Vaughn, concerned about Dixon after seeing him pop pills at his wife's funeral, asks Dr. Barnett to evaluate Dixon. Later, Sydney is called in to see Dr. Barnett, and she testifies that Dixon is strong and will pull through. The CIA goes in search of a man whose DNA profile was sketched by Rambaldi five hundred years ago; they find the man dead, with his heart removed. The man's DNA is the key to decoding a page of the Rambaldi manuscript that foretells dates of apocalyptic events, one of which is in 48 hours. Following a lead, Dixon's use of "necessary force" against a suspect gets them more information. On a dock trying to locate the heart with a team from the CIA, Dixon threatens to detonate an explosion if one of the bad guy flunkies doesn't tell what he knows. The others are concerned that Dixon has gone off the deep end, but the scare tactic works, as the henchmen reveals where the heart is. The timer on Dixon's bomb ticks down and nothing happens; he was bluffing. The CIA is relieved that the predicted event has been averted. However, across the world in Nepal, Sloane is visiting the monk who sent him on the Rambaldi quest thirty years earlier. As Sloane reads a scroll - at the precise time stated in the prophecy - the monk remarks that Sloane's journey has just begun.
Sloane: I'm taking a leave. I want you to continue without me.
Sark: Sir, not to belittle your grief, but do not deny yourself the victory of a thirty-year pursuit.
Sloane: If I don't see you again, Mr. Sark, tell Irina that I hope you both succeed where I couldn't.
Vaughn: You're saying that five hundred years ago Rambaldi drew the DNA profile of a man who's alive today?
Carrie: It gets even better. Di Regno's DNA profile was a code key. It let us decrypt page 94 of the Rambaldi manuscript.
Dixon: What's on the page?
Brandon: Times and dates, each marking an apocalyptic event.
Sydney: There's a future date listed on the page, isn't there?
Brandon: Forty-eight hours from now.
Sydney: What's the prediction?
Carrie: The page doesn't say, it just gives the time. It's the equivalent of midnight, eastern standard time.
Jack: I've worked with Agent Dixon for nearly a dozen years. You've worked with him for little over a month. If he feels ready to be in the field, I'm going to accord him that respect.
Vaughn: But given his state of mind, do you really think he's the right person to make that decision?
Vaughn: Jack, he just lost his wife. I mean, with all due respect, why are you fighting with me on this?
Jack: I'm not required to justify my decisions to you, Agent Vaughn. However, I recruited Agent Dixon into SD-6.
Sydney: I need you to look me in the eye and promise me that you can handle this.
Dixon: I promise.
Sydney: Okay, let's go.
Conrad (to Sloane): Now you understand. Your journey has just begun.
This episode ranks as one of my least favorite because it was remarkably forgettable. For starters, I was disappointed that they repeated a tactic they recently used by showing a situation then flashing back to several days earlier. The first time it was marginally effective, setting us up then revealing that we didn't see what we thought we saw. But this time, viewers were probably more skeptical, wondering what twist the plot would take when we finally returned to the scene we started with.
Another aspect of this ep that annoyed me was the fact that yet again Sydney's gut feeling about one of the characters turns out to be correct. We recently saw that too, when Syd believed that the Ethan Hawke character was the real agent. I'm glad her faith in Dixon turned out to be warranted, but you have to wonder how someone with so much insight into the nature of people could be fooled for so long by Sloane. One could argue that Sydney learned a lot from her experience with SD-6, but that could just be a weak excuse for poor writing.
I also didn't like the scene where she apologized to Vaughn for "disappointing" him. He had just disappointed her, too; I guess the difference was that he was honest about it. Plus, what he did was the right thing to do if you look at it from the standpoint of his job. Despite that, Syd's line about not having "anyone to disappoint before" was a bit too grand.
I miss the days when at least a few of the plots were actually resolved. Granted, the current story line seems to be winding down to the whole point of the Rambaldi plot. (I hope it is, anyway.) If that's true, it's logical that everything wouldn't be neatly wrapped up in one episode. Still, they're getting to a place where we're left with a lot of unsolved mysteries. I suspect that will only get worse during/after the season finale.
* Here's a good lesson for Sloane: going on mysterious quests equals a very bad idea. Will he ever learn that?
* 47 times 2 equals 94
* I guess most of the regular cast was resting up for the finale.