Will learns that Devlin would allow him to do research if he passes a psychological evaluation test. Meeting with Sydney, Irina expresses regret over abandoning her daughter; they hug but are quickly separated by the guards. Sloane questions Sark's allegiance after the failed mission in Kashmir; Sark declares his loyalty to Sloane and questions whether there could be a leak at SD-6. Jack offers Irina a deal if she explains why she turned herself in; she says she only wants to make up for past mistakes. At SD-6, Jack meets Ariana Kane, who is investigating the situation with Emily; after meeting with him, Ariana tells Sloane that she suspects Jack is hiding something. Sark and Sydney are sent to retrieve an Echelon terminal, which would allow SD-6 to eavesdrop on communication transmissions around the world. The terminal is secretly disabled - thanks to Syd - but Sloane learns of a way to fix it. He orders Marshall to go with Syd because his brainpower is needed to hack into the computer. Not much later, Vaughn tells Sydney that Marshall must be taken out of SD-6 since his photographic memory will remember the files even if they're deleted from the computer. Syd is concerned that learning the truth would be difficult for Marshall, since SD-6 is his life. In London, Syd and Marshall complete the mission. They separate and Marshall is abducted by armed men, who deliver him not to the CIA but to the man that tortured both Sydney and Will.
Will: What's up?
Sydney: Where you been?
Francie: Okay, listen. Every time I walk into the room lately, you guys hush up as if I'm interrupting something. I mean, am I?
Will: What? No.
Vaughn: Oh, by the way, I'm meeting with Will tomorrow to help him prep for his psych evaluation.
Sydney: Thank you. And I like it.
Sydney: Your new suit.
Vaughn: Oh. It's not new. I just... don't wear it that often. I came from a funeral. Alice's father died.
Sark: You're surprisingly adept at keeping your curiosity in check.
Sydney: Don't flatter yourself.
Sark: I'm referring to the fact that your mother and I worked together before I arrived here -- before she... went into hiding. I learned a lot from her. In some ways, I think of her as a mother myself.
Irina: I don't imagine that means you've decided to trust me?
Jack: Our previous... dealings would indicate that your strategy here may be long-term. So for now, I trust that your behavior is predictable.
Irina: By "previous dealings" you mean our marriage? You know, technically, we may still be husband and wife.
Ariana: I'm aware of your reputation as a first-class strategist, Agent Bristow. Tell me, where would you begin this investigation?
Jack: With me. Over the years Arvin's trusted me with everything I'd need to know to be the perpetrator. And if his standing within the Alliance were undermined, I'd be a candidate to inherit his seat. Motive.
Will: You ever have a dream where you're back at school and they won't let you graduate because you failed a test? I had that last night.
Vaughn: Well, we don't screen for general knowledge. It's strictly a psych profile.
Will: So I can't fail but I can find out I'm a sociopath.
Will: I don't want to get ahead of myself here, but, um, if things go my way, what's next?
Vaughn: Well, you're cleared to read classified documents and you get a government salary. Which isn't much.
Will: Compared to what I make now it's ... much.
Sydney: By the way, I got Francie season tickets to The Hollywood Bowl for her birthday from the both of us.
Will: Oh, great, thank you. You know, she was right about what she said. We used to tell each other everything, now we don't. I can't tell her anything.
Sydney: I know. I hate it, too. But after Danny and what happened to you, I've accepted the fact that it's as a gesture of love to deceive the people I care about.
Sydney: My math skills may be above average but I can't do advanced calculus in my head.
Sloane: That's why you're going in with Marshall.
Marshall: Marshall who?
Vaughn: Devlin made it clear that we cannot, under any circumstances, allow SD-6 to access Echelon. And sabotaging the mission is too risky after Kashmir. Sloane could start to suspect something. We've considered every option, Syd, there's no other way to do this. (sighs) When you and Marshall return from London, we'll take him into protective custody. He'll be transported to Langley for an extensive debrief.
Sydney: As ridiculous as this sounds, SD-6 is his whole life. It's never easy finding out everything you believe in is a lie.
Vaughn: We'll do whatever we can to make it easier for him, I promise. And when he adjusts, he'll have the option to come work for us.
Sloane: Jack Bristow is not the man responsible for blackmailing me.
Ariana: His answers are too perfect. I mean, he even gets angry when it makes strategic sense.
Sloane: If he had nothing to do with it, I would expect his answers to be perfect. Now, Ariana, unless you have evidence ...
Ariana: Contrary to what you tell your subordinates, we are not the US government. I don't need probable cause to go after Bristow. All I need is a hunch.
Jack: You were right. Although our marital contract was founded on fraudulent pretenses, it's still valid until it's annulled. Which means, technically, we are still married.
Irina: Jack. Thus far, I've agreed to be debriefed only by Sydney. From now on, I'm willing to talk to you, too.
I've only just now stopped screaming about the ending of this episode. Those Alias writers, producers, etc. are pure evil for leaving us with a cliffhanger like that. I know that a cliffhanger by definition is supposed to leave us interested, but, guys, it's Marshall! Sweet little Marshall. We knew that something would happen to prevent the CIA from taking him into custody. Seeing him there with the Creepy Asian Dentist was a study in opposites.
What is that guy's name anyway? The ABC site refers to him as Suits and Glasses. Why Suits? He only wears one suit at a time, although I suppose he owns others ... Regardless, referring to him that way hardly describes him. That guy scares me more than most of the monsters on Buffy. It's somehow fitting that we don't know his name since it adds Fear of the Unknown to the Fear of Being Trapped and Tortured. Kudos to Kevin Weisman on an excellent job of portraying the terror Marshall was feeling. I still can't get his frightened expression out of my mind.
I can't remember if I thought of it oh-so-briefly or if I read it on a message board somewhere, but I had considered before that Jack and Irina might still be married. The vows state "until death do us part." She's not dead, so it makes sense that they may not be parted where the marriage is concerned. If you wanted to get technical, you could question whether the marriage was legally binding in the first place since she was using an alias.
Speaking of which, it's almost ironic that Alice doesn't know Sydney's real name, since she doesn't know what Syd really means to Vaughn. That scene was pretty awkward. I guess it was supposed to show us that even those who are practiced at the art of deception can only do so much when strong feelings are involved.
Syd's line about deceiving people out of love was pretty significant. It's true, but she's come a long way since wanting to tell Danny everything. She's been through a lot, and she's definitely learned from it. Perhaps she can relate the Gesture of Love defense to understanding why Jack and possibly Irina keep some things from her.
The other "big" cliffhanger was that Ms. Kane, the mole-finder, suspects that Jack is hiding something. I appreciate that SD-6 is not completely blind to the suspicious behavior of the main characters, but I'm a bit jaded with the danger of Jack or Syd being exposed as a double agent. (In this case, having a lesser-known actress play the part of Ms. Kane might have helped.) I think we can be pretty confident that nothing major will happen with that, at least until the season finale. Then again, I always thought of Marshall as "off-limits" where bad things were concerned, and look where they left him.
* What does showing that Irina can catch a fly by its wing prove? That she's superhuman or something?
* How convenient that the decoy Echelon terminal traveled in the car next to the real one.
* Sloane accepted Sark's declaration of loyalty very easily. Maybe Sloane thought he'd made his point?
* Note to ABC: please post some better pictures from the episodes. This is a flattering shot of Jack, but something more unique to the ep would be appreciated.