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Scorched Earth
Season 6, Episode 1
BN 601.jpg
Air date June 14, 2012
Written by Matt Nix
Directed by Stephen Surjik
Episode Guide
Fail Safe
Mixed Messages

Scorched Earth is the premiere episode of the sixth season and the eighty-first episode overall.



Heartbroken and determined, Michael goes after his nemesis Anson, putting great strain on his friendship with Sam and also placing Maddie's life in danger. Meanwhile, Fiona is taken into federal custody after her surrender, where she is interrogated by an old nemesis.

Spy Facts[]

  • The vehicle you want when hunting someone down depends on where you are in the chase. If you're behind your target, you need a set of wheels that's fast enough to catch up. If you're ahead and waiting for your target to come to you, you might want to think bigger. 
  • Anti-theft devices, like transponder keys and transmission locks, make newer trucks nearly impossible to steal. Hot-wiring an older truck on the other hand, is still just a matter of shorting the terminals on the starter solenoid; and, of course, dealing with whoever happens to own the truck. 
  • Keeping a large truck stable is basically about keeping your speed low and your turns shallow so the center of gravity doesn't shift further than the vehicle can handle. On the other hand, speed and sharp turns are exactly what you need, if you want the truck to jack-knife. An abandoned semi-truck will create an effective barricade; but, if you really want to tie up traffic, it helps to give people a reason to keep their distance.  
  • Hunting for a fugitive in a large area with a lot of cover is less about skill than it is about man-power. It doesn't matter how good an operative you are, when it comes to a man-hunt, the more people you have on your side the better.  
  • It's almost impossible to escape when you're being handcuffed by pros. They are trained to work in pairs when handcuffing a dangerous suspect. One cuffs the hostile while the other covers them both. Even if you can avoid getting cuffed, it only buys you a second before you get shot. But sometimes a second is all you need.  
  • Clearing a structure is ideally a team effort. When you're forced into it alone, you have to take special precautions like using peripheral vision to check angles. But ultimately, no matter how careful you are there's always one angle that you can't see when you are alone - the one behind you.  
  • An ultra-wide band frequency scanner is one of the newer devices in the tool kit of the tactical breaching team. It's portable, requires little power, and can see through doors well enough to tell you if they're worth kicking down. 
  • Under the right circumstances stress can make you hyper-aware, alert to every detail. It can also make you paranoid and prone to seeing what you want to see.  

Full Recap[]

It's Season 6 and Michael Westen is still "stuck" in Miami. Fiona is locked up after having been set up by Anson Fullerton, the same man who set up the organization that burned Michael.

Fi walks calmly as she's escorted through the FBI building under heavy security. She pauses for a moment when a little girl catches her eye. She gets her mugshot taken and is handcuffed in an interview room. Meanwhile, Michael reads a letter Fi left for him. She tells him she's learned when you love a spy you have to be willing to sacrifice. Sam shows up and Michael angrily asks Sam how it's possibly Fi knocked him out, and Sam admits he probably could have fought her off but Fiona was right and Michael was selling out his friends and nearly turned on his government. Sam tells Michael he's going to have to fight some more because he's got a tip that the CIA is working on something.

"This may not be over yet," he says.

Michael's racing through Miami and Sam says Jesse might have a lead on Anson. Michael changes direction and tries to cut Anson off before he gets to Cutler Bay, his anticipated destination.

Michael steals a big rig and jackknifes it on purpose to snarl the traffic on the highway that Anson is expected to take. He blows it up, too, just for good measure. Sam and Michael drive away together in the Charger that Sam had been driving behind Michael.

Fiona is met by Jason Bly, "not Fiona's favorite person," a guy who had a run-in with Fi and Michael years ago. Fi says she doesn't need a lawyer, and explains that she planted one of the bombs specifically targeting Larry Sizemore in the building where the security guards were killed and she claims that Anson Fullerton planted all the bombs in the building. Fi tells Bly they need to find Anson, but Bly sarcastically reminds her that she's not in charge of the situation and goes on about his business with her booking.

Michael and Sam are looking for Anson's Jaguar and they argue about whether Fi turning herself in was a good idea -- and Michael insists he'll never be convinced it was. They spot Anson's car in the traffic, but he's gone. They look toward a nearby chemical plant and Michael's phone rings. It's Anson, who says he knows Michael set up the accident on the highway. He warns Michael that he needs to worry about Darrell Jordan, a former patient of Anson's and an Army Ranger. He's a guy with aggression issues and Anson has sent him to Maddy's house.

Michael calls Maddy and she's not answering. Sam says it'd be better to send Jesse to Maddy's house because he can get there quicker. Maddy is at home watching the news about Fiona's arrest. She tries her cell phone and has no service. Her land line isn't working, either. She looks outside and sees the Darrell coming toward the house, so she retreats and hides. Jordan comes into the house with a massive assault rifle in hand.

Michael tries to talk Pearce into helping with Anson. She resists.

Back in Fiona's interview, Bly says her story is missing "a main character." He suggests that she was trying to protect Michael by going after Larry in the first place. He offers her a deal if she tells the truth about Michael. She refuses to say anything more, and claims she's no longer with Michael.

Michael and Sam find a dead security guard at the entrance of the chemical plant as they look for Anson, and suddenly hear his voice over the security guards' intercom. He's describing the "man down" and says there are two armed suspects. Other guards show up, thinking, of course, that Michael and Sam are responsible for the killing.

Guards are shooting at the security office where Michael and Sam are hiding out (with the dead guard), and Michael decides to fake having been shot as a way to come out. He also tells Sam to play dead. Michael smears blood on his shoulder and comes out, saying he's been hit. Sam is inside playing dead. When the two guards come up, one goes to cuff Michael while the other looks inside and sees Sam "dead." Michael then turns the tables on the arresting guard and holds him hostage just long enough for Sam to sneak up on the second one. "Believe it or not," Sam tells the guards-turned-hostages, "we're the good guys."

Jesse gets to Maddy's house and is relieved to see a police car out in front until he walks up and sees the cop has been shot in the throat and is dead. Jesse pulls his gun and heads inside. Jordan sneaks up on Jesse from behind and makes Jesse drop his gun. He wants to know where Michael is and he gives Jesse five seconds to fess up. He counts down to 1 before Maddy shoots the guy with a shotgun from the attic.

"You let him get all the way down to 1? Seriously?" Jesse asks, relieved he wasn't killed.

Maddy asks Jesse about Fiona, "Is it as bad as the news is saying?"

"It's worse," he says.

Bly comes back into Fiona's interview room and tells her that her story now has an ending. He shows her pictures of the big rig that crashed and exploded on the highway, and tells her that Michael was in the cab and "didn't make it." She doesn't believe him, so he hands her a coroner's report detailing Michael's autopsy. She looks closely at details, such as scars and other defining features and says nothing, stunned. Bly offers to give her a moment and says he'll come back to get her true story.

Michael and Sam talk one of the guards into helping them evacuate the chemical plant by sounding a toxic-spill alarm. The other guard remains tied up. Michael puts on the guard's uniform and tries to watch all the evacuees for Anson. Pearce shows up and wants to know what's going on. Anson calls Michael again and warns him that coming after him is going to cause him more pain, but Michael tells Anson he's going to hunt him and kill him. Anson warns Michael he isn't going to like how this ends. Off the phone, Michael tells Sam and Pearce that he heard a turbine in the background, meaning Anson is still in the building.

Looking at the security cameras, Michael thinks he knows which room Anson is hiding in. He heads for it, but Sam tries to slow him down, telling him he can't just go right up to Anson. Michael is upset, telling Sam he can't just let Anson off the hook. Sam stands in front of Michael and Michael pulls his gun on Sam. Pearce, behind Michael, pulls her gun on him. She tells Michael that she's not letting him anywhere near Anson if he's pulling his gun on his own team member. Sam promises Michael he won't let Anson get away. Michael hands his gun to Sam and takes Pearce's instructions to man the surveillance cameras and radio in anything he sees. Pearce and Sam walk away.

Sam, Pearce and a couple of other agents get to the door and use a sensor to determine there's someone inside. They bang on the door and there's no response. They proceed to cut down the door and prepare to use a flash-bang grenade.

Michael, watching the cameras, tells us stress can make you hyper-away or paranoid and make you see what you want to see. Michael sees a fence that appears to be moving a bit. He radios to Sam and tells him he's going to check something out. Sure enough, Michael gets outside and finds Anson trying to cut his way through the fence. Michael starts beating the hell out of Anson, until Anson grabs a pole and knocks Michael away. Michael then picks up the gun he'd just kicked out of Anson's hand, but Anson shows a detonator. He says that if he lets go of it, the whole plant will explode, killing everyone including Sam and Pearce. Anson tells Michael to back up, then opens the fence and runs out to meet his ride a boat that's pulled up alongside the plant property.

Michael radios to Sam to get out of the building because it's wired to explode. They kick down the door to find a plant worker cuffed to a pipe. Sam sends Pearce and the rest of the team away and tries to break the pipe to free the hostage. Michael watches as Pearce and a couple of other agents run from the building just as it explodes. Michael radios Sam and there's no response. He tries again. Still nothing. A third time, silence. Suddenly, Sam and the worker emerge from the smokes and waviness of the heat from the explosions and Michael gives chase to Anson's boat. He blasts every bullet the gun has, but it's too late and Anson is headed out to sea.

Michael calls Maddy and she's crying because she's never shot anyone before. Michael apologizes. He tells Maddy that Fiona is "gone."

Pearce tells Michael that Anson is now at the top of the CIA's most wanted list. Michael asks her to get Fiona freed, but Pearce says there isn't enough evidence to do that. Michael asks if it would be enough if he caught Anson himself. Pearce says, "It's a start."

In her interview room, Fiona is asked to sign off on "the basics of Michael's involvement." Before she signs the document, she asks to see the pictures of the big-rig crash again. She examines the pictures and realizes that Bly's story about the truck just exploding because of a punctured gas tank doesn't hold up. She says, "This looks more like a roadblock," and calls Bly a liar.

He asks her how she could possibly know that from looking at a photo.

"I know explosions," she says. "I know Michael. And I know that we're done here."

Bly gets up and says he hopes this "business" relationship Fi has with Michael is worth it, "because from the way it looks, you're going to die for him."





Continuity Errors[]