Passage, Part I
Both privately to Sydney and to a concerned group at SD-6, Sark asserts that it's not in his best interest to betray them. Using one of Sark's contacts, Syd and Dixon obtain a set of codes for SD-6; the CIA then learns that they are activation codes for six missing nuclear weapons, which Sark has secretly sent to an unknown third party. Irina knew what the codes were for, but she claims that Syd's double agent status would have been revealed if the codes were replaced with fakes. Syd feels responsible for the danger that now exists and she tells Irina that she's going to be on the team that goes after the weapons. Irina agrees to go, and Jack joins the team to keep an eye on Irina. On the way, Irina, Jack and Syd are ambushed by the group who has the weapons; using the explosive necklace that was supposed to keep Irina in line and some automatic weapons, the three defeat the soldiers and begin the long walk to the CIA station. Elsewhere, Will continues to provide information about the standardized tests although, per Devlin's orders, Vaughn had to let him go, and a mysterious caller who claims to have Emily - alive - wants SD-6 account information from Sloane.
Sydney: Sloane wouldn't agree to partner with him unless Sark made it worth his while. Do you have any idea what they're after?
Jack: Given the scope of Sark's previous contacts and operations, he could be offering almost anything. What concerns me more is that your mother knew we were double agents before she turned herself in. She may have told Sark.
Sydney: I'll find out.
Jack: Before you do, consider this: two months ago she surrendered to the CIA. Yesterday, Sark made a back-door agreement with Sloane that places him inside SD-6. Do you believe that's just a coincidence?
Marshall: Hi. Welcome. Don't kill me.
Sark: Look, I understand that none of you are inclined to believe a word I say but I assure you, it's not in my best interest to betray you. You've given me an opportunity of a lifetime, and I don't intend to squander it.
Sydney: You saved Vaughn's life. I'm grateful to you for that but I haven't made up my mind yet if I should trust you.
Irina: And yet here you are. I never told Sark about your status as a double agent, Sydney. That doesn't mean you're safe. Tell me, what intelligence has he provided Sloane?
Irina: I cannot give you details because I don't trust the CIA. They almost had me executed two weeks ago. The only way for me to maintain my value is to tell you only what you need to know in order to stay ahead of Sloane. And all you need to know now is that if I'm not allowed to leave, everything you've worked to accomplish will be lost.
Sark: I must admit, this is one of the most impressive operations I've seen. Though it is a touch pathetic how so many of them believe they actually work for the CIA.
Sloane: Look at me. You've offered me a substantial prize to make our partnership worthwhile, but do not think for a second that gives you the right to insult my people.
Sloane: I've been a presence in Sydney's life since she was born. Sydney will believe whatever I tell her to.
Sark: And her father? He must often battle the temptation to tell her the truth about SD-6. I'd hate to see Jack's paternal instincts compromise our objectives. So, for the time being, I wouldn't tell him what those codes are really for.
Mysterious Caller: We have your wife, and, yes, she's alive. You will provide us with the account numbers for all of SD-6's investments, or the Alliance will be informed that you failed to carry out her execution.
Sloane: Offer me proof that she's alive. Until then, know this: as soon as I hang up the phone I will use every available resource to find out who I'm talking to and when I do, it will be my sincere pleasure to make your acquaintance.
Vaughn: I didn't think Devlin, my superior, would mind me having you research this, but he did and he ordered me to let you go.
Will: Hold on. Wait a second. There's something here. Okay, look, I'll narrow the test scores down to a small group of kids. Now Devlin won't be able to deny the value of that.
Vaughn: He thinks since you're a journalist, since you've been trained to report what you know, that you're a security risk.
Vaughn: This watch belonged to my father. It's broken now, but it used to keep perfect time. And when he gave it to me, he said, "You could set your heart by this watch." It stopped October 1st: the day we met.
(Sydney is about to respond when her pager goes off, then Vaughn's goes off as well. They look to see who it is.) Kendall.
Sydney: Me too.
Kendall: Well, if she was so concerned about helping us stay ahead of SD-6, she could have told us what was at stake.
Irina: And what would you have done? Given Sydney false control codes to hand over to SD-6? Sark may have known the difference and she would have been exposed as a double agent. I wasn't willing to risk her life that way.
Sydney: You said you didn't tell us the truth because you were trying to protect me, because you didn't want to risk Sark finding out that I was a double agent. The thing is, someone now has the ability to detonate six nuclear weapons and I am responsible. So I am going to be part of the team that finds and disarms those warheds no matter what you do. But if you were telling the truth when you said you wanted to protect me, then, Mom, I need your help.
Will (to Vaughn): Look, except for you, Sydney, and Jack, everybody I know - and a lot of people I don't - they think I'm a lying junkie, okay? And helping you, doing something for the CIA, it felt like a chance to do something that mattered again, you know? Like, I don't know, maybe I went through all this crap for a reason.
Irina: Jack, we're in enemy territory and the PRF knows we're here. We need to start trusting each other right now.
In the opening scene, could they have picked a better song as background music than "Bad Moon Rising"? Sark's appearance at SD-6 last week made it clear that trouble is indeed on the way. Given Sark's reputation, I'd say the concern felt by most of the characters is justified. I thought Jack's remark was perhaps the most convincing reason to not trust Sark: it's unlikely that both Sark and Irina would turn themselves in at the same time by chance.
Sloane is rather overconfident, which is highly out of character. Surely a man in his position wouldn't be so willing to accept anything a man like Sark says. Speaking of which, Sloane must have known what the codes were really for, since Sark suggested that they not tell Jack. Wouldn't Sloane want to know where the weapons are? I'm wondering if Sloane somehow factors in on the sale to the third party; if he does, that could be a big problem, since the PRF knows that it was the CIA that came after them.
The subplot with Will and Vaughn is taking some interesting turns. I'm surprised that Will gave back the extra money: was Vaughn being charitable, or might that have been a test of Will's honesty? I thought it was odd that Vaughn told Will he didn't think Devlin would mind if Will did the research; Devlin told Vaughn not to pursue that in the first place. Plus, why would the fact that Will was trained to "report what he knows" make him a security risk? Who is he going to report the information to, since everyone else thinks he's a junkie?
Although Syd said that she hadn't made up her mind about Irina's trustworthiness, she later called her "Mom." Maybe she was trying to appeal to Irina's maternal side, but it could also indicate that she has indeed made up her mind about Ms. Derevko.
I didn't like Irina much in this episode. It's bad enough that she deceived Jack all the years of their marriage, but now that she's back, she takes great pleasure in pushing his buttons. I'll admit that the character is written well. There are multiple ways to look at practically everything she does and says, so the question remains whether or not we should trust her.
* Why didn't the mysterious blackmail guy just put Emily on the phone? That would have been faster, and it might've made Sloane a bit more cooperative.
* The scene with Irina, Jack, and Syd posing as a "loving" family was way over-advertised; apparently, they only had to make it through one brief conversation with the guy on the train.
* October 1st is my birthday. :)