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Prelude

Episode Summary

Syd has a recurring nightmare in which she sees an angel-like figure. Desperate to know what happened to her, she asks a CIA psychiatrist about a procedure to recover lost memories, but he warns against it. In Mexico, the police capture Javier, who tries to bargain for his freedom with his knowledge that a certain CIA agent was used by terrorists to murder a Russian diplomat. Vaughn and Lauren travel to Mexico, but Jack gets to Javier first and kills him. Sloane tells the CIA that The Covenant wants him to be operational: they have assigned him to steal technology from China for a powerful weapon, a microwave laser that would make it appear the victim died of natural causes. Syd agrees to go with him to corrupt the laser's operating system. Syd is able to access the system for Marshall, and the mission is a success. As they leave, Sloane gives Syd a letter that he received: inside, a key and a series of numbers is addressed to Syd in her own handwriting. Jack discovers that the key is to an apartment in Rome. Meanwhile, Sark approaches Lauren in the CIA's garage: he gives her pictures that prove Sydney is Lazarey's killer. Later, Lauren is shocked to learn that Vaughn and the others have known for weeks; Vaughn tries to convince her not to report Sydney, but he realizes that she already has. He rushes to contact Syd and he arranges for her to take cover in Rome. She goes to the apartment that belonged to Julia, and from a skylight in the bedroom, she sees the angel statue from her dreams. Suddenly, the Italian police arrive; they handcuff her and declare her under arrest by order of the NSC.


Quotes

Sloane: There was a time you trusted me.
Sydney: That was before I knew who you were . . . That was before I knew who *I* was.

Vaughn: You killed Javier Perez, you son of a bitch!
Jack: You've just returned from a traumatic experience, Mr. Vaughn. You're understandably emotional, which would explain your baseless accusation.
Vaughn: You're right, I am emotional. I get that way when I see a gun pressed to my wife's temple!
Jack: Ours is a risky business.

Vaughn: If you ever put my wife's life in danger again, I will kill you!
Jack: Then perhaps you finally understand the moral compromises you'll make when someone you love is in danger.

Sark: I understand your investigation into the Lazarey murder has hit a dead end. What a pity.
Lauren: How do you know about that?
Sark: I know because I framed Javier Perez, assuming he'd be extradited to the United States, and that once he was in custody, he'd be forced to confess what he knows - namely, the identity of Andrian Lazarey's murderer.

Sark: I recently learned that Sydney Bristow murdered a father I never had a chance to know. I suspect you have your own reasons for disliking her; therefore I'm confident that you'll relay this information to the appropriate parties.

Jack: Sloane gave you a key, which he claims was sent to him some time before you woke up in Hong Kong.
Sydney: Yeah, his claim was pretty convincing: it was written in my handwriting.

Jack: Remember when I told you that during the time you were missing, I contacted your mother? That cipher text was encoded using a method that she devised.
Sydney: What does this mean? That I was in contact with Mom during the two years I was gone?

Vaughn: . . . You already reported her.
Lauren: You followed your orders. I followed mine.

Sydney: If the NSC wants to find me, they will. Look, I was someone else for two years, Vaughn - someone I don't even remember. What am I supposed to do now? Spend the rest of my life in hiding?
Vaughn: Between that and a lobotomy, there isn't a choice!
Sydney: I can't keep running forever.
Vaughn: I'll do everything I can to make sure you won't have to.

Sydney: Vaughn, why are you doing this? My life is already a disaster . . . now yours is, too.
Vaughn: What happened between us - everything. The way it is . . . isn't anyone's fault, Sydney. And even though everything's changed, some things don't. I'm not gonna lose you twice.

Lauren: Under authority of the National Security Council, Robert Lindsey has instructed me to relieve you of duty as director of this task force until he arrives to assume control.
Dixon: On what grounds?
Lauren: Obstruction of justice. Willingly conspiring to impede an international investigation into the murder of Andrian Lazarey.

Lauren: These premises are to be locked down until Lindsey arrives with Federal Agents. That means, until such time, nobody leaves.
Dixon: I take it you have Sydney in custody.
Lauren: Not yet. But we know where she is.


Review

After the man in the therapy group warned Sydney that nightmares would start, I expected them to show up earlier. I'm glad they didn't, because I thought they were well integrated into this episode. Since the statue was visible from "Julia's" apartment, maybe the dreams indicate that Syd is starting to remember part of her missing two years. Certainly, the dreams are fueling her desire to know what happened.

The mysterious letter that Sloane claims to have received seems to support my theory that during those two years, she was living as someone else. But if that's true, who did Julia think Sydney is? And why would Julia, the assassin, send that key to her? More importantly, why would Julia send the key through Sloane? The fact that he passed the letter on to Sydney almost makes him seem a bit more genuine in his desire for redemption. A more believable scenario is that someone either compelled Julia to send that information, or was perhaps even working with her to provide Sydney clues as part of some plot.

Vaughn said that it was no one's fault, the way things are, but that isn't true. Whoever is to blame for Sydney's missing years is at fault, and they not only affected Vaughn's life, but also Lauren, Sark, Allison . . . It seems as if everyone plays a part in this unknown villain's mysterious scheme.

This was a very busy episode, but so far, it's the one that is most like the ones from the previous two seasons. To avoid being spoiled, I diligently avoided commercials for - and descriptions of - this ep, but I did see the preview for it. I was pleased that the preview did not give away the main developments. Instead, the preview was misleading; as I recall, the preview made it seem as if Sydney's secret was the cause of Lauren and Vaughn being put in danger. (Well, I suppose techically it was the cause, but in an indirect way.) As I said, I like that we didn't see what we thought we saw; on a show like this, ruining the story's surprises is unforgivable.


Comments

* Note that Vaughn didn't answer Lauren's question about whether he still loves Sydney.

* I thought the scene where Syd slapped Sloane was just right for their fake argument: much better than any made-up verbal sparring match.

* Sydney's arrest at the end mirrors Javier's arrest at the beginning.

* I'm no expert, but the scene where Syd tried to pull the endless tube from her scar could symbolize the frustration of not being able to solve the mystery of how the scar was obtained.


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