’s Black Kitty.  For a moment, their troubles are forgotten while they share a knowing glance of Marshall’s uniqueness.
As Vaughn is packing to go to Berlin, Lauren is also packing.  She is heading to Dover with her mother to spread her father’s ashes.  Vaughn offers to go with her, but she tells him that she doesn’t need someone else close to her letting down the CIA.   They talk for a moment how she feels that everyone at the CIA looks at her as if she is a traitor as well; Vaughn tries to console her by saying that they are just angry.  But her response is what gets me riled up more than anything else in this episode I think.  She tells him; “You have no idea what it’s like to think you know someone, to love them, and then figure out it was nothing but lies.”  She is playing him like a fiddle, using any means necessary to make him feel sympathy for her.   But her speech taking place in the exact spot where he figures out exactly how all of that feels is somewhat ironic.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I love it when Sydney and Vaughn go gothic, and they do gothic proper in this episode, although I think I prefer the blue hair to the dreadlocks on Sydney; however Vaughn does look better this time around.  I do find this a little funny since in general I’m not a fan of the gothic look.  Anyway, Sydney and Vaughn are in Berlin looking for the hacker to confirm that he is the one who built the worm that the Covenant is using to infiltrate medical facilities, which they assume has something to do with The Passenger since the Passenger is a bio-weapon.  They enter the club that the hacker is rumored to be at and use Marshall’s glasses to find his PDA’s network.   While there is some tension between them as it appears that they haven’t really discussed what happened any further than Sydney hanging up on him when he called to apologize.  As working partners, they are still very comfortable and have a deep trust with each other when it comes to work. As they sit down after identifying Cypher, there is a very small moment where they aren’t sure where to place their hands.  It almost seemed as if their instinct was to hold hands since they are playing a couple, but then they both decide against it at the last moment.   They meet with Cypher and begin talking with him, he gets up to leave and we see that Lauren is in the club as well, not actually in Dover burying her father.  Lauren has a gun trained on Cypher to prevent him from disclosing any pertinent information that he has on the Covenant.   Vaughn stopped her from getting her first shot off which only frustrates her.  Lauren gets close enough to overhear the conversation that is going on, as well as get a better shot.  Right as Cypher is about to disclose what he was really hired for and how his program was not designed to ruin documents in medical facilities, Lauren finally takes her shot. 

After Cypher is shot, Sydney leaves Vaughn to take care of Cypher, while she goes after the shooter.  Cypher does hand over a USB drive with the actual code to Vaughn to prove that he is not to blame for whatever the Covenant has in mind.  Lauren witnesses this exchange and becomes even more worried, but it is her moment of hesitation here that allows Sydney to see Lauren.    Now Sydney’s suspicions are confirmed, she only has to prove it.
Later at a safe house in Berlin Vaughn and Sydney are downloading the contents of Cyphers USB drive onto the CIA’s network so that Marshall can analyze Cypher’s work.  Vaughn and Sydney talk shop for a moment and after seeing Vaughn being upset about hearing that Cypher is now dead, Sydney takes this moment to tell Vaughn that she thinks that she thinks that she saw Lauren.  Vaughn questions what Sydney is telling him, as she tells him that she thinks she saw Lauren in the club after the shooting.  But I don’t think that Vaughn is really questioning what Sydney is saying, but wants to deny the possibility. Personally I think that Vaughn has had his own doubts about Lauren’s activities, but hasn’t wanted  to validate his thoughts out loud and having Sydney now question them is hard for him, so he questions her, and they have fight about it (more in the next section.) In the middle of the fight Vaughn does calm down to tell her; “Look, I know things haven’t worked out for us the way we’d hoped…”  (Also more in the next section) Which only starts more fighting, only to be interrupted by a knock on the door which stops all disagreements at once and we watch as they become proficient partners once again.  To both of their surprise, especially Vaughn’s as he just defended Lauren not being at the club since she was in England and not in Germany.  As Vaughn greets her, it’s hard to not notice the suspicion growing as he welcomes her.  With this unwelcome visitor, Sydney now has no doubts about seeing Lauren in the club or her affiliation with the Covenant.
I know I’ve taken a lot of side trips off of the main storyline of the episodes lately, but as I said in the beginning, this blog isn’t really for storyline, but how they develop into the perfect couple.  But it is in this scene that I am once again reminded of how well the two of them fight.  This is a very tense and personal moment for them, one that could easily be played dirty, especially in the condition that Sydney is currently in; one moment believing that she was going to have Vaughn back and having it taken away incredibly quickly.  Now I’m not saying that no yelling was involved, because there was.  Vaughn was very defensive of Lauren, and Sydney wanted to get her point across as well.  But they fight as people who really do love and respect each other.  For Sydney this is huge, she is positive that Lauren is the mole, but she also wants to make sure that her relationship with Vaughn stays intact.  We do see Vaughn’s true feelings come out in his statement to her, “Look, I know things haven’t worked out for us the way we’d hoped…”  He may be defending Lauren at the moment, but he admits to Sydney that this isn’t the situation that he wants to be in.  He does want to be with Sydney, but right now he has to be a support to Lauren.  As much as Vaughn doesn’t want to admit that Lauren may be part of the Covenant, he is starting to see that he may have to open his eyes to the possibility.  He has multiple reasons for not wanting to believe this, and I think that those reasons may have to be covered in another post, one that I can hopefully keep short.  But you also have to realize that he has already admitted to Sydney that she is the only person that really matters to him, and so even if he is opposed to the idea that Lauren might be Covenant, because Sydney believes it, that is when he has to start considering it.  Even if he doesn’t admit it to Sydney, he knows that Sydney loves him enough not to say something like that just to get back at him.  Even if they aren’t technically a couple right now, their relationship is one that is sacred to both of them and they won’t ruin it with being petty.  But seeing Lauren appear definitely has Vaughn on high alert and considering what Sydney has told him.
After some seemingly awkward comforting from Vaughn towards Lauren, and Sydney checking up on how long Lauren has been away from London.  Sydney and Vaughn are back to work.  They are uploading the file so they can send it to Marshall; meanwhile Lauren is setting up her new ring to start blinking; obviously a gadget from the Covenant to destroy the files.  Lauren walks back into the room where Sydney and Vaughn are working and sets down a cup of coffee for Vaughn, while having her ring touch the USB, which didn’t go unnoticed by Sydney.  But Lauren trying to attempt being civil to Sydney offers her a cup as well, keeps up her appearances, but quickly leaves the room.
Once Sydney and Vaughn get back to LA, they meet with Marshall to learn that the memory on Cypher’s flash drive was wiped clean, and that it was probably exposed to a high magnetic field.   Sydney looks at Vaughn and you can see that she is thinking of only one way that it could’ve happened, looks back at Marshall and asks how it is possible.  Marshall tells her that he believes that it was done intentionally.  You can see Sydney resisting saying anything to Vaughn at this point, hoping that he is understanding what this means.  Vaughn asks Marshall if Cypher could’ve corrupted the data before giving it to them, pulling at straws for any possibility that doesn’t involve Lauren.   Unfortunately for Vaughn, Marshall doesn’t believe that was the case.  Sydney does want to know if they lost everything, but luckily Marshall was able to save most of the data.  He was also to find out what the worm was initially made for.  The fact that it was destroying data was only a side effect; its real purpose was to look for something that Marshall is still working on figuring out.  But he did make it so the data would be rerouted to the CIA and stop destroying data in the meantime.   You can see that while Vaughn isn’t saying much, he definitely has some lingering questions in his mind. 

After hearing what happened to Cypher’s data, Sydney is struggling with what is going on, so she turns to Jack for advice.  She explains her theory to him which makes sense to him, so he asks her what Vaughn thinks.  She tells him that he won’t even entertain the possibility that Lauren could be the mole, and that it’s like he can’t hear it.  Sydney really does know Vaughn well, Vaughn can hear it, he just doesn’t want to.  Jack knowing what their relationship is like and how hard it is on both of them, tells her; “Perhaps he can’t hear it from you.”  Jack knows that while Vaughn and he aren’t necessarily buddies, Jack does know that Vaughn at least respects him.  Also Jack respects Vaughn and has a unique perspective on what Vaughn may be going through, so Jack decides to approach Vaughn himself.
Also being frustrated with the information that Marshall gave to them, Vaughn is trying to work things out on his own, but he is taking out his frustration on the firing range.  He isn’t happy when he turns to find Jack there watching him, but he also isn’t surprised.  Knowing that Jack was there, Vaughn slowly took off his ear and eye protection, and places his gun down.  Mentally preparing himself for whatever Jack has to tell him.  He then turns and looks right at Jack and asks him if Sydney spoke to him.  Jack looks at him and says; “All I ask is that you hear me out.”  Vaughn, knowing what is coming, isn’t looking forward to hearing what Jack is about to say, but nods at Jack giving him approval to go on.  While Jack is speaking to Vaughn, I feel that Jack really is looking out for Vaughn and is in no way looking to make things harder for him. Jack told him; “My marriage with Irina, in spite of everything, was a happy time for me; it was easy being with her. There were times, moments, when I become curious, how would she occupy her morning, what were her plans while I was out of town. Usually she told me, but occasionally she'd stop what she was doing, walk over and offer me a kiss; A spontaneous gesture. But on one occasion it struck me, this impulsive kiss, what if it was an evasion; camouflaging the truth in an expression of love. Of course I dismissed my concern immediately, merely my professional paranoia. After all she was my wife I don't regret having married her. I have Sydney because of our time together. What I do regret is that once I saw signs of her duplicity, once I sensed her betrayal, I chose to ignore it. All I'm asking is that you be responsive to the signs if and when they present themselves”. While Jack is talking, Vaughn listens patiently, he can see that Jack isn’t being his usual abrasive self and is coming to him on a personal level so he does respect Jack and even nods in agreement at one point.  But Vaughn is still at a point where he has fallen back into his Michael character and feels that he needs to defend his wife. I will go into this more in the next post as well.  But he replies to Jack, not yelling, but very fiercely saying; “You never respected me. Never thought I was worthy of your daughter. So I'm not surprised you're so quick to think Lauren is betraying me. But whether or not you or Sydney believe me, I know the life I'm living, and I know the woman I am married to. Lauren is not Irina, and I am definitely not you.”  After saying this to Jack, Vaughn picks up his things and walks off, leaving Jack looking after him concerned.  As I mentioned, this is not Vaughn talking.  This is the character that Vaughn created so that he could move past Sydney, and has had to alter as Sydney came back into his life.  But as I said I will go further into this on the next post.
As it turns out Marshall was able to find what the Covenant was looking for, they were looking for the DNA of a single person, a female, but the person that they are looking for happens to have ten different identities.  Once realizing this, Sydney and Marshall leave Marshall’s office to go tell Dixon, as they leave they pass Lauren.  Who is quick to take an opportunity to go take a look around Marshall’s office.  But Weiss takes notice that Lauren is going in there as Marshall is leaving.  Vaughn being a little shaken after his discussion with Jack is definitely thinking about the possibilities even if he denied the possibility to Jack, so when he gets back to the Rotunda, he looks for Lauren and when he can’t find her asks Weiss if he has seen her and then directs Vaughn to Marshall’s office.  Meanwhile Lauren is quickly trying to download what Marshall found before being found out.  As she finishes up and is leaving she runs right into Vaughn.  After finding her there alone he does become a little suspicious.  She makes up an excuse for being there, but he doesn’t quite buy it.
Like I mentioned, when talking to Jack, Vaughn is acting like he is 100% on Lauren’s side, being the good husband that he is supposed to be.  However, Vaughn is and has always been a good agent, and even if he doesn’t like it, he will investigate a lead.  So when he sees Lauren he tells her that he has some free time and asks her to lunch.  She tells him that she has to run some errands, so he offers to go with her, but he is once again rejected.  But she tells him that she will meet him for lunch in an hour.  As he watches her walk away, he starts to become suspicious again, just as he was when he saw her in Berlin.  So it is no surprise that he ends up spending some time tailing her while she is on her errands.  He watches her as she takes a phone call that makes her act even more suspicious, so he calls and has Weiss tap into her call.  Unfortunately they are only able to catch the end of it and never hear Sark as the person she is talking to, or that they are talking about the Passenger and Bomani.  But they did get the end of her call which has her telling Sark; “After all that we’ve been through, how could you do this? I thought I could rely on you, especially now. I’ll never forgive you for this.”  After hearing this Weiss asks what is going on, but Vaughn can’t tell him, because he also has no idea what just happened.  But it does make both of them more suspicious of Lauren, Sydney has now talked to both of them and they both trust Sydney’s instincts, Vaughn is just trying not to face them.

When Vaughn meets up with Lauren, he talks Jack’s advice and asks her about her errands, but she evades his questions, and after being pushed she guesses that she may have been followed so she comes up with a lie that would make her actions seem reasonable, and makes Vaughn feel ashamed for thinking ill of her again, although he still isn’t one hundred percent convinced.

Back at the Rotunda, Dixon confirms to Sydney that the DNA did lead to ten different aliases for the same woman, and that she was always seen by the same doctor, who has a practice in Milan.  He gives her the file and lets her know that Vaughn is on her way in, and they will leave later that night. Unfortunately Lauren arrives a few moments before they do at the doctor’s home in Milan.  As Sydney and Vaughn walk in they see that someone has already beaten them there and that the doctor is also a follower of Rambaldi.  They separate to look for whoever beat them there.  Vaughn goes upstairs to where the doctor and Lauren are and Sydney stays on the ground floor.  While Sydney fights it out with the doctor’s security team that came in after he pushed the button for his panic room; Vaughn finds the panic room where Lauren and the doctor are locked inside and works on breaking in. In the panic room, Lauren sees how close she is to being discovered as she sees in the monitors that Vaughn is just outside the door and Sydney is downstairs.  So she becomes even more violent with the doctor than she was before.  As Vaughn gets the door open he sees that the doctor has been tortured, and that he just missed the torturer by a moment.  But we can see by how close Lauren is cutting it, that she will be discovered soon luckily.
When Vaughn enters into the panic room the doctor starts talking about how he has spent years protecting the passenger, and now he has betrayed her, as Vaughn works on untying his wife’s work. Vaughn tries to get the doctor to reveal the name of the name of the Passenger, who he has been protecting.  Sydney then walks in and tells Vaughn that the guards were from the order of Rambaldi.  Sydney then looks at the doctor and he looks terrified, and tells her; “You’re the one… The one from the Prophecy.”  Sydney looks to Vaughn, but as she does this the doctor takes Sydney’s gun from her, cocks the gun and aims it at Sydney and tells Sydney that she will not hurt her.  Vaughn tells him to drop it, but seeing that the doctor has no intention of dropping the gun, Vaughn immediately goes to his number one instinct of protecting Sydney, and shoots the doctor before he can harm Sydney in anyway.  Nothing is said after Vaughn shoots the doctor, but you can see that Sydney is grateful.
After returning from Milan, Vaughn and Lauren are both winding down at home.  Vaughn is still a little suspicious and once again wanting to be with Sydney now that he has once again seen how vulnerable she is as well.  But as Lauren is walking around the room, you can see in Vaughn’s eyes that he is wondering if Jack could be right. So he swallows hard, as he usually does before going into a subject that he fears may not turn out well for him, and asks; “So, what did you do while I was gone?”  Lauren turns around and looks at him, and Vaughn is not smiling at all.  She saunters over to him and kisses him, he closes his eyes for only a moment and opens his eyes while she is still kissing him and it is apparent that Sydney and Jack were right and he can’t deny it any longer.  He now has to find the proof. She comes out of the kiss and tells him that she missed him, and that she is going to run a bath.  He smiles briefly to not make his suspicions obvious, but you can tell how upset he is.
 After Lauren leaves the room, Vaughn begins his search.  He looks through her purse, through her drawers, and finally pulls down a suitcase she recently used.  While looking in the suitcase he finds a hidden compartment, he opens that up to find the red wig from the club, along with a gun and another passport; realizing that Sydney was correct that she did see Lauren in the club.  Lauren is the mole; she did frame her father to get him back.  Overall Vaughn is devastated.

  • Items I found noteworthy…
    • Sydney wonders if when Sloane initially used the Rambaldi machine and powered it with the mechanical heart, the same day that she disappeared, if he was given more than the word peace, but was also given the DNA to The Passenger.  Maybe that is why Sloane believes whatever was in the box, since he gave the CIA the box, would endanger Sydney. 
    • Sloane also asks Jack to check into a secret government agency called the Trust, a committee that Senator Reed asked Sloane to advise them about Rambaldi. Jack does find out that Sloane was telling the truth about the Trust, but he is also warned to tread lightly as the Trust is not actually very trustworthy. 
    • Dixon tells Jack that he received the notes from Dr. Barnett with her sessions with Sloane.  Dixon goes on to tell Jack that Sloane admitted to having an affair with Irina while Jack and Irina were married.  So Jack goes to Sloane and tells him that he wasn’t able to find any evidence of The Trust. 
    • Sloane tells Jack that if he dies, he won’t be able to help the CIA find The Passenger before the Covenant does, and Jack has no idea how much that will affect both him and Sydney. 
    • Sydney and Jack talk about The Passenger not being a weapon, but a person.  Sloane had confessed that after reading the word Peace from the Rambaldi machine, he looked up all variations of the word, including the Greek form “Eirene” which is the derivation of the name Irina. Jack believes that the Passenger is Sydney’s mother Irina.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Vaughn’s Personal Battle – Lauren vs. Sydney

Last night as I started to write about the way Vaughn told Lauren that he no longer wanted to be with her, I started typing and found that I had way more to say than I wanted to put in a breakdown of an episode concerning Sydney and Vaughn’s journey.  So as I mentioned in the last post, I want to do a post that specifically talks about how Vaughn handled being in the company of both women that he thought that he loved. – I will add pictures throughout the post, but they won’t necessarily accompany the paragraph above or below it.  I am just going to try and show the different versions of Vaughn throughout the season.  Also, I decided that I needed a good clip video with a good song to reflect what type of emotion that Vaughn must have gone through during this time, and I couldn’t find one that worked well.  So I made my own.  While the song isn’t perfect for their situation, not many songwriters write about dead girlfriends not actually being dead and complicating their new marriage.  So I did the best I could with what I had to work with.  I tried to capture what Vaughn must have felt, but I would be happy to get any feedback that you may have.
I do hate to admit it, but Vaughn did love Lauren, but not in the way that he loved Sydney.  I think that Vaughn knew that he wouldn’t be able to love like that again.  But he also knew that he had to move on with his life, which in truth is never easy.  When you look at what we have learned about what Vaughn went through, after Sydney died, we realize a few things about him.  After spreading Sydney’s ashes at sea, he left the CIA.  He did not want to be in a place surrounded by people and places that reminded him constantly of Sydney. Vaughn even confessed to Sydney what he felt when he lost her; “I was so in love with you, it nearly killed me.” He also left the country for six months, to try and escape his misery that he was in.  But finally he convinced himself that he needed to move on.  In the back of his mind, I think he knew that he while he did have feelings for Lauren as he began dating her, but he could never love her like he loved Sydney.  This may be one reason that he ended up marrying her so quickly after losing Sydney.  He wanted a distraction from the misery and depression he had when thinking of Sydney.  Looking back on his own words to Sydney; After you died, I used to talk to you. Like you were still around… Literally out loud… Whole conversations about… About nothing… The weather…Should I get a new car? Should I have another drink? And one day, you started answering. I mean I could hear you in my head like you were right next to me Sydney. And although rationally I knew I was a guy who stayed up nights drinking, talking to his dead girlfriend, still I couldn’t stop”    He needed something and someone to help him get over his lose and to help him get back on his feet.
As I thought about this last night, I also thought about the CIA sending him to go pick her up in Hong Kong when she woke up.  Vaughn wasn’t with the CIA at the time, and knowing that he was now married; wouldn’t it have been better to have sent Weiss or Marshall to go pick her up?  Or even Dixon going to pick her up would have saved a lot of heartache for both Sydney and Vaughn.  But after hearing that she wasn’t dead and that she had just woken up in Hong Kong with no memory, did Vaughn actually volunteer to go.  Did he want to see the evidence of her actually being alive and well for himself.  I believe that even though he had moved on, he wanted to feel that connection and happiness again that he once had with Sydney. 
Now as you read that he wanted to feel the connection and happiness that he had with Sydney, I feel that I should share my theory about what Vaughn may have done in an attempt to try and get over Sydney.  And it may seem out there, but for me, it makes perfect sense. But first I need to talk a little bit about who Vaughn is in general.  Vaughn has always known who he wanted to be.  He always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and be the good company CIA man, who would do anything for his country and for those he loved.  Vaughn looked up to his father more than anyone else, even though he only knew him for a short amount of time.  The only difference is that Vaughn is willing to break the rules a little more often and question authority as to what the right thing to do really is.  He had even told Sydney that if his father had questioned his orders on his last operation, maybe he would’ve survived. Which is why Vaughn is willing to break some of the rules.  This also could be a reason that while when he first met Jack, he wasn’t a huge fan, but after getting to know him, I can see that Vaughn saw Jack as the man that his father wanted to be in his Journals. 
So knowing this about Vaughn it couldn’t have been easy to leave the CIA after Sydney’s death.  But there was just too much around him that reminded him of her.  I have mentioned this before but I think that he may have started to help Jack look for who was responsible for killing Sydney, but maybe it was too much for him and that is when he left the country.  With not very much to go on, I do have to infer quite a bit here.  But seeing the way that Vaughn behaves around Sydney verses how he behaves around Lauren I think I may have figured it out.  Vaughn created his own Alias.  An alias that he made up using parts of himself that he could share and then tucked away the parts of him that he wasn’t willing to divulge, especially the parts where anyone would refer to him as Vaughn.  He became Michael, an alias that was easy enough to pull off, as it is his first name.  But the Vaughn that we know and love disappeared.  We never see Lauren call him Vaughn it is always Michael.  Personally I like to think that when Lauren questioned changing her last name after they married, he may have even encouraged her to keep Reed for professional reasons.  But when it came time to move on and attempt to get over Sydney, he did it by creating this new person.  He became just Michael.  Michael was a man who wanted to have a happy life with a wife and to pretend that all of these bad things that he had seen really hadn’t happened.  Michael didn’t have the love of his life pass away, so he didn’t talk about it.  
The thing about being in an alias for too long is, that sometimes it’s hard to keep up the façade of trying to be someone that you’re not.  I know that Vaughn was trained at the CIA on how to keep up an alias, but by the time he got the call from Kendall or Dixon requesting him to go to Hong Kong, he easily could have said no if he was happy playing this new character or alias.  But he wasn’t happy and besides wanting proof that Sydney was alive, I believe that he also wanted to feel alive again.  He wanted to go back to being that person who was happy most of the time and not pretending to be happy. He could be himself once again, he could be Vaughn. When he first sees her, he is desperate to be with her, he wants so much to be able to be Vaughn again, and you can see him struggle between the two people that he know has inside of him.  The part that I find humorous looking back on it, Sydney even tells him that he is not Vaughn.  Although she thinks that it is due to project Helix.  But in truth when he had to tell her that he got married, he was being Michael.  But he desperately wants to be Vaughn for her.  You can see it as he holds her in the alley after shooting her with the tranquilizer.   Even at the end of the first episode of the season, when Sydney yelled at him, he was still Vaughn, the one who would do anything for Sydney, even let her rant and rave at him, because in truth, he wished he had waited a little longer. 
 After being able to be himself for a few days, even if it consisted of Sydney yelling at him, he still enjoyed being the person that enjoyed life in general and didn’t have to constantly remind himself of how he is supposed to act.  But getting back into the routine he had before Sydney came back automatically put him back into the character or alias of Michael. He told Sydney after she returned; The other day, you said that I gave up on us because I didn’t have faith, that somehow you didn’t mean enough to me.”  Sydney had stopped him to apologize and he had asked her to let him finish, but since the next sentence didn’t go along the same thread, I tend to think that he left out some of what he was going to say, and went in another direction.  I like to believe that he would’ve told her that he never stopped loving her, but he had to move on with his life to be able to survive it.  Creating the alias was all he could do to be able to continue living, even if his life became a lie.  That is the only reason that he told her; “I don’t regret moving on with my life.”
But you can see as the season progressed, we saw him let down his guard of being Michael, and became Vaughn more and more often.  You can see it in his smile and the way he will look at Lauren versus how he will look at Sydney. Also while he knew he had to play this character of Michael, Vaughn was still inside begging to come out every moment that he was Sydney.  We see him constantly struggle between the two people when he is with them both.  Early examples of this is when even while on missions with Sydney, early in the season, he attempts to keep up with his Michael character, but can’t.  We saw the jealousy overcome him while Sydney was playing her part with Simon, as well as his constant need to protect her.  In the fifth episode of the season it was revealed how much he misses her.  The key word being misses.  In his dream, she told him how much she misses him and he admits that he misses her too.  But they are together all the time on missions and at work.  So how can they miss each other?  Vaughn is telling Michael in the form of a dream that he wants to come out.  That he misses the person that he was able to be while with her.  He misses being Vaughn rather than Michael, and being with her as well as being called Vaughn again constantly makes it harder and harder for him to keep up this alias that he has created for himself.
Just to give another example of what Vaughn is like, back in the first season, he and Alice break up when he begins to see that he has feelings for Sydney and that she may also have feelings for him.  But then in the second season after seeing Sydney with Will and seeing that Sydney now has another person that she can confide in about the secrets in her life, he decided that he needed a distraction in his life. He began to doubt himself and the feeling that he thought Sydney had for him, as well as thinking that he couldn’t just wait forever for Sydney to be in a position for them to date.  So while he still had feelings for Sydney he went back to someone he knew had feeling for him still and that he was comfortable with, and began dating Alice again.
So going off of this information and seeing how hard it has been with him to fight these two personalities that are inside him, then adding to an already difficult situation for Vaughn, Lauren went and fixed the watch that he had kept not only as a memento of his father, but also of his father’s advice about being able to set his heart by it.  The watch stopped when he met Sydney; so still following his father’s advice, seeing Lauren having it fixed helped him to make that final decision to leave her.   If I had to guess at their personal lives at home, Michael would say very little to Lauren about his relationship to Sydney.  Those were Vaughn’s memories and he wouldn’t have wanted them to be altered by Lauren’s opinions on them.
I know I talked about the words Vaughn used when he broke it off with Lauren a little in the last post, but I think that I need to go back to them here again.  He tells her; “This isn’t working for me. I’m not happy…. I don’t know. I guess for a while, I thought I could be again. … But I don’t think that’s going to happen….”  In that one line he was able to break down his feeling for her that he has felt over the last year or so that they have been together.  He tells her that he’s not happy, and that he thought he could be again, but he doesn’t think that it’s going to happen.  What I get from that isn’t that he wants to be with Sydney again, although he does.  But more that he wants to be the person he was before.  Spending all this time with Sydney again and not even having it be romantic time.  But spending time with her and with Weiss on missions, he becomes Vaughn again.  He’s happy, and he can almost take himself back to the place that he was at before he and Sydney became a couple.  In essence he is telling her that she doesn’t make him happy, and that she is making him a person that he doesn’t want to be. That he has been in the alias of Michael for too long, and that he wants to go back to being Vaughn.

It seems as if I missed a reference to the word home, when I made that original post, and I won’t go too far into that subject, you can go back here. - -  But throughout the season we have only seen Vaughn talk about where he lives with Lauren as the house.  Lauren has said that she will see him at home, but when she did, he didn’t acknowledge it, and changed the subject.  But as Sydney and Vaughn were flying back to LA after Bomani took the keys to the Rambaldi box, Vaughn asks Sydney; “When we get home… You want to get a cup of coffee?”   I think that even Sydney noticed his word usage here.  He hasn’t spoken of LA as home to her since they were dating, so I think that it is in that word usage that she realizes that it is real and agrees to go out with him.
I know that I have written a lot on this topic, and probably too much.  But once a theory reaches my head, I need to get it out.  So at the end of the episode Vaughn sees what Lauren is going through and feels obligated to be there for her.  Not knowing that she orchestrated it just for that response.  Although he is hesitant to immediately comfort her, he eventually does.  But you can see that even though he feels that he needs to play the part of the nice, good, loyal husband and not make Lauren have to suffer through a divorce and the loss of a parent at the same time.  He also doesn’t want to betray Sydney again, but he can’t find a way out of it.  But lying in bed with Lauren is the last place that he wants to be that night, you can tell that he wanted to tell Sydney so much more during the phone call, but Sydney wasn’t in a position to hear it.  Sydney doesn’t like it, but at least she does understand the choice that Vaughn had to make and she will forgive him.  It’s amazing what she is capable of forgiving when it is someone that she loves.  I won’t say too much, but I have said that this is not a spoiler free blog.  In the next episode, when Sydney tries to tell Vaughn that she thinks that she may have seen Lauren in the club where the asset they were trying to get Intel from was shot.  Vaughn dismisses the accusation and even gets upset.  But it is his wording that makes me believe that even though he is officially back with Lauren, he doesn’t plan on it being for long, even if she wasn’t found out as being the mole.  But in his anger at Sydney’s accusation, he remains calm, and they once again show us that they know how to flight as adults, and not pull dirty tricks to make the other feel even worse.  Once the actual fighting part is over, Vaughn calms down and tells her looking very distressed; “Look, I know things haven’t worked out for us the way we’d hoped…”  Sydney then interrupts him and they argue for a moment longer.  But this sentence tells me that even though he is trying to defend his wife here, he’s having a hard time because the last thing he actually wants to do right then is defend her to Sydney.  Right here we see him trying to be both Michael and Vaughn, and it is getting harder and harder for him each day.