|Season , Episode|
|Air date||July 16, 2009|
|Written by||Ryan Jonson & Lisa Joy|
|Directed by||Bryan Spicer|
Signals and Codes
Shot in the Dark
The Hunter is the sixth episode of the third season and the thirty-fourth episode overall.
- Clients: John Beck
- Bad Guys: Pyotr Chechik, Vlad, Tom Strickler
Michael is tracked down by Tom Strickler an "agent to the spies", who offers him his services. He warns him of a Ukrainian who seems to have a grudge against him. When Michael turns to John Beck, a man with connections, they both are kidnapped and soon find themselves being hunted in the Everglades.
Meanwhile, Sam and Fiona turn to Strickler to find out more about the kidnapping.
- There are advantages to training with someone you're close to. Knowing each other's moves makes training more effective. But being involved in each other's personal lives can also make training a lot more painful.
- Meeting a new operative is a lot like going on a blind date. You're bound to be nervous the first couple of times you do it, but live through a few and you get to be an expert. You should arrive early, prepare an exit strategy and know you could be in for an ugly surprise.
- The cold approach is something you try to avoid in intelligence work. You wanna ease into a relationship over time. When that's impossible, you just have to turn on the charm and hope for the best.
- A flash-bang grenade temporarily impairs hearing and vision. It makes fighting back or attempting escape futile and dangerous to civilians. So if you have to shoot blind, it's better to use a camera than a gun.
- In a hostage situation, the same things that get you killed will extend your life. If you have money, you'll live 'til you pay. If you have information, you'll live 'til you talk. And if you have nothing, you're pretty much disposable.
- After the adrenaline rush of an operation comes a crash. Heightened reflexes and awareness don't last. Two boring hours of driving later, even the sharpest killing machine lets down his guard.
- When on the run, subtle things like broken branches, flattened grass and disturbed ground can give you away to an expert tracker. An inexperienced tracker may require a more obvious trail.
- Fanning out in a search pattern is a great way to cover a lot of area, but it also divides your forces.
- Military units are a lot like marching bands. Take out the guy conducting the operation, and you'll throw everyone out of sync. Pretty soon, all you have left is sound and fury.
- When fighting in the wilderness, the biggest threats are often the ones you don't see -dehydration, exhaustion and nerves. But boatloads of hostiles don't help either.
- In battle, not even the best laid plans survive contact with the enemy. If you want to survive, you have to be willing to improvise. Of course, there's such a thing as too much improvisation.
- Delaying tactics aren't the most glamorous part of a battle plan, but they're often the most important. Slowing the enemy down buys you time to prepare the ground ahead of him. And that, more than almost anything else, wins battles.
- For a spy, there's no shame in retreat. When faced with a more powerful enemy, you're trained to get out of the way and keep moving. It's not about running away or giving up. The goal of any retreat is to find the right place to marshal your resources and make a stand.
- Military history is filled with stories of small forces taking on larger ones. Whether it's David fighting Goliath or the French Resistance fighting the Nazis, the strategy is basically the same. You have to choose the right ground, deploy your resources carefully and remember that the greatest weapon in any battle is surprise.
Fiona and Michael train together in Michael's apartment when they hear someone open the gate. Outside, the two find no one, but a gift basket with yogurt. A note that is signed with A Friend gives Michael instruction for a meeting.
At the Cocowalk, Michael meets his "friend" who turns out to be an agent to the spies named Tom Strickler. He wants Michael to work for him and adds that he is actually working on a deal for Michael right at that moment. An old Ukrainian associate of Michael is coming to Miami to go after him. Michael rejects Strickler's offer because he is not a killer for hire, but Strickler counters that the Ukrainian is coming one way or another and that will meet again once Strickler has details on the one who wants to settle an old score with Michael.
Back in his apartment, Michael tells Fiona about the meeting and Strickler's inconvenient gap in his knowledge about the Ukrainian who is looking for Michael. Fortunately, Fiona knows a gangster named Beck with connections to the Ukraine who therefor would know about any Ukrainian in the town, unfortunately, she can't set up a meeting because she intercepted a couple of Beck's shipments once. Sam calls to tell Michael that Madeline got some curtains from Strickler. Michael asks Sam to check Strickler out for him while he tries to find the Ukrainian who is looking for him through Fiona's contact.
In a restaurant, Michael approaches Fiona's contact John Beck who refuses to help, especially when Michael mentions that he can stop Beck's shipment issues. Their conversation is rudely interrupted by a squad of Ukrainians who storm the restaurant to take Michael with them. Before they can overwhelm Michael, he shoots a picture of the leader of the Ukrainian squad and calls Fiona who has to listen to the fight. The Ukrainians leave with Michael and Beck.
In a van, Michael, Beck and the Ukrainians are on their way to Michael's old associate Chechik. In the meantime, Fiona has arrived at the restaurant where Michael was meeting Beck. She calls Sam to tell him that Beck and Michael were taken by a Ukrainian extraction team. She finds Michael's sunglasses and his cell with the picture he took and Sam suggests that they meet with Strickler to show him the picture.
Back in the van, Michael causes a diversion by calling Beck a traitor and attacking him. The two can free themselves, get out of the van and head into the trees.
Fiona and Sam surprise Strickler on his boat. They show him the picture Michael took of the team and Strickler can tell them that the leader works for Chechik who runs a criminal syndicate. With the help of a gun, Fiona convinces Strickler to help them find Chechik right away.
Meanwhile, Beck and Michael head deeper into the woods, followed by the Ukrainians. Unwilling to go any further, Beck wants to strike. Michael, who realizes that their handgun with five bullets left won't be enough to take the team of five Ukrainians out, convinces Beck to lead their followers a little deeper into the woods to divide them before they strike.
Fiona and Sam have found the guy who flew Chechik into the country in a bar. Fiona subtly approaches the pilot and convinces him with the help of his gun to follow her. When Sam calls Madeline to tell her that they have found a guy who might be able to tell them where Michael is, she orders them to come to her house with their hostage.
Deeper in the woods, Michael starts building a trap for their followers. He explains Beck that a trap, even a fake trap, will make their followers believe that they are close, they will fan out and give Michael and Beck the opportunity to injure one of them to slow them down. Beck who is tired of Michael saying what they do, suggests that they listen to him who carries the gun for a while, so Michael takes the gun away from him.
Michael's plan works and the extraction team splits up when they find his trap. Beck and Michael overwhelm the team leader, injure his knee and take his guns, shoes and his rucksack with explosives before they leave him behind. Michael convinces Beck who finally wants to strike that they have to deal with their problem from the top and that they have to wait for their followers to call Chechik.
In Madeline's garage, Sam interrogates the pilot, but he refuses to talk to him. Back in Madeline's house, Sam and Fiona get into an argument about how to make the pilot tell them what they need to know when Madeline pays the pilot a visit. She returns to Sam and Fiona who are still fighting with the place where the pilot dropped Chechik off.
While Sam and Fiona charter an air-cushion boat to look for Chechik and Michael, Beck and Michael watch Chechik and more armed Ukrainians arrive in air-cushion boats. Chechik orders his team to split up and search the woods while he stays near the boat. Beck finally loses his patience and decides to leave Michael to try to negotiate with Chechik, but as soon as he gets into the sight of Chechik's people, they shoot at him and injure his leg. Michael drags Beck out of the fireline and runs with him into the woods, followed by Chechik and his men.
Soon later, Chechik finds Beck who was left behind from Michael as a delaying tactic. Beck tells Chechik that Michael went into the swamps where the air boats can't follow. In the meantime, Fiona and Sam have spotted one of Chechik's air boats.
In the swamps, Michael prepares the ground for his followers using his resources. When Chechik and his men draw closer, Chechik uses the radio to contact Michael. He tells him that ten years he served in prison for war crimes didn't make him forget about Michael, but made him want to find Michael even more. They wade through the swamps and into Michael's traps and Michael is able to overwhelm Chechik. In the meantime, Fiona and Sam overwhelm the remaining team which stayed behind with Beck.
Out of the swamps, Beck's people take care of Chechik and his army. He tries to threaten Michael, but Beck counters that he has connection to more powerful people in the Ukraine. When Chechik tries to pay for his freedom, Beck declines.
Later, Michael meets with Strickler. Strickler offers him money for taking care of Chechik that he got from a group of Baltic separatists who also wanted Chechik out of the picture, but Michael declines and tells him he won't work for him because he is not a mercenary. Before Strickler leaves, he asks Michael to think about what he wants.
|Episodes | Season 3|
|Friends and Family • Question and Answer • End Run • Fearless Leader • Signals and Codes • The Hunter • Shot in the Dark • Friends Like These • Long Way Back • A Dark Road • Friendly Fire • Noble Causes • Enemies Closer • Partners in Crime • Good Intentions • Devil You Know|
- Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen
- Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne
- Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe
- Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen
- Keith Diamond as John Beck
- Peter J. Lucas as Pyotr Chechik
- Igor Jijikine as Vlad
- When we first see Chechik the insert says "Chechik / уступки (Hardass)". That is wrong. An уступки (pron. ustupki) is someone who makes concessions.