Before Marshall can analyze the tissue specimen in the Rambaldi cube, agents from the Department of Special Research take it into their custody. Later, Syd is tranquilized at her apartment; she awakes on board a jet, where she is surprised to find Kendall. She thinks he works for The Covenant but he confesses that he works with the DSR. The Covenant ambushed his team, so they now have the cube. He explains that she called him nine months after they held a funeral for her, and she told him that she had escaped from The Covenant. Meeting with him, she told him everything she had been through: she had been tortured as her captors tried to brainwash her into believing that she was Julia Thorne. She had even killed a prisoner of The Covenant to prove that the brainwashing had been successful. Syd is shocked to learn this, but Kendall explains that her Project Christmas training prevented her from being turned. Kendall said that he encouraged her to return to the Covenant as a double agent, posing as Julia. Syd had wanted to see Vaughn to let him know she was alive, but instead she observed him happy, with Lauren, and Syd knew that to keep him safe she must stay away. Syd returned to The Covenant, where she discovered Lazarey who was close to uncovering the artifact. The Covenant wanted her to kill him, but they worked out a deal - they faked his death (in the video that Jack found). Kendall explains that instead of delivering the cube to him as planned, Syd sent him a videotaped message. He lets her watch it, and the Syd on the tape explains that since so much has happened to her, she is having an experimental procedure done to erase her memory. She says that she has hidden the cube and with her memory extracted there will be no way to find it; she also asks Kendall to never tell her what she's been through, if she ever comes to him and asks about it. With the tape over, Kendall explains that Rambaldi's followers believe that he will return by way of a child, and The Covenant will use the DNA in the tissue from the cube to fertilize the egg of the Chosen One. Remembering her mysterious scar, Syd realizes in horror that they extracted her eggs. Recalling the letter that Sloane gave her and the other clues, Syd realizes that she was tricked into finding the cube for The Covenant. Syd calls Marshall, hopeful that he tagged the cube with a tracking device before the DSR agents removed it. Elsewhere in the world, Sark observes a series of test tube fertilizations. The CIA locates the cube; Syd, Dixon, Vaughn and Weiss parachute into Patagonia and storm The Covenant's facility, where they find the fertilization equipment. Kendall wanted it brought back for analysis but Dixon allows Syd to torch it all. Vaughn and Weiss rescue Lazarey; as Sark flees, he makes a phone call ordering his father to be killed. As Lazarey is transported to a hospital, he asks Syd if she knows about the "passenger." Seconds later, he is shot. On a nearby rooftop, Lauren packs her rifle into a case and calls to report that the matter is taken care of before she hurries away.
Sydney: You're part of this?
Kendall: Well, that all depends on which part you're referring to.
Sydney: You're Covenant.
Kendall: No, no, no. That wouldn't go over too well at home.
Kendall: We need to talk about the past two years.
Sydney: As you may be aware, Mr. Kendall, I have no recollection of that time.
Kendall: But I do.
Sydney: You've known all this time . . .
Sydney: Then why haven't you said anything?
Kendall: Because you asked me not to.
(Lines from Kendall's story are in italics)
Torture Guy: The sooner you accept that you are no longer who you were, the easier this will be. Sydney Bristow. . .is gone.
Torture Guy: Your name is Julia Thorne. You were born in London on August 2, 1973.
Sydney: My name is Sydney Bristow, you ugly bastard.
Torture Guy: Your name is Julia Thorne.
Sydney: Really? Then why is my name Sydney Bristow?
Torture Guy: You lost your family in a fire . . . You were the only survivor . . . After that, you became a contract killer . . . You showed no pity. Your first targets were the men who destroyed your family . . .
Sydney: I want to go home. I want to see my dad.
Kendall: Your father can't be contacted; he's under deep cover. And as it is, you have no home to return to. Agent Bristow, let me be clear: you return home, you're putting in jeopardy the lives of the people you claim to love.
Kendall: It is imperative that you continue as Julia Thorne - the Covenant believes they have you programmed.
Sydney: If you think I'm going back to them, you're insane.
Kendall: If you don't, they're going to come after you. After your friends, your family . . . after Vaughn.
Sydney: I have to see him.
Kendall: Sydney, you've been gone nine months.
Sydney (putting on her coat): He loves me. Nine months is nothing.
Sydney: I've seen too much . . . Everything gets stolen.
Kendall: The Covenant believes Rambaldi's prophecies. They believe a lot of things . . . including the idea that you are the Chosen One.
Sydney: Can you locate the cube?
Marshall: Well, no, not exactly, but I can narrow it down to a ten-yard radius.
Sydney (happily relieved): Marshall, that's called locating it.
Dixon: The day you showed up in Rome - when you called in - they put you through to Kendall? I was there that day, in the office. When he hung up, he told me that it was you. Sydney, I've known the truth about what happened to you, and I was ordered to say nothing.
Sydney: Dixon, we've been working together for months.
Dixon: It's not easy, is it. Keeping the truth from someone you love. Now I have an idea what it was like for you at SD-6.
Sydney: You're coming with us?
Dixon: Of course I am: it's personal for me too.
Dixon (to Syd): Kendall wants all of this brought back for analysis . . . Do your thing.
When an Alias episode is advertised as answering "all" of our questions, we just know that they won't do exactly that, or whatever would they do for the rest of the season? Having Syd's missing years (partly) explained all at once makes more sense from the standpoint of the plot because drawing it out, learning a little bit here and there, would grow old pretty fast. Plus, since it was someone else filling in the details - instead of Syd remembering it herself - we can always question whether what he said is true, thus continuing the writers' long-standing tradition of keeping us guessing.
Even though Kendall had video footage of Sydney explaining that she was attempting to have her memory removed, it's hard to believe that Sydney would think her actions would stop The Covenant. Also, maybe she wasn't thinking clearly at the time, but didn't she realize how scared she would be when she suddenly woke up with no memory of the last two years? Still, one could argue that her actions simply show her desperation to forget the terrible ordeal she had suffered.
I know I've mentioned it before - hopefully not more than three or four times - but when I think of the Lauren situation, I always recall how before the season started, JJ promised that things would not be as easy as "Oh, Vaughn married some evil" schemer. But, apparently it *is* that simple. Since the remarkably unsurprising revelation that Lauren is with the bad guys, I'm now picturing her using Allison-esque mind control techniques to instruct Vaughn to marry her**, and that just destroys any drama JJ was trying to create with this he's-married-now love triangle. I'm waiting until I see the next few episodes to decide, but if that's the case, I really expected better.
** Maybe the tie that fake-Francie gave Vaughn made him susceptible to mind control.
* I predict that the prisoner that Syd killed will turn out to have some sort of connection to . . . something.
* How creepy was that torture guy? Ick. :shudders:
* I fully expected Dr. Brazzel to be the one who extracted Syd's memory.