Remember the pilot? Of course you remember the pilot. Danny gets down on one knee and proposes and Sydney is ecstatic. And then all this elation and normalcy is out the window the minute Danny Hecht says the word “baby.” Baby, family, future- a couple of choice words for a young international super spy. In that moment (on the couch in their old apartment), Sydney feels she is forced to tell Danny about her position at SD-6, which of course, leads to his demise. This, in turn, leads us on a 5-year journey with Sydney Bristow, as she ultimately takes down Sloane, time and time again, avenging not only Danny’s death, but Francie’s, Will’s kidnapping, Vaughn’s near death and Nadia’s murder. The Alliance, Rambaldi, CIA, Covenant, Prophet 5, we would have heard nothing about all of this if someone hadn’t yelled procreation.
Last night I was watching season 5. Yes, I had the strength to put the DVD in the player and actually sit down and watch four back-to-back episodes. Watching Sydney give birth and then care for little Iz only reminded me of how this whole story got started. She had to tell Danny about her job- clearly he was thinking of settling down and having a family and she was thinking about globetrotting and catching bad guys. It seemed only fair that she tell him the truth, to prepare him for the sort of life she had already been living. That back-fired, we know, but in the end, Sydney was ready to embrace this baby, family, future scenario, and kudos to her for doing so. Forget the whole “working mom” bit. Simply- Sydney Bristow deserved a damn break. She deserved some down-home normalcy and it don’t get more normal than rocking a baby to sleep on the lid of the dryer and pouring tall glasses of lemonade for guests.
It is only implied that Sydney and Vaughn went back to work after Irina’s death- and that the birth of their second child set the play in motion to leave the CIA and settle on the beach- looking back now, that seems like the most logical scenario. We always knew Sydney wouldn’t be able to stay away- and for Vaughn, the CIA had been his whole life until he met Sydney. Irina told Sydney during Isabelle’s birth, that she had to choose between being an agent and a mother- she would either fail at one or both. She chose to be an agent and she told Sydney that she would have to make a choice too- she couldn’t do both. Sydney simply said, “Watch me.” And look, after 5 years, we have watched Sydney Bristow make a family with everyone around her- Francie and Will, Jack and Nadia, Weiss, Marshall, Dixon. And if all that didn’t prepare her for motherhood, then I don’t know what would have.
We have known from day one that Sydney had a knack for compartmentalizing. She had this uncanny ability to move from one mission to the next, from her daily life to her professional life and no doubt, from spy to mother. It just seems funny now- to look back on the old Syd and see the precise moment her world changed. The precise moment our world changed- the TV world changed. All because of baby.