Michael's brother Nate is back in town, and the even worse news is that everyone's using him as leverage against Michael. First is Detective Paxson, who drops Nate off at the loft to serve notice that she's going to be coming at him through everyone he knows. And right after him is Brennen, the evil, pissy arms dealer from last season. Nate thinks he's having a meeting with an investor, but he's actually being held hostage by Brennen's enforcer so Brennen can make Michael steal stuff for him. Michael complies, but he's also secretly in touch with Sam, who's working with Barry to figure out what Brennen's up to. Eventually Michael turns the tables on Brennen, bluffing him with threats against his bank account and his family, both of which Brennen thought he had way out of reach. Both Westen brothers come out of it with nothing more serious than a bullet in Nate's arm, and Brennen goes away empty-handed and pissed. Also pissed? Detective Paxson, whose partner got suspended for grilling a mayor's aide that Michael and the team tried to sic her on. In fact, she's so mad her expression changes. It's on now, yo.
Here's something you don't see every day: Michael Westen, relaxing at home. He's parked in his favorite green chair, with his feet up, reading a newspaper and eating, what else, a yogurt. There's a knock on the door and someone calls, "Open up, police!" Rolling his eyes and getting up to stash his handgun in a drawer, he VOs, "Whether you're dealing with the presidential guard in Belarus, the federal security service in Russia, or the local police in Miami, the drill is pretty much the same." Yes, Michael, we know you've been around. "Keep your place clean of damning evidence. Keep your alibis and your whereabouts straight." Michael picks up a manila folder that he's decorated with a big dorky label reading "MICHAEL WESTEN DAILY ACTIVITY LOG," the contents of which I'm sure are reams and reams of lies. "And always be ready for surprise visits," the VO concludes. Because outside Michael's door is not a cop, but his little brother, Nate, looking serious in his black suit and sunglasses. "Nate -- The Brother," the subtitles remind us. As Nate comes in, he says this is how he was awakened this morning, so he's paying the favor forward to Michael. "I was dragged out of bed by someone very interested in you," he says. Michael tries to close the door, but someone else wants in -- someone the subtitles dutifully identify as "Detective Paxson -- Someone Very Interested In Michael." He teases her a bit as he tries to close the door again, but her partner Detective Lopez comes in before he can. After checking to see if anyone else is lurking out there (and also to see whether the landing outside his door has turned into a clown car), Michael finally closes the door and hands Paxson his log. The folder, I mean. I'm sure Michael would like to give her a different kind of log, but he probably doesn't want to do anything actionable. She blows it off, explaining that she was just dropping off Nate, "as a way to say thank you for chatting to us about his big brother." Plus she wants to brace Michael some more. Yes, I said "brace." I'm in the middle of a James Ellroy novel right now, and I defy anyone to read the word "braced" six times per page and not want to pay that forward. Because she's an idiot who likes to keep Michael posted on how she's going to come after him next, she informs Michael that her new method for harassing him will be grilling everyone he knows. She leaves her business card in case he changes his mind, and the two detectives take off, satisfied at having given Michael everything he needs to screw them over this week.