Out of the Box
Dixon suggests that the recent theft of a medical stimulant is related to the body in the cryogenic chamber that was taken from the DSR. The APO team acquires footage of the thief: Renee Rienne. Since Gordon Dean wanted the body, Syd volunteers to go talk to Renee, but Jack assigns Agent Grace to go with her. In Marseilles, a suspicious Renee pulls a gun on Syd and Tom, but her attention is diverted when the body in the chamber returns to life. She calls him "Papa." He has been in the box for twenty-three years. When Syd asks about Prophet Five, the man starts to have a seizure, but Renee has a drug that stabilizes him. She agrees to allow her father to be moved to a hospital that Jack recommends, but the power blinks off as an assault team tries to enter the building. Tom discovers that the intruders tracked a beacon located in the cryogenic chamber. In LA, Marshall, Dixon, and Rachel access the archived files of the man who put Renee's father in the box, Dr. Aldo Desantis. The medical records and the design of the chamber reveal that the occupant received a brain transplant - so he isn't really Renee's father. Unable to contact APO for help, Syd realizes that the man is a fake, and he pulls a gun on her. He tells Renee that Syd tried to kill him, but Renee sees the truth when he can't recall a detail from their past. At that point, the assault team breaks through the wall and extracts him. Later, Dean visits the man as he recovers in a medical facility in North Korea and addresses him as Dr. Desantis. Dean says that they waited so long to revive him because they had to solve a problem with the procedure. Dr. Desantis reveals that "the girl" is alive. Meanwhile, Sloane asks Jack to help him return to APO so that he can use the CIA's resources to search for a cure for Nadia; Jack replies that he's already made the request, but someone is standing in the way of its approval. Sloane learns that Dean was one of the people who procured his release from prison, and Dean reveals that Senator Lewis is the one blocking Sloane's return to APO. Sloane approaches the Senator, explaining that he wants to return to APO to help his daughter, but the Senator won't grant his request. Sloane resorts to threatening the Senator's daughter. Later, Dixon tells Jack that Sloane has been granted clearance to return.
[Syd finishes doing stretching exercises.]
Sydney: I'm telling you, this kid's gonna be a black-belt.
Rachel (about the baby): You . . . must be so excited.
Sydney: Yeah . . . when I'm not terrified.
Sydney: You know, you can stay here as long as you want, Rachel. There's no hurry.
Rachel: I don't want to impose.
Sydney: We're both going through transitions; we might as well keep each other company.
Sydney: I'm going to change. Help yourself to anything in the fridge - if there's anything left.
Jack: You seem to be enjoying your freedom.
Sloane: I was hoping to offer you more than prison food.
Jack: I must confess I'd grown rather fond of the shepherd's pie . . . I'm assuming you didn't bring me here simply for the cuisine.
Sloane: I know this puts you in an awkward position. I--
Jack: I've already put in a request for your limited reinstatement.
Jack: I'm getting informal reports that something - or rather someone - is standing in the way.
Sloane: Do you know who? I'm happy to make my case personally.
Tom: Apparently, you can't get good beef jerky in Germany.
Marshall: Really? I always thought of Germany as the home of processed meats.
Jack: It's beyond reason that this is a coincidence.
Sydney: If she took the body, she had a reason. I'll talk to her.
Jack: You exchange information with her twice a week. If she hasn't told you by now . . .
Jack: Sydney, this woman is an assassin.
Sydney: Vaughn trusted her. They worked together for seven years. Besides, if she did take the body and hasn't told me, it's because she doesn't trust me either. If we make a move on her, that just proves she's right.
Jack: I'm hardly concerned with her feelings.
Sydney: No, but I am concerned about burning her as an ally.
[Jack watches Tom at the firing range.]
Jack: I think you got him.
Tom: My mother always said, if somebody was worth shootin' once, they're worth shootin' twice.
Jack: I'm sorry I never met her. She sounds like my kind of woman.
Jack: Ms. Rienne used to work with Michael Vaughn. Based on that, my daughter has inherent trust in her. I do not share her trust.
Tom: I see. Don't worry. I'll make sure she's safe.
[Outside Renee's place, Tom pulls a gun.]
Sydney: Put that away. You won't need it.
Tom: She's already killed three CIA agents. We're not gonna be four and five.
Sydney: When my father briefed you, he told you we've been working together.
Tom: Yeah. He also said if I suspect she's a threat to your safety, I have orders to kill her.
Sydney: My father is overprotective.
"Does he know what you're up to?" Tom, to Renee about the box guy, who just walked past the upstairs window
Sydney: What do you know about that device? Why was he in it?
Renee: I don't know. I just had to get him out of there.
Sloane: Don't you ever contact me in public again. Tell whoever you answer to that I'm proceeding as instructed.
Keach: Tell him yourself.
Dean: She's the reason your security clearance hasn't been reinstated. She doesn't seem to care very much for you. It may have something to do with the fact that she's actually a decent human being.
Sloane: If she's the one standing in my way, my chances of returning to APO are slim, at best.
Dean: And I need you at APO. You're going to have to persuade Senator Lewis to see things your way . . . Luckily, that's what you do best.
Tom: It's not French military; they are armed too well.
Renee: That's why I didn't tell you.
Sydney: What, you think we brought them here?
Renee: How else would they know?
Rachel: Like from War Games.
Marshall: You know War Games?
Rachel: Yeah. It's my second favorite movie.
Marshall: Really? Mine too. Don't tell anyone, but it's what inspired me to hack into the Pentagon for the first time.
"I call her Charlotte - for obvious reasons." Marshall, showing off his spider-like spy device
Dixon (playing his part): I don't want the "most secure wing." I want the wing you reserve for people who will come looking for you in anything happens to their stuff.
Security Guy (confidently, after studying Dixon for a moment): Right this way.
Sydney: Why do they want him, Renee? Tell me the truth.
Renee: I was very sick as a child. The medicine I was taking, it was expensive. My father answered an ad in the newspaper for a job. Later that week, he came home with more money than I've ever seen. I could tell he was scared.
Renee: I knew he was running from someone.
"I'm sorry about your daughter. But I can't in good conscience put you back in that office. If it were up to me, you'd still be in prison." Senator Lewis, to Sloane
Tom: It's an emergency beacon. You must've activated it when you opened the container.
Renee: No. I would have noticed.
Dixon: He's been given full access, gold level and beyond. Are you certain this is the right course of action?
Jack: I believe Arvin Sloane now has a single purpose: to save the life of his daughter. If it is within my power to help him with that endeavor, I will do so gladly.
Dixon: Of course . . . I suppose having him here at APO will allow us to keep a close eye on his activities.
Jack: Yes, that thought crossed my mind as well.
Jack: Are you suggesting that the man who came out of the container is not Luc Goursaud?
Marshall: That's right.
Jack: Then who is he?
Marshall: Somebody who- who's not Luc Goursaud . . .
Renee: Tell me.
Dr. Desantis: That was twenty years ago, Angel.
Renee (recalling his own words): For you it was only yesterday.
[She points her gun at him.]
Renee: Who are you?
Renee (to Sydney): Michael . . . always told me I could come to you. I didn't trust him. I was wrong.
Dr. Desantis: The girl's alive. She calls herself Renee Rienne. Works with the CIA.
Dean: Well, then keeping an eye on her won't be a problem.
Two things about this episode help me tolerate the notion that someone succeeded in transplanting a brain from one body to the other. 1) Dean acknowledged that it took a long time to work out the problems with such a process, and 2) as Syd pointed out, they've already seen some very strange things. Compared to creating a genetic double of a person, a brain transplant seems almost simple. So, although I wouldn't have necessarily gone there, I'm on board with this plot for the sake of the story. The biggest question is "Why do the transplant in the first place?" Was Dr. Desantis terminally ill? Was he hiding from something? (That seems unlikely, since he and Dean were quite chummy.) Or was it merely an experiment to see if it could be done?
Also, would Dr. Desantis really tell the people who responded to the ad that they'd be giving their lives? That's harder to believe. Was Luc desperate enough to agree to something like that? He was obviously sacrificing to save his daughter (whatever her name really is), but with him gone, who would be left to raise her? Whatever the case, Luc somehow knew that he had to run.
What exactly did Renee tell Vaughn about her father's involvement in Prophet Five? Maybe she didn't fully trust him either, but giving Vaughn an alias instead of her real name could only have hurt whatever they were trying to accomplish. I would think that, in her joy to find her father alive, she would've used her real name when telling him who she was. Perhaps she buried who she used to be long ago to protect herself, because the way Desantis referred to her, she is more significant than she admits.
Sloane, too, plays a role in Dean's agenda and, like Luc, his involvement is driven by his desire to help his daughter. Senator Lewis went against her convictions to protect her child, even though Dean recognized that the Senator is a good person. Similarly, despite his recent actions - making shady deals and blackmailing people - Sloane doesn't seem evil. His behavior so far is consistent with Jack's assessment, and no doubt he really does want to return to APO to continue his search for a cure for Nadia. We know the lengths he has gone to in times past for a cause he believes in; will his devotion now cause him to betray the CIA?
* I literally groaned while typing "brain transplant" for the recap.
* Sydney said that she'd be raising her child alone, so either Vaughn is really gone, or she's pretending that he is to protect him.
* If Rachel wasn't staying with Sydney, where would she go? As it is, you'd think Dean could track down where Sydney lives. (It's good that she isn't in a safehouse, or they'd have her for sure.)
* Why do people always pull off their masks when they're outside a place they just snuck into?
* "Out of the box" could also mean that Sloane is out of the proverbial penalty box, an idea reinforced by his visit to the ice rink.
* Marshall and Rachel continue to find things in common. Uh oh.
* I'm expecting some of the new developments that Dean and Dr. Desantis use to turn into something that helps save Nadia.