"Dead Drop"
Written by Jesse Alexander; directed by Guy Bee

Sydney is still trapped under ice after the end of “Cipher.” She finds a dead agent nearby and takes a few breaths from his oxygen supply, then uses his gun to shoot through the ice. She’s unable to pull herself out, but Dixon rescues her. Back in L.A., Sloane notes that Sark got the music box, but Sydney tells him that it didn’t work anyway. Sloane wonders why Rambaldi wouldn’t take measures to make sure the music box wouldn’t succumb to the elements. At the self-storage facility, Sydney tells Vaughn that she doesn’t think Sloane suspects that she destroyed the music box. He tells her that the mission was a success, but she’s not too thrilled to have to admit that Irina’s information was helpful. Vaughn says that Sydney can talk to him about her mother, but she knows that it’s difficult for him to hear. He wonders if she can ever forgive Irina for the things she’s done, then reveals that Jack is lobbying Kendall to have Irina taken away. Sydney heads to the joint task force building, where Kendall argues that as long as Irina is helping them fight SD-6, she should be kept around. Jack thinks that even though Irina has been helpful, nothing she says or does can be trusted. Sydney claims that every conversation she’s had with Irina has been professional, but Jack brings up the whole turkey thing. He doesn’t want Sydney to make the same mistakes he did. Sydney assures him that she’s not naïve.

At SD-6, Sloane tells Jack about the phone call he received from the bed and breakfast. He asks Jack to send someone over there to check things out, but he doesn’t want the information to get back to the Alliance. Sloane adds that they found the music box in the Falkland Islands; it was destroyed as Sydney said it was, but they found something else. At home, Will asks Sydney if his hypnotherapy session provided any useful information. She assures him that it did. Sydney gets a page and Will asks if it’s from the good guys or the bad guys. She tells him it’s from Jack. She meets up with him and learns that Sark got away from the SD-6 agents sent after him, but they did find a man named Richter who had been tortured in the same location. Three weeks earlier he was in Barcelona, at the same time Irina and the CIA were there (see “The Enemy Walks In”), and Sloane believes that Irina gave him the Bible. Jack interrogated Richter and realized that he’s sick, even though nothing showed up in the tests he was given. He may have had an allergic reaction, the first sign of which was bleeding from his fingernails. Richter revealed to Jack that a map of the location of the Bible is hidden in a first edition of War and Piece in a building in Moscow. Once Sydney gets it, she’ll swap it for a fake provided by the CIA and give that one to SD-6. Sydney wants to go to Irina to make sure that she doesn’t need to know anything else before the mission.

Will attends an NA meeting, telling the other participants that his “addiction” has helped him grow closer to a friend about whom he didn’t know much before. After the meeting, a woman named Rebecca approaches and shares her theory that Will was never an addict - he got too close to SD-6 and they shut him down. Will claims that that’s not true, but Rebecca wants to help him prove that his story about SD-6 was real. Sydney goes to see Irina, who agrees to help in exchange for a pair of earrings that were taken from her when she turned herself in. Jack meets with Barnett, who says that he tried to convince Sydney that she shouldn’t trust Irina. Obviously, it didn’t work. Sydney shares her plan for entrance into the building with Irina, who gives her some pointers. Barnett asks Jack if Irina might want forgiveness, an idea he finds ridiculous. He can’t believe the CIA is willing to work with someone who killed their agents and ruined so many lives. “Yours?” Barnett asks. As Sydney leaves Irina’s cell, pleased with the meeting, Jack tells Barnett that his main fear is that he’s losing Sydney. At the self-storage facility Vaughn tells Sydney not to worry about him where Irina is concerned. He says that he’s concerned, however, because he knows that Jack is upset about her seeing Irina and he knows that doesn’t make things any easier for Sydney. “I’m your ally,” he assures her. “Never question that.”

In Russia, Sydney dresses as a military official, wearing a medal that’s actually an electronic skeleton key. She uses a computer connected to a crane to get the book she needs, but before she can retrieve it, she’s stopped by Sark. He offers her a partnership, but she declines, sets off an alarm, and starts fighting him. She grabs the map and makes it to an office, where she calls Vaughn and asks to speak to Irina, who would be able to alert her to a secret escape route. Vaughn runs to Irina’s cell and gets information from her on how to help Sydney. “How do you say ‘thank you’ to the woman who killed your father?” Irina asks. “You don’t,” Vaughn replies. Back at the join task force building, Sydney tells Vaughn that Sark wanted to work with her, then assures him that SD-6 doesn’t seem suspicious about the fake map. Vaughn thinks that Irina might be able to help decoder the real one. Sydney notes that she needs to see her again anyway. She gives her mother the earrings she wanted and learns that Irina’s mother gave them to her the day she graduated from the academy. Sydney asks her to decode the map, which leads to a place in Madagascar. Jack asks Dixon to go to the bed and breakfast to check things out for Sloane.

Sydney tells Jack, Vaughn, and Kendall that Irina claims the building she needs to go to isn’t rigged with explosives; Jack, of course, doesn’t trust this news. After some fighting, Kendall sends Sydney and Vaughn to Madagascar. That night, Jack meets with someone who will rig the building in Madagascar with explosives. After another NA meeting, Rebecca approaches Will again but he repeats that he’s not pursuing the SD-6 story again. Rebecca, who happens to be an SD-6 agent, tells Sloane that Will isn’t a threat. Dixon brings Sloane the guest book from the bed and breakfast and he sees that Emily has signed it. In Madagascar, Jack stops Sydney and Vaughn from entering the building, pretending that he’s spotted heat sources around it. Sydney and Vaughn check under the building and confirm this. Sydney is horrified at the thought that Irina lied to her and almost got her killed. Vaughn thinks that Irina wanted them to destroy the Bible for her. Before the two of them can leave, Sark arrives and smacks Vaughn in the face. He sends two of his associates into the house, which, of course explodes. Jack thinks that Sydney tripped the explosives and is relieved to hear that she’s okay. Kendall orders Irina removed from the joint task force building, which confuses her. Back in L.A., Sydney meets with Jack in the self-storage facility and laments that she was wrong and he was right about Irina. He’s not as pleased as he thought he would be.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Will: “Good guys or bad guys?”
Sydney: “Neither. My father.”

Sark: “Whatever Arvin Sloane pays you, it can’t be enough. Would you consider coming to work for me if it meant I’d let you walk out of here? I believe if you took the time to hear the comprehensive offer, you might actually say yes.”
Sydney: “You’re cute, but I’ll pass.”

“Sark is like the good-looking guy in high school who knows how cute he is and won’t take no for an answer.” - Sydney

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