While being herded into the conference room with the employees, Bly whispers a suggestion to Michael that they both grab guns and "level the playing field." Michael thinks that's a good way to get someone shot, but Bly thinks this is the only chance they might have to make a move. Michael still wants to wait. By now, almost everyone is in the conference room. Michael starts to tell everyone to keep cool, but when he turns around, he sees Bly behind the doorway, ready to pounce on the first robber who enters. "Bly," he hisses. Too late, because when one of Prescott's men -- a nameless Poor Man's Don Stroud who I'm just going to have to call Robber #2 -- drags a last employee inside, Bly grabs his gun and takes aim. But before he can fire a single shot, he gets clocked from behind by Prescott himself and drops to the floor, unconscious. As Robber #2 grabs his gun, Prescott gives a little speech to the assembled employees, now his hostages. "Welcome to my retirement party. I want you all to have a good time, so let's lay down a few ground rules, shall we? No attacking the hosts. No leaving early, no calling the police. I see one cop, I kill three of you. I see two cops, six people die. You can do the math." Apparently Prescott hasn't been reading about bankers in the newspapers lately. He concludes, "Now, mess up my party by breaking one of my rules and you can expect me to overreact." With that, he points his gun at Bly on the floor and pulls the trigger. But since he wasn't really looking where he was aiming, he just wings Bly in the left arm, waking him up right quick. The hostages scream loud enough to trigger a commercial break.
After the ads, Michael shares a useful way to assess situations like this. "A wounded hostage is a good measure of how far a criminal's willing to go," he VOs. "They either want to keep the hostage alive..." Michael steps forward to help Bly, claiming he's a doctor. "Let him die," Prescott orders. "...or they don't. Which means more people are getting hurt," Michael's VO concludes. Michael calmly and quietly approaches Prescott and explains, "You have twenty hostages in an unstable psychological state. If they think they're going to die, they will panic and they will fight back. I'm just trying to make sure that you get what you want and these people stay alive." That convinces Prescott to let Michael go to work on Bly. He then singles out Paula to take him to the vault. She calls him a son of a bitch, because apparently she's still not over the fact that she thought he wanted to date her. So he helps her get over it by sticking his gun in her face. "I only need one person alive to get me the vault access codes," he threatens. Cowed, Paula leaves the room with him. Let's hope she doesn't start bugging him for a date while they're gone.
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