A fireball falls suddenly into Gorky Park in Moscow; later, Dixon explains that the fireball was a falling satellite. Sark and a man named Oransky crashed the satellite to observe Russia's response to a perceived attack; this tells Sark where to find an anti-satellite weapon called Medusa. To get to the weapon, Sydney, Vaughn and Lauren visit Sloane, asking him to give them access to a certain banquet. Sloane finally agrees and Vaughn and Syd go to the party as guests. They sneak into the lower level of the building to find Sark, but he realizes they're there. He tries to trap them, but they manage to escape after causing Medusa to explode. Meanwhile, the CIA obtains footage of Lazarey's murder; Marshall works to clarify the image and reveal the face of the murder (i.e. Sydney), but Jack installs a worm - via Dixon's computer - that corrupts the file.
Lauren: The risks you are describing have already been factored into our analysis. And as for SD-6, the Alliance doesn't exist anymore . . .
Sydney: Well, the only reason that SD-6 and the Alliance broke down is because Arvin Sloane, a man the White House pardoned by the way, wanted them to! So do me a favor and don't revise history that I lived through!
Vaughn: All right, enough! Sark was an inch away from initiating a nuclear exchange, and that was only Phase One. Capturing Sark, while it might put a smile on my face, will do nothing to shut down the Covenant.
Sydney: I haven't even asked anyone how they met.
Weiss: Are you asking me? The NSC was wrapping up the case on your mom . . .uh, we were all deposed . . . Lauren was the one asking the questions. They hit it off.
Sydney: Was everyone there? Dixon? Marshall . . . ?
Weiss: Syd, she's a good person. I'm not trying to rub it in, but I . . . I don't want to be dishonest.
Lauren: We need access to the bunker; Sloane can get it for us. If we can use him, I don't see why we --
Sydney: Maybe you haven't been lucky enough to have firsthand experience with that psychopath . . .
Vaughn: She brokered his deal.
Lauren: I was part of the team that arranged for Sloane's pardon.
Vaughn: Look, none of us have any illusions about Sloane. The only reason he was given a pardon is because he provided us with intel that led to the destruction of terrorist cells . . .
Sloane: Mr. Vaughn. You know, I remember how close you were with Sydney. I'm sure you share my relief in having her back.
Until the conversation between Syd and Weiss, I didn't really think about Syd having lost everything she owned, as well as the man she loves and two years of her life. Whoever is behind her disappearance really did a number on her, not even counting all of the unspeakably horrific things that apparently happened to her during those two years.
I thought that the close call of Marshall almost discovering that Syd killed Lazarey seemed gratuitously inserted into this episode. No doubt there'll be several more scenes that are very similar, until the CIA finally learns that Syd was the murderer. Plus, you just know that the CIA will discover that Jack was the one who messed with the data from the video. I guess this situation where Jack and Syd are hiding a secret from the CIA is supposed to be comparable to the way they were double agents, secretly working to bring down SD-6.
Since there's no way to guess what JJ actually has in mind, I try to avoid speculating too much on the overall plot. However, Lauren's weird connection to Syd is almost too suspicious. Lauren met Vaughn while briefing the team about Irina, Lauren was the one who brokered the deal to pardon Sloane, and she meets regularly with him. After season two, I read somewhere that Vaughn's wife wouldn't be evil, but these new discoveries seem to indicate that she just might be. And, darn it, I want her to be.
Speaking of evil, why won't the others even acknowledge that Sloane could be manipulating them, just like Irina did when she turned herself in to the CIA? I know the audience tends to sympathize with Syd, but the similarities between Sloane's current status and Irina's former scheme appear so blatantly obvious. Like Syd said, the only reason the Alliance fell is that Sloane wanted it to, and no doubt everything else that he's done is part of some larger scheme. Although Lauren spoke highly of the new developments in technology, the CIA - and the NSC - seems as overconfident as it's always been, and that tends to blind them to when they're being used. Plus, with all that new technology, you'd think that at some point while Syd was missing they would've found some clue that told them she was still alive.
* The ep was called "Reunion" but exactly who was reuniting? Most of the people with interesting connections (such as Syd/Vaughn, Syd/Sloane, etc.) had already met face to face.
* I wonder if this Phase Two has anything to do with Sloane's Phase Two. Then again, Sloane's Phase Two was probably to steal Syd's two years.
* Sark seemed very unconcerned that someone may have seen the pictures that he and Oransky had.
* Marshall is adorable, as ever, giving Syd a gift that could help to restore her memory. (Although, I think that smell is the sense that's most closely linked to memory.)
* Why does the daughter of a senator from Virginia speak with a posh British accent?