"Parity"
Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman; directed by Mikael Salomon

Sydney is still in Cairo, holding a nuclear core while Hassan holds a gun to her head (see “So it Begins”). She warns that she’s holding something pretty dangerous. He tells her to put it down, though she thinks that he’ll kill her after she does. Instead, she throws the core in the air, knocks Hassan out, catches the core, and takes off. In juxtaposed scenes, Sydney tries to convince her professor that she has a good excuse for not turning in a paper as she tries to escape the situation in Cairo. She drops the core but grabs it, then blows the place up and gets extracted. Later, Sydney hangs out with Francie, who thinks that Charlie is hiding something from her. Sydney is impressed that Francie can call her father for advice and mentions that she ran into Jack recently (out shopping). She says that she’s always had the feeling that she and Jack might someday be able to connect. Francie thinks that if Sydney can find a way to forgive him (which she herself would never be able to do), she should make an effort. She encourages Sydney to call Jack or go visit him at work and just start talking. Sydney waits for Jack in a parking garage and starts asking about her recruitment at SD-6 and her mother’s death. Jack tells her not to come there again.

At SD-6, Sloane tells Sydney, Dixon, and Marshall that the Mueller device (see “Truth be Told”) was created based on sketches by a man named Milo Rambaldi. Rambaldi, who lived in the 1400s, was extremely technologically advanced. He wrote computer code on two sketches, one of which SD-6 has and the other which is in the possession of a man named Benegas. A group called K-Directorate is on to Rambaldi as well, and a woman named Anna Espinosa (Gina Torres) seduced Benegas in order to get access to the sketch. Sydney writes out her mission for the CIA, telling them that she’s being sent to Madrid to break into a case in a vault to get the computer code. At home, Sydney gets two calls at once, letting Will pick up one line. The call Sydney gets is from Danny’s landlord, asking her to come get some of his things. The call Will gets is for Joey’s Pizza. Sydney meets up with Vaughn in a park and tells her that his boss, Devlin, wants her to get the computer code because the CIA is also after it. They discuss Anna, who Sydney has already had a run-in with. Vaughn tells her that he’s being replaced as her handler by a senior officer. At the CIA, Vaughn complains to Weiss about this and Weiss says that Vaughn sounds jealous and is too emotionally attached to Sydney. Vaughn says that he’s just worried because Anna sounds dangerous and could turn up in Madrid. Indeed, she’s there.

At SD-6, Marshall gives Sydney a necklace that will transmit what she says into a mic inside it. She and Dixon head to Madrid as Marshall voices over that the peseta he gave them contains a sonic wave emitter. At the party where the mission will take place, Sydney spots Anna posing as a waitress. Sydney shatters a window and heads up to the vault while Dixon works on looping a video signal. However, Sydney realizes that Anna has already gotten into the alarm system. Dixon suggests that they piggyback off of that signal. After hearing Anna in the ducts, Sydney heads for the elevator and Dixon loops the feed. Unfortunately, Anna reaches the vault first and takes the case. She kisses the glass door, leaving a lipstick imprint to taunt Sydney, and takes off. Dixon spots Anna’s K-Directorate partners and makes sure they can’t get away. Sydney goes after Anna but is bested in a fight with her. When Sydney finally meets up with Dixon, she takes his gun and shoots off Anna’s bag, leaving the sketch with her and Dixon. Will goes to Danny’s apartment to get his things and notices a traffic camera outside the window. Back at his office, he calls someone to get photos the camera took the night Danny was murdered. He then calls Sydney and asks her to dinner that night.

Sydney meets with her new handler, Lambert, who is more congenial than Sydney appreciates. Later, she, Will, Francie, and Charlie hang out at Sydney’s and play poker. They all agree that Will has an obvious tell, but Francie wonders why she can never tell when Sydney bluffs. Will gets a call and learns that all of the traffic cameras within a mile of Danny’s house were out the night he was killed. After Francie and Charlie leave, a tipsy Sydney and Will eat ice cream and wind up kissing. At SD-6, Sloane tells Sydney that Marshall was unable to open the box containing the sketch, so he and K-Directorate have made a deal where Anna and Sydney will meet in a neutral location and open the box together. Sloane doesn’t think they have anything to lose because he doesn’t think K-Directorate knows that the code is split between two sketches. After Sloane leaves, Sydney asks Jack again about her mother’s death. He tells her that she knew he was in the CIA and her death was an accident. Sydney meets with Lambert, who tells her that she needs to tag Anna with a tracking chip. She tells him that if Vaughn isn’t on the other end when she turns on her two-way earpiece, she’s not giving the CIA anything. Lambert says that Vaughn is a junior agent so Sydney replies that they should promote him.

At his office, Will shows his boss a map of the city’s traffic cameras and tells her that it can’t just be a coincidence that the ones around Danny’s apartment were all out when he was killed. She gives him a week to investigate and write about what really happened. In Berlin, Sydney gets wired for her mission as she talks to Francie on the phone; Francie thinks that Charlie is cheating on her. She found a matchbook with a girl’s name and number on it in his pocket. Sydney tells her that she shouldn’t assume the worst yet because the truth isn’t always what it looks like. She says something to an agent in German and tells Francie that she’s with a German bank client. Sydney heads to the stadium where she and Anna will be meeting; it’s canvassed by snipers. When she turns on her earpiece, she’s pleased to hear Vaughn on the other end. At SD-6, Sloane asks Jack if he’s spoken to Sydney about her mother. Jack confirms that she asked about Laura’s death. “Did you tell her the truth?” Sloane asks. Jack shakes his head. Anna arrives at the stadium and meets up with Sydney in the center. She mentions Danny’s death, noting that it sounds like it was sanctioned by Sloane, then asks, “But then why would you be here in service for the men that killed your true love?” They open the box and are stunned by what’s inside.

WELCOME TO SPY COUNTRY: Anna

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “Can I say something, and-and not just as a fellow officer, but as a very smart man?” - Weiss

Will: “I’m in the kitchen, and I’m eating cereal for, like, five minutes. And I hear someone coughing. I put on my glasses and there’s three men painting my walls. I totally forgot they were coming.”
Charlie: “That’s bad.”
Sydney: “No, the bad thing was, he was naked.”

Sloane: “Marshall, would you please go back to work?”
Marshall: “Just to clarify, I’m not being fired?”
Sloane: “Back to work means not fired.”

Sydney: “Who am I talking to?”
Vaughn: “Your invisible friend.”
Sydney: “Good. Where are you?”
Vaughn: “Satellite relay station back in L.A., watching you from a 200 mile orbit.”
Sydney: “My guardian angel.”
Vaughn: “I was going to say the same thing to you.”


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