Company Man
Season 5, Episode 1
Air date June 23, 2011
Episode Guide
Last Stand
Company Man is the first episode of the fifth season. It aired as two-hour season premiere.


Michael, though his burn notice has not officially been lifted, goes on a mission with his new handler, Max, to find John Kessler, the top man responsible for burning him.

Spy FactsEdit

Full RecapEdit

Michael explains that in order to take down a criminal network, you need a bigger backing and resources because the mission could take you all over the world to find all sorts of people. He says you keep fighting, capturing and taking out person after person until you get to that last piece of the puzzle -- the final person who will help it all come together.

In Ottawa, Canada, Michael meets up with Max, a CIA officer whom he's clearly working with now. They've entered a building they aren't supposed to be in. Michael is "a CIA asset" until his burn notice is officially lifted. Raines, their "boss," is listening to everything they're saying as Max tells Michael that Raines has "a crush" on him. They come across a guy named Hector who's using a fake name because he's trying to steal information. There's a light scuffle and they subdue Hector when Max injects him with something.

Michael is told he's going home, but he wants in on the interrogation. Raines tells him he understands Michael wants answers, but Michael corrects him, saying, "No, Raines. I need answers."

When Michael gets home, he's attacked -- by Fiona. He doesn't seem to mind.

After they get reacquainted, she asks him where he was and he can't say. Fi doesn't like that Michael's been around the world for six months without her. She tells him that the time since he was burned has been hard for everyone around him.

He goes to see his mom and Sam, who's in good shape. He can't give Sam details on what he's been doing, but says there's been "progress." Sam has a surprise: Michael's car ... and Jesse. He finds out Jesse quit his government agency job and is now working private security and helping people. Michael's phone rings and Max orders him back to D.C. immediately.

Hector isn't talking, but they need him to give up Kessler -- the man who did all the work in getting Michael and other agents fired.

Michael talks to Hector, who says he won't reveal anything. He tells Hector that his organization is something that any agent might want -- the ability to get things done without government intervention. Hector says Kessler will kill his whole family if he says anything. He convinces Hector that if he wants to protect his family, he should share info with Michael.

Michael emerges from the room and tells Raines that Kessler is in a compound in Caracas. He agrees to go look for him, but demands that his own team make the trip. Raines tells Michael he forgot what a pain in the ass Michael could be and Michael simply smiles and says, "Yeah, but I'm worth it."

Michael, Sam and Fi arrive in Venezuela. The accommodations aren't great. All three of them are sharing a room, but the CIA has given them an open bar, which wins Sam's approval. Max gives Michael the scoop on the mission and tells him Kessler is heavy guarded. Michael is going to have to make friends with a particular military checkpoint officer near Kessler's compound to get his assistance.

Sam and Fi pose as American tourists with a bum rental car in order to distract the officer's other men while Michael goes to have a chat with him. Michael poses as a Russian agent (knowing that the officer was trained in Cuba before the Soviet Union fell) and tells the officer that Kessler has committed many crimes in Russia. He asks for the man's help in getting Kessler to the checkpoint alone. He says he'll make it worth his while. He invites the man to meet him at a restaurant.

The officer arrives and tells Michael he checked around about the mission and no one knows anything about it. He pulls a gun on Michael under the table. With Sam, Max and Fi feeding Michael information through an earpiece about people the officer might know, Michael gets out of the situation and gets the officer to agree to help -- for a fee.

Michael and Max run the whole team through the mission. Sam and Fi aren't happy with their side roles, but Michael tells them there's nothing he can do.

Kessler gets to the checkpoint and the officer Michael paid asks Kessler to come into the office to sign some papers. A gunfight ensues. Sam and Fi are nearby and help with survivors. Kessler heads back to his compound and Michael chases him back there with Max in tow. At the compound, there's another shootout, but this time it's Michael and Max against Kessler's entire team.

They get inside Kessler's house, but there's more gunfire as Kessler heads into a safe room. Michael calls Fi and asks her to buy him some more time.

While Michael tries to blow a hole in the safe room's wall with grenade parts, Fi sets up an effective roadblock with explosives and a burned-up car.

Michael's explosion of the wall works, but inside he finds that Kessler is dead. He shot himself. Michael yells at Kessler's body for a moment, upset that he's come all that way for so many years to get nothing from Kessler.

But the next priority is getting out and avoiding the cops. Michael sets up an oscillating fan with ammo to shoot bullets randomly around the cops as a distraction so he and Max can get out another way.

In Miami, Michael reads the news that Kessler was killed by a "Colombian cartel" He's upset and unfulfilled with the way Kessler went out and isn't in the mood to toast.

Back in his mom's garage, he tells her that his quest to get answers fell short as his target ended up in a body bag. She tells him she doesn't really believe in closure, adding that when "somebody blasts a hole in your life, it tends to stay open."

As she leaves, she tells him he should fix the Charger, which he says is beyond saving. She tells him nothing is beyond saving if you work at it, and we finally see him pulling the tarp off the old car.




  • Max


  • Clients:
  • Bad Guys:


Stock footage of a Northwest Airlines plane is shown taking Michael back to Washington DC. Northwest Airlines was dissolved into Delta Airlines and ceased operations years prior to this episode.

Of the cut scenes of Caracas, Venezuela, one was actually Cusco, Peru as shown by both the country and city flag flying on one of the buildings.



  • Max: Glad you made it. I was beginning to wish I'd brought a magazine.
  • Michael Westen: There was a guard change at the front entrance. Isn't knowing that supposed to be your job as senior field officer?
  • Max: Handling that kind of your job as operative extraordinaire?
  • Michael Westen: Oh, but that's not my title. Until my burn notice is officially lifted, I'm just a "civilian intelligence asset".

Share this quote

  • Michael Westen: [voiceover] One of the things you give up in intelligence is control over your own schedule. It's a little like being a doctor on call, only your emergencies tend to be thousands of miles away.

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