Season 1 | Episode 9 | “Mea Culpa” | Aired Dec 9, 2001
Okay, new theory. This might be totally crazy, but … I think Sloane might be Sydney’s dad. Or maybe he just thinks it’s possible that he’s really her dad.
The evidence: Sydney is CLEARLY the mole in SD-6. She passed her epic lie-detector test with flying colors. The kind of flying colors that tell superspy lie-detector test proctors that you’ve been trained by the CIA to pass the test. When the analyst tells Sloane that he’s sure Sydney is the mole, Sloane is all, “I’ll take care of this.” Then he proceeds to send out a message from SD-6’s compromised server about a hit on Sydney during her next mission. His master plan is that the CIA will intercept the message and, if Sydney really is a double agent, they’ll evacuate her from the scene, proving she’s a two-timing superspy.
The plan works pretty much perfectly. Vaughn & Co. hear the message and start planning a major Save Sydney Op. Luckily for everyone (except Sydney, who was about to get out of the spy game for good), Jack Bristow knows just how Sloane works and warns the CIA that it’s a trap. There definitely (probably, almost-for-sure, like 99.999%) isn’t a real hit going down. The CIA hold on their rescue mission, Sydney isn’t assassinated and everyone is happy.
Why this proves Sloane is Sydney’s maybe-dad: He gave her an out. Sydney sees it the moment Vaughn explains to her what happened. Sloane did the one thing he could do that kept SD-6 technically happy, but also guaranteed she wouldn’t be harmed. If she were the double agent, he gave her a chance to be rescued by her team. He walks around saying Syd is like a daughter to him and, in his weird, maybe-goodbye speech to her before he sends her out for her fake hit, he reveals that he was there when she was a baby, but spent most of her childhood working missions overseas and stuff. Was he there before she was a baby? Like maybe hanging out with her mom and keeping her company on all those late nights when Jack was out working with the KGB or whatever?
Okay, so it’s just a theory. It’s feeling so obvious at this point that it’s probably a red herring, but I couldn’t just ignore it.
In other news: Will Tippin is finally making contact with … someone. His strategy has been to be as bumbling as possible until they can’t ignore him anymore. He found a bug that Kate Jones/Eloise Kurtz was wearing when they had their meeting. His friend who’s an expert in such things takes a look and realizes that it’s A) government-level quality bug technology and B) STILL ON. Will tries to talk to mysterious people on the other end. He whispers his phone number to them. He gives up and tells all to Francie, who starts joking about it (because she’s a normal person who doesn’t really believe it’s a government bug). The mysterious They call Will and tell him to stop talking about their spy mission.
Later, he gets a call at a phone booth, which is so retro. I assume that even by 2001, this should have been a dead giveaway that you were up to something nefarious because … cell phones. They ask if he’s in and he says yes because he’s an idiot. Later, they drop off audio of Kate Jones/Eloise Kurtz’s murder. Welcome to the club, Will. Too bad you have no idea at all who you’re dealing with. I’ve given up on the idea that he’ll die any time soon. He’s probably just going to stumble through spy agencies, weirdly not being killed for several seasons.
Is the Sloane thing a huge red herring? Are you annoyed at Will for being so willfully stupid too? Sound off in the comments!