Before I begin, I should probably mention that this episode makes me giddy. When I am in need of a good Alias fix and I am only going to watch a single episode, this will be the episode that I turn to most often. It definitely has it’s aspects for adding to the relationship, but it is an episode that also makes me laugh which is never a bad thing considering how often I can break into tears during an episode. This episode can also produce tears for me as well, but three things make this one of my favorite episodes, and since I shouldn’t put all the spoilers at the top of the page. I will indicate my favorite moments as I break it down.
After what Sydney went through in the last episode, she is finally able to get what looks like some good rest. At least we see Sydney sleeping and not waking up from a nightmare as we have seen all season. Once she is awake and has figured out what is going on, she wonders across to another warehouse and finds Jack, Sloane, Vaughn, and Lauren all working together to create a plan of some kind. Sloane was the first to notice her come in, and once they noticed the room fell silent. Jack went over and comforted her, but once it was appropriate, as Sydney approached the table Vaughn stood to greet her and asked her how she feels. She tells him fine and thanks. Once again, even with his wife there to witness, he shows off how chivalrous he is towards Sydney; standing as she approaches, and being her protector, always wanting to make sure that she is okay. Sydney gives them all thanks, and then nods at Lauren and says all of you. Admitting that even though Lauren is to blame for getting Sydney arrested in the first place; she did help break her out, so she does need thanks. With all that Sydney has been through, you have to admit that she is pretty gracious to Lauren, even when Lauren doesn’t deserve it. She has the common sense to know that she can’t bad mouth Vaughn’s wife, at least not to him, if she wants them to at least stay friends. Well at least for now.
It doesn’t take long for Sydney to want to be part of whatever is going on and to help, so Vaughn explains that they are all currently classified as fugitives, but they are working out a plan to frame the covenant for breaking her out. So that they can all eventually return to the positions that they had before.
Overall the beginning of the episode is a little bland for me; however it is necessary to point out some details. Jack tells Sydney how instrumental Sloane has been, so basically be nice, at least for now. They found where the code really leads to which is in the desert about an hour from where they are now. Jack wants to go alone but Sydney insists on going with. Jack then tells Sydney that they may have a lead on someone that can unlock her memories. Sloane gives out grants to researchers, and one of them happens to be working on a project that would cure long term amnesia. Sydney got defensive and asked why he didn’t tell her before, and he said that she wouldn’t have listened to him before.
Before Jack and Sydney leave though, Lauren actually apologizes to Sydney. Although as I was just watching to look for other clues, you do see Vaughn making a face at Lauren and her looking back at him right before she does this. I have to wonder if Vaughn and Lauren had a heart to heart about how she needs to fix this, was he prodding her to say what he thinks needs to be said. Either way, what she said was quite nice, she tells Sydney; “So I was an idiot. Michael tried to warn me about Lindsey, but I didn’t listen. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me, so I did what I always do… I followed the rules.” Sydney doesn’t accept the apology, which I think is fine, but she does give Lauren a small smile to indicate appreciation for the apology.
We do get to see how good Sydney is at lying under pressure, the false coordinates that she gave to Lindsey led him to a liquor store in Simi Valley. The real coordinates led Jack and Sydney to a box, and once they opened the box, they found a severed hand which had the Rambaldi <O> symbol on it.
Back at the warehouse, they are discussing the hand and how Lauren is going to go back to her position first. Her cover story being that she was held by the Covenant and that they let her go, but is still holding Sydney. Sloane will contact Lindsey to set up an exchange, the Rambaldi device for Sydney. Vaughn and Jack are setting up a paper trail that will show them investigating Sydney’s disappearance; so that they can go with Sydney to the dream therapy guy. After looking at all the evidence that the others will have, Lauren then realizes something beautiful, she tells them; “If Lindsey’s to believe I was being held by the Covenant, there needs to be some evidence of my mistreatment.” Lauren then looks to Sydney. But Vaughn being the gentleman that protects the women in his life immediately, tells them no, but with his immediate hand to the head in frustration knows that she’s right. Jack then tells them that she is right and that he was going to bring it up at the very last possible moment. Vaughn then stands up and starts to tell them that he’s not going to let them beat his wife, but Lauren tells him that since she is NSC, she is the only one that can go back and have Lindsey listen to. We again see Vaughn turn to Jack, telling him that it is insane and wondering if there is another option. Jack is very nice about it, and tells Vaughn that the whole situation presents a problem, but they need physical evidence to sell the idea that the Covenant was responsible. Vaughn looks down and sighs, knowing that it has to happen whether he likes it or not. Lauren then looks at Sydney and tells her that she should do it, whenever she is ready. I have to wonder if Lauren chose Sydney because when she is home with Vaughn she can bring up, remember how I helped you rescue your old girlfriend and then she beat me up. Sydney isn’t so sure about this idea though, logically she knows that it has to happen, but she also knows how Vaughn likes to protect the women in his life, and she doesn’t want to upset Vaughn. So before agreeing to do it, she looks to Vaughn for his approval, he looks very conflicted by the idea of Sydney beating up Lauren, and almost begs for Sydney to only go as far as needed with his eyes; then tells her to just get it over with.
So now we reach one of my favorite three parts, Sydney gets to finally take out her frustrations with the situation at hand on Lauren. Come on, at one point or another we have all wanted to punch Lauren in the face, and Sydney finally has the chance, not to mention the fact that Lauren won’t fight back and Sydney has Vaughn’s permission to do so. This is a no lose situation for Sydney. The two women walk into another part of this warehouse and Lauren starts to make a comment about how difficult this must be for her, but Sydney doesn’t even give her the chance to get out the words, and she goes for a full effect punch across the face, knocking Lauren to the ground. You can see how much Sydney wanted to do that and how much power she wanted to go into it. It was awesome! But Sydney, not being overly catty tells Lauren, that one was for turning me into Lindsey in the first place. But then Sydney reaches down to help Lauren up and tells her that helping her up is her way of saying thank you for helping her breakout. Then Sydney tells her, now we can get this over with. I love how Sydney shows Lauren that she isn’t to mess with her again, but also shows her that they can become friends if they work at it. Then we see the extent of damage that Sydney inflicted when Lauren shows up at the CIA. The first time I watched this, I had wished that we could’ve seen more, but they made up for it. But now you know one of the reasons I love this episode is because Sydney gets to beat up Lauren, at no personal cost to herself.
On the jet going to Connecticut to meet with Dr. Brezzell, the dream therapy man, Jack uses a voice distorter to talk with Lindsey about the Covenant’s demands and Lindsey agrees to them. Once jack is finished, we see Vaughn and Sydney sitting across the aisle form each other on the plane each doing their own thing. When Jack sits down, he tells Vaughn that Lauren did well, and Vaughn nods in thanks for letting him know. Jack then looks at Sydney, and she can tell that Jack wants a moment with Vaughn, so she excuses herself. We see another example of how Jack and Vaughn are starting to connect again. Once Sydney is gone Jack tells Vaughn; ”I never thanked you for helping extract Sydney.” Vaughn just shakes his head and replies; “You don’t have to thank me.” Vaughn is clearly implying that he will also do anything for Sydney as well. Jack looks at him very serious and tells him; “Yes I do; especially given your history. I used to think you didn’t have much of a spine.” At first Vaughn looked worried with where Jack’s statement was going, but now is almost smiling since Jack rarely gives out a compliment. Vaughn then asks; “And has that assessment changed at all?” Jack looks at Vaughn and tells him; “no”, but Vaughn can tell that something is up, so he just smiles at Jack, then Jack actually grins showing Vaughn that he actually thinks highly of him, but just wanted to attempt to make a joke with Vaughn. Which in itself is a pretty big step considering where they were a few weeks ago. I think that it is in this comment that allows Vaughn to feel like he should consider Jack’s advice that he will offer or almost demand of Vaughn in the next episode.
Once they reach the dream therapy man, Dr. Brezzell, and have been in his presence for a moment and have met his student that works with him in more than the traditional ways. Jack, Vaughn and Sydney are all a little Skeptical, but Jack is at least hopeful. Once the doctor is far enough away so they can talk, Jack turns around and Vaughn has moved from being by Jacks side to a protective position near Sydney and Vaughn says; “Okay, you have got to be kidding me.” With an immediate response from Sydney saying; “I can’t do this.” But Jack tells them that they really don’t have many other options. But they all sit down and the doctor explains how he came up with the idea, as well as how the therapy works, basically saying that he will place her in a dream state, and her memories can be accessed through her dreams. In the process he mentions some of his past and how he found how to do this with drugs. During the conversation Jack is asking questions, but Sydney and Vaughn spend most of the time giving each other concerned looks.
As Dr. Brezzell is hooking Sydney up to his machines, he explains to her that most people don’t realize that they are dreaming until they wake up, but she is going to have to become lucid in the dream state. Sydney wonders how this is going to happen, and you can see Vaughn watching Sydney on the monitors very concerned. He tells her that the drugs that he will give her will do most of the work, but he will monitor her brain activity and once he knows that she is in a dream state, he will help guide her back to where she needs to go. He instructs her to try and go back to her last memory she has, once she knows that she is in the dream state. Because if she can reach that point, ultimately, she will become aware of what happened next. – Okay I know this has nothing to do with the relationship, but I felt it was necessary to explain how the therapy works so we can talk about what is real and what is not. Although it is interesting to note that as the doctor is working with her and as he is putting her to sleep with the drugs, Vaughn is very anxious and scared as he watches, but Jack remains calm, at least in comparison to Vaughn.
We watch as Sydney falls asleep and then she instantly opens up her eyes again. But as we get a better look, we see that she is all bloody, in an ambulance and Vaughn is there. The moment she opens her eyes, he immediately reaches down and says hey, happy to see her awake. Sydney on the other hand is confused by seeing Vaughn; she even says his name as if it is a question. He keeps smiling and tells her that it is him. We then see the EMT, who is telling her not to move. Sydney wants to know where she is, and the EMT tells her that she is on her way to the hospital, that she has a mild concussion, but she will be okay. Vaughn then tells her that Will is going to be okay, that he lost a lot of blood, but they got to him in time. This only furthers Sydney’s confusion, saying that Will is in Witness Protection. Obviously we know that this is a dream, by seeing her in the outfit she wore when fighting with Allison. Vaughn even tells Sydney that she wasn’t living with Francie, but with Allison. Sydney tells him that she knows, and starts to get up when she is talking about the second double the one that they never found. The EMT forces her back down, but Sydney doesn’t care, she asks Vaughn if he has ever heard of the Covenant. He tells her that they were listed on a report the day before as an emerging threat and he wonders if they are involved with this. But Sydney isn’t answering any of his questions, she wants to know when she is now, and is trying to figure out what is going on. So she asks if Sloane has been pardoned. Vaughn just looks at her as if that is the most obscure thing he has ever heard and even repeats the word pardoned, as a question. She then looks down at his hands holding on to her own, and then tells him that he’s not wearing a wedding ring. I love his response, he smiles and tells her; “No, I thought we’d go to Santa Barbara first and see how that went.” With that statement of Vaughn’s Sydney is now ready to accept that everything that has happened over the last few weeks was simply a nightmare, and that she didn’t miss two years of “her life. So she sits up, and says; “You’re not married?” Vaughn just smiles at her, obviously not knowing what she is talking about and tells her that she really must’ve hit her head hard. Then Sydney just stares at Vaughn as if she is about to cry, seeing that she has just had a nightmare and says; “I thought you gave up on us.” Vaughn takes her closer to him, and with every ounce of sincerity he tells her; “Syd, when I walked into your apartment and I saw you lying there, I thought, God, don’t let me miss a chance to tell her how much I love her.” She just looks at him and is so happy she is in tears and tells him; “I love you.” Then they kiss.
Now before I go on to what happens after the kiss I want to point a few things out. One being that this scene is one of those moments that I can watch over and over again and is one of the three favorite moments. Within a few episodes of each other, we have now seen what Vaughn dreams of and what Sydney dreams of. They both paint a different picture, however they are similar. Sydney wishes that everything has been a nightmare. She is slow to accept that Vaughn still loves her and would be with her. It isn’t until she confirms that all of the things in the last two years didn’t happen does she accept or even confess that she thought she had lost Vaughn. I wish that they had kept it in the script, but after Vaughn tells Sydney that he loves her, he goes on to say that they hadn’t said it yet, and he was waiting for the right moment. Once she realizes that Vaughn is hers still she just wants to hold on tight to him. With Vaughn’s dream he dreams that Sydney will forgive him for marrying Lauren and that is why in his dream he sees Sydney by his side instead of Lauren and she tells him that he’s home. Like he said, he doesn’t fully regret marrying Lauren, but he still wants to be with Sydney. In his dream we see that he wants her to admit how much she misses him, or them, for a better term since they have been around each other. Then he can admit how he really feels as well. Another thing to point out if you are looking at my train of thought on some subjects, this scene would suggest that Vaughn wasn’t ready to propose to Sydney in Santa Barbara. But this is Sydney’s dream, she wouldn’t think that someone could propose that soon into a relationship, but seeing how fast Vaughn married Lauren, he was definitely planning on proposing in Santa Barbara. On a side note, even though it is in a dream state, it is the first time we hear either of them say the words “I Love You” to each other. We have heard Vaughn tell her how much he loved her, and we have heard Sydney say that she loves him; but never to each other. The last thing that I want to point out is that Sydney is being led to clues in this episode, she never actually sees where she really was, because of the procedure that she had, but the audience doesn’t know she had. But Vaughn the two things that Vaughn brings up to her, before discussing themselves, was Will is safe, and Francie was not Francie, but was Allison. This right there tells me that they will have something to do with the outcome overall. It’s just one of those clues that you don’t see or pay attention to unless you know what to look for.
Back to the dream, unfortunately it wasn’t real and when Sydney came out of the kiss, she found herself in another nightmare, still in the ambulance, but kissing Sloane this time. So she screams and jumps away, but then we hear that it is Sloane’s face with Dr. Brezzell’s voice. He tells her that she is dreaming and that she needs to try and go back to the place that she last remembered, in her apartment, as well as telling her that she is in control of her environment. Then we see Sloane push her out of the ambulance and we see the end of the Allison/Sydney fight of last season. Then we see Sydney watching herself Vaughn asks how she can be able to access those memories if she was knocked unconscious, Brezzell tells him that even though her eyes were closed some of her other senses were alert enough to be able to bring back the memory. There are a few dreams that Sydney does go through including watching men take her away from her apartment. And then one of a childhood birthday party of hers where the cake went from saying Happy Birthday to St. Aiden and then cuts the cake and it pours out blood. Brezzell tells her that she has to go back to where she was, because as he had just told jack and Vaughn, she went into a tangent and was no longer in memory. Back in memory, she finds a door that reads 47, and then goes the other direction of a sound and then begins chasing after herself. After all that chasing going down stairs included, she is back at room 47, she is about to enter when a voice calls her name. She turns and it is Lauren, at this point it is important to note that Sydney is now in all white clothing and Lauren is in all black.
Seeing Lauren throws Sydney off of her course and doesn’t follow herself into the room marked with the 47. She instead follows after Lauren in a room that is full of plastic sheeting. We pull out of the dream to see that Brezzell is very confused because she essentially pulling an Inception move, where she is in a dream within her dream of her memories. But since he has never seen it happen, he is a bit frazzled which only makes Vaughn more nervous. Sydney is shaking a bit on the table as well which is of concern to them. Sydney continues to follow Lauren, they eventually meet and Lauren tells Sydney that she knew better. Sydney then tells Lauren that she was a part of this. We see them fighting and Lauren is quite capable, and throws Sydney around the room a few times. Then finally Lauren wraps a plastic sheet around Sydney, and suffocates Sydney. I am sure that I could go on a tangent myself on what this may mean with a dream interpretation. But I am just going to say that Sydney had every right to believe that Lauren was a part of what kept her away, as well as the thought line that for Sydney in real life, she feels like Lauren is killing her every day by being with Vaughn.We watch as the doctor works on her and jack and Vaughn both sit and watch to see what will happen and the screen goes blank for the commercial. These two guys are not even close to being willing to lose her again, especially with them watching.
Before she can go on though, the door opens and Jack walks in and sees them close together with Sydney’s hand coming off of his face, both Sydney and Vaughn turn to look. Jack tells her that her vitals are normal and that she is going to be fine. It finally hits her that she is not in a dream. Jack walks off with a look of disappointment. Sydney is suddenly very ashamed of herself, and closes her eyes and starts to apologize, but Vaughn stops her and tells her that it is okay. And then they both look away and have an awkward moment. I love this moment I do, Sydney so rarely lets down her defenses, and when she was with Vaughn before was one time that she could, so to see that vulnerability with her and have it be a real moment is so great. Plus now we have seen Vaughn dreaming of kissing Sydney, as well as Sydney dreaming of kissing Vaughn. But this is the first time that they actually do get to kiss. We saw how much Vaughn wanted to when he sent her off to Rome. And we know how much Sydney has wanted this since she woke up. So it is a great moment that they finally get to have their dream moment even if Vaughn knows it’s wrong and eventually the need to do right by Lauren wins out. That right there is my favorite moment in this episode. I know it’s dumb and that it isn’t perfect, but to see them happy for even the small five seconds is all worth it to me.
A little while later Jack, Sydney, and Vaughn are sitting and discussing Sydney’s dream, and Brezzell comes in and explains why she had flat lined, so they wondered what else she had remembered. She told them about not being able to see the faces of the men that took her and that they took her to a building and she lost them after they wheeled her through a door. Sydney pauses for a moment and looks at Vaughn almost as if to see if he is ready to hear the next part, but goes on anyway. She then proceeds to tell them that Lauren strangled her. Vaughn looks flustered and eyes the rest of the people in the room questioning what that could mean. Then goes on to say; “Well… That was a dream. It must have been a dream right?” He doesn’t like the idea of his wife showing up in what was supposed to be a memory recall session of Sydney’s missing two years. The last part of his statement was directed at Brezzell, but I have to believe that with this, he may begin to have the feeling that Lauren may not be the person for him. We know he has doubted his marriage, although never admitting to it except for what we see in his dreams, as well as how often he has gotten mad at her over her recent actions.
The doctor explains that it is unclear, it could’ve been Lauren, but it also could represent another figure. Hearing this Vaughn seems a little more relieved, but not 100%. The doctor goes into a little more detail, but then Sydney interrupts him and tells them that she wants to go back. When she says this, she immediately looks to Vaughn. We don’t see his reaction immediately, because her glace turns to Jack when he starts speaking, telling her that it is a mistake. But I think that her initial line of thinking was to see what Vaughn thought. Sydney’s relationship with her father is infinitely better this season than any other time in her life, but that is only because she doesn’t have Vaughn to turn to. Her looking to Vaughn first to gauge his reaction reminds me of the deleted scene from the Indicator, S2 E5. Where she apologizes to him for calling him irrelevant and tells him that through everything that she has gone through, SD-6, her mother, etc. He has been the one constant in her life. Ever since they met, they have had a connection, and he was always the one she would turn to. She still wants and craves that part of their relationship even if they can’t be together. And after this experience, she is starting to believe that there might actually be a possibility that it could happen. But after Jack told her that it was a bad idea, she feels like she needs to explain why she wants to go back and she tells them that they were taking her towards a room, and that it was room 47. Once she says 47, she turns back to Vaughn, to tell him she was being held in room 47. Once again, we go back to Vaughn being the one person who understands her best. He was the one who initially showed her page 47 and the significance that people place on her. He was also the one who poured over that page looking for a logical way to show that she was not the one in the prophecy. We finally get to see Vaughn’s face, and he is showing nothing but concern. He has never liked the effects that Rambaldi has had on Sydney, because it has generally caused her pain in one way or another. She continues to saying that she has to go back and see what happened to her in there. We see Vaughn again and still concerned, he doesn’t say anything, but just looks at her with that level of concern that only someone who loves you will give you. Vaughn then looks to Jack, once again we see that more and more Vaughn wants validation from Jack and wants to hear his opinion before acting. Even with Jack and Vaughn’s concern with Sydney going back into the dream state, they go ahead and get her ready again. As the doctor hooks her up, you see Vaughn back at the monitors watching her every move very carefully. There is no way that after what happened that last time she was in the dream state, that he will let her come anywhere near that again. He will be ultra-conscious of every move she makes.
Once Sydney is back in her dream, she is in a car with Dixon, and he is driving a St. Aiden car, she remarks on how she has never heard of one, Dixon tells her that they are hard to find. The care ends up parking in her living room, where Weiss and Marshall are playing cards and using the Rambaldi clock from Time Will Tell, S1 E8, she asks for directions to the room with the plastic and they tell her to check the kitchen. Back in real life, Brezzell tells Jack and Vaughn that she is back into the memory stage of her dream. Vaughn immediately asks if she is alright. The doctor explains some of her vitals, including that her heart rate is up again, but the excitement level of the doctor when he says that she is on track for another vivid one, makes Vaughn glare at him. it wasn’t the answer that he was looking for. Sydney and Lauren meet up again. Lauren tells her that she shouldn’t have come back and that she doesn’t want to be here. Sydney then wants to figure out who Lauren is supposed to be. Sydney even asks Lauren who she is, because she knows that she isn’t Lauren. Lauren tells her that it doesn’t matter who she is, just that she leaves. Sydney tells her to get the hell out of her way, and then Lauren pulls out a gun and tells her that she can’t do that. Sydney kicks the gun away and then strangles Lauren with the plastic. Suddenly Lauren turns into Sydney, but a Sydney who is dressed in all black and has a deeper voice. The two Sydney’s fights, the new Sydney tells the real Sydney that she is stubborn, and is being an idiot. That they knew that the Covenant had them and that they wanted to stay away, as well as asking her if she really thinks it’s an accident that they don’t remember anything. The real Sydney asks the new Sydney what happened to her, and she is told to trust Lazarey. Sydney wants more answers, but the new Sydney just tells her that she’s asked enough questions. Back in real life Jack is demanding that the doctor pull her out, that he isn’t going to risk her life again. He is saying this as Sydney is somewhat thrashing on the table again, Brezzell tells him no, that she is fine, you can see that Vaughn doesn’t agree with the statement, but refuses to take his eyes off of Sydney and the monitors. The two Sydney’s start fighting again, but the real Sydney ends up shooting the new Sydney and then running to the doors marked 47, she walks inside, looks, and says “Oh my God.” Then the episode ends.
I know that it is an odd episode to have as my favorite, but there are so many good aspects of it, and I know I have rambled much more than necessary, as I often do. But this episode really does show how much Vaughn still cares for Sydney. This attribute only continues to grow as the season continues. I hate that they can’t be together, but I love the tension and chemistry that they continue to have. It just makes for great television.
- Items that I found noteworthy…
- Sloane and Lindsey have a secret meeting, to discuss the demands of Sydney’s release. But Lindsey has other thoughts on his mind. He even tells Sloane that it is an awkward conversation, because he has a special request from Sloane. He wants Sloane to use his contacts to have Sydney killed during the exchange. Lindsey even goes as far as to say that he wants it done while he is there to get the assurance that Sydney is eliminated. To convince Sloane that he is serious he explains that he has proof of Sloane’s endgame and hands him a sheet of paper that shows the endgame.
- Lauren and Marshall worked on confirming the DNA on the hand and it belonged to Lazarey, so that means that Lindsay has nothing on Sydney, because she didn’t actually kill him and she can come home.