Friday, May 30, 2008

Unpaid Debts

Episode 6: Unpaid Debts
Production Number: BN105
Written by: Nick Thiel
Directed by: Paul Holahan

Click the Picture to go to the Unpaid Debts Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

Michael retrieves a boat from Jamaican gangsters and discovers $10 million dollars hidden onboard. However, there is also a group of crooked cops who are trying to claim the cash. Meanwhile, a CSS agent urges Michael to stop his investigation into who burned him.

Full Summary

Michael Westen, while trying to figure out who entered his apartment, gets a frantic call from his mother, Madeline Westen, saying that strange men are outside her house. Michael and Fiona Glenanne arrive at his mother's house quickly, Fiona uses a shotgun to keep the driver of an unmarked van at bay while Michael enters his mother's house. After fighting two men, a third comes out with Madeline and identifies himself as a government agent. He threatens Michael to stop looking in to who burned him, or else he'll continue to destroy Michael's life. The agent makes sure to break and tear a few more items before leaving.

Michael is interested in keep this mysterious agent here, so he has another source of information about his burn. However, he needs money to pay for his mother's remodeling costs. Sam Axe tries to convince Michael to take a job from his old Navy Seal buddy, Virgil. Before visiting Virgil, Michael goes back to his apartment to find a bug in his phone. In order to fool the agents that are listing, he rambles off random codes and information. The longer it takes them to decode the random information, the more he can watch them.

Virgil, the client, was a doing a repossession on a boat named Donzi, however, when he tried to take the boat from a group of Jamaicans he got beaten badly. Virgil says he wants to keep his reputation, and offers two thousand dollars to both Michael and Sam, Michael considers it. Meanwhile, the agent has taken Michael's charger for "evidence", while also disconnecting his phone line. Michael is forced to take the job Virgil offers. But first, he'll have to borrow Virgil's truck.

Michael takes up the alias of Homer, a friend of Virgil who is also a repossession man. First, Sam calls police with a fake drug report, thus giving Michael and Fiona some cover. Michael walks up and "repossesses" the boat. The main Jamaican, Andre, warns Michael that they will see each other soon.

Back ashore, away from the dock, Michael searches for, and finds a GPS device. They destroys it, and head to a garage to drop off the boat. However, when Michael (as Homer) talks to Mason (Virgil's client), Mason and his friends are quickly concerned when they don't see Virgil there. Michael observes explosives strapped to chloroform. Mason and his friends pull out police issue guns and threaten Michael, wanting to know where Virgil is. Michael creates a distraction by lighting the garage on fire, he hops into the truck under gunfire, and runs away with the boat.

Michael confronts Virgil, telling him that these guys were most likely dirty cops. Sam tells Michael that in 1984, in East Germany Sam screwed up big time and Virgil gave him a second chance. Michael agrees to continue the case, but Virgil needs to go into hiding. So, Michael takes Virgil to his mother's house to keep him safe. Madeline and Virgil quickly find common ground.

At Michael's apartment, Fiona and Michael sweep for bugs. To keep the listeners busy, Michael keeps talking. Fiona uses this opportunity to force the question on Michael as to why he left her. Michael finally admits that he left because his cover was blown, but he also left for fear of commitment. Fiona and Michael discover an optical bug, one that uses a laser to read the vibration on glass to hear what's going on inside the apartment. Michael counters this with a vibrator duct taped to the glass.

Sam, after ripping up carpet and sub flooring, finds ten million dollars in real money inside of the boat. Michael wants to talk to Virgil, however, he's in Madeline's bed. Michael, speaking in the accent he uses for his Homer alias, talks to the dirty cops to set up a meeting. Meanwhile, Sam and Virgil go to dump the boat (without the money) in an empty field. Mason and the cops wanted Virgil to do the dirty work of bringing the money to them. However, now they just want the Jamaicans and the boat all in one place, they'll take care of it from there. While Sam and Virgil dump the boat, the Jamaicans catch up with them and shoot at them. Sam and Virgil are able to get away, and the Jamaicans are left with an empty boat.

Michael needs time to work out a plan, so he tries to stall the meeting with Mason and the cops. However, they show him a picture of Virgil's daughter, and threaten to "find" drugs in her car. Michael goes to the hotel where the agent that threatened his mother is staying. Michael sets up a magnet where the agent would normally keep his laptop, thus setting up a trap that will wipe the hard drive of the agent's computer.

While Andre and Michael (as Homer) meet in a bar to discuss when they can exchange the money, Madeline and Virgil go out on a date at another club. Andre is shipping money between two powerful clients. Virgil sees one of the Jamaicans enter the bar where he's having his date, and tells Madeline to keep her head down. Virgil runs, and tries to fight the Jamaicans, but ends up caught. Andre is informed, and offers Michael a deal. The ten million dollars for the life of Virgil.

Michael, Fiona, and Sam pack up the money into Virgil's truck while trying to come up with a plan. They also consider simply keeping the money. Michael gets a call from the agent who he set up a trap for. He isn't happy that his laptop is now wiped. Michael tells Fiona that the agent will be changing hotels again, so she'll have to follow him.

Michael and Fiona head to the middle of a bridge with the stack of money. Sam picks a high point and brings a sniper rifle. As both Mason and the cops and Andre and the Jamaicans approach Michael, he pours gasoline on the money. Michael first gets Virgil back from the Jamaicans, then introduce them to the cops. Michael begins to walk away, Andre tries to shoot him, but Michael ducks. Sam uses his rifle to shoot Andre. This triggers both sides to shoot at each other while Michael burns the money and takes off with Virgil.

Virgil, Sam, Michael, and Fiona split some of the money from the boat. The Jamaicans are dead and the cops are in jail, however, Virgil still has to keep a low profile for a while. As a favor, Sam contacted some friends and got Michael's Charger back. Michael bugs the agent again, this time he distracts him long enough to have Fiona pick the agent's pocket. They learn his name, Agent Jason Bly.

Personal Commentary

Another helpful spy hint. Flour and glow powder on the floor lets you see who's been in your house. We get to see that Michael does have loyalty to his dear mother, even if he doesn't want to admit it.

This new CSS agent is an interesting foil for Michael. Just as smart, but willing to do harm to everything Michael loves. It will be interesting to see how this works out. And Michael even pays for the remodeling costs.

Once again, Madeline's house becomes a safe house. I also believe that this episode is the first time we've seen Michael and Fiona kiss, even if it was just a peck. Once again, Sam and Michael's relationship is put to the test, and once again they prove to be loyal to each other. At least Sam's pension isn't getting pushed on anymore. Truthfully, this episode over all was just a bit formulaic and convenient. Then again, at this point in the series it's hitting it's stride.

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