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Episode 208: Double Booked

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Double Booked
Season 2, Episode 8
Double-booked
Air date September 11, 2008
Written by Craig O'Neill & Jason Tracey
Directed by Tim Matheson
Episode Guide
previous
Rough Seas
next
Good Soldier
Double Booked is the eighth episode of the second season and the twentieth episode overall.

NotesEdit

SynopsisEdit

An associate from Michael's past hires him to assassinate a woman named Jeannie, who is about to become a very rich widow. As Michael investigates, the situation grows more complicated.

Spy FactsEdit

  • Spies make great neighbors. They're polite, they keep the lawn trimmed, and they never crank the music at night. They don't stand out because they don't want to be found. So if you're hunting for a covert operative and all you've got to go on are the names of a few dozen suspects, you're out of luck unless you know where to look. 
  • The garbage someone leaves on the curb can often tell you more than a face-to-face conversation. Shredded documents in the trash used to be a strong indicator that someone had a secret. But nowadays, everybody and their mother shreds bills to prevent identity theft.
  • Laundry bluing is a synthetic dye that dry cleaners use by the thimble and covert operatives go through by the bottle. It blots out secrets and works like a poor man's dye pack -staining anyone who digs through your trash. 
  • Work long enough in covert ops and you're bound to be offered some pretty nasty assignments. When a bad job comes along, you have two choices and neither is very appealing. You can pass and watch the op go down or you can take the job and make sure the op gets blown.
  • Covert operatives try to avoid assuming other people's identities whenever possible. There's just too many pitfalls when you're dealing with someone your new identity has corresponded with. What have they said? What have they been told? What have they agreed to? Of course, it helps if the person you're deceiving is terrified of the person you're pretending to be. 
  • When a pro plans an ambush, they capitalize on the element of surprise. They attack aggressively so their opponent has to react from a place of weakness. An amateur, on the other hand, is more likely to take a defensive posture which means they are the one acting from a place of weakness. 
  • Cell phone jammers emit radio waves at the same frequency as commercial cell phones. They're useful when you really wanna make sure someone stays out of touch. 
  • It doesn't matter if you're trying to take out a moped or a dump truck. Every vehicle has three areas of vulnerability: The driver, the engine and the tires. A can of paint across the windshield could blind the driver. A 50-millimeter cannon could kill the engine. But neither will guarantee the truck won't swerve into oncoming traffic. But if you force a vehicle's front tires off the road, you drastically diminish its maneuverability. That way, it can't swerve. Of course, getting a dump truck's tires off the ground is even more difficult than it sounds and a hell of a lot more dangerous. 
  • Staging a fake death and a believable emergency response is almost impossible on a budget. One lone ambulance isn't going to sell it. So unless you happen to have a fleet of fire and rescue vehicles, uniforms and a dozen actors you trust, you really do have to call 911. 
  • Spend a career in covert ops and you're going to know some bad people. You'll work with them, you'll live with them, you might even trust your life to them. But none of that makes them your friend. It can't. Because one day, you might have to end them. 
  • Black bag missions are often broken into separate parts. Operatives are given discreet tasks to ensure secrecy. They're like jigsaw pieces and you never know if any of the ones you're given are from the same puzzle. But if you can get your hands on a corner piece, the part where the puzzle starts to take shape, sometimes you realize all your pieces fit together. 

Full RecapEdit

PrologueEdit

Spies make great neighbors. They're polite, they keep the lawn trimmed, and they never crank the music at night. They don't stand out because they don't want to be found. So if you're hunting for a covert operative and all you've got to go on are the names of a few dozen suspects, you're out of luck unless you know where to look.

Mike and Sam scout out possible neighborhoods where assassin Bill Johnson might be living. At the 10th "Bill Johnson"'s address, Sam reminds Mike that the latter promised to buy him a beer after this one. The boys collect this Bill Johnson's garbage and find shredded documents, which is not all that suggestive.

The garbage someone leaves on the curb can often tell you more than a face-to-face conversation. Shredded documents in the trash used to be a strong indicator that someone had a secret. But nowadays, everybody and their mother shreds bills to prevent identity theft.

As they are sifting through the garbage, Sam notices an elderly lady with a pet dog checking the mailbox. Sam notes sourly that this particular "Bill Johnson" is living with his mother, which seems to rule him out as a suspect. But Michael looks closer and finds an empty bottle of laundry bluing, and documents liberally stained with it.

Laundry bluing is a synthetic dye that dry cleaners use by the thimble and covert operatives go through by the bottle. It blots out secrets and works like a poor man's dye pack - staining anyone who digs through your trash.

After the day is done, Michael returns home during a busy night at the club outside of his loft to be hailed by a former associate and mentor: Larry Sizemore, known as "Dead Larry" since he was reportedly killed in an operation overseas.

Act OneEdit

Larry is happy to see Michael again after hearing about his burn notice, as he believes they now have much more in common. Larry cheerfully informs Michael that, since leaving government service, he has gone into business for himself as a contract killer, and wants Michael to be his partner.

Larry is also highly impressed by Michael's dossier, describing Michael as a rogue almost as "nefarious" as Larry himself, and doesn't believe Michael when he says the dossier was doctored and embellished.

Their next "deadee" (Larry's "trademarked" term) is a woman named Jeannie Anderson, a cancer ward nurse who married one of her rich patients while he was hospitalized, and who is currently in a coma. Larry's client wants him to make sure Jeannie dies first. Michael questions the morality of killing civilians for money, but Larry shrugs with his common saying, "some people live, some people die."

Michael asks about Larry's client, but Larry says they have kept their identities secret from each other, to avoid "messes" down the road. Larry also confides that he is more than capable of killing Jeannie by himself, but wants to use the job as a chance to test Michael's abilities.

Work long enough in covert ops and you're bound to be offered some pretty nasty assignments. When a bad job comes along, you have two choices and neither is very appealing. You can pass and watch the op go down or you can take the job and make sure the op gets blown.

The contract is worth $20,000, but Michael demands $30,000. Larry is more than thrilled that Michael is on board, and leaves happy. However, he leaves with a warning: if any cops find out about the contract, then Larry will start killing everyone involved.

The next morning, Michael meets Fiona at Carlito's with her new boyfriend, Campbell, a paramedic. They introduce each other briefly before Campbell goes inside to order breakfast for them both. Afterwards, Michael asks Fiona to help him contact Jeannie to warn her of the upcoming hit on her life.

On the way to see Jeannie, Michael tells Fiona that he and Larry served in the Balkans in 1991 and 1992 - in the environment they were working in, Larry seemed sane by comparison. Their partnership ended when Larry walked into an oil refinery seconds before it blew up and burned to the ground - his way of taking "early retirement."

When not working at the hospital, Jeannie usually spends her time at a museum, where she is currently planning a charity event. Michael asks Fiona to make contact with Jeannie so he can warn her. Fiona wonders aloud whether Michael is intentionally trying to keep her away from Campbell. "Who?" Michael deadpans.

Fiona approaches Jeannie posing as an enthusiastic volunteer for her charity event and asks Jeannie to write down her e-mail address. The pen explodes all over Jeannie and Jeannie excuses herself to the bathroom. In the ladies' room, Michael surprises her and muffles her scream long enough to calm her down and convince her he is trying to prevent her from being killed.

Michael asks Jeannie who would want her dead. Jeannie names her stepson, Drew, who was furious when her husband changed his will in her favor, calling her a "gold digger." She truly loves her husband and is willing to give up her share of the money to Drew if he would leave her alone. Michael tells her not to do anything because it would raise suspicions and everyone would die as a result. He tells her to keep close to Fiona (who will act as an old friend from out of town, staying with Jeannie for a few days) so she can protect her.

Back at the loft, Madeline brings Michael leftovers from her house. Catching Michael in the act of changing his clothes, she notices a a big red bruise on his back and is worried about him. When Michael tries to reassure her everything is fine, Madeline gets offended by his defensiveness and demands that they both seek counseling for their communication problems. Michael relents and Madeline tells her they're both scheduled for 1:00pm tomorrow at her house.

Later, Michael meets Sam at Carlito's to discuss Bill Johnson's service history. Bill was a Marine and a top-skilled sniper during the First Gulf War. Sam believes that Bill was a "Boy Scout" in the sense that he served his country honorably for 20 years, but was "dishonorably discharged", when in fact, he was burned and forced to work for Carla as well. The elderly lady at Bill's house is actually his landlady, so Sam thinks they should try to break into the house and investigate it. Michael also brings up Larry and the contract mission he enlisted him in. Sam hated Larry with a passion, and hates him afresh now that Larry is back from the dead, and decides to help Michael with his problem.

Fiona and Jeannie arrive at Jeannie's home. Jeannie truly loves Robert, Drew's father. She had no choice but to see Robert get better than relapse. Jeannie doesn't care about Robert's money or his house, all she wants is to live long enough to be with him at the end. Fiona assures her she will. When Fiona asks her how long before Drew gets home, Jeannie tells her he will be back in twenty minutes, which is more than enough time to plant a listening bug in Drew's bedroom. Drew owns a restaurant that Robert bought for him, but Drew has not done well with it. Typically, he leaves his work to come home early in the afternoon to shower and go out with friends. Fiona proceeds to plant the bug in Drew's room.

Fiona is in Drew's room to search his garbage and finds a photocopied page containing Jeannie's datebook, which is where Larry got his information. After Jeannie warns Fiona that Drew has arrived, Fiona plants her cell phone under Drew's bed, with the line open, before making her escape. Michael and Sam listen in as Drew makes an agitated phone call to his drug dealer, Roth, telling him that "the guys" Roth hired can't kill Jeannie at the house while she has a guest staying there. Michael and Sam are disturbed to learn that Drew hired other people besides Larry to kill Jeannie.

Act TwoEdit

Larry arrives at the loft the same evening and is surprised to see Sam there. He is dismayed to learn that Sam is also now involved in the assassination plot. Larry, sarcastically, acts happy to see Sam again and tells him he looks great. Sam replies, with equal sarcasm, that Larry looks very youthful, asking if he is still drinking the blood of children.

Larry tells Michael they may have a problem, having just learned through an email from Drew that Jeannie has a houseguest. Michael says they have a bigger problem: Drew has double-booked the job. Larry is enraged that "amateurs" are on the job, which means the cops will not be far behind. Larry tries to calm himself by twirling one of Michael's screwdrivers and proposes a solution to kill everyone involved: Jeannie, the house guest, Drew, the drug dealer, and the other hitters. Michael tries to reason with him, saying that is not necessary. Larry scoffs, remembering the times Michael had the same murderous impulses whenever someone let them down during an operation. Michael tells Larry the smarter way is to go to Drew and convince him to call off the hit. If Jeannie lives, then the cops will never hear Larry's name. Larry agrees to let Michael solve the problem his way. He warns Michael, however, that if the plan backfires, he will be back to tell Michael "I told you so" as he stabs the screwdriver on one of Michael's tables. As Larry leaves, Sam tells Michael with a forced smile, "That's our Larry."

Covert operatives try to avoid assuming other people's identities whenever possible. There's just too many pitfalls when you're dealing with someone your new identity has corresponded with. What have they said? What have they been told? What have they agreed to? Of course, it helps if the person you're deceiving is terrified of the person you're pretending to be.

The next day, Michael confronts Drew at his restaurant (The Jaguar) posing as Larry Sizemore, forcing Drew to excuse his business associates from lunch. Drew says that they were never supposed to meet in person, but Michael says that Drew's sloppiness has forced "Larry" to make a personal visit.

Michael forcibly drags Drew by his head and throws him into his office. He locks the office so no one can come in. Drew told him that he followed his instructions, but Michael refutes him by bringing up Roth, who Drew used to hire extra hitters. During the interrogation, Michael face-plants Drew into his aquarium and drags it across the glass. Michael tells him that bringing in amateur hitters will bring down conspiracy charges since Roth would use his next drug arrest to flip on Drew, unraveling the conspiracy. A terrified Drew proposes that they get rid of Roth, but Michael flips open a knife and says the easiest solution is to kill Drew (even coining Larry's quote "some people live, some people die"). Drew's only way to live, he says, is to call off the other hitters. He says he will be back at 4:00pm and that Drew had better have good news, or Drew will become his next "deadee."

Michael and Madeline share a therapy session at Madeline's house. The therapist tells them that trust is like a bridge and it needs a strong foundation, telling Michael not to build it with fear and pain. Michael sarcastically and uninterestingly agrees with him. The therapist senses a lot of negativity in the room and Madeline chimes in, but the therapist tells her she's not helping the situation either. He issues them both "lifework" to make a list of five things they are grateful to each other for.

After their therapy session, Michael asks Madeline if she still has Frank's (Michael's dad and Madeline's husband) gas company uniform. She told him she threw it away. Madeline asks Michael what he wants it for. He tries to dodge the question, but Madeline reminds him he needs to be honest with her. Michael relents and tells her that he needs to get Bill's landlady and her dog to leave the house. Madeline finds Frank's old exterminator uniform and gives Michael advice on scaring the landlady out of the house.

Michael poses as an exterminator and warns Bill's landlady that he sprayed toxic chemicals around the house and yard, possibly poisoning them both by accident. He tells her to get themselves to a hospital and get checked out to make sure they are okay. After successfully scaring off the landlady, Michael writes in his "Grateful to Mom List" the following: "1. Outfitted me with a cover ID."

Michael and Sam begin investigating the house. Inside, Sam collects a fingerprint from a lamp bulb while Michael discovers a false hole in the wall. There, Michael finds a crossword puzzle, which is Carla's way of communicating with her field operatives. Written next to the crossword are the words "fifth floor conference room." Soon after, Larry calls Michael to check in on his progress on the Drew case. Michael tells him things are going as planned and will check up on Drew later. After the phone call, Sam is worried about Larry's obsession with Michael. Michael tells him Larry does not have that many friends. Sam retorts "that's because he's killed most of them."

Act ThreeEdit

When a pro plans an ambush, they capitalize on the element of surprise. They attack aggressively so their opponent has to react from a place of weakness. An amateur, on the other hand, is more likely to take a defensive posture which means they are the one acting from a place of weakness.

Michael returns to The Jaguar to find Drew hiding behind his office door with a revolver. Drew failed to call off the hit for one of the two killers. Michael orders Drew to call Jeannie and warn her. Drew pleads that he already tried, but the lone hitter planted a cell phone jammer in Jeannie's car. The hitter plans to hijack a dump truck and hit her on the way home from work. Michael places his knife to Drew's neck and tells him how easy it would be for him to kill Drew now. Drew pleads to have the opportunity to run away from Miami. Michael tells him "run" before he leaves to try and stop the hitter.

Cell phone jammers emit radio waves at the same frequency as commercial cell phones. They're useful when you really wanna make sure someone stays out of touch.

The cell phone jammer is shown being operational, effectively blocking cell phone communications within its radius. After failing to reach Fiona and Jeannie, Michael carjacks a brown pickup truck to intercept the hitter.

It doesn't matter if you're trying to take out a moped or a dump truck. Every vehicle has three areas of vulnerability: The driver, the engine and the tires. A can of paint across the windshield could blind the driver. A 50-millimeter cannon could kill the engine. But neither will guarantee the truck won't swerve into oncoming traffic. But if you force a vehicle's front tires off the road, you drastically diminish its maneuverability. That way, it can't swerve.

After catching up to Jeannie and Fiona, Michael intercepts the dump truck by swerving in front of it and then slamming on the brakes.

Of course, getting a dump truck's tires off the ground is even more difficult than it sounds and a hell of a lot more dangerous.

The dump truck plows over the bed of Michael's truck, lifting its front wheels off the road and stopping both vehicles dead. Disoriented and injured, Michael is still able to knock out the hitter and leave him on the road as Fiona doubles back to pick him up.

Michael meets up with Larry back at the loft and tells him the hit was successfully called off. Michael also tells Larry that Drew is on the run. Larry is dissatisfied that he will not be paid, but pleased to hear he will not be named - and vastly entertained by Michael's account of the dump truck maneuver. Larry tells Michael he is going to head off to Buffalo, New York to take on another assignment there. Michael parts company with him, leaving him free to survey Bill with Sam.

The same evening, Michael and Sam listen in on Bill's latest phone call. It appears that Bill made a deal to kill an unknown target in exchange for his pension back. Not too long after, Drew calls him to tell him he tried to get away, but Larry found him and told him the job is still on. As a joke, Larry identified himself as "Michael Westen."

Act FourEdit

The day of Jeannie's charity has arrived, but Fiona arrives at the museum to call Jeannie back to the bathroom. Michael and Fiona warn her that there is one assassin left to stop: Larry. Luckily, Michael has dealt with Larry in the past and they are confident that they can stop him. Michael and Fiona instruct Jeannie to act normal as though nothing has happened.

Sam arrives at the loft and warns Michael to be even more careful. Michael assures Sam that he is not the one he has problems with, but with Jeannie and Drew, saying that the use of his identity was a way of telling him to keep his hands off the assignment. Sam discovered a news story about a pharmacy arson across from Larry's hotel. Michael deduces that Larry plans to poison Jeannie at the charity lunch then collect his fee from Drew at the meeting point. Michael prepares a sniper rifle to kill Larry when the time comes. Sam offers to kill Larry, but Michael feels he has to do it himself.

Michael and Drew discuss "Michael Westen's" file and his dangerous reputation. Michael instructs Drew to follow "Michael's" instructions then tells him to run once "Larry" has killed "Michael."

The charity party has begun and Fiona moonlights to find Larry. She spots him spraying something onto the forks at Jeannie's place-setting. Fiona calls Sam and relays this information to him. Sam is setting up in an ambulance belonging to Fiona's unwitting boyfriend, Campbell.

Staging a fake death and a believable emergency response is almost impossible on a budget. One lone ambulance isn't going to sell it. So unless you happen to have a fleet of fire and rescue vehicles, uniforms and a dozen actors you trust, you really do have to call 911.  You just have to have called your people first.

Michael sets up his sniper perch while the charity lunch goes down. Fiona swaps the poisoned forks with clean ones and instructs Jeannie to fake a heart attack after a couple of bites. Jeannie begins to fake a heart attack while Larry sneaks out of the party. Campbell responds with Sam and his female "buddy" in Campbell's ambulance to haul Jeannie out on a gurney. Prior to this, the crew also dials 911 to make the emergency response even more authentic. Fiona escorts Jeannie out of the lunch before joining the rest of the gang in the ambulance. She kisses Campbell and tells him he did a fantastic job.  Campbell, however, is badly shaken, and swears he never wants to do this kind of thing again.  Sam and his "buddy" exchange a grin before he hits the siren and she pulls away from the curb.  Sam asks Jeannie how she's feeling, and she says it feels great to be alive.

Spend a career in covert ops and you're going to know some bad people. You'll work with them, you'll live with them, you might even trust your life to them. But none of that makes them your friend. It can't. Because one day, you might have to end them.

Drew prepares to pay off Larry while Michael observes from a sniper post. Drew tries to draw Larry out of his hiding place so Michael can get a clear shot, but fails. Nervous, Drew looks back to where a sniper would be and gives away Michael's position. Quickly, Larry tackles Drew to the ground and pulls him back to the wall to get out of the line of fire. Afterwards, he executes Drew by twisting his neck, and throws his body to the ground for Michael to see.

Larry calls Michael for congratulations on killing two Andersons. Michael is silent, and Larry quickly figures out that Michael and his friends saved Jeannie - but he doesn't care, he got paid. Michael tells him he got what he wanted and tells him to ship off to Buffalo and never come back. Larry asks why Michael did not shoot him, knowing that Drew was dead either way.  Michael says he did not have a clear shot, but Larry laughs, saying he knows the real reason: despite everything Larry is, and everything he's done, Michael did not have the heart to shoot his old friend.  His last words to Michael before disappearing: "Some people live. Some people die. See you around."

Epilogue Edit

Michael presents his list of things to Madeline and the therapist at their next session and he has come short. Madeline is aghast at how little Michael thinks of his own mother, and says it's no wonder he ran away. Michael says he didn't run away, he joined the army - the only thing he's grateful to his dad for is signing the form that let him join. Madeline reveals to Michael that she forged Frank's signature, something Frank never would have agreed to. Michael is stunned, asking her why she did that. Madeline says there has always been a part of Michael - maybe inherited from Frank - that could have made him turn out bad, and if he had stayed in Miami, he'd have ended up in jail, or dead. Madeline helped him get away so that Michael could focus on doing something good. Michael remembers his recent exchanges with Larry, and is unsettled to think he could have turned out exactly like him.

The therapist is elated, saying they are making real progress now, but Michael and Madeline speak as one, excusing him from the house. Angrily, Madeline storms out of the house. But before she goes, Michael thanks her for making the decision to let him go.

Black bag missions are often broken into separate parts. Operatives are given discreet tasks to ensure secrecy. They're like jigsaw pieces and you never know if any of the ones you're given are from the same puzzle. But if you can get your hands on a corner piece, the part where the puzzle starts to take shape, sometimes you realize all your pieces fit together.

Michael and Sam drive to the office building where Bill drives to. Michael recognizes the keycard Bill is using to enter the building---the same one he retrieved from Nefzi's TV shop the day he was murdered. They realize that Michael was being used to set up Bill's part of a complex operation run by Carla and plan to stop him before he can complete his task.

CastEdit

MainEdit

RecurringEdit

GuestEdit

  • Amy Pietz as Jeannie Anderson
  • Zachery Ty Bryan as Drew

Major EventsEdit

  • Michael's former mentor, Dead Larry Sizemore is introduced for the first time.

TriviaEdit

Continuity ErrorsEdit

  • When Michael talks to Jeannie for the first time, she leaves a stain on his right shoulder. In the following shots, the stain disappears and reappears again.

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