"Mirage"
Written by J.R. Orci and Steven Kane; directed by Lawrence Trilling and Brad Turner

In a club in Vienna, Sydney poses as a waitress and serves Dixon, Kradic, and Aleksander (see “A Clean Conscience”). Dixon is impatient about the arrival of the hydrosec, but Kradic doesn’t seem too worried. At APO, Nadia asks Sloane if they know how the hydrosec is arriving; he says that that was Jack’s responsibility, but he hasn’t been heard from yet. As the hydrosec arrives, Elena’s contact puts a chip in his glass, causing an explosion. He goes after the briefcase containing the hydrosec but Sydney gets the better of him. After some fighting and shooting, Kradic winds up with the briefcase and Dixon goes after him. Kradic threatens to pour the hydrosec in a water pipe, but Vaughn and Dixon just shoot him. Elena’s contact calls her at Sydney and Nadia’s place to let her know that the CIA now has the hydrosec. Elena tells Nadia that she’s planning to stay in a hotel, since she doesn’t want to intrude, but Nadia convinces her to stay in the house. At APO, Sydney tells Vaughn that she hasn’t heard from Jack in two days and is worried about him. They head to his apartment, where they find pills, syringes, and information on radiation treatment (see “Nightingale”).

Elena and her contact listen in on a conversation between Nadia and Marshall at APO about a drawing made of the contact. He’s not worried that they’ll be able to ID him with it. Elena thinks that the contact can hack into Nadia’s laptop to find out where the hydrosec is. In his office, Liddell tells Jack that his options are limited but mentions an alkylating agent that, though lethal, might be helpful. Elena calls Nadia at work to invite her, Sydney, Vaughn, and Weiss to dinner, which Elena will cook herself. Weiss quickly accepts. Jack visits someone who works with monkeys to get some sort of drug that humans shouldn’t take. At APO, Sydney asks Marshall to do some research on alkylating agents and radiation sickness. Based on his reaction to hearing that she’s discovered Jack’s condition, Sydney realizes that Marshall already knew. He admits to her that there is no treatment for Jack. Sydney goes to Sloane’s office and tells him that they need to find Jack. Sloane presents the situation to everyone else and Sydney mentions that Jack’s mental faculties may not all be in tip-top shape. Vaughn wonders if someone is making him think that there’s a cure for his condition. Jack goes back to Liddell’s office, taking him the drugs he has received.

APO tracks Jack’s ATM card and find him in a building not too far away. As Jack prepares to undergo treatment, he tells Liddell that he’s going to come clean with Sydney; she deserves to know that she and “Laura” are the most important people in his life. Sydney and Vaughn find Jack’s car outside a warehouse and go inside to see a man wearing Jack’s jacket. As Jack begins his treatment, Sydney and Vaughn find him in the warehouse, injecting himself with something. Back at APO, Vaughn tells Sloane that Jack believed he was giving himself a cure. He’s been hallucinating for weeks and was asking for Liddell. In a briefing, Sloane tells everyone that Dr. Liddell went to the Soviet Union during the Cold War and had to be extracted by Jack before he was executed for being a spy. However, there’s no record of where Jack took him, and the only other person who knew was Jack’s handler, who’s dead. Ironically, Liddell would most likely be able to help Jack. Vaughn doesn’t think that Liddell could completely disappear, but Sydney notes that if Jack helped him, he could. Later, Nadia asks Sydney if she can help, then offers to cancel dinner with Elena. Sydney tells her and Weiss to go without her.

At Sydney and Nadia’s house, Weiss meets Elena, who takes Nadia’s laptop to her contact in the bedroom. Sydney visits Jack in the hospital, but he thinks she’s Irina. Nadia gets a phone call and Elena tries to stall her from going to the bedroom to answer it. She holds onto her gun, just in case, but doesn’t need to use it. At APO, Sloane tells Sydney that Jack is too far gone to tell them where Liddell is. She thinks that they can hypnotize him, but Sloane thinks that his hallucinations will get in the way. Sydney mentions that Jack thought she was her mother, and Sloane gets the idea to convince Jack that it’s 1981 and he’s just extracted Liddell from Russia. They’ll recreate his surroundings and make him think that Sydney is Laura. The plan is put into motion and Vaughn tells Sydney that they’ve found a little girl to play the six-year-old version of her. Sydney is unsure of how she’s going to complete her mission, noting that she doesn’t remember her parents together. Jack was always away and she doesn’t know how they acted around each other. Vaughn tells her that this will be a mission like ones she’s used to; Laura is just another alias. Sloane enters the room that’s been made up to look like the Bristows’ house and is amazed by how well the set turned out. He’s also frighteningly familiar with where certain things belong and with the fact that Laura called Jack “sweetheart.”

Jack is brought in and revived with an injection. Sydney pretends to return home, and at first it looks like he’s not falling for the ruse, but he soon begins addressing Sydney as if she’s really Laura. (He also establishes that she didn’t really like Sloane back then.) Vaughn calls pretending to be a contact and tells Jack that he needs to extract Liddell soon. Jack doesn’t respond to his questions about where he’s taking Liddell, so the other agents decide to send in the fake six-year-old Sydney. While she practices the piano, Jack gives Vaughn his answer in code. He then tells “Laura” that he’ll have to go out of town that weekend for a mission. Nadia realizes that Irina knew Jack was a spy. Jack tells “Laura” that he’s taking Liddell to Finland, but he’ll have to miss Sydney’s birthday. She’s touched by how badly he feels about that. He tells her that when he gets back from the mission, he’ll talk to his supervisors and give his notice. Jack plays the piano with “Sydney” for a little while, then gets tranquilized. As Sydney meets with Liddell in Finland, Marshall tells Nadia that the hydrosec was moved to an off-site facility, apparently at her request. Of course, Elena organized the transfer, and when Weiss and Nadia find her contact dead, they wonder what’s going on. Sydney takes Liddell to APO and he promises Jack that he’ll make him better.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Vaughn: “So, this is where your dad lives, huh?”
Sydney: “Yeah, what did you expect?”
Vaughn: “I don’t know. A bunker or something.”

Sydney: (on the phone) “Oh, thank you, Marshall. Remind me to kiss you.”
Marshall: “Uh, okay.”
Weiss: “What? What’d she say?”
Marshall: “Uh, nothing.”

“Mr. Bristow hallucinated the one man who can actually save his life. Even his delusions are lucid.” - Marshall

“She asked me if you were tall, dark, and handsome. I told her you were tall.” - Nadia to Weiss

“We can always have Weiss dress up as Irina. I’m sure he’d make a great housewife.” - Vaughn


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