"Truth Takes Time"
Written by J.R. Orci; directed by Nelson McCormick

Sydney runs through an underground tunnel, shooting at Irina, who shoots back. Irina starts climbing a ladder but Sydney stops her, then shoots her. Aboveground, as a helicopter hovers nearby, Sydney kneels next to someone and Vaughn calls for a medic. Dixon looks upset and Sydney cries. Five days earlier, Sydney and Vaughn head to work, where Vaughn jokes about being removed from the agency because of what Yeager suspects him of (see “A Dark Turn”). After Vaughn leaves, Sydney tells Jack that Vaughn is innocent and was investigating Irina. Jack tells her that his and Irina’s mission in Panama didn’t exactly go as planned - she set the whole thing up so she could be extracted by Sloane. Sydney thinks that he could have abducted her, but Jack thinks it was planned because Irina has the real Rambaldi manuscript. Dixon later finds Sydney in Irina’s cell, where she has discovered the earrings Irina asked for in “Dead Drop.” He tells her that she can’t be blamed for trusting her own mother. Sydney responds that she wishes Irina had been killed in the car accident where she faked her death.

Irina, Sloane, and Sark fly somewhere together, planning to split up - Sloane will go to Tuscany to be with Emily and Irina and Sark will meet up with him in Surish. Sloane mentions that Emily misses Sydney; they thought of her as their own. Irina sends Sark away, then tells Sloane that she sees through him. She adds an order that he never talk to her about how much he loves Sydney again. At the ops center, Kendall tells everyone that Jack has been put in charge of a task force organized to find Irina. Jack announces that he removed Irina’s original tracking device and replaced it with a passive one without her knowledge. Marshall wonders how he was able to do that without her knowing. Instead of responding, Jack says that the transmitter will be active in 12 hours, so they’ll be able to move in and take her and Sloane into custody then. Sloane and Emily hang out in their new Tuscan villa, happy to be back together. Vaughn finds Sydney at target practice; she tells him that he was right to investigate Irina. He suggests that she not participate in the task force, since she could be risking her life if she corners Irina but can’t pull the trigger. “I won’t hesitate,” Sydney assures him.

At the ops center, Kendall blasts Jack for going behind his back and putting a passive transmitter in Irina. Jack is equally unhappy because Kendall bugged Sydney about getting close to Irina without worrying about her emotional welfare. Marshall informs the two that the transmitter has become active. Sydney and Vaughn fly to Stuttgart, where the signal indicates Irina is, and tell the rest of the task force that they can’t move in until she leads them to Sloane. They track her to a biotech building, where she’s currently working on getting access to a server to get information on genetic research. Sark spots the CIA arriving and tries to get himself let into the biotech building. Sydney and Vaughn spot him on surveillance as he heads inside. Sark shoots out a camera and finds the tracking device Jack put in Irina. Kendall wants to abort the mission but Jack wants to keep going, since they haven’t gotten to Sloane yet. Sark shocks Irina so the CIA will lose the signal on her, so Sydney tells the task force to call security and have the building locked down. As Irina starts to download a file, Sark sets a bomb to go off in six minutes. Irina gets out before Sydney can catch her, but Vaughn and Sark wind up in a showdown and Sark shoots Vaughn. Sydney saves Vaughn from being killed, and as Sark runs off, she’s relieved to discover that the bullet only hit Vaughn’s vest.

Elsewhere in the building, Irina alerts Sydney to her presence and Vaughn and Sydney run outside after her just before the bomb goes off. In Tuscany, Emily answers Sloane’s phone but doesn’t seem to recognize Irina’s voice on the other end. Irina tells Sloane that the CIA found her and he should get out of his house in case they’ve found him, too. Sloane tells Emily that they need to go. At the ops center, Will tells everyone about genetic research and a guy named Brucker who may have catalogued the DNA sequences of millions of people. Marshall, who may have ESP, notes that this means Sloane could develop a genetically-specific virus to put in the world’s water supply that would kill one person. He wonders why Irina would call out to Sydney before the explosion; Jack suggests that Irina wanted to save her life. Sydney doesn’t think that’s likely. Sloane and Emily board a plane, where Emily is shocked to see Irina. She demands to know what’s been going on and Sloane tells her that he’s pursuing “truth.” He tells her that what he’s been after will allow her to love cancer-free forever. At Francie’s restaurant, Sydney and Vaughn double date with Will and Allison, who does a very bad job covering up the fact that she doesn’t know everything about Francie’s past. She gives Vaughn a tie, which Will finds strange.

At the ops center, Jack shows Sydney surveillance footage of their consulate in Florence, which shows Emily alive. She told the guard on duty that she’s Sloane’s wife and wants to cooperate with the CIA but will only talk to Sydney. Sydney goes to Florence, where Emily tells her that she reacted to Irina being alive the same way Sydney is reacting to her being alive. Sydney can’t believe that Emily would stay with Sloane after finding out about his involvement with the Alliance. Emily says that Sloane was her “tether to hope, to survival” after her cancer diagnosis. He saved her life and she wanted to give him a second chance. Emily now knows what Sloane is up to, though, and doesn’t want to be the excuse for the crimes he’s committed. She agrees to help bring him in but wants assurance in writing that he won’t get the death penalty. At the ops center, Jack, Vaughn, and Kendall discuss Emily’s terms; Kendall thinks Sloane is using Emily as a pawn but Vaughn says that Sydney trusts her. Jack agrees that Emily will lead them to Sloane and Irina, and since he’s in charge, he gets to make the decision. He sends Vaughn and Dixon to Florence while he tells Sydney that the deal is on. Irina calls Sloane tells him that she’s gotten access to a computer they can use to decipher the genetic database she got. He decides to let Irina buy him out of everything he’s collected so he can stay with Emily.

Sydney presents Emily with the agreement, which she signs. Sydney tells her that she’ll have to wear a wire. Emily knows how difficult the situation is for Sydney, but Sydney says that she still thinks of Emily as her mother. Sloane returns to Tuscany with Irina, unaware that CIA agents are lurking around the villa. Inside, Emily says goodbye to Sloane, but he expresses his love for her in a way that changes her mind. She exposes the wire she’s wearing, then breaks the connection and tells him that the CIA has been listening. As the CIA agents storm the villa, Emily agrees to go off with Sloane. In a replay of the first scene, Sydney chases Irina through a tunnel, shoots her, and picks up the disk with the genetic database. Aboveground, a helicopter distracts Dixon and he accidentally shoots an escaping Emily. Irina, Sloane, and Sark get away in the helicopter and she has to admit that she doesn’t have the disk. Sydney holds Emily’s body and cries. Back at home, Sydney hears a beeping from her jewelry box and sees that Irina’s earrings and transmitting a message in Morse code: “Truth takes time.”

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

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Sloane: “What if I told you that I wanted you to buy me out? That I’d be willing to sell you the breadth of my assets, my contacts, all the Rambaldi artifacts I’ve acquired over the last 30 years, everything?”
Irina: “I’d say that either you’re setting me up to kill me, or I underestimated your love for your wife.”

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