"Blowback"
Written by Laurence Andries; directed by Lawrence Trilling

In the middle of the night, Lauren is woken by her phone and sees Vaughn sitting by the bed, messing with his father’s broken watch (see “Passage, Part 1”). He tells her that he found it when he was looking for his keys because he wants to go for a run. At the ops center, Marshall shows off pictures of his new son Mitchell (see “After Six”). “Looks like he has my nose,” Vaughn comments. Jack is exactly as excited as you’d expect him to be. Later, the regular crew assembles and discusses a terrorist network called the Shining Sword that appears to be active again after some dormancy. They seem to have acquired a plasma charge and an operative is shipping it to Europe. Dixon wants Vaughn and Sydney to go to Vancouver to get more details about the shipment from the operative’s database. He warns that the Covenant might know about the Doleac Agenda and the mission to North Korea (see “Crossings”), so Jack is heading up a counterintelligence team that will be investigating whether there’s a leak in the CIA. After the meeting, Sydney tries to get Lauren to talk to her. Nearby, Vaughn and Weiss discuss Lauren, who Vaughn says “doesn’t remember” something.

Sloane calls Dr. Barnett to apologize for his behavior the day they had their first session. He invites her to dinner to make up for it. Vaughn and Sydney head to Vancouver and are let into a room while an employee notices that the guard who’s supposed to be at a desk isn’t there. Vaughn and Sydney start downloading what they need but Marshall notes that someone else is in the system from their end. The three figure out that the Covenant received info from someone in the CIA and planted a virus. They have to stop what they’re doing, unsure of whether they have all the info they need about the shipment. As Sydney and Vaughn leave the room, the employee starts shooting. They hide, and when they emerge again, the employee himself has been shot and killed. They spot the shooter and go after her (yeah, just go with it). A car chase/product placement marathon ensues but Sydney and Vaughn can’t keep up with the other car. Back at the ops center, Marshall tells Sydney and Vaughn that they got 63 percent of the info they need and it’ll take him a while to get the rest. Sydney realizes that the previous day was the anniversary of Vaughn’s father’s death; he’s surprised that she remembers. Lauren calls Vaughn and they go through the motions of marriage.

Barnett meets Sloane at a restaurant in Zurich and brings up his so-called transformation from ruthless killer to apparent humanitarian. They discuss Il Dire, and he claims that before the message “peace,” it released eight yards of blank parchment. Barnett reminds him that he almost told her a secret the last time they were together, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. She decides that she should leave. Back at the ops center, Marshall finishes up with the information and sends Sydney and Vaughn to Lisbon with a device that will find the plasma charge. In Lisbon, Sydney and Vaughn are ambushed and Vaughn appears to get shot. Then we’re back to the beginning, and Vaughn and Lauren are in their bedroom in the middle of the night. (Just go with it.) This time, after Vaughn leaves, Lauren returns Sark’s call, unamused that he basically wants to remind her to do her job. After the meeting at the ops center, Sydney tries to talk to Lauren, wanting to convince her that nothing is going on between her and Vaughn. She suggests that if something is wrong with their marriage, Lauren leave Sydney out of it and figure things out with her husband. Lauren chats with Sark on the phone in the middle of the CIA (because she’s an idiot), passing on the information about the plasma charge.

Lauren and Sark drop down into the Vancouver storage facility and take out a guard. They get to work before Sydney and Vaughn arrive, but Lauren still has to hurry to stay ahead of them and plant a virus in the database. A facility employee finds the guard Lauren and Sark killed, then Lauren herself. She gives him a gun and tells him that if he doesn’t kill Vaughn and Sydney when they emerge from the room they’re in, she’ll kill him. He does what was ordered of him, but Lauren shoots him, since he didn’t finish the job. The car chase begins again, and after it’s over, Lauren and Sark end up in bed together. Lauren calls Vaughn, though she has to take a moment to tell Sark to leave her alone for a second. At the restaurant in Zurich, Barnett starts to leave but Sloane apologizes and announces that he’ll tell her and only her his secret. Sloane claims that years ago, he had an affair with Irina; Jack and Emily never found out and he and Irina decided to never tell anyone. Barnett jumps to the conclusion that Sydney is really Sloane’s daughter. Sark and Lauren head to Lisbon, arriving shortly after Sydney and Vaughn. Vaughn is fine, of course, because he was wearing Kevlar. Sydney and Vaughn split up and Sydney gets the plasma charge, but Lauren finds her and prepares to shoot her.

Vaughn spots Lauren and tells her to drop her weapon. However, he can’t get her to take off her mask. Sark holds Sydney at gunpoint and tells Vaughn that if he loves her, he’ll drop his gun. Vaughn drops his gun. Sark gets his hands on the plasma charge, so Vaughn goes after him and sends Sydney after Lauren. Vaughn catches up with Sark and demands the plasma charge, so Sark activates it and tosses it to him. An over-caffeinated Marshall walks Vaughn through disarming it. Back in L.A., Vaughn and Lauren meet up at a restaurant, but they’re interrupted again when she gets a call from Sark. He taunts her about having to see Vaughn drop the gun for Sydney and notes that, though Vaughn is there with her, he’d rather be with Sydney. After she hangs up, Lauren kisses Vaughn and tells him she missed him. At the ops center, Jack tells Sydney that they have the plasma charge, but she points out that they don’t have Sark. They decide to forget about it and have dinner.

WELCOME TO SPY COUNTRY: Lauren: “Are you ready for our first job as senior management?”
Sark: “You’re so ambitious. I love it.”
Lauren: “The job’s in Vancouver. Requires a breach of a data storage facility.”
Sark: “Really? What’s the prize?”
Lauren: “A plasma charge. Next-generation destructive power.”
Sark: “I thought those were just theoretical.”
Lauren: “Apparently not in Vancouver.”
Sark: “All right. I’ll meet you there in four hours.”
Lauren: “Three. We have to be first in line. The CIA’s sending agents.”
Sark: “Who?”
Lauren: “One guess.”
Sark: “Sweetheart, this should be fun.”
Lauren: “I’ll see you in Vancouver. Don’t be late. Or call me sweetheart.”
Sark: “Ambitious and domineering. Fantastic.”

Sark: “How’s it feel to systematically ruin a man from the inside out?”
Lauren: “It wouldn’t be the first time.”

Lauren: “They’re right behind us!”
Sark: “Yes, thank you, I can see that.”

Marshall: “No, you can do it you can do it you can do it you can do it, Vaughn. You can do it you can do it.”
Vaughn: “Plasma charge is secure.”
Marshall: “See? Told you you could do it.”


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