|Season 4, Episode 15|
|Air date||December 2, 2010|
Dead or Alive
While Jesse and Sam go to the auction for the bible, Michael stays in Miami since Nate is visiting. Michael helps Nate with a job involving drugs and Maddie reveals a secret about Nate.
There's nothing more frustrating for a spy than being on the sidelines of an important operation. When you've spent your career in the middle of the action, it's tough to take on a supporting role, particularly when you're stuck helping people pack.
For a spy, it's often better to steal secrets than pay for them. It saves money and time and doesn't leave a messy paper trail. Of course anyone who's in the business of selling secrets is also in the business of protecting them, which can make extracting information nearly impossible. Just because your target is willing to share a meal with you, doesn't mean he won't put a bullet in the back of your head.
Spies don't do well with downtime. Their idea of R&R is recon and rendition, so they don't exactly cherish days off. Especially when it means playing chaperone to your kid brother.
Reestablishing an old cover ID isn't just a matter of changing your name. If you want acces to the contacts that go with that cover, you have to recreate the past. The way you walk, talk, and look has to be consistant with what people remember, down to the smallest detail: the direction you part your hair, what gun you carry, your brand of sunglasses, even the pinky ring you wear.
You don't always have to rely on trained operatives to gather intelligence. A problem that seems impossible like finding a single motorcycle circling in a crowded city becomes much easier if you can hire a hundred people to sit on street corners and record every motorcycle they see for a few dollars a day. Whether it's shop owners, cab drivers, or kids playing in the street, every city in the world has a network of potential spies just waiting to be recruited.
Sometimes the best way to get past security is to make it seem riskier to keep you out than it is to let you in. The average security guard won't risk angering someone important. In an illegal chop shop, the lady in the $90,000 car is a VIP.
Intelligence gathering tends to involve a lot of number crunching. Analysts have computers specially programmed to turn raw data into useful information. But as with repairing a radio or dressing a wound, in the field it's important to do the same work with what you find in a third rate hotel room.
Any security conscious person knows to protect their computer and shred their documents. They tend to forget though about the step between computer and hard copy. Most printers store documents in their memory. It's a convenient way for users to print another copy and a convenient way for spies to steal information.
Any run of the mill car thief can hot wire a standard vehicle, but dealing with a custom hot rod equiped with a kill switch requires special skills. Splicing the right wires together to create an electrical bypass takes a seasoned pro.
If you're planning on doing heavy mechanic work in hostile territory, it's not not enough that you can't be seen, you also have to make sure you can't be heard, which means silencing your tools. It's hard to concentrateg on getting the engine timing right if you're worried about getting shot. In the field skill with a wrench is often just as important as skill with a gun. When time isn't on your side, you can't worry abou passing a government inspection, but you have to do enough to make sure your point get across.
Special forces squads are built around the skills of individual members. But no matter how good each member of the squad is, every mission comes down to one thing: how well they work together. Because in the end you don't need a hero to succeed in the field, you need a team.
Sam is at Michael's loft packing up for the long-awaited trip to the list auction at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Jesse arrives moments later with a wedding invitation which actually disguises the invitation to the list auction. Michael is forced to sit on the sidelines for this part of the operation since his burn notice restricts him from leaving Miami without attracting attention. He is desperate to go, but Sam tells him to stay put so that he will not catch unwanted attention. Before Sam and Jesse leave, Michael gives Sam a gun he borrowed from Fiona that is modified to shoot three-round bursts. Afterwards, Michael makes them promise to call him if they need him.
Sam and Jesse arrive in Santo Domingo to meet with the auctioneer and covert intelligence thief, Justin Walsh. Walsh offers Jesse some lambi, a local spicy dish, but he refuses. Walsh hands Jesse a matchbook with the time and place of the auction. Jesse attempts to pry some information on his security and whether or not it is reliable. Walsh assures him that he has nothing to worry about because the list is always moving. He tells Jesse that anyone who tries to help themselves to the list is dead and takes off with a pair of armed thugs.
Back outside of the cafe, Jesse sits with Sam to discuss what he learned. Hearing this, Sam deduces that Walsh and his men are moving the list 24/7 on motorcycles. Jesse is feeling down about not being able to steal it, but Sam told him it wouldn't be easy. Sam tells him they should begin by developing a network of spies to help them find the list.
While Sam and Jesse set out to retrieve the list, Michael spends his downtime to pick Nate up at the airport for the day. Immediately, Michael is suspicious of Nate's last-minute trip back home from Las Vegas. Finally relenting to his brother's suspicions, Nate tells him a friend who owns a car shop hired Nate for a job. He told Nate their shop got hit a couple of days ago with three cars missing. Michael wondered why his friends did not take out insurance, but Nate assured him that it's easy money because he used to steal cars for a living.
At the car shop, the Westen brothers hear a tussle in the garage. His friends, Jeff and Billy Taylor, are seen fighting. Jeff is fumed at Billy for getting into business with Hector Rivera to use their garage for money. In exchange, Hector would use the garage to transport their drug shipments. Their latest robbery cost the brothers twenty kilos of heroin. Billy was desperate to save the garage. Nate asks how much time the Taylors have. Billy tells them he can hold off Rivera and his gang for one or two more days. When Nate decides to look for the car, Michael pulls him over to the side for discussion.
During the discussion, Nate promises Michael that he did not know anything about any drugs, but tells Michael not to worry about it. Michael does not want him to figure it out and tells him to back off the job because they got themselves into this mess. Nate tells him he will take the job with or without his help, reminding him that he knows how much Michael thinks of Nate as a screw-up. Michael relents and decides to help Nate, calling Fiona for help.
Fiona arrives to investigate the dogs at the Taylors' garage. Nate examines the photos of the cars boosted from the garage with Michael. The drug car is the 1969 GTO in maroon color. Fiona briefs the Westens on her investigation. The crew that ripped off the Taylors are top-notch car thieves based on the following pieces of evidence: laser strobes used to blind out their cameras, a plasma torch to cut through the gates, and sedatives found in the dogs' food. Michael decides to talk to Tony Soto to figure out who the thieves are and where to find them. To do that, he has to reestablish a previous cover ID (Johnny) he used when busting out Felix Cole.
Michael dresses as Johnny and enlists Nate into his car theft ring at their mom's home. Madeline walks in and takes a picture of them dressed up together before they leave.
The Westens are now in their cover roles and drive up to Tony's cigar club. Tony is thrilled to see Johnny back in action in Miami. He describes the hit on the garage and Tony immediately recognizes it. While Tony's gang work to confirm who hit the Taylors' shop, Tony offers Johnny and his crew to come and work with him to rip off high-import cars, but he refuses the offer this time. His boys confirm that the crew was led by a local car thief and competition, Buckwild. Before giving Johnny the address to his chop shop, Tony charges him to destroy the chop shop after he's through with his business. Johnny is more than happy to oblige him the favor.
After Johnny/Michael finishes his meeting, he steps outside to a panicked Nate, who just got a call from the Taylors that Rivera and his gang is on his way to their shop. Rivera and his right-hand man, Caleb, begin working Billy over at his garage while holding Jeff and forcing him to watch. Michael/Johnny and Nate arrive in time to stop Rivera from killing them both. When the Westens arrive, Caleb tells them to leave. Johnny tells them they are here for the Taylors. The Westens introduce themselves as "the guys who are going to find it." Rivera asks Johnny how he will find his car. Johnny tells him he has the name of the guy who stole it along with the location of his chop shop. Impressed by Johnny's skills, Rivera gives him 24 hours to find it, but sends Caleb to tag along with him. Also, Rivera begins to take Jeff with him until they find it, but Billy offers himself up as his hostage.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Sam and Jesse begin networking with the locals to help them track motorcycles in exchange for money. Miami, Florida: At the Westens' home, Michael and Fiona load up shotguns with beanbag rounds. Michael tells Nate to stay put because Buckwild's garage is full of unknowns and could potentially be fatally dangerous for him. Nate tells Michael he needs his help since Tony told him to destroy the chop shop. Madeline walks in to give Nate a sandwich while Michael and Fiona hastily cover up their guns. She gets suspicious and uncovers them. Fiona assures them they're not fatal, but Madeline excuses both Nate and Fiona from the room. Madeline threatens Michael she will put a cigarette out in one of his eyes if Nate gets hurt. Michael quietly acknowledges his mother and the consequences if Nate does get hurt.
Johnny, Fiona, and Nate brief Caleb with the specifics of Buckwild's chop shop. Caleb readies his gun, but Johnny tells him he was only told to tag along, not participate in the assault. Fiona drives quickly with what appears to be an Audi wired to explosives up to the garage. The guard lets her in and Johnny and Nate swarm in, armed with shotguns with both brothers subduing the men working in the shop. Nate uncovers two of the cars, neither of them is the GTO Rivera really wants. Fiona begins dousing the garage in gasoline. Johnny threatens them with death unless they give up the location of the GTO. A guard quickly confesses that Buckwild has the car. The guards are allowed to leave and the crew leave the garage to be blown to pieces. Johnny tells Caleb they are going to Buckwild's house next.
Johnny's gang and Caleb arrive at Buckwild's place. Caleb tells them he's coming along this time to make sure nothing is amiss. While the gang search the house, Caleb spots Buckwild and immediately fires on him, killing him instantly. He assures that he killed Buckwild in self-defense.
Michael checks Buckwild's gun and realizes the gun's safety is still on, revealing that Caleb shot Buckwild in cold-blood. Michael and Fiona deduce that Caleb himself is the traitor in Rivera's organization, having been in Buckwild's home previously and knowing where exactly to find him. Caleb had planned to rip off the GTO, steal the drugs, and set the Taylors up for the fall. He decided that Buckwild was a loose end and had to be tied up.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Jesse is in their hotel room working with a map to plot last-known positions of the motorcycles carrying the list. Sam comes into the room with the last piece of paper they have to work with. Jesse figures out the bike carrying the list is a red dirtbike with license plate #197235. He narrows down the number of possibles to two, which are doing loops where they hand the list to each other every four hours. Jesse figures out the best possible place to snatch the list is a back alley in downtown. They both come to the conclusion that the two-man job became a four-person job for the trap they have to spring on Walsh's boys.
Miami, Florida: Jeff is enraged to hear that Caleb was the one responsible for hiring Buckwild to steal the GTO and murdered him for it. He is desperate to tell Rivera about Caleb with 17 hours left on the clock for them. Michael understands where he is coming from, but it is his word against a trusted employee's. Jeff finally confesses that Billy made the deal with Rivera for his sake. He did not want to admit it, but he spills the fact that he got sick a year ago and the doctor's bills took all of their money from the business. Billy told him to relax and he would look after them both. Nate tells him they know that Caleb set them both up and all they need to do is prove it. Worst-case scenario: all of them will be on the run, presumably for the rest of their lives.
Fiona jogs out to Caleb's home and surveys the front yard. While Michael receives a text message from Rivera for a meeting, Nate spots Caleb walking out with Billy in tow to the same spot. After Caleb and Michael leave for the meeting, Fiona and Nate break into Caleb's home for clues on where the GTO is at.
Out at Rivera's patio, Caleb fixes drinks while Rivera finishes his fishing. Caleb announces to everyone that a source said he found the GTO. Johnny is surprised and calls his gang that they found the car. In actuality, he tells them that Caleb has completed his frame-up and they need to hurry.
At Caleb's home, Fiona prints out documents from his printer's memory to find the location of the car: a rental storage unit in Dania Beach, which is under Billy's name.
Nate and Fiona race against Rivera and Caleb to get to the unit. Nate and Fiona arrive in time to break into the unit and hotwire it to remove it. Caleb is excited about exposing Johnny and the Taylors, but disappoints Rivera when the car is not there. He slaps Caleb, who turns to Johnny and Billy and accuses them of moving the car while Billy is in their custody. Johnny reminds them that he has eight hours left to find the car. Rivera reminds them that if they do not find the car before then, then they all die.
At Michael's loft, Nate is unsuccessful in locating the missing heroin. Nate suggests to Michael that they return the car, but Michael tells him Rivera will not believe any story they can tell. Michael suggests that they disassemble and rebuild the car at the back of Caleb's home behind the greenhouse.
Madeline marches in angrily to the loft to confront Michael about Nate and the gun stuffed in the back of his pants. Michael tells her that the job was Nate's idea. Madeline tells him to stop whining and assures him she worries about both of them. In a fit of emotion, Madeline slips that Nate is becoming a father with his wife, Ruth. Michael is angered by his mom that neither she nor Nate told him about it. Madeline was desperate to protect Nate out of his necessity that he has a better shot at a normal life than Michael does. Michael tells her that Nate is needed for the job to complete successfully. Madeline asks him to promise her he will not let anything happen to Nate.
Michael picks the lock to Caleb's backyard while Fiona drives in a charity truck with Nate and the GTO parts in tow. The Westens and Fiona work hastily to rebuild the car in the yard. With only one hour left to go, Fiona tells Michael to change back into Johnny to meet Rivera.
Johnny confronts Rivera at his kitchen and forces him at gunpoint to come to Caleb's home with his guards. At Caleb's home, Caleb has his living room prepped with plastic and tells Billy he cannot wait to execute him, his brother Jeff, and his "friend in the suit." Johnny arrives in time with Rivera at gunpoint to expose the truth. Caleb pleads Rivera to trust his word over Johnny's, but Johnny offers him the gun to turn on him if he is lying.
Before the men walk to the greenhouse, Nate and Fiona finish rebuilding the car with the interior passenger door panel still off. Nate intentionally did this to make it look like Caleb got the drugs out. When the men discover the GTO, Caleb immediately accuses Johnny of setting him up by sneaking the car back in. Johnny tells him he is not THAT good enough to drive past his guards and plant the car there. In desperation, Caleb tries to pin it all on Johnny, Caleb telling Rivera that he would never steal from him. Rivera approaches Caleb and in pressing a gun against Caleb's neck, coldly tells Caleb that he never will again. Rivera tells his bodyguard to bring Caleb into the house. When Rivera asks about his product, Johnny told him he was only brought in to find the car and tells him to ask Caleb about it. Rivera instructs Johnny to "take Taylor and go. You don't want to see what happens next", suggesting that Caleb may be tortured and eventually killed for his actions against Rivera.
The Westens and the Taylors have a celebratory dinner and Billy picks up the check. He also pays Nate with cash in an envelope for their services rendered. Jeff proudly exclaims that they will do business the old-fashioned way no matter what. Before the Taylors leave, they tell Michael he is free to bring in his Dodge Charger into the shop for a tune-up when he needs it.
When Nate decides to divide the money, Michael tells him to keep it for his child. Nate tells him he wanted to tell him about the baby, but he does not know anything about being a father. Michael tells Nate to tell him about the time he saved his life twice. They part ways amicably and Nate flies back to Las Vegas. Afterwards, Michael calls Sam and arranges to be smuggled into Santo Domingo to participate in the heist.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Michael and Fiona arrive and join Sam and Jesse with a bag full of weapons. Jesse narrates the plan as it is being executed later. Sam drives a truck to divert the courier's path. In the alleyway, Fiona boxes him in with a white van. Michael ambushes the courier with a wooden plank, knocking him off the bike. Using a handsaw, Michael breaks the lock on the bike's box and retrieves the USB drive in a plastic bag. Two more motorcyclists arrive to stop them. Fiona detonates some explosives, knocking them both down while Jesse extracts Michael from the alleyway to the rooftops before finally departing Santo Domingo.
Miami, Florida: The team examines the contents of the USB drive and finds a long list of aliases, department designations, and security clearances. With the right system, the owners of that list would know all of the identities of everyone on it in less than 60 seconds. They discuss different ways of how to handle the list. Sam suggests giving the list to people they can trust so they can deal with them. Fiona suggests dismantling the entire network one at a time. They eventually ask Michael about what to do next. Michael is lost in his thoughts, wondering just what to do next.
- Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen
- Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe
- Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne
- Coby Bell as Jesse Porter
- Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen
- Seth Peterson as Nate Westen
- Joe Hursley as Justin Walsh
- Jocko Sims as Billy Taylor
- Michael Jace as Jeff Taylor
- Adam Clark as Tony Soto
- Israel Garcia as Hector Rivera
- Marcus Chong as Caleb
|Episodes | Season 4|
|Friends and Enemies • Fast Friends • Made Man • Breach of Faith • Neighborhood Watch • Entry Point • Past & Future Tense • Where There's Smoke • Center of the Storm • Hard Time • Blind Spot • Guilty As Charged • Eyes Open • Hot Property • Brotherly Love • Dead or Alive • Out of the Fire • Last Stand|