Previously: KABOOM! The Washington Monument blowed up real good! And that probably took a pretty big chunk of the special effects budget, so we can expect to see it a lot from now on. When things bog down, we'll probably see characters get a thoughtful look, then a thought bubble will show the Washington Monument blowing up in slow motion. It could be the new going-to-commercial tag.
But enough about the extremely expensive demolition of the Washington Monument. Let's return to the narrative, in which Sophia's bus goes through a portal. As you may remember, they had just enough uranium (or "portal juice," which is a lot more fun to say, not to mention less reminiscent of certain real-world issues) to portal one bus, so the other two had to get exploded. That took care of Thomas and Isabel, too. Going through a portal takes longer than you'd think, and there are a lot of sound effects and blue lights. When the dust clears, their bus is in that gated community that Thomas set aside. Sophia and about sixty of her compatriots have successfully escaped!
In the White House, President Martinez has some monitors that show him the two burnt-out busses. He wants the troops to get in there and get identifications for all the people who were on them. That's pretty gruesome work, judging from the size of the fireball that killed the 120 (or so) people in there. But they've got some "cameras on the ground," which probably means that everyone in the Situation Room will get to see everything that the troops see. These people need to learn to delegate a little, don't they? We don't need the President of the United States and the Director of the CIA micromanaging every single thing. I guess Sterling might not actually be the Director of the CIA, because he's got a lot of other responsibilities too. My point is that it's probably a pretty complicated technical undertaking to be broadcasting helmet video from Los Angeles so the people in Washington DC can watch over people's shoulders. It's hard enough work to be stacking up burnt corpses without knowing that the president is watching you at all times. Sterling isn't even watching, because he has to congratulate Simon on a job well done. Which is weird, because Simon didn't have anything to do with this operation. He didn't even know it was happening until last episode. Then Sterling and Martinez slip into the hall for a secret conversation.
Martinez would like to arrest Simon right away, because they know he's an alien double agent. That's a pretty good reason to arrest someone, in my opinion. Or at least a good reason to get him out of the Situation Room. However, Sterling wants to play it cagey. Instead of throwing Simon into a cell and doping him up with truth drugs and bringing in a wrecking crew to beat him up, he wants to "flush him out. Sooner rather than later." I don't quite see why he needs to be flushed out when he's standing right over there. But I guess Sterling's got a plan. I'm sure nothing will go wrong! Meanwhile, Simon is standing in the Situation Room watching those monitors I was complaining about. He's looking at the burnt corpses and fighting back tears. Sterling comes back in to tell him that NASA satellites are analyzing some electromagnetic pulses that could lead them to Sophia. Simon says he'll gather his men, and then he looks worried when Sterling says it could be "the killing blow."
Simon rushes out of the Situation Room and hurries down a hallway, bumping into the Chief of Staff along the way. Martinez, Sterling, and some security folks are watching his progress on some monitors. I guess somebody finally realized that the White House is honeycombed with security cameras. And those security folks (I only call them "goons" when they're shooting people) have probably been wondering when someone was going to ask about Simon's habit of ducking into darkened offices. Simon's about to make a call to Sophia when there's a buzzing in the room. He looks around and finds a phone taped to the underside of the desk. Weird! He answers it, of course, because what else are you going to do? Sure, you're an alien double agent in the White House who just saw a hundred of your people die, but hey, what's with this phone, right? That's something that would just bother you all day if you didn't pick it up. So he does, in fact, pick it up. And there's a voice on the other side that's going through a voice encoder. The voice tells Simon that he's been rumbled. I guess it's a good thing that the mysterious voice knew exactly what office Simon was going to duck into, as well as exactly when. That's the sort of attention to detail you want out of your anonymous benefactor.
Simon puts on an earpiece so he can be given specific instructions for getting out of the White House, and it's a little reminiscent of the time that Sophia sat on that subway train and got an earpiece. And it's a lot reminiscent of the scene in The Matrix where Neo is led through the office building by an omniscient voice that knows exactly when Neo should duck behind walls and stuff. Simon's led down through the kitchens as Sterling dispatches a couple of guys to go follow him. Suddenly, Simon is not visible on any of the monitors, and Martinez complains about it. He points out that there are hundreds of cameras, so Simon shouldn't be able to just vanish like that. I agree! But it doesn't really matter, because he's soon found again, running through a tunnel. He makes it to the surface streets and gets into a car that's waiting for him. The voice tells him that he'll have to change cars to a black SUV (naturally) but that he's basically escaped. It's a good thing there aren't any law enforcement officers within a few blocks of the White House, or it would be really easy to arrest Simon. I'm not sure exactly what would happen if the Washington Monument blew up, but I feel like that would be a bad time for someone to try to escape the area. However, I'm not in charge of this show. The mysterious voice says, "Be careful out there, Simon." "You too," he says. So! Simon's escaped. Good work, Sterling.
People in the White House watch a news report that blames Pakistan for the Washington Monument blowing up. Sterling tells Martinez that Simon's description has been sent out to all the relevant people, but he doesn't mention that it's too late to get him. Martinez says that the dead aliens on the busses included people who held various positions of power. And there's at least one more mole who helped Simon escape. I guess they could go back to that security room and see if the tapes show anyone else going into the room where Simon got his help, but that probably would be too easy.
Hey, remember Senator Catherine Lewis, the spunky Senator from Alaska? She's been called into the Oval Office for a very important meeting. She already has the names of two Alaskans who died at the Washington Monument, because the emergency workers on this show do very quick work. Martinez tells her that "The Sleepers" did it. She seems shocked, even though I don't think we were ever shown her learning about the Sleepers themselves. We saw Martinez promise to tell her all about Inostranka, but that was at the same time that everyone escaped from it so I figured he might have just backed out of the deal. But I guess he told her everything about the aliens, because she's on board for anything he wants to do. And his plan is to test every American's DNA. Man, the census can't even count everyone, and you think you can get everyone's DNA? Sterling looks uncomfortable, but he might just have gas. Senator Lewis, it turns out, is a doctor. We might have known that already, but if we did, I forgot. You probably did too. Anyway, she suggests that the CDC announce a new drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis, which reminds me that there was a news crawl in the pilot that described some kind of superflu. So she wants a nationwide vaccination program. Martinez suggests a pilot program to test everyone in the White House. Sterling counsels caution, but he's overruled.