So, Syd and Vaughn are tasked with the assignment of impersonating the Tabokovs and infiltrating the October Contingent. Once inside, they have to identify the group's objective and confiscate the electromagnetic weapon. To make things difficult, they can't communicate with the Apple Store because any attempt to do so might cost them their lives. Luckily, Marshall's invented a wristwatch that won't set off any counter-surveillance alarms but will, when activated, give the Apple Store the GPS coordinates of their exact location. Oh, and they can send short burst transmissions, like images, without getting detected. Sloane tells them that if the Apple Store finds out their cover's been blown, he'll send them the abort signal and they'll have to hightail it outta there. Their plane leaves in an hour. Good luck. Oh, and bring us back some borscht!
Moscow. Syd and Vaughn are walking along a rainy street, huddled under an umbrella. A van pulls up, blocking their way. Sergei's in the van and he asks them, in Russian, if this is the road to the Red Square. Syd answers, also in Russian, that he should just keep going because, eventually, all roads lead to Red Square. Sergei drops the Red Square charade and asks them directly if they've heard of his little project. Vaughn answers, in Russian, that they've heard the project pays well. Sergei requires a commitment. Vaughn requires payment. Sergei asks how their English is and Syd hilariously responds in a really bad broken Russian accent that they're able to get by. Sergei asks if she can speak without the accent and Syd immediately drops it and asks him what he wants her to say. "I think that'll do just fine," says Sergei, also with no accent. You know, I had a Russian acting teacher in college; she'd been in this country probably fifty years by the time I took her class and, I gotta tell ya, she STILL had her accent. I'm not doubting that the accent can be intentionally disappeared or anything, but I think it'd be a LOT harder than they're making it seem here. That being said, I should probably have another beer. It'll make the rest of this episode go much smoother.
Sergei invites Syd and Vaughn into the back of the van. As they get to know each other, we check in with Marshall and Jack, who are monitoring their movements via satellite. Marshall says that the only thing in the immediate area is a city that's about twelve hours away, some farmland, some tundra, some turnips. Heh. Jack orders Marshall to let him know the second the van stops moving. Back with the van, Sergei tells Syd and Vaughn that his buddy is going to take some pictures of them for the project. Syd says something about how the project involves them speaking English without accents for some reason. Sergei says they have to establish new identities for them both and something tells him that David and Karen Parker don't spend a lot of time speaking in the Russian tongue. He hands them passports with their new identities on them and says, "Don't worry. We'll go over everything when we get to Liberty Village. In the meantime, just sit back and enjoy the ride. You just became Americans." Since he didn't actually say the title of the show, I'm not sure this counts, but I'd like to go ahead and remind everyone of a tradition I vowed to start back in the first episode of the season and say, HUZZAH! ["And I'd like to express my horror at the fact that Alias is ripping off an eighties Travolta comedy with this plotline, but I'm laughing too hard. At his mullet." -- Sars]
Sergei's buddy doctors up some pictures of Syd and Vaughn, ostensibly for background purposes, and he puts Syd's face on a hot bod with a surfboard and puts Vaughn's face on a scuba diver. Ah. The power of Photoshop. Syd and Vaughn watch warily. Back at the Apple Store, Jack walks into Sloane's office as Sloane is saying that he wants to know more about the October Contingent. So he wants Jack to reach out to some guy named Alexei Vassilyvich. Jack makes a face. "Any objections?" Sloane asks. "He'll want something in return," is all Jack will say. Sloane then says something about how he can task another agent with this assignment, you know, if Jack has a problem with it. Jack's all, dude? I simply questioned whether or not it's prudent to involve this guy at this time, you know, considering… We don't get to hear what Jack's going to say because Sloane's phone rings. It's Marshall, telling Sloane that he's going to want to see something, like, now.