2. "She taught me the meaning of family." Ow. Okay, probably true, but did Jack really deserve that poke in the eye? Not that I think Syd is probably even aware that she's done it.
3. I like the contrast between Renée's and Nadia's final rests. Although, one would think Nadia really ought to have had an autopsy too.
4. Alas, this whole emotional arc with Syd vowing vengeance on Sloane just doesn't touch me the way it should, because of the way they messed up the death scene in the last episode. I can't feel for Syd's sense of trust betrayed when the show had to twist Sloane forcibly out of character to make him break that trust in the way he did.
5. "Has he asked for anything?" / "No. Just a pitcher of water." Heeee. Oh, Sloane. You just gotta be you, right up to the very end.
6. To be fair, Sloane, what with Peyton working for Prophet 5 the odds are she actually does know somebody else who's familiar with 15th century cryptography.
7. I like this little moment of Syd dealing with a non-sleeping baby. It's a nice touch of reality. Also, Jack peering around the side of the door to get a look at the baby as Sydney approaches him is utterly adorable.
8. Huh, Jack, I think it's kind of... reaching to assume Vaughn would know anything about the encrypted data on a chip implanted by his daddy 30 years ago when he didn't know a thing about Prophet 5 until Renée approached him. (Unless you're just providing your baby girl with an excuse to see her boyfriend, in which case, go you.)
9. Heh. Sloane is totally talking to Peyton as if he's her boss. I love how he just casually assumes the authority in any organisation he walks in to.
10. If you're decoding something surreptitiously, Grace, is it really particularly sensible to do it in big red letters with a marker pen in the middle of the freakin' office? Seriously, people. Take your espionage home with you.
11. Rachel, I wouldn't feel too bad about being deceived by Sloane, considering - if your lack of knowledge of Rambaldi is any guide - nobody ever even bothered to tell you he was a former criminal genius.
12. I love Anna-Syd's eye-roll when Sloane tells her Isabelle's name, like she's thinking, 'Lame!'
13. I could be exasperated by the use of heavy eye makeup to distinguish between Syd and evil-Syd, but instead I shall consider it a cleverly subtle point about how tiny details like how to apply makeup can trip a Helix clone up.
14. Ah, Sloane, always so good at the psychoanalysis. Pity you can't seem to turn it inwards effectively.
15. Do Sloane and Anna have history of some sort? I don't think they've ever met during the show, but she was on his must-not-contact list at APO and they play this scene like she knows him.
16. Okay, when you're hallucinating your dead daughter, I think you've officially passed the point of mentally unbalanced and are into total breakdown territory. Something in Sloane's brain has clearly snapped after Nadia's death. (Unless, I guess, we go with the intriguing thought that he's been hallucinating stuff for much longer than this and we just haven't witnessed it on-camera.)
17. The reveal that it's Anna-Syd we're seeing in Nepal is nicely subtle.
18. "We're out of coffee." Heh. Oh, Marshall. Also, you could have saved yourself some weirded out looks from Jack by writing out that 'we're being bugged' note before you got to his office. Just saying.
19. Sloane installed most of the systems. Sloane installed most of the systems. The CIA didn't just put him in charge of their black ops unit, they gave him free reign to set up all the internal tech however he felt like? Alias universe CIA, you boggle me.
20. Also - different intonation here - Sloane installed most of the systems? Hmm. This kind of plays into my personal fanon theory that Sloane may have been a bit of a techie back in his CIA agent days. We know he was in the Engineers before he was recruited, he shows he knows his way around a phone system in "Breaking Point", and of course he has a gift for making sense of Rambaldi's machines. I don't think he's necessarily that much of a computer guy, but I can definitely believe he knows his hardware.
21. Sloppy, Anna. You should know better than to try and take a Bristow out with a mere explosion. ...Actually, now I'm remembering the episode where she tries to shoot Nadia and doesn't check to find out that the 'body' is a collection of blood bags, so it seems that not bothering to make sure is a consistent flaw of Anna's.
22. You know, it's interesting the list of Sloane's faults 'Nadia' recites to him, considering she's supposed to be the voice of his own conscience. He knows he's not a man of honour, considers himself "not particularly courageous", is aware that his charitable gestures are self-serving, and considers himself responsible for murdering his loved ones. That's more self-awareness than you'd expect of him, no matter how well-buried.
It's kind of fascinating, actually, that Sloane would invent a Nadia to tell himself these things. Because he's always had that disconnect in his mind, the ability to compartmentalise his delusional self-image from the part of him that's so shrewd at predicting and analysing how people will react to his actions, and it's like he's finally stretched the two so far apart that they've splintered into something almost like a split personality.
23. Wow, those monks have some fancy software on their computers. Either that or Michaux and Goursaud wasted a lot of the encoding space on those two 70s-era computer chips writing in a funky 'image loading' animation.
24. And I guess Nadia's work as Sloane's inner voice here proves that he's insecure about the depth of his own awesomeness? Because seriously, Prophet 5 are so NOT out of Sloane's league. Nobody is IN Sloane's league. He has his own league. He has his own private bowling alley.
27. Oh, Peyton, it's going to take way more than a manuscript to solve all of Sloane's problems.
28. I always have to call BS when somebody pulls the clip from a gun without their enemy noticing. Wouldn't you be able to tell straight away from the weight?
27. "And just for the record... you're a terrible kisser." Heh. Oh, give her a break, Vaughn. She's not even using her own mouth. But I was actually wondering earlier if he'd be able to tell something was off from the kiss, so, points for that.
(Which does beg the question of why Jack didn't notice anything amiss in "Search and Rescue", but I guess he was already dealing with the idea that everything he thought he knew about Irina was a performance, and not exactly in the best frame of mind to compare and contrast.)
28. Sark! I was surprised by how delighted I was when the camera panned up to show him. Also, interesting that Sloane has a protocol in place for contacting Sark, considering how long it's been since they last worked together. Supposedly.
29. "Who's Peyton?" Yay! Good remembering, Alias writers. Of course Vaughn wouldn't know that. Thumbs up.
Good, very watchable episode, and so much more solid than last week's. If you can just kind of hold the fact that Sloane accidentally killed Nadia in your head while conviently forgetting the details of how poorly it was done, then this arc does work. It's just the feebleness of how it was kicked off that makes it feel so very flimsy.