Past & Future Tense
Season 4, Episode 7
Air date July 22, 2010
Episode Guide
Entry Point
Where There's Smoke
Past and Future Tense is the seventh episode of the fourth season and the fifty-first episode overall.


  • Clients: Paul Anderson
  • Bad Guys: Vitali.


Michael helps former CIA operative Paul Anderson who got into trouble with some Russian spies.

Spy FactsEdit

Psychiatrists have nothing on spies, when it comes to over-analyzing their friends behavior. As a covert operative, you routinely trust your coworkers with your life, so you tend to notice when they start acting strangely.

International conferences are good cover for run of the mill diplomatic spooks and black bag operatives alike. One way to tell them apart - their luggage. You don't bring a high speed film camera to an event where nobody wants their picture taken, unless you want to bypass the x-ray machines at the airport. Telephoto lenses are a great place to store the illegal silencer you're smuggling in.

Under ideal circumstances, a good interrogation unfolds slowly. But circumstances are not always ideal. If you are operating on a clock, sometimes you have to get right in your enemy's face and turn up the heat.

When you are being hunted in a crowd, your biggest advantage is your opponents can't maintain visual contact with each other. The key is to move without drawing attention to yourself. When you can, you disguise your actions as something else. When you can't, you strike fast and hard. Then, you calmly move for the exits and get the hell out of there.

Spies and politicians tend not to get along very well. Politicians see spies as vitally important in the national interest, right up to the point where they deny ever meeting them and abandon them entirely. It makes for a tough working relationship.

If you need a microphone but you only have a speaker, you don't have a problem. Both have magnets and coils that conduct sound in roughly the same way. So you can just plug a pair of headphones into a stereo's auxiliary jack and crank the volume. It's not quite good enough for karaoke, but you will be able to hear even faint noises, like the disks in a safe's locking mechanism clicking into position.

As dangerous as a high speed chase can be, there’s nothing quite as treacherous as a no-speed chase. If you get pursued into bad traffic, your operating paradigm has to shift. Your car is no longer being pursued, you are. Just because your car can’t move, doesn’t mean you can’t.

Every country emphasizes slightly different tactics with their elite troops. The Chinese Special Forces learn how to shoot with either hand. The German DSO teaches their men to rappel from helicopters. And every Russian Spetsnaz team is trained to siege secure locations by surrounding, advancing, and synchronizing their attack. Their discipline makes them hard to escape, but easy to predict.

An all-out coordinated breach has its advantages: maximum force, the element of surprise, but there are draw-backs too. If everyone goes in at once, you can find yourself locked inside before you realize your target has already left.

Full RecapEdit

After attempting to meet up with Marv (one of Jesse's old bosses), Michael and Fiona notice 6 Russian men unpacking suspicious looking bags. Jesse and Fiona follow and capture one, named Alexi. With the help of Sam, they interrogate Alexi, until they find out the Russian team is here to kill Paul Anderson. Michael and Sam go to warn Paul, while Jesse and Fiona continue their hunt for Jesse's Boss. Michael and Sam succeed in warning Paul before the Russian operatives find him. Michael takes Paul back to Paul's house to recover some files that will give them some leverage on United States Congressman Bill Crowley, who can put Paul in WITSEC. Leaving Paul's house, Michael, Sam, and Paul are chased by the team of Russians, who follow them to Crowley's house. The senator refuses to help Paul, reminding him that the "dirt" he had on the congressman was invalid, seeing as he pinned it on another man in court many years ago. The situation gets even worse when Paul punches the Crowley. Realizing that their only option of getting out of this situation without prison is showing Cowly the Russians are a real threat, Michael lures them back to the Crowley's house, where the team of Paul, Sam, Madeline, Michael, and the congressman are waiting with a trap. They disarm all of the Russians, but as the team is leaving, Vitali tries to pull a hidden gun, but gets shot by Paul. Crowley agrees to put Paul in WITSEC, after Michael shows him that his only other option is allying with the Russians, which might lose him his job. Michael's team comes out clean, and Paul gets his new identity in Virginia.




  • Richard Kind as Marv


  • V.J. Foster as Vitali
  • Steven Klein as Alexi
  • John Doman as Bill Cowley
  • Burt Reynolds as Paul Anderson
  • Antares Davis as Regina


  • Michael's drivers license says that he was born 01/7/67, weighs 185 pounds, and is 5'11".

Continuity ErrorsEdit

  • In the first episode, Madeline said Michael broke out of his room at 6 to see the Star Wars. This can't be, since Star Wars came out in 1977, making him just over 10 when he sneaked out.