Previously: Every single episode of this season is included in the "Previously," but I'll try and hit the high notes: Sloane thinks there's a mole at SD-6; Sydney and her dad make tentative steps toward reconciliation; Sydney steals a polymer disc from a church in Malaga, where she also handcuffs Ana Espinosa to a pew; Sydney goes through Langley procedure and does an information drop as her voice-over explains that she has to go to Oxford to beat Ana to finding the device mentioned in the last episode.
Oxford. Rolling hills of aforementioned university. Small van pulls up. Oh, thank God -- it's Dixon. Dixon and Sydney are doing a little exposition boogie as Dixon asks why the artifact was sent to Oxford. Sydney says for analysis, since their engineering department is one of the best in the world. I'm sure it is, but -- not to get all patriotic and "go USA" -- there are a few world-class institutions of engineering here that SD-6 might have heard of, like, say, Harvey Mudd, Cal Tech, or MIT. Dixon tells Sydney, when she approaches a professor, to get the camera within two feet of him so that Dixon can get an accurate reading on the key card. Sydney finishes struggling into her dress and says, "Got it." Then she asks how she looks. Dixon gives her a kindly smile and tells her that, for the record, she never has to ask that question. Which is totally untrue, and I wish everyone would stop pretending that Jennifer Garner is the second coming of Ava Gardner, because she's not. She's reasonably attractive, but not particularly stunning. I like Dixon's compliment, though -- very in character, gallant without being smarmy. Have I mentioned that I like Dixon?
Sydney tells him to watch his back. He says ditto. She exits the van. Cut to the party. It's veddy, veddy Hollywood British: you know, foppish-looking Caucasian men standing around in bowties. A short man compliments someone on her grasp of engineering principles, which are remarkable for a journalist. The camera pans over to Ana Espinosa, which also reveals the fact that the little guy who was just speaking comes up right to her boobs. He looks pretty pleased about that. Ana says that her family was in demolition. Then she asks if it's true that his department just got some ancient technology in from Tunisia. Short Guy gets all flustered and asks, "Who told you that?" Ana says, "Well, you just did." Wasn't that a line in Austin Powers? How I wish Mike Myers were in this episode.
Sydney walks into the party. Dixon tells her to get closer to a professor so he can tell if he's got a key card on him or not. Sydney's a strawberry blonde in this scene, by the way, and she's wearing a lovely black evening gown with a bizarre excess of fabric on the right shoulder. Also, the "camera" is this bright blue plastic box clipped to the outside of her black satin evening purse. It looks like a MedicAlert device. This is the best Marshall could do?