Okay, first things first. Does anyone know where the Buchanans lived? Because Sean and Leila drove there from Snyder, TX without even taking a commercial break. One scene they're leaving the motel where Collier is failing to get any information out of Carter, and the next scene they pull up at the ol' homestead, ready to rummage through a crime scene. What they find is a folder full of newspaper articles about Alaska. Oh, and a crazy, gun-toting conspiracy theorist who derides people for not knowing The Truth but is also willing to shoot them to keep them from finding it out.
In more interesting news, Simon apparently had a torrid love affair in 1954, which he had to leave when Thomas yelled at him. But then he saw the woman again when she was old and they had a touching reunion. It was way more interesting than Sean and Leila, so it's a shame that Simon might have gotten crushed by a collapsing building. See, he broke his FBI Agent cover to confound Sophia's tracking device, and then he had to thug out someone who was looking for him, and then Thomas opened a Hellmouth under this building. So you can see how Simon had no choice but to get crushed, unless he mysteriously escaped in some way. But that doesn't sound very likely!
Oh, and Sophia got away. She and Thomas climbed down a trap door that got vanished by a Hellmouth. It's possible that they magically teleported away, which would be a lot more impressive if Sean weren't constantly doing the same thing every time he gets in a car.
Welcome back! This week's action-packed thrill-ride starts with Sophia sitting on her empty subway train. I wasn't 100% sure it made sense for the train to be empty, so I went back to the previous episode to see what exactly the deal was. So, and I realize this may be a little confusing, here's a recap-flashback, in which the recap will flash back to the deal Thomas proposed.
Thomas's threat to kill all the Avias Air passengers has been countered by the president's threat to kill all the detainees. So Thomas offers to give up the antidote if the Prez will release Sophia. Thomas says that Sophia should be brought to the Farragut North Metro Station and put on the Red Line train that's scheduled to depart at 8:16. No one is to be on the train or in the station. "And no stops when she boards. Just keep the train moving."
Okay, so that means that the police presumably hustled all the regular passengers off the train at some earlier stop. And they emptied the Farragut North Metro Station, which I don't care whether it's real. I just assume that all subway stations on television are bad mock-ups that will offend somebody with how fake they are. So Sophia is on this train all alone, except possibly for a conductor. And the train will never stop, which seems like it's going to be inconvenient eventually.
Having established that, it seems odd that Sophia notices a brown paper bag a few seats away. She takes out a Bluetooth headset on which Thomas immediately calls her. I realize that cataloging the various plot holes of this show probably isn't fair, but it's also the main source of entertainment. So: how come the cops didn't notice that bag when they were cleaning out the train? Did Thomas sneak the bag in at some point after everyone left? Does he just have an "in" on the 8:16 out of Farragut North? He didn't spend a lot of time deciding what train to put Sophia on, so I guess this is a standard escape route that They use? Also, how did Sophia know which train car to get into? Because if she'd sat in any other seat in the train, she never would have seen the bag with the headset. Oh! And that's not how Bluetooth headsets work. You need to pair them with a phone. Is there a phone in the bag too?
Okay, now that we've established all those objections, I accept all of them. Fine. This is the perfect time for Sophia to yell at Thomas about threatening to kill all those people. They know she's being tracked somehow, so Thomas tells her to change into the clothes he left in the bag. And that Simon will contact them later with details about something. You know, it might be a good idea for them to use a code name for Simon. I mean, between the cell phone and the bluetooth headset and the fact that the feds had plenty of time to plant a listening device on Sophia or in the train, there are a lot of chances for someone to hear them talking casually about Simon.
Sterling is running the Situation Room as they track Sophia. They probably have more than one of these rooms at the White House, right? You'd have to think they have a separate one reserved for international situations. President Martinez enters and asks for some exposition. They're tracking Sophia by means of some radioactive isotopes in her blood. Okay, really quick: they didn't decide to track her until Thomas called, which means that they had to sneak the isotopes into her food just before she was freed. I imagine someone had to casually say something like "Well, we're letting you go in fifteen minutes. Would, um, you like some tacos first? Go on, have some!" Also, I'm not 100% sure it's safe to introduce radioactive isotopes into people's bloodstreams in the first place. Especially ones that are so radioactive that the Federales can track you with a red dot on their computerized street maps. Do you think they have isotope-detectors on every street corner? Or are they tracking this from satellites?
Okay. Regroup. The magic isotopes will stop working in about seven hours, after which Sterling wants to grab Sophia again. He considers her a threat because she and her pals have mysterious powers. Simon has been in the room the whole time and asks permission to join his men in the field. Permission granted! So as soon as Simon's in his car, he calls Thomas. It's a shame all these isotope detectors can't be altered to listen in on cell conversations.
1954. This is a flashback, although I can't put it in all caps because it's just a number. I guess I could type !(%$ but that doesn't seem much better. We're in Venice Beach, CA. Simon and some woman chat on the beach. Simon says the water is warm, although everything is so sepia-toned that the sky is white. So that makes it look like a pretty cold day. The woman tells Simon that he acts like he's discovering water for the first time, and he (PLOT POINT ALERT) says, "Where I'm from, there wasn't any." This naturally raises question about where the heck he was from, but he refuses to get pinned down. Then he says, "With you, it doesn't matter. For the first time in my life, I'm free of it." In the process of telling him she loves him, she calls him "Mason," which reminds me that I like it when fictional characters with long lives have the sense to use different names occasionally. Suddenly! Simon sees Thomas lurking on the beach in a stupid hat.
Back to now. Simon has a plan to foil the isotope detectors and he tells Thomas to tell Sophia to get off at a certain stop and walk east. He's deploying his patented move where he talks on the phone with one hand while swerving in and out of traffic with the other. Thomas relays the message and Sophia looks pensive, probably thinking, "I knew those tacos tasted radioactive!"
The train (which clearly has a conductor, incidentally) pulls into a station where many people are waiting. I guess it's good news for them that Sophia decided to get off here, otherwise they'd have missed their train. We didn't see it, but I assume she pulled a cord or something to indicate that Thomas's instruction about the train not stopping once she was on wasn't meant to be taken 100% literally. As Sophia steps off the train, a guy in the Situation Room shouts, "Sir! She just got off at a stop!" It takes him a few seconds to figure out what stop it was, because he's relying on the radioactive isotope thing instead of finding out where the train is. I have to think there are transit computers that keep track of where the trains are at all times. There's always someone in an office somewhere who knows exactly how late the trains are. Let's watch a show about him! Nothing ever happens, but it's excruciatingly realistic!
Simon tells his team to hold their positions. Sure, why would you want someone to physically follow her? We've got radioactive isotope technology! Sophia bumps into a Chinese gentleman and (PLOT POINT ALERT) apologizes in Chinese. That tells us that either her people all speak Chinese or they got bored during the 66 years of captivity and did some studying to pass the time. Then Sophia stops at a coffee shop, which strikes Sterling as odd. Hey, maybe the coffee in Inostranka stinks. Although I wonder if they gave Sophia any pocket money to pay for that java.
Simon sidles into the coffee shop, secure in the knowledge that all his people are holding their positions a block or two away. He makes eye contact with Sophia, then takes out a fancy-looking canister. He pours some suspicious liquid into these big milk containers. This is, um, one of those hip coffee shops where everyone uses the same milk container. And lots of people pour milk from that container into their coffee cups immediately after Simon does this. I can only assume they saw the suspicious, shifty-eyed guy monkeying with the milk and thought, "I gotta get me some of that!" And the feds suddenly have multiple targets leaving the coffee shop, so it appears that Simon's clever plan was to get powerful radioactive isotopes into lots of people's drinks. There are many red dots spreading out on the Situation Room computers.
Okay, enough of that stuff.