"Mea Culpa"
Written by Debra J. Fisher and Erica Messer; directed by Ken Olin

On the heels of the end of “Time Will Tell,” Sydney hangs from the ladder in the deep pit in Argentina. She climbs up and finds Dixon shot. She uses a CIA-issued phone to call for help, using her code name, Freelancer, which Dixon seems to overhear. Back in L.A., Sydney meets with Vaughn at the self-storage unit and tells him that after the CIA took them to Buenos Aires and Dixon was admitted to a hospital, she called Sloane and told him that she got Dixon to the hospital by herself. He’s now in an SD-6 hospital in L.A. and Sydney has had to lie to his wife, Diane, about what really happened. (Diane thinks that they were in Rome and Dixon was shot in a drive-by outside a bank. Sydney tells Vaughn that she thinks Dixon heard her use her CIA code name and suggests that he put agents with him. Vaughn notes that they wouldn’t be able to, since the hospital is an SD-6 facility. At SD-6, Sloane meets with Dreyer, who he thinks is under a lot of pressure from the Alliance to find the mole in the agency. He notes that there were no abnormalities in Sydney’s lie detector test (see “Time Will Tell”) but Dreyer thinks she’s the double agent. Sloane thinks he’s just desperate to point fingers. Dreyer reminds him of all of the mistakes Sydney has made and suggests that he follow protocol. Sloane warns him not to do anything, adding that he’ll take care of Sydney himself.

Out at dinner, Will asks Sydney about the drive-by, thinking it’s strange that things like this keep happening to her. At SD-6, the regular crew, including Russek (“Parity”), views footage of a bank robbery carried off by men working for Hassan. SD-6 wants to find Hassan, who they’ve usually been able to keep tabs on, and bring him to justice. Sydney is tasked to crash a party in Tuscany thrown by Hassan’s accountant, Gerace, in order to get the number of Hassan’s offshore account. She will then transfer the info in a dead drop at a park nearby. Will meets with a technologically-inclined friend and fills him in on the saga of Danny and Eloise. The friend notes that the bug he got from Eloise’s car is currently on. At Sydney’s house, she and Francie make plans to go look at wedding dresses when Sydney gets back from her “business trip.” She gets a Joey’s Pizza call and heads out to a café to meet with Vaughn, who warns that SD-6 is sending her to Tuscany to get revenge. (Hassan thinks SD-6 double-crossed him and later tricked them into giving him money without giving them weapons.) The CIA wants Sydney to get access to his money so they can tag the account and see what SD-6 spends the money on.

Sydney tells Vaughn that Sloane said she passed her lie detector test and claims that he didn’t want to have to kill Danny. He also revealed that he’s known Jack for 30 years and has always thought of Sydney as his own daughter. Sydney thinks he was saying goodbye to her, like he knows she won’t be coming back. Vaughn asks her to contact him when she returns so he knows she’s okay. At SD-6, Sloane sends a message to SD-4 that he’s ordering Sydney’s assassination in the park in Tuscany. Sydney arrives at the party via parachute and uses a biometric sensor to create a liquid latex duplication of his fingerprint. She spots a picture of a woman in a wedding dress and realizes that she’s standing Francie up. At his newspaper building, Will asks whoever may be on the other end of the bug to call him so they can talk about Eloise. Instead, he gets a call from Francie, who wants to know where Sydney is. At the CIA, Weiss informs Vaughn that Sydney has been made - they intercepted the transmission to SD-4 and know that she’s going to be assassinated in Tuscany. Vaughn immediately gets in touch with Jack. In Tuscany, Sydney gets caught by a guard after completing the first part of her mission but gets out of the situation by pretending to be drunk. Jack calls Vaughn and tells him not to pull Sydney out of Tuscany. Vaughn tells him that they already have a team en route to rescue her.

At SD-6, Jack asks Marshall to check the server logs and sees that Sloane sent a message someone at SD-4. As CIA agents make plans in case they need to help Sydney, Jack arrives and announces that the situation is a set-up. Sloane’s message was only sent to the CIA because he thinks that someone is listening in; if the CIA pulls Sydney out, Sloane will know that he’s right and Sydney will be exposed as a double agent. Vaughn doesn’t want to risk Sydney’s life, but Jack says that if things go off without a hitch, she’ll prove herself to Sloane. They continue arguing as Sydney arrives at the park and the CIA agents try to figure out who might be after her. Things go off without incident and Sloane is pleased that Sydney is apparently not a double agent. Will and Francie hang out, drinking, and he shows her the bug. They start yelling into it, but the person listening on the other end calls Will and says, “Stop talking about the bug.” Sloane meets with Dreyer, who thinks that a high-level intelligence agent could have figured out that the hit on Sydney wasn’t real. Sloane says that whoever hacked into the server has no reason to believe that it was a set-up, and the point is that if Sydney were a double agent, she wouldn’t have been in the park for the dead drop. Dreyer still isn’t convinced, but Sloane is and tells him to keep looking for the real mole.

At home, Sydney apologizes to Francie for not being there to help her look at dresses. Francie thinks that she skipped their plans because she would feel weird shopping for a wedding dress when she’s not getting married anymore. Sydney assures her that she was only gone because of her job. Will gets a call at his office from a distorted voice telling him to go to a street corner. At SD-6, Sloane tells Sydney that they have a bank name but no account number, so she and Russek will be going to Geneva to get it. At the self-storage facility, Vaughn tells Sydney that Jack was the one who ensured that her cover wasn’t blown in the park. He tells her to read the account numbers aloud when she gets them so that the CIA can still track SD-6’s movements. Will answers a pay phone on the street corner and agrees to go as far as possible to learn more about “Kate Jones.” In Geneva, Sydney knocks out a bank employee and gets into a vault to get the account numbers she needs. Will finds a tape in his glove compartment; when he plays it, he hears someone questioning Eloise on what she told Will, followed by shots. At SD-6, Marshall tells Dreyer that while Sydney was in the vault in Geneva, he picked up another signal, indicating a second transmission separate from SD-6’s. Dreyer passes the information on to Sloane. That night, Diane calls Sydney to tell her that Dixon has regained consciousness. She heads to the hospital to see him and learns that he doesn’t remember overhearing her CIA code name. On her way out, she’s grabbed by Sloane-sanctioned captors.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “I just lost 30 pounds. Okay, I’m not kidding.” - Weiss, after a stressful surveillance experience

Francie: (to the bug) “Do you think I will find a good wedding dress?”
Will: “Fran, it’s not a Magic 8 Ball.”

“Stop torturing Will Tippin! He’s my friend! Bad people!” - Francie to the bug

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