"Façade"
Written by Christopher Hollier and R.P. Gaborno; directed by Jack Bender

In an office building in Belfast, two men attempt to disarm a bomb but aren’t sure what to do. They pick a random wire and cut it. It’s the wrong one. At the ops center, Dixon tells everyone that the bomb was placed and probably designed by a man named Daniel Ryan who has previously worked for the Covenant and sent them a message after the explosion. Apparently he wanted a bomb squad to be called in because of some theory that the bomb he created can’t be defused. The Covenant has 48 hours to contact him about buying the product; if they don’t, he’ll set off a second bomb in order to get bids from terrorist groups who don’t like America. The CIA needs to go to the pub where he’ll be waiting and pose as the Covenant to get him to cooperate. Sydney notes that Lisenker (see “Crossings”) is still in the CIA’s custody and might be able to give them some information on Ryan. Dixon decides to try that but has Vaughn and Weiss come up with the plan to contact Ryan in case Lisenker isn’t helpful. Sydney meets with Lisenker in the safehouse where he’s being held and he tells her that Ryan used to work for the IRA. Elsewhere, Weiss asks after Vaughn’s marriage, but Sydney arrives before he can answer. As they head off to talk to Dixon, Vaughn tells Weiss that his marriage is great. “Yeah, I can tell,” Weiss replies.

In Belfast, Weiss joins Ryan (played by Ricky Gervais) at his table in a pub and announces that he’s arresting him for transporting explosives. He takes him outside, where they’re ambushed and some guards, as well as Weiss, are apparently shot. Sydney, calling herself Emma, tells Ryan that his contact, Vladimir Andrejev, sent her; she blasts him for being stupid enough to attract the CIA. A masked Vaughn knocks Ryan out and Vaughn and Sydney take off with him as Weiss and the guards get up, unharmed. In L.A., Sydney and Vaughn head to a warehouse that has been made up to look like a hotel room, since Ryan does all of his Covenant business in a Moscow hotel room. They’re going to pose as the Covenant and pretend that they want to buy a bunch of Ryan’s stuff, though Vaughn isn’t sure they should rely on Lisenker’s information. Weiss, Marshall, and Lisenker check out the fake room, which is equipped with Russian satellite TV and is pretty much an exact replica of the real room Ryan uses. Weiss warns that he can only go as far as the lobby without realizing that the room isn’t real. An unconscious Ryan is wheeled in and the CIA agents move to another room to watch the proceedings on TV.

Ryan awakes and calls the front desk, reaching Jack, who gives him a message from Andrejev that “Emma” is fully equipped to help him out. Sydney goes to the room and tells Ryan that her organization would like to buy his weapons. She points out that if it weren’t for her, the CIA would have captured and executed him. She adds that he’s all over the news because he killed a CIA agent. Marshall patches in fake newsfeed about the shooting, which Ryan sees. Ryan tells Sydney that he wants to get in touch with his former contact, Pannich. Lisenker realizes that Ryan is trying to trick Sydney, since Pannich is a woman, and is also dead. He passes this on to Sydney, who calls Ryan’s bluff and tells him that if he leaves the hotel, he’ll be killed. She threatens to kill him herself if he tries to leave, but he doesn’t believe that the Covenant would let that happen. As Ryan starts to leave, Jack orders Lisenker to go over and stop him. He does so, backing up Sydney’s story. Ryan agrees to sell his weapons, but he wants the transfer to be dealt with by Sark. Lisenker tells him this won’t be a problem. Dixon isn’t happy that Lisenker agreed to send Sark in without talking to the CIA first, but Lisenker notes that Ryan has never met Sark, so they can send someone in to pretend to be him. Vaughn winds up with the job.

Ryan tells Vaughn that the information he needs will be on a disk taken on a plane by his associate the next night. He notes that Vaughn will know the associate because they’ve worked together before. Dixon realizes that this means the real Sark will have to be on the plane. Ryan tells Vaughn that the second bomb demonstration will be called off when the associate sees him on the plane. Sydney suggests to Jack that they put out a communiqué from Ryan to the Covenant detailing the plan in order to get Sark on the plane. Dixon agrees and tasks Vaughn to shadow Sark on the plane. Late night, Vaughn boards the plane and Sark kills a couple in order to get a ticket. Vaughn admits to Sydney that he doesn’t think the associate is going to show up. After an hour in the air, Sydney tells Ryan to call his associate and say that the deal is off. He tells her it’s not possible. Sydney quickly contacts Vaughn and tells him that the whole thing was a setup to get Sark on the plane. Jack decides that they should just take advantage of the situation and take Sark into custody. While Vaughn tries to get help from a flight attendant, Sydney calls Sloane, who tells her that Ryan is now only a mercenary. His brother, Christopher, disappeared last year and Ryan believes that the Covenant had him killed. Sydney doesn’t realize that she’s interrupted a private moment between Sloane and Dr. Barnett.

The CIA agents go over what they know about Ryan and Christopher, and when Sydney sees a photo of Christopher, she realizes that the Covenant did have him killed - he was the “unimportant man” she killed in “Full Disclosure.” Jack notes that killing Sark will be public revenge, if what Ryan said about him being in charge of the North American cell is correct (see “After Six”). On the plane, Vaughn joins Sark and has him locked up in the restroom. Sark notes that Vaughn should be concerned that Ryan’s associate never showed up. Via Vaughn, Sydney lets a flight attendant know that there may be a bomb on the plane. Vaughn finds it in the cargo hold and requests help from Marshall. Jack decides that they need to come clean to Ryan. He adds that if they can convince him that they have Sark in custody, he might tell them how to disarm the bomb. Marshall discovers that the bomb has a barometric sensor, which means that it will detonate if the plane dips too low. Sydney goes to see Ryan and confesses that everything that’s happened since he met Weiss has been a trick. The CIA takes him to the ops center to prove that they’re telling the truth, and Dixon offers a deal in which Ryan disarms the bomb and no charges are filed against him.

The agents tell Ryan that he didn’t meet the real Sark, but they do have him in custody. Ryan doesn’t seem willing to save the innocent people on the plane; he notes that his brother was innocent. Marshall tells Vaughn that they might be able to trick the bomb into thinking that the plane is still at a high altitude even when it’s not. This requires deactivating the motion sensor, which Vaughn notes is what the squad was doing in Belfast when they died. Marshall is unable to figure out which wire Vaughn should cut and suggests that he get help from someone else. Sydney approaches Ryan by herself and tries to bond with him over their hatred of the Covenant. She doesn’t notice that he seems to recognize her alias, Julia Thorne. She begs for his help, since Vaughn is on the plane. Vaughn brings Sark into the cargo hold and gets him to help with the bomb. He doesn’t see Sark grab a knife and conceal it. Ryan asks for a phone, since he needs one to access the bomb remotely and disarm it. As Vaughn and Sark deal with the bomb, Ryan dials a number, noting that the detonator should turn green when the bomb is disarmed. It doesn’t, and a display starts counting down from five minutes. As if that weren’t enough, the bomb in Marshall’s office is also activated. Ryan reveals that Pannich told him that Julia Thorne killed Christopher.

With three and a half minutes left, Marshall announces that he might be able to find the right signal to reverse engineer the deactivation and shut down both bombs. Everyone begins to evacuate the ops center and Jack volunteers to make sure Ryan is handled. As Sydney watches from Marshall’s office, Jack chooses to forego coercion and starts choking Ryan. Once Ryan is unconscious, Jack and Sydney revive him with epinephrine and a defibrillator. When Ryan wakes up, Jack tells him to give them the codes or they’ll repeat the process. Ryan decides to cooperate. Both bombs are disarmed, but Sark takes advantage of the victory and tries to stab Vaughn. Vaughn overpowers him and Sark is taken into custody when the plane lands. Sydney leaves the ops center and cries outside by her car. Vaughn arrives and hugs her.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Ryan: (looking at Weiss’ ID) “You’ve put on weight.”
Weiss: “So have you.”

“That was good, right? It’s called method acting. I was shot in the neck once. I can do it again.” - Weiss

Sydney: “According to Lisenker, Ryan always does business with the Covenant at the Commodore Hotel in Moscow, room 305.”
Vaughn: “I still think it would just be easier to sic your father on him.”

Marshall: “Okay, go ahead and cut that. No, no, no, wait!”
Vaughn: “I hate it when you do that!”

“Okay, first of all, I didn’t touch anything. I swear.” - Marshall

“You think it’s a white light? Well, I’m here to tell you the last words I want you to hear, ever. There is no white light. Not for people like you.” - Jack to Ryan


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