|Out of the Fire|
|Season 4, Episode 17|
|Air date||December 16, 2010|
|Written by||Craig O'Neill|
|Directed by||Marc Roskin|
Dead or Alive
Out of the Fire is the seventeenth episode of the fourth season and the sixty-first episode overall. It aired as the first part of the two-hour season finale.
With the NOC list (Non-Official Cover) in Brennen's possession, Michael is forced to partner once again with Larry to kill off everyone on the list for profit, under threat of blackmail that could bring Vaughn and the entire organization after Michael, his friends and his family.
When a soldier loses a friend in battle, his commanding officer keeps a close eye on how he copes. If his judgement is affected, he's removed from combat so one fallen soldier doesn't turn into two. Spies in the field take the same precautions, but without a strict chain of command, the decision about who stays in the game and who gets sidelined can get messy.
Used to expand mobile coverages to places without service, femtocells reroute and boost cellular signals, which is great if you're a hacker looking to tap and trace a call made by a specific cell phone number.
Of the many ways to launch a sneak attack, few are more disorienting and terrifying for your enemy than dropping in from above. It gives you immediate and overwhelming superiority. The only downside: sometimes it means an eight foot fall to the floor.
If you're looking to frame a specific group for a bombing, you use their design plans, their construction materials, and their particular brand of C-4. Bomb experts know that not all C-4 is the same. The same taggent chemicals that allow manufacturers to identify their own product, will also allow forensic teams to track down the source country to determine who's to blame. It's just like checking the label on a t-shirt to determine where it's made, only a little more complicated.
When a real estate bubble bursts, it's tough on the civilian population, but it's a field day for spies. Empty buildings provide excellent cover for scouting in an urban environment. And it's always nice to plan and execute illicit operations in air conditioned comfort. Unfortunately, all that unoccupied space is a playground for criminals too.
A bomb built to distract is long on fuel and short on shrapnel. The larger the fireball, the more eyeballs it attracts. A bomb built to breach a wall on the other hand need not be particularly loud or visible. Charges shaped to direct force into structural supports can blow a hole in a wall without blowing out anyone's eardrum.
Safe technology has been revolutionized in the past thirty years. New metal alloys are stronger and more resistant than ever to drills, saws, and even explosive compounds. Walls on the other hand haven't really changed much since the Middle Ages. So if you can't get into a safe fast enough, you can always pull it out of the wall and take it with you.
Jesse is seen stewing in Michael's loft after the murder of his old handler, Marv Peterson. Michael and Sam have to keep him from getting near Tyler Brennen, Marv's murderer. Jesse is told to lie to a team of CIFA (Counter Intelligence Field Activity) agents in order to allow the team some breathing room in a very tense situation.
It turns out Brennen has been keeping tabs on Michael's investigation with Vaughn, and his mission to retrieve the list of agents and major figures in Vaughn's operation. Brennen blackmailed Marv and took an audio recording of Michael's debriefing in which he offered the list to the government in exchange for help. Sensing a financial opportunity, Brennen wants to recruit Michael to kill each of the people on the NOC list, starting with a person whose identity can be found in the federal employee database, accessible at federal agencies and courthouses. Should Michael refuse, Brennen vows to send the recording to Vaughn, who is certain to come after Michael for his betrayal. As an added precaution, Brennen also hired Larry Sizemore to keep Michael in line and to assist with the prospective killing spree.
Back at the loft, Michael and Larry start to plan to first hit, causing Sam to go after Larry. He is stopped by Michael, whom he asks to get Larry's cell phone number as a way to track Brennen.
At Madeline's house, Jesse gives the CIFA agents a doctored file that indicates Marv was in Miami to track down a cartel on his personal time. Jesse becomes distraught at lying to his former colleagues, but tells Madeline that he is actually more conflicted that because of him, Marv's family may never know the truth about his murder.
Larry, as usual, is ready to storm in and drop some bodies in order to get the information they need at the courthouse. Michael convinces him on a plan that keeps people from dying, which involves posing as lawyers to talk their way past a file clerk and some security guards. In doing so, Michael gets Larry's phone number, which he gives to Sam and Fiona to try and locate Brennen. Their efforts are thwarted, however, because Brennen is using a scrambler to disguise his cell phone signal.
According to the information extracted from the courthouse, the first target is Albert Machado, a major figure at the IMF. Instead of plotting his assassination, Michael sells Brennen and Larry on a kidnapping meant to raise their bottom line while framing a terrorist group for the abduction. Brennen agrees, but not before warning Michael against trying to follow him, perhaps to the location where he is hiding the list.
Fiona takes Sam to an electronics store, whose owner sold Brennen the scrambler that disguises his phone calls. Capturing and interrogating the owner in his own shop is easy, and the two learn that Brennen bought a wall safe in addition to the scrambler. The wall safe is resilient to weapons and requires a hand scan, making the extraction of the list very difficult. The shop owner gives them the address where Brennen had the safe installed.
Michael and Larry scout the compound where Machado works. It is heavily fortified with security guards and equipped with a number of security cameras and motion sensors. Michael suggests to Brennen that they spend the day scouting the grounds to examine the shift changes, but Brennen is eager to have them breach the compound right away.
Sam, Jesse and Fiona set up in an apartment building adjacent to where Brennen has stored the list. The plan is to crack the safe to lure Brennen and threaten him to give back the audio recording. On scouting Brennen's empty apartment, however, they find the room is filled with security cameras that are bound to alert him of a possible intrusion.
A large explosion knocks out the power in Machado's compound, while a shape charge gives Michael and Larry a way in. As they separate, Michael calls his team, who gives him the good news about finding Brennen's hideout. He then proceeds to capture Machado, but before abducting him in his car, Larry drops an explosive charge in the passenger seat, killing him and leaving Michael and Larry to escape.
Michael is furious, while Larry, as in previous episodes, continues to press Michael about the kind of spy he is. He believes he knows Michael is keen on revenge against the people that burned him. Michael looks convinced, and asks for Larry's help in getting the list and recording back from Brennen by telling him where the safe is located.
Brennen waits in an empty parking lot, offering champagne to his team for a successful operation. Larry has other plans, and takes a knife and stabs Brennen in the chest. Now knowing where the list is, Larry doesn't need Brennen alive anymore, but does need his hand to beat the hand scanner. He offers one last taunt to Brennen: the mercenary who overthinks every possible development could not see what was happening right in front of him.
With Brennen dead, there is nothing from stopping Vaughn from listening to the recording and coming after Michael, his team and his family. Faced with the looming danger, Michael would have no choice but to partner with Larry, take the list and go after everyone in the organization. Larry tells Michael to call Sam and Fiona and tell them to leave town.
Michael does so, but signals to them that he is in distress (he calls Fiona "honey," a code they used while working in Belfast). This leaves the team to guess that Brennen is dead and Larry has Michael under his thumb. Out of instinct, they decide to raid Brennen's hideout and take the list. With Michael and Larry on the way to the apartment building, Fiona extracts the safe out of the wall by explosive, while Jesse drops it off the balcony and out of Larry's reach.
Fiona and Jesse escape the building, leaving Michael and Larry to discover the apartment full of debris and missing the wall safe. Larry threatens Michael to tell him where the safe is, but is under threat himself. From the adjacent building, Sam has targeted him with a sniper rifle, and tells him to let Michael walk out, leaving him to deal with the police. Keeping a gun on Michael, he is adamant in keeping Michael where he is, frustrated that Michael is bottling up his true nature. Michael, however, knows that he is free to leave. As he has said to Larry in the past, he is not the sort of killer Larry thinks he is, and that Larry wouldn't risk his life to kill Michael. He leaves the apartment calmly, leaving a disappointed and furious Larry behind.
With the recording due to be sent to Vaughn by daybreak, Michael and Fiona pack up, wondering if they will ever see the loft again, or if they will live past the ordeal set to come. The plan, for now, is to find someone in the government they can give the list to in exchange for protection. Fiona is visibly upset that, once again, Michael's path threatens to take everyone into danger.
At an empty machine shop, Michael, Sam, Fiona, Jesse and Madeline take apart the safe to get at the list. Jesse is still torn about lying to the CIFA agents and preventing Marv's family from telling the truth. Madeline tells him not to worry, for she called Marv's daughter for him, telling her that her father died a hero.
They finally crack open the safe, and the data key holding the list is back in their possession. They contemplate what sort of danger they will be in come morning once Vaughn hears in the recording that Michael has outed the organization to legitimate government authorities. Michael recommends that they get some rest, as the following day is bound to be perilous.
- Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen
- Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe
- Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne
- Coby Bell as Jesse Porter
- Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen
- Alfredo Barrios Jr. as Agent Ramirez
- Oscar Corbella as Albert
Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) was shutdown in 2008, absorbed into the Defense Intelligence Agency. This occurred two years prior to the air date of this episode.
|Episodes | Season 4|
|Friends and Enemies • Fast Friends • Made Man • Breach of Faith • Neighborhood Watch • Entry Point • Past & Future Tense • Where There's Smoke • Center of the Storm • Hard Time • Blind Spot • Guilty As Charged • Eyes Open • Hot Property • Brotherly Love • Dead or Alive • Out of the Fire • Last Stand|