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Friends and Family
Season 3, Episode 1
Air date June 4, 2009
Written by Matt Nix
Directed by Tim Matheson
Episode Guide
Lesser Evil
Question And Answer

Friends and Family is the premiere episode of the third season and is the twenty-ninth episode overall.



After escaping "Management," Michael is caught by the police and put in jail. An old friend named Harlan bails him out but asks for a favor in return.

Spy Facts[]

  • As an operative, you get used to being in uncomfortable situations. Whether it's resisting interrogation in a foreign prison, fighting guerrilla forces in a tropical jungle, or swimming five miles to Miami Beach in your suit pants, it's just part of the job. What's harder to get used to is going into a situation you don't know anything about. Just because you're exhausted and disoriented doesn't mean you can stop looking out for trouble. Danger isn't always obvious. It can be as subtle as a glance from a friendly seeming tourist, a car that slows down at an odd time, or a cop that suddenly seems a little too interested in you.
  • The backbone of most hotel phone systems is secured by nothing more than a door and a cheap lock, which makes them convenient for people who need to make quick, untraceable phone calls.
  • Just because you can escape from a situation doesn't mean you should. It's a risk-reward thing. Sometimes you have to take your chances. Sometimes you have to remember it's easier to dodge questions than bullets. 
  • As a spy, you expect to get locked up from time to time. If you're on the job, you just keep busy until someone negotiates your release. If you're working alone, you may have to get used to steel bars and baked beans. 
  • In the highest security places, uniforms are for show. The real security doesn't announce itself with anything but wary looks and shirts loose enough to hide a gun.
  • Security devices are generally one-way: they keep people in or keep them out. Most high-security locks are a lot less secure if you come at them backwards. 
  • High-status cover IDs are rarely effective. Claim to be a big shot, and people get suspicious. Claim to be a big shot's errand boy, people don't think twice. Act like you don't want to be there because you're tired, you're underappreciated or you're sick and people tend to trust you even more.
  • Like a wedding, an armed extraction requires a lot of planning if you want it to go well. And like a wedding, it's not the sort of thing you want to do twice, which is why you hold a rehearsal before the big day.
  • Any ambush depends on knowing where your target is going to be and when. Unfortunately, there are times when the only way to put your target in the line of fire is to be there yourself. Those are the times you just have to trust your team and hope everything goes right.
  • Security levels vary widely for different kinds of vehicles. Garbage trucks, for example, are expensive but the fact that they're hard to hide and harder to sell means that you don't find a lot of garbage truck alarm systems.
  • In close spaces, a knife's often more effective than a gun. Easier to handle, easier to hide and, in the right hands, scarier.
  • The rolling meeting is a popular security measure among high-end criminals. It's hard for law enforcement to bug and it's a lot easier to detect any surveillance. Do it in an armored car with an armed team, it's not just a secure place, it's a fortress on wheels. If you're going to take on that fortress, you'd better have an army.
  • When an operation depends on clockwork timing and position, you have to do whatever it takes to make sure it comes together. 
  • The principles behind a snatch-and-grab are straightforward. Separate the target from security. Then keep the security occupied while the target is acquired. Simple enough. But like anything, it's all in the execution.
  • There's a reason it's called bullet-resistant glass, not bulletproof. The right bullet will take out any glass.
  • When you're trying to hide in the water, fire is your friend. The light turns the surface of the water into a mirror. Then it's just a matter of finding a place to surface where the fire isn't consuming all the oxygen.
  • One of the things covert operatives have to give up is the idea of a fair fight. Spies aren't trained to fight fair. Spies are trained to win.

Full Recap[]

Previously on...: Michael hunted down Victor, the man who killed Carla's operatives, and she promised they could talk about his future. Fi shot Carla, Michael shot Victor. Then Michael ignored management's warning about what hell would rain down on him if he jumped from the helicopter and took his chances on a life without their involvement. "Management," in the form of actor John Mahoney, hinted that they might have been keeping Michael's enemies at bay. But Michael jumped into the ocean to an uncertain future.

The more things change...: Michael's five-mile swim back to shore was no picnic, and his reward was getting noticed by the cops and followed all the way to a nearby hotel. He decided to surrender rather than escape -- even though he could have escaped -- and was arrested. "Sometimes you have to remember, it's easier to dodge questions than bullets," Michael said.

Before he did that, he thanked Fi (by phone) for saving his life.

In jail, Michael got a visit from Sam, who tried to put a silver lining on Michael's situation by telling him he was still as burned as ever, but whatever magic "they" were doing to keep Michael out of police computers have stopped. "So the good news is I'm being investigated by the cops and the Foreign Intelligence Agency?" Michael asked. "It's a change," Sam told him.

Michael said he was claiming memory loss. Sam told Michael that his mom was OK, but she was a little upset about her house being blown up. Also, Michael got a letter from Management, telling him to let them know when he's had enough.

Michael said spies have to get used to being locked up now and then but was suddenly bailed out. Michael walked out of jail and found Harlan, his "Old Friend," was the man who did it.

Michael went to his mom's house to find her still pretty upset about the whole house explosion situation. Sam and Fi were out back working on fixing the sun-room. Michael and Fi had their "homecoming, lovey thing" going on, but Sam interrupted them to let Michael know Carla's people were keeping the cops off his back and 12 countries worth of people were after him.

It turned out Harlan wanted Michael to help a girl he met "down south." The girl, Marta, said someone was scamming her father out of her family's land. Rufino Cortez was the name of the man running the scam, Sam said. Michael told Harlan he'd see what he could do.

Michael and Harlan went to Rufino's nightclub in Miami to track him down. Harlan used a copied key to get into one of the club's back rooms, but Michael worried Harlan was being reckless. Seconds later, an alarm went off because they didn't have the code to disable the alarm. They escaped and Harlan apologized to Michael for getting sloppy.

Michael sent Sam out to meet with Barry, who could put together a package to make Michael look like someone Rufino would want to meet with. In other news, Sam was courting Ms. Reynolds, Michael's mom's neighbor, who was letting him drive her old Buick around.

Barry set up Michael's meeting with Falcone, Rufino's "gatekeeper." Michael posed as Tom Wellington, a lawyer representing some people interested in making a deal with Rufino. Falcone, citing "security concerns," grabbed Michael and twisted his arm -- literally, dislocating his shoulder -- until Michael talked about who he was representing. Falcone agreed to a meeting the next day at the train yard.

Michael set up a rehearsal for the extraction of Rufino. They plotted how they would get Rufino. Sam and Fi were putting together some explosives when Fi asked Sam what he thought Michael might do once his situation is cleared up. Sam said he thought Michael would try to get back into the spy game, which upset Fi.

The meeting didn't quite go as planned. Falcone showed up and said Rufino was not there. Falcone threatened Michael and shot toward him to try to intimidate him, but Michael said he had to meet with Rufino. Falcone agreed to arrange a meeting with Rufino, but it would be in a moving car and Michael would be picked up at a location to be determined later.

The gang tried to think of how to get Rufino if the meeting was moving, and Fi and Harlan set out to steal a garbage truck. Meanwhile, Sam explained to Michael what the plan would be, and Michael equipped himself with a knife for potential close combat. Maddie gave Michael an ominous warning about making sure Harlan doesn't get hurt.

Michael went to the meeting spot and went into the SUV to meet with Rufino, who immediately suspected Michael was a cop. Michael went to great lengths to prove he wasn't -- even offering to pull down his pants to prove he wasn't wired. Rufino said he didn't like the deal because he didn't want to deal with people who were hiding behind their lawyer. Michael pleaded with Rufino to give him a chance. The meeting continued and the SUV proceeded down the road.

Moments later, the snatch-and-grab plan went into effect. Fi slammed the garbage truck into the SUV and Sam shot at it from his sniper perch. Harlan got out and took a high-powered rifle to the engine block and the windshield, and Michael held Rufino at knife-point.

"You have a slug in your engine block, your team is pinned down, and I'm leaving with your boss," Michael told Falcone. "If I were you, I'd think about another line of work other than security."

Michael tossed Rufino into a van and he and Harlan drove away.

At a dock, Michael and Harlan talked about their beautiful work, but Harlan quickly flipped the script. He told Michael there was a "change in the plan." He shot Rufino in the chest an said, "They're not coming for Rufino," turning the gun toward Michael. "They're coming for you."

Sam couldn't reach Michael and was getting worried. Fi asked Sam how well he knew Harlan. She was suspicious. Several hours later, Harlan and Michael were at the dock, and Michael's wrists were tied together. Michael quietly pulled a blade and started working on the rope.

Harlan explained to Michael that he was pretty proud of his scheme. He said he was working with Rufino's partners back home. They asked him for help and he was going to need someone to blame for killing Rufino -- and he was going to hand them Michael.

Harlan remembered that Fi wanted him to tell Michael there's a life after being a spy. Michael asked Harlan how he could trust Rufino's partners and how he knew they wouldn't turn on him the way they turned on Rufino. Michael asked Harlan if he was sure he wanted to be a mercenary betraying his friend for blood money.

When Harlan said yes, Michael said, "That's all I needed to know."

Harlan saw Michael had cut through the rope and they went at it. Michael jumped out a window into the water and Harlan shot into the water. Seeing nothing, Harlan tossed a barrel full of fuel into the water and shot at it, causing and explosion and fire on the surface of the water. Michael explained fire on the water's surface is your friend because it acts like a mirror, reflecting the surface of the water. You just have to find a spot that isn't on fire.

Michael got out of the water and after leaving Harlan a trail of blood, snuck up behind him and smacked him around with a bag of rocks. He left Harlan tied up next to Rufino's body, to be found by the authorities who were going to bring Rufino back to stand trial in Venezuela. Michael called from a cell phone and explained that Harlan wanted Rufino dead before the trial could begin, and they should take Harlan back. They did.

Maddie was worried about Michael and told him, Fi and Sam that they need to stick together.

Michael went to see Marta off, and Sam was right there with him. Michael told Sam he didn't need a bodyguard, he needs an agency. He said it was time for him to get his old job back, "my real job."

Sam is concerned that Harlan's betrayal means that the rest of their support network is unreliable and will consider similar betrayals.

Sam reminded Michael that he's still "hot," and government agencies weren't going to touch him.

"You're still out, Mike," Sam said.

"Then I'll find a way to get back in," Michael replied.





  • Brian Van Holt as Harlan
  • Lorena Segura York as Marta
  • Cástulo Guerra as Rufino Cortez
  • Jeff Kober as Falcone


Continuity Errors[]