Wednesday, July 31, 2013

S2 E9 – The Passage: Part 2

As the episode begins, we rewind a few minutes and go back to the last few moments of the last episode, but this time we view it from both Sydney’s situation as well as Vaughn’s.   It starts with a CIA technician that is monitoring the tracking device that was placed in Irina’s necklace.  He sees something alarming and he goes running and reaches Vaughn's desk.  When the technician approaches him, he calls him Mr. Vaughn a few times.  Then after Vaughn motions for him to hold on while he finishes his phone call, the technician tells him that the necklace has been deactivated.  Vaughn immediately ends his call and asks for details.  Then the technician tells him that the satellite imagery detects combat.  Once Vaughn hears combat, he becomes worried and gets to the monitor, It switches over to Sydney shooting, and then the monitor shows a red explosion over the area and Vaughn asked what happened the technician tells him that it is over.  Vaughn asks if they can tell if there are any survivors, and he is told that they can’t with the bird they are using.  Vaughn is now very anxious and says that they need new satellites.  Vaughn is clearly worried, even if we don’t see much of his reaction.

When we see Vaughn next he is arguing with Kendall over sending in a team to find them.  Kendall explains why they can’t send in teams, and that he wants an options paper from Vaughn in two hours.  Vaughn isn’t happy, but agrees, and then tells Kendall that once that is done he wants to go himself to find the Bristow's.  Kendall reminds him that if he is sent out it would be to find the nuclear weapons, not the Bristow’s and that he needs to remember his priorities. Vaughn tells him that he understands, but he doesn’t think that cutting them lose and forgetting about them is an option.  Kendall explains to him that alive or dead, the mission failed, and that if the Bristow's are out there, they are on their own.  If looks could kill, Vaughn would have Kendall dead in a heartbeat. Then his friend hands him a sheet of paper that we can read, it states at the top of the sheet, Nuclear Weapons Activated and then at the bottom it reads, nukes are prepped. His friend pats his shoulder and tells him nothing like more bad news.  Vaughn doesn’t know how to deal with all of the news that he has been given. First Sydney is out there and may or may not be dead, and now the weapons they are going after have been activated. 

The Bristow's make it into a city where they find an old friend of Jacks that can help them with new alias’s and get them some of the equipment that they will need, but he doesn’t have access to some of the items they are requesting.  Seeing Vaughn hurrying through the Rotunda, you can tell he is anxious to here whatever news he is about to get from the phone call he was summoned to.  The relief that washes over his face as he hears Sydney’s voice is like he has just had the weight of the world lifted off of his shoulders.  He tells her that he saw the blast, and he wonders what happened.  Sydney tells him that she will fill him in later, but they were compromised.  He smiles as he tells her that he is so glad that she is okay, and asks about her parents.  She jokes that some people go miniature golfing with their parents, but they go to India and look for nukes.  Vaughn laughs with her for a moment before he has to tell her more bad news.   He tells her that they intercepted a message from the rebels that they are planning on activating the nukes tomorrow at 1700 hours.  She asks him what he means by activate, but he tells her that he isn’t sure, they used the word activate. But that they need to assume the worst since they got their codes from SD-6.  She tells him that she got the codes for SD-6 she still has them so she can deactivate them, then he tells her that she can if she can get there in time.  When she walks out to meet with her parents, she is distressed about the information that Vaughn just passed on to her.  When she starts to tell her parents they start arguing over what is the best way to operate, and finally she has had enough and tells them exactly how things will play out.  She does not like having to constantly babysit her parents and tell them to grow up and stop the fighting.

Back at the Rotunda, Kendall tells Vaughn that he needs to tell the Bristow's to get out, Vaughn tells him that he has no way of contacting them, and wonders why.  Kendall tells him that the Indians have found out that the rebels have the nukes and they will be launching air strikes in 24 hours.  Vaughn tells him that they need to tell them to stop the attacks that they are working on disarming the nukes.  Kendall tells him that they have tried, but the Indians are upset that they didn’t tell them in the first place.  Vaughn asks to make a personal appeal. Kendall tells him that everyone is working on it already, State, NSC, DOD, etc. Vaughn tells him that he knows he’s going to say no, but he wants to go to India, he was stationed there for two years, and he has relationships, and before he can finish his request Kendall tells him to go.  Vaughn is in shock, did Kendall really just tell him that his plan is okay, he can go save Sydney?  Kendall tells him that he will have an aircraft waiting for him, so Vaughn asks if he is trying to get rid of him.  Kendall just smiles at him and pats him on the shoulder and walks away.  Vaughn is speechless and can’t believe his luck but runs off to get ready. 

Vaughn arrives in India and the general is happy to see him again, but tells him that he came all that way for nothing.  Vaughn tells him that he has people at the headquarters of the rebels right now disarming the nukes, the general asks what will happen if they fail, Vaughn knows that Sydney will do everything in her power to not fail, so he says that he they won’t.  But the general tells him that he can’t guarantee that and that they will be the first target, so they will be launching the airstrikes.   Vaughn then goes for the only argument he has left, which is the number one for him.  He tells him that some of the CIA’s best people are in there, and begs him to at least delay the strike until they can get them out.    The general tells him that he’s sorry, but the airstrike will go as planned.  At these words, Vaughn is incredibly deflated.  All he wants is to be able to save Sydney like she has saved him over the last few weeks.  The general continues telling Vaughn that he looks more and more like Vaughn’s father every time he sees him.  It is at that point that Vaughn remembers that he has one last card that he can play.  He tells the general that his father wrote about him in his journals and that he had trusted him and respected him.  Vaughn continues with telling him that that is the reason he came such a long way.  At this the general tells Vaughn that he is still going to go ahead with the strike but will him a head start, with a chopper and a pilot, but that if he is going to rescue his friends, he is doing so at his own risk.  Vaughn finally sees a little bit of hope with this situation.

Sydney and Jack had been captured in the rebel base, as well as Irina, but she convinced the rebels that she is still bad news, so that she could help Sydney and Jack escape.  She did find out that the nukes are being used for their core energy to activate a Rambaldi artifact.  While appearing to torture Jack, Irina slipped him the keys to their cells.  Jack came in and told Sydney what was going on, and they run off to contact the CIA. She talks gets in contact with Kendall since Vaughn is unavailable and she tells him that they almost have them, but Kendall tells them to abort and that the airstrike will happen soon, the fighter jets are already in the air.  Jack then grabs the phone and tells him that they will either hear from them or he won’t and hangs up.  They are going to try and get Irina back before they leave. Jack and Sydney watch from afar as they activate the Rambaldi artifact.  Irina and the rebels are closer by.    The artifact opens and inside it is a live flower.  But it is then that they hear the jets and the first missiles start hitting the building.   Irina tries to knock out the rebel leader Couvet, and take the flower, but he fights her back.  But jack is there to finish him off.  The three of them run out of the building as it is being attacked, they don’t know where they will go, but they have to get out of the building.  Then Sydney looks up and sees a chopper landing nearby, and then she sees the face of the person hanging out the side motioning for them to come.  A huge smile comes across her face as she yells Vaughn’s name and they all start running to the chopper.  As jack gets in he tells Vaughn that they have the cores and that they can call off the airstrikes.  Vaughn is incredibly happy as he makes the call and sits next to Sydney. 

Back at the command center, Irina is back in her cell and she tells Sydney about the night in Taipei when she shot her.  It turns out that the rebel leader, Couvet was watching her from the other room to see if she would betray him or Sydney. And for Irina, shooting Sydney in the shoulder and giving her time to escape was the only way she could think of to keep his trust and keep him from killing both of them.  Then Irina tells her to get some rest.

After meeting with her mother, Sydney goes to Vaughn’s desk, and when she greets him, he looks up and sees her and his face immediately glows with his smile.  He can’t help it when he sees her, but to become happy.  But I love that he stands up to greet her as well.  She smiles at him, and asks if there is any word on the flower.  He tells her that the preliminary reports show that it is anywhere from four to six hundred years old.  She looks at him skeptically and he shakes his head and tells her that they are only preliminary reports.    Then he reaches into his desk and pulls out some tickets and hands them to her, she asks what it is, then she looks down at them and they smile at each other.   The next thing we see is Sydney playing miniature golf with Will and Francie.  They are having a great time, then the camera moves away from them and we see that Vaughn is at the gate watching her play.  He smiles as he watches her and then he walks away.  I think it is really cute, I have seen some people comment on that part that it is creepy for him to watch her play.  But I think that all he really wants is to make her happy and to see her happy.  Granted he would also like to be happy with her, but since that can’t happen with SD-6, he is just trying to make it work any way he can. 

S2 E8 – The Passage: Part 1

After the last few episodes of high emotion for Sydney and Vaughn, this episode starts out a little slow. The first real impact isn’t until Sydney is talking with Jack, Kendall, and Vaughn about her mother asking to be released for 48 hours to stop Sloane, but she refuses to say more than that.  Sydney has unfortunately fallen for her mother’s manipulation and believes that if they let her go, that she won’t double cross them.  Vaughn sides with Sydney to an extent when asked what his opinion is, but only goes as far as to say that so far all of the Intel she has provided has been correct.  Kendall ultimately makes the decision that Sydney will continue with her SD-6 mission and Irina will stay put.  After Kendall and Jack leave, Vaughn tells her what her counter mission will be.  They share a small smile, but Sydney is still upset about Vaughn dating Alice, and she can’t handle being around Vaughn very much, so she tells him that she has to pack and walks away.  As Vaughn watches her walk away, you can see how torn he is.  His feelings for her have only grown, and you can tell that he regrets his decision to move on, even if it was what was best at the time.  But he hates knowing that he has hurt Sydney, even if it was unintentional, and he wants to fix it, but can’t.

While Sydney is on her SD-6 mission, Will and Vaughn meet in a parking garage.  Will tells Vaughn that Sydney did tell him about Project Christmas and that Sydney told him about what Vaughn’s theory is about the Russian’s recruiting from the U.S. Vaughn interrupts him, but Will keeps going telling Vaughn that he thinks that he may have found something that proves his theory.  Vaughn is surprised, that is not what he had expected to hear.   Will tells him what he found and that in 1982 five million children were given the test with the KGB questions on it.  Vaughn is happy to hear that Will was able to find something and that his theory wasn’t completely out there, but he has to give out bad news.  He tells Will that He didn’t think that Devlin would’ve minded him doing the research, but he did and Vaughn was told to let Will go.  Will tells Vaughn that he will keep looking into it and find out who the kids were; that Devlin can’t ignore that.  But Vaughn tells him that since Will is a reporter, Devlin thinks that he is trained to report it, and therefore a security risk.  Will is very cool about it, he isn’t happy, but he tells Vaughn not to worry about it.  Vaughn gives him an envelope and tells him that’s what he owes him and that there is $700 in it.  Will opens the envelope and takes out $200 and tells him that he only expects to get paid for the time that he worked.  Vaughn is now feeling even worse, he likes Will, even if he is the competition for Sydney, and now he has not only had to let him go, but he is letting Sydney down again by not being able to help her friend like he wanted to.

When Will arrives back at home, he is now crashing at Sydney’s place until he can afford his own.  He sees Sydney and can tell she is upset.  When he finally gets her to admit what is wrong and she tells him that she is working with Sark, he is not happy that Sark is in LA, let alone that Sydney has to work with him.  He tells Sydney that he’s jealous that she at least gets to do something about it.  She then asks how his work with Vaughn is going, and after a moment, he tells her that Vaughn sort of fired him.  She is shocked so it’s not surprising to see that Sydney and Vaughn are in the storage unit for the next scene.

With the news of Vaughn firing Will fresh on her mind Sydney asks Vaughn if the CIA is really just going to ignore everything that Will found out for them.  But luckily Vaughn was able to give her some good news.  He tells her that once Devlin found out that five million first graders took the standardized test  that may have been doctored by the KGB,  Devlin became interested and sent Will’s research to the FBI to continue looking into it.  He tells her that it was the second time that Will has come through for them and that he wishes that there was more that he could do for him, and that Will is a really good guy.  Sydney thanks him and starts to walk away.
As Sydney is walking away, Vaughn calls her back and stares at her and swallows hard.  Then he looks down, you can tell he is gearing up for something big for him. Then he tells her about his watch; “This watch belonged to my father.  It’s broken now… but it used to keep perfect time. “(He pauses and looks at Sydney before continuing) “And when he gave it to me, he said, ‘You can set your heart by this watch.’ ” He looks up again and nods at her.  She looks almost like she is holding her breath waiting for him to finish.  Once again, since he is talking about her father, the one person who means the most to him, along with herself, that he takes it very serious, so she does as well. But after another moment, he goes on, “It stopped October 1st… The day we met.” He stops with this and doesn’t say anymore, but he looks intently at her and she just stares at him a little shocked that he is admitting this much to her.  She wants it to be real, but she can’t quite take it all in.  Once she is about to say something though, both of their beepers go off stopping her before she can begin.  They both look at their beepers; Vaughn looks back up and is very frustrated when he tells her that it is Kendall.  He wanted this conversation to be able to last a little longer.   He looks back down frustrated, and then looks at Sydney still waiting for a response.  She looks at him for a few moments and tells than looks down, I think it is at his watch, but we can’t see what she is looking at, but it is in his direction.  Then she looks up at Vaughn and smile, she nods and tells him; “Me too…”  Vaughn did it, he’s back in Sydney’s good graces, at least as much as he can be.  He hasn’t told her that he loves her, but he might as well have.  To me what I hear in the subtext of his words is that, his father’s words and opinions meant the world to him.  And when a watch his father told him his heart could be set to stops the same day that he meets this incredible woman, it can’t be a coincidence. As far as Vaughn is concerned, the watch stopping was his father’s way of telling him that this person he just met is now what he should set his heart by.  For Sydney, she was not quite in the same place emotionally when they met, but when she tells him, me too, she is telling him that ever since meeting him, he has been her anchor and now her heart is set by him as well.

When they reach the Rotunda to find out what Kendall wanted they find out that the codes that Sydney was sent to retrieve on her SD-6 mission based off of Sark’s Intel, turned out to be nuclear launch codes for six nuclear bombs that disappeared six months ago.  Irina claims that before SD-6 acquired and then sent out the codes, she was going to go and disarm them since she knew how to get in the facility, but her offer is off the table now.  Sydney tells her that now that she is responsible for handing SD-6 nuclear codes, she will be part of the team that goes to recover them, and help from her would be good, if trying to protect Sydney really was her ultimate goal.  Irina agrees to help, and it is finally decided that the team going to disarm the weapons will be Sydney, Jack, and Irina.  The first family vacation in years should be fun.  To keep track of Irina, she is given a necklace that contains a tracker inside of it.  Besides the tracker though it also contains C-4 and that Jack has a remote trigger for the C-4, so if he suspects any double cross, he will detonate it, and blow her head off.  After all isn’t that what your ex is for? Vaughn and Kendall explain the details of the mission to the Bristow family.  And then Vaughn turns to Sydney as everyone is walking out of Irina’s cell and tells her that he will talk with her once she reaches the CIA contact in Kashmir. But as he looks at her, you can tell he is not a huge fan of the plan that is going into effect, and that he will be worried about her the entire time that she is gone.

On the airplane, while Sydney is prepping their gear, Irina starts up a conversation by telling Sydney that Vaughn has trouble sleeping while Sydney is in the field.  She is shocked that her mother wants to talk about this of all things and she responds by telling her that she doubts that Vaughn told her that.  Irina tells her that he didn’t have to, she can see it in his eyes, and that she sees it in Sydney’s as well.  And to give credit where it is deserved after what she observed while helping them recover the antidote in the last week and then finally seeing them together now, she is right.  I just said it and I had actually forgotten about this particular conversation.  But Sydney tells Irina that they are only co-workers.  Irina wonders out loud why Sydney is so willing to take risks for her country, but not the same for her own happiness.  Jack then tells her that she hardly has any right to hand out relationship advice.  Irina tells him that Sydney is smart and strong, but not happy.  Sydney is incredibly ready for this conversation to be over.  She’s never experienced the parental guidance on relationships and it is not to her liking.  But Jack and Irina continue to argue over relationships and what they know about Sydney.  Finally Sydney has had enough, and she tells Irina to stop baiting Jack and for Jack to stop being such an easy target.  That they are going to have to be traveling together for the next two days and they can’t spend it arguing over inconsequential things.  Both Jack and Irina stop somewhat shocked that their daughter had to tell them to stop being so immature.

Will set up another meeting with Vaughn, and honestly with how worried about Sydney he is, I think Vaughn welcomed the distraction.  But Will tells him that with the exception of him, Jack, and Sydney everyone he knows thinks he is a lying junkie, and when he was helping Vaughn he felt useful again, that he was making a contribution.  So he hands Vaughn a magazine, Vaughn wonders what it is.  Will tells him that he doesn’t expect to be paid, but he found the names of 40 children who got a perfect score on the test that included the questions from the KGB.  Vaughn is shocked that he was able to get the information, and asks how he got it when the FBI has been looking into for the same amount of time, and haven’t found a single name.  Will explains where he got his info and that the FBI isn’t finding any names because the test from 1982 is missing.  The scene essentially ended there, but I think that it is important to see that Sydney’s favorite men, are getting along and that they have a friendly relationship.  They both love Sydney, and know that they are each other’s competition, but they respect each other and it means a lot to Sydney.  Plus Vaughn is happy to help Will, when he knows that it earns him brownie points with Sydney.

As the episode ends, we see Jack, Sydney, Irina, and their local contact ambushed.  After their contact is killed, they are able to escape by using the necklace being used as Irina’s tracker being flung at the truck holding their supplies, which has more explosives, but also their other needed equipment, where some of their captors have gathered to inspect what they have just acquired.  After the captors are all dead, the three Bristow’s start walking towards the nearest town that they will be able to get supplies and contact the CIA.

  • Items that I found noteworthy… 
    • It is over Thanksgiving that the Bristow family vacation takes place.  So it has been over a year now that Sydney has known Vaughn and has been working with him.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

S2 E7 – The Counteragent

Considering what Vaughn just realized, he is pretty damn calm. I would be screaming… But after taking a moment at the sink, he immediately and fairly harshly opens his medicine cabinet and pulls out the band aids and puts one on each and every finger,  then continues to methodically get dressed.  The doctor calls him back and Vaughn tries to tell him that he has a problem; the doctor tells him that he knows that he is worried, but they ran every test, and everything came back negative.  Vaughn tells him that he knows but that there is blood under his fingernails.  The doctor is stumped for a moment or two, and then he gathers his thoughts and tells Vaughn what the action plan will be.  He will be sending someone for Vaughn.  Vaughn tells him not to send anyone, and that before he comes in, he has to see someone.  The doctor tells him that he can see them later, that he needs to come in now.  Vaughn hangs up on him, gets in his car and drives to work.  Where he immediately goes to see Irina, and he is not happy that he is going to ask for her help, but he knows that he has to.  When Irina sees him, she immediately thanks him for what he did for her, proving that Jack set her up and that she would’ve been executed.   Vaughn tells her flat out that it wasn’t done for her.  She admits that he may be right, but that she owes him her life.  He tells her that actually you owe me my father’s life.    He goes on to tell he that he saw Khasinau experiment on the people that had been exposed to the liquid from the red ball and he wants to know what Khasinau learned from doing it.   She asks if he is asking if he found a cure.  He tells her yes, and that he is aware that her terms are that she will only cooperate with Sydney, but the disease works quickly and he doesn’t have much time.  Irina looks slightly surprised, and then asks if he is the one who is sick.  He tells her that he is.  Then she asks him to tell her how he feels about her daughter.  He looks at her for a moment and then looks away and tells her that it’s none of her business.  She then asks if he is in love with her, he avoids the question again and tells her, “I don’t know why it matters to you.  She tells him that she doesn’t have the advantage of observing casual behavior. And she is curious.  Vaughn tells her that if she helps him, he will tell her what she wants to know.  Wow, Vaughn is already tearing out my heart, and Irina is manipulating him, but for once I’m a little okay with it, simply because I know that I want to hear his answer to her questions as well.
Now I’m not positive why someone hasn’t called Sydney yet, I think that Vaughn probably wanted to call her, but wouldn’t allow himself to.  I think he knows that once she knows she is going to end up jeopardizing herself to save him.  He knows her well enough to be sure of that.  At least that is the only explanation I can think of as to why Sydney is at Francie’s restaurant with Will and not already at the CIA with Vaughn.  She hasn’t admitted it out loud, so you haven’t missed anything, but she is in love with that man, and she will do anything to save him.  But alas she doesn’t know yet, so she is having a semi normal conversation with Will.  Will is talking to her about what he has found for Vaughn about the IQ test questions and the questions haven’t shown up yet, but he can’t find any record of the test administered during 1982.  Sydney tells him what he is actually researching, and tells him what Project Christmas is and that it is the reason that her mother actually came to spy on her father, also what part she played in it.  She also tells him that Vaughn thinks that Russian intelligence may still be using it to recruit Americans.  Before she can tell him anymore, she finally gets a call.  Kendall calls to tell that she is needed there.

When Sydney walks into the Rotunda she approaches Kendall and asks him what is up, he tells her that Vaughn has developed symptoms, she is immediately concerned but tells him what symptoms, the doctors said that they were both fine.   Kendall tells her yes, but his exposure was more extensive than hers. (Remember his incredibly red eyes upon returning from Taipei, I think this is how he was infected) Sydney sees Jack and wants to know where Vaughn is, he tells her that he came to see her mother about an antidote and that shortly after leaving the facility he collapsed.

Sydney doesn’t waste any time, she goes to see her mother and asks if there is an antidote, Irina tells her that there is and where she can find it.  Irina tells Sydney that she can tell her how to get into the building and where she can find the antidote, but that she can’t guarantee anything.   Although Irina looks concerned for Sydney and for this man that she is realizing probably loves her daughter, you can see that she is hiding something.

After Irina tells Sydney about what she’ll have to do, Sydney relays it to someone that can break it down for them a little better.  I’m guessing he was watching Sydney and Irina over the monitor.  This man tells Sydney, Jack and Kendall more about the antidote.  The antidote isn’t’ something that you can go pick up and then give to the patient, it has to be made with the blood from the infected patient and made specifically for them.  So Sydney realizes that she will have to take some of Vaughn’s blood with her.  They go over the small details that they have for the mission, then Kendall tells them that the plane is ready; they can get more detailed on the plane.  Sydney will have only 30 minutes with Vaughn, possibly less.  Before she leaves, Sydney does ask this new man how much time Vaughn has.  He tells her that given Vaughn’s level of exposure, he would guess maybe three days.  Jack tells her that she will buy time with Sloane, and tells her to go.

I will say this now, I have this song on my iPhone and I have to skip it every time it comes thru on my playlist now, because inevitably it will make me start to cry.  With the scene just starting, I am already feeling the emotional roller coaster that this part of the episode takes me on.  Let’s just say that it is a good thing that I am on my lunch break right now and I won’t be interrupted with a phone call since I am bound to start crying.  But the video of the scene is below so you can cry too.
Walking into Vaughn’s room and seeing him upsets her, but she knows that she has a task that she has to complete.  She has to save his life. For Sydney, this will be another mission where she is set on that missions outcome and nothing else matters right then.   When he wakes up and sees her, he is happy to see her, but doesn’t have the energy for much more than a Hi.  Sydney immediately changes her demeanor; she doesn’t want him to see her upset.  She tells him that she spoke with her mother and she is going to go get the antidote.  Vaughn’s response is so classically Vaughn, before he will agree to letting her go, he wants to know how dangerous it will be for her.  Because knowing Vaughn, he would rather deal with the disease than risk her. Even though he knows she will do it no matter what.  But she tells him that getting the serum will be easy, she isn’t going to let him worry any more than he needs to.  She does explain that she will have to take some of his blood with her though.  She goes through the steps to prepare to get his blood, and starts drawing it. She watches him as she takes the blood and she is distressed by how much pain he is in.  But she tries to keep up her optimism, and tells him that in a couple of days he’ll be doing wind sprints. He just looks up at her and smiles.  She is removing the elastic from around his arm when he reaches over and takes her hand in his, and tells her to be careful.  (More tears… I’ve seen this seen enough times you would think I could control myself.) He caresses her hand with his thumb and it is so sweet.  Then he goes to say something and says “Syd…”  But he has to pause for a few minutes, then tells her, ”Sorry I’m so tired….”  He keeps caresses her hand as much as he can, and takes her hand even tighter than before and now Sydney’s other hand is holding his too.  But then he stops, and the beeping starts up all around him, and he is completely still.  She yells him name at him, and quickly gets up to let the hospital staff get in to help him.  They tell her that he is bleeding internally. They start speaking all of the medical jargon and wheel his bed out of the room and they take him towards surgery.

In the hallway Sydney is following right behind them, as they push him through the door, she is almost in tears, and telling them to wait.  A nurse comes up to her and Sydney is doing her best not to cry. But Sydney asks what’s going on, and if he will be alright.  The nurse tells her that they don’t know, but she has to wait there. Then the nurse looks up and sees something that alarms her, and tells Sydney that she has a designated cover. Sydney’s cover is that she is with the state department’s bureau of arms control, and that her name is Rita Stevens.  She is then instructed to give no details about Vaughn’s illness.  At this point Sydney is very confused, but the nurse runs off.  Sydney is turning around and wiping her eyes when a woman approaches her and asks her if they told her anything.  She tells this woman no.  Then the woman starts talking, telling Sydney that the paramedics had called her, asking what his last meal was, is he allergic to any medication. She continues telling Sydney that she got to the hospital as fast as she could.  Sydney is taken aback; she is not sure what she should be telling this woman.  She is still in shock over him being taken into surgery.  She is not ready to deal with someone she doesn’t know who apparently knows more about him than Sydney would like.  But the woman goes on asking if Sydney works with Michael.  She nods her head and then knows that as much as she doesn’t want to talk she has to, she tells the woman that she works in the same bureau at State, and that she is Rita.  Then the woman introduces herself to Sydney, it is Alice, she’s listed as his emergency contact and she is Michael’s girlfriend. The shock on Sydney’s face is heartbreaking when the word girlfriend comes out, her eyes immediately open up in shock and then she tries to recover as Alice walks away.

Now remember back in the episode breakdown of Cipher when I said that Vaughn had a moment of clarity as he watched Sydney and Will together?  How he loved Sydney but he needed to move on with his life since they weren’t allowed to be with each other?  Well going back to his old girlfriend Alice and was probably the easiest way for him to be able to move on, I can’t see him being able to meet someone new and establish a relationship with them.  Now I’m not saying that Vaughn is evil for going back to Alice, he wanted some normalcy in his life and pining over Sydney was not normal.  But having a girlfriend and trying to treat Sydney like he should, as an asset, could be considered normal.  So he has been trying, I know many people that have a, what if person in their lives.  That one person that they think that they were supposed to be with, but circumstance prevented it, so they moved on.  For Vaughn, Sydney is his what if.  But poor Sydney, being in love with a man that is about to die, she is going on a mission to hopefully save his life and as she is about to leave, she has to meet his girlfriend.  This has definitely not been her week if you also look at what has happened to her in the last two episodes.  She needs to be given a break; she could crack at any moment.

Sydney enters the facility where she will have to retrieve the antidote and when she is in the building, she immediately sees Sark there.  So we can guess that there will be trouble.  She gets to the place where the antidote will be generated, with the equipment that the CIA gave to her to use, she is able to hack into their system and get the passcode to operate the machine.  As she is entering the passcode, she is told to stop.  From the hack, they can see that if once she starts the machine that creates the antidote it will activate their security systems.  Kendall tells her to abort that they will figure out another way, Sydney tells him no and that she will run fast and starts the machine.  An analyst tells Sark that someone has accessed the room, and alarms start going off.  Sydney gets the antidote and starts running.  She gets through  a couple of doors and then gets stuck so she goes back towards the doors that she just got through and they are locked, she is trapped in a room, and then she looks up and see Sark looking down form a window.  He gets on a PA and tells her that the pipes above her are rigged to disperse a chemical that is wonderful for cleaning up metals and concrete, but not so great on things like her suit and skin.   Sydney shoots her gun at the window which is bullet proof.    He then tells her that he feels they are destined to work together, and he turns on the pipes.  He then tells her that the two if them working together would be contingent upon him turning off the sprinklers.  And that they are already eating away at her suit, but he could use her help.  He needs access to Arvin Sloane, she asks him why, and he tells her that he wants to kill him.  She tells him that she can get him Sloane, but he needs to let her keep the antidote.  He thinks for a moment then tells her that he needs Sloane first and then she can have the antidote.  As she looks down and realizes that she has no choice, she looks up at him and nods yes.

She then begins telling the story to someone else, she tells them Sark had her taken to the decontamination room, and then let her go.  While she is telling the story, you see her attempting to cover herself up while they cleaned the chemicals from her.   Kendall asks her if Sark asked who the antidote was for, and she told him that he didn’t seem to care.  He then asks her what exactly she promised Sark in return.  She tells him that she told him that she would find a way to render Sloane unconscious and then deliver him to Sark.  Kendall and Sydney then begin to argue, Kendall has a lot of problems with this situation, one of them being that US agents are not in the business of committing murder.  Sydney is adamant that Vaughn is in critical condition and that Kendall said himself that they need to save Vaughn’s life.  She then tells Kendall that since Sloane killed her fiancĂ©, she has had plenty of opportunities to kill if that was what she wanted and that she hasn’t, but Vaughn has maybe two days left to live and that there is no choice here.  Jack interrupts her and just screams that she is not going to just do nothing.  Jack asks for a minute with Sydney and Kendall walks away, Sydney tells him that he better not try and convince her not to work with Sark.  He reassures her and tells her that he is on her side, and that they can’t lose Vaughn.  Even if Jack doesn’t overly like Vaughn, he knows that they need him, especially Sydney, and in the end Jack really will do anything for Sydney.  Jack tells her that they need to handle it quietly, because Kendall won’t be pushed around and he will take it through channels which they don’t have time for.  He then tells Sydney what Sloane’s plans are and how they can get him to Sark.

Later Sydney and Jack meet in the storage unit, to finalize the plan for getting Sloane to Sark.  She asked Jack to tell her that they are doing the right thing, that they don’t have a choice.  Jack turns this around and gives her a fairly chilling goodbye statement.” Of course we have a choice, and it's a moment I never wanted you to face… To kill someone.... I'm not talking about self-defense.  I'm talking about premeditated murder. To be there when the door closes on him for the last time, knowing you are responsible. That is something you never came close to considering before getting to know your mother”.

Sydney traveled to Tokyo where Sloane is meeting with the Alliance, she is on coms with Sark, and tells him that she is now on the grounds.  She is dressed in full Geisha attire.  Sark tells her that his associate just arrived to meet her father.  We then see Jack and Sark’s associate.  They have a conversation about how the briefcase is rigged with explosives and that only Sark has the code to open it safely.  So Sloane has to be delivered before they will give out the antidote.  Sydney tells Sark that she is approaching the building where Sloane is, he wishes her luck, and she is not happy about the situation and makes that clear with her response. “I don’t need you to wish me luck you son of a bitch.” To which he replies that she has a wonderful attitude.  Sark may be Sydney’s foe, but he really does think that she is a wonderful spy, and he has a bit of a crush on her as well.
Sydney is able to get into the gazebo where Sloane is getting a massage, after defeating a couple of bodyguards.  She tells the geisha that is with him something, which makes her leave so Sydney is alone with Sloane.  She pretends to start the massage, but then pricks him in the back with something and he passes out, she runs out of the gazebo screaming for help I assume, but it is in Japanese.  Over the coms Sark tells her that she is amazing.  The ambulance crews that they call are actually Sark’s men, and Sark is in the ambulance.  Once Sloane inside the ambulance Sydney tells Sark to tell his man to give out the antidote, Sark does so.  Jack gets the antidote and takes it inside the hospital.  Sark looks at Sydney and tells her it was a pleasure to work with her.  Sydney just watches the ambulance drive off happy that she is done with him and partly happy that Sloane is gone for good.
Yay!  Vaughn is waking up.  Albeit a little confused, and looking over and seeing Jack by his bedside does not help with the confusion.  Vaughn asks what’s happening, and Jack tells him that he has been asleep for 40 hours.  Vaughn’s first question after hearing that is if he is dying, which is an understandable question.  Jack tells him, almost, but that Sydney was able to get the antidote and that the doctors think that his blood levels look good.  But now that he knows he’s not dying, he wonders how Sydney was able to do it. And Jack tells him that she had Sloane killed.  At this Vaughn isn’t sure what to think; he looks away and stares at the ceiling.  Finding out that someone killed another person, even if it is a bad guy, to save your life can’t be an easy thing to hear.

Then we see Sydney walking through SD-6, getting ready to see what SD-6 will be like without Sloane.  But gets the shock of a lifetime when she walks into the conference room and finds not only Sloane alive and well but Sark with him.  Sark will now be working with SD-6, as an ally.  Sydney is instructed to debrief him on all he knows about her mother.  Once Sloane leaves the room, Sydney wants to hear this story.  Sark tells her that once the ambulance was in a remote location, he revived him and told him that they both have pieces of Rambaldi’s puzzle, and that working separately they will never find out what the answers are, but working together, they can’t fail.  Sark told Sloane that he intercepted an assassination attempt on Sloane’s life and that is one reason to trust him and then hands him a piece of paper that can be the second reason to trust him.  The paper is what convinced Sloane; Sydney realizes this and wants to know what is on that paper.  But Sark tells her that it is a need to know, and doesn’t divulge his secret.  Sydney now has one more problem that she has to deal with in her life.  She will now have to work with Sark.

After Vaughn is released from the hospital, he holds up his end of the deal.  He goes to see Irina. And I love their conversation, as it mirrors the conversation that they had at the beginning of the episode.  Vaughn starts out by telling her why he came, “You asked me some questions. I told you I'd answer them if you helped me… You did help me… And I thank you for that.”  She tells him that she didn’t do it for him, and she smiles at him.  It is obvious that they are both doing it for Sydney’s sake. He thinks for a moment and then goes on; “I'm trying to live a normal life... which was always hard, given what I do. But it's gotten harder since I met your daughter. It's not that knowing her hasn't made my life better. It has. But it's also made it that much worse... I think I've said enough.”  She tells him that his problem is that he hasn’t said anything to the person who matters most. He is frustrated with her and her wanting to know all this personal information about him and Sydney.  So he tells her; “Listen, this may not mean anything to you, this may not be something you understand, or appreciate, but we have rules. Very clear, important rules that govern the relationship between a handler and his asset.”  But she is very quick to throw another question at him, essentially asking him, what about the rules between a man and a woman. Vaughn isn’t sure how to respond, and I guess we will never know.

Sydney is waiting in the Rotunda, and she watches and Vaughn enters, her smile is huge, she is so happy  to see him alive and well and doing so much better than when she saw him last.   They tell each other hi and it is a little awkward. But they both just smile at each other, and then they finally hug.  Vaughn is thrilled to see her as well, but he also knows that she met Alice and that he wants to explain that.  But he is perfectly content with just holding her in that moment and you can see it in the smile on his face.  When looking at Sydney though, she is in pain, she truly loves him and she is happy that he is better, but she knows that now there are two barriers between them.   He pulls her in to him a little tighter and tells her thank you.  And it is such a loaded thank you.  How do you really thank someone for saving your life?  And once again I am probably reading more into their faces then really is there. But I see that as far as Vaughn is concerned, now that Sloane is gone, maybe they have a chance.  After the hug, they look into each other’s eyes some more, and then Vaughn tells her that he heard about Sark.  Maybe he thinks that this could be a way to Segway into taking them to the next step.  But when Sydney tells him what she just found out that Sark set it up for them to become allies and that Sloane took Sark with him to the Alliance meeting.  Vaughn becomes deflated but goes into the role he needs to play, as her handler, and asks how that went over.  Sydney tells him that with Sark joining him, Sloane’s standing has never been higher.  Sark is not happy to hear this and he goes through a few emotions rather quickly as he is thinking.  Then he finally settles in to what he needs to say, and tells her that he understands that she met Alice, Sydney looks down, this is not a conversation that she is ready for.  She tells him that she seems nice.  Vaughn tells her that she is and that she is a good person and that they have a lot of history.  He starts to say something, and then he said that they had broken up.  Sydney tells him that he mentioned that they had.   He starts to explain how they ended up together again, and she cuts him off telling him that he doesn’t have to explain.  He tells her that he knows that he doesn’t have to, but he wants to, because if things were the other way around… She stops him again and almost begs him to stop saying “Seriously… Don’t’ explain.” So he stops, talking, and they smile at each other, and she tells him that she will see him tomorrow and starts to walk away.

As Sydney walks away from Vaughn it looks like it is taking all of her energy to not cry.  Vaughn watches her walk away, and then Kendall approaches him and tells him that he’s glad everything worked out, but Vaughn can’t stop watching Sydney, he even tells Kendall that he needs to go and goes after Sydney with a determined smile on his face.  But then when he reaches the final corner, she is gone and he doesn’t know which way she went.  But he smiles, he has a plan to make this better, and he turns and walks away as well.

  • Items that I found noteworthy… 
    • A big part of the episode was Will chasing down a copy of the 1982 standardized testing for Vaughn.  He tries a few different avenues to get a copy, the first version he got was an incorrect version as it had questions about things that happened in 1983.  So he keeps looking, he finally finds a copy, with the man that wrote and edited the questions.  He tells Will that it was a popular test, that someone else was once interested in well.  When Will asks him about the questions that Vaughn gave him he says that there is little point to putting in a question that only one of thousands children can answer.  Then Will skimmed over the test and found one of the questions that Vaughn had given to him.  So he asked if he could explain why that question was there.  The man can’t, he tells Will that he didn’t put it in there.  So Will asked how many children would’ve taken that test.  The man told him that it was administered in 33 states, so over five million children took the test.
    • Also take note of how Vaughn and Sydney are with each other before he passes out in the hospital.  The words said...Vaughn knows that Sydney is going to do everything in her power to save him.  He apologizes for being tired before he goes to sleep.  But with the knowledge that Sydney will work on it he is okay letting go. Alias likes to parallel things, and this scene will be repeated.  Almost word for word, and action for action, this scene will be repeated. ---Sorry for the spoiler... but at the same time, I'm not. If you are reading this before watching the entire series, you might be a little crazy.  Go finish watching, watch all the way through the end of season five, and then you can come back.

  •  Questions that I have… 
    • How much about Sydney and Vaughn did Haladki end up passing on to Khasinau and in turn Irina and Sark before Jack killed him.  After what transpired in Taipei, than France, and also in Barcelona did Irina and Sark know that Sydney saved one of the infected in Taipei and that’s when they hatched their plan together.  Knowing that one day soon symptoms would appear on someone that Sydney cares about and they would be able to use that to capture her, and manipulate her into bringing them Sloane so they could eventually have Sloane working with them as well.   On the paper that Sark showed Sloane did that have a letter from Irina telling him her plan?  And if so how did Sloane know that the letter was for real, did it contain information that only Sloane and Irina knew, maybe secrets that the two of them had from when she was Laura?  Whatever the case may be, Sydney having to go after the antidote had to be contrived from my perspective.