Sydney saves Jack from an ambush, and he explains that the Alliance suspects him of extorting money from Sloane. By email, Sloane tells Jack that the Alliance implanted a monitoring device in his neck, so he had to inform Ariana Kane of Jack's visit. Sloane confesses to murdering Alliance member Jean Briault and suggests that someone might be seeking revenge. Jack brainstorms with Irina, who suggests getting security tapes from Briault's hotel stays during mysterious trips to Peru. One of the videos reveals a shot of Ariana Kane with Briault, and Jack goes to SD-6 to find information about a bank account opened by Kane on the day the bonds for Emily ransom disappeared. Meanwhile, on a mission in France, Syd and Vaughn go out to dinner, unaware that SD-6 agents are watching them and reporting back to Ariana Kane. The SD-6 goons find out that Vaughn works for the CIA. After a brief chase Syd and Vaughn are caught, but Vaughn manages to kill both of their attackers. To prevent further suspicion at SD-6, Vaughn wants Sydney to deliver the real target of her mission to France, instead of the duplicate. He considers asking to be replaced as Sydney's handler, since their reckless actions ruined the mission. At SD-6, security agents find Jack, but Jack is freed after Sloane receives an email detailing Kane's relationship to Briault. Kane is taken into custody, and with her out of the way Sydney completes her countermission by providing SD-6 with the fake gyroscope. She and Vaughn agree that they work well together and that they should stay together. Elsewhere, Sloane acquires a device that counteracts the monitor placed on him by the Alliance; he uses his freedom to meet Emily in the Philippines where he informs her that their plan worked.
Sydney: How long have you known about this?
Jack: I didn't tell you because it didn't concern you!
Sydney: If the Alliance thinks you're lying to them, they'll kill you. That concerns me!
Jack: What concerns me is having them suspect that you're my accomplice. That's why I kept you out of it.
Vaughn: Involving you had no upside.
Sydney: There's no upside to keeping me informed? You didn't tell me about Monolo or that you had discussions with my mother! You didn't even tell me that you were seeing Alice again!
Vaughn: Wait. What is this about?
Sydney: This is about me being too old to be coddled!
Kane: Well, three months ago Agent Dixon reported evidence suggesting she's a double agent.
Sloane: That was a misunderstanding. Dixon came upon Sydney as she was executing an operation that Jack had authorized.
Kane: Yes, I read your report. I think either she was an accomplice to his blackmail or else the two of them have been up to something more... long-term. You must have noticed that Bristow frequently assigns his daughter to operations of his own design.
Sloane: Sydney Bristow is an excellent agent.
Kane: All the more reason he would enlist her help.
Vaughn: The nearest Alliance cell is in Zurich. The CIA tracks SD-6 security section. There haven't been any signals, no movement.
Sydney: You're serious.
Vaughn: We've been to restaurants and sat near each other. We've met in parks and convenience stores, and all of them in LA where we are much more likely to be seen. Look, two things -- one, I think it's not that great a risk and two, I am hungry. I'm starving. I mean, we're going to be together anyway, why can't we be eating? Aren't you hungry?
Sydney: Yeah, I'm hungry. (Pauses) Let's do it.
Irina: There must be a dozen ways to blackmail the Alliance, all of them far less elaborate than this one.
Jack: So we can assume a secondary objective to make Arvin suffer. Someone harboring an acute hatred... meaning it could be anyone.
Irina: You said Sloane requested Kane to investigate.
Jack: The one person who had an apparent motive for blackmail.
Irina: Someone easy to frame.
Sloane: We did it.
Emily: Are you sure? Are you sure it worked?
Sloane: Yes, my love. We're free.
So far I'm batting much less than 1000. (Is that how they say it in baseball? I'm terrible with sports references.) The most recent error is that I didn't realize that Emily was supposed to have been dead. I saw Sloane find the pictures of her in part 2 of Passage, but she didn't look dead to me there. Apparently, she was supposed to. It's good that the writers had Jack explain what happened to Sydney - and to those of us who just didn't get it. Still, I stand by my argument that the material from when Haladki was shot would prove that Jack didn't kill Emily.
One flaw that I saw with Jack's adventures running from the Alliance is that SD-6 wasn't more suspicious of Sydney after she picked him up and helped him escape from them. Kane began to have questions about Syd, but only after she learned that Dixon had earlier believed Syd was a mole. Did they not even consider that Syd might know where Jack was while he was hiding from them? If I was the Alliance and wanted to bring Jack to me, I'd let it be known that Syd's life was in danger if he didn't appear immediately. Even if they thought he didn't care, what have they got to lose?
Syd's anger at Vaughn for hiding something from her was understandable since she obviously has issues with not being told about Alice. Who can blame her? The guy had recently told her that his watch (and basically his heart) stopped the day they met. Then - surprise! - there's Alice introducing herself as Michael's girlfriend.
However, Syd was won over pretty easily when Vaughn asked her to dinner. He also didn't have to twist her arm for her to accept the host's offer of a room. The whole dinner scene was very cute. Vaughn lived every guy's nightmare of having another guy hear and critique his lines. Syd lived every girl's dream of dating a great guy who looks like Michael Vartan. Sadly, their night was cut short by a blatant reminder of what keeps them apart.
The ending with Emily still alive really shocked me. (I'm glad that spoilers haven't ruined everything.) Suddenly, it was clear that from that day on the beach when Sloane told her the truth, everything was orchestrated to follow along with their plan. I'm amazed by the scope of their plan but I don't doubt for a second that Sloane is cunning enough to pull it off. He lied about poisoning Emily, stole from the Alliance, and made it appear as though someone else was trying to blackmail him. Looking back, maybe Emily was in on it from the moment she told Sydney that she knew about SD-6.
* The ep's title could refer to the dinner in France or to Sloane's new freedom from the Alliance.
* Thank you, writers, for letting Vaughn be the one that defeats the SD-6 baddies. Syd's great but other people can be heroes too.
* Irina suggested Jack check the hotel footage where Briault stayed. Was it coincidence that Jack found Kane in those pictures? Or was it something else?
* Was Kane really involved with Briault or did someone digitally insert her picture into those videos?
* The way Sloane framed Kane is reminiscent of the time Jack set Russek up as the mole to free Sydney.