Tuesday, November 26, 2013

S3 E21 - Legacy

Before going into details, this episode is a fairly big one for Sydney and Vaughn.  But unfortunately it’s not exactly the most positive for their relationship.  I will go into more details during each scene, but this episode is crucial to the deleted scene from the last episode, because there are some aspects that really don’t make much sense in this episode without that knowledge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXjRA_sJ0ek

Also you have to infer a few things about the aftermath of the scene as well, for instance I have to guess that Sydney did tell Vaughn what Lauren did to him and he may have gone into detail about what he may or may not have disclosed.  I don’t know, as that portion is never revealed.  But it is evident that they have discussed it, and it has affected both of them heavily.  I would have to say that Vaughn is probably more affected by the revelation though.  I know that a huge part of the episode is trying to rescue Nadia and what her experience is, but honestly, this portion somewhat bores me and I am going to try and stick to just Sydney and Vaughn tonight.
The first interaction that Sydney and Vaughn have starts out really nice actually.  Vaughn is walking through the Rotunda obviously looking for Sydney.  He sees her before she sees him, and it’s only there for a small moment, but that impish grin that he gets when he is happy to see Sydney reappears.   I have really missed that smile; it brought me back to the days before SD-6 went down when he would light up just with her appearance.  But he walks over to her and she finishes her phone call.  Her first reaction to seeing him is concern.  She wonders what he is doing there, since she had thought that he was supposed to stay in the hospital for a few more days.  But he tells her that he checked himself out early.  She wonders if they wanted to keep him for observation for a few days, but he tells her that he is fine.  You can tell that she really is concerned for his well-being, but I think that she sees something else there.  I think she wonders if he really is ready to be back and function at the level that he needs to with what has happened to him not only physically, but mentally.  He can see the worry in her eyes and tries to change the subject to what is really on his mind.  He tells her; “Look, whatever Lauren did to me, I want you to know that I take full responsibility for what’s happened.  I messed up. And if you can’t get past that, I understand. But will you try?”   She tells him that she doesn’t know and you can see that even though she loves him, and still considers him her soul mate, she has also become a little bitter against Vaughn.  After hearing her reply, Vaughn is a little crestfallen, as you would expect after an admission like that.  But he goes on to tell her; “Will you at least think about it? Because it’s all I can think about.” As he asks her to think about it, he eyes look up and see Dixon behind him, and she simply tells him that she will think about it.  Dixon talks to them for a moment then leaves.  Sydney and Vaughn share  a glance, Vaughn looks at Sydney hopefully, but she quickly adverts her eyes away from him and walks away leaving Vaughn to follow her, but looking heartbroken.

This is a scene that plays into the deleted scene.  I remember seeing it for the first few times and having no idea what they are talking about, and wondering why Sydney is so upset with him.  I just thought that their last interaction didn’t go badly; in fact it went pretty well.  They held hands, and Vaughn showed her how even though he had almost been tortured to death, his main concern in the hospital was about her and her involvement with the Passenger because of the Prophecy. There is one website that I often look to when I am preparing myself to start a new episode and their captions for scenes can give you a whole new perspective on the episode, but the website is TwoEvilMonks.org.  They have gone through and have screen shots for almost every scene with captions for every episode until season 5.  But when I read the comment under this scene, I had to laugh, and thought I would share. I have the screen shot from the website below.
So I think overall everyone may have been a bit confused over that scene initially.  But it is with this attitude that Sydney and Vaughn go into the episode with.  Vaughn desperately wants to regain Sydney’s approval as well as fix anything that Lauren may have done.  Sydney is broken with how she feels towards Vaughn.  She wants to be with him and knows that they finally have a chance now, but is clearly hesitant after how many times Vaughn has gone back to Lauren this season.  She wants to believe that it can work, but she has been hurt too much and is just overall confused about her own feelings.

In the conference room a briefing is being held with Sydney, Vaughn, Dixon, Jack and Weiss.  They discuss Sloane’s latest maneuvers and how they may be able to go to a facility and place a tracker on the Rambaldi fluid that Sloane needs more of so he can continue to get the Rambaldi end game from Nadia.  Dixon tells Sydney and Vaughn that they will go on that mission together and see what they can get.  After getting the instructions for the mission, Vaughn wants to know where they stand in finding Lauren.  Weiss tells Vaughn that FBI counterintelligence is going over all of her info and is handling the case.  Vaughn questions whether the CIA field office are also involved,  as well as seeing if they can re-task  some of the Echelon satellites.  Vaughn knows that his job is to help Sydney find and rescue Nadia with Sydney, but he has a high stake in finding out where Lauren is and wants to make sure that she is brought to justice.   Dixon reminds Vaughn that they are doing all that they can, but the priority in their office is Sloane.  This is not what Vaughn wants to hear, but doesn’t protest, at least for now.  He only shakes his head frustrated.  Jack looks at Vaughn, and knows what he is going through.  Jack doesn’t say anything, but you can see that Jack is thinking of how he can help Vaughn, because his look is full of concern.

When Sydney and Vaughn arrive at the facility where Sloane had sent someone in to retrieve the fluid, they arrive to find that the guards have already been taken out.  Sydney and Vaughn had been carrying tranquilizer guns, but upon realizing that Sloane had beat them there, Vaughn puts away his tranq gun and picks up the rifle that the guard was using.  They get into the facility and find that all of the fluid has been taken, so they can’t place a tracker on anything to track back to Sloane.  But they had a secondary protocol to get any data that they can from the facility, since it was originally used by the Russians as a Rambaldi research facility.  Once again Sydney and Vaughn prove that while they may have personal issues that need to be resolved, as a team in the field, they make perfect partners and are very effective together.  While Vaughn is working on uploading the files to Marshall, Sydney comes up behind him and gets closer to him than she would’ve been over the last year.  Even if she is trying to be a little cold toward Vaughn and not let her true feelings out, her subconscious is proving that hard to do.  In the video they see that Nadia was held there for a time and the Rambaldi was used on her there.  Sydney walks over to the room where Nadia was tortured with the fluid when Marshall warns them that they triggered a silent alarm.  And the Russian guards walk in followed by Katya Derevko, only Sydney and Vaughn don’t know that she was the one who saved them in North Korea.
As the scene reopens, Katya looks at Sydney and calls her by name which shocks Sydney to say the least.  Vaughn is also a little confused as she orders some of the guards to secure the perimter then takes his tranq gun and proceeds to shoot some of her own men with it.  She then tells Sydney and Vaughn to take their uniforms.  Before she does this however, you can see Vaughn looking back and forth between Katya, and Sydney.  From the looks he has, I can guess that he is trying to determine how to protect Sydney and whether he could take out Katya if needed.  Unfortunately this is only in the background so you can’t see it that well.  But once again I give props to Michael Vartan and his fantastic acting skills when he only gets to work with facial expressions.   Sydney finally asks the question of who she is.  Katya tells her that she is Sydney’s mother’s sister.  With hearing this Sydney realizes that it must be Katya, who Jack told her helped them out of North Korea, so Sydney and Vaughn become much more willing to trust her as she helps them get out of the facility.  While not much happens with the mission, concerning the relationship aspect, we do see them going back to their instincts, as well as seeing a few other things going for them.  One that they can work together better than any other partnership, two that Vaughn will always be looking for ways to protect Sydney, and third that even though Sydney thinks she wants nothing to do with him romantically, right now because of Lauren, she still craves being close to Vaughn and subconsciously moves closer to him when her that guard is let down.

The scene that immediately follows them getting out of the compound, is one of the few favorites of mine that doesn’t involve Sydney or Vaughn.  The scene is between Nadia and Sloane in Kyoto, and I won’t go into it too far, but I love how Nadia essentially tells Sloane that she thinks him to be a terrible father and she wishes that he wasn’t hers.   It is a great Nadia moment; especially after hearing that knowing he had a daughter is supposedly what reformed Sloane.

In general we know that both Sydney and Vaughn are frustrated when finding that a mission didn’t produce the results that they would have liked.  This mission to the facility that held the Rambaldi fluid is no different.  Yes they were able to get a sample of the fluid and gain access to the computer files that held video, but they didn’t achieve their ultimate goal of tracking the liquid so it could lead them to Sloane.   But they are both frustrated, but Sydney seems to take it with a grain of salt and can go about the next portion of the mission as planned.  But not being able to track Sloane upsets Vaughn more than usual.   

We’ve never really seen Vaughn get aggravated over a mission, he has always been such a rock emotionally overall.   We have seen him get mad and protective over Sydney and even Lauren at one point.  But we are now seeing Vaughn’s transformation.  He’s never been overly vengeful; he even found a way to work with Irina knowing that she killed his father, even if he never fully trusted her and always held his suspicions.  But the last three years have changed him, he first had to bury Sydney and deal with the grief of losing her, then working through the process of attempting to move on with Lauren.  He was finally at a relatively good point of functioning without Sydney when he gets the call that she is alive and is asked to go get her, while having Sydney back definitely made him happy, it also put him in a tough spot. He never stopped loving Sydney, but he did love Lauren as well, just in a different way, and we’ve watched him struggle with that dilemma throughout the season.  Now he has learned that this woman, who he trusted, who he found a reprieve from his grief with has betrayed him and was using him the whole time.  Vaughn has almost reached his breaking point.  He knows the politics of the office and he knows that his teams’ assignment is to find and capture Sloane as well as recover Nadia.  I think that in Vaughn’s mind he has the thought that once they find Sloane and Nadia, they will be able to go after Lauren, and while right now he hasn’t reached the point of truly wanting her dead, he does want her to pay for what she did to him, as well as what she has done to Sydney. 
After getting away from the facility where the Rambaldi fluid was kept; Sydney, Vaughn, and Katya go to a safe house in St. Petersburg.  The first thing we see is Vaughn on the phone with Weiss, telling him that Katya saw Lauren and Sark on the surveillance feed where they took a canister of the Rambaldi fluid.  This just frustrates Vaughn, knowing that they must have just missed them, and not just being able to track the liquid back to Sloane.  Vaughn tells Weiss that they need to re-task the satellites.  Weiss replies, but Vaughn doesn’t want to hear what he is being told, he quickly tells Weiss that he understands, but he wants them found.  Another moment passes where Weiss is talking, and Weiss is not helping Vaughns frustration, Vaughn walks out the room almost yelling; “That’s not good enough, Weiss!” 
A small side note, I always knew that Vaughn was voicing his frustrations her to Weiss, but until this episode I didn’t realize how much he knew about Lauren here.  I don’t know how I missed it, but this was the first time I heard him telling Weiss that Katya saw Lauren and Sark on the surveillance feed.   So this new knowledge of how close they were to finding Lauren only adds another level to the rage that is building up in Vaughn.    

While Vaughn is talking to Weiss Sydney is talking to Katya about Nadia and trying to decide how much to tell Katya about what she knows.  Sydney asks why Nadia is so important if she had already completed Rambaldi’s message that they saw in the video tapes.  Katya tells her that Nadia was taken before she finished the message.  Vaughn walks in at this point and tells Katya that it was his father that took her away to protect her.  Katya doesn’t like the implications that Vaughn is going towards, but Vaughns asks her why she is so interested in finding her long lost niece.   One thing that is important to note about Vaughn here is that he is staying professional and is actually very calm when he is in the room with Katya and Sydney.  He is still has control over his rage.  Katya tells them that she understands their hesitations, but reminds them what she has risked to help them as well as why she is now back on the track looking for Nadia.  After hearing this information, and knowing that the knowledge of finding out that Sloane is Nadia’s father was the driving force behind Katya’s search for Nadia, leads Sydney to tell Nadia that Sloane does in fact have Nadia at the moment.

Upon returning to LA, Marshall has examined the sample of the fluid that Sydney brought back and is telling the taskforce about the fluid and what it can do.  As Marshall is explaining it, the group is watching the video feed that they brought back with Nadia as a child being injected by an unknown doctor and beginning to write out the formula.  While concerned about the side effects that the fluid has, Sydney and Vaughn are also curious about the doctor.  They get the idea that if they can find the doctor maybe he can lead them to Sloane.  After Vaughn voicing how he wishes they could see the doctors face, Sydney sees a reflection in a glass case, and asks Marshall to zoom in on it and enhance it.  After enhance the picture, both Sydney and Marshall have looks of horror on their face, as they realize that it is Suit and Glasses man that tortured both of them as well as Will.

Now knowing who the doctor is, they reassemble in the conference room, they find out the doctors name, Suit and Glasses man is actually Dr. Zhang Lee.   He was the lead researcher for the experiments on Nadia, and he has recently met with Sloane in Zurich, they believe that it was to help Sloane procure the fluid.  After the initial information is given, Vaughn once again asks what is happening in tracking Lauren and Sark.  Dixon tells him that they don’t believe that they have any connection to Dr. Lee.  Which only upsets Vaughn again, he tries to stay calm, but is having a hard time doing it. He goes on about the satellites and how they should’ve been tasked to follow her.  I think he has seen exactly how evil she is and that she is may be the key to everything that they are looking for.  Because now that he has separated himself from her and is starting to look at the whole picture of their relationship, he can see where he was manipulated, and that she had an endgame the whole time.  After a small argument between Vaughn and Weiss about the satellites, Dixon interrupts them and tells them that this is not the time.  Vaughn stops his arguments, but isn’t happy that he is being dismissed again, and that they still won’t be going after Lauren.  From across the table Jack looks at Vaughn, he doesn’t say anything, but you can tell that Jack can sympathize very well with Vaughn in this moment.  Sydney breaks the tension in the room by asking where Dr. Lee is now.  Dixon tells her that he is in a research facility in Cuba, and that she and Vaughn will head there to question him about the Rambaldi experiments and where to find Sloane. 

After the briefing, Vaughn is quick to get out of there, Jack quickly follows.  In the hallway, Vaughn looks very determined to get out of the building and release some of his pent up anger, but Jack stops him and asks him if he has a minute.  Vaughn turns around and temporarily stores away his rage to talk to Jack.  Vaughn doesn’t see the concern on Jack’s face, but it is there, Jack tells Vaughn; “I know why you checked yourself out of medical services early. I know you’re under the impression you’re fine, that all you need to do is hold yourself together and bury yourself in work.”  This is not the conversation that Vaughn is in the mood to have right now though, and he tells Jack to get to the point rather impatiently.  So Jack goes on saying; “My point is, your rage is seething under the surface. I know because I’ve been there, and I promise you if you don’t resolve this as quickly and expediently as you can it will spill over into every aspect of your life, including your professional and personal relationship with my daughter, and I do not want you endangering her.  Watching Vaughns face while Jack is talking I am reminded of the speech that jack gave him just a few episode ago, in Unveiled S3 E19, he is polite, but he wants to Jack a piece of his mind once he has to chance to speak.   Vaughn sees a break and tell Jack; “I am doing my job the best I can. Do you have a better suggestion?”  This last part almost seemed like an afterthought to Vaughn.  I think that Vaughn is finally realizing that he is more like Jack than he would like, but has reached the point where accepting advice from Jack on the issue may actually be helpful to him.  Jack tells him; “I suggest you focus your energy onto achieving closure on this matter.”  Before Jack can go on, Vaughn interrupts him saying; “No one wants Lauren in custody more than I do.”  Jack then tells him; “That’s not the kind of closure I’m referring to.”  Jack then reaches into his jacket pocket and hands Vaughn a key.  Vaughn asks him what it is, and Jack tells him; “It’s the key to my storage facility, you’ve been there before. In it you’ll find false identification, unmarked and untraceable weapons, contact sheets, as well as disposal facilities capable of dealing with her remains.”   This suggestion of Vaughn killing Lauren does not please Vaughn.  He tells Jack; “That might be your way of dealing with things. It’s not mine.”  Vaughn looks like he has to use every ounce of energy he has to hold in his anger at this point, and Jack can see it.  So when Vaughn tries to hand the key back to Jack, Jack tells him to keep it and walks away.  Vaughn watches Jack walk away and at first I think that the anger in his eyes is at Jack, but then it starts to look more contemplative and makes me think that Vaughn is starting to think that Jack may be right.

**** SPOILERS AND A LOT OF SPECUALTION*** Next paragraph only
On a completely different note it is at this point that I have to wonder if Jack has already used the equipment from his storage facility, to kill Irina.  We know that the last time that Jack was speaking to Irina was two episodes ago in Hourglass S3 E19, while Lauren was known to be a traitor, but not taken in yet.  I have to think that Jack found out about the hit on Sydney ordered by Irina happened sometime between saving Sloane from his execution and when he, Sloane and Sydney went on the journey to find Nadia.  That is the only explanation I can think of for how Lauren could’ve known where to tell Sydney to look.  From her contacts at the Covenant, she would’ve known that Jack didn’t really kill Irina, but a helix formed double of Irina.  Then still being active with the NSC she would’ve had access to find out where the classified documents were being held.  So there is my theory for the cliffhanger at the end of the season.
In Cuba, Sydney tricks the bodyguards into helping her and distracts them long enough for Vaughn to be able to shoot them with the tranq gun.  They both run out of the water and towards the house that is being used as a lab for Dr. Lee.  I assume that they change once they get in, because Sydney is more covered up next time we see her and Vaughn isn’t wearing a wetsuit.  We also see Dr. Lee experimenting with a substance that he drew out of a fish.  As he takes the fluid from the fish and puts it into a container filled with another substance you can hear it sizzle and steam rises out of it.  He hears the floor crack and he shouts back that he told them no disturbances and continues on with his work.  Sydney comes up behind him and tells him, “I’m sure you can make an exception for an old friend.”  Then she proceeds to knock him out by hitting him on the head with the butt of her gun.

Once Dr. Lee has been knocked out, Sydney and Vaughn tie him up in his wheelchair (courtesy of Will’s revenge telling him 1 in 5.)  Sydney then wakes him up and says; “Remember me from Taipei? Red Hair. You liked my teeth.”  She then starts talking about the experiments that he conducted on Nadia.  But we then see Vaughn and although he knows that this doctor tortured Sydney (and her friends) at some point, seeing her talking to him and hearing about the torture sparks something in him again.  Nothing is said so I can’t really confirm this, but by the look on his face, he becomes even madder than he has been.  So on top of his already mounting rage, he is face to face with someone who has tortured Sydney and you can see that he is done letting anyone hurt Sydney, and he is ready to hurt them as much as they have hurt her, if not more.  Just that one look tells me that the transformation from being the cool and collected CIA agent to the CIA agent that will do anything needed to get the results he wants.
As Sydney is questioning Dr. Lee about what will be found when they get to the site that the Rambaldi equation that Nadia is drawing out when under the influence of the Rambaldi fluid.  Vaughn has had enough since Dr. Lee isn’t sufficiently answering Sydney’s questions.  He asked Dr. Lee where Sloane is, and Dr. Lee tells him that he has no idea.   Vaughn then decides to prove to the doctor exactly how far he is willing to go to get the answers he wants.  He takes a dropper and extracts some of the liquid that Dr. Lee was experimenting with and drops some on to Dr. Lee’s paralyzed leg.  The liquid is some form of acid and it has burned through his pants and is burning the skin underneath.  Vaughn looks at him and tells him; “Now I know that you can’t feel that, but you can see it, and you can imagine what it’s going to feel like when I pour the rest of this on you.”  Sydney knows that this type of interrogation is not Vaughn’s style and now realizes how full of rage Vaughn really is.  She looks at him concerned and says his name to stop him.  But he doesn’t respond to her.  We then see the acid dripping down and burning through the metal of the wheelchair.  Vaughn continues to interrogate Dr. Lee in this way with Dr. Lee insisting that he only met with Sloane for charity.  Sydney continues to plead with Vaughn to stop telling him that he can’t do this.  At that remark Vaughn asks Sydney; “Why not? He would.” Then Vaughn continues to question him.  Vaughn asks him a few more questions, none of them receiving the answers he was looking for, and then finally tells the doctor, “Wrong answer.”  And then proceeds to pour the acid onto Dr. Lee, presumably killing him.  Sydney watches in horror and then looks at Vaughn wondering what has happened to him.
Watching this scene happen I am drawn back to the scene in season two right after Dixon’s wife was killed and Dixon interrogates a man, also trying to get information about Sloane has done.  Sydney sat back and had to watch that go down as well.  There she had to try and stop Dixon from completely killing the man as well.  It’s hard not to draw a parallel with these two scenes.  In both Sydney feels that both men should be allowed to keep working even if their mental state may be fractured, due to recent events concerning their wives and what Sloane has done.  Both men mean a great deal to her and it is hard to watch as they suffer, but when they see an opportunity to seek revenge on someone who isn’t completely responsible, she has to try and stop them from turning into someone that they aren’t.   Since much of Dixon’s recovery was done during the two years that Sydney was missing, and he has mostly recovered from losing his wife by the time we come back.  We will see the continued pressure of Vaughn losing his wife as we end this season and go into the next. 
In the plane on their way home from Cuba, Vaughn tells Sydney that he just spoke with Dixon and that Jack and Katya may have found a lead as to where to find Sloane from Toni Cummings and that they may have his location by the time they get back.  But Sydney has other things on her mind; you can see something been eating away at her.  She tells Vaughn; “What you did to Dr. Lee was unacceptable.”  You can tell that it’s hard for her to say this to Vaughn, but she has to say it.  After saying it she immediately looks away from him again.  I don’t think that she wants to argue, but she knows that it probably will, and with his current state, I think she is afraid of what may happen.  Vaughn is upset with her comment, but stays fairly calm and tells her; “You wouldn’t say that if I had gotten something out of him.”  But this comment doesn’t help his situation, she looks right at him now and tells him; “What he knew or didn’t know is beside the point.”  You can see that Vaughn doesn’t want to argue either, in his head he got revenge on someone that hurt the person he loves most in the world, and he would do anything to get her back and make her happy.  But even with that, he isn’t going to back down yet and responds by telling her; “Exactly. The point is, we’re trying to find your sister.”  Sydney is getting really upset and begins to almost shout, saying; “And if you had gotten the answer, it still wouldn’t have been okay.”  Vaughn responds with a matching tone, but is trying to get her to understand that he did it for her saying, “Sloane has her. Wouldn’t you do anything to get her back?”  Sydney still doesn’t understand exactly why he did what he did and tells him that he knew they had other options.  Hearing this frustrates Vaughn, so he tells her what I believe to be his main motivation behind such a brutal interrogation, in a tone similar to begging her tells her; “Sydney, the man tortured you, he tortured Marshall, and he tortured your sister.”  Personally I think he left out Will, because he doesn’t want her thinking about Will when he is finally able to start something with her again.  After hearing what Vaughn’s true reasoning was, or at least what I believe it to be, she tells him her true concern as well saying; “This isn’t about him. This is about you, and what I saw scared me.”  Vaughn then understands her pleading; he realizes that his rage may have gone too far, and that he may have exacted his revenge on the wrong person.  He looks up at Sydney and realizes that she is more concerned with him than anything else, and even though he is upset, a little bit of hope enters into him again. He then nods his head slightly, and finally responds; “ Yeah… Well… It scared me, too… “  He looks a Sydney for a moment longer, then looks away for a moment or two before going on, much calmer than before, confessing; “What I’m willing to do to find her. When I was with Dr. Lee, all I could think about was, If we get to Sloane, we’ll get to her.” Taking into consideration the other things he has said and done, I have to still believe that part of his thinking whether it was consciously or not, was getting revenge on the man who hurt Sydney, even if he has said otherwise in this moment.  But he does pause for a moment before going on to tell Sydney; “Now I want to find your sister, but I need to find my wife. Lauren cannot be allowed to get away with what she’s done.”   I think that Sydney is happy to learn the truth behind his motivations, but shows Vaughn some tough love, and tells him; “Well, Lauren might, and you have to be prepared to deal with that.”  This is not the response that Vaughn was looking for, but I think he knew it was coming.  They both look at each other for a few moments more, trying to understand each other, as well as trying to figure out how they are going to get back to a happy place for the two of them.
With the information that was gather from Toni Cummings, they go to Kyoto Japan to attempt a rescue of Nadia, bringing Cummings with them to be able to gain access past whatever security system she put in place. Right before arriving in Kyoto, Sydney leans in to Vaughn and tells him; “I need to know that you will stay on mission…To protect Nadia, no matter what else happens.”  While she says this Vaughn looks contemplative, but we never see him agree to it, after she is done speaking, Vaughn just stubbornly looks forward.

Once they reach Sloane location, Sydney, Vaughn, and Cummings all repel down from the helicopter, and surprise attack the guards. Weiss and a bigger team with members unknown are following in a truck ready to enter as soon as the security is down.  Cummings gains access to the compound and Sydney and Vaughn start to invade the house as Weiss and his team begins the invasion of the compound.  As this is happening, Lauren and Sark have forced Sloane to administer more fluid than Nadia’s brain can handle into Nadia, which upsets Sloane and he has his men turn on them, unfortunately Sark was faster and shot Sloane’s body guards before they could get him.  Sark has Sloane at gunpoint as Sydney and Vaughn burst in.  A firefight that puts Sydney and Vaughn against Lauren and Sark ensues.  Upon seeing Lauren, Vaughn is hell-bent on capturing Lauren and making sure that she more than anyone pays for what has happened.  Sark and Lauren escapes from the room where Nadia is being held, and Vaughn runs after them.  Sydney sees this and tries to stop him, yelling for him to stop and that they need to secure Nadia.  But without looking back, he yells back at her telling her that he’s going after Lauren.  She yells his name again, but he doesn’t return.  Sydney is not happy, but she continues on her mission.  She tells Sloane that he needs to back away; he simply tries to make her understand that he doesn’t want Nadia harmed either, but she still keeps her gun trained on him as she approaches Nadia, and frees her from the medical table she was on.  Sloane’s men enter and tell him that he needs to leave and another firefight begins, this one putting Sydney against Sloane’s bodyguards.  After sometime it comes down to Sydney doing hand to hand combat with both of his men. Sydney is able to take down one of the men, but the other man was able to find his gun and he traps Sydney.  Before he can do much more then tell Sydney to freeze, Nadia stands up with her own gun and shoots the man with the gun pointed at Sydney.

Outside Vaughn is chasing after Sark and Lauren and more gun shots are passed, but no one is hit. Cummings sees Sark and Lauren escaping and she begins shooting at them as well. But Lauren then gets out grenade launcher and points it at Vaughn and Cummings, they immediately move out of the way and one of their trucks is destroyed.  Vaughn gets up and watches in horror as she escapes from their clutches.

Vaughn returns to the room where Nadia is being held and helps Sydney carry Nadia back to the helicopter.  Once inside they all get situated and Sydney tells Nadia, thinking she will reassure her that she is safe and that she promises that Sloane will never be able to hurt her again.  Nadia leans back and tells them that he saved her.   With this comment Vaughn looks at her and Sydney for a quick second and then turns away.  He won’t say it, but he then knows that Sark and Lauren are the ones who really want to harm Nadia.  Sydney just looks out the window and tries to make sense of the whole thing.
Back at the Rotunda, Dixon is debriefing Sydney and Vaughn when he tells them; “The only blemish on a job well done is a debrief I received from the TAC team leader indicating that an initial failure to secure Nadia provided Sloane an opportunity to escape. Is there anything to that?”  While Dixon is talking, Vaughn looks properly abashed, and turns to Sydney to watch her tell Dixon of his failure to do his job, yet, hoping that she won’t.  Sydney just looks up at Dixon, shakes her head and says; “No there isn’t.”   Once again, Vaughn looks down abashed, yet grateful.
The next thing we see is the two of them walking out of the conference room, Sydney hot on Vaughn’s heels.   She quickly shuts the door behind her and begins talking to Vaughn, saying; “I won’t cover for you like that again. You violated mission protocol, and you left me behind. Nadia saved my life.”  Vaughn is not in the mood to be lectured though, and he turns on her and tells her; “It was a judgment call. If it was the wrong one, I’m sorry. I would never put your life in jeopardy.”  Sydney isn’t taking this answer, she tells him; “You saw a chance to get Lauren, and you took it no matter what. You didn’t have my back.” Vaughn is getting somewhat irritated with this conversation and interrupts her and tells her; “We got Nadia. That’s what counts.”  Sydney can see his irritation and steps back for a moment, to gather her thought and change her approach.  She doesn’t really want to fight with Vaughn, she knows that she can help him more than anyone, and finally looks at him sympathetically and says; I understand what you're going through. What it feels like to be betrayed. You saw how my hatred of Sloane consumed me. Vaughn; you saved me from that. From letting my anger turn me into a different person. And now it is my turn to do that for you. But you have to let me; you have to listen to me. You have to believe me when I tell you that the person you are right now is not the person you want to be. I told you that I didn't know if we could figure things out between us, I still don't. But I do know that we can't even begin to try until you deal with this.” He looks at her and nods a small nod, knowing that she is right, but when he doesn’t respond she walks away.  He watches her walk away, and you can see him contemplating all of his options.
The next time we see Vaughn, he has open the garage door to the storage unit.  He enters and shuts the door.  He takes a good look around takes a sniper rifle from off of the wall.  Puts it up like he is getting ready to fire, and shoots the unloaded gun towards his imaginary target; looking like he is ready to kill.   

I just want to take a moment here and discuss the ending for a moment, I have been on a lot of different sites, and many people seem to have a problem with Sydney’s speech that she gives to Vaughn at the end.  They state that it is too contradictory in her statements.  Her saying that she isn’t sure if she can move on, but he has to deal with his stuff first, but at the same time saying that she wants to help him get through it.  I’ll admit that the first time hearing it, I thought some of the same things, but then I really listened to it, and thought about it.  She still wants to be friends, and she isn’t going anywhere.  She is going to be around, she is simply telling him, that I want to help you get through your revenge and hatred, just like you helped me at the beginning.  My first thought goes back to S1 E4 – A Broken Heart.  At that time she has an overwhelming amount of hatred and betrayal from Sloane which is the obvious one, but also her father and she feels like her world is crashing down around her.  Then Vaughn gives the perfect speech to her.  Telling her how strong she is and how he will be there for her.  http://romancingalias.blogspot.com/2013/07/s1-e4-broken-heart.html When he told her those things they weren’t romantically involved in any way, but he was telling her that as a friend he would help her.  Now when I listen to what she tells him when he is full of rage is that even if she isn’t sure if they will have a romantic relationship or not, she is still there for him as his friend, and she will help him through it.  But at the same time telling him that once he has worked through it, then she can consider that type of relationship again.  But she knows that he doesn’t want to be this person he is right now and that is no way to re-kindle their relationship.  So I personally think the speech that she gives him is fine.

**** SPOILERS AND A LOT OF SPECUALTION*** Next paragraph only
I do have to go off on a small tangent / theory here.  It really has nothing to do with the relationship, although it does affect it a little in season four.  I lined up a few things on a timeline concerning Vaughn’s father Bill, Irina’s fake death when she was pregnant with Nadia, and when Nadia was born as well as when she was taken from the facility in Russia.  So we know that the date listed for Bill Vaughn’s death is October 21st, 1979, which lines up with other things that we know, Vaughn was 8 when his father died, Vaughn was born in November of 1970.  So it lines up there.  The problem that I have is that Bill Vaughn had anything to do with Nadia.  I know that we like to think of Brill, friend of Jack’s who helped free Sydney as a good guy who has retired from the CIA, who also knew Bill Vaughn.  But his knowledge of the passenger was too convenient for me when I started to really think about it.  Brill called him when Lauren knew that Vaughn knew about her situation.  Sark’s people knew exactly where to find Vaughn after talking with Brill.  Could Brill have been working for Elena the whole time, planting this seed of curiosity into Vaughn’s head about his father?  Because how on earth could Bill Vaughn have saved Nadia when she wasn’t even born until at least 1981, which is after Laura Bristow, AKA Irina Derevko, “dies” in a car accident.   I know that Elena headed up the Covenant, she could’ve sent in Brill to tell Vaughn about the whereabouts of the passenger for him to “save” her, since Elena had been keeping tabs on both Nadia and Sydney.  Then telling Sark where to find Vaughn who would have the information he needed. She used Sark, Brill, and Vaughn as players in her endgame, as well as throwing off any suspicion of her.  I don’t come to this realization lightly, I have examined the whole scenario over and over in my head, and this is the only explanation that I can come up with, besides just throwing my hands up and saying that the writers had no idea what they were doing with that storyline and didn’t research characters. Brill may have known Vaughn’s father, but Brill must’ve turned and is now working for the Covenant in some capacity, and fed Vaughn the story that Bill Vaughn had saved Nadia.  Someone else actually did that.

  • Items I found Noteworthy 
    • While Sydney and Vaughn are in Cuba questioning Dr. Lee, Jack is tasked to work with Katya on looking through Sloane’s financials. While looking through them they find a connection to Toni Cummings who builds the high end security systems, who Sydney and Weiss arrested back in episode After Six S3 E13. Katya is incredibly excited about the idea of being able to find Nadia and Sloane, but her happiness seems suspicious to me.  Like she really doesn’t care about finding them, but finding what they have found. (Or Maybe I just know too much and know what to look for…) 
    •  Jack met with Toni Cummings and arranged a deal with her.  She helps them find Sloane and she gets out of prison.  While still in the prison Marshall works with Toni Cummings and she decides that she is very impressed with him and offers him a job working for her.  I love how Marshall reacts to this, eventually telling her that he really enjoys working for the good guys.


  1. Vaughn worried me a lot in this episode. I could see the rage and being used to moralistic Vaughn who somehow manages to keep his temper, I did not like it at all. I did not want him to turn to another Jack and he almost got Sydney killed! His rage made him forget the objective, rescue Nadia and have Sydney's back-Sydney was right to scold him. Vaughn was able to deal with Sydney's mother being his father's killer; that did not diminish how he felt for Sydney but this one about his 2 faced wife really got to him.

    1. I'll go into my thoughts on this more when I begin season four, but Lauren really did mess with Vaughn a lot. I still don't understand why they deleted the scene where we find out that Lauren has been messing with Vaughn's head in the episode right before this one. Because it explains that not only has Lauren made him miss out on being with Sydney when she needed him most, has used every part of him towards her evil plan, but now he finds out that she has been psychologically conditioning him to do things that he has no idea that he did or what information he may have given her. This really messes with his head.

      When he left Sydney with Nadia in the end of the episode, I believe that he wouldn't have gone after Lauren if he thought that Sydney was actually in danger. From what he could see they had gotten rid of the immediate threat and he knew that Sydney was very capable on her own. So he justified leaving Sydney and Nadia, and he does regret the fact that Nadia did have to save Sydney and that he wasn't there for her. It is with that guilt that he decided once and for all to take Jack's advice and to eliminate Lauren and he goes to the storage unit.

      As far as the rage that Vaughn shows when with Dr. Lee, I really do think that it is twofold. He wants to get the Intel, but he also sees it as an opportunity. What I mean by that is that right now, he can't do anything about exacting his revenge on Lauren, the one person he sees as hurting Sydney the most, so he sees another person that has hurt Sydney time and time again. Vaughn remembers the bruises and scars that Sydney had during their first meeting, as well as watching her suffer mentally after Will and Marshall had been tortured, then the anger upon learning that Nadia was also tortured by him. So while he can't get to Lauren, he does have the chance to hurt someone that has hurt Sydney and that will do for him. With all of that though, the part that gets me the most, is after Sydney scolds him for going too far and telling him that it scared her, his reply of; "Yeah... Well... It scared me too." He goes on to tell her how he has this need to find Lauren, but honestly it's that one short little line that I love. It shows Vaughn as vulnerable. Which is something that I don't think that I we get to see enough of.

      But your right, this episode didn't have the best positive impact on the relationship in the here and now type of way, but I think that at some point they will look back at this time and think that if they can make it through this, they can make it through anything.