"The Solution"
Written by John Eisendrath; directed by Daniel Attias

As Sydney works out with a boxing trainer in flashbacks, she meets with Vaughn in the blood donor van and laments the fact that she killed someone she cared about (see “Snowman”). She admits that lying to people and not knowing how to trust affects her more than she lets on. “It’s becoming a part of me,” she says. “I am becoming what I despise.” She’s moved from trying to bring Danny’s killers to justice to seeking revenge. Sydney notes that she wants to find Khasinau because it will bring her closer to her mother, but it was also strengthen SD-6. She’s supposed to be bringing them down, but this action makes her feel like she’s on their side. Vaughn shows her the map of SD-6 again (see “So it Begins”), but this time areas are crossed out, indicating that they are making progress. He assures her that they’ll find Irina and Khasinau. At home, Francie gets Will to look for the rats she thinks are in the house. Will gets a call from a distorted voice chastising him for not publishing his story on SD-6. Will notes that he was kidnapped and his life was threatened, but the voice doesn’t think he has anything to worry about. The voice then informs him, “It was Jack Bristow.” Later, when Sydney arrives home, Francie tells her that they have mice and an exterminator will be over the next day. Neither of the girls can be home when he comes, so they ask Will to be there. Francie thinks that they need to leave out some good stuff to draw the mice out of hiding.

Sydney shares Francie’s reasoning with Vaughn, who thinks they should draw Khasinau out with the vial of liquid from “The Box, Part 2.” Sydney suggests a black market third-party sale under the impression of there being another vial out there. They can stage a break-in at a museum that may contain Rambaldi artifacts, and Khasinau would hear rumors of what might have been stolen. Vaughn presents the idea to Devlin, wanting to perform the mission with Sydney as fake insurance agents. Devlin allows the mission. The exterminator shows up at Sydney and Francie’s and while he’s working, Will spots a photo of Jack. He puts a piece of plastic wrap over the photo and draws a mask on it. The result is the same as the face of his kidnapper. Sydney visits Emily in the hospital and is advised to make sure that she spends quality time with the people she loves. Emily tells her that in the end, her work won’t seem that important - “even working for SD-6.” Nearby, an agent listens to the conversation as Emily tells Sydney that she figured out what her husband does. Her only regret is not being able to tell him how proud she is of him. Sydney meets with Jack at SD-6 and tells him that Emily knows about SD-6. Jack already knows, since the conversation was recorded, and says that the Alliance knows as well. As Sloane gets the news himself, Jack tells Sydney that “information about SD-6 must be treated like a virus. There is only one response: containment.” Sydney doesn’t think that Sloane would let anything happen to Emily, but Jack says that decision isn’t Sloane’s to make. He’s just the only one who can save her now.

Sydney asks Sloane for some time off, telling him she’s going to the desert. She heads to Algeria with Vaughn, posing as insurance agents who need to turn off the security system in the museum to see how it operates during a shutdown. Their plans are to split up; Sydney will inspect the alarm grid in the exhibition space and Vaughn will handle the shutdown with a frequency jammer. Vaughn does his part and Sydney rappels down a shaft to a vault. While she’s in the vault, the president of the museum tells Vaughn that they can’t shut everything down at once. Power is restored and Sydney finds the cord she’s attached to tightening around the blades of a fan. She manages to stop herself from being sliced but her fake cell phone full of explosives drops down the shaft and explodes. She gets out and meets up with Vaughn just as alarms go off. At work, Will tells his co-worker Abby that he’s written a dangerous article and been kidnapped by his friend’s father. He gives her the story in a sealed envelope and tells her that if something happens to him, she needs to publish it. He announces that he’s going to see Jack and try to get information that will put him away. That night, Will follows Jack to a bar and asks him if Sydney knows that Jack kidnapped him. Jack pretends not to know what he’s talking about. Will says that he has a source who knows everything. He asks Jack to prove his concern for Sydney by helping him stop what’s going on. In return, he’ll reveal his source, because he thinks Jack would like to meet him. Jack goes to Devlin’s house and tells him there’s been a breach, most likely Haladki. Devlin thinks Jack should be careful, since his recent methods of gleaning information have been unorthodox.

At home, Sydney confesses to Francie that she had sex with Noah recently. She adds that things didn’t end well, but Francie isn’t surprised; she’s still upset with the way Noah ended things years earlier. Sydney thinks that people can change and that Noah deserved a second chance. Francie realizes that she was too hard on him and promises to be nice if he calls. As Sloane asks Marshall for information on Poole (see “The Prophecy”) at SD-6, he spots the head of Alliance security arriving. He tries to plead for Emily’s life, mentioning that she’s dying anyway, but the head of security is upset about Briault’s murder (see “The Prophecy”). He says that the Alliance wants proof that Sloane’s priorities are in order. Sloane asks if that means they want him to let them kill Emily to enhance his standing in the Alliance. At work, Will receives a note and goes to meet Jack, who will only tell him that he works in intelligence. He is eager to go after Will’s source, but first Will wants to know if Sydney is involved in what Jack does. Jack lies that she isn’t. Will tells Jack that he can contact his source through Eloise’s pin; Jack reveals that he was the one who planted the pin on her. Will freaks out when he realizes that Jack had Eloise killed. Jack tells him that if he doesn’t focus, more people will die. He says that if Will contacts his source and asks for a meeting, the source will know that it’s a set-up. Instead, Will should tell the source that he knows Jack was the one who kidnapped him and he’s afraid. He’s also to say that he’s writing the story again.

At SD-6, Sloane asks Marshall to tell Dixon what Poole has been up to. Sydney meets with Vaughn at the self-storage facility, both of them happy that their museum break-in mission was successful. Vaughn has contacted the broker and offered the solution up for sale. Sydney tells him that Jack has made sure that Sloane won’t find out when the broker calls about the sale. Marshall tells Dixon that they’ve managed to get Khasinau’s phone number and run a tap on him. Vaughn tells Sydney that the broker has called and Khasinau is sending Sark (see “The Coup”) to complete the transaction. SD-6 has overheard the call and knows that each side participating in the deal is allowed one principal and two backups in the marketplace where it will occur. Vaughn tells Sydney that Sark will want to test the merchandise, so they’ll test the real liquid, then swap it for the fake they’ll give him. The fake contains a tracer, so they can figure out where Khasinau is. Sloane tasks Dixon to get the real vial. Vaughn is worried that Sark will recognize Sydney, but she’s adamant that she be the one to do the mission. She and Dixon separately head for Denpasar. At work, Will tells his source via the pin that he’s back on the story. Sloane goes to see Emily in the hospital and breaks down. Sydney disguises herself and heads to the marketplace as Vaughn backs her up from a rooftop. She meets up with Sark, who wants her to prove herself by showcasing her skills with latajang. Vaughn doesn’t think Sydney should play along, but she does. After Sark is satisfied, they sit down to test the vial. Vaughn spots Dixon and alerts Sydney, who tries to hurry the deal along. She is about to swap the real vial for the fake when Dixon arrives and Sark pockets the real solution. Sydney can’t be sure if Dixon has recognized her.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “There are a few things we need to talk about and, quite frankly, you scare me, so I’d rather talk about them in a public place.” - Will to Jack

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