|Season 2, Episode 5|
|Air date||August 7, 2008|
|Written by||Ben Watkins|
|Directed by||Rod Hardy|
Scatter Point is the fifth episode of the second season and the seventeenth episode overall.
Michael is asked for help by Trevor, a former "wheelman" who's gone straight. However, Trevor is being pressured into working an upcoming jewel heist by his old boss Timo and fears for his family's safety.
- One of the reasons surveillance is done in teams, is that it's exhausting. Sitting in a car, remaining constantly alert while you watch a mailbox will knock you out like a handful of sleeping pills. Doing it in shifts is the only way to make sure you don't miss something.
- Tailing a trained operative requires a number of time-consuming preparations. Everything from acquiring a vehicle they can't recognize or trace, to familiarizing yourself with all the local traffic patterns. Of course, since you can never be sure who's a trained op there's always the chance you'll take all those precautions just to follow a secretary back to her cubicle.
- Covert security is designed to blend in. People you never notice until you see them in action. That means you have two choices. You can sit and wait for an incident to occur, or you can create your own incident.
- Criminal hideouts tend to be pretty nondescript. Underground caves and spooky old mansions are dramatic, but a boathouse on the Keys is easier to find.
- When you're looking to get somebody arrested, bad guys can't always be counted on to commit crimes on your schedule. Sometimes you have to give them a little push. Once you've got a crime in progress, you can let the authorities take over. That assumes, of course, that the authorities are paying attention.
- You can't stop a door alarm from going off, but you can explain it. Leave a few cigarette butts on the ground and anybody coming by will assume someone was just sneaking a smoke break.
- 24/7 surveillance on a location used to require a full team of operatives. These days, you can get by with a webcam and wireless signal booster from your local electronics store. Ideally, you'd drill holes and mount it on brackets. But when time is an issue, I prefer dental putty. Easy to mix, easy to apply, and as strong as cement when it hardens. But it hardens quick, so you better aim right the first time.
- Making yourself invisible when you need to is a crucial skill for a covert operative. It sounds exotic, but it's not like there's a super secret move they teach you at spy school that allows you to vanish into thin air. Often, it's just a matter of quick thinking, fast feet, and strong fingers.
- Safe-cracking skills are a basic part of espionage training. Spies steal secrets, and people keep their secrets in safes. But staying current with safe-cracking is a little like staying current with computers -new model every year. Bottom line: If you wanna breach a safe, you have to practice.
- A criminal cover ID isn't just about a new name and phone number. It's about fitting in to a culture with its own rules and hierarchies. It's a world where bank robbers are the rock stars, con artists are the snobs, car thieves are the blue collar guys and safe crackers are the artists.
- Anytime you recommend a friend for a job, you're on the hook if things don't work out. In the retail sales business for example, make a bad referral and you might get fired. In the armed robbery business on the other hand, make a bad referral and you might get killed. So you really, really have to hope that the new guy knows what he's doing.
- Sending messages in the middle of an operation is among the most dangerous things you can do. Sometimes you just have to drop a note and hope your backup team is paying attention.
- A certain kind of leader insists on controlling every aspect of an operation, so that nothing can possibly go wrong. The downside to insisting on controlling everything, is that when something bad happens, people tend to think it was all part of your plan.
- When you work in intelligence, there's no bigger slap in the face than a picture of yourself in the middle of an operation. It sends a clear message: We're one step ahead of you. We're in control. We own you. Mylar balloons and a bottle of champagne, that's just twisting the knife.
Michael and Fiona continued to stake out the post-office box that might be used by Carla, Michael’s new handler, Fiona annoying Michael by throwing nuts around the car – she hates stakeouts. But finally, they get something for their trouble: A stout, older woman picked up some mail there and Michael tailed her to what he thought was Carla’s building. At first glance to Fi it seemed unguarded, but he urged her to look closer: Carla’s security detail was posing as landscapers and maintenance men outside the building. He lured them out of their cover by having a pizza delivery driver make a bit of a scene.
An ex-con, Trevor, approached Michael for help in escaping the criminal life. Trevor specialized in getaways and had been called upon to be the wheel man for a jewelry heist on a big trade show. Apparently this was an offer his old boss wouldn’t let him refuse, because the guy only likes to work with a specific team and isn’t keen on substitutions. Trevor was afraid of his boss, couldn’t leave the country and couldn’t go to the cops. Initially our spy was painfully uninterested, but Trevor convinced Michael to help him by saying he made a promise to his son that he’d get out of crime. Michael and Sam staked out the robbery crew’s meeting place, a house by the water, which is not conspicuous at all, to let us get to know them. (And hello – looks like the heavy, a woman named Kandi who has pythons for arms, was played by none other than Robin Givens!)
Michael wanted to get Timo, the heist boss, to call off the whole deal, so the team got Timo’s typically drunk safe cracker arrested for violating parole. Fi made the first attempt by posing as a call girl trying to sell her wares, but when he wouldn’t drink champagne with her, it was up to Sam to pick a fight with the guy while a couple of cops lurked nearby. Poor Sam took multiple wallops to the jaw, but his plan worked – one scream from Fi, and the fuzz came running. Good man, that Sam – and he did it knowing that he had a hot date coming up with Veronica, his rich girlfriend, who went that extra mile and bought him a luxury label watch (er, timepiece) to celebrate their one-month anniversary.
Unfortunately, the potential score was too big for Timo to call off the job, so he put out the call for a new safecracker instead. Enter one former spy and jack-of-all-illegal-trades working undercover, naturally.
Back at Carla’s building late that night, Michael set up a wireless Web cam so he could keep tabs on her. Sam used the camera to find a crack in Carla’s security detail – apparently an old man sitting at a cafe table was the weak link, easily lured away when someone stumbles down an alley. When Sam was out at his anniversary dinner with his girlfriend, Ronnie, he sweet talked her by saying she’s a one in a million woman. Ronnie responded by asking him to marry her. His reaction was typical Sam, which is to say he looked like he was choking on razor while maintaining that roguishly charming smile.
Michael met with Timo under the guise of wanting to become his new safe cracker. After practicing all night, Michael was able to pass his audition by cracking a liquor store safe after Timo had the store shut down and put a gun to Trevor’s head for extra incentive. He welcomes Michael to the gang by giving him a cell phone and informing him that he is to pick it up by the third ring, and being in the shower is not an acceptable excuse for failing to do so.
Turns out that Timo is a control freak and Michael, operating under the cover name of Joseph, rubbed him the wrong way with his detail-oriented personality. In a meeting to plan the heist, Michael asked more questions of Timo than he was comfortable with, and the boss ended the meeting. But not before sharing the ”scatter point” with Trevor, an emergency rendezvous where getaway cars would be waiting if the heist went wrong. The scatter point is always located nearby the as-yet-unknown location of the heist. Thanks to a seemingly innocuous question Michael (a.k.a. Joseph) asked while grilling Timo, he and Sam were able to work off of the address Timo gave Trevor to find the target. But there was a snag in the plan: A member of Timo’s team had already secured employment at the location in question. Michael couldn’t tip off the cops without Timo’s inside man finding out and tracing it back to him and Trevor.
Sam asked Fi for advice about the whole marriage situation, admitting that he’s already married. Wait...what?! It happened in the ’70s and was a one-time thing he says, and though he and his mystery wife realized it was a mistake, they never bothered to get divorced. Fi advised Sam to come clean with Ronnie, saying that if she loved him she would understand. (Yes, because if there’s one person who is absolutely level-headed about romantic entanglements, it’s Fi.) Sam pays off a kid to give the guards a show on his skateboard and the kid heads down the alley, luring the old man away from his table. That gave Michael an opening to enter Carla’s building, exploiting this little gap in security. But as soon as he made it to the door, Timo called and told him to meet in 30 minutes. Annoyed, he turned on his heels and headed off to the job. When Michael arrived, he was given a uniform. It appeared the mission was taking off sooner than expected. Like, immediately. Saying he needed to take a leak, he scribbled this info onto a piece of paper, balled it up and dropped it on the ground for Sam and Fi, who were following at a safe distance.
Posing as repairmen, Timo’s team got the heist underway and Michael began the process of cracking the safe, but Sam clipped a wire in a circuit box that made alarms go off before anyone expected them do. While everyone was getting out of their uniforms and burning them up inside the van, Sam found Timo’s flashy getaway car and let the air out of a front tire. Mission of sabotaging the mission: Accomplished. Back at the safe house, when the rest of the crooks and Michael arrived, Timo did not. When Kandi asked where he was, Michael insinuated that he gave Timo the jewels, and he should be along shortly. As if that weren’t enough to make Timo’s highstrung muscle anxious while waiting for the boss, Fi blew up the lake house remotely, leading everyone to believe that Timo had double crossed them. Kandi tracked him down and insisted on knowing what Timo did with the jewels. Timo said he didn’t have any, and Kandi shot him, leaving Taylor free from the life of crime he was hoping to avoid.
The event was not casualty-free, however. Sam showed up at the warehouse, luggage in tow, saying that following Fi’s advice got him kicked out of rich girl paradise. Ronnie broke up with him. This time, he says, it’s permanent.
Michael finally got into Carla’s office building. Inside, he found a desk that was completely empty save for a digital picture frame that showed a photograph of him outside the building. ”When you work in intelligence, there’s no bigger slap in the face than a picture of yourself in the middle of an operation,” Michael’s voice-over said. ”It sends a clear message: ’We’re one step ahead of you, we’re in control. We own you.”
A bottle and champagne and mylar balloons splashed with the word ”Congratulations” were accompanied by a big envelope that contained another crossword puzzle.
- Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen
- Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe
- Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne
- Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen
- Audrey Landers as Veronica
- Tricia Helfer as Carla Baxter
- Maurice Compte as Trevor
- Oded Fehr as Timo
- Robin Givens as Kandi
- Joe Hess as Gilbert Kessler
- Aaron McPherson as C.J.
- The Crossword that Michael is holding at the end of the episode is not completed correctly. Almost all of the down words are not words.
|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|