Passage, Part II
Watching via satellite, Vaughn sees the PRF ambush, but Kendall denies rescue efforts, which could arouse suspicion of the trio's visit. Jack, Irina, and Sydney meet Jack's contact, where Syd is able to contact Vaughn and tell him what happened. The truck stalls before they reach their destination, so Irina navigates them through a minefield, and they make it into the base through a sewage tunnel. Inside, Irina describes what they must do; Jack doesn't trust Irina, but he concedes that splitting up is necessary. Jack and Sydney complete their assignments and make it to the nukes only to find that the plutonium cores are gone. At that moment, Cuvee enters with armed men and Irina. Jack and Syd are locked up; from her cell, Syd watches Irina and Cuvee question Jack about Sark's new partner. Not much later, Syd is surprised to see Jack unlocking her cell; he tells her that Irina had been caught and was playing along. They make it to the lab where, as Irina said, the nukes' cores were being used to activate a Rambaldi artifact that is said to prove endless life. The artifact opens to reveal a flower, as a bomb from an airstrike ordered by Indian authorities hits the building. Jack, Syd, and Irina escape with the flower, which tests estimate to be approximately four to six hundred years old. Irina is returned to her CIA cell, where she finds the pillows and blankets she requested earlier. Meanwhile, Emily's kidnapper contacts Sloane again; Sloane goes to the Alliance and says he believes that someone is leaking their information. The Alliance agrees to his plan to deliver the money and track it to find who took it, but the kidnapper manages to disable the tracking device.
Vaughn: I just don't think we should cut them loose.
Kendall: Listen. Alive or dead, the mission failed. So if the Bristows are out there, they're on their own.
Sydney: Deploy? Detonate?
Vaughn: "Activate." That's the word they used. Now, it might mean delivery, maybe detonation, we don't know. But we have to assume the worst since they got the control codes through SD-6.
Sydney: And I got the control codes for SD-6 which means I can deactivate the nukes.
Vaughn: If you get there in time.
Sloane: What do you want?
Mysterious Caller: One hundred million in bearer bonds.
Sloane: This is about money?
Mysterious Caller: Everything is about money. Instructions for the drop have been electronically mailed to you. You have twenty-four hours. Fail to deliver the bonds, and the next delivery will go to the Alliance.
Kendall: Contact the Bristows, tell them to pull out immediately.
Vaughn: I have no way of initiating. Why?
Kendall: The Indians found out the Pakastani rebels have acquired nukes. They're launching air strikes in twenty-four hours.
Vaughn: Look, you're probably going to say no to this but I want to go to India. I was stationed there for two years, I have relationships ...
Kendall: I'll have a military aircraft waiting. This is totally back channel.
Vaughn: You're just gonna ... Are you trying to get rid of me?
Ramond: Who else knew about your instruction to kill Emily?
Sloane: Only the people in this room.
Christophe: You believe one of us may be behind this?
Sloane: No. But someone has infiltrated our secure communications.
Cuvee: Not to brag, but I'm kind of responsible for matchmaking you and Irina. Didn't she tell you? I was a supervisor at the KGB. I was the one who gave her the assignment to go to the US and marry a CIA officer. Now, you weren't the only prospect, of course. But you had the most potential. Ha! I actually thought it would dawn on you that a woman like this would never go for someone like you. Luckily for me, your ego was too big for that.
Jack: She was putting on a show for Cuvee. Before she left, she put these in my hand. She told me they're using the cores to activate a Rambaldi artifact.
Sydney: They're not detonating the nukes?
Jack: Among the things Rambaldi experimented with was self-sustaining cell regeneration. This artifact they're opening today is reported to be Rambaldi's proof of endless life.
(Irina's back in her cell)
Irina: You must have a lot of questions.
Irina: One thing that should not wait any longer is why I shot you in Taipei. The rebel leader, Gerard Cuvee... When you were in Taipei, he was in the next room watching to see if I would betray him or you. Shooting you in the shoulder, giving you time to escape, it was the only way I could think to maintain his trust and keep him from killing both of us.
This episode wasn't what I was expecting - then again, are any of them? - so I liked it much better than I thought I would. One of the biggest surprises was that Irina did not betray them. It makes sense for her to play along to gain Cuvee's trust; if she told him what she was really there for, she'd have been locked up too. Still, don't you wonder if she has an ulterior motive? After she returned to her cell, I was curious to see if the blankets would be there. I'm glad they were but then again, perhaps that's a sign that she's gaining the CIA's trust, which could be part of her master plan ...
She said she was sure that Syd has questions; I daresay that we all do where she's concerned. She told Syd that she shot her in Taipei because Cuvee was watching, but wasn't Irina "The Man"? And didn't Khasinau say that The Man was the boss?
Sloane seemed very surprised that the blackmailer wanted money. What did he think the blackmailer wanted? (And was it just coincidence that Sark referred to Sloane as a "money man"?) It was notable that the mysterious caller threatened to make a delivery to the Alliance, rather than merely threatening to kill Emily. The caller was appealing to the man who tried to kill his wife to gain a position of power. It's logical that Sloane would go to the Alliance and fill them in to take away some of the caller's hold over him, but perhaps such a well-informed blackmailer would predict that as Sloane's next move.
When Vaughn gave Syd the tickets, I just knew they were to a hockey game. Although they were to play mini-golf - with Francie and Will - they were still quite meaningful, given her earlier reference to how some people play miniature golf with their parents.
* It was fitting for an episode titled "Passage" that most of the scenes featured the characters on the move.
* I bet Victor Garber enjoyed the chance to wear something besides a suit.
* The question remains: how did the PRF know that they were coming?