Last episode we saw that Vaughn is going to listen to Jack and stop being so friendly to Sydney, so this episode really doesn’t have much between them, in fact this episode, while it does feature Vaughn in multiple scenes, he has less speaking lines than he did in the pilot. Also this episode did answer a lot of questions; it also brought up a lot as well. I will place those questions below, as well as the speculations that I have decided in my head that happened. This episode doesn’t do much for their current situation in making the relationship move forward; it does explain why things are the way that they are. I will breeze over the basics of the missing time, but I mostly just want to focus on the elements that relate to Sydney and Vaughn and how it impacted them.
So Sydney is at her home going over what she does know about her missing two years since the DSR took the cube that she recovered in Graz with Will, when she hears a noise. She goes to investigate and is shot with a tranquillizer. The next thing we know she is on a private jet, she looks around and Kendall is on the plane with her. He tells her that he is with the DSR still, and his team that was transporting the cube to his facility was ambushed, and the Covenant now has the cube. At this point, Sydney is a little confused and asked what it has to do with her. Kendall stands up and tells her that it has everything to do with her, he then sits next to her and tells her that they need to talk about the last two years. Sydney gets a bit defensive and tells him that as he must have heard, she doesn’t remember anything from the last two years. He then tells her that he knows that she doesn’t, but he does and he knows what happened to her, the whole story. Sydney then gets upset and wonders why if he has known all this time, why hasn’t he said anything. Then he simply answers, because you asked me not to. They immediately go into the credits at this point, but what a shock for Sydney, first she finds out that Kendall knows everything, and then she finds out that she asked him not to tell her about it. This is going to be a hard night for Sydney.
Kendall starts his explanation as to how he got involved. He told her that she died, or that they thought she did, he even went to her memorial and watched Vaughn spread her ashes at sea. Nine months had gone by and one day he got a phone call and it was her voice, calling from Rome. He goes on to say how she had told him that she had just escaped form the Covenant and that they met at a safe house in Tuscany. We then see that the first thing she asks of Kendall when she sees him is if her dad knows if she is alive and if Vaughn knows she’s alive. He tells her that they will both be informed when the time was right, but first she had to answer some questions. We then go back to the plane and tells Sydney that they both had a lot of questions at the time, so he had he take him back to the first thing she remembered, and then starts to tell the whole story, in her own words.
The story begins with Sydney shooting Allison three times and then passing out, and being dead to the world. The next time she woke up, it was days later and she was in the back of a van, strapped down. We then get to see her in the van, as her mouth is covered with Duct tape and she struggles to move, obviously scared. We also see the man that she shot in Succession - S3 E2, who tells her that they will be work together, as well as spending a lot of time to get the results that his employers expect from him. We watch as he injects her with a neurotoxin, giving her temporary paralysis, where she couldn’t move or speak, but could only watch. The man moves the table that she is laying on so that she can watch out the window. Before we see what she is seeing, you can tell from Sydney’s eyes that she is horrified by what she is looking at. Then we finally get to see what she is looking at, a group of men, all in suits gathered together at the end of the beach. The initial view that she has, it isn’t obvious what is going on, but since the man is telling her how they extracted DNA pulp from her teeth so that the remains left behind would be identified as hers, she can infer that she is watching her own memorial service. We then see that she is in an orange van, not even that far from the men. We then can see who was in attendance. We see Jack, Dixon, Kendall, Marshall (who is obviously crying), Weiss, and Vaughn. Sydney watches as Vaughn spreads her ashes into the sea, and sees how hard this is on Jack, as well as everyone else. Sydney then had to watch them all walk right past her, as they all had to pass the van to go to their own cars. What a horrible thing, to sit and watch your loved ones leave your funeral, and be feet away, and in some cases, inches away and not be able to scream for them. He even turns her head to look at the car next to van and it is Vaughn’s, she is forced to watch him open his car, and then cry on Weiss’s shoulder. So basically Vaughn is staring right at her, but the windows are tinted black so he can’t actually see her. I can only imagine what Sydney must be thinking at that point. How much she wanted to be able to call out to him and have him rescue her.
As Sydney is watching Vaughn being comforted by Weiss, the man tells her; “He will mourn and move on. Find someone else perhaps.” This one sentence says more than you would initially think. This man, Oleg Matrijik, was playing a big part with the Covenant before the CIA even realized the Covenant was a threat. Oleg knew their ultimate plan. He knew that they had to have the chosen one, but they also knew that they needed and in with the CIA and with Vaughn being one of the lead agents within the task force that worked on Rambaldi related issues, he would be a prime person to send someone to be with him. Oleg knew that someone was already in place that would enter Vaughn’s life to fill the void that Sydney has left. Right from the time that Sydney’s death was faked, Lauren was placed into a position to gain access to Vaughn. Oleg did have more to say as well, but the last thing he says to her as he moves her face away from watching Vaughn is; “Sydney Bristow… Is gone…”
So here is the one thing about this that really bugs me. I would think that this funeral would be fairly classified, maybe I’m wrong, but that is what I would guess. The men are all highly skilled spies, all of them each having their own specialty as well. They are on what looks like a very secluded beach, this isn’t where the surfers are, or the families, it is clear that they are the only ones on the beach that day beside the minister who officiated over the service. Why didn’t any of them stop and wonder; why is this van here? Especially as it is an older style van that has been set up to have blackened windows. You would think that at least one of them would have thought, I really don’t want a stranger here looking on at this moment, especially of it was classified to an extent. Or did someone talk to Oleg and they decide that it’s just a harmless old man, and move on? Maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part to think that one of them could’ve found Sydney and rescued her.
Back in the plane Sydney wants to know why she doesn’t remember anything, but Kendall only tells her that he will get to that soon. First he tells her about how Oleg worked her over in attempts to brainwash her to become Julia Thorne, a contract killer. He tells her that the brainwashing continued for 6 months, and once Oleg believed that she was brainwashed the Covenant put her under a test, asking her to kill the unimportant man who was in the room with them. She asked who the man was, but Kendall tells her that they don’t know. So Sydney assumes that the Covenant programmed her since she killed this unknown man. Kendall then tells her that yes, she was programmed, but not by the Covenant. He then tells her that when Jack tested Project Christmas on her, he made it so she would withstand any attempt at brainwashing. I know that Sydney was pretty upset at Jack when she found out about Project Christmas, and it made for a great bonding moment between Sydney and Vaughn, but I can guess that she is pretty thankful for it now.
Kendall then goes back to when they met at the safe house, and Sydney is telling him that she wants to go home and see Jack and Vaughn. He explains that Jack can’t be contacted and that he is under deep cover. He also reminds her that currently she has no home to return to. He then tells her that if she were to return home, she would put the lives of all those that she loves in jeopardy. She thinks that he is just trying to scare her, but then he tells her that if the Intel is correct, the Covenant is much deadlier than the Alliance ever was which is why he wants her to continue as Julia Thorne, and work as a double agent again so they can learn more about the Covenant. This idea is ridiculous to Sydney; she just wants to get home to Vaughn. Kendall then tells her that if she doesn’t return, that they will come after her and those that she loves, her friends, family, and Vaughn. Once he said his name she tells him that she has to see him. I can imagine that after all she went through there is nothing that she wants more. But Kendall cautions her saying that she’s been gone for nine months. Sydney just stands up, grabs her jacket, and walks towards the door. She turns and tells Kendall; “He loves me. Nine months is nothing.” I love seeing her so determined and confident in her relationship with Vaughn.
Kendall tells her that he let her leave, and that she went home. We then watch as Vaughn exits his car, and Sydney smiles and is about to get out of hers, when Lauren gets out of the passenger seat and Sydney watches in horror as they embrace, kiss and enter a building together. Kendall then goes on to tell her that as hard as it was to see them together, she couldn’t confront Vaughn, she had realized that her presence was a danger to him, so she called Kendall and told him that she would do whatever he wants her to do. She does this because she can see a car with bad men watching Vaughn’s house.
After finding out about how she and Kendall started working together and learning other stuff that happened, Sydney wants to know why she is actually there. He tells her that the Covenant as well as others believes her to be the chosen one from the page 47 prophecy. He then tells her that four months ago she asked him to not tell her any of this story, and that he honored that request for as long as possible, and that once he finishes the story she will understand. The Covenant already had her, but they didn’t have the cube, the one she and Will recovered, and they wanted it. So Sydney and Lazarey searched for the Cube together but actually working for Kendall and not the Covenant. Sydney was supposed to deliver the cube to Kendall once she had recovered it, but she never showed up. Instead he gets a DVD. He then tells her that if she wants to know what happened to her memory, she may want to sit down to watch the video that she sent him.
So Sydney sits down so she can see the video of herself. Since I can’t find the actual video anywhere, I am actually going to put the entire speech she gives on the DVD here. “Kendall…I’m sorry. I know you’re expecting the cube, the DNA, and instead you get this. You’ve been great to me. I mean a real friend, and I am grateful for that. But I can’t go along with it… The plan we had. You know what this is about. And I’m hoping you can understand what…So I’m taking care of it myself, the DNA. I mean even if it’s with the CIA, It’ll never be safe, not really. I’ve seen too much. Everything gets stolen. Everything. So I’ve… I’ve got a plan .I found someone, someone who can help me… A man who has done advanced research on how the brain stores short- and long-term memory. I’m not going to tell you the specifics of what I’m doing with the DNA. In fact, I don’t want to know them myself. Which is why I’m going to try and have my memories…erased. To keep the Covenant from ever doing what they want with Rambaldi’s DNA, I’m going to have everything that’s happened in the past two years removed. If this doesn’t work… I mean if this kills me… Better I did it than the Covenant. But if it works, if I come back and I don’t remember, do me a favor. Don’t ever tell me about what I’ve been through.” During the video, the video version of Sydney is crying, and you can see the actual Sydney going form confused to upset, to almost crying at different points during the video. Once again a lot of things that Sydney is trying to take in and process about those missing two years, having to realize that she will never remember because she did have the memories removed.
Doing her best not to cry, Sydney asks Kendall why he is doing this to her. Kendall hesitates for a moment before telling her that in the prophecy, Rambaldi spoke of a second coming. He also stated that his second coming would be beyond his time and would come in the form of a child. Sydney suddenly looks horrified and cites the prophecy; “This woman here depicted will possess unseen marks, signs that she will be the one to bring forth my works. She will render the greatest power unto utter desolation.” Kendall then tell her that some believe that Rambaldi’s DNA can be transformed and used to fertilize the egg of a surrogate mother, someone referred to in the prophecy as the chosen one. Sydney begins to cry and then lifts up her shirt and looks at the mysterious scar that she has had since the beginning of the season. She makes the realization that they cut her open so they could extract her eggs from her. She is sobbing, and Kendall is actually having a hard time as well, you can see that he really does sympathize for her. He tells her that this is why she went to such lengths to hide the cube, even from herself, because if they were successful, Rambaldi’s child would also be her child. She is a complete mess now. Kendall then explains that there was no protocol for not telling her about her memories, but he says that over the last few years he has gotten to know her, and despite her protests in the video to not be told, that she would want to know if the Covenant got their hands on the DNA form the cube, which they now have. Kendall asks how she ended up going after the cube and she explains how she got there, and then guesses that all of the clues that she kept getting were actually planted by the Covenant to smoke it out of her. Then he asks why she didn’t just destroy the cube, and she tells him that she doesn’t know, that maybe someone else was involved or another step. She tells him that she needs a phone, and she calls Marshall. Since Marshall had made a joke about placing a tracker on the cube before the DSR took it so he could see that facility. She calls him and he first denies placing a tracker, but then finally admits that he did. So in the end Marshall’s curiosity saved the day.
Back at the CIA, Kendall is giving the instructions on how the op will go down, Vaughn is reading the details of what is going on, and he looks like he could strangle the people that did this to Sydney, but he is going along with Jack’s advice and not looking at Sydney. Although he does look at her like he is about to say something, and Sydney is anxious to hear Vaughn’s perspective as she always is, but he immediately looks down and away from her. Which upsets her, so she also looks down and walks away. Weiss sees this happen and he looks kinda mad, like he knows that Vaughn has done something to upset her. He asks Vaughn what’s going on between them, but Vaughn just watches her walk away and shakes his head telling him nothing.
As far as the operation goes, it went fine, they got to the lab, destroyed it, Sydney in fact took a massively sized blowtorch and burnt all of the vials and any trace of her DNA, as well as Rambaldi’s. They found Lazarey and rescued him from Sark. But the thing that I want to point out the most was that even though Vaughn was following Jack’s advice, something’s come naturally to him. One of which is always making sure that Sydney is protected, at least when he can, also even if he knows that she is perfectly capable on her own. But as they prepared to jump from the cargo plane, right before they jumped, you can see Vaughn standing next to Sydney and holding on to her jumpsuit. So even if they aren’t talking, and Vaughn is pretending to ignore her, he does this automatically without even thinking about it. Plus as they are getting their supplies ready and hiding their parachutes once they landed, they are working side by side. Just an interesting side note that shows that Vaughn will never really be able to be cruel to Sydney as Jack wants him to be. It just isn’t in his nature.
After Sydney and the gang rescue Lazarey, we see Sark make a phone call, he tells the person on the other line that they took his father and to take care of it. Back in LA, Sydney is riding in the ambulance with Lazarey and he asks her if she knows about the passenger. She doesn’t understand what he is talking about, but places the oxygen mask back on him and tells him that they will have time to talk at the hospital. But as they are loading him from the ambulance to the hospital, Lazarey is shot and killed by a sniper. Then we see the sniper pack up their things and get ready to go, and then we see that the sniper is Lauren. She makes a call saying that the matter has been taken care of. I know I’ve already said it with spoilers on other episodes, but now it’s no longer a spoiler. Lauren works for the Covenant and is using Vaughn for his connections! Didn’t anyone who knows the show see how much Jack and Vaughn were becoming similar, plus to have Vaughn married to a Lauren, where Jack was married to a Laura. I knew that Lauren always ulterior motives to whatever she did. Have I mentioned how much I hate Lauren? (But Melissa George is incredibly sweet from what I can tell.)
- Questions and Speculations:
- If Kendall knew, why didn’t he at least stop the NSC from taking her in to their custody? He could’ve come up with some excuse, right?
- Why didn’t Kendall tell Jack and Vaughn that Sydney was still alive? I know that they had to have this new obstacle between them, but seeing this episode just makes me mad at Kendall for not telling Vaughn, because Vaughn wouldn’t have gotten married if he knew Sydney was still out there, but had to stay in deep cover for the time.
- After seeing Vaughn with Lauren, did she ever check up on him? For some reason I can’t help but picture that Sydney would want to make sure that he was happy, even if she wasn’t, considering how gracious she has been about respecting his marriage, I have to believe that even if she is unhappy she would want Vaughn to be happy. Did she watch his wedding from afar? Did she ever check up on who Lauren was, but find nothing? I just can’t see Sydney roaming the world, and not stopping to check up on Vaughn to see how he was doing.
- If Dixon knew so much about her disappearance, why did he help with the NSC’s investigation into Lazarey or did he not know everything?
- Items that I found noteworthy…
- Pay attention to how Sydney thinks that nine months is nothing since Vaughn loves her. In her speech at the beginning of season three, she says that she would’ve waited. Then think about season 5.
- Dixon came with them on the mission, because he felt it was personal to him as well. It turns out that he was with Kendall when she called from Rome, and that he has known what happened to her the whole time. But he was ordered to say nothing.