Sloane questions Syd's news that the Rambaldi music box was corroded. A raid on Sark's safe house gives SD-6 a seriously ill man from whom Jack is able to locate a map to The Bible. In Moscow to retrieve the map, Syd becomes trapped by Russian guards. She calls Vaughn and sends him to Irina, who saves Syd by revealing a secret escape route. Irina decodes the map, and Vaughn and Syd go to Madagascar to retrieve The Bible. Jack - who has secretly had the building wired with explosives - stops the mission at the last second. Syd is devastated that Irina lied to her; as Vaughn pulls her to the Jeep, they are overtaken by Sark. Sark's henchmen set off the explosives and our heroes escape. Kendall tells Jack that he was right about Irina and has her removed to another location. Elsewhere, Dixon's investigation of the mysterious phone call to Sloane uncovers a guest registry signed by Emily, and Will unknowingly passes a test by SD-6 by sticking to his story and denying that SD-6 is real.
Vaughn: Well, maybe so, but I certainly didn't join the CIA looking for fairness! After everything she's done to you, are those things you could ever forgive?
Sydney: I don't know.
Vaughn: Yeah, well, your father doesn't share that ambiguity. He's meeting with Assistant Director Kendall right now and he is lobbying to have your mother taken away.
Jack: There's another fact! Nothing that woman says or does can be taken at face value. Her motivations are strictly her own and now that your dealings with your mother have taken on an emotional component, I'm concerned.
Sydney: Well, don't be. I'm more professional than that. Every one of our discussions has been specific and mission-related.
Jack: You told her about your school play.
Sydney: Dad, you don't have to worry about me. I'm not that naive.
Jack: I'm sure that's something we both hope is true.
Will: Well, I've got four weeks left of community service and then I'm done. Hey, um, you remember last week when I cooperated and let the CIA hypnotize me?
Will: What happened with that? I mean, was I helpful at all? And I'm only asking because about five minutes ago I was doing pretty well as a reporter, you know, and now I'm a dishwasher living in denial. That's all.
Sydney: The information you provided was huge.
Jack: Irina Derevko gave you the operations manual for her syndicate. I would like you to tell me where you've hidden it.
Richter: Derevko is a great woman.
Jack: Morphine's not bad, either. Let me be clear. I've only given you enough to last five minutes. Cooperate and get all you want. Resist and you get none.
Rebecca: I know who you are, Will Tippin. I read your articles. The reporter with the big imagination who fell in love with the heroin chic lifestyle.
Will: Yeah. Yeah, that's me.
Rebecca: My theory? I don't think you ever really were a drug addict.
Sydney (returning her mother's earrings): They've been checked for hidden compartments, transmitters, passive sensors. Every sharp edge has been dulled.
Irina: I was twenty-one years old when I was given these at the graduation from the academy. My mother - your grandmother - put these in my hands. I cried. She said, "Sweetheart, wear them well." You would have liked her. Had things ... been different.
Rebecca: Will Tippin shouldn't be a problem. I gave him a number of opportunities, all recorded on audio files, to restart his SD-6 investigation. Tippin never took the bait.
Sloane: Has Security Section seen that?
Rebecca: Yes, and they're classifying Tippin as a non-threat.
What's a guy to do? His ex-wife is back in town, and everyone else is bending over backward to accommodate her. He's convinced that she's up to no good, not to mention that she knows of a skeleton in his proverbial closet. He tried to no avail to reason with both Sydney and Kendall. So he did what anyone else - with his background - would have done: he framed Irina.
It's hard to blame him for doing so. She deceived him for years and used him in one of the most heartless ways imaginable. Rightly so, the mention of her name is one of the few topics that will elicit a display of strong emotion from him. He fears that Syd will fall victim to her hidden agenda; even if she is - by some miracle - seeking to help, he's afraid that he'll lose Syd after she learns of his terrible secret.
Jack's actions did prove one of his points: Sydney was definitely not remaining emotionally detached from the situation as she claimed. If she had, she wouldn't have been so devastated to think that Irina lied to her.
Sloane is also having trouble with his "deceased" wife. I like this sub-plot - it's interesting and quite unexpected. Sloane suggested that someone's trying to get under his skin, so-to-speak; it's very much in character for him to suspect that.
Another consistent part of this episode was Will's secret test by Security Section. We should have known they wouldn't just accept him as a non-threat; they want to know if he would talk if he was given a chance. For a moment, I was afraid that he was actually telling the truth, but I should have known better. He's seen what SD-6 and the people in their world are capable of. If he's smart he won't even think about them too much.
* Vaughn told Syd: "I'm your ally. Never question that." Darn it, now I'm wondering if she's soon going to have an occasion to question that.
* I'm also concerned about Mr. Richter's condition; a mysterious illness is never a good thing.
* I liked the scenes with Sark, although if he hadn't stopped to exchange banter with Syd, he might have actually completed his missions.
* It's nice to see Sloane be a little suspicious that the Rambaldi music box was destroyed.
* Is anyone else looking for those earrings to show up again, being used for a purpose other than jewelry?