The Enemy Walks In
As Syd tells the story to psychiatrist Dr. Barnett, we learn how Irina demanded to know who sent Syd and when Syd didn't tell her, Irina shot her in the shoulder. Left alone, Syd escaped. After a call from Francie let them know Will's story about SD-6 was all over the news, Jack and Syd told Will the truth, and Jack enacted a plan for damage control, which involved Will's shooting up heroin and being arrested in a drug house raid. Jack also had a plan to "explain" Dixon's overhearing Syd's non-SD-6 code name. On a mission for SD-6 - and the CIA - Syd rescued Vaughn from Khasinau in France. Later, on a CIA stakeout, Syd ran into Irina again who shot Khasinau before disappearing. Syd went to eulogize Emily at Sloane's request. The episode ended with Syd telling Dr. Barnett the news that Irina walked into CIA headquarters and turned herself in.
Irina: Tell me, Sydney. Who sent you here? You must tell me.
Sydney: Or what? I'm grounded?
Sydney: One thing I have learned doing this: there's no drug like adrenaline.
Sydney (on the phone with Jack): I'm in the middle of Taipei. I just got free. Is Vaughn with you?
Jack: No, we haven't heard from him. Sydney, you have to get to the plane now.
Sydney: Dad, I have to go back for him.
Jack: No, there's no time! The Taiwanese authorities will check this airstrip.
Sydney: I can't leave him behind. Hold the plane, I have to back to the lab.
Jack: Sydney, wait!
Will: Who's Vaughn?
Sydney (on the phone with Francie): Have I heard from Will? No.
Francie: Well, me neither and there's this story on the news right now. Will wrote a story in today's paper that wasn't supposed to get printed unless he went missing.
Sydney: What was Will's story about?
Francie: It's about the murder of your fiance, and some conspiracy, and some group called SD-6.
Dr. Barnett: One more thing. You haven't said anything about your mother.
Sydney: What, am I supposed to say something insightful? The first time I see my mother in twenty years, and she almost kills me. Which would have made me the thirteenth CIA officer she's killed. She's former KGB. She's betrayed my father. She's betrayed me. She's betrayed this country. All anyone needs to know about that woman is that she's a bad guy.
Dr. Barnett: I think this was a good beginning.
Will (making a statement to the press for SD-6 to hear): My problem with heroin goes back three years. I'm embarrassed for myself and for my family when I tell you that most of what I've written in that time has been complete fiction including my most recent report about an organization that I called SD-6. These were desperate attempts . . .
Will: And I look up and everybody from the office is just staring at me. So I left my office this afternoon for, like, the last time. I got a lot of, like, "Take care, man." I got a lot of that.
Sydney: I'm so sorry, Will.
Will: Hey, I'm sitting here. I'm on a couch. I'm alive. (sighs) Is anybody listening to us right now?
Sydney: No. That lamp has a bug killer in it. So we're safe here.
Irina: Truth takes time.
Nice touch, giving the title a double meaning. I had the notion "The Enemy Walks In" referred to the first meeting between Sydney and her mom. True, it could signify that moment when her mother walked literally and figuratively back into her life. But it could also refer to the (cliffhanger) ending for this episode when Irina, the enemy, walks into the CIA office and apparently turns herself in.
The immediate problems from the season one finale were resolved very tidily here. Syd's mother left her unguarded, which seems oddly out of character unless they actually wanted Syd to escape. Jack had a back-up plan in case Dixon talked; that scenario is believable but almost a little too "neat." The problem of Will's SD-6 knowledge seems to be wrapped up also, if you don't count the fact that his professional - and no doubt private - life is completely destroyed.
Perhaps the "neatest" problem resolution of all came with Syd's rescue of Vaughn. I mean, she just *happens* to recognize a flunkie and follows him to the basement seconds before Vaughn is about to suffer something unspeakable? Then Khasinau leaves her alone, she revives Vaughn and they both escape. Don't get me wrong: I'm beyond thrilled that Vaughn is not only alive, but also well. I was very worried when the TV Guide description mentioned a "gruesome" discovery about him. Anyway. For a second I wondered if they'd replaced Vaughn with a phony look-a-like, or wanted them to escape for some other reason. (Rule #1: never put anything past Alias.)
It's nice that the writers included a mysterious prophecy in season one; we can always use that to explain why things happen the way they do in Syd's world.
Overall this is pretty much the way this episode had to go to get us ready for the new season. I'm glad they got that out of the way, so they can get back to business.