For “Counteragent” (2:07), I only have a couple of comments about Jack in addition to those in the Spy Family column. The theme between Sloane and Jack was again wives. Sloane told Jack that Emily’s coffin was empty, and that he’s convinced that Emily is still alive. Jack tried to convince Sloane that the evidence was not all in on that, but Sloane would not listen, saying, “I am dead to her.” Sloane has finally notified the Alliance of his suspicions, but he fears that the timing may be bad; it might look like a ploy to explain some of the stumbles of SD-6 of late. After losing the camera, music box, and operations bible, Sloane feels that they need a big win. Jack suggests going to Richter, who still survives, barely, downstairs. Sloane tortures the paralyzed yet still feeling man, demanding the location of Irina’s headquarters. He receives the answer “Smila” (is that the correct spelling?), which he takes to be a province in the Ukraine. (My immediate association was with a woman’s name, as in “Smilla’s Sense of Snow.”) Later, as Jack and Sydney prepare to assassinate Sloane to save Vaughn’s life, Jack returns to SD-6 to obtain Sloane’s itinerary. Sloane has Jack join him in interrogating Richter, at which time they learn that Smila is, in fact, Richter’s wife. Sloane reacts with disgust, directing that Richter be killed. Jack’s reaction is difficult to read. A couple of comments . . . First, it’s always amusing to watch the effect that Jack has on Marshall. Jack makes his request and simply waits in silence until Marshall dithers his way out the door, allowing Jack access to his computer. Marshall seems to be totally intimidated by Jack. It reminds us of the way that most people must see Jack, especially those who don’t know him well. Second, the torture chamber brought together three men whose thoughts are bent upon their wives. Richter thoughts about his beloved wife served as a last refuge in a time of torment and impending death. Sloane is tormented by guilt over his decision to kill his wife which is intensified by her possible (and to his mind, probable) survival and judgment of his actions. Jack, meanwhile, lives with the conflict of having loved a woman who turned out to be something quite different than what he thought she was. Random thoughts . . . With the discussion of handlers, it occurs to me that we’ve never met Jack’s regular handler. Is it an easy job (the guy knows how to handle himself) or really hard (he’s a rogue)? I’m guessing Jack’s a handful. Next: Looks like Jack is forced to work with Irina. The promo hints that she hasn’t forgotten where his buttons are.