A Clean Conscience
Vaughn and Dixon investigate the group behind a bombing in Denmark. They find the group's leader, Milos Kradic, meeting with a missing CIA agent named Thomas Raimes. They get Raimes alone, and he explains that the bombing was part of a plan to obtain a water-based chemical weapon called Hydrosek. Dixon poses as the computer hacker that Kradic was looking for as a dark-haired man with glasses watches. As the group prepares to board a plane, Kradic receives a call that an agent named Dixon is with them. Sacrificing himself, Raimes claims to be the agent, and Dixon shoots him before leaving on Kradic's plane. Meanwhile, Jack visits his doctor who urges him to tell Sydney the truth before it's too late. Not much later, Jack finds a capsule embedded in his hand; the doctor says that he implanted it to regulate the medication, and he had told Jack that memory loss could be a side effect. Sophia Vargas, the woman who raised Nadia at the orphanage, arrives in town with two black eyes. At the hospital, Sloane secretly obtains Sophia's fingerprint, and a background scan reveals that she killed a man. Sophia explains that he was hurting her girls, and she confides that the men who attacked her were after Nadia. Jack tells Sloane that they must tell their daughters the truth, and Sloane agrees. They explain that they have found evidence that Elena Derevko has been tracking Sydney and Nadia for the last ten years. Elsewhere, Sophia is listening to the conversation via the necklace that she gave Nadia; she receives a call from the dark-haired man with glasses who addresses her as Elena.
Nadia: You sure you're okay with this?
Sydney: She can stay as long as she wants; you know that.
Sydney: Where else am I going to hear embarrassing stories about you as a kid?
Doctor: The radiation you were exposed to when you walked into that reactor, well, it's a different fruit altogether.
Jack: Then we'll keep looking.
Doctor: Twenty years I've known you, you're not one iota less stubborn.
Doctor: I've had to look into my patients' eyes when I tell them that what they have is terminal. And you know what? That stuff about laughter being the best medicine? It's a load of bunk.
Jack: I assume you have a point?
Doctor: A clean conscience. That's a treatment I can stand behind. We both know how this is going to end.
Doctor: Clear your conscience, Jack.
Jack: That would take . . . another lifetime, at least.
Doctor: Start small. Talk to your daughter.
Jack: She's better off not knowing.
Doctor: Jack, these secrets you're keeping: they're not yours to keep.
"Your father is a good man. I can tell." Sophia, to Nadia
Sydney: I found the hacker, Linus Halsey. He was an MIT graduate with a degree in Nonlinear Crypto-algorithms and Stochastic Systems Analysis. Because if they called it "codebreaking" they couldn't charge thirty grand tuition.
[Dixon stops the guy that Vaughn was chasing.]
Vaughn (gasping for breath): I would've had him.
Dixon: I know.
Nadia: I was crazy, wild. I don't know what Sophia saw in me. She was always telling me I was her special one. For years after I left the orphanage, that was the only thing I could hang onto. I knew someone somewhere believed in me.
Sloane: I know how the Argentine police found his body; I know they found a suspect's fingerprint, but they couldn't find a match. I did.
Sophia: He was hurting my girls, and I was the one who hired him to tend the grounds. I didn't realize . . .
Sloane: Did he hurt Nadia?
Sophia: He tried. I didn't give him the second chance. I know what I did was wrong, but they were my children.
Sloane: I would've done the same thing.
Sloane: Don't worry. Now I can take care of her.
Sophia: How can you be sure?
Sloane: Because I know who's after my child.
Sydney: What the hell are you thinking?
Sloane: I'm sure you mean that in the most polite way.
Sydney: I don't understand this, but Nadia believes in you. Somehow you've earned her trust. Every time you lie to her, you break that bond. I want you to understand that I'm not telling you this out of concern for you.
Doctor: Decades of research went into the development of this little marvel, and you yank it out with a letter opener.
Jack: Sydney has had to face so many things in her life - too many for someone so young. And now, given my condition, I don't want to burden her. It's not fair.
Doctor: Honesty. That's fair. You won't always be around to protect her, Jack. She has to know the truth before it's too late.
Raimes: There are sacrifices we have to make. There are casualties in the business that we're in. You disappoint me, Marcus. There was a time you understood that.
Dixon: That was a long time ago. Things are . . . different.
Dixon: I got married. Had kids. It changes a man.
Raimes: Mmmm. You mean it softens.
Dixon: I mean it deepens. Gives a man perspective.
When I first heard about Jack's Very Serious Illness, I was devastated because I love some Jack Bristow. After that, I dreaded watching this episode, but to my surprise my heart wasn't broken. I'm happily residing in a state of denial, and I saw plenty of evidence to support my conspiracy theory that someone is merely trying to make Jack think he's sick. Given the way the doctor was acting, he has *got* to be up to something. Why else would they point out that he's known Jack for twenty years, except to make it seem as if he's credible? He dismissed Jack's suggestion for a treatment option a bit too quickly, and that capsule's memory loss side effect makes a very convenient explanation for a very mysterious discovery.
The doctor's repeated insistence that Jack talk to Sydney stands out to me as the biggest red flag. I wonder just how much the doctor knows about Jack's life. He knew that Jack entered a nuclear reactor, but it's hard to imagine that Jack would give his doctor - even an old friend - details such as the discovery that Elena Derevko was tracking Sydney and Nadia.
For once, I'm glad that Alias has the habit of bringing dead characters back to life. If the show is foolish enough to let him die, I hope that Jack will be on the short list for resurrection.
* The doctor played the scheming neighbor in the Brady Bunch movie.
* The man that Sophia killed must have been someone of significance for Sophia to have said that "she didn't realize."
* Maybe part of the deception about Vaughn's father was for him to find Sophia/Elena, so that she would have a way back into Nadia's life. But if that's true, Elena must be working with Sloane2.
* The fact that the ABC site's description of the episode mentioned that Hydrosek is water-based makes me think Elena wants if for something to do with The Circumference. (Then again, I'm frequently wrong ...)