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Season 2 Would you betray someone you love?

Discussion in 'Alias' started by verdantheart, Mar 4, 2003.

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  1. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    “A Dark Turn” (2:17) definitely takes us into dark territory--and the biggest ever column apparently . . . Irina takes a turn when she steals one heart (Rambaldi's manuscript of the heart) and breaks another (Jack's) that was freely given.

    It begins as Sark engineers an elevator accident that kills Yuri Karpachev and his bodyguards. Sark takes his wallet.

    Back at the CIA, Kendall realizes that Karpachev is known to be an associate of Irina’s from her NSA debriefings. Jack asks her what Sark might have been looking for. Irina says that he probably wanted the key to Karpachev’s safe, which he thought contained a Rambaldi manuscript about the human heart, but actually didn’t. Irina presses Jack about convincing Sydney to get out of the CIA, but Jack points out that she won’t as long as Sloane is a threat. Irina says she knows that Karpachev sold the Rambaldi manuscript to a Shtuka in Bangkok and that they can get it and use it to smoke Sloane out into the open where they can nab him. Unfortunately, of course, this means that Irina would have to be set free.

    Meanwhile Sydney and Vaughn are having a day out skating. When Sydney mentions that she hasn’t skated since childhood when her mother taught her, Vaughn visibly tenses up. Sydney tries to use the opportunity to get Vaughn to open up about his feelings about her mother, but he only says there’s “nothing I want to talk about.”

    They are interrupted, however, when Sydney is called in to meet a Mitchell Yeager, an agent with counterintelligence. It turns out that he is investigating Vaughn because Vaughn has been actively pursuing contact with unauthorized agents, including ex-KGB assassins. If Sydney doesn’t cooperate with the investigation, she’s told that she will become a suspect.

    Jack pushes Kendall for Derevko’s suggested mission, saying that he’ll serve as her escort. He points out that the mission to Kashmir would have been an embarrassment had it not been for her assistance. However, Kendall isn’t quite convinced:

    Kendall: When the hell did we switch places? Derevko could be using those operations just to convince us she’s trustworthy.

    Jack: I’ve had twenty years to reflect on that woman’s obility to deceive. Trust me. If she lies to me again, I’ll know it.

    (Hm. How do you know if Irina is lying? Perhaps if her lips are moving?! Clue number one that Jack has his head on backwards . . .)

    Somehow Kendall gets approval for the mission and Marshall implants a tracking device behind Irina’s shoulder (“Wow . . . you’re tough!”).

    We’re returned to Sydney’s meeting with Yeager, where she’s given a device to download an image the hard drive of Vaughn’s laptop. She’s told that he’s downloaded a copy of Xenon, a federal offense. Sydney objects. However, Yeager brings up the topic of Sydney’s mother, telling Sydney that he met her. She was charming and disarming, he says, but not what she seemed. “What is your priority?” he asks. “National security, or your new boyfriend?”

    In Bangkok, Jack watches as Irina meets with Shtuka, who is playing a knife game (not quite mumblety-peg, I’m afraid I don’t know the name) with a frightened girl. Irina offers to take her place. During the game, Irina grabs the knife and puts it a Shtuka’s throat, getting the bodyguard to drop his weapon. Shtuka reveals that he traded the manuscript for opium rights to a man in Hong Kong. Irina then kills him and two body guards (very impressively), but is saved from a fourth guard by Jack’s shot. Irina seems genuinely shocked that she missed the fourth guard.

    On the flight to Hong Kong, Irina reminisces about Sloane, remarking that he and Jack were initially “true friends”:

    Jack: We shared a similar unsentimental patriotism . . . and devotion to our wives. But Sloane changed and it was Rambaldi that did it. I’m not sure what it is--he never told me--but Sloane has a personal connection to Rambaldi.

    Irina: I lived for years with the same obsession--to find a higher meaning in Rambaldi’s work. I never understood how you managed to avoid getting caught up in it.

    Jack: I had something neither of you did.

    Irina: Sydney.

    (Jack gets up and walks past Irina, but she catches his hand)

    Irina: I never thanked you for everything that--for raising our daughter.

    Jack: We land in four hours. Get some rest.

    Back in Los Angeles, Vaughn has gotten wind of Jack and Irina’s mission. He is extremely concerned and asks Sydney if she’s heard about it. She says yes, her father told her about it. “This one we should have [been part of],” he insists.

    He takes a shower, leaving Sydney to consider whether to cooperate with Yeager’s investigation.

    We then join Will, who is having a nightmare in which he spills the beans to Francie. He talks it over with Vaughn, who assures him it’s quite normal.

    In Hong Kong, Jack and Irina go through a rather simple by-the-numbers exercise to get the manuscript. However, Irina looks quite excited to get her hands on it.

    At CIA headquarters, Sydney approaches Vaughn and decides to be direct. She asks him straight out, “Are you keeping secrets from me?” Vaughn is evasive, first saying, well yes, it’s the beginning of a relationship, and then next, well, of course there are things that I’m prohibited by security rules from revealing. When pressed, he goes on to say, “I don’t like it when people question my loyalty. It makes me insane.”

    Sydney points out that she wasn’t questioning his loyalty, but his honesty, not quite the same thing and reiterates that “secrets will be a problem between us.” Vaughn doesn’t directly address this, but instead shows her a key. “This is a key to my apartment,” he says. “I was going to give it to you at dinner. Obviously an inappropriate move.”

    Sydney returns to Yeager’s conference room and hands him the disk--still blank. She says, “Ask yourself: Would you betray someone you love?”

    Jack prepares to go to Panama to grab Sloane. Kendall tells him “You make this happen, you can have my job.” Jack responds, “No thanks.”

    Irina has asked Sydney to meet with her. Irina says it’s because the mission is dangerous. But the point is to tell Sydney that she loves her. Sydney tells her that she’s coming back, and Irina says she hopes so.

    That night, Francie extracts information about satellite controls that she sent Will to obtain.

    Meanwhile, in Panama, Jack goes over the mission details with Irina. Irina requests that Jack remove the tracking device--ostensibly because it might be discovered and give away the mission. Jack agrees, mentioning that Kendall would have him court-martialed for doing it. Irina says, “Kendall’s not as smart as you are.”

    (Gee, if she’d said that to me, I’d have jammed that tracker right back in as far as it would go--assuming I’d have taken it out in the first place! Clue number two that Jack has his head on backwards . . .)

    At this point, the two exchange some words about getting rest, but that’s not where their minds are. Irina leans towards Jack and he finally gives in, kissing her passionately.

    We then see Sydney and Weiss. Weiss tells Sydney that they’re bringing formal charges against Vaughn. They locate his car so that they can let him know what’s coming. Sydney locates him only to find him meeting an with an agent--and not a CIA agent, either.

    Vaughn tells Sydney that he’s conducting “private” research. Sydney points out what’s happening and that now that she’s told him what’s going on she’s a target of the investigation as well. She asks him why he’s been contacting FSB officers.

    Meanwhile, the mission in Panama begins. As Irina leaves and Jack remains sequestered in the van, their eyes meet for the last time. Jack’s already look sad.

    A limousine rolls up, but it contains only Sark. They tell Irina to get in, they can track her. She does, but she takes the guards. She looks up towards the satellite as she enters the limosine.

    Jack begins to realize his worst fears as the satellite signal is lost and he understands that there is no tracker to activate. He urgently presses Kendall to check the manuscript. They stop a limousine, but it is only a decoy.

    Back in LA, Vaughn admits that he’s been investigating Irina for six months in extreme detail only to find nothing.

    In Panama, Irina joins Sloane, who greets his old friend. She reveals that she has brought the manuscript with her. “Thank you for extracting me,” she says.

    Jack receives the news that the manuscript is lost. He’s standing on a dock in Panama, with the guts kicked out of him--one more time.

    Analysis . . .

    Well, it’s all about trust, isn’t it?

    There are three couples in this little tableau, Francie and Will, Sidney and Vaughn, and Jack and Irina. All three couples have issues of trust between them, issues which this episode explores. In two of these couples, there is a further issue of identity: Francie is no longer who she was known to be, and Irina, in the beginning, was not what she was introduced to Jack as. Further, the CIA investigator questions whether Vaughn is what he represents himself to be, an idea that Sydney firmly rejects.

    First, there’s “Francie” and Will. Will’s guilty dreams that he spills his secrets to Francie are more accurate than he knows. She’s really pumping him for information in nocturnal hypnotic sessions. There’s no doubt here of love. This Francie certainly doesn’t love Will, and I highly doubt that Will, should he find out what happened, would feel any love for the Francinator. I think he might well want to kill her/him/it/whatever--though he might have to win a race with Sydney for the privilege.

    Second, there’s Sydney and Vaughn. Love is definitely an issue here, as well as trust. Vaughn’s extra-curricular activities have caught up with him and Sydney has been put into the loop. Vaughn must know that Sydney would want to know what he’s doing, but he doesn’t tell her. Why? He probably tells himself that he’s sparing her feelings, that if he finds nothing--as he in fact did--he wouldn’t have to tell her anything. Yet the fact remains that he went behind her back on a matter that he knew she would want to know about. Meanwhile, if he finds nothing, he won’t have to tell her, but if he finds something, he’s going to be forced to bring it up, which would be even more upsetting to Sydney, right? Rather than protecting Sydney’s feelings, isn’t he really protecting himself from Sydney’s anger? Vaughn knows what Jack went through arguing against Sydney’s mother and probably doesn’t want to face the same.

    Meanwhile, when Sydney directly asks him if he is keeping secrets from her, offering him the chance to come clean, he accuses her of calling him disloyal. He even goes so far as to show her his apartment key--a symbol of trust--saying that obviously it’s not appropriate--yes, but for whom? Sydney is the one who refused to go behind Vaughn’s back, only following him to confront him at his destination. She would not copy his hard drive, or cooperate with the investigation, bringing suspicion down upon herself. She even told Vaughn that he was being investigated despite the fact that it was a felony. (More about Vaughn later.)

    Last, but certainly not least, come Jack and Irina. This episode brought to my mind the following lyric:

    One night in Bangkok makes the hard man humble
    Not much room between despair and ecstasy.

    ~ One Night in Bangkok, Murray Head

    And perhaps this song, although not present on the soundtrack, is meant to be evoked by Jack and Irina's night in Bangkok, for its chess tournament/intellectual vs lust/emotional imagery seems particularly appropriate for this episode. And for Jack there is precious little room between despair and ecstasy--not much more than a flicker in his eyes between the intensity of his gaze in the night and the deep sadness of it in the shadowed interior of the truck the morning after.

    I’ve seen a couple of comments saying that Jack must be in on something with Irina, he’s too smart to fall for it--especially not again. But this is not what happened. It did not play that way. Irina believes that she's playing Jack. Why? When has she ever been completely forthright about her intentions with anyone--particularly her ex-husband? But the tip-off is her request to remove the tracker. This wasn't a direct request, but a manipulation. The reasons that she states for its removal aren't the ones that she really has. Her affirmation of Jack, "Kendall's not as smart as you," languidly expressed, is manipulative in an almost patronizing way.

    So that leaves us with the choice that either Jack trusted or he chose to trust Irina. Jack told Sydney “she will gut you.” He knows the stakes. And he knows whom he's dealing with. And yet he behaves as though he trusts her. If he doesn't trust her completely, he behaves to Kendall as though he does ("If she lies to me again, I'll know it"). If he didn't trust her, why then trust her with the Rambaldi manuscript? Why let her out of CIA hands without verifying that the manuscript has been secured? Jack could easily have caught her before she had flown the coop. But he lets the it play all the way out. If Jack isn’t genuinely heart-broken, I’ll eat my hat (and I love that hat!). Jack has given himself the luxury of too much hope, and he pays for it dearly.

    Jack leaves himself very little wiggle room on the side of distrust--which isn't to say there is absolutely none (we don't see his reaction to "Kendall's not as smart as you"), but there is precious little. (For more about Jack, see the Spy dad column.)

    Some have expressed hope that Irina’s motive is actually a good one--that she is only doing this to capture Sloane or accomplish some other good end. She knows what kind of man Jack is and that he doesn’t always go by the book. So if her motives are--in the end--good, why doesn’t she work with him? Why doesn’t she tell him the truth--or at least part of it? I’m trying to imagine what could prevent her. I can think of an obscure twist that would make it plausible for her to behave in that manner were she "good," but her avidity in response to the Rambaldi manuscript belies that interpretation.

    But let’s ask Sydney’s question, “Would you betray someone you love?” Regardless of her motives, she has once again betrayed Jack’s trust. If she loves Jack, she has done a terrible thing--not only that, but she has done it twice over. If she doesn’t love him, is what she’s done any better? To recklessly use the highest emotions of--at least what started out to be--an exemplary human being? The father of your child (though some argue that point)? Jack started out much like Sydney is now. And even now, he seems incapable of lying to or betraying Irina. The converse is most certainly not true. So, from the aspect of trust, does it really matter what her motives are?

    So, three couples, three betrayals of trust: Will by "Francie," Sydney by Vaughn, and Jack by Irina. Vaughn, as a good man, should know better than to hide things from Sydney. Jack, sadly, should know better than to hope to trust Irina. Both Sydney and Jack express trust in their loved ones, Sydney by refusing to spy on Vaughn, Jack by removing the tracking device for Irina. In both cases this trust was broken, but the fact that it was given reflects well on those who give it. OK, sad now.

    Let’s move on to Irina’s motives. Does she love Sydney? I think the answer to that is probably yes. Irina calls Sydney to her cell especially to tell Sydney that she loves her--it's really a good-bye. However, I think that it’s quite possible that she would have used Sydney had Jack continued to make himself unavailable. Therefore, Irina’s answer to the question “Would you betray someone you love?” would be yes.

    Does she love Jack? That’s much more ambiguous. She seems intent on seducing Jack, making a move on the plane (catching his hand) on the way to Hong Kong, before succeeding with the help of a little wine in Panama. Is it all about getting him to remove the tracking device? But he has already removed it when they kiss in Panama. We can read this in a couple of different ways. 1) She wants to make love to him; she has feelings for him; 2) She wants to demonstrate her complete control over him and humiliate him completely.

    If we decide that she loves him, can we say, oh but she loves Sydney more because she moved on to betray Jack instead of Sydney? Ah, but Jack’s already damaged goods; she might as well re-use him. Irina’s last gaze into Jack’s eyes was penetrating (speak to me only with thine eyes . . .), but what was she saying? Does she ever pay an emotional price for what she does? Or is it all meaningless except for Rambaldi?

    What is it really that drives her? Clearly her primary motive is not love or family, as it is for Jack and Sydney (Sydney proved that in this episode). Is it Rambaldi? She claimed a former obsession with Rambaldi. Has she gotten over it, or not? We can guess that she’s either 1) Working to gather Rambaldi knowledge for herself or 2) Working to save the world from those who would use Rambaldi’s knowledge against them. Her history would tend to point to the former.

    Our three men end up displaying their weaknesses this episode: Will has fearful dreams and fesses up about them, and although the damage he does is extensive, what he does is actually the best of the three--he tells someone about it.

    Jack, sadly, is never at his best when he leads with his heart, and that’s much of what we see here. His very body language, leaning against Irina’s cell, is very unlike Jack--far too relaxed. Yeager called Irina “disarming” and Jack, who should know better than anyone, has been disarmed. He resists on the plane, but by Panama, what little he has left has been eroded. He’s left holding the bag again--and the bag is full of, well, to be blunt, s--t.

    And Vaughn--oh, Vaughn, Sydney told you that secrets would be a problem. She’s had to discover too many about her family, after all. Shouldn’t he know better? He doesn’t want to discuss Irina with her--but refusing to acknowledge the giant purple elephant in the middle of the room doesn’t make her go away. In fact, she only tends to get bigger and bigger and it takes more and more energy to ignore her. That’s the sort of thing that breaks relationships.

    But the secrets are even worse. OK, he doesn’t want to talk about her, so he doesn’t want Sydney to know about his investigation of her. Whether or not he pretends to himself that he’s protecting Sydney’s feelings, the fact remains that he’s doing the very thing that she let him know was a deal-breaker. Then when she asked him about it, he waves a key in her face and makes her feel guilty for asking about it.

    Really, this is unworthy of Vaughn. He might not have “turned to the dark side,” but his unpleasant passive-aggressive tendencies are on full display. While he was in full Sydney-I-support-you-all-the-way mode, he was investigating Irina behind Sydney’s back and voyeuristically looking in on Jack's interactions with Irina. Sydney, bless her, was completely direct in asking him about it and he dodged her until she had him pinned to the wall. It’s really sad.

    Meanwhile, Sydney comes out looking very good. She resists betraying her love, country or no country--let someone else do the investigating, for Pete’s sake! And she’s very direct with Vaughn. She lets him know what’s on her mind, which is apparently more than he’s been doing for her lately.

    The Rambaldi obsession: Irina tells Jack she couldn’t understand how he managed to avoid the fever and he responds that he had Sydney. Irina says that she is seeking a “higher meaning” in Rambaldi’s work. Is that what Sloane is seeking? Jack speaks of Sloane’s “personal connection” to Rambaldi, but Sloane would never elaborate. To an outside viewer, it looks like Irina’s obsession has not abated greatly. Her expression upon laying hands on the Rambaldi manuscript was telling.

    Rambaldi brings Sloane, Sark, and Irina together. It’s possible that Jack was right: that Sark and Irina were working together all along. I had thought that unlikely because Irina was sending Sydney out at cross-purposes to Sark and Sark nearly killed Sydney twice during this period. Perhaps Irina saw Sydney as an expendable commodity at that time? It's hard to know. Yet it seems that the assassination of Karpachev was a planned signal for the beginning of an extraction phase. So what, exactly was Irina’s purpose in CIA custody? If it was recruitment, she doesn’t seem to have done so well at first glance. As far as intel, most of what she has gleaned would seem to have to do with the Alliance and SD-6, which is now irrelevant. However, if the plan was to bring down their main competition, the Alliance, with Irina working from within the CIA and Sark working from without, they seem to have been quite successful. Still, the full meaning of their plot is unclear.

    However, this new alliance seems a bit like caging three male tigers together. How long before they begin to tear each other to pieces? Each one of them wants supremacy. Each one of them is extremely dangerous. Perhaps Jack and Sydney should start looking at playing them against each other. They could really use a win right about now.

    Random thoughts . . .

    The Francinator just gets freakier and freakier. You wonder how poor Will can stand to be around her. Post-hypnotic suggestion, maybe?

    Speaking of which: Considering the talk of the Francinator being a male, I’m gonna be a’gaggin’ if she turns out to be McCullough! What happened to that mind-bender, anyway?

    Jack and Irina’s discussion about Sydney leaving the CIA. Jack had encouraged Sydney to think about it. Has he changed his mind since she had made her decision to leave prior to Sloane’s resurfacing? Again, Irina begins her manipulation of Jack through Sydney: We can get her to leave the CIA if we get Sloane and we can get Sloane if . . .

    Irina in Bangkok. That man-eating smile! Plus, never has the Thai language sounded quite so sexy. With her bold eye contact, unwavering smile, and deadly moves, Irina embodies that rare creature, the sexually aggressive female, the tigress.

    The quality with which Mr Garber intones the words “and devotion to our wives,” the expression in his eyes, and his body language in that last scene--wow, what a difference acting makes! It’s the nuances, folks! (Academy, take note.)

    I’ve said that I was hoping to find that, just as Jack is a good man damaged by his love for Irina, Irina is an evil woman “damaged” (or should we say “partially redeemed”) by her love for Jack. I’d say the jury’s still out on this.

    “A Dark Turn” left me with a distinct feeling of Vertigo--as in the rightly heralded 1958 Hitchcock film starring James Stewart. There are quite a few differences between Jack’s story and that of John “Scottie” Ferguson, but then there are also odd resonances. No, Jack’s not hanging out of the top of a tower looking at the crumpled body of his beloved at the end of this opus, but he looks up giving a sort of reverse mirror-like and haunting image. There is also the repeat factor: the lost love has been lost once again. The loved one is loved in an obsessive way. Jack cannot let go of his love for Irina, nor can he think rationally around her. Like Scotty, Jack was manipulated the first time around, but unlike Scotty, he was manipulated again the second time around. There is a grief and brokenness and tragic inevitability about that last minute. Irina is Jack’s Achilles’ heel.

    Notice how Jack was left at the edge of water--as the first time Irina was supposedly drowned. It has almost an end-of-the-world quality, doesn't it?

    Jack serves as the sacrificial lamb that prevents Sydney from suffering at Irina's hands as Jack did the first time--for I firmly believe that had not Jack made himself available to her, Irina would have worked through Sydney. I hope Sydney learns something from seeing him suffer before her eyes that she could not from hearing him speak of suffering in the past.

    I truly hope that for once we get to see the aftermath when it comes to Jack. I can’t remember how many times I’ve commented “I’d really liked to have seen Jack’s reaction to that”! It’s really important this time, so please don’t skimp on us, writers! And--please!--have a scene with Sydney and Jack. Pretty please?

    Can we wait until the next episode? No we can't.

    Discuss . . .

    What do you think Sloane’s “personal” connection to Rambaldi might be?

    Do you agree with Sydney that Vaughn should have told her what he was doing? Or do you agree that he was “just protecting her feelings” and going behind everyone’s back was the right thing?

    Do you think that Sydney did the right thing being open with Vaughn or that she should have done what the investigator asked her to do? She committed a felony by breaking the confidentiality agreement.

    Will Sydney and Vaughn patch things up right away? Or will it take a while for Sydney to get over this lapse of openness? Do you think she should forgive him right away?

    So was Jack right? Were Irina and Sark working together all this time?

    What will Jack do? Will he become suicidal? Hit the bottle? Become dangerous? Hit the bottle, then become dangerous? Or will he be taken into custody because of his dereliction of duty? What?

    The $64,000 question: Do you think that Irina is playing for herself or “the greater good”? Do you think she really loves Sydney? Or even more to the point, does she love Jack, even a little bit? Why do you think she made love to him--because she wanted him, or because she wanted to humiliate him?

    Next: (after we revisit Phase One)
    Emily has a decision to make; Sydney confronts mom.


    Modfications:
    1) Additional thought: Jack might be aware of what he's doing; it's all about love.
    2) Forgot to put in mention of Irina's "I love you" to Sydney.
    3) Added reference to the heart up top.
    4) Cleaned up Jack/Irina betrayal & added reference to "One Night in Bangkok."
     
  2. crazy spinster

    crazy spinster Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    california. bay area or socal, depending.
    well, the idea has been brought up that perhaps sloane is a distant descendant to rambaldi. knowing alias, it could be possible. i personally have no idea though. i would think, at first, it would've been to find rambaldi's secret to eternal life so that he could save emily, but emily's in relapse now and that still doesn't seem like a big enough reason for sloane to have such an insane obssession with rambaldi.

    obviously, in hindsight, vaughn definitely should have told her what he was doing. and, while it's clear that as good a man as he is, vaughn just made a really big, really bad mistake in going behind sydney's back, i can't honestly say that i wouldn't do the same thing were i in his position. still though, when you put it that way, it sure wasn't a good move on vaughn's part.

    that investigator definitely had a stick up his ass so i don't blame sydney at all for disobeying him. i wouldn't want to follow orders from a guy like that either. that being said, i think sydney did do the right thing - something i think was extremely difficult in her position. maybe i'm just a very weak person because if i were sydney, i would have just looked on vaughn's laptop. so extra kudos to her for resisting the temptation and the doubts.

    i think sydney did sort of forgive him already. when they were in the bar and vaughn finished his rant on what he was doing and why, there was a pause, sydney seemed to give a very small, almost indetectable sigh and said, "did you find anything?" - pretty much accepting what vaughn had done. she didn't go into a rage at the fact that vaughn had done all of this behind her back, mostly because i still think she feels sorry for what happened to vaughn's father on behalf of irina. even though vaughn's father's death was clearly not sydney's fault, i still think she feels partly responsible for it - at least responsible for not punishing her mother the way vaughn most likely wants her punished. and i think this allows sydney to be much more easily forgiving of vaughn than she would have been had vaughn's father not been one of irina's victims.

    that's not to say that i think everything will be fine and dandy with those two in the next episode, i think sydney is definitely a bit disappointed in vaughn. but they will either try to put this all behind them and wait until the elephant starts squashing both of them before they bring up the issue again, or they'll sit down and talk about it. i don't really see them sitting down and talking about it any time soon. unfortunately, i can see this as just the beginning of a sydney/vaughn break up in the far future. (eep, no one kill me for saying that! :confused: i could be wrong! i hope i'm wrong.)

    i've always thought so. i just couldn't come up with another reason as to why irina turned herself in. she couldn't have turned herself in knowing that she had only herself to rely on. true, sark isn't exactly the most trustworthy person, but irina HAD to have someone working with her on the outside, and it would make sense that that person would be sark.

    your point about irina sending sydney out against sark was an interesting one though. i don't really know how to explain that other than to think that, yes, maybe sydney WASN'T as important to her as she led everyone to believe. which...would really suck.

    oh dear. i feel so bad for this man. :( i think one of two things will happen: 1. he'll retreat into himself and refuse to talk to anyone or do anything, or 2. he'll become increasingly gung-ho about tracking irina down, perhaps becoming dangerous in his attempts to recapture her. knowing jack, number 2 is what i think could happen. actually, i really don't know what jack's reaction will be. that just makes it all the more interesting - he's rather unpredictable. i really can't say for certain. i just can't wait for truth takes time.

    oh geez...i have absolutely no idea. this show confuses me. i don't know what anyone's doing and why. :blink: i'm inclined to believe that irina doesn't truly love sydney the way jack loves sydney - the way most parents love their children. i don't know if irina is playing for herself or for the greater good - it seems that she's just cut loose again, but i wouldn't say it's for herself entirely - she's evil, maybe, but is she really THAT selfish? well...maybe when it comes to jack, yes. irina brings a whole new level to the term "heartbreaker." just when you thought jack couldn't be more closed off and distrusting, she goes and does this to him. again, i don't think irina really loves jack. okay, maybe just a small bit. but it's the way you love a pet and the glee you get when you finally get it to do a really cool trick - like remove the tracking device from your shoulder. and i think she made love to him because she could - she has power and she wants to exercise it. i guess. i don't know. irina really is too complex for me. which is just, of course, one of the things that makes the show so great. :)

    thanks, vh, for another amazing column!! :D i just spent a good half an hour to forty five minutes reading and responding to this column and now my eyes hurt. :blink:
     
  3. Viogirl13

    Viogirl13 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    I want to believe that Irina wasn't lying to Sydney and she really does love her...but her actions with the mission say otherwise. But if she really didn't love Sydney she wouldn't have asked her to come to the cell just to say that. She probably was planning something, she knew it wouldn't look good to the CIA on her behalf, and wanted to jsut tell Sydney how she really felt before everything happened so that she wouldn't feel she was abandoned by her for the 2nd time in her life.

    Jack and Irina...one of the stickiest relationships ever known to man...hm...rough to say. They were married, had a family, etc. They should have some sort of feelings of love...if not love than at least fondess or something. There has to be something there. They devoted years to each other. They can't jsut walk away from that without feeling anything.
     
  4. newfan

    newfan Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    I can't be too hard on Vaughn. His father was killed by this woman - his childhood turned upside down. Of course he does not trust her and rightfully so. As for not telling Sydney. they just started the relationship and may be he just doesn't want any added tension to it. He had no proof and so why tell her knowning it will hurt her. Our first instinct is to spare our love ones pain if necessary. It may well turn out to be nothing. Some people may think the notion is misguided. Perhaps. But I honestly can't say I won't do the same if I were him.
     
  5. Victoria King

    Victoria King Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    once again great column! i always look forward to reading it every tuesday! :D this is one of the best episodes in my opinion, even though some of the outcomes i wish were different it brought up new questions and was just amazing and fun to watch!ok now my thoughts on it! ;)
    first off the trust issue:
    i loved how everything had to do with trust between the couples, how each was at a completley different stage of distrust and love. one couple(J/I) he loved her alot but we never know if she ever loved him or if she does now or if she never will. he begins to trust again and of course she puts him back in his place(remember in season one(i think?) they find the tape of her where she says jack bristow is a fool that is all you need to know about him?! or was that another one of her pulls like in the passage with that guy? :unsure: thoughts on irina later,LOL! second couple: (s/v!) the new stages of love, they already trust each other(or atleast did at the beginning of the episode) and are working on taking their relationship farther and now the messed up third couple:(w/ef, evil francie!) now i dont think there was ever trust here, because he doesnt love her/him/ whoever he loves a woman who died a month ago! and taht false trust is being decieved.
    *well i have to go, ill post my other thoughts(which there is alot of them! :D ) later tonight!
     
  6. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    I actually wrote a piece of fanfic (and I never write fanfic) that touches on this a little (it's mostly a character study, actually), don't know if I'll ever post it.
    ;)
     
  7. alias_fan

    alias_fan typically terrific

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    i think irina loves sydney. and that she was made to love jack but sorta likes him but still won't refrain from being evil. it's how the evil survive. i think that she's still got an obsession with rambaldi and that's why she did what she did.
     
  8. AliasALIAS

    AliasALIAS Guest

    please do. I'm sure it would be interesting to read.


    I think that by connection, Jack meant obsession. But I wouldn't be surprised at all if we learned it was something much more than that. What it is, I don't know.


    At the moment, that seems very logical. It's possible that Irina never even talked to Sloane since she was "married" to Jack and that Sark did all the negotiating with Sloane.
    But I'm still hoping Irina's good. There has to be a way.
     
  9. Victoria King

    Victoria King Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    yes post it, i would read it, there arent that many irina or jack fics out there! ^_^ ;) :D
     
  10. Irina Bristow

    Irina Bristow Rocket Ranger

    Considering Alias a point could be made in saying maybe Sloane is a distant relation/descendent of Rambaldi. Hypothetically speaking of course, maybe Sloane is somehow connected to the manuscript/document itself. Of course you could say his obsession with Rambaldi could be seen as a personal connection, the fact that his life seems to revolve around the finding and completion of the Rambaldi manuscript. One could say his fixation has taken him to a whole new level (maybe reminiscent of myself and Alias)

    I am in accordance with Sydney he should have let her in on what he was doing. To go behind her back, not only brought up their relationship issues but the CIA questioning his allegiance. Taking into account he works for the CIA, would telling them he was doing a background check on Irina Derevko maybe have helped his search? Or would they immediately have said classified information?
    “Trust” is a major issue with most of the characters on the show, particularly Sydney and Vaughn. Vaughn should have taken into consideration the whole issue of ‘trust’ in their relationship, though their relationship was not as progressed when he started, he should have known this would upset Sydney, if he went behind her back.

    I am glad that she confronted Vaughn, but I am not so sure it was the right thing to do. Questioning Vaughn led to our relief in regards to the whole “Vaughn is bad” assumption. But she did commit a crime, and if she is found out would she not be penalized? So in the long wrong I don’t think her idea was one of her best.

    Firstly, I really don’t think Sydney is that angry, though she is mad. I think that their relationship will suffer in the ‘trust’ area, but otherwise I suppose they will be alright. Forgiving him right away is not something Sydney will be prone to doing, she won’t like the idea of Vaughn doing this, but I think she will realize why he did it. After her mother killed his father, and betrayed just about everyone she is helping right now, he somewhat has a right to doubt the woman and do a checkup on her status while in CIA custody.


    I don’t think Irina and Sark were working together, so much as Irina and Sloane. But when Sark informed Sloane of Irina being spotted in Bangkok, they both seemed a bit taken aback by this news. Yes, Sark worked for Irina before she turned herself in, but I don’t think he really had anything to do with the final plan. If anything, like I said before I would have more an inclination to go with Irina and Sloane.

    If it weren’t for Sydney I can see him becoming suicidal. But I don’t think he would do that to Sydney, though he hasn’t shown it in the past, he loves her to much to do that to her. I imagine he will hit the bottle and then become dangerous, I wouldn’t want to be around him when “All Hell breaks Lose,” I wouldn’t doubt him to shot Irina on the spot if he were to see her again. They wouldn’t take him into custody, he is too good of an agent he might get suspended, on some note, but not taken in. Though it would be ironic to see Jack in her, ‘Glass Cage.’

    I imagine she is playing for both herself and ‘the greater good,’ though I tend to lean more towards her. I think she is playing for both in that she does love Sydney, and would like to see her live a normal life not involved with the CIA. She seems to really want Sloane out of the picture; it can be seen as for both Sydney and for her own purposes, the collection of everything Sloane has gathered. The CIA was a fool to let her handle the Rambaldi documents in both her cell and during the recovery.
    Sadly, I don’t think she loves Jack as much as Jack loved her; I do think she does love him in some twisted form. Maybe not head over heels, hopelessly devoted to him but I think somewhere in her seemingly nonexistent heart, she does love him if only a minute amount. There was definitely something going on in her head before she kissed Jack, whether it was planned or not I wouldn’t be able to say, because like you pointed out she already had the document so why kiss him let alone make love to him, when there is no real need to. They exchanged an amazing look when she exited the van towards the end of the episode. Jack and Irina have a ‘eye’ language all their own, so many things can be said with looks alone between the two of them it is incredible. I think she made love to him because she wanted him, I know she is known for being a manipulative, deceitful, woman; but there was something in that scene that really made me think otherwise. In regards to her making love to him, I think it was real she had no 'sinister' motivation to do that so there is obviously some unexplored territory in dealing with their love life. Garber and Olin did an AMAZING job with the scenes in this episode; they really had the tension going very well and the passion that exploded just blew me away. I expect that for the shows purpose, she probably humiliated him all over again.
    *The look on Jack’s face and the music they played in the background, during the final scene was so heartrending I could barely breathe. I don’t think Jack was thinking straight during this whole episode, he really let his guard down and she saw that and used it, breaking his heart all over again.
     
  11. charlotte

    charlotte Cadet

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Why not? It's much more interesting than what I'm reading. :)

    Well, the obvious-but-squicky answer is that he is, or believes he is, Sydney's father. I hate to even contemplate that, since the Jack/Sydney relationship is so integral to the show's emotional and moral core. Also, I can't imagine what Irina Derevko/Laura Bristow would be doing sleeping with Arvin Sloane. Ew. I also had the thought that Sloane (or maybe Emily?) may be a decendent of Rambaldi's. My favourite theory, though, is that he "discovered" the woman in the Rambaldi prophecy: Irina Derevko. In "A Free Agent", he said he'd first seen the Rambaldi manuscript 30 years ago-- perhaps then it was intact, perhaps he saw "Page 47" and recognized the drawing as the woman he knew as Laura Bristow. Although I also think it's possible that Laura/Irina knew Sloane independent of Jack-- note Irina said she remembered the first time "[Jack] introduced me to Sloane", not the first time she'd met Sloane. I don't know whether that actually matters or not. Perhaps Sloane's "personal connection" is that he's had both mother and daughter (and, by implication, husband/father)within his grasp, and is determined to use them for his own gain. At least, I hope that's what it means.

    I don't think Vaughn had any particular obligation to tell her what he was doing. He started before they were dating-- long before they were dating-- and, as he said, protocol instructs him not to reveal everything about his activities. His investigation into Irina wouldn't in itself fall into the protocol-banned category, but enough other things do to justify his keeping secrets from Sydney. Besides... he's doing it for his own peace of mind. Only if he actually found anything would it turn into a project for national security. I've never believed that people who are in relationships have to disclose absolutely everything to each other, and I don't see how this case-- wherein a man is, for his own sake, investigating his father's (apparent) murderer, who happens to be his new girlfriend's mother-- is any different. It's personal to Vaughn, and it's his right to keep it to himself.

    Legally-- no. Personally-- yes. Sydney's had too much lying in her past to be able to rationalize to herself lying to someone she's that close to. In the end, her need for absolute truth killed Danny, but it's her personal moral code. She has to stick with it or she's not Sydney. Although I have to say I was half expecting her to have Weiss make the copy. I don't know why.

    I don't think it'll be a big thing for them. I can see this being something the writers blow right over. Thank God. More Jack/Irina, less Syd/Vaughn.

    Yes. :D I'm not sure how specific their organization was, but I believe that they're in it together to take down Sloane. For Sydney's and Irina's benefit, or for Sark's and Irina's personal profit, I don't know, but I don't buy for a second that Irina would hook up (ew, in any way) with Sloane. Personally, I think Sloane is a matter of personal revenge for Irina-- he smoked out her role in the Rambaldi prophecy and destroyed her family for the sake of his own personal gain. I don't think that Irina is 100% pure love or anything, but I can't buy the proposition that she stayed with Jack (and Sydney) for 10 years for the job. Certain aspects of their life together (namely, that they had and kept Sydney) seem perfectly preposterous in the consideration of a good deep-undercover KGB agent.

    Of course, I also think the whole Rambaldi thing is just silly. Who would buy into that? Is there a similar underground crime war between Nostradamus devotees in real life?

    I can't see them taking Jack into custody, but I can see him hitting the bottle again. I hope that his relationship with Sydney is strong enough that she'll stop him from falling too far.

    I really want to believe that Irina is playing for the greater good, with a bit of personal revenge thrown in. I want to believe that she's on a ruthless rampage to ruin the lives of all the people who ruined hers. I want to believe that her goal is her redemption in Jack's eyes. I want to believe that she was in all kinds of trouble with the KGB back in the day for staying with her American husband and child for a ridiculously long time. I want to believe that Jack and Laura's love was true and that Irina sacrificed herself with the intent of saving it. I want to believe that she's willing to sacrifice herself for Jack and Sydney now by putting herself in Sloane's path, instead of either of them.

    I'm just not sure I do.

    I think Irina's love for Sydney is real. If her love for Jack is also real, then it's just pure maternal love. Easy. However, I can also see how, if she's mostly out for herself, Irina's love for Sydney would confuse her (Irina). Like she can't understand the force of emotion she feels for her daughter, whom she barely knows; she can't understand how someone like herself, who's spent most of her life trying to destroy others, can't even contemplate sacrificing the child she gave birth to. Although I want Irina to be good, I really like the idea of her own personal emotional conflict: clinging to a maternal love that she can't begin to understand.

    As for Jack. Now, I'm a Cold War history -----, and, strictly within that context, I'd say that Irina loved Jack completely, and possibly still does. There is just simply no way in hell the Soviet Union would have signed off on one of their star agents sticking around for an eight year marriage to an enemy agent, and more than that, she would never have been allowed to have a child with him. It's too messy, the emotions are too raw. And under those circumstances, I'd say, yes, she loved Jack, yes, she loved Sydney (and probably had to do some excellent lying-- "I didn't know, I was late, it's too late for an abortion..."-- to get to keep her), and in the end she was probably forced to sacrifice herself to save their lives.

    But if she knew about and was seduced by Rambaldi's possibilities at that point, I don't know what the answers to the questions are. Was the KGB her secondary personal goal to teaming up with Sloane on Rambaldi? Is that the real reason she stuck around? Is Sydney some sort of prophetic eugenics experiment? Who knows?

    But Irina's making love to Jack seemed to me to reinforce the idea that she really loved/loves him. So many of her emotional reactions have been raw and honest, in situations where she had no reason to fake anything. Namely, when no one's watching her. In this episode-- after Jack walks away from her on the plane. If she'd been playing him, there would be no reason for the look of regret and pain on her face, in her eyes. Which is the reason Irina's lies work-- they're so damn close to the truth. She doesn't have to fake wanting to make love to Jack to get him to believe that she's on the straight and narrow. The goal is the same, but the means are much easier-- she's not faking her emotion or her desires. So, if making love to him got her his trust-- great. But was she faking it? I don't think so.
     
  12. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    Good points, but on this we disagree. Sydney has given Vaughn fair notice that secrets would be a problem and this particular secret is one that Vaughn knows would be particularly problematic. As you admit, this investigation fell outside of CIA boundaries so protocol had nothing to do with it. The obligation is one of trust. Sydney has an expectation of trust that Vaughn is aware of. He knowingly broke that trust and even tried to deflect Sydney's wrath by making her feel guilty for bringing up the subject. So the investigation began before they were dating. Perhaps he should have at least mentioned it by the time they started--when the expectation of trust is heightened? No, sorry, I like Vaughn, but he made a mistake.
     
  13. Manu

    Manu Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Brazil
    ITA! (y) (y)
     
  14. SiriCerasi

    SiriCerasi Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    CA
    I have heard a few people say that they think Sloane is Rambaldi, which seems highly unlikely to me if he is searching for the lost pieces. Sloane isn't one to waste his time, so why spend it doing useless research on himself? It therefore also seems unlikely that he actually knew him at all, for the same reason. At the moment I simply believe that he is just a Rambaldi-fanatic, who is searching for the much-sought "gift" of immortality. As world domination is his goal, having an eternity would make that a plausible goal.

    I think that Vaughn has a right to do his own research on the side. What he says is true, if he had told Sydney she would only have worried, tried to make him see one way or another, and it would have inevitably ended bad. The subject is touchy between them for obvious reasons, and so keeping it a secret may have been the better way to do it.

    I know it isn't the lawfully right thing to do, but if I put myself in that position I think I would find myself doing the same thing. I know that I would find it impossibly hard to betray someone that I loved, because the basis of a relationship like that, for me, is trust, and to break that would begin the fall of that relationship.

    I think that they both have things to forgive. Yes, Vaughn kept secrets from her but she also kept some from him, and in the process hurt him with her doubt. I think it may take a little while for them to completely get over it, but soon I think they will both need each other more than their anger will allow them to stay apart. I think she should forgive him, as he had every right to be doing what he was. He is not obligated to tell her every detail of his life, for as he said they have only been dating for at most a few weeks.

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Ok, some of you already know my views on this ^_^ I really don't feel like typing out my theory again, but lets just say that I think that Irina is totally and completely good, a mother who loves her daughter and a wife who loves her husband, a woman who just wants to repent and right the wrongs she did.

    I think that Jack is in pretty bad shape right now. His trust, broken so long ago, was finally reforged, and then shattered again. He may become suicidal, and he will certainly "hit the bottle". He will probably be scheduled for meetings with Bartnett and the like. My personal little wish is that after Irina finishes whatever she is doing she will come back, and Jack will be healed and they will live happily ever after :) yeah right...

    Ok you really do want to get me started... ok to begin lets just say that Irina is a good person. Yes, she committed wrongs in the past but she is trying to repent and make up for the horrible things she did. You have to give her a chance. She is a brilliant woman and it is highly possible that she simply saw a better way to capture Sloane. As we saw in the Passage, for a while we thought she had sold out to Cuvee, but it turned out she was only faking; I think that this time will be the same, only a longer version. I think she truely does love Sydney. She is her daughter, and I don't think it is possible for her to feel absolutly nothing for her. I think she truely feels sorry for not being there for her when she grows up, for being such an awful mother. And yes, this may just be another way to latch herself onto Sydney. But I think she is truely sorry for the way she treated her and only wants to be her mother. And Jack... I think she does love him too. I don't want to get too much into this, but I think that after living with him for the many years she did she finally did grow to love him in return.
     
  15. aliaschickster

    aliaschickster Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    I think syd was good about not doing something behind vaughn's back even when he was doing the same to her...
    i support syd's decision to talk openly, at this moment she doesn't want anymore lying.
    I think vaughn has been using the "your mother killed my father" to make syd feel guilty...and it's working. but if syd knows what she's doing, she'll let off some steam before attempting to forgive him. -_-
     
  16. Kit_dj

    Kit_dj Ensign

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Because a simple "ITA" feels woefully inadequate following your thought-provoking commentaries, most of the time I merely lurk here. However, it is very interesting how differently we view some of the issues raised by this episode. I would like to offer the following comment/discussion, not to antagonize, but as a different perspective.

    When it comes to Irina, surely I am not the only one who thinks of Churchill's Russia (riddle, mystery, enigma, etc.). The key to the Russian Riddle, Churchill offered, was Russian national interest. What is Irina's key? Is it her obsession with Rambaldi? Or, is it her love for Sydney? There is certainly ample evidence for the former, but we have also seen glimpses of the latter – in her unguarded moments and when she is alone. There is no doubt that Irina’s obsession with Rambaldi has been her driving force for 30 years, but neither is there any question in my mind that Irina’s love for her daughter is genuine. It is difficult to determine why she chooses this time to escape, because it has never been satisfactorily established why she surrendered in the first place. Were I a betting (wo)man, I would lay odds at it having something to do with keeping Sydney safe. So, I think Irina agenda is different from Sloane's ...

    ... which begs another question, is Jack in on it? Or, was he played by Irina, again? There are three possibilities: (1) Jack and Irina concocted a plan to bring down Sloane, (2) Jack only sensed Irina’s endgame, without knowing the specifics, or (3) he was led and betrayed by his heart again. I believe the second possibility is the most probable by the process of elimination. Remember that it was "Laura" who betrayed him 20 years ago, "Laura" who was an English professor, not a known enemy agent. This time around, Jack has the knowledge and experience on his side. It would be entirely out of character for Jack, who is a brilliant game theorist, to completely disregard his reason and let his heart lead him astray; so, there must be a method to his madness. However, I reject the collaboration theory, simply because there is not enough trust between the two of them.

    And speaking of trust, I also have a slightly different take on the Syd/Vaughn situation (but this post is already getting long ...)
     
  17. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    Glad I could provoke some thoughts--good that there's different viewpoints! (There certainly does seem to be on the point of Vaughn's actions; people seem very forgiving!)

    Ah, but why didn't he catch her the first time? Surely there were clues that he disregarded--probably because he didn't want to recognize them. Irina herself said that Jack was blinded by his emotions in her debriefing. Jack painstakingly avoided Irina until forced together with her by Sydney--and the strain of maintaining a level of enmity was evident. History indicates that while Jack reads most people with extreme clarity (see how easily he manipulated Kendall into making the decision he desired), he's at sea when it comes to Irina. For example, when she first told Sydney to pull the fire alarm, Jack said not to--but Irina had demanded to see Sydney and it was obvious that she wouldn't mislead her before that happened--even I could see that, but Jack couldn't--he was blinded by his emotions. Meanwhile, Irina can read Jack like a well-worn book, an old handbook she's read through a thousand times.

    You may be right, but I certainly don't think that it would be "out of character" for Jack to let his heart lead him astray. Jack is all about heart, although his has swallowed and hidden his for over twenty years. Jack's primary motivation is family, not patriotism--it's Sydney (then Irina?)--then country.

    As for the key to Irina, who knows? That has yet to be revealed. She has complex and hidden motivations which include--I believe--a love for her daughter.
    ;)
     
  18. Manu

    Manu Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Brazil
    And her husband. ;)
     
  19. charlotte

    charlotte Cadet

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    I don't think it would be out of character for Jack to have let his emotions override logic in his dealings with Irina, and I think an important part of the story may be that Irina is so very much Jack's weak spot that he's willing to let her destroy him before he could ever make himself destroy her. Even when he set her up in Madagascar, he was only able to do it at a point where he'd basically had no interaction with her. The distance was maintained, the hate and desperation still in place, the set up easy.

    But even though I think all signs point to Irina having duped him again, it just seems too easy. It seems like a cop out to have him be so blind to her that she totally fooled him again. Unless the major personal arc next year is going to be how his new connection with Sydney saves Jack from the horror of what he went through the first time he lost Laura/Irina, it's just repetitive to have it happen again. I'd much rather it turn out that the manuscript Irina has is a fake and that Jack was testing her. Or that they're working together. Or, if he has been duped again, that Irina was conflicted about pulling the wool over his eyes again. Which would go a long way towards explaining the SpyParentSex-- she already had, presumably, everything she wanted from him. The plan was in place, the manuscript was there, the tracker was gone...

    ... So why do it? For goodbye? Because, if nothing else, she craves the safety she had as Laura Bristow? Just to leave him feeling completely degraded? I would love an episode from Irina's point of view. Does she care about Rambaldi anymore or does she know that to save Sydney she has to bring Rambaldi's current executor (Sloane) down? Does she want Rambaldi for herself? For good or for bad? Is she after redemption or power? I just can't reconcile, like I said in my last post, some of Irina's displays of emotion with the idea that she has no feelings for at least Sydney, and probably for Jack.

    One thing's for sure: Irina Derevko is, at the very least, one of the most interesting characters on television. :)
     
  20. verdantheart

    verdantheart Guest

    And I agree with you, I just point out that there is ambiguity in the storytelling. Irina's feelings are anything but completely clear. My tendency is to believe that, yes, she does love Sydney (particularly with her good-bye), and yes, she probably even loves Jack (and I tend to believe that her story about her imprisonment is true and that it was over something she did for Jack, I don't care to elaborate on my speculation)--but (!) I also tend to believe that this love is not at the top of her priority list and that she is willing to use those she loves and to use their love for her for her own ends. Meanwhile, Jack and Sydney's priorities are clearly not in that order. They put their loved ones first. For Jack, Sydney comes before country, before Rambaldi, before life.

    Perhaps Jack was testing her, we shall see. But why then pretend such concern about the manuscript? Again, that is not how it played. Let's remember that while Alias frequently hides what its villains are up to (and let's include Irina in this category because her motives are decidedly ambiguous), it almost never hides the actions of its heroes. In my opionion, it would be somewhat underhanded storytelling for the writers to present the story in this manner, and Alias storytelling is top-knotch.
    ;)
     

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