I See Dead People
At Nadia's funeral, Sydney vows not to repeat her mistake of showing Sloane compassion. An autopsy of Renee's body reveals a hidden chip; the data on the chip is incomplete, so Marshall can't crack the code. Since Vaughn's real name is etched on the chip, Jack suggests that they see what he knows about it. Sydney prepares to take the chip to Vaughn. Elsewhere, Peyton tries in vain to pressure Sloane into completing his study of Rambaldi's page 47. Thanks to Sloane's tapping the APO office, Prophet Five learns about the chip, and Peyton sends Anna Espinosa to retrieve it. When he's alone, Sloane sees Nadia, who says that Sloane has already decoded the page and is now stalling. In Nepal, Anna's henchman poses as Syd's contact. At APO, Marshall discovers that Prophet Five has been eavesdropping, and Jack calls to warn Sydney. In Syd's attempt to avoid an ambush on the road, the vehicle crashes. Dazed from the crash, Syd watches in disbelief as her double arrives and takes the chip. Syd quickly surmises that it's Anna. Anna ignites the fluids from the crashed vehicle and walks away. Syd barely escapes before the vehicle explodes. Anna arrives at the cabin, and Vaughn greets her with a kiss. As they discuss the chip that was found in Renee, he reveals an old scar on his chest. He allows Anna to cut into the scar, and she finds the other half of the chip. With the halves together, the data is readable: it's the blueprints of a nuclear fallout bunker in Hamburg, Germany. Vaughn says he's going with her to see what's there, and Anna calls for transport. As Syd arrives at the cabin, she sees a helicopter leaving with Vaughn and Anna, and she phones Jack to fill him in. At APO, Jack shows Tom, Marshall, Dixon, and Rachel a surveillance photo from Hamburg that shows Vaughn with a woman who looks like Sydney. Jack explains that Anna is the woman. Meanwhile, Sloane tells Peyton that he needs a certain manuscript to decode page 47. After Peyton leaves a bookstore with the manuscript, the shopkeeper phones someone to report that a woman followed the protocol for making contact. When Peyton returns, Sloane says that he needs to make peace with the past. A guard accompanies him to a church, where he lights a candle. As they leave, Sark retrieves a message from the matchbook that Sloane left by the candle. In Hamburg, Anna and Vaughn enter a diamond store; Anna watches the shopkeeper while Vaughn heads to the basement to look for access to the bunker. As he finds a large room full of his father's research, Anna arrives, pointing a gun at him. When she tries to shoot, he reveals that he removed the bullets because he knew she wasn't the real Sydney. They fight. Vaughn gets the upper hand until Anna starts to fight dirty. She grabs another gun and aims it at Vaughn, but she is suddenly shot from behind. A bullet pierces her head and she falls, revealing Sydney at the door. With the information in the research about Prophet Five, Syd says that they can end it all. Anna's phone rings. Sydney answers, and Peyton tells her of the pickup spot. Syd tells Vaughn that this is her chance to stop Prophet Five. Vaughn gives her half of the chip and a way that APO can track her, and he watches, concerned, as Syd goes to meet Peyton, posing as Anna.
[Syd places a flower on Nadia, in the casket.]
Sydney: How could I have trusted him again? After everything?
Peyton: It's been almost a week already, Mr. Sloane. So, when do you think we may see some results?
Sloane: This isn't a crossword puzzle, Miss Peyton. The key to Rambaldi's endgame is encoded within that manuscript, where it has remained hidden for the past five hundred years . . . I hardly think that a week is unreasonable.
Peyton: I know you've had to make some tough sacrifices. We all have.
Sloane: You think I'm having a crisis of conscience because I killed Nadia? Let me be clear: no one will stand between me and the fulfillment of Rambaldi's ultimate vision. No one.
"Unless you and your superiors know someone else who's familiar with fifteenth century cryptography . . . I'm sure you can wait a few more days." Sloane, basically telling Peyton to back off
Jack: Who would've thought thirty-year-old encrypted algorithms would present a problem?
Marshall: Well, they wouldn't if the code was complete, but half the data's missing, probably corrupted over time.
Jack: Isn't it her nap time?
Sydney: Oh, I wish. Apparently this little girl doesn't need to sleep any more. We got a collective four hours last night.
Jack: Must be genetic. You used to wake up at four a.m. every day like clockwork.
Sydney: I'm sorry about that . . .
Jack: Marshall believes the chip was placed inside Renee almost thirty years ago.
Sydney: Vaughn and Renee didn't know each other thirty years ago.
Jack: No, but their fathers did. Vaughn told you they were working together against Prophet Five.
"We don't have a choice. Sloane's decision to openly join Prophet Five suggests that they're close to their endgame. Right now, this chip is our only lead." Jack, to Sydney, about involving Vaughn
"CONTACT MADE. AWAITING RESPONSE." The message that Tom decoded from a magazine
Tom: When you were working at The Shed, did you ever see an agent buried?
Tom: It takes a while to get over it.
Rachel: What if I can't? What if I'm not cut out for this?
"They were right in front of me the whole time, deceiving me, and I was oblivious." Rachel, unaware that Tom is yet another person who has been deceiving her
"In this business, it's always the children who suffer." Anna, about to start (and lose) a verbal sparring match with Sloane
Anna: It troubles you, doesn't it? Looking at me, seeing her look back at you.
Sloane: You're nothing like her.
Anna (sarcastically): I suppose you know what I'm like.
Sloane: You're driven by anger. You crave power, which I assume is something you were deprived of in childhood. Sydney, on the other hand, is driven by a sense of duty - of loyalty - to those she loves. It's where she gets her strength.
Anna: It's also what makes her weak. Attachments are a vulnerability, too easily exploited.
Sloane: And yet, she somehow always manages to best you. And now a victory she's not even aware of.
Sloane: I imagine you do your best to avoid mirrors, yes?
Anna: And I suppose you believe you're driven by faith. Look where it's gotten you.
Sloane: Unlike yourself, I know my place in the big picture. You, however, will continue to deceive yourself if you think you're anything more than dispensable.
"Lovely catching up." Anna, seething as she storms out
"The truth is, you're no different than she is. You're dispensable, too." Nadia, to Sloane
Flunkie: Vaughn? Isn't he . . . ?
Anna: Apparently not.
Marshall (very nervous): We're out of coffee.
Marshall: Yeah, uh, I- I know you might not think that's important . . . A lot of people who don't drink coffee generally . . . might say that you should have some tea or . . . some soda, which also has some caffeine . . . but I'm telling you it's not the same. It's important.
[He presents Jack with the note he was scribbling as he rambled.]
Anna: Sorry, Syd. Don't have time to chat. I've got a date. Now, I don't know exactly what I'm gonna do with your boyfriend . . . But whatever it is, I'll have fun doing it.
"The doctor says I don't need this anymore. I think it looks debonair." Vaughn, about the cane he's using
"What was it you wanted? Clementine?" Vaughn, about naming the baby Isabelle
Vaughn: I had this fear I'd never see you again. Silly, huh?
Anna: Maybe a little . . .
"I'll skip the history lesson if you don't mind." Peyton, after Sloane begins to expound on the influences on Rambaldi's writing
Nadia: How long do you think you can deceive them? Page 47 . . . eventually they're going to find out you already know what it says. You're stalling. You must have some plan.
Sloane: Why don't you understand, Nadia . . . Every sacrifice I've ever made has been for the greater good.
Nadia: Yet every sacrifice you've made has come at someone else's expense.
Sloane: All those years I was worried about your well-being . . . and now I realize, in the end, I had no choice.
Nadia: You still believe that, don't you. That your actions are controlled by fate? That you were chosen?
Nadia: Surely you must ask yourself: why would Rambaldi choose you? You're not a man of honor. You're not particularly courageous. You're charitable, but only when it serves your own interests. And last but not least, you murder the people you claim to love.
Sloane: Why are you here?
Nadia: Dad . . . I'm here because you want me here. Now you can pursue Rambaldi and have your daughter at the same time. Isn't that what you said you wanted? Just before you killed me?
"Maybe the code isn't corrupted at all. Maybe there's another half." Vaughn, revealing that he has a mysterious 30-year-old scar
"Her chin is pointy, like mine. It's . . . cute." Anna, describing Isabelle for Vaughn
"For the last several months, Vaughn's been kept in a secure location in Nepal, pending his recovery. I hope you can all understand that secrecy was a necessary measure to ensure his safety." Jack, revealing to Rachel, Tom, Dixon, and Marshall that Vaughn is alive
Anna: How do you want to handle this.
Vaughn: Like we did in Cartagena.
Anna (pausing briefly to calculate her response): I'll follow your lead.
Nadia: Do you really think you can get away with this? You're out of your league.
"They're better than you. Smarter. What makes you think you stand a chance?" Nadia, to Sloane who doesn't have time to respond because Peyton arrives
"This should solve all your problems." Peyton, about the book (and maybe more?)
Sloane: You're right. I am distracted. In order for me to concentrate on the future . . . I need to make peace with the past.
"A stone of that quality has this effect on some people." The shopkeeper, after Anna's hand starts to shake
"Sydney and I never went to Cartagena." Vaughn, revealing that he took the bullets out of the gun
Vaughn: And just for the record, you're a terrible kisser.
Anna: I always said you were too good for Sydney.
"You can't go back to APO. There are moles within the Government. We can't trust anyone." Sydney, to Vaughn
Sydney: Nothing I couldn't handle.
Peyton: And Sydney?
Sydney: She's dead . . . This is what they found inside Renee Rienne.
Peyton: Nice work. Well, if you were able to pull this off, the rest should be easy.
I was on the verge of complaining about the excess of severely lame episode titles for this season, and then they present I See Dead People. This could be an overall tongue-in-cheek reference to the show's penchant for bringing back characters who have supposedly died. That would apply to this episode specifically - "Vaughn? Isn't he...?" "Apparently not." - but the title is fitting for many of the other scenes as well. The episode started with a funeral and an autopsy. Then Nadia appears to Sloane. Finally, Anna dies, and here at the end of series, the writers are giving us death scenes (e.g. a bullet through the head) that have a sense of finality.
Although the death scenes are less ambiguous, the mystery continues. For example, why have an autopsy done on Renee? What did they expect to find? True, they did find something, but whatever made them think they would? The fact that this move lead to Vaughn's involvement makes me suspect/dread that once again, things are moving along according to Prophet Five's agenda.
Continuing with the paranoid thoughts, when Sydney got in the car with Peyton, for the teensiest moment, I thought with horror, "What if Syd really died and this is Anna?" Since I first saw the Syd double, I've had a nagging fear that the show would end with that horrible cliche where we're left wondering whether the good double or the bad double was the one who died. Yeah, I should've had more faith than that. Of course it was Anna who died here. Having Syd go undercover takes us back to where everything started, with her being a double agent.
But what if Prophet Five wanted Syd to win? Sloane pointed out that Syd always manages to best Anna. Maybe Prophet Five counted on Syd beating Anna and taking her place. Then, while acting like she was one of them, Sydney - the real Prophecy Girl according to Irina - would be doing whatever was supposed to be done to fulfill the prophecy. I, for one, would hate for this to be the case. I'm tired of Prophet Five having an all-encompassing master plan that somehow directs everyone's actions. I'd like to see the good guys get the upper hand for a change.
From what we saw of Sloane, I think this is what is happening. It first appeared that Sloane was completely gone; he was positively chilling when he declared that no one would stand in his way of fulfilling Rambaldi's work. He acted as if he wasn't even sorry that he killed his own daughter, but when the visions of her started, it became clear that wasn't the case. We saw a hint of something more when Nadia revealed that he has already decoded the page, and then Nadia spelled it out for us by saying that Sloane has a plan.
When the shopkeeper spoke of an attempt to make contact, I decided that Sloane is working for this Cardinal person that Tom has been trying to reach. I was so caught up in all the new developments that I forgot that David Anders was listed as a guest star, so I expected Tom to retrieve the matchbook that Sloane left. However, having Sark there is a much more interesting twist. Now, with Irina still involved, Will back in witness protection, Weiss in D.C. and the dearly departed actually departed, it looks like the gang's all here . . . or at least accounted for.
* Alternating between scenes of the funeral and the autopsy showed the contrast between the love people had for Nadia and the cold, clinical treatment of Renee's body.
* Peyton sounded truly remorseful when she told Sloane that they'd all made tough sacrifices. I wonder if we'll see any of the back-story on this.
* Although JG is a wonderfully versatile actress, she just wasn't convincing when she tried to look tough as Sloane sees Syd's double for the first time.
* I love that even after all the time apart, Vaughn wasn't fooled by a look-alike of Syd. I would have been disappointed if he had. When they kissed, I thought, "Can he not tell that's not Syd?!"
* Sloane, too, could tell that Anna wasn't Syd. He knows Syd that well?
* It is very tough to transcribe Marshall's rambles because I get caught up in watching him, amused.
* Apparently burning part of page 47 did not destroy the message.
* When Vaughn revealed his scar, I half expected Anna to knock him down and slice it right out.
* When Nadia attempted to dissuade Sloane from going through with his plan, I wondered if her appearance was part of some Prophet Five trick to mess with his head. Again, I hope this isn't the case.
* How did the Nadia ghost know that Renee was dead? Yet she only said that Sydney was "probably" dead.
* Does Prophet Five know about Vaughn? Surely Anna mentioned him when she called for pickup, but Peyton didn't ask about him.
* Could Irina be The Cardinal? If I recall correctly, Rambaldi did some work on extending life: the Cardinal might turn out to be Rambaldi himself.