Monday, October 28, 2013

S3 E20 – Blood Ties




This episode contains very little contact between Sydney and Vaughn.   The time that they share on screen is less than 2 minutes in fact.  So I am hoping that I will be able to keep this semi short.  In past episodes we see Sydney with the A story line on her own most of the time, but usually Vaughn comes into the A story line at some point.  This episode seems almost as if there are two A story lines, and they don’t come together until the last few minutes of the episode.  And Sydney and Vaughn each have their own story.  As I said before this episode does change the course of the relationship though.  They still have feelings for each other and they still care for each other more than anything else.  But new information is gained as well as a new character that will affect them and their relationship.

So with the storylines being so different, I am going to try something a little different and write up the storylines separately rather than in the order that they appear in the episode.  So I will tell the Vaughn story then the Sydney storyline, ending with them finding each other.  Hopefully this will work out as I think it will.

Vaughn:
As the show opens we see Vaughn at the firing range, and Dixon approaches him.  Vaughn is complaining that his role of playing the loving husband was supposed to be over by now, and with how much he wants to be with Sydney and the anger he feels towards Lauren I believe that he has the right to be a little crabby about the situation.  But Dixon explains to him that with Sloane now dead, they have reached a dead end in searching for the passenger, and that they can still use Lauren as an asset.  Explaining that they can use her to feed incorrect information to the Covenant, and keep them off of Jack and Sydney’s investigation into the passenger, and they will take Lauren into custody.  Vaughn understands, but is not happy about it, so he takes out his frustrations with shooting a few more shots.  I wonder if he has placed a picture of Lauren on the target, if I were in his position, I think I would have.

After taking out his frustrations, Vaughn is surprised to find Lauren at the Rotunda since she had told him that she would be working from home.  He hates having to play the part, but does a good job of going along with the loving husband alias, knowing that he is ultimately doing it for Sydney.  While he is playing nice with Lauren, he receives a phone call from Brill. (Brill is the man that Vaughn and Jack went to for help in getting Sydney out of the NSC holding facility, who also knew Vaughn’s father.)  Brill tells Vaughn that he has some information that Vaughn needs to know about his father and tells Vaughn where to meet him.  During the conversation Vaughn works to not disclose who he really is talking with as Lauren watches.  When he hangs up and Lauren asks about the call, he tells her that it was just the dry cleaner.  They play the happy married couple for a moment longer and then Lauren goes to leave.   Once she is out of his immediate eye line, Vaughn’s fake smile disappears and he looks to Weiss to go and follow her.  Unfortunately while following her Weiss ends up losing her trail.  This part always makes me wonder, if they are able to track all these horrible terrorists with Marshall’s fun gadgets, why didn’t they stick something on Lauren, rather than depending on visual monitoring from one agent? 

Upon arriving at the location where Brill requested Vaughn to go, they get in an elevator and then stop the elevator to have their meeting.  Brill then goes on to tell Vaughn what he needs to know, saying; “I told you that I worked with your father. But what I didn’t tell you is I was with him on his final mission.”  Vaughn tells him that he knows how his father died, and by the look on Vaughn’s face it isn’t really a subject that he wants to talk about right now.  But Brill looks at him and tells him; “You don’t have a clue. Yeah, he was working on something. An operation that wasn’t sanctioned by the CIA.”  This does not make Vaughn happy in the least, and he tells Brill that his father wouldn’t ever go against the CIA.   Brill then tells Vaughn that Bill Vaughn was a follower of Rambaldi.  This just makes Vaughn even more upset, and tells Brill that it’s impossible.  Brill stays calm and tells him; “He died protecting the little girl. The followers knew she was the Passenger. He broke her out of KGB custody. But he didn’t trust the CIA, either, so he took her someplace where she would be safe with other followers.”  None of this makes any sense to Vaughn, (or to the overall viewers when we start comparing timelines, but I won’t go into that) and he tells Brill that the man he is describing is not his father.  By this point Brill is somewhat frustrated with Vaughn’s unwillingness to believe him, so he gets a little more adamant and tells him; “Your father was the best man I’ve ever known. And he gave his life to make sure that that little girl would be safe. Now if you don’t stop what’s happening, his sacrifice will be for nothing.”    Now we have to assume that they continue to talk because of the information that Vaughn has at the end of the episode, but we don’t know exactly what is said.

As I have mentioned before, when I am watching the episodes for this rather than for my own entertainment, I have found that I notice more little of the details and I think more about how the characters must be feeling as some of these revelations come out.  And this is no exception.  As I looked at Vaughn’s face when Brill was telling him that that he was with his father on his last mission, his face looked pained.  Vaughn is always pained by the topic of his father’s death, but I think that it is affecting him more today than is shown.  Thinking about his father’s death, makes him think about Irina Derevko and ultimately Sydney.  But in this moment I think his thoughts may have gone deeper.  Maybe he was thinking of the last time he saw Irina, and the last time he saw Irina was only hours before his last moments with Sydney before her alleged death.  Also noting that he was being debriefed about Irina while Sydney was being taken, so he feels some guilt there, thinking that he should have been with Sydney protecting her.  Also it was after that last encounter with Irina that led him to meeting Lauren.  So now more than ever possibly, he realizes how much damage the Covenant has not only done to Sydney, but also to him.  Also in the coming episodes where the mission is to find the Passenger, Nadia, I can see where he has mixed feelings.  His instinct has always been to help Sydney in any way that he can, but finding the Passenger can’t be easy on Vaughn as his father gave up his life with Vaughn for her safety.  So I could easily see him having a bit of resentment towards her and not having her on the top of his priorities.  But this is all just theory once again, as well as a testament to Michael Vartan’s acting skills.  The way that I can get this much of a theory built up based off of a look on his face.

As they are ending their conversation, Brill tells Vaughn that he knows what he needs to do and to just make sure that they don’t get to her.  Vaughn asks him why he came to him and Brill tells him, because it’s what your father would’ve wanted me to do and then Brill exits the elevator.  Vaughn is left to think more about what he needs to do and possibly weigh that against what he wants to do and the elevator closes, inside he gets out his phone to call someone, I have to assume that it is Sydney, so she can know where to go and what their plan should be.  But before he has a chance to say anything he exits the elevator and then is attacked and knocked out.

The next time we see Vaughn, he is hanging by his arms in a warehouse somewhere and we hear Sark speaking to him.  We also see that Vaughn has been stripped down so his chest is fully visible, which normally I get excited about seeing that nicely chiseled chest, but since he is hanging and also covered in blood I don’t take as much pleasure in seeing it. Besides the blood running down one side of his body, seeing water raining down on him doesn’t bode well with me either.  Vaughn is coming to after being knocked out and that Sark is now telling him that the Covenant has known for a while that Vaughn’s father was a follower of Rambaldi.  Also that Brill eluded them, but Vaughn was not as lucky.  Sark tells Vaughn that there are three things he needs to know. The first being about the device he holds which can deliver up to 500,000 volts, which Sark tells him isn’t enough to kill him, but just enough to make Vaughn wish that it would. The second item being that Sark believes that Brill disclosed the location of the Passenger to Vaughn, which means that Sark won’t stop the torture until Vaughn tells him where she is. The third item being that Sark is going to enjoy the torture far more than he should.  After telling Vaughn of the three things he should know, Sark begins the torture by jabbing the highly charged baton into Vaughn’s side.  Making Vaughn scream in pain, and shake vigorously. 
On a quick side note, Weiss does return to the Rotunda and a task force is put together to find not only Lauren but also Vaughn since they believe he may have been compromised.

Sometime has passed before we see Vaughn again, only now he is covered in more of his own blood and we can see where he has been burned.  Sark remarks how impressed he is at Vaughn’s ability to withstand the torture, but then turns up the machine to a higher setting.  Coming from Sark who we have seen quickly bow to the pressure of torture; it’s not surprising that Sark is impressed.  But Sark tells Vaughn that he is done showing restrain and asks him again where the Passenger is.  Vaughn is in an extreme amount of pain and it shows in how hard it is to speak.  But Vaughn has been trained to withstand torture and we know that he will do anything to save Sydney, including dying.  So it is no surprise that in this moment of excruciating pain, Vaughn actually provokes Sark and tells him; “Holding that thing, you almost look like you’ve reached puberty.”  Sark does not take the insult well and takes it out on Vaughn by holding the baton to Vaughn’s chest for longer than the last time.  While Vaughn is shaking and screaming, Lauren emerges and sees Sark torturing Vaughn.  I believe that it is in this moment that Vaughn sees Lauren with Sark for the first time.
When Sark is finished with Vaughn, at least for the time being, Lauren approaches Vaughn to clean him up a little.  She is the last person Vaughn wants to accept help from and he yells at her to not touch him.  She tells him that Sark is going to give him the Inferno protocol and that after all that he has been through, he wouldn’t survive.  He asks her why she cares, and she tells him that not everything was a lie.  As Sark’s men are taking Vaughn out of the restraints that are holding him up and take him to a cot, we see Lauren begging for Sark to wait, and not to do the Inferno Protocol, that he needs time to recover.  Sark asks her why she has this sudden concern for her husband now.  They go on talking and he eventually slaps her, and tells his men to take Lauren out of the room.  He then goes back to Vaughn and places and mask over his head to start the protocol.  We as watchers know (I hope) that this is all just show; they want to play on Vaughn’s sympathetic side and have him believe that she isn’t the callous bitch we know her to be. 

The mask is removed from Vaughn’s face and someone is there at his side assisting him to wake up. We find that it is Lauren, and Vaughn actually fell for Lauren and Sark’s manipulation and isn’t overly upset that Lauren is there with him.  He asked her what is going on, she tells him that the protocol worked and that he somehow survived.  He allows her to help him out of the bed, and he asks her if he told him.  Lauren tells Vaughn that he told Sark everything, but that he will be back any second and that Vaughn needs to get out of there.   He asks her why she is doing this, and she tells him that for her their marriage was real, and that it was the only real thing in her life.   She helps him dress and tells him to leave.  So Vaughn stumbles out of the warehouse and makes it to the street. 
Once out in the open Vaughn sees a car approach him and tries to flag them down, but has no success, but a truck quickly follows and does stop to help Vaughn.  Vaughn gets in and the driver is concerned with Vaughn’s appearance.  Vaughn just tells him that he needs to get to a phone, so the trucker quickly allows him to use his.   Vaughn, takes the phone hesitantly, thinking about making his call with a civilian near him, but decides that he will do it anyway.  He calls into the CIA dispatch and asks to speak to Dixon immediately.   When speaking with Dixon, Vaughn tells him that the Covenant knows the location of the Passenger and that Sark is moving on the lead.  Dixon asks him how they got the Intel, and Vaughn looks again to the driver, but dismisses his hesitations and tells Dixon that they got it from him.    Dixon then tells him that they will put together a tactical team and beat them to it, and asks where the Passenger is now.  Vaughn becomes suspicious now, I’m not sure if it is from the way Dixon worded his question or the truck drivers interest in Vaughn’s phone call, but Vaughn can see that something is not right.  He tells Dixon that he cut out and that there is bad reception.   We then see that Dixon isn’t Dixon, but Lauren typing the words that Dixon is saying into her laptop.  She has him ask Vaughn what is wrong, and in reply he asks if Sydney is back from Hong Kong.  With this statement, Lauren and Sark know that their rouse didn’t work, and Vaughn realizes that the truck driver is Covenant.  Vaughn goes to attack the driver at the same time that the driver goes in to attack Vaughn.  But even in Vaughn’s condition, Vaughn is still able to overpower the driver.  Eventually knocking him out and making the truck crash into some parked cars.  Vaughn quickly exits the truck as best he can after the crash, and as he is jogging away from the truck, the truck explodes.  Then a car pulls up to him and Sark and Lauren get out with their guns trained on him.   Vaughn finally realizes that Lauren played him once again.  She ends up knocking him out with a quick kick in the head after telling him that he is smarter than she thought. 
It is in this moment I believe that Vaughn truly begins his change.  He’s never been overly cynical or revenge driven.  But this latest betrayal at Lauren’s hand brings out a side of Vaughn that we have never seen before and his actions in the next episode are a result of this.  But I will go into that more later.

Back at the Rotunda, luckily Marshall has found a lead, he shows Dixon the footage that he found, Dixon instructs him to look at the surveillance from every camera within a five mile radius of where Sark and Lauren picked him up after the truck crashed.    With Marshall being this close, you know that Vaughn will be found, it’s just a question of the condition that he will be in.

Back at the warehouse, the game playing is over, they tried to trick Vaughn into thinking that they had run the Inferno protocol on him, when they really hadn’t.  But this time, Lauren is more than happy to help with the set up.   After the setup is complete and Vaughn is fully emerged in the Inferno protocol, Sark begins his questions.  What I find amazing is Vaughn’s strength even here.  The questions that Sark asks that would ultimately have no effect on Sydney or the Passenger, Vaughn answers, but any question that would affect Sydney, or the Passenger, Vaughn is able to still refrain from answering.  Showing that even under the worst conditions, even his subconscious is unwilling to hurt Sydney in anyway.  Proving that Vaughn will go to any extreme for her, including dying, which is good for Lauren to watch.  As  Sark instructs Lauren to increase the dosage, Sark receive a phone call, after hanging up he tells Lauren that they are done that they have the location of the Passenger.  Lauren asks Sark about Vaughn to which Sark tells her to kill him.  She hesitates for a small moment, before turning the wheel on the medication up allowing the medication to kill him for her and she walks away.
At the Rotunda, Marshall calls Dixon and Weiss into his office and shows them the footage that he found.  After Marshall’s usual over talking, Weiss finally gets the location of where Vaughn is now out of him and races off to save his best friend.  This is something that we rarely get to see, but is nice to see.  Weiss and Vaughn have been friends for a long time, and since the downfall of the Alliance, Weiss and Vaughn haven’t worked together as partners much.  But seeing Weiss show his own strengths as an agent to find Vaughn shows another side to their friendship. Then seeing the actual rescue of Vaughn and the fear on Weiss’s face as he finds Vaughn shows how much he really cares for his friend.  I know it’s not part of the Sydney and Vaughn relationship, per say, but in any relationship the closest friends of each side of the couple do affect the couple.  And seeing how good of a friend is to Vaughn here as well as how much Sydney has depended on him this year, shows that he would do anything for them.

Sydney:
We know that Sydney is not happy with Jack over him letting Sloane die, knowing that Jack had the information that would exonerate him.  If you have only watched the episode, you can see her anger at Jack.  But I love how she was able to expound upon her true feelings about Sloane’s death with Vaughn in the deleted scene that I posted in the last episode recap.  But before anything is said, you can tell that she is still not happy with Jack and hates being in his presence.   But the situation quickly changes as jack explains that yes he did have the information to exonerate Sloane, but as he was going to hand over the evidence to Bell, the guy from Justice who came to oversee Sloane’s execution, when he quickly realized that Bell was part of the Trust.   With Bell being part of the Trust jack knew that he couldn’t turn over the information that he had to him. Sydney then sees Sloane and they begin their search for the passenger.  I know that I could go into a lot more detail about the details of finding the Passenger, but I don’t find them overly relevant right now.  So this storyline will be kept short.  I will say that Sloane tells Sydney and Vaughn why the Passenger is so important, and why everyone is searching for her.  Rambaldi told of a Passenger that would serve as a conduit to Rambaldi himself and that when given an elixir she would be able to pass a message that would show Rambaldi’s ultimate end game.
While on the search for the Passenger, Sydney and Jack do share a nice moment.  While it isn’t relevant to the relationship, I am a sucker for a good Sydney and Jack moment. They are in the van ready for surveillance and Jack tells her; “Sydney, there’s something you should know. When I first learned of Sloane’s affair with your mother, I was forced to consider the possibility that I wasn’t in fact your biological father. It’s not the case. I had our medical files examined. Our relationship is clear. But I wanted you to know during that brief time before I was reassured, my feelings for you never changed.”  Sydney says a simple Dad in return and then they share a smile before going back to their work.  It’s one of those moments that are few and far between for Jack to open up to Sydney.
After a trip to Washington DC to see the Trust and retrieve a Rambaldi artifact, they use the substance that was in the Hourglass to power the new artifact and it prints out what appears to be brain waves.  The brain waves are from the Passenger, and with the help form some contacts, they are able to find her using her brain waves and the equipment that the DOD uses to search brainwaves from orbit.  She is in a women’s labor camp in Chechnya.  Jack reminds Sydney that Sydney needs to make sure that her expectations for her new sister are not the same as she had for her mother.  Sydney reassures him that after meeting Irina, she won’t be making the same mistake twice.

In Chechnya, Sydney has managed to break in to the women’s labor camp and is searching for her sister, when she finds her she is in the hospital infirmary in a catatonic state.  Upon seeing her new found sister like this Sydney’s empathetic side immediately comes out.  Sydney sits down next to her, and starts to release her from the restraints.  As she does this she introduces herself and tells her that she is her sister, and that she is there to help her and she will make her safe.  You can see that even though Sydney promised that she would not fall into the trap of believing that her sister was innocent and trustworthy, she has already come to love this sister of hers.
While escaping the prison with her sister, Sydney has to fight with some guards.  While she is fighting her way out, her sister suddenly begins helping Sydney fight off the guards. After the guards are taken down, Sydney escapes with her sister.  They stop for a moment to allow for resting, with some questioning, Sydney realizes why the Passenger had so many Aliases’.  It is the same reason that Sydney does herself, she is an agent from Argentina, and her name is Nadia.   Sydney shows that she has already fallen for the idea of having a sister.  Sydney also tells Nadia that it wasn’t just her there to rescue her, but her father helped and that he is waiting for her.
 Later after escaping Jack, Sydney, Sloane and Nadia are at a CIA safe house.  Nadia wakes up and sees Sloane holding her; she tells him that she knows who he is.  He tells her that the reason that he changed his criminal behavior was to become worthy of her love and respect.  After a nice moment between Sloane and Nadia we hear an explosion, Sydney and Jack jump into action while Sloane stays behind to cover Nadia.  We hear Sark instructing others that the Passenger is to remain unharmed.  Sydney and Jack take out some of Sark’s men, but then have to retreat back into the room where Sloane and Nadia are, only to find them gone.  Sydney and Jack hide in the rafters and watch Sark and Lauren search the room.  Lauren finds a wall that opens up to an escape tunnel, and tells Sark that Sloane set them up.  Jack tells Sydney that they are in a Chechen safe house that Sloane suggested that they take refuge in.  They deduct that Sloane knew about the escape route and was the only other person that knew where they were.  Sloane set them up again, he called the Covenant to come and act as a distraction giving Sloane time to escape with Nadia.  This was part of his ultimate end game, I wonder if Lindsay had seen this far into the plan, or if Lindsay only saw a part of the end game that we discover next season.  But Sloane never truly reformed.

Sydney and Vaughn:
As far as a timeline given for how long Vaughn was held by Sark and Lauren before Weiss was able to rescue him is fairly unknown, but we can speculate that it was a good amount of time since we can infer that he was taken around the same time that Sydney met with Jack and found that Sloane had not been executed.  So judging by what Sydney was able to do, spend a good amount of time in Washington DC, as well as rescuing Nadia from the labor camp in Chechnya, we have to guess that Vaughn was held for at least two days.  However that is never fully confirmed.  What we do know is that he is in pretty bad shape after all of his torture.  Sydney and Vaughn’s stories finally come together after Sydney has returned from Chechnya, so Vaughn has been in the hospital for at least a day since we have to give time for Sark and Lauren to make it to Chechnya and Sydney to make it back.  In the actual episode shown we see them for the first time as Sydney first enters Vaughn’s room.  However there is a deleted scene that took place immediately before her entering. I really wish that they had left this scene in place, because while they don’t directly refer to it, the knowledge gained in that scene makes other comments in the next episode make more sense in the long run. So before I continue with the actual episode, I think that I need to go over the deleted scene first.
The beginning of the scene, at least for me doesn’t add much to the plot and I can see why it was cut, it contains Dixon and Sydney discussing Sloane and why Jack did what he did.  Also that they are working with the DOD to try and find her brainwave pattern again, but they aren’t having much luck; Sydney suspects that Sloane has done something to her.  But Dixon reassures her that they will do all that they can to get her sister back to her. 

 This conversation takes place outside of Vaughn’s hospital room and as much as Sydney now cares about the status of her newfound sister, she didn’t come to the hospital to talk shop with Dixon.  When she first comes into the scene you could see the immediate concern in her face.  She talked shop as much as she could, but now she can’t wait any longer.  She needs to check on Vaughn.  She starts walking to his room to go greet him.  But before she can get too close, Dixon stops her.  He tells her; “Syd, before you go in there, there’s something you need to know about Vaughn. The doctors ran tests to see if there were any permanent affects from the Inferno protocol, there were none. But… they discovered something else; signs of Psychological conditioning. We believe that Lauren is responsible.”   Sydney has this mixed look of absolute concern for Vaughn mixed with a look of revenge for Lauren.  I can imagine that after hearing this, she wants nothing more than to kill Lauren herself, but she first needs to check on Vaughn.  She asks Dixon if Vaughn has been told, and he tells her that he thought that it would be better if he regained his strength before hearing the news.   Sydney nods in agreement and the deleted scene ends.  
So essentially Dixon just told Sydney that Vaughn has been going thru similar conditioning that Allison Doren put Will through at the end of Season two.  Although the one thing that we do know, or at least can infer from seeing Vaughn being tortured, he has been somewhat conditioned by the CIA to withstand some brainwashing techniques, but within his own subconscious he won’t disclose anything that would ultimately affect Sydney.  The only time that she could’ve gained information that would’ve affected Sydney would’ve taken place before she returned from the dead.  Once Vaughn knew she was alive his priorities, at least subconsciously at first if not outwardly shown, were to protect Sydney.  So I could also infer that Lauren may have gained the knowledge that ultimately put Jack in prison from Vaughn when they first started dating.  But I can’t believe that she would be able to get much info that would hurt Sydney.  But where Sydney was not involved, I can see him divulging some of that information.  But knowing that this conditioning took place lets us be able to understand some upcoming statements that Vaughn says that originally had me very confused.
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 In the episode itself, the scene opens with Sydney walking into Vaughn’s hospital room immediately following this conversation with Dixon.  So it is at the forefront of her mind when she approaches Vaughn.  You can tell that she is thinking about something, but knowing what Dixon just told her gives us more insight.  She approaches Vaughn’s bed and softly speaks his name.  He wakes up and you can see that he is in very bad shape overall, so Sydney’s train of thought does change to his overall condition rather than what Lauren did to him.  Vaughn looks up at her and says her name, and you can tell that she is the only person on his mind.  He reaches out his hand to her; she looks down and then takes his hand in hers.  With all of Vaughn bruises and scars, he shows nothing but concern in his eyes and then asks her if she is alright.  Typical Vaughn, no matter what type of pain he is in, his first concern is for Sydney and her wellbeing.  This somewhat reminds me of when Vaughn was dying from being contaminated by the water from the red ball and he is lying in the hospital bed asking Sydney how dangerous getting his cure will be.  No matter what the situation has been, Vaughn always wants to protect Sydney, and it’s killing him in situations like this that he can’t be with her to protect her.   But with his question, Sydney looks a little surprised and looks him over before telling him that she is fine.   By the look that Sydney has, you can tell that Vaughn is starting to alarm her, because she has nothing but concern for him in her face.  He then asks her; “The Passenger… Did you find her?”   She has a look of wonder at this question, but she tells him that yes, she found her, but that she is already gone and missing.   You can see that Vaughn is actually scared for Sydney here, his breaths quicken and her tells her; “You can’t go after her.”  Sydney questions him, wondering what he is talking about.  He goes on to tell her; “Your sister. You have to let her go.”  Unsure of what is going on, Sydney tells Vaughn that he is tired and that she should let him sleep.  It looks like Sydney may have attempted to release his hand, but he held hers tight and pulled her closer.  Once again his concern for Sydney is showing and it is his main concern above any type of pain that he may be in, he tells her; “No. My father was killed because he took her from the KGB. He hid her from your mother. That’s why she murdered him. I met someone who told me the prophecy…”   While Vaughn is talking Sydney can’t quite wrap her head around what he is telling her and she is very confused, but he goes on and tells her the prophecy of The Passenger. “The Passenger and the Chosen One shall battle. Neither will survive.”  Vaughn and Sydney have never been big believers of the Rambaldi stuff, but they have seen too much to not have a little fear when it comes to the prophecies.  Vaughn looks up at Sydney and goes on; “Sydney… You can’t see her again.”   While Vaughn says this, Sydney looks down at him wondering what to do, but she can’t ignore the concern that Vaughn has for her. 
The last thing we see is Nadia being held somewhere by Sloane and she is chained to a chair.  Sloane injects her with the green elixir that he made from the Rambaldi manuscripts, so that she can become the conduit to Rambaldi’s end game.  She goes into convulsions and Sloane places a mask over her face to put her to sleep.

So overall, while Sydney and Vaughn have very little contact in the episode, what happened to them will definitely affect their overall relationship.  Sydney has gained a new sister, who is prophesied to end up killing her, but Sydney having met her has a hard time believing this, but she will always have it at the back of her mind knowing what prophecies have come true.  For Vaughn, he was originally angry at Lauren for her betrayal in marrying him as well as betraying the country, but after what she and Sark put him through and falling for her last manipulation over him.  He becomes very bitter and angry, plus he is told about the psychological conditioning.  So he has two things on his mind, bringing Lauren to justice and making her pay for what she has done not only to him but to Sydney as well.  Because in his mind, he sees Lauren being responsible for Sydney’s disappearance and all the agony that he and Sydney went through during those two years, as well as the pain that he has had to inflict on Sydney over the last year, trying to be a good husband.   But his second concern and his main overall concern although at times, it doesn’t show as his number one concern is gaining Sydney’s trust and love back.  He wants nothing more than to be back with Sydney and for them to be happy together once again.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

S3 E19 – Hourglass




If I have any readers out there that have wondered why there hasn’t been a post in two weeks, I apologize.  I went on vacation, I will have a post about that because I went back to LA and took some more location shots, but I also changed shifts and I am no longer working graveyards, so I don’t have as much time to work on this as I would like.  But I am going to attempt to work on this while working; I will just have more interruptions.  But I am back to the project and excited to get back to where Vaughn and Sydney learn how to be a couple again, and fall in love all over again.


This portion while small, I feel I need to include, the episode opens with Jack using instant messenger begins a chat with Irina.  He tells her that he needs Intel on The Passenger.  But she doesn’t reply, we then see that she has terminated her account and the screen starts populating with what looks like a virus.  This is the last time that we see any evidence of Jack and Irina corresponding.  While it’s not important to the relationship today, it will become relevant over the next few episodes.

Another small moment that isn’t relationship related, but Sark goes to Nepal and speaks with the monk that we saw Sloane speak with at the end of season 2 episode 20 – Countdown. http://romancingalias.blogspot.com/2013/08/s2-e20-countdown_13.html  Sark wants the manuscript regarding the passenger, and the monk won’t give it up.  Sark and the monk fight, and the monk calls Sark by his name which shocks Sark for a moment wondering how the monk new his name.  But Lauren’s mother then shots the monk with a tranquilizer and then told Sark to grab the manuscript regarding the Passenger and then to take the monk since he may be helpful if it is encrypted.  Once again, something that isn’t a big deal now, but will play a part later. 

For the next few episodes, they will probably be longer posts, as the season is coming to an end and they are tying up loose strings.  This means that I will be including more scenes than usual, because most of the events will now lead to the end result and will affect Sydney and Vaughn in one way or another.
Back in LA, Jack and Sydney are walking on to the roof of some building, and Jack tells Sydney about his IM conversation with Irina.  Sydney speculates that Irina is either the passenger herself, or she is protecting the Passenger.  As they round a corner they see Vaughn.  Sydney is a little cold towards him after her last few encounters with him, which is understandable. Sydney looks at Vaughn and asks; “What’s going on? Your message said it was important.”  She and Jack stop in front of Vaughn.  Sydney stands with a really defensive pose. While Jack is open to hear what Vaughn has to say.  Vaughn takes a moment then tells them; “You were right.”   Sydney is still being pretty cold to him and asks him what she was right about.  He then tells them; “Lauren’s the mole.  She works for the Covenant.”  It is at these words that Sydney looks away and realizes that she no longer has to be cold to him.  He’s figured out what she needed him to know.  Jack, knew this would happen in time, and asks Vaughn if he has any proof.   Vaughn nods to them and then becomes angry with himself and says; “I should have known.”  Sydney is no longer cold and distant, and ready to start working on a plan. She says that they need to talk to Dixon and work out a way to handle this.  Vaughn is still angry and he tells Sydney and Jack that he knows how to handle it.  But Jack being the ultimate game strategist tells him that he needs to act like nothing has changed.  Vaughn looks at him and tells him; “Okay, what’s plan B? ‘Cause that’s not going to happen.”  Jack explains that since the Covenant is ahead of them in the search for the passenger, using Lauren could help them to catch up.  Jack goes on to tell Vaughn that she can’t detect that he feels any differently than before in their relationship.  As well as telling Sydney and Vaughn that he will work with Dixon to secure the agency and limit her access to classified documents and Intel.  Vaughn interrupts him and tells him; “Okay, stop! My wife betrayed me. She betrayed all of us.  You can’t expect me to pretend that never happened.”  Jack then tells him that he doesn’t have a choice, and when Vaughn questions him, Jack tells him; “Because you’re the one who married her.”    Vaughn isn’t happy, and you can see that Sydney feels bad for Vaughn and doesn’t like that he has to do this.  But they all know that out of everyone, Jack knows from experience what to do in this situation.  So they don’t protest.
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Back inside the Rotunda, Vaughn is working at his desk and Lauren approaches him, telling him that she missed him earlier that morning.   He plays along with Jacks plan, but you can tell that this may be one of the hardest assignments he has ever had to do.  But he makes up an excuse for why he wasn’t at home when she woke, and plays his role.  He knows this role well; he has been playing it all season.  Only this time he knows he is ready to have the alias of Michael, that he created so he could move on from being in love with Sydney, be done with.  We see that Sydney is watching their interactions from across the room.  Lauren then tells Vaughn that she actually liked it a little, that it felt like they were getting back to their routine.  Vaughn tells her that he thinks that they have as well, although you can see the sadness in his eyes as he sees what a sham his marriage was, as well as what he gave up for it.   Lauren asks Vaughn if he would reconsider going to counseling, and Vaughn agrees that it may be a good idea.  The camera moves back to Sydney watching over Vaughn with Jack beside her.  Sydney still watching Vaughn asks Jack; “After 30 years, you still live with your wife’s betrayal. Will He?” Jack takes a moment and looks over at Vaughn, then tells Sydney; “Absolutely.”   This small interaction between the two of them is great.  Jack has been Sydney’s rock this season, and it is in this moment that Jack sees that Sydney will be with Vaughn again, Sydney knows this as well.  Jack realizes that as much as he wants to protect Sydney, he may never be able to protect her from marrying a man that is just like him.  But more on that topic next season.
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Since Sark had kidnapped the monk that could help them with the manuscript regarding the Passenger, Sark and company are transporting him across the Thar Desert in India.  So Sydney and Vaughn are sent to retrieve him and they will have to go old school according to Marshall, which means they will somehow catch up to Sark’s Humvees on horses.  Sydney frees the monk, but as he is jumping out of the Humvee Sark shoots him.  He tells Sydney and Vaughn as she tries to help him that the Passenger is now compromised.  As he says this, Sydney removes her turban and he looks up and realizes that he is speaking with the Chosen One.  He tells her that the Passenger is her destiny, to which Sydney starts questioning him about her.  And with his last breaths he tells her that the Passenger is her sister.  That only makes her turn to look to Vaughn.  Then the man dies in her arms.  Even though no one else was there for her to look to, anytime that something doesn’t make sense, she always turned to Vaughn.  Now Vaughn is essentially hers again and she can turn to someone again.  She did use Jack for this to an extent and in the next scene she talks to Jack about it, and that is when Jack tells Sydney about Irina’s affair with Sloane.  But she is happy to be able to have Vaughn be her sounding board again.  I wish I could’ve seen their flight back to LA.
The main characters from the Rotunda being; Dixon, Jack, Weiss, Marshall, Sydney, and Vaughn, all collaborate on a plan that will entice Lauren to gain access to a bogus code key that they have had made to read the manuscript regarding the Passenger.  Project Black-hole does have the real one, and they will make Lauren believe that they will have to real one.  So that Lauren will try and gain access to it since her mother and Sark stole the manuscript.  She falls for their plan and gains access to a restricted area of the Rotunda, as they predicted by using a fingerprint that she would steal from Marshall to go in as him.  She makes a duplicate of the code key from the scanner pen that she used to “examine the code key for the NSC”.  They know that she will have to take the code key to her handler, so they send Sydney and Vaughn to follow her and identify her contact who should be able to lead them to the documents. Once they know who they are dealing with, they will spec out a plan to recover the documents.

Later in the day, Sydney and Vaughn are in a utility van spying on Lauren waiting for her contact to arrive.  While they are watching her, Vaughn says to Sydney; “You know what I want?”  Sydney asks him what, and he tells her; “A normal life.”  As he says this they both turn to look at each other.   It only last for a moment but, they share a moment of wanting each other and knowing that that is what they consider normal.  Because nothing has been normal for either of them since the night that Sydney disappeared.  But they quickly realize that while they both want the same thing, it’s going to take some work to get there.
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When Sydney and Vaughn see Lauren wave someone over, they both immediately go into work mode, and while there is tension, they have always been able to do their job regardless of what personal issues they may currently have going on. They are both surprised to see that it is Lauren’s mother Olivia.  Vaughn looks to Sydney and tells her that she is supposed to be in London right then.  While the sound isn’t the best because of the fountain behind Lauren, they do find out that Olivia is part of the Covenant, that Olivia killed Lauren’s father to protect Lauren, and that the documents are at the Reed’s home in Richmond.  Lauren tells her mother that she will meet her there to help her get the documents interpreted now that they have the key.  As they are saying this, Vaughn has this almost horrified look on his face.  He knows that as part of playing this part of a loving husband, which he now detests, he will be the only one who can easily gain access to the documents in Richmond in the time frame that the Covenant is working on.  Nothing is ever said out loud about this at the time, but the look on his face and the pain you can see in his eyes as he looks at Sydney, you can tell that he really hates having to play this part.
Knowing what part he has to play, Vaughn uses Lauren’s own suggestion of counseling and they bring Dr. Barnett into the equation.    We see the usual conversations that couples go through in marriage counseling.  Vaughn tells Barnett that he feels that Lauren doesn’t trust him.  Lauren says that she is worried that once she finishes mourning her father that he will leave her. Vaughn tells her that if that were the case, why would he be there working on their problems.  He left it wide open for her to bring up Sydney as he knew that she would.  She tells him that their problem is that he thinks he is in love with Sydney.  Vaughn acts upset, he knows this is true; he does love Sydney of course.  But he has to play his part, and he plays it well.  He asks how he is supposed to respond to that, and Barnett tells him that being honest is best.  His response is very good I think, it plays into the plan of getting him to Richmond and he never lies about how he feels about Sydney, he just underplays his feelings.  He tells them; “Sydney is very important to me. We have history, obviously. We’re together a lot. We go away together a lot.”  Lauren is so annoyed with Vaughn with this and I love it.  She acts upset that Sydney is important to him, but she wants to be with Sark, but her look of boredom is what makes me happy.  You can see her becoming bored of having to play the loving wife as well.   Dr. Barnett, knowing what has to happen, plays along with her role and asks if the two of them ever go away together.  Lauren acting upset, tells her never.  Which we have already seen isn’t the case, but I’ll forgive her slip up here.  She wants to play the victim, because that has been what works for her the best. Barnett suggests that maybe they should go away together and asks if they have any trips planned.  Before Lauren can respond, Vaughn immediately says that Lauren is going to see her mother in Richmond.  As he says this she is glaring at him, like she could kill him, but she tries to play it off.  She stutters, but manages to get out that it is only for a day, hoping that her trip won’t be interrupted.  But Barnett interrupts Lauren, telling her that it would be a start.  Lauren looks horrified, but nods in agreement.  After her pleading for counseling to help their marriage, she can’t turn down the counselor’s advice and still be believable as the loving wife.   If it wasn’t already obvious to the viewers, I actually love that Barnett walks into Dixon’s office to tell them that it worked and that Vaughn is going to Richmond.

Once again, I have to say that while Vaughn hates playing this part, he knows that it is his job so he will do it as best he can.  Vaughn has never been a believer in the Rambaldi mumbo jumbo; well at least he tries to ignore it as much as he can, with what he has seen.  But now knowing that the Passenger is Sydney’s sister, he will do anything for Sydney, and if Sydney wants to meet her sister and protect her, than he wants that as well.  So he will play this part and spend the day with Lauren and her mother and act like the doting husband he was before Sydney returned.

While putting the overnight bags in the bedroom, Vaughn wires the house with one of Marshall’s gizmos that will allow them to see any electrical output form within the house, which will also find the safe.   Over coms he tells them that it is in place, and they tell him that they will call him when they have located the safe.  After a few minutes of catching up with Lauren’s mother, Sydney calls Vaughn and he tells Lauren and Olivia that it is Weiss; he apologizes and tells them that he needs to take the call.  This moment is a parallel back to S1 E15 – Page 47. http://romancingalias.blogspot.com/2013/07/s1-e15-page-47.html  In that episode Sydney was still a double agent, and worked her way into an invitation to Sloane’s home, while there she had to get a hold of the Rambaldi documents from Sloane’s safe, and retrieve page 47. While having dinner, Vaughn called her pretending to be Francie her best friend, allowing her to walk away for a moment.  Now Vaughn isn’t necessarily a double agent, but he is playing two roles.  He also worked his way into an invitation to this home, and has to break into a safe there as well.  Now Sydney has called posing as his best friend.   I might be alone in this, but I like it when the show parallel’s itself.  Many people may call it a lack of imagination, but I think it is clever to have characters look into their past to solve problems, or two remind themselves of who they are or were.
Once inside the house, knowing where the safe is, he switches back to the coms.  He breaks into the safe and starts scanning the documents.  While he is scanning the documents, Sydney warns him that someone else is coming towards him in the house, and we watch as Lauren goes looking for Vaughn after her mother gets upset that she isn’t able to work on the documents while he is in the way, and Lauren says she can handle him, but her mother is skeptical, so Lauren goes to find him.  When she does walk in to the study, she isn’t happy to find him in the study, but luckily Vaughn is a good agent and while he knew he couldn’t get out of the room, he could find an excuse for being in the room.  He was able to return the now scanned documents and pull out the wedding album from his scam of a wedding.  Telling Lauren that he was just looking through their wedding pictures, telling Lauren that he remembered that her parents kept them in there, then going to a place he doesn’t want to go, but knows to get out of being in a room he shouldn’t he asks her if she remembers the day.  I think that the worst part of this is knowing that Sydney is on the other end and can hear everything.  He puts down the pictures and tells Lauren that he will go and get her sweater.  But Lauren stops him and tells him that it was the happiest day of her life.  Having to play along, he tells her that it was his too.  While you can see that he doesn’t mean it, and Sydney listening knows the truth, but you can still see the pain across her face as she hears him say it.   Lauren starts to initiate, I would say making love, but neither one of them would consider it making love, so I guess I should just say that Lauren tries to prove that she wants this marriage to last for her cover, so she goes for a man’s usual week spot, sex, not knowing that having sex with Lauren is the last thing that Vaughn wants, especially with Sydney being able to hear.  As they go through the motions, you can see the absolute disgust on Vaughn’s face as he knows that he will have to follow through with this to make sure she doesn’t think that she has been found out.  But it pains him to no end.  On the other end, Sydney knows that Vaughn is playing his part, and that it isn’t something that he wants to do, but she understands it although she is also very jealous and pained by the experience as well.  So to save herself some pain and Vaughn some embarrassment, she tells Marshall to turn off the coms.
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This really is a great episode; it has so much in it, and is able to parallel so many situations.  Like I mentioned before with breaking into the safes; making Vaughn a temporary double agent, and him having to improvise, where usually this is Sydney’s territory is great to see that trade off.  Also we get to see a lot of jealous Vaughn, when Sydney has to cozy up to a terrorist, or their guard to get Intel.  But this time to see Vaughn have to cozy up to his wife after finding out that he has been used, seeing how dirty it makes him feel, as well as getting to see Sydney having to hear it go down.  We have seen a lot of jealous Sydney this season and before Sydney and Vaughn became a couple when Alice was in the picture, but that was on the personal level.  We have never seen Sydney upset over what had to happen to get the job done.  So that parallel is a great one to see.
When Vaughn returned from Richmond, a briefing was held to discuss what the manuscript entailed.  It spoke of a Rambaldi artifact called the Hourglass.  A man who is based out of San Pedro now has possession of it. But then Marshall tells them that they will need to move quickly, because the manuscript also revealed that the Hourglass will only reveal the location of the Passenger to one person, her father.  Vaughn speaks up noting that this is a problem since Sloane, being the father, is due to be executed in six hours.   Sydney and Vaughn exchange glances as they realize the problem with the situation.

After finding out that the only way that Sydney will be able to meet and possibly help her new found sister is by stopping Sloane’s execution, she pleads with Jack to help exonerate Sloane. She tells him that she knows the Trust exists and that Jack needs to help Sloane.  Jack asks her if she comprehends that her sister may be a danger to her, she does realize this, but she tells him that she may be a victim and that she could help her.  Jack actually says something funny here, telling her; “With Irina Derevko and Arvin Sloane as her parents, I don’t think so.”  Jack finally agrees to help Sloane and tells her that when the head of Justice comes in to witness the execution, he will turn over the evidence that he has on the Trust to then and that should exonerate Sloane.
In San Pedro, Sydney and Vaughn are in a van prepping to go in to get the Hourglass; they go over the basic operation information.  After a pause, Vaughn takes a deep breath and looks at Sydney and says; “Syd, about what happened in Richmond…”  Sydney looks up, she looks like this isn’t what she is really wanting to discuss, but hides it and looks at Vaughn and simply tells him; “You were doing your job.”  With that statement, Vaughn nods and Sydney looks away for a moment before saying more.  But she then looks back up at him and tells him; “And she is your wife.”  This is something that Vaughn does not want to be reminded about, especially not by Sydney.  He looks at her for a moment and then tells her; “Not for long.” Some noises go off, so they both go back to work, and the conversation is over.   I believe that in this instant, if Lauren had been taken into custody and they didn’t end up having to play this charade with her.  Sydney and Vaughn could’ve had an easier time getting back to a healthy place together.  I’m not saying that it would be perfect, and that they wouldn’t have their share of trials.  But in this moment they love each other and if they weren’t so patriotic, they could run off together and be happy.  But actions that take place, as well as new information that is gained over the next few episodes, is what makes up many of the struggles that they have to overcome at the beginning of next season.
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Back at the Rotunda, Jack is introduced to the head of Justice who will oversee Sloane’s execution, they speak for a few moments, but notices something, and decides not to bring up the Trust with this man, and puts the evidence that would clear Sloane back into his desk.  We then see Jack go and visit Sloane in his cell.  They share a glass of wine, Jack talks how Sloane once came to him and toasted the birth of Sydney with a bottle of Sloane’s favorite champagne.  Jack then tells him that now he knows that Sloane has a daughter, he thought he should return the honor, especially since the two girls share a mother.  Sloane tries to reason with Jack telling him that Irina betrayed both of them, seeking Intel from both of them.  Jack and Sloane argue about the logistics over Irina’s status, and what it meant to each of them.    Jack tells Sloane that he knew that there was a possibility that one day Sydney would be drawn into the spying world, but he wondered why Sloane was the one who actually sought out Sydney.   He accuses Sloane of being jealous of what Jack and Irina had, which was Sydney.  He goes on to tell Sloane; “You’re right, I’m not going to help you.  Since this is the last conversation we will ever have, I want to make this perfectly clear. What you have done to my daughter is nothing compared to what I will do when I find yours.”   I know that this scene really has very little, actually almost nothing, to do with the Sydney and Vaughn relationship, so why did I include this part, or make it longer than necessary?  The main reason is that this last toast of sorts will play a huge part in the story.  But seeing Jack have the upper hand and to be able to give him the impression that he has done so many things to their friendship over the years that can’t be repaired, is nice to see.  To see the love that Jack has for Sydney, and to threaten to hurt Sloane’s daughter as much as Sloane has hurt Sydney just for the revenge and to make Sloane suffer is a great moment for me personally; especially, knowing the eventual love and respect that Jack gains for Nadia later on in the series.

Back in San Pedro, Sydney and Vaughn gain access into the club where the Hourglass in stored.  I love seeing how well Sydney and Vaughn work together in the field, and this is a perfect example.  Sydney walks up to the front of the line acting like a spoiled girl who always gets her way and attempts to get into the club based on her looks, but the bouncer doesn’t fall for it.  But as she is trying to talk the bouncer into letting her in, Vaughn attempts to walk in without even talking to the bouncer, which gets the bouncers attention off of Sydney for her to get past.  Vaughn dedication to his part continuing the gag even after Sydney is well into the club is great to see, he wants to make sure that she is all the way in before he will walk away from his part. 

Over the next few minutes the scenes keep changing from Sydney and Vaughn at the club retrieving the Hourglass and Sloane’s execution, but I’m only going to cover the club and Sydney and Vaughn.  Although I will say that I do appreciate how upset Dixon is to see that somehow Lauren gained clearance to watch Sloane’s execution, especially at her words of “I had no intention of missing the execution of this traitor.”

At the club, Sydney has gained access to the area where the Hourglass is being stored, but runs into a problem where the motion sensors are on a random sweep.  You can hear the concern in Vaughn’s voice as he says that that wasn’t included in the systematics that they were given.  Sydney remembers an old mission with Dixon and asks Marshall to grab him so that he can help them get around it.  Marshall tells Sydney that he can’t get Dixon, because he is witnessing Sloane’s execution.  Sydney becomes upset when she realizes that the execution is going forward.  A few moments pass, as we switch back to Sloane.  But Sydney tells Marshall and Vaughn that they can’t wait any longer and that she is going in.  We see Vaughn for a small moment and you can see a look of horror on his face as he realizes what may happen if Sydney goes in without shutting down the security first.  Marshall tells her to stand down and that he almost has it.  Vaughn tells her that the security detail is two dozen men strong; but Sydney ignores both of them, lets her coat fall off as she pulls two guns out and is ready to start firing.  Without a reply from Sydney and knowing her as he does, Vaughn immediately takes off his headset and goes in.  As Sydney enters we immediately see one of the guards and she takes him out, and quickly follows with the other guards as she sees them.    She takes the Hourglass in one hand and keeps shooting as needed with the other.   She is back out of the room and has her coat over the Hourglass.  She shoots another guard and goes to shoot the guard at the top of the steps only to realize that she is out of ammo.  So she stays in her position and prepares to use her gun as a blunt force object for when the guard comes down the steps for her.  While she is waiting we watch the guard slowly go down the steps, as well as watch Sloane die.  Then Sydney hears gunfire and sees the guard fall down next to her.   She turns to look around the corner and up the steps to see Vaughn there.  You can see the relief that they both feel, but they don’t linger on it and they make their way out of the building.
After Sydney and Vaughn retrieve the Hourglass a lot of things happen in a very short amount of time before the episode ends.  1st) Sydney meets Jack who is escorting Sloane’s dead body in a hallway.  Jack tries to talk to her, but she stops him and tells him that there is nothing that he can say and walks off.  2nd) Upstairs Lauren makes a phone call to her mother, and tells her that Sloane is dead, and that they can locate the passenger without his interference.  But her mother tells her that the code key Lauren retrieved from the CIA isn’t usable, and that she assumes that it was deliberate on the part of the CIA, and that Vaughn played her and is likely to try again.  Olivia continues to tell Lauren that Vaughn playing Lauren will likely be his last mistake.  Lauren hangs up and looks around wondering who else may know of her true affiliation.
We have now reached the part of the episode where they had to choose something to cut for the sake of time.  I really wish that they would’ve found something else, but they cut a fantastic Sydney and Vaughn scene.  Luckily they did include it in the deleted scenes and I have finally gotten new software so I can rip scenes easier.  So here is the deleted scene, on the DVD the scene was called, A Liberation.  I am including it in the breakdown because I believe that it should’ve been included in the episode.  But looking at it from the perspective that a director or editor may have, I can also see why they cut it.
At Sydney’s house after her brief meeting with her father, she hears the doorbell ring, she goes to answer the door and we find Vaughn at her house.  If the scene had been included it would’ve marked the first time that Vaughn has been to Sydney’s new place.  He hasn’t seen where she lived before this.  Possibly because he wanted to remember the good times that the two of them shared in Sydney’s old apartment, or he didn’t want to allow himself to think about Sydney sitting at home alone in this new location and what made her move.  Sydney has him come in and he tells her; “I was on my way home from work, and a, just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”   It is nice to see him take a look around and her new place as he is talking to her.  I also have to point out his word usage.  Around Sydney or anyone else for that matter, he hasn’t referred to his house with Lauren as a home.  Yes, I am going into the Home thing with Vaughn again.  But he says he was on his way home from work.  After the week that he has had, he does not want to go back to pretending to be with Lauren.  So his first thought is to go home, and for Vaughn, home has always been wherever Sydney is.  So when he thinks of going home, because he really, really wants to go home, he goes to see Sydney and to check on her.  But after saying that he came to see if she was okay, he turns back to her after getting a glimpse of what he wishes was his own home.
Sydney tells him that she is fine, but hesitates as she looks at him closer, and corrects herself and tells him that she will be fine.  I love this scene because it is a throwback to how they used to be able to talk to each other.  He could get her to open up just by looking at her and saying her name.  And he is able to simply say “Syd” and she begins to open up again, just like she used to.  She tells him; “This was going to be it… The end… Sloane’s death, it was going to be a liberation…. But here it is… and… there’s no satisfaction in it.  There’s no relief.”   Partway through the speech, you can see her begin to breakdown, and it is the type of breakdown that she would only allow Vaughn to see.  As she is speaking Vaughn just watches patiently.  Even with all of his own problems that he has to deal with right now, he is so concerned with how Sydney is taking this moment.   He knows how much she has wanted this moment from the day he met her, but now that it has come and the circumstances around it.  He knows that it isn’t what is best for her.  It’s great to see how much he really does love her by putting this moment of hers and her problems above his own.  But he walks closer to her and rubs her shoulders and tells her; It won’t always be like this, it’ll get better.”  In this moment he is not only referring to how she feels about the execution, but their own situation together.  The camera goes back to Sydney, and Vaughn has now moved his hand from caressing her arms, to now caressing her face. And she tells him that she knows.   She lets him continue to caress her check for a moment and then smiles.  And in that small instant everything in their world isn’t turned around and messed up and they are happy.
But they both know that it can’t last.  They both take a breath taking them back to reality and Sydney tells Vaughn that he needs to go home.  She is trying to focus on what needs to be done.  That he has to keep playing his part as Lauren’s husband.  But after hearing Lauren’s last conversation, I feel like yelling at him to stay and for them to run away.  But of course what I want and what really happens are two very different things.   After she tells him that he needs to go home, you can hear a crack in her voice and you can tell that she really doesn’t want him to, but maybe she also thinks that he is already at the home that he should be at.  And by the look that Vaughn gives her, you can tell that as far as he is concerned, he is already home, and that he just wants to stay.  But he finally nods his head, and reluctantly leaves.  As Sydney closes the door after he leaves, you can see her begin to cry and it gets me right in the feels. 

I know I just talked a lot about a 2 minutes scene that wasn’t even included in the episode, but I love it.  Also considering that they really didn’t show anything with the two of them after retrieving the Hourglass, I think that they really should have included this scene.  From the moment that Sydney and Vaughn met, Sloane’s death has been a huge motivator for Sydney.  She has wanted to kill him herself so many times, but was never able to.  The one time that she thought that she did get rid of him to save Vaughn, it was all a rouse.  So I think that Sydney needed this moment to be able to tell Vaughn her feelings about Sloane’s death.   Because on some level, he is the only one that she feels understands her.  Another reason that I think that they should’ve included this scene is that the next time they see each other will be after they both go through life changing moments, and this would’ve been their last moment before things really start to change for both of them.  Granted Vaughn’s is more traumatic than life changing, but his overall personality will change forever after the next episode.  Sydney’s moments alter her as well, but with her it is because of gaining a sister and more knowledge; something that I will go into more with the next episode. 

The show ends with Jack going into the morgue and injecting something into Sloane’s body.  He tells Sloane that he is surprised he didn’t get the reference of the bottle of champagne used.  Apparently Jack and Sloane have done this before, but together in Saigon.  Sloane is very confused to actually be alive, and before he can fully grasp what is going on, Jack leans in and tells him; “But understand, this was not done out of compassion. I orchestrated this because… and only because… I need you.”  So in the end, Jack doesn’t let Sloane die, because he wants Sydney to be able to find her sister, and Sloane is the only one that will be able to help him do that.


  •  Items that I found interesting… 
    • When Sydney visits Sloane to find out if she has a sister.  We find out that the event that everyone was counting down to as an apocalyptic event in S2 E20 – Countdown was that of Sloane finding out that he did have a daughter and that the Il Dire machine with the mechanical heart turned out the DNA of the Passenger and it did say peace, but apparently in Greek translates to Irina.  Sloane ran a DNA test and he confirmed that he was the father of the Passenger.    He also begs her to convince Jack to prove that he was working with Senator Reed for an organization called the Trust.

Also, just in case you were wondering, and I know that you really aren’t, but this one post has taken me five nights of working on this within two weeks.  I really hope that this will not be the case for the rest of these posts.  Because of my new schedule I can see that my lack of free time will make the end of a season much harder and I anticipate those taking a bit longer to do, but hopefully not this long.  I had many personal things come up and I was sick in bed for a few days.  So hopefully I can get into a better routine with doing these.  But who knows.  Maybe I won’t be able to finish the series by the end of the year as I had originally anticipated.  But I think I am okay with that.  I have come to find this blog therapeutic and a place to come to and be able to write about these characters that I love so much and find a bit of happiness, when I am having a bad day.  So as we approached the middle of the series, I was becoming depressed that soon I wouldn’t have this escape, but I guess that may be the silver lining to a new shift that makes the rest of my life a living hell.