|Season 2, Episode 4|
|Air date||July 31, 2008|
|Written by||Matt Nix & Jason Ning|
|Directed by||John Kretchmer|
Comrades is the fourth episode of the second season and the sixteenth episode overall.
- Clients: Katya
- Bad Guys: Ivan Petrov, Takarov
Introduced by Nate, Michael helps a Russian woman named Katya whose sister was smuggled into the U.S. by gangsters. However, Katya cannot afford their extortionate demands, and her sister is being held captive.
- Get your hands on any classified document worth having, chances are it's going to be redacted, which makes reading it a lot like watching a movie on an airplane. All the juicy parts are missing, but you still get the basic idea.
- Jobs in agriculture are a convenient cover; makes it easy to explain your presence in the field and the boardroom; the only downside is, you might have to become an expert on chickpeas.
- You can tell a lot about who's following you by the maneuvers they use. Quick, evasive driving, a casual bailout, feigning car trouble, these are signs you're dealing with a professional. Smashing into a rickshaw like a crash test dummy, that's a sign you're dealing with an amateur, somebody who doesn't know what he's doing. That's when you really got a problem.
- Cultivating intelligence assets usually requires some wining and dining. The more connected somebody is, the more they know, the more they feel entitled to a little special treatment.
- Smart operatives know how to steer the conversation towards the information they need. Clever assets, on the other hand know how to make the wine-and-dine phase last as long as possible.
- Stun guns are a great way to bring down a larger opponent. The only problem is, if you use one on someone who is touching you, you'll zap yourself too.
- A lot of people's first instinct when they need information out of a captive is to grab a baseball bat or a gun. The fact is, torture is for sadists and thugs. It's like getting groceries with a flamethrower. It doesn't work, and it makes a mess. Getting useful information is about creating a new reality for the interrogation subject with no hope of escape or freedom. You control every aspect of their world: how they eat, where they sleep, even whether it's day or night. When it's time to ask questions, you want them disoriented, anxious, wondering who you are and what you can do to them. You have to make them understand that their entire future, their hopes, their dreams, and every breath they will ever take from then on, it all depends on one thing: Talking.
- It's unfortunate but true, that no makeup can simulate blood and bruises well enough to stand up to close observation. So if your cover requires looking like you've been beaten, you have to get beaten.
- It can take a lifetime to convince someone to trust you. It's much quicker to make them feel like they need you to trust them.
- A fight is one of the quickest ways to tell if someone isn't who they say they are. If you say you're Russian, but fight like an American, you can consider your cover blown. Which means you'd better know Sambo, the mixed martial art of Russia. Of course, you also have to win the fight. A great cover I.D. doesn't help much if you're dead.
- A thermal camera is a great tool for scouting. It'll tell you where the warm bodies are in a building or which rooms are designed to make those bodies invisible.
- One issue in dealing with modern criminal gangs, is that their operations are diversified. The heat shielding you hope is hiding a human smuggling operation, could be hiding radio emissions from software pirating computers.
- A good interrogator paints a picture of the world outside for a detainee. Whatever he's holding on to, you take it away. His organization? Crumbling. His friends? Traitors. His precious information? Useless.
- Working an information source is a delicate art. Ideally, you can get all the information you need with kind words and free drinks. When drinks and good company aren't enough, however, a good operative has to apply pressure and that means knowing just what a source loves.
- One of the hardest things to do in a fight is to make it look like you're trying to kill someone without doing permanent damage. They don't teach any half-moves in combat training. There are moves designed to kill and maim as efficiently as possible. If those are off-limits, one option is opening your fist right before a punch lands. Painful, but the force is distributed. Another showy option is a kick to the shoulder. It might break a rib or two but if you aim right, nobody's going to the morgue.
- In the spy game, you spend a lot of time getting people to betray their own. Most do it for money. Some do it for spite. But the greatest achievement is to get a guy to turn on his own people because he thinks he's being loyal.
- Intelligence gathering isn't all running around with a gun and a spy camera. When the operation demands it, you get to sit in a hot car with no air-conditioning in downtown Miami.
So, where’d we leave off? After a nice bikini shot to open the show, Michael sat on a park bench examining the classified document that the Pakistani spy, Waseem, had given him last week. Most of it had been redacted, but, as Michael explained, it was like watching a movie on an airplane: ”all the juicy parts are missing, but you still get the basic idea.”
Michael discovered that Carla – his new handler – used ”irrigation consultant” as her cover in Kurdistan. He thought she might be using the same cover now. Michael thought he was being tailed by a black Lincoln Town Car, but it turned out to be his brother, Nate, whose presence was going to be a problem.
Nate wanted Michael to help a lady friend of his who was having trouble with some Russian mafia guys. Michael wondered what Nate’s ”angle” was, whether he wanted money from the girl or wanted to sleep with her, but Nate said he was just trying to change his life around. The woman, Katya, explained that her sister was being smuggled into the country, but the mob boss, Ivan, demanded more money before giving up the girl and threatened to kill her if Katya went to the cops.
Sam got together with Harvey Gunderson, a bigwig in the local agriculture game, to find out if Carla is working as an irrigation consultant in the area.
Later, Michael suggested to Sam that they interrogate Ivan and they sent Fiona out to ”bag him.” She lured Ivan to her car in a parking lot, while Sam watched, but a scuffle ensued when Fi pulled a Taser on Ivan. He was holding onto Fi’s leg when she got a clear chance to zap him, and she did it, knowing full well that she’s take the shock. She did, and they both collapsed as Sam ran over.
Michael and Sam set up an elaborate interrogation area and Sam proceeded to squeeze him for information. In order to convince Ivan that his ”cell” was real, Sam asked Michael to move in with Ivan. That required Michael getting beaten a bit to make it look real, and Fi was happy to oblige. Nate even got a punch in. Michael moved into the cel with Ivan and convinced him he was Russian and got Ivan to talk about his human trafficking organization.
Ivan wasn’t budging after even more interrogation from Sam and Michael later got Ivan to tell him that he’s the only person who knows where the safe house containing the smuggled girls is, and that his men know to kill anyone but him who goes there. They also are instructed to kill the girls in the safe house if they haven’t heard from him by Friday. Michael hatched a plan to help Ivan escape from the cell, hoping he’d get back to the safe house.
Michael’s mom pleaded with him to be kinder to Nate. She said Nate’s troubles first started when Michael left for the spy game. Back in the cell, Michael staged an elaborate fight with Nate, who posed as their captor. After breaking free and pretending to shoot Nate, Michael and Ivan headed to the safe house, where a dozen, or so, girls were waiting. After convincing Ivan to trust him to move the girls to another safe house, Michael got Ivan to run to the bosses, who weren’t pleased to hear that Ivan had talked to the CIA. His day wasn’t going to end well. Meanwhile, Michael, Fi and Sam took care of Ivan’s thugs and freed the captured girls.
It turned out Carla’s cover in Miami was that she was irrigation specialist. Imagine that! All they had was a business card that included a P.O. Box, so Michael and Fi sat and waited to see who’d come to pick up the mail. And they waited. And they waited...
- Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen
- Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe
- Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne
- Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen
- Seth Peterson as Nate Westen
- Andrew Divoff as Ivan
- Emily Foxler as Katya
- Larry Miller as Harvey Gunderson
- Ken Clement as Takarov
- Olga Jane Shimansky as Elena
- When Sam says "Tell me about a day in the life of Ivan", it is referencing the novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" about a Russian prisoner.
|Episodes | Season 2|
|Breaking and Entering • Turn and Burn • Trust Me • Comrades • Scatter Point • Bad Blood • Rough Seas • Double Booked • Good Soldier • Do No Harm • Hot Spot • Seek and Destroy • Bad Breaks • Truth and Reconciliation • Sins of Omission • Lesser Evil|