Sydney and Noah's sleep is interrupted when Khasinau's soldiers storm the house. They get away on a motorcycle seconds before the cabin is riddled with bullets.
Meanwhile, Vaughn confirms that K-Directorate has hired a known assassin, a.k.a. "The Snowman" for his favored use of an ice-pick as a weapon, to take out Khasinau. He suggests that by following the hit man, they can find Khasinau.
Noah makes her an interesting proposition. While working undercover, he opened some secret bank accounts and now wants her to run away with him. She refuses, insisting that she must find her mother first.
Jack is visibly upset; he tells his daughter that the information on the data-core is useless for tracking down Khasinau. However, it does contain video files of Laura Bristow -- video recorded after her car crash, and supposed death.
Sydney watches the grainy video, and learns the unpleasant truth about her mother. Laura Bristow, using her real name "Irina Derevko," answers questions from Khasinau and another man. Derevko states how she came to America for the purpose of seducing Jack Bristow. During their years of marriage, she had gone through his briefcase and monitored his conversations, reporting everything back to the KGB.
The other man on the tape, Igor Valenko, looks familiar, so Sydney investigates. She discovers that this man once worked undercover at the FBI under the alias "Calder." She concludes that he was the agent who was, allegedly, chasing Laura Bristow before her fateful crash, and that he also must have faked his own death.
Sydney uncovers that Valenko currently does business with a bank in Cape Town, South Africa, and she speculates that he might still be connected to Khasinau. Using her input, Jack outlines a mission to Sloane -- to send Noah and Sydney to Cape Town to recover bank records to create a trail. Sloane is reluctant because he no longer trusts Noah, and expresses concerns about Jack defending yet another male figure in Sydney's life but ultimately, he agrees.
Following a separate path to Khasinau, Vaughn travels to Bogota to meet with a man who once worked with The Snowman. This agent, scarred and disfigured from an encounter with the assassin, had formerly declined to help the CIA, but time has changed his mind, and he now offers to help.
With a mixture of curiosity and dread, Jack finally summons the courage to watch the recovered video of his wife. Although he already knows the truth, he is crushed to see her treachery in such light.
Noah and Sydney break into the warehouse and hack into the computer. They download all the files but later learn that the hard drive's memory was wiped as they escaped.
One evening, Will and Francie finally confront Sydney about the plane ticket to Italy. She says that the bank has been doing business with extremely private clients and this is why she must keep secrets.
Sydney is surprised to learn that Noah has accepted another deep cover assignment. Before he departs, he again pleads with her to run away with him. She again declines.
After further tinkering, Marshall is finally able to recover low-level sector information from the reformatted drive. According to the records, Valenko is in Mackay, Australia. Dixon and Sydney are immediately dispatched to capture him, hoping that this will bring them one step closer to Khasinau.
Vaughn receives a call from the source in Bogota. The Snowman has been spotted in Mackay, Australia, and he desperately wants to alert Sydney, to warn her, but he has no way to contact her.
When Sydney enters Valenko's mansion, she stumbles onto The Snowman and they fight. During the melee, she impales The Snowman onto his own ice-pick. She pulls back the mask and discovers his true identity. It's Noah, who mumbles a sad good-bye to her as he dies.
Sydney: You know I can't do that.
Sydney: Well, for about a million reasons.
Noah: I highly doubt there are a million reasons. There might be fifty, and I'd like the opportunity to refute all of them.
Sydney: One of the biggest reasons that comes to mind is my mother. Khasinau was her superior. My mother was a spy for the KGB and those files that we recovered may help me find her. I'm not going anywhere until I know where she is.
Agent: Mr. Sloane asked for you to come with us.
Noah: (to Dixon) Well, that's never a good thing. Excuse me.
(Sydney watches the video footage of her mother.)
Laura: My Russian or American name?
Khasinau: Why not both?
Laura: Irina Derevko and Laura Bristow.
Sydney: Dad, he was KGB. It wasn't just Mom's death they faked. It was Calder's, too. If we can get to Calder, maybe we can find Khasinau.
Jack: SD-6 has run an additional profile on Noah. There were anomalies, including recent bank activity which suggested he may have ties to K-Directorate. Noah's been taken into custody by security section.
Vaughn: Mr. Kishell, I appreciate you talking to me. I know this must be very difficult.
Kishell: I know difficult. Talk is easy.
Jack: Tippin didn't turn out to be a problem, did he?
Sloane: Sydney wasn't intimate with Tippin. She is with Hicks.
Jack: I'm not sure that's my business, and I know it isn't yours.
(Jack is watching the video footage of Laura.)
Khasinau: How did you acquire your intel?
Laura: Every night for ten years I went through his briefcase. I eavesdropped on all of his private conversations. I planted listening devices on his clothing. He was blinded by his emotions. He knew nothing. I can tell you one thing: Jack Bristow was a fool.
Sydney: You're not really going to Banku, are you?
Noah: No. Tuvalu. It's an island in the South Pacific. I, uh, talked to my contact. He says now's my window. I'm leaving tonight and we could go together.
Sydney: Sometimes, all I want to do is disappear. Just let all this go. And just start over again.
Vaughn: The Snowman. He's been spotted in Mackay. Sydney's there, too. He's going after Calder to get to Khasinau. Can you think of a way to contact Sydney, put out a warning?
To me, the standout point of this episode is that I liked Jack in it *so* much! Sloane is clearly trying to rattle Jack when he announces what he knows about Syd and Noah, but Jack puts him in his place. Bravo!
It's believable that Syd wouldn't recognize Noah as being the bad guy. They say love is blind and, although I don't know if I'd use the word "love" here, attraction can be equally blind. (If you have the time, I can offer some personal testimony to support that.) Sydney had a history with Noah, and she, no doubt, believed he was the most real thing in her life. She and her dad now have something else in common: they were both lied to by people they cared for.
The old videotape was a clever way for us to get a glimpse of the mysterious Laura Bristow. It was also a clever way for her to explain how she found her information: snooping through Jack's personals for years. Actually, we could pretty much guess that. The most painful blow was when she said so clearly what Jack surely feels: that he was a fool. It makes me angry when someone believes another person who lies to them and people excuse the liar's behavior. These people accuse the one who believed the lies by saying, "Well, why did you believe them?" Let's get it straight: the liar is the one who is doing wrong, not the one who is lied to.
The big question that I have with the Snowman plot is: why didn't he kill Mr. Kishell? It seems unlikely that a professional killer would let someone he thought had betrayed him live. I considered that maybe he left him for dead, but again, I think a professional killer - who loves his work, btw - would know when someone's dead or not.