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Pilot
Season 1, Episode 1
Mike westen smile
Air date June 28, 2007
Written by Matt Nix
Directed by Jace Alexander
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Pilot is the first episode of the first season and is the pilot episode of the series.

NotesEdit

SynopsisEdit

Michael Westen, a spy, is "burned" while on assignment in Nigeria. Dumped in his hometown of Miami, with no money or resources to his name, Michael agrees to help a man accused of stealing valuables from his employer's home.

Spy FactsEdit

  • Covert intelligence involves a lot of waiting around. You know what it's like being a spy? It's like sitting in your dentist's reception area 24-hours a day. You sip coffee, read magazines and every so often someone tries to kill you.
  • [He's CIA] What do you say to that? No? Explain that a lot of spies don't work directly for the CIA? Lot of good that'll do!
  • Sometimes the truth hurts. In these situations, I recommend lying.
  • In a fight, you have to be careful not to break the little bones in your hand on someone's face. That's why I like bathrooms... lots of hard surfaces. 
  • Southern Nigeria isn't my favorite place in the world. It's unstable, it's corrupt, and the people there eat a lot of terrible smelling preserved fish. I will say this for Nigeria, though: it's the gun-running capital of Africa. And that makes it a bad place to drive a passenger sedan into a crowded market.
  • If you're gonna collapse on a plane, I recommend business class. The seats are bigger if you start convulsing. Although once you pass out, it really doesn't matter.
  • Most people would be thrilled to be dumped in Miami. Sadly, I am not one of those people. Spend a few years as a covert operative and a sunny beach just looks like a vulnerable tactical position with no decent cover... I've never found a good way to hide a gun in a bathing suit.
  • When a spy gets fired he doesn't get a call from a lady in HR and a gold watch. They cut him off. They make sure he can never work again. They can't take away his skills or what's in his head so they take away the resources that allow him to function: they "burn" him.
  • When you're being watched, what you need is contrast. A background that will make the surveillance stand out. An FBI field office is full of guys in their forties. At most South Beach business hotels, it would be tough to tell which middle-aged white guy was watching you. So you stay in the place where everyone is a Jell-O shot away from alcohol poisoning. If you see someone who can walk a straight line, that's the Fed.
  • Need to go someplace you're not wanted? Any uniform store will sell you a messenger outfit, and any messenger can get past a security desk.
  • With this much money, things get complicated. Change a light bulb in a place like this, and a week later you're on a speedboat in the Cayman Islands with someone shooting at you.
  • My mom would've been a great NSA communications operative... Drop me in the middle of the Gobi Desert - bury me in a goddamn cave on the moon - and somehow, she'd find a way to call me and ask me for a favor.
  • I don't like stealing cars, but sometimes it's necessary. I have rules, though: I'll keep it clean, and if I take your car on a workday, I'll have it back by five.
  • Figuring out if a car is tailing you is mostly about driving like you're an idiot. You speed up, slow down, signal one way, turn the other. Of course, ideally, you're doing this without your mother in the car... Actually, losing a tail isn't about driving fast. A high-speed pursuit is just gonna land you on the six o'clock news. So you just keep driving like an idiot until the other guy makes a mistake. Again, all this is easier without a passenger yelling at you for missing a decades worth of Thanksgivings.
  • Sleep through an aerial bombing or two, and noise isn't an issue. You just need some privacy and a bed. In a pinch, you can lose the bed. But the privacy's important for projects like this one. With everyone X-raying and chemical testing their mail these days, a box of wire and pipe and batteries sprinkled with chemical fertilizer is a great attention-getter.
  • Whether you're a coke dealer, a thief, an arms dealer, or a spy, you need someone to clean your money. Which makes a good money launderer the closest thing you can get to a Yellow Pages for criminals. Even better, a money launderer will always take your phone call, burn notice or no burn notice.
  • I never run around in the bushes in a ski mask when I'm breaking in someplace. Somebody catches you, what are you gonna say? You want to look like a legitimate visitor until the very last minute. If you can't look legit, confused works almost as well. Maybe you get a soda from the fridge, or a yogurt. If you get caught, you just look confused and apologize like crazy for taking the yogurt - nothing could be more innocent... Cracking an old-school safe is pretty tough, but modern hi-tech security makes it much easier. Thing is, nobody wipes off a fingerprint scanner after they use it. So what's left on the scanner nine times out of ten is the fingerprint.
  • It doesn't matter how much training you have; a broken rib is a broken rib. 
  • Fighting for the little guy is for suckers. We all do it once in a while, but the trick is to get in and out quickly, without getting involved. That's one trick I never really mastered.
  • Powerful people don't like being pushed around. You can never quite predict what they're going to do. Or have their washed-out special forces security guys do. Point is, blackmail is a little like owning a pit bull; it might protect you, or it might bite your hand off. That's why it pays to make sure you know what they're thinking, and that means - eavesdropping.
  • To build a listening device, you need a crappy phone with a mike that picks up everything. But you want the battery power and circuits of a better phone. It's a trick you learn when the purchasing office won't spring for a bug. 
  • Once somebody sends a guy with a gun after you, things are only going to get worse. But like it or not, you've got work to do. For a job like getting rid of the drug dealer next door, I'll take a hardware store over a gun any day. Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart... *Every decent punk has a bulletproof door. But people forget walls are just plaster. Hopefully you get him with the first shot. Or the second... Now he's down and waiting for you to come through the front door. So you don't come through the front door.
  • Airbags save a lot of lives. But they also put you out long enough to get your hands cable-tied to the steering wheel. 
  • People with happy families don't become spies. A bad childhood is the perfect background for covert ops - you don't trust anyone, you're used to getting smacked around, and you never get homesick.
  • Thirty years of karate, combat experience on five continents, a rating with every weapon that shoots a bullet or holds an edge... still haven't found any defense against Mom crying into my shirt.
  • When you work solo, it's about prepping the ground. Home-court advantage counts for a lot. You never know what's going to happen. You prepare for everything... Most bad guys expect you to just sit there and wait for them, like those are the *rules* or something.
  • If you're going to put prints on a gun, sticking it into somebody's hand isn't going to do it. Any decent lawyer can explain prints on a gun. But try explaining prints on the inside of the trigger assembly.
  • As a spy, it doesn't matter if you're helping rebel forces fight off a dictator, or giving combat tips to a third-grader. There's nothing like helping the little guy kick some bully's ass.
  • There's nothing worse for a spook than knowing you're being played. Someone is pulling strings. The who? Not some intelligence agency bureaucrat in a cubicle. This is someone with more - style. Not FBI either, they're not this creative and they don't do surveillance on their own guys. This is someone who knows what he's doing; someone who wants to send a message: Welcome to Miami

Full RecapEdit

PrologueEdit

"Covert intelligence involves a lot of waiting around. Know what it's like being a spy? Like sitting in your dentist's reception area twenty-four hours a day. You read magazines, sip coffee, and every so often, someone tries to kill you."

In Warri, Nigeria, American covert operative Michael Westen is waiting on a street corner, then picked up by two armed thugs and whisked to a local hotel to meet with Boris, a "wannabe warlord" whose thugs have been attacking offshore oil rigs. Boris and his thugs both address Michael as "Mr. CIA."

What do you say to that? No? Explain that a lot of spies don't work directly for the CIA? Lot of good that'll do.

Michael is the courier to deliver a bribe from the U.S. oil companies. It is just another assignment for Michael... until he calls his contact to complete the wire transfer; the man on the other end of the line tells Michael a burn notice has been issued for him, and he is blacklisted from all future contact. Michael slowly closes his phone and turns to Boris, manufacturing a sheepish laugh...

The scene cuts to a few moments later, when Michael is curled into a ball on the floor of the hotel room with Boris's goons are beating him to a pulp, and Boris, brandishing a gun, demanding his money.

Sometimes the truth hurts. In these situations, I recommend lying.

Michael "confesses" that he planned to steal Boris's money and blame someone else, promising that he knows where the money is and can return it. Boris tells two of his thugs to take Michael away. Once they are in the lobby, Michael fakes an attack of nausea and convinces the thugs to drag him into the bathroom.

In a fight, you have to be careful not to break the little bones in your hand on someone's face. That's why I like bathrooms... lots of hard surfaces.

In spite of his injuries, Michael overpowers his two captors, knocks them unconscious against the sink and urinals, then takes a pistol off one and executes both of them. Attempting to make a casual exit from the hotel, he is noticed by more of Boris's goons and forced to steal a motorcycle and race to the airport, with the thugs in pursuit and shooting at him.

Southern Nigeria isn't my favorite place in the world. It's unstable, it's corrupt, and the people there eat a lot of terrible-smelling preserved fish. I will say this for Nigeria, though: it's the gun-running capital of Africa. And that makes it a bad place to drive a passenger sedan into a crowded market.

Michael lures the thugs' car into a crowded market, that forces the thugs to brake while Michael slips through the crowd on his motorcycle. When the thugs raise their guns to order the crowd out of the way, the crowd produce guns of their own, quickly forcing the outnumbered thugs to surrender.

If you're gonna collapse on a plane, I recommend business class. The seats are bigger if you start convulsing. Although once you pass out, it really doesn't matter.

Reaching the airport, Michael barely manages to stumble onto a departing plane, before he passes out.

Part OneEdit

Michael wakes up, battered, in a motel. To his great astonishment, he has company; his ex-girlfriend Fiona Glenanne, a former IRA operative; she had been in New York, but a curious maid went through Michael's wallet and found her still listed as his emergency contact. Fiona was intrigued to get the call, explaining that if Michael really was about to die, she wouldn't let him do so without seeing him one last time - and telling him what a bastard he was.

Michael's worst fears are soon confirmed. Asking where he is, Fiona informs him that he has been dumped in Miami, his hometown. She has no idea why, she was only told that the airline was "instructed" by someone to bring him there. She also mentions, with malice aforethought, that she had a "lovely chat" on the phone with Michael's mother, and suggests he go see her while he's in town.

Fiona also adds that there's a two-man team from the FBI surveilling him. Michael pleads for her to provide a distraction, and she extracts a promise to buy her dinner.

"Most people would be thrilled to be dumped in Miami. Unfortunately, I'm not most people. Spend a few years as a covert operative and a sunny beach just looks like a vulnerable tactical position with no decent cover... I've never found a good way to hide a gun in a bathing suit."

Michael attempts to upgrade to a four-star hotel, but his credit card is declined. Going to the bank, Michael learns that his bank accounts have been frozen. He urgently calls his handler, Dan Siebels, but the office refuses to put him through.

When a spy gets fired he doesn't get a call from a lady in HR and a gold watch. They cut him off. They make sure he can never work again. They can't take away his skills or what's in his head so they take away the resources that allow him to function: they "burn" him.

Keeping the feds off his tail is a challenge, though. He checks into a motel catering to teenagers on spring break, knowing the feds will have trouble blending in.

When you're being watched, what you need is contrast. A background that will make the surveillance stand out. An FBI field office is full of guys in their forties. At most South Beach business hotels, it would be tough to tell which middle-aged white guy was watching you. So you stay in the place where everyone is a Jell-O shot away from alcohol poisoning. If you see someone who can walk a straight line, that's the Fed.

Needing to evade them completely, he bribes two skateboarding kids to tell a beat cop that the federal agent in the car tailing Michael asked them to sit on his lap. The beat cop jerks the fed out of the car, and Michael slips away.

Need to go someplace you're not wanted? Any uniform store will sell you a messenger outfit, and any messenger can get past a security desk.

Stuck in Miami, and broke, Michael approaches Lucy Chen, an old protege of his now working in the private sector. She says she doesn't have any contacts high enough to give her any information on his burn notice, but says that if he needs some cash, she has a job he may be interested in. She also gives him some pocket cash to clean himself up and get some new clothes, remarking that he looks "terrible."

In order to survive and fund his own personal investigation, Michael enlists the help of the only two "friends" he has: Fiona and Sam; a washed-out ex-Navy SEAL now sponging off "half the rich widows in Miami," who also does occasional grunt work for Lucy. Sam helps fix Michael up with a temporary apartment, and gives him the name of the potential client.

An estate caretaker, Javier, has been accused of stealing valuable art from his employer, real estate mogul Graham Pyne. All evidence points to it being an inside job and Javier, with very little money to offer ($4,600), has nowhere else to turn, fearing he'll be arrested momentarily.

With this much money, things get complicated. Change a light bulb in a place like this, and a week later you're on a speedboat in the Cayman Islands with someone shooting at you.

Posing as a concerned friend, Michael first talks to Pyne, then to Pyne's head of security, a washed-out Army Ranger named Vincent. Pyne expresses polite concern, but Vincent says there's no doubt that Javier is guilty and it's only Pyne's soft heart that has prevented Javier from being arrested immediately. Michael's antenna go up - wherever there's money, you can bet you're not getting the whole story.

Michael is introduced to his new apartment by Oleg, Sam's contact, who also has former ties to Russian covert operatives, and is tickled to meet the notorious Michael Westen in person. As he is trying to make a home out of the place, Michael is stunned to take a call on his cell phone from his mother.

My mom would've been a great NSA communications operative.

Michael tries to get out of seeing his mother, saying he won't be in town for very long, but she insists that he drive her to the doctor, despite his protests that he doesn't have a car. "You'll think of something," she says cheerfully, and hangs up.

Drop me in the middle of the Gobi Desert, bury me in a goddamn cave on the moon... and somehow, she'd find a way to call me and ask me for a favor.

Michael has held up admirably thus far, but the conversation with his mother prompts him to mash a pillow into his face and scream in frustration.

Part Two Edit

I don't like stealing cars, but sometimes it's necessary. I have rules, though: I'll keep it clean, and if I take your car on a workday, I'll have it back by five.

Michael has "borrowed" a car and is driving Madeline to the hospital. She reproaches him for missing his father's funeral (by eight years) and she still can't understand why they didn't get along better, as they were so much alike. Exasperated, Michael tells her that he and Frank were nothing alike, and everything Michael did, good or bad, was an excuse for Frank to smack him around. Madeline appears blithely ignorant of Frank's violent behavior toward his sons (or else she's deliberately put it out of her mind). She tells him how glad she is that Michael is back home, since the whole family needs him: his brother, Nate, is "a mess," and she herself is sick with some persistent malady that no doctor has successfully diagnosed. Michael tries to explain to her that he will not be in Miami for very long, but is distracted when he notices an unmarked car behind them.

Figuring out if a car is tailing you is mostly about driving like you're an idiot. You speed up, slow down, signal one way, turn the other. Of course, ideally, you're doing this without your mother in the car... Actually, losing a tail isn't about driving fast. A high-speed pursuit is just gonna land you on the six o'clock news. So you just keep driving like an idiot until the other guy makes a mistake.

For each turn Michael makes, Madeline criticizes him for taking her further away from the hospital, while Michael is trying, without much success, to prevent her from smoking in the car since it's not his.

Again, all this is easier without a passenger yelling at you for missing a decade's worth of Thanksgivings.

Managing to lose the tail car, Michael finally pulls up in front of the hospital. As Madeline gets out, he makes a call on his cell phone, trying again to reach Dan Siebels. Again, his secretary refuses to put the call through, so Michael decides on a more insistent approach.

Sleep through an aerial bombing or two, and noise isn't an issue. You just need some privacy and a bed. In a pinch, you can lose the bed. But the privacy's important for projects like this one. With everyone X-raying and chemical testing their mail these days, a box of wire and pipe and batteries sprinkled with chemical fertilizer is a great attention-getter.

On his way to his new loft, Michael encounters a drug dealer squatting on the stairs, who warns him that his boss, Sugar, is in charge of the block and not to make trouble for him or his "employees."

Oblivious to the loud music blasting from the club underneath his loft, Michael assembles a fake pipe bomb, garnished with fertilizer, and places it in a box addressed to Siebels.

Turning his attention to Javier's problem, Michael approaches Sam at a hotel pool and asks him to set up a meeting with Barry.

Whether you're a coke dealer, a thief, an arms dealer, or a spy, you need someone to clean your money. Which makes a good money launderer the closest thing you can get to a Yellow Pages for criminals. Even better, a money launderer will always take your phone call, burn notice or no burn notice.

Meeting Barry in coffee shop, Michael asks for the name of an art dealer who might know how to track the stolen artwork. Barry demurs, saying that art is a bad place to park money, since art transactions are heavily scrutinized by the I.R.S., and value can plummet without warning - "some schmuck in New York says the wrong thing, you take a bath." Michael insists, and Barry gives him a name, politely asking Michael to remember who "gave you love" when Michael was down.

In a meeting with Walter, Barry's contact, Michael pretends to be interested in buying the same era and style of art that was stolen from Pyne, trying to see if any such pieces have come on the market. Walter says no, he has not heard of anything; in fact, there were several such pieces discreetly offered for sale a few months ago, but the seller was disappointed with the prices he was offered. Walter says he doesn't recall the man's name, only that he is "one of these big condo developers." He apologizes for not being more helpful, but Michael says, on the contrary, he has been extremely helpful. Walter leans in and asks if Michael is interested in seeing some Greco-Roman nude wrestling sculptures. Michael, for all his long experience at reading people, is unsure whether or not Walter is coming on to him, so he manufactures a laugh, as if Walter just made a joke.

I never run around in the bushes in a ski mask when I'm breaking in someplace. Somebody catches you, what are you gonna say? You want to look like a legitimate visitor until the very last minute. If you can't look legit, confused works almost as well. Maybe you get a soda from the fridge, or a yogurt. If you get caught, you just look confused and apologize like crazy for taking the yogurt - nothing could be more innocent.

At night, Michael easily breaks into Mr. Pyne's house, removes a yogurt from the fridge (for authenticity), then locates a wall safe behind a painting.

Cracking an old-school safe is pretty tough, but modern hi-tech security makes it much easier. Thing is, nobody wipes off a fingerprint scanner after they use it. So what's left on the scanner nine times out of ten is the fingerprint.

Cracking Pyne's safe is the work of a few seconds: a lump of wax applied to the scanner lifts the fingerprint, which Michael transfers to a sheet of film and presses to the scanner, opening the safe. Inside, Michael finds financial documents of a highly interesting nature.

Exiting his apartment to visit Javier, Michael encounters Sugar himself, who is aggravated that his new neighbor doesn't seem intimidated by him. Michael calmly stares the drug dealer down, but Sugar jabs Michael in the belly, causing him to double over in pain.

It doesn't matter how much training you have; a broken rib is a broken rib.

Michael hoped to avoid fighting, but the pain causes him to retaliate with a quick move that leaves Sugar groaning on the pavement.

Fighting for the little guy is for suckers. We all do it once in a while, but the trick is to get in and out quickly, without getting involved. That's one trick I never really mastered.

Visiting Javier at his home, Michael tells Javier that Pyne has framed him. The documents removed from Pyne's safe reveal that Pyne is nearly broke, and desperately in need of quick cash. Vincent committed the robbery, at Pyne's direction, allowing Pyne to collect the insurance money and allow Javier to take the blame. The fact that Pyne spoke up in Javier's defense only makes it that much easier for Pyne to collect the insurance, claiming he had no idea that a "trusted employee" would rip him off.

Shakily, Javier asks what his options are. Michael says he could flee Miami, and stay away until the statute of limitations runs out (about ten years); he could go to court, in which case he will likely lose and be sent to prison for twenty years; or he could stay and fight back. Javier decides to fight back - or, more precisely, to have Michael do it for him. Michael says things may get ugly, and advises Javier not to return to work, and to stay with a friend until the mess blows over.

Still in his guise as Javier's concerned friend, Michael confronts Pyne with the incriminating evidence, "suggesting" that he drop the charges against Javier if he doesn't want his financial situation spread all over the newspapers. Pyne appears shaken, and Michael politely lets himself out. Michael has barely cleared the front door of Pyne's mansion before he hears Pyne yelling at Vincent behind him, causing him to smile. However, he knows it is too early to claim victory.

Powerful people don't like being pushed around. You can never quite predict what they're going to do. Or have their washed-out special forces security guys do. Point is, blackmail is a little like owning a pit bull; it might protect you, or it might bite your hand off. That's why it pays to make sure you know what they're thinking, and that means - eavesdropping.

Michael buys a pair of cell phones from a street vendor and crafts a serviceable electronic bug.

To build a listening device, you need a crappy phone with a mike that picks up everything. But you want the battery power and circuits of a better phone. It's a trick you learn when the purchasing office won't spring for a bug.

Over dinner with Fiona, he tells her about his plan to plant the bug in Pyne's car the next day, and asks her if she'd be willing to help. She agrees, and asks him if he's given any thought to re-starting their relationship, now that he has some time on his hands. Uncomfortably, Michael says he is good at many things, but relationships have never been one of them. She wryly points out that if a serious relationship is too taxing, Miami is the perfect place for him to hook up with a "twenty-four year old with big, fake tits." Smiling ruefully, he admits that those types of women are "too boring for him."

Taking her back to the loft, Michael is trying to think of a tactful way to avoid inviting her up, but the dilemma is solved when a thug with a gun appears with a message from Sugar; move out, or else. For Fi, it is the perfect way to cap off the evening, disarming the thug and knocking him senseless with Michael standing by and watching. Suddenly ambivalent about wanting her to go, Michael starts to ask her up, but she breezes away with a casual "goodnight."

Part Three Edit

The next morning, Michael is woken by a call from Dan Siebels, who has spent a few uncomfortable hours with the FBI after receiving Michael's fake bomb. He says he believes Michael's been framed, but there's nothing he can do to help him, not even showing him a copy of the burn notice. He also warns Michael that there are still people who are on his side, but another fake bomb, and Siebels won't be one of them. He tells Michael not to leave Miami, unless he wants an FBI manhunt after him.

Michael and Sam are waiting outside the office of Pyne's lawyer. While they are waiting, Michael's phone rings - it's his mother yet again. Michael silences the phone, but knows he can't avoid seeing his mother indefinitely.

As Pyne comes out, Vincent opens the car door for him, while Fiona breezes by, distracting the men as only she can do. With the help of a cab driver friend, Pierre, Sam fakes a roadside dispute that ends with Pierre punching him in the face, sending him sprawling onto the passenger seat of Pyne's car. Before Vincent yanks him out, the bug is under the seat, with no one the wiser.

Once somebody sends a guy with a gun after you, things are only going to get worse. But like it or not, you've got work to do. For a job like getting rid of the drug dealer next door, I'll take a hardware store over a gun any day. Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

With some tools from the local hardware store, Michael measures the thickness of the wall outside Sugar's apartment, then uses duct tape to mark a square where the plaster is thinnest. Then he goes to the rear of the apartment, unscrews the sheet metal and knocks out the plaster, creating an easy entrance for himself. Once Sugar is home, Michael knocks on the door with a cheery "Hi, it's your neighbor!"

Every decent punk has a bulletproof door. But people forget walls are just plaster.

Standing to the side of the door, Michael raises the gun taken from Sugar's thug, with the barrel inside a tin can as a makeshift silencer, and fires through the thin part of the wall.

Hopefully you get him with the first shot.

Hearing nothing, Michael fires again.

Or the second.

This time a scream comes from behind the door.

Now he's down and waiting for you to come through the front door. So you don't come through the front door.

While Sugar is furiously pointing a revolver at the door, Michael swiftly enters behind him and disarms Sugar, telling him he has twenty minutes to clear out, or else. Sugar quickly agrees, and Michael hands him bandages and disinfectant, telling him he should be able to limp to a hospital with enough time to get the wound treated and not limp for the rest of his life. His job done, Michael exits, leaving Sugar free to scream in pain.

People with happy families don't become spies. A bad childhood is the perfect background for covert ops - you don't trust anyone, you're used to getting smacked around, and you never get homesick.

Going to see his mother at home, Michael again tries to say he will not be in Miami long, but Madeline breaks down crying, begging him to stay long enough to help with his brother.

Thirty years of karate, combat experience on five continents, a rating with every weapon that shoots a bullet or holds an edge... still haven't found any defense against Mom crying into my shirt.

In the middle of Madeline's crying jag, Michael receives an urgent call from Sam, who has been listening to the bug, and plays a recording telling Vincent to go to Javier's home and kidnap his son, David, to turn the tables on the blackmailer. Michael grabs a screwdriver and some zip-ties from Madeline's garage and rushes out.

Looking for just the right car to hijack, Michael stops a 60's-era muscle car and orders the driver into the passenger side. Michael intercepts Vincent on the way to Javier's house and rams his car; Michael deliberately picked a car with no airbags, while Vincent is knocked unconscious when his deploy.

Airbags save a lot of lives. But they also put you out long enough to get your hands cable-tied to the steering wheel. 

With Vincent disabled, Michael hops out and assures the car's distressed owner that the insurance will pay for most of the damage, plus the hijacking was for a good cause. Michael picks up David from school and takes him back to his loft, calling Javier to collect him in a few hours.

Michael notices David crying and trying to hide it. Michael asks why, and David admits that he is being bullied at school, which is why he wishes he were a "tough guy" like Michael. Shaking his head ruefully, Michael lifts his shirt and displays the bruises from his beating in Nigeria. Two black belts, he tells David, and Michael still got his ass kicked - David has nothing to be ashamed of. Michael has lost as many fights as he's won, but he's an expert at winning. Michael gives David some training, including the important fact that when dealing with a gang, the best strategy is to go after the leader - it works on elementary school boys as well as it works on Afghan warlords. Michael trains David to play possum, draw the gang leader in, then knock him down and give him a few good punches.

Part FourEdit

Michael follows Sam to a coffee shop and sees him meeting with FBI Agents Harris and Lane. Michael casually drops into the seat next to Sam's and asks if they know why he's been burned. They say they don't, but they're simply following orders. They also warn him not to get "cute," because, contrary to what he might think, he still has plenty to lose, starting with his mother and brother in Miami.

After the agents leave, Sam shrinks into a guilty little ball, pleading that the FBI can erase his Navy pension with the touch of a button if he doesn't play along. Michael says he understands, and would prefer to have an old friend like Sam feeding the feds information than someone he doesn't know. Grateful for this understanding, Sam makes a half-hearted offer to assist Michael in the confrontation with Pyne, but Michael says he has things covered.

When you work solo, it's about prepping the ground. Home-court advantage counts for a lot. You never know what's going to happen. You prepare for everything. Most bad guys expect you to just sit there and wait for them, like those are the "rules" or something.

Michael prepares Javier's house for an armed assault, covering the windows, positioning a mirror to blind anyone in the hallway, and rigging Sugar's revolver with blanks and a remote-controlled igniter. He also hooks Javier's phone to a call-forwarding device.

Pyne and Vincent pull up outside Javier's house, and Vincent calls the home number to ensure Javier is there. When Javier picks up at the forwarded location, it is enough to fool Vincent.

When Vincent kicks down the door, Javier is not there, just Michael. Pyne angrily demands the return of his files, but Michael casually tells Vincent his gun's safety is still on. As soon as Vincent tilts his gun to look, Michael jumps him. Suddenly gunfire erupts behind Pyne, who grabs Vincent's dropped gun in a panic. Seeing a shape come around the corner of the hallway, Pyne (half-blinded by the reflected sunlight) fires a shot in panic. Then his vision clears just enough to see Vincent on the floor with a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

If you're going to put prints on a gun, sticking it into somebody's hand isn't going to do it. Any decent lawyer can explain prints on a gun. But try explaining prints on the inside of the trigger assembly.

With Pyne tied up, Michael jauntily disassembles the pistol and carefully presses Pyne's fingertips all over the interior parts (causing Pyne to yelp in pain, since the recently-fired barrel is still hot). Vincent is lying on the couch, clutching the wound in his side and pleading to be taken to a hospital. Michael - treating Vincent more like a little boy with a nervous bladder than a full-grown man with a gunshot wound - tells him to stay quiet until the grown-ups have finished their chat.

Michael shows Pyne the trick revolver - the source of the shots that spooked Pyne - then lays out the facts: Pyne is guilty of shooting Vincent, and the weapon that fired the shot is now "a crime lab's wet dream." In addition, Michael has Pyne on tape instructing Vincent to commit a kidnapping, which is a federal crime that automatically comes with a lengthy prison sentence - "at your age, that's life."

Pyne breaks down and asks Michael what he wants, and Michael lays out his demands: Vincent will confess to the robbery, clearing Javier's name, and Javier will be dismissed with a generous severance package, along with a college fund for David. Pyne agrees, and nervously asks about the financial documents. Michael says he'll hang on to those, and warns that he'll be keeping an eye on Pyne to make sure he doesn't try anything else.

After settling things with Javier, Michael drops by David's school and witnesses an altercation in the playground. Noticing Lane and Harris parked nearby, Michael walks up to the F.B.I. men and asks to borrow their binoculars: he knows they have them, but they're not using them, since he's standing right in front of them. Lane grudgingly hands them over and Michael watches with satisfaction as David knocks the bullies' leader down, then jumps on him and punches him repeatedly. Michael grins.

As a spy, it doesn't matter if you're helping rebel forces fight off a dictator, or giving combat tips to a third-grader. There's nothing like helping the little guy kick some bully's ass.

Michael returns home to find his door open and the floor covered with surveillance photos. It's not the FBI, because pictures of them tailing Michael are included, but whoever it is, they've been tracking his every move. And they've left a message.

"There's nothing worse for a spook than knowing you're being played. Someone is pulling strings. The who? Not some intelligence agency bureaucrat in a cubicle. This is someone with more - style. Not FBI either, they're not this creative and they don't do surveillance on their own guys. This is someone who knows what he's doing; someone who wants to send a message: Welcome to Miami."

CastEdit

MainEdit

RecurringEdit

GuestEdit

Major EventsEdit

  • Michael Westen, his ex-girlfriend and an IRA operative Fiona Glenanne, his best friend and an ex-Navy Seal Sam Axe and Michael's mother Madeline are all introduced for the first time.
  • Fiona reveals that she's listed as Michael's emergency contact.

TriviaEdit

  • Gabrielle Anwar improvised kicking Michael awake during her audition, this was later added into the shooting script.
  • This is the only episode where Madeline has her hair grown out and not cut short.

Continuity ErrorsEdit

  • When Michael pays Enrique, he holds the money over the envelope, but then in the next shot, Michael is presses down on the money in a different place.

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