Warning: I have not recapped so much as a toothpaste commercial in about a year and a half. You may want to go get a tetanus shot before you proceed, because I might be very rusty.
Previously on Alias, Regina was a really good writer, and also very pretty.
A! L! I! A! S! Sydney told Irina she'd be on the team that found and disarmed the nuclear warheads, and that she needed Irina's help. Jack gave Irina a pretty necklace. The Bristows ran afoul of Pakistani revolutionaries in Kashmir, and used Irina's pretty necklace to blow them up real good. Then they made with the machine guns.
Thusly caught up, we cut to the CIA, where some bespectacled, sort of Randall Batinkoff-y dude is watching a monitor. He sees a little green blob, accompanied by gentle peeping, and tears out of his seat over to Vaughn. Vaughn is on the phone, and because he's talking to a Dr. Phil producer about appearing on an upcoming show about emotional cowardice, he gives Agent Notinkoff the "one second" finger of warning. Agent Notinkoff breathlessly tells Vaughn that the necklace has been deactivated. Vaughn ditches his phone call and follows Agent Notinkoff back to his desk; Agent Notinkoff says the necklace was deactivated "just now," that he has confirmed it, and that satellite imagery detects combat. Vaughn's all, "Combat?" As if to say, "Yes, combat!", the editor cuts to a shot from just before the end of the last episode: Sydney shooting the hell out of the revolutionaries, then the necklace toss, and so forth. Back at the CIA, Vaughn leans in to peer at Agent Notinkoff's monitor, where the formerly green blob is now red. Ooh, that's probably not good. Vaughn and Notinkoff gape, slack-jawed, at the monitor. Vaughn tentatively asks, "What just happened?" Notinkoff tells him, "It's over." We know what it means, but as far as the CIA knows, what is over? The threat? Combat? Prada? Vaughn asks whether Notinkoff can tell whether there are any survivors. "Not with this bird," Notinkoff replies. "We need new satellites," Vaughn pouts. Well, Vaughn, given that it took the CIA two months just to get Irina a pillow, you might want to get that purchase order in sooner than later. (And seriously, I know she's evil and all, but two months she had to wait for a damn pillow? You get better service than that on Southwest, for God's sake.)
Elsewhere in the CIA, FBI Assistant Director Kendall is mad. He used a takeout container to warm up his macaroni in the microwave, and the damn thing melted! Also, that whole thing with the Bristows being missing, and possibly dead. He's pissed about that too: "Even if they survive, sending in a team is out of the question." Vaughn, trailing after him, presses, "Why? They're on an authorized mission..." "A clandestine mission," Kendall corrects him. Kendall explains that if the CIA swoops in and starts tearing up the Kashmiri countryside in search of the Bristows, "the Indian government is going to figure out that Pakistani-supported rebels in Azad Kashmir have acquired nuclear weapons. They're gonna launch pre-emptive strikes, the Pakistanis are going to retaliate, and I'm going to get called in front of half a dozen Congressional committees demanding to know why we screwed up!" Kendall winds up by saying that his official position is that they need to make the problem disappear; he says he wants an options paper from Vaughn in two hours. Kendall starts to stomp away. Vaughn clenches his jaw, hesitates for a second, and then goes stomping after Kendall, saying, "And after that, I'd like to look quietly for the Bristows myself." Kendall duhs back, "Nuclear weapons. NUCLEAR." Vaughn says he understands. Kendall breaks it down even further: "Nucle. Nu. N!" Not really: "I shouldn't have to define your priorities for you." Vaughn says he doesn't think the CIA should just cut the Bristows loose. Kendall cares about one guy: Kendall. Oh, and the greater good of the American people. Kendall lays out a little tough love, Kendall-style: "Look: alive or dead, the mission failed. So if the Bristows are out there, they're on their own." He takes off before Vaughn can come up with a rejoinder that is either witty or persuasive.