In a bar in London, Renee Rienne tells Sydney that the people who killed Vaughn own the place; since Renee's cover is blown, she and Syd go to break into the operations center in the back. They fight off the guards and salvage some of the computers' information. Syd gives Renee a phone so that she can contact her again. Back in LA, Syd goes for a check-up alone and sees an ultrasound of her baby. A review of the data from London provides a lead for finding Ivan Curtis, the man who shot Vaughn. The lead is Heinrich Roemer, an arms dealer; recognizing that name from SD-6, Sydney visits Sloane, who is still in prison, for information. The agents nab Curtis after he receives forty-five kilos of Nuridium. As Syd questions him about the location of Gordon Dean, the team learns that Curtis has already received a shipment of Nuridium, which is, among other things, a high-yield explosive. In order to track Curtis to the previous shipment, Syd agrees to make him think he escaped. When the tracker becomes active, the team finds Curtis on a plane. Using a special stealth aircraft, Syd, Weiss, and Dixon board the plane in flight. Weiss and Dixon handle the guards while Syd communicates with Marshall to try to diffuse the Nuridium bomb. Syd soon learns that the device is not a bomb, but a high-tech storage container containing a human body. Curtis finds Syd, but she keeps him at bay by holding a knife to one of the container's tubes. She again questions him about Gordon Dean, and he again reveals nothing. When Sydney gets the upper hand and says that she's taking him into custody, he insists that they can't protect him. He pulls a latch to open the door and is sucked out of the plane to his death. Back in LA, Marshall explains that the device is a high-tech cryogenic chamber. In private, Syd confesses to Jack that it's hard to be without Vaughn. Jack agrees to go with her to her next doctor's appointment and assures her that she will be okay. Thomas Grace, a new agent, arrives as Weiss is preparing to leave to accept a promotion in Washington DC. APO receives word that the body was stolen from the DSR. Syd calls Renee to let her know; Renee - who is actually with the cryogenic chamber - tells Syd that she'll see what she can find out. The chamber monitors start to show a heartbeat and a hand inside moves.
Renee: You should go. Walk out. Slowly.
Sydney: What about you?
Renee: I didn't spend three months getting in place to just walk away.
Renee: You're gonna want to step aside now.
Guard: Sexy. So I'm being threatened by a waif and a pregnant chick.
[Renee punches him and shoves him against the door.]
Renee: Is it sexy now?
Renee: You're not bringing this back to the CIA?
Sydney: No, we're an off-the-books division. It's different.
Renee: Not to me. I don't know them.
Sydney: I do. You can trust them.
Renee: Who says I trust you?
Sydney: I understand why you're reluctant. You're number eight on the CIA's most wanted list, I get it. But you have to understand: these people killed my fiance, the father of my child. I'm going to enlist every resource available to immobilize them, and if that means that this is the last time you and I see each other, that is fine by me. Just tell me how you want to do it.
Renee: Number eight?
Renee: I'm slipping. Used to be number six . . . You're exactly like Michael said you were.
Sydney: You called him "Michael."
[She turns to leave.]
Renee: Don't worry. He was crazy about you.
Doctor: What about exercise? Are you keeping active?
Sydney (evasive, but honest): My job is still pretty demanding.
Doctor: I see a lot of new moms, and one thing that I can tell you from experience, it's really important to be about to reach out. As for help.
Sydney: I've never been very good at that.
Doctor: You should try.
Doctor: You've got an active one there. Just like Mommy.
Jack: This is the man that killed Vaughn. His name is Ivan Curtis. He ran operations for a corporate security firm out of Dublin until three years ago when European aviation records say he died in a private plane crash.
Dixon: It's starting to fit a pattern: Gordon Dean was presumed dead two years ago.
Marshall: I'll run it against the Echelon call archive. I'll use the five ... Got the audio. Patching it through.
[He and Syd listen to a foreign-language conversation.]
Sydney: They're ordering takeout, Marshall.
Marshall: Right. Sorry. Must be the three.
Sloane: This is your first lead, isn't it, Sydney.
[Syd doesn't say anything, she just looks down.]
Sloane: Look, I know how important this is to you. But revenge is ultimately a hollow pursuit, Sydney.
Sydney: This isn't about revenge. They know who I am. They know where I work. And as long as they're out there, I am not safe.
[Roemer reads Dixon's request for a large number of weapons.]
Roemer (conversationally): What exactly would you do with a purchase this large?
Dixon (with an accent, and very serious): I intend to secure some beachfront property.
Sydney: Do you recognize me?
Sydney: Four months ago, you murdered a man, Michael Vaughn. Do you remember? I do. I was there. It'll be burned into my memory for the rest of my life as the day my child lost its father . . . So you can imagine what I'd like to do to you. Lucky for you, there's someone I want even more. Tell me where I can find Gordon Dean.
Curtis: Is this whole routine supposed to scared me? I-I do this for a living.
Sydney: It's a funny thing about pregnancy - hormones. Whoo. I woke up today . . . [she gives Curtis a dark, threatening look] . . . feeling pretty hormonal.
Curtis: You have no idea what you're getting involved in.
Sydney: Why don't you enlighten me.
Curtis: You wanna know the truth? The truth is, you're better off not knowing.
Curtis: No deal. I'm not talking. . . . [He looks at Sydney's belly.] . . . Sorry, Baby. Daddy just went snooping where he shouldn't have gone.
CIA Guy: That stuff'll poison you, you know. . . Liberal rag? Coffee's not too good for you either.
CIA Guy: I think I found your man. Outsider, like you asked. Fully documented. No family, no entanglements. Just off a four-year tour of the special ops.
[Jack reads something in the file and looks up.]
CIA Guy: I know. I assume you can deal with that.
[Jack nods slightly.]
CIA Guy: They say he also has a bit of a temper...
Blond Agent: No, you can't. It's a myth.
Friend: No, it's not. Listen, it has something to do with the Earth's axis and the alignment of the sun. Trust me; I Googled it.
Jack: The flight was granted diplomatic immunity.
Dixon: Diplomatic immunity? How's that possible?
Jack: We're still exploring that.
Sydney: Hey. It's me.
Marshall: Yeah, I know. I gave you your own ring tone.
Marshall: There should be a detonator attached to the regulator. Do you see that?
Sydney: Okay . . . I don't see it.
Marshall: Um, it has to be there because without a detonator, there's no detonation. That's how it works.
"I don't believe you have a boarding pass." Curtis, pointing a gun at Syd
Curtis: Step away from the container.
Sydney: I don't think so.
Sydney: Who is Dean working with? Who gave the order to kill Michael Vaughn?
Curtis: Even if I told you, you wouldn't believe me.
Sydney: Humor me.
"Of course, the notion that anyone can ever actually be revived? Complete fiction. Believe me, I've tried." Marshall, with a slightly disturbing testimony about cryogenics
Sydney: It's not fair; he should've been there.
Jack: I'm here.
Sydney: I'll see you soon enough . . . I mean . . God knows I have enough frequent flyer miles
Weiss: You're lying, but I appreciate that.
This episode's title brings to mind a countdown that is almost to the point where whatever is supposed to happen is about to happen, such as a timer ticking down to detonation of a bomb. That's nothing new on this show, where the characters must frequently race against time to prevent some calamity. But in this case, a simple mission to deactivate the latest fiend's current weapon revealed that a much larger scheme is unfolding.
No doubt the person in the cryogenic chamber is linked to one of those ancient prophecies, and apparently everything has fallen into place so that this mystery body can live again. There's also a notable parallel between the body and Sydney's baby; I doubt that it's merely coincidence that the body's heartbeat returns not long after Syd sees her baby's heart beat for the first time.
I'm very disappointed to see that Michael Vartan's name is no longer listed among the cast regulars. (How can they do that, by the way? List a person as a "regular" for only one episode?) Regardless of that, I haven't changed my mind in thinking that Vaughn is alive. The way that Sydney talked about him when she was with Jack made it seem as if Vaughn is merely somewhere else, being forced to hide out for his own safety, rather than dead. However, if the plan is to have a different actor play Vaughn, I say let him rest in peace.
* In case anyone was concerned about Syd's "delicate" condition, the writers included the scene where the doctor gave her the okay to stay active.
* Curtis' assertion that Syd wouldn't believe who ordered Vaughn's death puts most of the people she knows under suspicion, and the final scene points the finger at Renee. Then again, it's way too early to try to draw any conclusions.
* Could the blond agent's conversation about myths and the alignment of the sun have some significance?
* I don't think the body in the chamber is Rambaldi: the haircut was too modern. (Then again, he *was* ahead of his time.)