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The Solution

Episode Summary

Sydney is despondent after killing Noah Hicks so Vaughn bolsters her spirits by showing her all the groups that she has helped destroy.

"Deep Throat" urges Will to resume the investigation of SD-6. The voice also tells him that Jack Bristow was the man who kidnapped him.

Sydney tells Vaughn to entice Khasinau with the ampoule. This way they can capture him and hopefully find Irina Derevko, Sydney's mom. The Kherefu Art Museum in Algiers is a formerly suspected trove of Rambaldi artifacts, and Sydney suggests that they stage a break in. They will dupe Khasinau into believing that a second vial of the solution has been found and this vial is to become the subject of their transaction.

Emily Sloane tells Sydney that she knows about SD-6.

Pretending to be French insurance agents, Vaughn and Sydney steal the alleged Rambaldi artifacts. Upon their return, Vaughn then spreads the word that Raslak Jihad, a radical terrorist group, was behind the robbery and that they intend to sell the liquid. Khasinau takes the bait. A meeting has been arranged in the Indonesian town of Denpassar, where Khasinau's aide, Mr. Sark, will trade diamonds for the liquid.

Sydney is disappointed that Khasinau won't be present at the trade but Vaughn has his own plan. They will bring the real solution, in case Sark wants to test it, but Sydney will then switch this for a placebo. The fake vial contains an element that can be tracked by the CIA.

Meanwhile in L.A., Will submits a sealed envelope containing his piece of SD-6 reportage to fellow reporter Abby. He explains that if he should disappear, the story should be published immediately. Will tells Jack that an unknown source gave him the information. Jack denies any involvement but pays a visit to CIA Director Devlin. He suspects Haladki may be a mole, leaking the information to Will.

Determined to find the mole, Jack agrees to help Will. He confesses that he gave the pin to Eloise Kurtz -- the pin that doubles as a surveillance device -- though he did not kill her. He tells Will to use the device to inform the unknown source that his SD-6 investigation is back on.

Meanwhile, Tambor Barcelo, head of security for the Alliance, visits Sloane at SD-6. Emily's hospital room has been bugged, and the Alliance is fully aware of her conversation with Sydney. This woman must now be "eliminated" just as Daniel Hecht was. Sloane is outraged, and refuses, but Barcelo knows all about Jean Briault's murder. Sloane's position in the Alliance is shaky, and he is in no position to object.

Sloane instructs Marshall to tap Edward Poole's cell phone. In doing so, they discover Khasinau's phone number. By monitoring this line, Sloane learns about the meeting in Denpassar, and orders Dixon to make an appearance, and to recover the solution.

In Denpassar, Sydney shows up for the trade, wearing dark skin foundation, and a veil as a disguise. Sark asks her to prove her Raslak Jihad identity -- the members of whom practice an ancient form of martial arts. Sark leaves her no choice but to fight him, using a latajang -- a pole with curved blades on both ends. Although she has never used one before, she quickly adapts, and demonstrates skill with the weapon.


Quotes

Sydney: But the truth is, it affects me. Never knowing who to trust, learning to expect betrayal, plotting in secrecy and hatred and anger. It's becoming a part of me. I am becoming what I despise.

Will: I was kidnapped! The lives of the people I care about were threatened!
Voice: It's a bluff to scare you off the story.
Will: Well, you know what? It worked. I'm off it.

Francie: See, the thing about rats is they're clever. You have to outthink them. You can't really just leave out cheese. You have to leave the good stuff. The heavy-duty stuff. The stuff that they want. It's the only way they're going to come out. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time.

Sydney: Say there was a break-in at that museum this week. It would be widely publicized. Khasinau would start to hear rumors of what was taken.
Vaughn: Including rumors of an existing second ampoule.

Devlin: Are you suggesting that I approve the theft of priceless works of art?
Vaughn: You see, sir, we would just be borrowing them.

Emily: When you look back ... family, your friends. That's what matters. Work, your job. It wouldn't seem that important. (Sydney nods a little.) Even your job. Even working for SD-6.

Will: This is an article I've written. Abby, you've got to do this for me. Make sure you keep it sealed, and don't mention this to anyone. And you got to promise me you're not going to open it, unless something happens to me. And if something happens to me, you got to publish it.

Vaughn: Now, when you and Sark meet, you will actually be able to test each other's merchandise, which is why we need to give him the real Rambaldi solution. After he confirms that the liquid is authentic, you'll make the deal, then switch the vial with an identical one containing colored water and a radioactive isotope we can track via satellite.


Review

With everything going on in this episode, the writers must be setting us up for a big cliffhanger in the season finale.

The situation with Will makes me very nervous, which is, no doubt what it's supposed to do. We knew he was in danger before, but that seemed to work out okay. Now it's back again, and he knows even more. I don't see how this can possibly work out well for him. I can't wait to see who the informant is and what the motivation is for giving the information to Will.

Another scenario that screamed "Set-up for the season finale cliffhanger!" is the one where Devlin threatens to fire Jack if he hears of Jack acting "off book" again. Since Jack's hunches are often right, I'd bet money that Haladki is Will's informant, although that would mean one less surprise for us, the viewers.

Sloane's wife knowing about SD-6 is quite unexpected. It appears that Sloane will experience first-hand how Sydney felt when her fiancé was murdered. Sloane's situation is worse than that - if that's possible - because he knows what they plan to do yet he is powerless to stop them. The scene where his wife told him how proud she is of him broke my heart. I feel so bad for him, but I also wonder how many similar scenes he's caused. At least he gets the chance to say goodbye.

The scene with Vaughn and Sydney plotting to trap Khasinau reminded me a bit of an old sit-com plot when Syd said, "... so there's no way Sloane can find out." Isn't that one of Murphy's laws? It's like saying, "At least nothing else could go wrong." With all of her spy training, I'm surprised that she thought it would be that easy.


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