Rachel's family is taken into protective custody and placed in the witness relocation program. Sloane confesses to Sydney that he hasn't been able to enter Nadia's hospital room, knowing that it's his fault she's there. APO works to find a man named Janos Vak, who has created technology that can control in-flight missiles. On a mission to obtain Vak's location, Rachel is discovered by a guard; Tom saves her by knocking the guard out. To Syd's surprise, Jack tasks Rachel for the next step: going undercover as Vak's current "female companion." Syd says that Rachel isn't ready, but Jack argues that Syd can talk her through. Gordon Dean wants Vak's technology, but when Sloane reveals that Rachel will be going in solo to get it, Dean doesn't believe him. Dean sends Peyton to get the software and tells her to kill Rachel if they cross paths. Wearing a wig and a skimpy dress, Rachel is ushered aboard the off-shore hideaway. With Syd coaching on comms, Rachel manages to tie Vak up and copy the software. Peyton climbs out of the water and kills every guard she passes. As Rachel heads to the landing pad for pickup, she finds Peyton pointing a gun at her. Having posed as Rachel's best friend, Peyton says that Rachel can live if she'll hand over the software. Rachel isn't fooled, so she stabs Peyton with a device Marshall gave her. They fight until a soldier starts to fire on them, and Rachel instinctively pushes Peyton out of harm's way. Dixon and Tom arrive; Peyton escapes by diving into the water, and Rachel boards the helicopter to fly home. In a meeting with Dean, Sloane tries to stand his ground, but Dean resorts to threatening Nadia. Later, Sloane enters Nadia's hospital room, sits by her side, and takes her hand. Resting at her apartment, Syd plays a recording of Vaughn's voice and holds the tape player close to her belly.
Sydney: There were taps on their phones, surveillance equipment. Witness protection is the best way to ensure their safety.
Rachel: They say I won't even be able to call them . . . How am I supposed to do this alone?
Sydney: You do it because you don't have a choice. Because you want the world to be safe for the people you love.
"We're kind of a weird family. We actually like each other." Rachel, as she watches her family from behind a two-way mirror
Dean: Our agreement is whatever I say it is. I'm the one who got you out of prison; I can easily put you back.
Sloane: Let me say this again: I will not hurt those people.
Dean: I'm not telling you to. Not yet, at least.
Dean: What would your colleagues do if they knew you answer to me? That you were betraying them on a daily basis?
Sloane: The same thing I hope to do to you some day.
Marshall: Basically, you could lasso a missile that was headed for a military target, say, in the Middle East, and then redirect it to . . . Switzerland, you know? And then the Swiss call, and they're, like, "Hey, uh, we're neutral, remember?"
Jack: Thank you, Marshall. I think we all understand.
Rachel: I could use somebody to spar with.
Tom: I don't really . . . spar.
Rachel: I don't either. That's why I could really use your help.
Rachel: How many fights have you been in?
Tom: I don't know. Enough?
Rachel: You win?
Tom: Of course . . . mostly . . Why, what do you hear?
Rachel: Nothing. I've just never been in any real fights.
"Don't ever do that spinning kung fu crap. You'll get yourself killed." Tom, to Rachel
Tom: I fight dirty.
Tom: Go for the eyes, the throat, the nuts--
Rachel: The nuts?!
Tom: --cause as much damage, inflict as much pain as humanly possible.
Rachel: I don't know if I can do that.
Tom: Well then, you shouldn't be here!
"That was better. I want to see more of that." Tom, after Rachel punches him for being a jerk
Dixon: The general's still upstairs.
Tom: Doesn't the man know it's kinda hard to break into a safe if he's sittin' right in front of it?
Sydney: Remember the prince in Bahrain?
Dixon: The guy with the harem.
Sydney: Let's try and do that.
Tom: What are you talking about?
Sydney (to Dixon): I'll need your watch.
Tom: It's okay; I'm not really here . . .
"Listen, I've had to do a little alias magic myself to save the day a few times . . . Do you know what a spork is?" Marshall, to Rachel as they watch Sydney
"Great. We're five by five." Marshall, revealing that he's a Buffy fan
Tom: You okay?
Rachel: If by "okay" you mean "freaked and embarrassed," then yeah, I'm great.
Saleslady (seeing Syd watch a man with his daughter): We get so many dads in the store these days. I don't think my husband ever bought so much as a diaper.
Sydney: Yeah. My dad wasn't exactly hands-on either.
Saleslady: What about your husband? Is he doing his part?
Sydney: He's been great. Wishes he could do more.
Sloane: I just assumed that you wanted APO to do the heavy lifting.
Dean: You don't get to assume anything.
Jack: This is no different than when you were sent back into SD-6.
Sydney: It's completely different. I had Vaughn.
Jack: And Rachel will have you.
Rachel: I've been going to the firing range every night, so that when the time came, I'd be ready . . . Of course, on my first solo mission, I have to go in unarmed.
Rachel: I'm the new girl. I panicked on the last mission, and everybody is asking whether or not I can do it - and the truth is, I don't know. I'm terrified. But I'm more terrified of not trying. So, I'm going to put on my strappy shoes and my teeny dress and I'm going to try. And by this time tomorrow, we'll know whether I can do it or not.
Rachel: What am I gonna say to him?
Sydney: Well, it isn't what you'd say. Remember, you're playing a character. It's what she would say.
Janos: I am Janos.
Rachel: Ra . . . Mandy.
Janos: Ray-mandy. A beautiful name.
Rachel: My god, you're--
Peyton: Not dead?
Rachel: I was going to say "evil." Tell me I'm wrong.
Peyton: Let's just say we work for different teams.
Peyton: Just give me Vak's software program and you walk away from this.
Sydney (on comms): Rachel, we can always track Peyton after she leaves the platform. If you believe she'll let you live, give her the data. Your life is more important than the mission.
Peyton: Come on, Rachel. You're in way over your head.
Peyton: You should've given me the disk!
Rachel: You were gonna kill me anyway.
Peyton: Yeah . . . but I woulda felt bad about it. Now it's gonna be fun.
"Still having fun?" Rachel, after fighting back
by Abbie, abbs006[AT]mail.com
First off, "solo" and all its double, triple and quite possibly quad and quint meanings. Not only does Rachel, or should I say "Oracle," donate her life to the team, Syd steps up to the plate to be the one woman who can drive Rachel towards the truth. Spy dad runs APO while most likely working behind the scenes on a Bristow master plan and Sloane uses the resources to be a glorified mole. Oh how I never have to explain why we love the show so much.
Then there's the reason behind everyone going solo. This episode clearly pounded in the fact that Vaughn is still alive and waiting for Syd to eliminate all the danger and threat in the world they live in. Quotes like when Rachel questions the reason to put her family into witness protection Syd boldly replies, "You do it because you have to. It's the only way to protect the ones you love." Syd's wrath is becoming overwhelmingly clear and for the first time you can just see the gears turning in her head. After all, "this woman will render the greatest power unto utter desolation." Dean and his gang is out to eliminate anyone involved or researching Prophet 5, which no doubt links to Rambaldi, so she and spy daddy faked Vaughn's death after he was brutally shot. With Vaughn safely in hiding, Syd will use APO resources and finally put an end to this power and all things Rambaldi. (Side wish: How cool would it be if Vaughn's hangin' out with the only woman on earth that can really keep him safe: Daddy killer Irina). BUT Syd's quest for a happily ever after with Vaughn and her baby ignores a huge problem: her baby is the rebirth of Rambaldi himself. Season three's Covenant tried to fertilize her eggs but failed. Now that she has naturally conceived, a new wave of Rambaldi followers have come to play and poor Vaughn is caught in the middle. Plus you have Sloane lurking around again who, let's not forget, orchestrated the Covenant to begin with and killed Syd's first fiance! Sigh.
So that leads to Sloane and Dean teaming up, but of course, not necessarily for the same reason. It seems as if Sloane has drawn the joker but has he ever taken orders from anyone, let alone himself? No, this has to be all part of his ongoing endgame. Sloane could be using Dean as the Covenant II and if so, he really is a sick, sick man. I've believed all along that his obsession/love for his daughter had more to it than his discovery of family. Part of him is torn apart about Nadia on her presumed deathbed but the other side is certainly showing his true black color. She is the passenger, another person that will bring forth the coming of Rambaldi. So watch and see; the only cure Nadia needs is Syd's baby being born and the recent long, loving looks Sloane gives to Syd as he watches her from afar no doubt reflects his angst for the ultimate revival of Rambaldi's prophecy. The sad thing is that Syd finally trusts him again, or does she? Could she be playing him FINALLY? Could she and spy dad be using Sloane to connect with all Rambaldi followers in order to lure them all in and eliminate them when the time is right? Call it victory, sweet revenge or just plain bliss: that would be a great way to end the series if this is indeed the rumored final season.
Tom and Rachel are very cute yet so alone while caught in the divine mess we call Alias. You have to wonder what they think when they return from a mission and do their report while watching the Bristows, Dixon and Marshall gather in a room and 'talk.' Also, remember that they know nothing of Rambaldi and what the last 13 years have developed. They are outcasts and Rachel is a pawn. This episode's quest for the computer program that makes bombs was ordinary but certainly captivating as Rachel went in her first Alias. We can finally see how Sydney thinks and how the best of spies are created. The voice in your head, whether on comms or in thought, is very important to the success of each mission. Syd talked a lot about that in this episode and how Vaughn guided her through all her successes. At the end Rachel says she wishes she could have met Vaughn and Syd just smiles and says 'I'll see you tomorrow." Tomorrow is another day on the job, another step towards seeing Vaughn again. There is a new danger with Sloane compromising everyone but Spy Dad has been through it too much not to see Sloane at it again. And Tom is a smart guy; Jack didn't just hire him to be a tough brawn.
I do have one big complaint about this episode though. It seemed as if once the main characters were taken out of play the direction and acting went sour. For example, when Peyton confronts Rachel and they duel it out, that was some of the worst acting and direction ever for the show. If they want the fans to like the new characters they have to step them up and make them powerful victims. However, the scenes where Sydney shopped for the rocking chair and watched other fathers with their kids really solidified the show. It brings it back to where it started in season one. The constant desire to bring down the bad guys and to get on with a peaceful, ordinary life is back. Sydney tells the saleslady that Vaughn "is great [as a father] and wishes he could do more." The whole situation parallels Jacks ongoing desire to protect Sydney as well as Irina in hiding actually helping more and more as "truth takes time." The show is coming full circle and paying off the biggest themes it has to offer. I have high hopes that everyone will become one just like in previous seasons and good will finally conquer evil.
* I was so glad to see that it was APO and not Dean's people who abducted Rachel's family.
* When talking to Sloane, Dean seems determined to appear powerful. If comes across as desperation, as if Dean knows that he's out of his league.
* Peyton's advice ("You're in way over your head") sounds like something a friend would say, but given the setting it was probably just a trick to mess with Rachel's head.