All the Time in the World
In a flashback, Sydney recalls the night that Jack told her that her mother had been killed; he told her that he needed her to be strong. Vaughn soon finds the unconscious Syd and revives her using CPR. Peyton brings Sloane a sphere - the Sphere of Life - sent from someone in Hong Kong. In another flashback, Syd recalls how as a young girl, she assembled an indicator puzzle, and Jack realized that she possesses the extraordinary skills needed to be a successful agent. After learning that Sloane has acquired two missiles, APO works to track him through the money for the payoff. They don't find Sloane, but they catch Peyton. Under duress, Peyton confesses where Sloane is. In Mongolia, Sloane enters a building marked with the Rambaldi symbol. He heads down to a chamber deep within the earth. Sloane puts the sphere in its place, and soon a red ball (i.e. "circumference") hovers over the sphere. Arriving on the scene, Syd sneaks into the chamber. She picks up the sphere, which has turned red. Syd threatens to destroy it, but Sark appears, revealing that he's caught Jack and Vaughn. When Syd hesitates in returning the object, Sloane shoots Jack. Syd drops the sphere and rushes to Jack's side as Vaughn fights Sark. Furious, Syd turns and shoots Sloane repeatedly, and he falls dead into a pool of red liquid. Sark escapes as Vaughn and Syd help Jack out of the chamber. Vaughn radios Dixon, telling him to send a medical unit; Dixon does and reports that they've discovered the identity of Sloane's partner. Vaughn gives Syd the news: Irina is working with Sloane. Jack encourages Syd to go stop Irina. Very reluctant to leave the severely-wounded Jack, Syd goes. Another flashback shows how, while considering promoting Sydney to field agent, Sloane asks if she is willing to make the sacrifices that the job requires; Sydney assures him that she is. Elsewhere, Sark arrives and gives Irina the sphere. She tells him to prepare to launch the missiles at Washington DC and London. With Sark gone, Syd confronts Irina. Syd knows that the sphere is The Horizon, the reason Irina repeatedly betrayed her. Irina declares that Rambaldi held the secrets of eternal life. In Mongolia, Sloane's wounds are healed and he returns to life. As he's about to exit the chamber, Jack appears. Sloane boasts that Jack can't hurt him anymore. Jack agrees, but he notes that he can keep Sloane there. Jack detonates the explosives he's holding and causes a cave-in. Sloane soon wakes up, trapped immobile under a large piece of stone. He sees Nadia, who echoes his words - he has "all the time in the world" - before leaving him alone in his prison. Meanwhile, as Vaughn persuades Sark to provide the codes that will stop the missile launch, Sydney and Irina fight. Syd kicks Irina, who lands on a large skylight. Syd says that the glass won't hold her and urges Irina to come take her hand. The glass starts to break; Irina apologizes but greedily continues to reach for The Horizon. As she grabs the sphere, the glass gives way, and she falls to her death. Years later, Isabelle runs to greet "Uncle Dixon," who is visiting Vaughn and Sydney in their secluded home on the beach. Syd introduces Dixon to the new baby, a boy named Jack. Dixon asks for help on a mission. In her room, Isabelle finds the indicator puzzle and assembles it. She knocks it down and goes to join the others for a walk on the beach.
(Quotes from the flashbacks are in italics.)
"I'm not sure Elephant counts as a job, Lawrence." Sydney's grade school teacher to one of her classmates
"We don't have time to mourn right now." Dixon, ushering Rachel back to work
Sloane: I saw the news reports on Los Angeles. Good work.
Sark: I'm not certain "good" is the proper word for it, but thank you.
Sloane: Don't tell me you're having second thoughts.
Sark: Of course not. It's just, it's not every day one gets to be part of . . . global genocide.
"We've had a situation here. Home base has been . . . compromised. Tom didn't make it." Jack, filling Vaughn in
Jack: It's a test, called an indicator. People in my line of work use it to identify people with a highly-developed sense of three-dimensional reasoning. Very few people can do it; I can't do it.
Young Syd: You can't?
Jack: What it means, Sydney, is . . . you are a very special girl.
Vaughn: You think it's Sloane?
Sydney: Whatever he's up to, he said it was too late to be stopped.
Vaughn: He also said that he'd wipe out everyone at APO. He was wrong.
Sydney: It's impossible. We don't have a single lead. We can't trust the CIA...
Vaughn: Sydney, stop it, alright? You basically died today. You and I have gotten pretty good at impossible.
Sydney (to Peyton): I'm well aware that you're tough. That you've been conditioned to withstand torture. But I have something you don't have . . . I have your former best friend.
Rachel: And I know what you're afraid of.
Francie: You have four years to figure out what kind of job you want.
Sydney: I just had a meeting with my advisor, and she yelled at me because I still haven't picked a major.
Francie: Education. Done. You can be a teacher, like your mom. I mean, you always talked about how happy she was.
Sydney: I've always thought about teaching as my safety net.
Francie: Teaching's no "safety net." You know how dangerous it is to be a teacher? Kids bring knives to school these days.
Francie: Charlie is bringing a friend tonight - Danny something? We'll pick you up at eight.
Sydney: Rachel, listen. Prophet Five is gone. Your family is no longer in danger. You don't have to do this anymore.
Rachel: People have given their lives for this. I'm not gonna bail on them now. I'm in this until it's over.
"Does it have to be so filthy? If Rambaldi can prophesy the future, he might advise me not to wear five hundred dollar shoes." Sark, entering the chamber in Mongolia
Sark: It's quite a climb.
Sloane: You needn't worry. The next step is for me alone.
Nadia: Is it everything you imagined?
Sloane: Nadia. I'm so glad you're here. If I didn't have someone to share this with, I may have doubted my own eyes.
Nadia: You're talking to your dead daughter. This is an odd time to question your sanity.
Sloane: Perhaps . . .
Sydney: If I give this to you, what's to guarantee you won't shoot us anyway?
Sloane: Despite what you may think, I'm not heartless.
Jack: What did you do, rob a bank?
Sydney: Sort of. I got a job at a bank.
"I didn't come to ask your permission. I've already made my decision." Sydney, after Jack tells her to quit Credit Dauphine
"There's no one in this world that can do the things that you can do." Jack, telling Sydney to go stop Irina
Irina: Did everything go according to plan?
Sark: Your daughter arrived. Mucked things up a bit.
"There's a reason my fees are so high." Sark, revealing that he brought The Horizon
Irina: I don't expect you to understand. We're very different, Sydney. Instead of clinging to naive ideals . . . I learned at a very young age, the only currency worth anything in this world is power.
Sydney: And The Horizon gives you that.
Irina: I've spent a lifetime acquiring power. With this . . . I don't ever have to give it up.
Irina: I offered you an out; I gave you your daughter. I was hoping you'd settle down. Leave me to my affairs.
Sydney: You don't know me very well, do you.
Irina: Sadly, I think I do. After all, I'm still your mother.
Sydney: I am through being disappointed by you.
Sloane: Sydney, I want to know that you have given this job its proper consideration. I realize that you have a romantic notion of the espionage trade, but this job is more than just brush passes and dead drops.
Sloane: You will be forced to make decisions that will haunt you for the rest of your life. This job requires sacrifice, and you need to know that you are able to live with that.
Sydney: I can, Sir.
Sydney: This is my purpose. It's in my blood. It's what I am. I have never been so sure of anything in my life.
"The stars will fall from the sky." Sydney, watching the burning satellites streak across the sky
Sark: You shot me!
Vaughn: Yeah, and I'll keep shooting you until you either give me the codes or bleed to death. Your choice.
"For whatever it's worth, I truly do love you." Irina, after kicking Sydney
Jack: I owe you an apology, Arvin. I never gave your faith in Rambaldi the credit it deserved.
Sloane: Jack, I didn't want to shoot you. Sydney forced my hand.
Jack: Yes. She can be very . . . stubborn at times.
Jack: You've caused my daughter so much pain. I could've prevented it. I won't continue to make that mistake.
Sloane: I think you've overestimated your position, Jack. You can't hurt me anymore.
Jack: True. But I can keep you down here with me.
[He shows that he's holding explosives and a detonator.]
Sloane: What are you doing?
Jack (smiling): You beat death, Arvin . . . but you couldn't beat me.
[He presses a button and a huge explosion follows.]
Sloane: I can't move!
Nadia: Well, as you said, you have all the time in the world. Unfortunately, I think you'll have to spend it here.
Vaughn: Deputy Director.
Dixon: Please. This far from Langley, you can just call me Sir.
Dixon: This job has . . . sentimental value.
[Dixon opens the folder to show a picture of the bad guy.]
Sydney: Don't look at me; you're the one that let him go.
Dixon: Who knows. Could be fun.
Sydney: That's what you say every time you show up on my doorstep. And the next thing you know, I'm jumping over canals in three-inch heels while Napalm explodes around me.
Dixon: Yes. That's how I define "fun."
Even without "all the time in the world," (ooh, that was bad. Apologies.) the writers managed to answer some of the questions, and they did so while remaining consistent with much of the story to this point. They included elements from the quest-for-Vaughn's-father subplot, so the time spent on that wasn't wasted. Rachel's past as an unwitting bad guy helped in the present as she knew how to make Peyton talk. On a larger scale, Sloane's bringing Syd into the spy life all those years ago is what ultimately prepared her for her biggest fight. Rambaldi devices that we've seen before were combined to reveal what the Rambaldi-obsessed have been after all this time.
My only disappointment with this episode was that they took the predictable route of killing Jack. I grudgingly admit that he died a "good death," as I've heard it called, in sacrificing himself to stop Sloane from escaping. After Sloane wakes up trapped, we realize that Jack got off easy by dying.
JJ has said that he has no plans to make an 'Alias' movie in the near future, but the finale's ending leaves several possibilities for continuing the adventure. Isabelle could - please! NO! - turn into a spy kid. Vaughn and Sydney could return to work for a mission requiring their unique skills. Sloane could be discovered and freed by archaeologists. Irina, having grabbed hold of the Sphere of Life before she fell, could come back to life. The possibilities are endless. Perhaps JJ just needs a little more time.
* When I saw Merrin Dungey's name listed in the credits, I assumed with much dread that she'd be playing Allison. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to see her as Francie.
* I would have expected Jack from the flashbacks to be more like the season one Jack, very business-like without much to say. Then again, from what we saw here, it seemed that it was Syd's decision to remain with Credit Dauphine that caused a rift between them.
* The Rambaldi-equals-eternal-life revelation had been hinted at before when Sloane told Emily in Truth Takes Time that she could live cancer free forever.
* Sloane pretty much had to be trapped where he couldn't move, or else he could have eventually dug his way out.
* More predictability: Syd having a baby named Jack and Isabelle assembling the blocks.
* Syd finally got what she wanted: to be with Vaughn on the beach.