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Echoes

Episode Summary

At Syd's place, Nadia tells Syd that she likes Weiss; elsewhere, Weiss sings Nadia's praises to Vaughn who advises him to take it slow. At APO, Sloane announces that he cannot participate in the upcoming mission because it involves an operative that he is not authorized to engage. Jack, temporarily in charge, explains that the operative is Syd's former nemesis, Anna Espinosa. Marshall briefs the team about Anna; when he mentions that Anna is a follower of Rambaldi, Nadia gets lightheaded and leaves the meeting. Intel shows that Anna is meeting a man in Brussels to receive something: Syd, Dixon, and Vaughn are to observe the exchange. Nadia reveals to Syd that she had a vision in which she shoots Sydney, who seemed to expect it. Before Syd can explain, Nadia is taken hostage by Anna. Syd returns to APO and tells Jack that she must pose as Anna at the meeting in Brussels. With help from Dixon and Vaughn, Syd passes the contact's test, and he gives her "the last remaining sample." Anna tells Nadia that one day she will help her destroy Sydney whether she chooses to or not; Anna then brands the Rambaldi symbol onto Nadia's neck as a message to Syd. Marshall identifies the sample as the Dante Compound, which mutates nerve agents, causing them to self-replicate. Marshall believes that Anna works for a terrorist cell called the Cadmus Revolutionary Front, which has been trying to acquire the compound to make a chemical bomb. Vaughn goes to the penitentiary to visit Sark, who also has ties to the CRF. When Sark is uncooperative, Vaughn says that he'll be transferred to another prison to spend his days in solitary confinement. However, while Sark sleeps, they inject him with a tracking device, and they arrange for him to escape during transport. Meanwhile, Syd meets with Anna in a Beverly Hills boutique. A fight erupts, but they ultimately make the exchange. Following Anna's instructions, Syd finds Nadia in a parking garage in the trunk of a car. The APO surgeon says that he can fix the mark left by the brand. Syd enlightens Nadia with Irina's description of the Rambaldi symbol: it represents her two daughters separated by the object over which they will do battle - and, according to Rambaldi, only one of them will survive. Syd says that she doesn't believe it, but the people who do are dangerous. Syd reports a rumor of a CRF meeting to Jack, thinking Anna may be there. Jack tells Syd to take Nadia and observe. Despite recusing himself from the mission, Sloane tells Syd that if she and Nadia go on this assignment, only one will return if Anna has her way. Vaughn and Dixon track Sark to Johannesburg, but instead of CRF headquarters, they find Sark in an empty building. He will help them locate CRF leadership, but they must do something for him. In the meeting in Estonia, Anna kills the contact and takes the V/X (nerve agent) canister. Syd goes after Anna; Nadia fights Anna's flunkie and manages to turn his knife on him. Nadia twists the knife, and in his dying breath, the man whispers to her why the CRF is assembling the bomb. Nadia goes after Anna but finds Sydney. Suddenly, Anna shoots Nadia in the back and escapes; Nadia collapses and starts to fade as Syd begs her to hang on.


Quotes

Nadia: No, I like him too.
Sydney: But . . .?
Nadia: But nothing.

Vaughn: When it ended you were all, like, weird.
Weiss: Weird how?
Vaughn: You were building ships in bottles. You built many, many ships in many bottles over many, many months.
Weiss: Yeah, that's called a hobby.
Vaughn: "Hobby"? You locked yourself in a closet for a month--

Sydney: She's supposed to be dead.
Jack: So are a lot of people.

Marshall: After she left K-Directorate, she went freelance, worked for the highest bidder: give her the dough, she'll give you the show.

Anna (to Nadia): You look like her. Your mother.

Anna: Your sister, she's a curse. You see what happens, don't you? To everyone she loves. One day, you will be asked to pay the price.

Anna: One day, whether you choose to or not, you will help me destroy her.

Sloane: She won't kill her. It's not her destiny.

Sydney: Dad, please tell me Rambaldi is not dictating procedures.

Vaughn: Nadia's gonna be okay.
Sydney: I just want the ghosts to go away.
Vaughn: Tell me about it.

"It was nice getting to know your sister." Anna, to Sydney, who responds by punching Anna

"She can have the blouse." Syd, regaining her composure after she and Anna fight in an upscale boutique

Vaughn (to prison guard): We're old friends.
Sark: Actually, given our shared intimacies with your late wife, I may even go so far as to say that we're family.

Sark: Mr. Vaughn, your timing is impeccable. The last of my broken bones has finally healed, and I sit before you a fresh canvas for your aggression.

Sark: Was it the infidelity or the espionage that motivated you to kill the woman I loved?

Sark: She once actually told me that she longed to love you . . . but the mundane existence you provided couldn't hold a candle to my passion.

Sark: So it's begun.
Vaughn: What has?
Sark: Wouldn't you like to know?

Sark: I see your bargaining skills have gone the way of your manhood.

Vaughn: Twenty four/seven in a pitch-black cell with zero human contact is a slow way to die. Especially with all the demons you've got in your closet, and believe me, they will come knocking.
Sark: I regret to inform you, Mr. Vaughn: I'm not afraid of the dark.
Vaughn: You should be.

Sydney: There was an audiotape, surveillance from a hotel room in Hamburg. She was talking to a man - his voice was never identified. She was describing the symbology of this. The mark of Rambaldi. She said the outer markings represent her two daughters. The center is the object over which they will do great battle . . . with each other.

Sydney: According to Rambaldi, only one of the daughters will survive.

Nadia: Are you kidding me? Change my life because some freakshow made a prediction four hundred years ago?

Marshall: You mess with a friend of Flinkman, you're messing with Flinkman.

Jack: This is a surveillance - not a boxing match.

Sark: Gentleman . . . [He pops the cork on a champagne bottle.] . . .were you expecting a bigger party?

Sark: Really, Michael, don't look so shocked. You couldn't have had such low expectations of me.

Vaughn: Why the charade? If you were going to cooperate, why run at all?
Sark: For the bubbly, of course.


Review

Perhaps the writers thought of calling this episode "Ghosts," or "Voices," or maybe even "Not You Again!" Surely they considered several titles, but the one they chose was highly appropriate. In the literal sense, of course, an echo is a repetition. That definition is applicable here since Sydney repeated Irina's explanation of the Rambaldi symbol, and the explanation itself was a restating of the words of Rambaldi's prophecy.

I'm not a huge fan of the Rambaldi stuff, but it's nice to see that the foretold battle between Sydney (the Chosen One) and Nadia (The Passenger) has not been forgotten. The sisters weren't fighting each other this time, so we can be fairly certain that Nadia's wound is not fatal. However, I'm curious why Anna and the other followers seem to want this battle to occur: what do they have to gain from it?

In a poetic sense, the word echoes brings to mind the past, especially a continuation of something. That's nothing new on this show where previous events frequently have a way of affecting the present. Recalling the last meeting between Vaughn and Sark - and the circumstances behind it - Vaughn's dread at seeing Sark again was understandable. Sydney was in a similar predicament as Anna's reappearance reminded her of unfinished business, since Syd had vowed to eliminate Anna if the opportunity arose again. Syd admitted that Anna brings out the worst in her; Vaughn could probably say the same about Sark simply because Sark is a tangible target for Vaughn's anger over Lauren's betrayal. Few antagonists can haunt a person like their own inner demons.


Comments

* If you missed - as I did at first - the reason that Sydney was to pose as Anna in Brussels, Sydney tells Jack that Anna knew she would be intercepted at that meeting.

* The scene where Syd transforms herself into a hooker is *very* similar to the scene in the movie True Lies where Jamie Lee Curtis does the same with the same result: slicked-back hair and a short black dress.

* I'm surprised that Syd could pass for Anna; logically, the one thing the contact would be looking for is a woman of color.

* Have Anna's finger trophies ever been mentioned before?

* Note to self: add "someone loses a tooth or a finger" to the drinking game. Done.

* I can't imagine Lauren "longing" to love anyone.

* The object that divides Nadia and Sydney could be Jack. Since Nadia is likely to find out that Jack killed Irina, maybe Nadia will want to kill Jack and Sydney will try to stop her.

* Since the season began we've been hearing Sloane's foreboding line "If you and Nadia go on this mission, only one will return," but they conveniently left out the condition he mentioned: "if Anna has her way."

* I've seen Anna's name also spelled as "Ana".


More about the Episode's Title

Thanks to Patti for sending this!

I wanted to bring to your attention the mythology behind Echo - it seemed appropriate, especially the Greek version (and remember, Sloane had asked for the Greek version of the Iliad in the 3rd season when he was imprisoned):

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/e/echo.html

Echo was a very beautiful and musical nymph. She could sing and play many instruments. She lived deep in the woods and denied the love of any man or immortal. She therefore attracted the hatred and anger of many, including the god Pan whose love she turned down. Pan caused his followers the shepherds to kill Echo and tear her to pieces that were subsequently scattered far and wide. Gaia, the Earth goddess, received the pieces in her bosom and thus Echo, scattered now all over the earth, retained her voice and talents answering or imitating every sound or voice.

Just an observation - how Echo from the myth was torn into pieces and scattered, much like Rambaldi's artifacts. I wonder if there is more behind the naming of the episodes than just trying to come up with an appropriate name.


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