Authorized Personnel Only, Part 2
Sloane tells Sydney that he and Nadia found a valuable Rambaldi artifact and handed it over to the government; Nadia then quit Intelligence and returned to Argentina. Sloane assigns Sydney to go talk to Nadia, who is familiar with Tamazaki's boss. Sydney finds Nadia, who tells Sydney what she knows but says that she can't go back. Back home, Sydney confesses to Vaughn about Jack: the papers she found (at the end of season three) were an official request from Jack to execute Irina Derevko. The request was approved, and Irina is dead. Using the information from Nadia, APO finds a way to locate Tamazaki; Marshall is recruited to provide the op-tech. Sydney steals a valuable sword from a London museum, and Tamazaki takes the bait. He arranges a meeting in Rio de Janeiro but he insists that the thief meet with him alone. Despite the team's surveillance, Tamazaki kidnaps Sydney. He knows her real name; he reveals that he was supposed to assassinate her, but his client was killed the day before the hit was to take place. He tortures Sydney to find out why. The team calls in Nadia to help. She frees Sydney, who goes after Tamazaki. They fight until she sends the sword through his torso; about to die, he confesses that Irina hired him. Back in LA, Sloane congratulates the team on a successful mission and announces that Nadia has joined APO. Taking Sydney aside, Jack asks how she learned of Irina's plan to kill her, and Sydney explains that Tamazaki was the one Irina hired. Visibly shaken, Syd asks why Irina would want her dead, but Jack doesn't know. Syd realizes that Jack killed Irina to save her; Jack moves to hug Syd, but she steps away, saying that she'll see him tomorrow. Later, Nadia arrives at Syd's place wanting to talk about their mother, but Syd explains about their mother's death. They travel to Moscow, where Syd had Irina interred. Syd tells Nadia that she doesn't know who killed Irina, but Nadia swears that she will find and kill the one responsible.
Sloane: I'm sending you, Sydney. I'll give you the details in my office.
Sydney: Lucky me.
Sloane: She chose to leave intelligence. Drop out.
Sydney: You sure she really left? Fake quitting seems to be all the rage.
Sloane: I see in her something that I once saw in you, a need to work for what's right. You knew how to put aside personal issues - and that's a gift.
Sydney: It's not a gift.
Marshall: This place is a ghost town. I don't even know anybody here anymore. Sydney's gone. Dixon, Jack, Vaughn . . . I mean, the only guy we have left is Sark and that's only because he's in custody . . . I hate that guy . . . I mean, really, kinda scary . . . Although I did go visit him. Twice. Just to see a familiar face. We had eggs.
Weiss: Don't do that
Jack: Sydney, get in. Get in now - you can be stubborn later.
Sloane: You didn't tell her, did you? The truth?
Jack: I told her that I was responsible for the death of her mother.
Sloane: Did you tell her everything?
Jack: She's better off not knowing everything.
Huge Goon: You don't frighten me.
Jack: Then clearly you're an idiot.
Jack: This is the best conversation we've had in weeks.
(Said sarcastically, while sitting silently with Syd as they wait for their target.)
Sydney: I'm going in. Alone.
Jack (on comms): I assume you all heard that ...?
Jack: If she were apprised of the situation, she might help.
Vaughn: I'll make her help; where is she?
Tamazaki: Before you leave this room, you will tell me why.
Sydney: I might. I'm relatively open-minded.
Tamazaki: Have you eaten breakfast?
Sydney: Why? You want to grab something?
Tamazaki: You wouldn't be here if you didn't know about the contract.
Sydney: What contract?
Tamazaki: The contract that I had on your life.
Tamazaki: The day before the job, my client was killed. Most unfortunate. For me.
Sydney: I don't know anything about this.
Tamazaki: Somehow . . . I believe you. I guess this was just one of those coincidences.
Sydney: Guess I can just sell you the sword and go home.
Tamazaki: I'll just take the sword. How's that?
Weiss: Syd, come on. Seriously, since you left the spy biz, you are a bore.
Weiss (to Nadia) I'm Eric Weiss. Thirty-eight. Single . . .
Nadia: I was hoping we could talk about our mother.
Sydney: Did you bring your passport?
Nadia: And you have no idea who was responsible? Who killed her?
Sydney (after a pause): No.
Nadia: I swear . . somehow I will find out who did this to our mother, and I will kill him.
The show continues to return to its early roots by having Sydney learn more shocking things about her parents. Poor Sydney. I loved the scene where Jack asked Syd how she found out about the contract that Irina had on her. Victor Garber did his usual stellar job, because his face conveyed exactly how much Jack's heart was broken for Syd to learn such disturbing news. Perhaps she should have known that Jack had a reason for executing Irina, yet Syd pulled away when Jack tried to comfort her. As she told him at her apartment, there's nothing he could say.
My only gripe about Jack's secret is: why would Lauren taunt Sydney about who is "controlling" her, if the papers that Syd found were about Irina? And why would the papers talk about Project SAB that began on Sydney's birth date? Still, I'll happily overlook that because I think that Irina's death - at Jack's hands, no less - is a most fascinating development. (Since Lena Olin refused to return to the show, killing off her character makes sense for the writers as well.) Plus, I'm thrilled that the relationship between Syd and Jack remains the same: Jack is still her loving father, not some deceitful figure who is controlling her as part of some master scheme.
Maybe Syd should have told Nadia the real reason for their mother's death; it might not have made it any easier, but it certainly would have given her some answers. Then again, Syd probably wanted to shield Nadia from the betrayal that she felt, knowing what Irina did.
* If I'm not mistaken, in season two, Jack promised Irina that he would kill her if her plans ever threatened Sydney.
* I wonder what Vaughn thought that Jack's secret was.
* Are top secret documents routinely stored in vaults in other countries?
* I seriously doubt that Tamazaki's appearance was merely a coincidence.
* Is Coca-Cola a sponsor of this show? Because that was really prominent product placement, having the guard's Coke roll over to set off the alarm.
* I've got to say it: "Hello. My name is Nadia Santos. You killed my mother. Prepare to die."