"The Descent"
Written and directed by Jeffrey Bell

An assault team breaks into the DSR’s Rambaldi artifact storage facility, taking everything, including the coil from “Nightingale” and a ball called the Sphere of Life. Elena prepares to leave Sydney and Nadia’s house, having pretended that the police in Lisbon called to tell her it’s safe for her to go home. At APO, Vaughn tells Marshall that he wants to talk to Jack, showing him the ring he’s going to give Sydney. He tells Jack of his plans but doesn’t receive the response he was looking for. Before Jack can go too far, alarms go off and agents come in to perform a warranted search. Jack learns that Chase has authorized the seizure of “relevant materials.” At Sydney and Nadia’s, Chase and some other agents arrive for another search, which uncovers a bunch of weapons around the house (Sydney has a secret drawer of knives). Chase asks Nadia about her computer, noting that it was used to deactivate an alarm at the DSR. Another agent finds the necklace that Elena gave to Nadia and, as Jack and Sloane arrive, the sisters learn that it contains a transmitter. Nadia and Sloane don’t think that “Sophia” could be behind all of the breaches, but Jack is onto her and thinks she’s really Elena. He says that he and Sloane have been looking for her for months, but she must have found them first. She’s behind everything that’s been happening - Arvin Clone, Bill’s journal, and McCullough, to name a few - in order to get and assemble the Rambaldi artifacts.

At APO, Nadia informs Sloane that Elena didn’t actually go to the airport; it looks like she’s still in L.A. Nadia blames herself for helping things along by letting Elena stay with her. Sloane says that he’s the one who’s responsible, since his obsession with Rambaldi was what got Nadia involved in the first place. They realize that if Elena has all of the artifacts, her next step will be a visit to someone named Lazlo Drake. Sloane promises Nadia that he’ll find Elena and end everything. In a flashback to China a year earlier, Nadia wonders why Sloane has brought her there when she told him that the Sphere of Life is in Siena (see “Resurrection”). He explains that they’re there to see Drake, who has “answers to a few final questions.” He apparently has a manuscript that details how all of the artifacts must be assembled in order to bring about Rambaldi’s final prophecy. Sloane thinks that they’ll be able to make the world a better place with the knowledge Drake has. Sloane and Nadia meet up with him, but he doesn’t want to talk until they actually have the Sphere of Life. Drake considers Nadia an artifact herself and tells Sloane that only she can get the Sphere of Life because she’s the only one who knows where it is. Sloane says that he didn’t come this far just to quit. As the two head for the Sphere, Sloane tells Nadia that he’s always wanted to be the man Rambaldi wrote about discovering the true meaning of his work and changing the world.

Nadia and Sloane arrive at a room lit with torches and find the Sphere of Life in the middle of a glass Rambaldi symbol. Because Nadia apparently didn’t hear Drake earlier, Sloane tells her that she has to get the Sphere of Life. When she touches the box containing it, she has visions of what will occur in “Before the Flood.” She’s upset because Sloane lied that Rambaldi’s message was “peace” and starts to leave without the box. Sloane orders her to get it and she tells him that the power is poisoning him. He goes to get the box himself but falls through the glass. Nadia goes to help him, which surprises him, and has to pull a shard of glass out of his chest. In the present, Sloane tells the APO agents about Drake and Vaughn asks what Rambaldi’s endgame is supposed to be. Sloane says that if Elena is in charge, it will probably be the apocalypse. Unfortunately, there’s no way to find Drake, unless APO can get to him through one of his financers. Sloane wants to talk to Drake once he’s found, despite the agreement he made that forbids him to interact with people like Drake. In Cannes, Sydney goes to a jewelry store and lets Greyson Wells, Drake’s financer, see that she has a Rambaldi symbol on her hand. Later, she calls Sloane (having stripped Wells and tied him to a chair) and tells him that she’s going with him to see Drake, who’s outside of Mexico City.

At APO, Marshall tries to make Nadia feel better about having trusted Elena. Sloane meets Sydney in Mexico and warns that she’s putting herself in danger. He promises that he’s there to make things better for Nadia, not to fulfill his twisted desires, but Sydney doesn’t believe him. They arrive at Drake’s trailer to discover that Elena has already been there and killed Drake. They find surveillance footage of Elena and Drake talking and hear Elena taunting Sloane for giving up his pursuit of Rambaldi for Nadia. Before Sydney can hear where Elena has taken all of the artifacts, Sloane knocks her out. She later calls Jack to notify him and criticize herself for letting Sloane beat her. Dixon blasts Chase for letting Sloane get so far, but she says that she did what she thought was best. He’s still happy to see her, though, since they’re apparently secretly dating. Sydney suggests to Jack that he speak with Katya; he’s not thrilled with the idea but agrees that they don’t have any other choices. He visits Katya in her cell and asks for everything she knows about Elena’s operations. She wants immunity in exchange. She reveals that Elena has been using the Covenant as a front for years in order to get the artifacts; she only let the CIA believe that they’d dismantled the organization. Katya adds that Irina would have taken Elena out if Jack hadn’t killed her first. Now, there’s no hope to stop her.

Jack calls Sydney to tell her that Elena is in Prague and he wants her to go there and meet up with Nadia and Dixon. Sloane surrenders himself to Elena in Prague, wanting to make a deal with her. She comments that she thought he was reformed. He replies that he’s been born again. That night, Sydney, Nadia, and Dixon infiltrate the facility and split up. Dixon spots a prisoner being led into a van but is caught by Sloane. He reminds Dixon that he warned him and tells him he’s the only one who can stop what’s happening. Sydney and Nadia hear gunshots and run off to find Dixon, who has been shot by Elena. They take him to a hospital, where Chase visits him, to Jack and Sydney’s surprise. Jack criticizes himself for believing that Irina wanted to kill Sydney when he knew that she would never hurt her daughter. Sydney thinks that Katya is wrong and the two of them can stop Elena. She assures him that she trusts his instincts because he always has her best interests at heart. Elsewhere, Elena slams Sloane for letting Sydney and Nadia find them; she’s not sure he’s really back in the fold. At APO, Jack tells Vaughn that he’s reconsidered what’s best for Sydney and wants to give them his blessing. At the hospital, Nadia notes that Sydney knew before she did that Sloane would turn on them. Sydney doesn’t blame her for trusting him, since he’s her father. The two go in to see Dixon, who tells them that the prisoner he saw being transported is someone they’re familiar with - Irina.

BACK FROM THE DEAD: Irina

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “You’re not listening, General. We’re not going to pay you. Because I don’t believe it exists. Fine. (to Vaughn) As if weapon-grade anthrax grows on trees.” - Jack

“Perhaps you believe my recent illness has rendered me less coherent than before, or that my cognitive faculties have been somehow dulled or diminished. Allow me to clarify the facts for you, Agent Vaughn. While I’ve come to believe you’re not as useless as I first imagined….” - Jack

“Don’t touch the fur. All right, you may touch the fur. Once.” - Sydney

Sydney: “Do you think we can trust her?”
Jack: “She’s a Derevko.”

Sydney: (re: Chase) “Did you have any idea she and Dixon…?”
Jack: “No. But then, I tend to miss those kinds of details.”


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