At APO, Marshall has intercepted transmissions from British Intelligence about the test and sale of a Micro-Pulse Bomb, a weapon that destroys people within its range but leaves everything else intact. Jack meets with Elizabeth, his MI-6 contact, and asks her to secretly investigate her agency. Soon Jack reports to APO that though unable to find the double agent, Elizabeth discovered the name of the MPB's creator, Lukas Basarov. Rachel is tasked to go to Brazil and upload bugging software to Basarov's computer, so that the team can track the sale of the weapon. Rachel checks into her hotel posing as a British engineer; unknown to her, the man in the room next door is Julian Sark, and his goal is the same as Rachel's. After accomplishing the first step, Rachel goes to the bar to have a drink. Sark strikes up a conversation, introducing himself as Bob Brown. They hit it off and soon wind up in Sark's room. The next morning, Rachel hurries out to complete the next part of her mission. Back at APO, Sydney notices Rachel's good mood, and Rachel confesses that she met a man during her trip. Jack and Elizabeth travel to Spain to catch Basarov selling his weapon to the British double agent, but Sydney, watching the camera transmission, recognizes a terrorist named Masari. Masari's men kill Basarov, abduct Jack and Elizabeth, and escape with the MPB. Having lost contact with Jack, APO scrambles to track Masari. Sloane deduces that Masari found out about the bomb the same way APO did, and the hotel's security footage reveals that Sark was there. As the others report on Sark's villainous character, Syd sees Rachel's stricken reaction and realizes that Sark was her one night stand. While in Sark's room, Rachel noticed a plane ticket, and Sydney and Rachel find him in the Bahamas. Sydney wants to hire him to help them find Jack. Sark calls Masari and sets up a meeting during which Tom and Dixon sneak in and free Jack and Elizabeth. Rachel finds Sark handcuffed to the MPB, which is ticking down from eight minutes. Marshall and Sydney talk Rachel through disarming the weapon. Later, Sark declines payment for his services.
British Lady: Have you chosen a name? I myself have always been partial to Rupert. Such a distinguished name. A shame it's fallen out of favor. Wouldn't you agree, dear?
Sydney: Rupert. It's a classic.
[Jack hits a few keys on the piano.]
Elizabeth: Do you still play?
Jack: No. Gave it up years ago.
Jack: I take it Joseph still doesn't know what you do for a living.
Elizabeth: How would it look for the French ambassador to have a spook for a wife?
Elizabeth: Are you suggesting we have a double agent?
Jack: Yes. But it goes much deeper than that. Have you ever heard of Prophet Five?
Elizabeth: Unless she's wearing a very convincing disguise--
Jack: --I'm going to be a grandfather. A very young grandfather.
Elizabeth: What you're asking me to do - to investigate my own agency - that's treason.
Jack: What's a little treason among old friends?
"Apparently he has a side business." Dixon, after hearing that Basarov is a professor with two advanced degrees
Marshall: Sounds awesome!
[Jack and the others look at him.]
Marshall: Well, Brazil. Isn't that, you know, the place where they have the, um, string ... what are they called, not bikinis but, um--
Sydney: When's the last time you did something just for fun?
Rachel: Hitting Gordon Dean on the head with a shovel, that was fun.
"You have to have a life." Sydney, to Rachel
"Look. I have - what do you call them? Groupie." Basarov, after Rachel asks him to sign her copy of his article
"I'm trying to lay off the carbs . . . Get it here in ten minutes and I'll triple the gratuity." Sark, ordering room service
Sark (American accent): The conference that bad?
Rachel (British accent): No, it's just . . . you know . . . tough day. Sometimes at these work events I feel like I'm in over my head. I just started in a new division; it's a bit more responsibility. More risks.
Sark: Sounds like you need to rethink your perspective a little bit. Anything in life worth doing has an element of risk. It's what makes life interesting.
Rachel: So, Bob. You here on business as well?
Sark: Yes. I'm in international trade.
Rachel: What do you trade?
Sark: Whatever my clients pay me to trade.
Rachel: Do you like it?
Sark: Hell, yeah. I work freelance, so I get to travel, meet all sorts of fascinating people - present company included. Last year, I tried something a little different . . . something more conventional. Stable.
Rachel: How'd that work out?
Sark: It didn't. I was terrible at it . . . [He laughs.] . . . I was so bored that I wanted to blow my brains out.
Rachel: I just moved. Left my entire life behind, actually.
Sark: Fresh starts are good, right?
Rachel: There's this one woman; she's amazing and she's about to have a baby. I'm not sure I could manage work and a goldfish.
Sark: Well, aquariums are overrated. Remember that.
Rachel: Just so you know, I don't usually do this.
Sark: Well, I appreciate you making the exception. But you should know that gorgeous engineers have a way of throwing themselves at me, so--
Rachel: I did not throw myself at you.
Sark: Okay, okay. If that's what you need to believe...
Sark: We're in the tropics, so how about some rum?
[He sees her with her clothes, about to leave.]
Sark: Okay, so . . . you hate rum.
Sydney: Are you going to see him again?
Rachel: He thinks I'm Lydia, a British engineer.
Sydney: Oh, rats. Yeah.
Rachel: So, no, I guess.
Sydney: Guess what happens in Brazil stays in Brazil.
[Jack walks in.]
Jack: What happened in Brazil?
Sydney: Um . . . Rachel got food poisoning.
Jack (to Rachel): Sorry.
Tom: Who is this guy?
Sydney: Kidnapper, extortionist, murderer - the list goes on. Formerly tied to SD-6 and the Covenant. Mostly works for himself.
Rachel (quietly, recalling what Sark had told her): "Freelance."
Sark: I'm warning you, if you're planning on arresting me, I'm not going to make it easy on you. People could get hurt.
Sydney: We aren't here to arrest you. We're here to hire you.
Masari: You were transmitting a video feed when you were found. Where was it going?
[Jack and Elizabeth look at each other, then Elizabeth turns to Masari.]
Elizabeth: Holiday photos.
"Does this mean we can't be friends?" Sark, after Rachel is cold to him
Marshall: Okay, great. Just unscrew it.
Rachel: Okay, "unscrew it." With what?
Sark: Might I suggest something sharp?
Rachel: So, what happened?
Sark: I overestimated my friendship with Masari. He assumed I was betraying him, and he took the money, and he left.
Rachel: Oh. So then, he knows you pretty well.
[Sark nods an affirmative.]
[Rachel starts to cut a wire on the bomb.]
Sark: W-wait. If that's the wrong one--
Rachel: I thought you liked risks.
Sark: I also like my body . . . As I recall, you do, too.
Sark: Don't you want to get Dixon? No offense, but you haven't had the best judgment lately.
Marshall: That should work.
Sydney: Should or will?
[Rachel stops as she's about to cut another wire.]
Rachel: Just so we're clear: you approached me. You were the one that was stupid enough to let me into your room, and afterwards, you were the one that wanted to cuddle.
Sydney: About what you just heard--
Marshall: Don't need to know, don't wanna know.
Tom: Give us the account number. We'll wire you your fee.
[Sark looks over at Rachel.]
Sark: Don't bother. This one's a freebie.
by Abbie, abbs006[AT]mail.com
Is it just me or can you all just feel how the entire alias staff - from writers to actors - are waiting out Jennifer's pregnancy? It's such a shame that we have to be bored now while we watch our favorite show. Especially since Sark returned! They had prime opportunity to reinvent the season here and link it with season 3 but all we get is Rachel's episode of trying to have a little fun and then, Oops, it happens to be with Sark. Sark would know exactly who she is AND he would never misjudge a relationship like he did to get himself handcuffed to the deadliest of all bombs.
Let me start with the train scene. It was reused footage from the season 4 premiere and shows characters we do not even know. Season 5 has had plenty of new characters, why not use them all in the actual show plot lines? So then we learn that the bomb is an improved mechanism based on Rambaldi's insta-incineration death toy that Sloane and Sark handled in season 2. APO must find who is behind it so Sydney and spy dad go to England? Huh? Jack has a lady spy friend just waiting out in England who isn't shy about sharing her sexual tension towards him? Huh? Why hasn't he ever contacted her before if she was so high up in the intelligence scheme? This was the point where the episode lost its focus. Sydney was unbelievably cute in her alias but it went nowhere.
Then Sark came along. I thought, yes!! The sneaking in the hotel room was fun but then the long, drawn out waste of time bonding for he and Rachel in the bar was just a plain time sucker. Why couldn't he seduce her or use her to get what he wants; why couldn't we see the Sark we all know and miss?! It was cute that Rachel had to impress Sark in the end by disarming a bomb but the fact is that they had zero chemistry and Sark's involvement in this made no sense.
With all these thin plot lines it makes the characters even seem like they are slipping. Dixon is held in shadows this season when he was once a CIA director and Marshall is still just a techie geek. I wish we could see their development as we did at the end of season 3. APO has made everyone boring and clueless to the world around them and that is precisely why there seems like there is nowhere to go. The line where Dixon says to Sydney, "You and I both know that Jack wouldn't want you to go [rescue him]" was a blatant telling of where the writers are now but it doesn't give them the excuse to jump the shark and throw in sex, torture scenes and slipping villains and call it an Alias episode.
Vaughn is back next episode and it's also the last one before the show comes back and Syd will have the baby. I said it in my last review that the show will rocket forth from that point but now I am questioning my senses.
Bottom line; nothing happened in this episode and the characters were extremely unfamiliar. I miss the smart missions with emotional core to the plot. The title of the episode is misleading and unfulfilled. I must grant this episode a 1 out of 5; with the 1 being generous just because of the bomb itself.
Well, this definitely wasn't what I expected of Sark's return. After watching the preview for this episode - something I typically try my best to avoid - I really appreciated that Sark's fling with Rachel *didn't* take the expected course of him using her. Instead, we saw a rare event on this show where two characters share a moment of honesty, even as they are hiding behind their aliases.
Sydney told Rachel, "You have to have a life." Sydney learned this lesson well. Rachel's world was turned upside down, so taking down Dean's organization is the only thing she dares let herself hope for. Similarly, for a while taking down SD-6 was the only reason that Sydney got up in the morning. After rebuilding her relationship with her father, falling in love with Vaughn, and now about to have a baby, Sydney has realized that a job is simply that: a job.
Sark, too, seems to have learned that life is not made up of work alone. As Bob, he told Rachel that he gave up trying to be what he isn't, and yet the cold-blooded killer that he once was would never have reassured her that she has nothing to regret. I think this gives credibility to the change of heart he claimed to have last season.
In this episode which was, as I see it, primarily about the interaction between the characters, the final shot of Jack playing the piano was significant. He had told Elizabeth that he gave up the piano, perhaps as an attempt to distance himself from her. However, I think that Jack would have talked to spare Elizabeth from further harm had she told him not to. Knowing Jack's inner strength, this speaks volumes about his real feelings for her.
* Like Abbie, the Micro-Pulse Bomb reminded me of that old Rambaldi weapon that burned the people in the church. Which begs the question, "What is the writers' obsession with melting flesh?!"
* Rachel can take solace in the fact that had she not been with Sark and seen the plane ticket, APO would have lost its only lead to finding Jack.
* Elizabeth's husband seemed a bit suspicious the way he kept trying to find/contact her.
* At the end of the ep, was Jack in Elizabeth's house? I couldn't tell.
* During Jack and Syd's phone call in the final scene, I half expected a sudden turn where Jack may be evil. Again, I'm very glad they avoided that this time.