Picking up where the previous episode ended, as Vaughn begins a confession to Sydney, another car slams into theirs. On the side of the road, Syd regains consciousness but quickly becomes suspicious of the "paramedics" that have removed Vaughn from the car. Her suspicions are correct; she escapes but can only watch as Vaughn is taken away in a helicopter. Back in LA, a doctor runs tests on Syd. A man named Gordon Dean, from the Office of Special Investigations, arrives with questions about Vaughn. Jack asks Dean to give Sydney some time. In private, Jack confides that Vaughn is under investigation as a double agent; there were red flags in Vaughn's files, and the car crash may have been an extraction. Elsewhere Vaughn, still wounded from the crash, sits in a room across from a man who greets him as "Mr. Michaux." The man wants Vaughn to translate a coded message, but Vaughn refuses - until the man tells his associate to bring in the finger of Vaughn's fiancée. Instead of decoding the message, Vaughn takes his captors by surprise; he asks about Sydney and flees after learning that she escaped. At the APO office, Sydney fears that she may have been wrong about Vaughn, but Dixon urges her to give him the benefit of the doubt. Vaughn calls Syd, asking her to send his father's watch to one of their former dead drop sites. Realizing that Vaughn has been in contact, Dean demands to know where he is. Sydney tells him Mexico City to throw him off the trail, while she takes the watch to Vaughn. Vaughn continues telling Syd his story: seven years ago, a woman approached him, saying that their fathers were involved in a top secret project called Prophet Five. Whatever it was, Vaughn's father changed both of their identities to hide from it. Vaughn and Syd find a man named Lehman; after viewing the watch, Lehman explains that as part of Prophet Five, they were to translate one page of a 500-year old text. When their work was done, Vaughn Sr. and Lehman went into hiding after the other members of the team were systematically killed. Lehman has learned where the old text is, but he warns Vaughn that those who want it will stop at nothing. Vaughn and Sydney crash a party in Cape Town and steal the book. As they escape, Syd receives a call from the doctor about her test results: she is pregnant. Syd waits in the car while Vaughn steps out to give Lehman the book. Unfortunately the meeting is crashed by Gordon Dean, who cracked the encryption code to access Vaughn's files. Dean's men shoot Lehman and Vaughn repeatedly before they leave with the text. Back in LA, Vaughn undergoes surgery, but the doctor says he sustained much internal damage. As Syd sits at his side, he flat-lines; the doctors try in vain to save him. Four months after Vaughn's funeral service, Syd finds Renee Rienne, the woman Vaughn told her about, and tells her that she knows everything.
Sydney: When can I go home?
Doctor: Soon. But you're gonna have to take it easy.
Sydney: Of course.
Sydney: You're not writing any of this down.
Dean: You're, um, not telling me anything worth writing.
Bad Guy (to Vaughn): Been hearing about you for a long time. It's nice to finally meet you, Mr. Michaux.
"Catchy, but dated." Vaughn, playing a recording of music that was in a package for him
Sydney: Six years ago, when I walked into that CIA office, why was Vaughn assigned to my case?
Weiss: I don't know; he asked to be. You came in, you were all screwed up, you had that freaky red hair, he likes a challenge ...
Dean: Could you speed it up, Agent Blinkman?
Marshall: Flinkman. With an F . . . not that hard, really . . .
Marshall (about Vaughn): If he was up to something, I'd know about it. We're friends. We do lunch.
Dixon: Remember when we were working for SD-6, that night on the pier? I caught you breaking into a secure facility. You asked me to trust you, but I didn't. The proof was right in front of me: you were a traitor . . . If I had to do it over again, I'd give you the benefit of the doubt.
"Looking for this?" Syd, delivering the watch to Vaughn personally
Sydney: I want the truth. Start with your name.
Vaughn: Andre Michaux.
Vaughn: Seven years ago, a woman came to me. Said that her father had been involved in a project, something people had gone to great lengths to cover up. She said my father was part of it. Said it was called Prophet Five.
Sydney: Your father was an agent.
Vaughn: Before he joined the CIA. She said his name was Michaux, that he was a mathematician.
Vaughn: That day you walked into the CIA, you described a mission to secure a device made by a man named Mueller, the same man I was told originated the Prophet Five project. This was my first proof that this woman's story was true. Whatever it was my father was running away from it. He changed his identity; he changed mine - I was 18 months old at the time.
Dean: Then I have no choice. I am now officially classifying him a fugitive and your daughter an accomplice. Now if you want me to show her any leniency, find her and tell me where she is.
Jack (coldly): Maybe you should try Mexico City.
Marshall: He's not gonna find Sydney and Vaughn, not from what I gave him. I encrypted Vaughn's files, 4096-bit - it'll take him years. I mean, he's an ass. Deal with it.
Sydney (pleasantly surprised): You're waltzing!
Vaughn: Yep. Been practicing for our wedding.
Sydney: With whom?
Vaughn: Weiss ...
[Sydney calls Dixon for help.]
Sydney: Do you remember what you said? If you had to do it over again?
Dixon: What do you need?
"You know, this party would be a lot more fun if we were naked." Some chick, flirting with Vaughn
Sydney: I just need to know how you feel. Is it something you want?
Vaughn: The truth?
Sydney: Of course.
Vaughn: What we do, the things we see every day . . . honestly, no. I . . . I didn't think this was what I wanted. I mean, bringing a baby into this world that's so messed up. I just ... I just assumed that I'd wait, that we'd wait.
Sydney: For ...?
Vaughn: For things to ... be safe, or at least safer.
Vaughn: But looking at you, all I can think about is what our kid is gonna be like. And I ... I'm not worried about the world. I just, I can't wait to meet this new little person.
Vaughn: You're going to be an amazing mom . . .and I'm going to be a disaster; I've never changed a diaper.
Sydney: Neither have I. We're going to have to call Marshall for help...
Marshall: I just broke about thirty Federal laws. If I get caught, I'll be sharing a cell with a guy named Bruno.
Weiss: It's white-collar. More like Martha Stewart.
Sydney: I've always liked Owen.
Vaughn: Owen. Sounds like something you'd name a gerbil.
Sydney: What about Isabelle?
Vaughn: Isabelle Vaughn. Isabelle Bristow-Vaughn.
Sydney: That's pretty. I like that.
Vaughn: Me, too.
Sydney: You're a hard person to find. But if I can do it, so can they.
Renee: How did you find me?
Sydney: I know everything.
Renee: Then you should have walked away.
Sydney: You don't know me very well.
For those who were hoping that we'd heard the last of ancient manuscripts, this episode was probably a letdown. Ditto for those who were hoping to see Nadia, those watching to see Syd wearing a skimpy outfit, and those with a strong aversion to seeing extremely handsome agents get brutally shot.
Personally, I wasn't thrilled to learn that Jennifer's pregnancy would be written into the story line, but I suppose it is more practical than trying to cover it up. Given what we know about the characters and the life they lead, the last thing we would expect (pardon the pun) is that they would want to bring a baby into that world. At the same time, starting a family would have been the next logical step for Syd and Vaughn. They were already engaged to be married, and with Sloane no longer the head of APO, their continued employment would be less of an obligation. Of course, this is Alias, so we should know better than to look for a happy ending.
For the record, I do not think Vaughn is dead. If he had died by the train tracks where he was shot, I might have believed it. But the way it happened, with him falling asleep right before the monitors started to flash . . . it's all too convenient. If his death was indeed faked, the question becomes, "Who is behind it?" If it was the bad guys, then Vaughn's situation mirrors Syd's; recall that the Covenant faked her death so they could be free to try to brainwash her. In this case, I think it's more likely that APO orchestrated it to protect him from Dean and the other baddies. The key evidence for that is the way Vaughn started to get sleepy - I think we were supposed to view that as him starting to "fade" - right after drinking from whatever Syd was giving him.
If Vaughn's apparent death and the buzz about Vartan's rumored departure was all a stunt to gain publicity for the show, I hope it doesn't backfire. Critics are saying that the show has quite a few obstacles to overcome this season, including their killer new Thursday timeslot; maybe this isn't the best time to make the fans sweat.
* Note: even though we learned Vaughn's other identity, I will continue to refer to him as Vaughn.
* If Rambaldi wasn't the Fifth Prophet, he probably knew the guy.
* Whenever a character mentions "six years ago ..." or "seven years ago ..." I find myself reviewing the Alias timeline and wondering whether the new information includes Syd's missing two years.
* I laughed when they said that Dean had been presumed dead; no one on this show should ever be presumed dead!
* Do heart monitors actually flash the words "Heart Failure"?