Written by Jeff Pinkner; directed by Ken Olin

Sydney walks through the ops center, dropping things in trashcans and using some sort of spray to get past a sensor. She plants what seem to be cell phones in various places. In Dixon’s office, Marshall tells him that he’s almost done figuring out the equation that will lead them to Rambaldi, at least according to Suit and Glasses (see “Legacy”). Sydney - who’s really Lauren in disguise - contacts Sark and starts downloading the equation. Marshall catches her and she shoots him. While she’s corrupting the database, he hits an emergency button under the desk. Just as Vaughn spots who he thinks is Sydney, the cell phones start exploding. Vaughn goes after “Sydney,” who removes her mask and escapes. In the parking garage, some guards catch Sark. The real Sydney is taken to an interrogation room and confronted for visiting Nadia at her safehouse. She learns that there was an attack on the ops center an hour earlier and gets to see footage of a disguised Lauren shooting Marshall. At the ops center, Vaughn lets Jack know that he took his suggestion to eliminate Lauren; Jack advises him to make sure the event occurs anonymously. Dixon tells them that Sark isn’t talking to anyone, so Jack suggests that Vaughn speak with him, since Sark tends to cave out of fear. Dixon reminds him that he can’t sanction any physical confrontations.

In Sark’s cell, Vaughn notes the irony that the last time they were together, Vaughn was at Sark’s mercy (see “Blood Ties”). Sark offers to talk, but he wants something in return. Vaughn refuses, so Sark tells him that Lauren will probably solve Rambaldi’s equation soon. Vaughn starts his physical interrogation. Sydney tells her own interrogator that she had no reason to steal the equation, since she could have just asked Marshall for it. He tells her that it was a Covenant raid and the CIA has Sark. Vaughn breaks Sark’s nose, which leads Sark to taunt him for sleeping with a woman who was betraying him. He adds that they were once having sex when Lauren called to tell Vaughn that she loved him. Vaughn breaks Sark’s arm and asks again where Lauren is. Sydney tells her interrogator that Lauren works for the Covenant but would still know the CIA’s security protocols, so they should be looking for her. The interrogator wants to discuss Nadia; he suspects that both sisters are involved in the CIA attack. Sydney notes that she won’t talk anymore, so the interrogator releases her, telling her she’ll be working a desk job for the time being. As Vaughn continues trying to get information out of Sark, Sydney returns to the ops center and learns from Weiss that Marshall is in surgery. She calls Vaughn, who tells her that he’s taking care of things. She begs him not to kill Lauren, fearing that she’ll lose him again.

Vaughn follows Lauren to a warehouse, where she gets the equation and coordinates from a technician who she then kills. Vaughn approaches, greeting her with, “Hi, honey.” Sydney goes to get the video of Sark’s interrogation, but Jack has already classified it. She goes to him to talk about Vaughn, but Jack is obviously in favor of him killing Lauren. Sydney thinks that Jack is applying the situation to his own with Irina and trying to get closure through Vaughn. Jack replies that he regrets not killing Irina and doesn’t want Vaughn to wind up like him. Vaughn takes Lauren to a warehouse and strings her up as she tries to convince him that she did fall in love with him. “I am going to erase you,” he replies. She says that she was going to tell him everything the night that he told her that Sydney was alive. Vaughn tells her that the only reason he’s not going to kill her, despite his hatred for her, is because he loves Sydney. Suddenly, someone stabs Vaughn in the back and takes a key from him. Lauren spits on him as she leaves. In the middle of the night, Sloane sneaks into Nadia’s safehouse and tells her that she must know where the Rambaldi artifact, the Sphere of Life, is. He wants to go after it with her. She’s not a Rambaldi believer, but he reminds her that whatever she saw when she was channeling Rambaldi must have been beautiful. He leaves her instructions on how to contact him if she wants to go on the quest with him.

Sydney heads to the hospital, arriving as Vaughn is brought in, and Jack meets up with her later. She tells him that he was right about Lauren needing to pay. Jack says that Vaughn needs to be the one to take care of things, but Sydney just wants her gone. Lauren is taken to the cell next to Sark’s and asks if he set her up to be confronted by Vaughn when she met with her contact. She asks for his contact’s information, getting a password from him, then chokes him through the bars. She then takes off the mask she’s wearing, as she’s really Sydney in disguise. Sark notes that this means Vaughn failed, and he wonders if he’s dead. Sydney tells him he isn’t, but Lauren won’t be so lucky. At her house, Sydney tells Jack that the equation leads to Palermo. He provides her with everything she needs to get there and warns that whatever is in Palermo will be under Covenant guard. He wants to go instead, but Sydney won’t let him. She heads to Palermo and finds a heavily guarded excavation site. Vaughn wakes up in the hospital and learns from Weiss that Sydney went after Lauren. He wants to go save her, telling Weiss that she’s walking into a trap. Lauren didn’t stab him - Katya did. Since Vaughn’s room is guarded and the building is under lockdown, Weiss helps him escape from the hospital (despite the fact that he has a punctured lung).

In Palermo, Sydney is approached by Katya, who almost killed her, thinking she was a Covenant guard. She says that she’s trying to infiltrate the camp as well and saw Lauren leave an hour earlier. After learning that Sydney is alone, Katya tries to shoot her but finds that Sydney has removed her ammo. Sydney knocks her out as Lauren returns and orders the diggers to unearth the artifact. At the safehouse, an agent discovers that Nadia is missing. She meets up with Sloane and tells him that the Covenant doesn’t have the correct equation. The two head off to the correct location. In Palermo, Lauren ambushes Sydney and they fight, but the fight in “The Telling” was much better. Lauren warns that if Sydney kills her, she’ll never know the truth. She asks if Sydney really thinks the CIA wouldn’t be able to find her during her missing two years, or if she really thinks Irina is on her side. She tells her to go to a bank in Wittenberg for proof. “We’re both pawns in the same game,” Lauren says. “The difference is, I know who controls me.” Vaughn arrives and Lauren tries Sark’s “if you love her you’ll drop the gun routine.” It works temporarily, but Vaughn shoots Lauren, then kisses Sydney. Lauren gets up again, giving Sydney the code to the vault in Wittenberg before Vaughn finally kills her. Later, Sydney heads to Wittenberg and reads information about a project involving her that Jack is heading up. Suddenly he arrives and tells her, “You were never supposed to have found this.”

R.I.P. (OR SO WE THINK): Lauren

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “I hate you, but I love Sydney more.” - Vaughn to Lauren

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