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Unpaid Debts
Season 1, Episode 6
Unpaid-debts
Air date August 2, 2007
Written by Nick Thiel
Directed by Paul Holahan
Episode Guide
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Family Business
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Broken Rules
Unpaid Debts is the sixth episode of the first season and the sixth episode overall.

NotesEdit

SynopsisEdit

Michael discovers a surprise aboard a boat he has retrieved from Jamaican gangsters. Meanwhile, a CSS (Central Security Service) agent urges Michael to stop his investigation into who burned him.

Spy FactsEdit

  • For most people a night out at a Miami club gives you a chance to see and be seen. When you're under government surveillance it's a different story. You still want to know who's watching you but the reason's are a little different. Sprinkle a mixture of flour and day-glow powder on your flour before you go out and you'll know whether you've had any visitors and what they were after. You don't always have to get that clever though. Sometimes they want you to know what they're up to.
  • They're two kinds of government surveillance: the kind that's there to look for something and the kind that's just there to make your life difficult. 
  • You can tie up a lot of resources by keeping a bugged phone line open. As long as it's open they're supposed to keep listening. Say a few cryptic things now and then and they'll be stuck in their little van trying to figure out what the hell you're doing. They can't go home, can't grab a bite to eat, can't take a leak. And the longer they're stuck in a van with a set of head phones the more you can find out about them. 
  • As a rule, spies don't like dealing with cops. Covert ops are illegal by definition. If they were legal they wouldn't need to be covert. Still the police can be useful if you need a little insurance against people shooting. 
  • When you're going into a meeting cold, with people you know nothing about, you have to be extra careful, pay attention to every detail, map out an escape route or two just in case and never, ever show up as yourself. Another thing you look for is people who seem overly upset that things have changed, details that shouldn't matter so much. Some tip-offs aren't so subtle, like a detonator sitting on enough chloride to incinerate a city block. 
  • You can turn an old TV into an oscilloscope with about $150 worth of hardware. It'll electrocute you if you're not careful, but it makes a decent bug detector. If you don't want to tip off anyone who might be listening you have to be prepared to keep talking for a few hours. Of course when you have to keep talking it's an opportunity for someone to hijack the conversation for their own purposes. 
  • The optical bug is a high-tech toy that shoots a light beam at a window, picks up vibrations from the glass and translates it into speech. You can't see the beam with the naked eye but take the infrared filter off a digital camera and it shows up nicely. As high-tech as a laser mike is, they're not hard to defeat. They pick up vibrations on the glass so you supply your own vibrations. 
  • When working a cover identity the safest thing is to let the target take the lead. You've got more information than he does. You want to keep that edge. 
  • Anyone with a security clearance is going to know not to leave anything in a hotel room. They'll keep the important stuff with them. Usually it'll be in a secure lap-top with a few layers of encryption. Means you can't break into it. But if you're just looking to make somebody angry, you don't need to break into it. Put a big enough magnet where the laptop is going to be and you can turn it into an expensive paper-weight.
  • Doctors are well known to be the worst patients. Similarly, anyone with special ops training is tough to protect. They think they can handle anything.
  • When something serious is going down it's a good idea to show up nice and early so you can see the ground and assess the situation. 
  • When enough people hate you sometimes the only move is to just stand in the middle and hope they kill each other before they kill you. 
  • Anyone who's ever handled large amounts of cash can tell you it's one of the toughest things in the world to move. It's heavy and dense – dead weight. If it's on fire of course, that complicates things further. 
  • Getting information out of someone who doesn't want to give it up is all about upsetting the target's emotional balance, impairing their judgment. Fear is good for that, anger is not bad either
  • Sometimes intelligence gathering involves sophisticated techniques and a lot of high-tech equipment. But sometimes it's as simple as picking someone's pocket.

Full RecapEdit

For most people a night out at a Miami club gives you a chance to see and be seen. When you're under government surveillance it's a different story. You still want to know who's watching you but the reasons are a little different.

Michael has taken Fiona out clubbing, in hopes of enticing his new surveillance into entering his apartment. Upon arrival, Michael is pleased to see that 'they' have taken the bait.

Sprinkle a mixture of flour and day-glow powder on your floor before you go out and you'll know whether you've had any visitors and what they were after.

Michael sees three distinct sets of footprints on his floor, and infers that the intruders were not taking much care to conceal their entry - i.e., they want Michael to know they're there.

You don't always have to get that clever though. Sometimes they want you to know what they're up to.

Fiona says she misses Michael's F.B.I. detail (Agents Lane and Harris) who were "kind of sweet," but Michael reminds her that the FBI didn't know anything useful about his burn notice, so he prefers the new attention. Michael makes an offhand comment that leads Fiona to realize he thinks the apartment is likely bugged.

His phone rings, and it's a hysterical Madeline. She alarms Michael by telling him that men with guns have been outside her house for hours, watching, but now they are coming inside. Telling her to call the police, Michael and Fiona dash to Madeline's assistance. Pushing the Charger, they pull up at Madeline's. Michael rushes toward the house, telling Fi to handle the waiting van and cover the street, and she responds with a breezy "not a problem." She waltzes to the side window of the van, and the male driver smiles at her, thinking Fiona harmless. Smiling back, Fiona pulls her shotgun on him, and he ducks - one threat neutralized.

Michael enters the house to the sound of crashing china, confronted instantly by a gun in his face. Disarming the guy quickly, he turns to deal with yet another assailant, this one wielding a baseball bat. Pulling his own weapon, Michael calls out for his mother. She appears from another room, held at gunpoint by a man who casually remarks that it had taken Michael fourteen minutes to arrive, he'd figured him for twelve, letting Michael know that this was the group that had broken into his apartment earlier in the evening, and confirming his suspicions about the apartment being bugged.

A traumatized Madeline tells Michael she is ok, she'd tried to call the police, but they had cut her phone lines. Calming her, Michael confronts the stranger, telling him that his problem was not with his mother, but was with him. He asks the man who he is. Casually letting Madeline go and lowering his own weapon, he answers: "I'm the new man in your life." He lectures Michael sardonically, telling him that by obtaining a copy of the Homeland Security directive authorizing his burn notice, Michael has pissed a lot of people off. Michael replied that he'd asked nicely, smiling. The stranger continues, "You wanted attention from someone a little higher up the food chain." Michael agrees. "It's your lucky day." the stranger replies, "Here I am, and here I will stay, until you back off." He casually breaks another item. Michael points out that his problem isn't with his mother. He is told that, as a private citizen, he was a major security risk, and had just assaulted two Federal agents. Putting the safety on his gun and turning it around, Michael offers it to the stranger, asking to be arrested, since he'd like to read his own indictment. The stranger takes the gun, declines to make the arrest, telling Michael if he's a good boy, he'll be left alone, but until then, the stranger promises, he will keep looking. Underscoring his words, the man casually takes a knife and cuts open one of Madeline's sofa cushions, pretending to search it.

There are two kinds of government surveillance: the kind that's there to look for something, and the kind that's just there to make your life difficult.

Having tracked Sam to a swanky hotel, Michael turns down his offer to help get rid of this new mystery man, reminding Sam he needs to figure out what this man might know. Sam offers to help him find out who the man might be, and Michael asks Sam if he hasn't already heard from his FBI pals. Sam denies this, commenting that intelligence outfits are springing up faster than Starbucks. Michael makes an excuse to leave, and Sam wants him to tarry. Citing his need to find a job, since his mom's house needs "remodeling", Michael says he is almost desperate enough to call Lucy. Sam reminds him of a job he'd offered Michael before, helping his old SEAL buddy repossess a boat. The job should be simple, it just needs a little muscle. Muscle isn't Michael's favorite game. Before leaving he gets a look at Sam's new lady friend, Veronica, who finally got Sam off Michael's couch.

You can tie up a lot of resources by keeping a bugged phone line open. As long as it's open they're supposed to keep listening. Say a few cryptic things now and then and they'll be stuck in their little van trying to figure out what the hell you're doing. They can't go home, can't grab a bite to eat, can't take a leak. And the longer they're stuck in a van with a set of head phones the more you can find out about them.

Michael occupies himself back at his apartment by messing with his phone. Knowing it to be tapped since spotting the van the surveillance team is occupying, he rigs it to keep the line open, and makes random calls, one to the Consulate of Belize, reading meaningless bits out of a catalogue when the recording asks the caller to leave a message. He has a logical reason for doing this. He knows that as long as that phone line is open, it gives Michael time to spy on the guy spying on him.

Michael is introduced to Sam's old buddy, Virgil Watkins, living in a run-down house trailer in the middle of the Everglades. His face shows signs of a recent beating. Only a few minutes into the conversation, Michael thinks Sam might have told Virgil more about him than he'd have liked. Declining a beer, Michael inquires about the job. Virgil says he was supposed to repossess a Donzi 27ZR speedboat for "a guy" who'd done him a few favors, but when he arrived to pick it up, the boat's Jamaican owners beat him up (Virgil may be an ex-SEAL, but the Jamaicans were thirty years younger, and outnumbered him). Now, Virgil is afraid that his business is finished as soon as his clients hear that he's not tough enough to do his job.

Michael comments that the Donzi is a fast boat, and asks if it's being used for smuggling. Virgil agrees this is likely, suggesting it might be Cuban cigars or marijuana, but he does casually mention the Jamaicans were waving guns around. Michael is less than enchanted by the entire deal. Virgil downplays the risk, saying it is just a 'Point A to Point B' job. Michael knows better, and doesn't hide this from Virgil. Virgil announces that the job pays $2,000.00 per man, cash on delivery, and his buddy Mason will be waiting for the boat at a local Miami warehouse. Sam tries to persuade Michael to take the job, and call in Fiona to help. This doesn't convince Michael, and Sam reminds him they could both use the cash - Sam needs to buy his new lady a nice gift, Michael needs to fix the mess his new 'friend' made at Madeline's house. "I'll think about it." That's all Michael will commit to, declining Virgil's offer of an alligator steak fresh off the grill.

Later that day, Michael exits his apartment to find his new 'friend' is having the Charger towed, claiming it needs to be searched for evidence. Having also realized what Michael had done to his surveillance, he also mentions that he'd taken care of Michael's little problem with his phone, adding that it might be a while before his service is restored. Accepting the stranger's offer of a stick of gum, Michael casually mentions that he hadn't gotten the man's name. "No, you didn't" is the only reply. Returning to his apartment, Michael calls Sam on his cell phone, telling him he will take the repo job.

Fiona, Sam and Michael have staked out the marina, and soon see the Donzi pull up to the dock. A tall, dark-skinned man in a white suit - Andre - strolls down to see the boat arrive, driven by two other Jamaicans. Fiona thinks Andre is cute. Michael points out that since they are going to repossess his boat, he doubts she'll get his phone number. "Who knows? I've had stranger dates." she taunts him, getting a smile as a reply.

As a rule, spies don't like dealing with cops. Covert ops are illegal by definition. If they were legal, they wouldn't need to be covert. Still, the police can be useful if you need a little insurance against people shooting.

The three begin to work their plan. Sam calls 911, and playing dumb, tells the operator that he isn't sure if he should be calling about this, but he is at the marina, and saw some guys loading bags of white powder into a sailboat. The sailboat is in close proximity to the boat they need to repo. Timing their entrance to coincide with the arrival of the police, Michael and Fiona saunter down the dock, approaching the Jamaicans. Using a deep Southern accent, and pretending not to be the sharpest crayon in the box, "Homer" approaches the Jamaican, Andre, explaining that he works for Virgil and has come to repossess the boat. Andre says this is a misunderstanding. Fiona flaunts the papers authorizing the repossession, and Andre flaunts the gun tucked into his belt. "Homer" suggests they call the "po-lice" over to help sort this matter out, pointing to the nearby sailboat where several cops are tossing the boat as three innocent men protest furiously, and Sam watches with great amusement. Andre shoves the gun into Michael's stomach, and without missing a beat, "Homer" says: "Nice piece. You gonna shoot me with it? Prob'ly gonna have to shoot her, too. Might be tough to explain to the cops." Fiona won't allow Michael to have all the fun, adding "Or, I could just start screaming." Outmaneuvered, Andre gives up the boat, along with a warning that he'll be seeing them soon, when he has a bit more privacy. Michael and Fiona drive away in the boat, the furious Jamaicans watching helplessly from the dock.

Using Virgil's truck and trailer, they pull the boat onto land. Michael jumps in and begins a search of the boat. Sam asks what he is doing. Michael replies that Andre seemed too certain he would get the boat back, and soon enough, turns up a GPS tracker. Placing it in front of the truck tire, he asks Sam how well he knows Virgil, and if he trusts him. Sam swears Virgil is like a brother to him, and had saved his life once. Fiona inches the truck forward, crushing the GPS locator.

But Michael's sixth sense tells him there is more to this job than meets the eye.

When you're going into a meeting cold, with people you know nothing about, you have to be extra careful. Pay attention to every detail, map out an escape route or two, just in case, and never, ever show up as yourself.

"Homer" enters the warehouse, asking if Mason, Virgil's client, is expecting a boat. Mason and his buddies are expecting a boat, but they are also expecting Virgil. "Homer" states that Virgil couldn't be there, but sent him instead. Mason insists that Virgil has to be there. "Homer" says for Mason to relax, he has his boat outside with his team. The word 'team' makes Mason even more agitated.

Another thing you look for is people who seem overly upset that things have changed, details that shouldn't matter so much.

"Homer" wanders around the warehouse, pretending to admire the various boat motors scattered about; Michael is scanning for trouble. He finds it.

Some tip-offs aren't so subtle, like a detonator, sitting on enough chloride to incinerate a city block.

Mason demands the boat, and "Homer" says he'll go get it. Pulling a gun, Mason insists they will all go get it. Raising his hands high over his head, presumably at the sight of the gun, Michael yanks on a hanging fluorescent light fixture, letting it fall into an open vat of chemicals, and a fire quickly breaks out. Mindful of the chloride, Mason orders his crew to put out the fire, and gives chase to a running "Homer", firing off a few shots when he realizes he can't catch the delivery man. Sam and Fiona have already started pulling off, and Michael jumps into the back of the truck.

At a hastily arranged meeting in a public place, Fiona patrols the perimeter with her handy shotgun at the ready, pronouncing the coast clear - they hadn't been followed. Sam asks Virgil how well he knows his clients, and Virgil says they'd done him a couple of favors, their paperwork was in order, it seemed a simple enough job. Michael isn't buying Virgil's routine, announcing flatly that Mason and his friends are corrupt cops, identifiable by the department-issue Glocks in hip holsters, and the late model Crown Victoria in the parking lot. He isn't through, adding, his voice rising in a rare display of temper, that it seemed to him that the cops knew Virgil. He warns Virgil not to lie to him again. Virgil recognizes the look in Michael's eye, it's time to come clean. He admits he knows Mason because Mason and his friends had helped him out a time or two when a repo job had gone bad, but this time, they had come to him. Mason had pictures of Virgil's daughter in Tampa, and threatened to hurt her if Virgil didn't help them get the boat.

Michael wants to know why Virgil thinks Mason wants this boat so badly, and Virgil seems sincere when he says it's a Donzi 27ZR, and must be worth at least $200,000.00. Michael tells Virgil that Mason had been prepared to blow up both the boat and Virgil on delivery. Michael is unyielding; Virgil appeals to Sam for understanding. Caught between two friends, Sam reflects as Michael walks away. Sam approaches Michael, confessing that he owed Virgil for a bit more than just saving his life. He'd messed up badly in East Germany once, and it had been Virgil who had given Sam a second shot at his own espionage career. Knowing this will strike home with Michael, he pushes his luck, reminding Michael of Virgil's daughter, massaging yet another of Michael's soft spots. Sam states that he will handle this one on his own, if he has to. "You can't do this by yourself." Michael states. "I know." Sam replies. Giving in, Michael announces that they're going to need a place to stash Virgil for his own safety.

Madeline's house is their only option. With Virgil and Madeline chatting like old friends, Michael enters the kitchen. Hearing the direction of the conversation, he warns Virgil that he will only be there one night, two at the most, there's no reason to exchange life stories. Madeline protests that she is enjoying the company. Michael asks the whereabouts of the hatchet, and she tosses the answer over her shoulder, her attention never wavering from Virgil. Michael takes the hatchet to Sam, who is tearing the boat apart. Having found nothing under the seats or the carpeting, Michael suggests Sam tear out the sub floor, and reminding him that his surveillance has had fourteen hours to re-enter his apartment, leaves him with the boat.

You can turn an old television into a decent oscilloscope with about $150.00 worth of hardware. It will electrocute you if you're not careful, but it makes a decent bug detector. If you don't want to tip off anyone who might be listening, you have to be prepared to keep talking for a few hours.

Fiona is scanning the apartment with the homemade equipment, and Michael is chatting about European politics, intent on boring his eavesdroppers to death. Fiona has other intentions. She asks Michael why he left her. He glares.

Of course, when you have to keep talking, it's a chance for someone to hijack the conversation for their own purposes.

He holds up a sign; NOT NOW! Fiona sweetly replies that she thinks now is the perfect time. Knowing she won't relent, Michael tells her it was a difficult time, there had been an important reason, and it was years ago. He begs her to let him gather his thoughts about it, and talk another time.

As she asks, "Not even a good-bye, Michael?", she writes a note of her own: NOTHING TRANSMITTING UPSTAIRS. Fiona is greatly enjoying his discomfort, and he writes a new note: CHANGE TOPIC! Smiling, she shakes her head.

Michael reminds her that he cooked for her the night before leaving; Fiona sarcastically replies that if she had known it was to have been their "Last Supper" she'd have chewed more slowly.

Michael asks her to please recall that his cover had been blown. Fi wants to know why he didn't leave her a note. Bad tradecraft, he replies, plus, a note could have endangered her. Fiona is dogged: "You ran away in the middle of the night, for MY benefit?"

Answering earnestly, Michael tells her that the way he left truly was for her benefit. "And yours." she adds. "Yes, Fi, and mine." he agrees. She thanks him for his honesty, and they both grab for their note pads. His: HAPPY NOW? She nods and smiles. Hers: OPTICAL BUG?

Pretending to be a happily reunited couple for the benefit of the eavesdroppers, Fiona poses in front of the window while Michael snaps pictures with a digital camera. "Can I see?", Fi asks aloud, as they put their heads together and look at the images.

The optical bug is a high-tech toy that shoots a light beam at a window, picks up vibrations from the glass and translates it into speech. You can't see the beam with the naked eye but take the infrared filter off a digital camera and it shows up nicely.

Things appear normal, but with the infrared filter removed, the red dot indicating an optical beam shows up nicely. The beam is designed to record vibrations and translate them into language. Hi-tech gadget it might be, but easily foiled.

As high-tech as a laser mike is, they're not hard to defeat. They pick up vibrations on the glass, so you supply your own vibrations.

Fiona holds a personal massager to the window as Michael tapes it to the glass. She turns it on. The listening device disabled, he pounces, demanding to know why she had to have that conversation right then. She smiles, and reminds him that while she did tell him she would help him, she never said she'd do it for free. In return for his honesty, she offers to stick with the surveillance guy, and follow him to wherever he's staying. She asks if Michael believes this guy is the one who'd burned him. He doesn't, but says since this guy came to show him who's boss, he is one step closer to whomever did.

Michael's phone rings, Sam tells him he needs to come to Madeline's right now. Having been up all night, he enters his mother's kitchen as she is making coffee, fresh from the shower, bathrobe and wet hair as proof. Michael asks her where Virgil is, and is told he is still asleep. Jerking open the guest room door, Michael is stunned to see the room empty and the bed hasn't been slept in. Upon being told where Virgil had spent the night, Michael reacts like any other child... any information regarding a parent's sexual encounters is too much information. He orders her to get Virgil up, definitely unhappy with Madeline's extracurricular activities.

A stunned Virgil looks at the growing stack of huge bundles of money found secreted inside the hull of the boat, asking if it could possibly be real. Sam is definite on that point, adding that it is around 10 million dollars, and speculates that it was probably destined for some off shore bank in Aruba or the like. Michael has a theory; Mason found out about the money smuggling operation, and used Virgil to steal it, planning on blowing up all the evidence of the boat and Virgil's murder with the fire from the rigged chloride barrel. Virgil helplessly asks what he should do. Michael orders them to dump the boat. Asked if he knows how to reach the cops, Virgil places a call from his cell phone. "Homer" asks Mason for a meeting.

When working a cover identity the safest thing is to let the target take the lead. You've got more information than he does. You want to keep that edge.

Michael is being roughed up by Mason and his buddies, he is swearing all the while he has no idea where Virgil is; they will have to deal with him. "Homer" tells Mason they want out of the boat deal because the Jamaicans are causing too much trouble, Mason is unsympathetic, and the Jamaicans are not his problem. "Well, seein' as how we got your 10 million dollars, I guess that makes them your problem, too." Michael replies. It's a stalemate, and Mason agrees - if the money and the Jamaicans show up in the same place, he and his boys will deal with the Jamaicans. "Homer" agrees that Mason will have his money the next day....and warns Mason that he'd better not see another barrel of chemicals with his name on it.

As Sam and a reluctant Virgil unhook the boat in a deserted field and prepare to drive off, Andre's crew appears out of nowhere, guns blazing. Virgil and Sam escape, as the Jamaicans discover their money is gone.

Everyone having returned to Madeline's house, Michael is incredulous that he missed the second GPS tracker concealed in the boat. He tells them a meeting has to be arranged with the Jamaicans. Sam points out they weren't in the mood to exchange phone numbers. Michael tells Sam to leave a message for Andre at the marina with his phone number, knowing he will call.

Mason isn't happy that the meet is going to be delayed, but "Homer" explains that since they did repossess Andre's boat, he is being difficult to contact. Mason has a bit of incentive for Virgil, showing Michael a copy of an arrest record. Virgil's daughter has been picked up on a traffic violation, and he points out that while her car hasn't yet been searched, if that happens, Mason feels like the police might just find drugs under her back seat. Driving his point home, he reminds "Homer" that pretty girls don't remain attractive in jail. All but abandoning the dumb redneck routine, Michael promises Mason he will have his money the next day.

Meanwhile, Fiona has tracked the new agent to his hotel. They pull up in a new Mercedes, on loan from Sam's new lady friend. Fiona wonders if Michael should antagonize this man, knowing he has surely found the personal massager by now, but Michael is dogged. If he behaves as ordered, the new agent will leave town and he will have learned nothing new about the burn notice.

Anyone with a security clearance is going to know not to leave anything in a hotel room. They'll keep the important stuff with them. Usually it'll be in a secure lap-top with a few layers of encryption. Means you can't break into it. But if you're just looking to make somebody angry, you don't need to break into it. Put a big enough magnet where the laptop is going to be and you can turn it into an expensive paper-weight.

Entering the hotel room, he has a plan. Finding nothing, as expected, he sits down at the desk, wiring a large magnet into the base of the lamp. While the information Michael needs is probably on a secure laptop, all he plans to do at this point is annoy the mystery agent. The desktop is the logical place to sit the laptop. When the light is activated, so is the magnet, rendering the secure computer useless. Just as the wiring is completed, Andre calls "Homer".

Doctors are well known to be the worst patients. Similarly, anyone with special ops training is tough to protect. They think they can handle anything.

Virgil and Madeline have been unable to resist sneaking out of the house for dinner. Madeline expresses some worry over Michael's instructions to stay hidden, and Virgil tells her not to worry, he can handle himself.

"Homer", meanwhile, meets with Andre. Andre explains that the stolen money is payment for a large quantity of merchandise, and it is the Jamaican's job to see that it arrives safely. "Homer" promises to return the money; all that's needed is for Andre to arrange a place and time.

Over dinner, Madeline vents some of her frustration with Michael's unwillingness to talk about his past, and Virgil tells her not to be too hard on him: Virgil's been a covert operative himself, and knows how secrecy is drilled into all such operatives as a habit, it's nothing personal between Michael and his mother. Besides, he adds for comfort, "half that classified crap is so boring you'd tear your hair out."

Unfortunately, Andre's agents have little trouble locating them. Seeing the Jamaicans, Virgil is smart enough to know he's made a tactical error, and asks Madeline, for her own safety, to stay where she is and not to draw any attention, while he tries to escape out the back.

Andre's phone rings. It's for Michael, Virgil is apologetic, but the Jamaicans have kidnapped him. Andre specifies a time and place for the swap.

Now between two hard places with zero leverage, Sam, Fiona and Michael load the huge bundles of money into the bed of a truck. Discussing a plan, Michael has chosen to give the money to the Jamaicans and worry about Virgil's daughter once he has Virgil back. Sam is doubtful, worried about the girl. As they trio consider the final bundle of money, Michael wonders aloud if they might take enough to get Virgil's daughter a good lawyer. Fiona suggests they keep the entire bundle, Sam chimes in, adding that he doubts it would be missed. This gives Michael an idea for an even better plan. He ransacks the garage for needed equipment, answering a call from the infuriated agent. Enraged by Michael's little trick with the magnet, he warns Michael, yet Michael remains cool, still trying to get information about who sent the agent and why, still getting no answer. He calls Fiona to warn her that the mystery man will be changing hotels now that he knows Michael has found him. Ever loyal, Fiona promises to follow.

When something serious is going down it's a good idea to show up nice and early so you can see the ground and assess the situation.

Sam, Fiona and Michael arrive early at the meeting place specified by Andre. Michael hands Sam a rifle, he's expecting trouble from Andre, and likely the dirty cops as well. With the last pile of the money being unloaded into the street, Michael thanks Fiona for taking this risk with him. Fi announces that she isn't there for Michael - she's promised Madeline she will return Virgil unharmed. Michael is not amused.

When enough people hate you, sometimes the best move is to just stand in the middle and hope they kill each other before they kill you.

Andre arrives, as do the dirty cops. All trace of "Homer" is gone, Michael Westen, former spy, is in charge now. Anticipating the arrival of the cops, Michael douses the money with gasoline, putting both Mason and Andre into a panic. Andre takes a step toward Michael, gun in hand, only to be met with a warning shot by Sam. Lighting a propane torch, Michael demands Virgil's release. Andre hesitates, and Michael dips the torch, reminding Andre that the flame doesn't even need to touch the cash, the fumes alone will be enough to ignite it. Andre yells for him to stop, and sends Virgil across. Virgil walks toward Michael, and Mason and his boys attempt to place Andre and his men under arrest. Andre refuses, accusing the cops of being thieves and daring them to call for backup, something honest cops wouldn't hesitate to do; Michael pushes Virgil into the back of the truck.

Anyone who's ever handled large amounts of cash can tell you it's one of the toughest things in the world to move. It's heavy and dense – dead weight. If it's on fire of course, that complicates things further.

As gunfire erupts between the cops and the money smugglers, Michael casually tosses the lit torch onto the pile of money, guaranteeing their escape as pandemonium breaks out. Andre is last seen being dragged away with a gunshot wound in his side, while Mason and his buddies frantically try to smother the flames and hold off the remaining Jamaicans simultaneously.

At Madeline's kitchen table, Michael divvies up the money taken from the smugglers. Sam is aghast they didn't take more, Michael replies they took what they needed. Virgil has heard from his daughter - her charges have been dismissed. Michael points out this was bound to happen: since the Jamaicans are dead, Mason and his cronies are in jail, and the entire deal is all over the papers. He mentions that there still might be a person wandering around with a grudge against Virgil, so he should get out of town and lie low for a while. Virgil wonders aloud if Michel is only trying to keep him away from Madeline... and it's Sam who warns Virgil to drop it, reading the look on Michael's face. Virgil goes to say his good-byes, and Michael tells Sam he now thinks the debt to Virgil has been paid. Sam has a payment of his own. He has gotten the Charger released by the FBI.

Back to the burn notice and the mystery agent.

Getting information out of someone who doesn't want to give it up is all about upsetting the target's emotional balance, impairing their judgment: Fear is good for that, anger's not bad either.

Approaching the agent as he's having lunch, Michael surprises him. They debate the situation, and as it escalates bit by bit, Michael finally grabs the agent by his lapel... giving Fiona the opportunity to swipe his wallet while he is focused on Michael]. This is low-tech information gathering, apparently.

Sometimes intelligence gathering involves sophisticated techniques and a lot of high-tech equipment. But sometimes it's as simple as picking someone's pocket.

The couple meet and stroll away down the boardwalk, examining their prize. The agent's name is Jason Bly, and he works for the Central Security Service.

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