Detective Paxson attaches a squad car to Michael's ass, which is pretty inconvenient for his daily activities. So his plan to get her off his back is to help her out on another one of her cases to prove he's on her side. The challenge is that he has to do it without her knowing. Michael's angle is to make friends with Tommy, a guy who works for Paxson's other target, which involves helping him knock over a dry cleaner's. That almost gets them into the inner circle, but when Tommy cuts Michael and his team out of a dangerous job for their own safety, Michael takes Tommy into his confidence. Tommy helps them blow the heist and trap the bad guy, all but gift-wrapping him for Paxson. And that, plus some planted C-4 in the bad guy's getaway car, convinces her to leave him alone.
In other news, Sam is getting audited, which looks like a standard filler subplot until he realizes he once dated the IRS agent's mom, and figures out how to win him over by helping him get past his abandonment issues. And now that Michael's in the clear, he's looking forward to getting his old job back. Which is quite a letdown for Fi, who was hoping maybe he would have altered his entire reason for existing over the past three seasons. Yeah, not so much.
As always, we're starting off with some salsa music, some Miami porn, and a Michael Westen voice-over. "In any operation, whether it's sneaking into an embassy or collecting debts for a bookie, it's important to lay out a plan before you go into action. If you're going to disagree, it's best to get it out of the way before any shots are fired." As Michael and Fi pull up outside a big house in the Charger (which, just as I predicted, looks like it's never been shot in the hood at all), we join the disagreeing already in progress. Although I think it's naïve of Michael in the extreme to assume that it can possibly ever be gotten out of the way. Michael doesn't love Fi's plan to shove the deadbeat she's after into Michael's trunk, but she doesn't care. "The guy is a charmless sleazebag. No one's getting hurt. It's the perfect job." As they get out and go around to the trunk, even Michael's jinx alarm goes off at that. Glad to see that constant exposure to Fi hasn't completely deadened it. They talk about what they'll do with the cash, and Michael says he plans to use his share to do what Fi disapprovingly calls, "Bribing people to get your old job back. Honestly, Michael, I'd rather you spend it on drugs." Michael looks up from the duffel bag of shotgun ordnance he's checking and offers a compromise: a nice dinner tonight. Letting the wind blow her hair back with perfect timing, Fi agrees, and now they can look forward to an evening of the best yogurt. So now, back to the plan. She hands him the "his" from a his-n-hers pair of digital stopwatches, each set to exactly three minutes. He's supposed to come in with the shotgun, firing rock salt at the bad guys if she doesn't come out after the time is up. I'm kind of wishing he'd forget to start the clock.
But what happens next is almost as good. She struts up to the house, burning up at least the first minute on that long driveway as Michael VOs, "For many operations, two-man teams are ideal. Simple chain of command, easy to delegate responsibility, and little room for confusion." Even if one of them is Fi? She's in the house by now, where there's clearly a party in progress, complete with bikini babes. A few guys are sitting around the poker table, including a charmless sleazebag that the subtitles tell us is "Randall -- Charmless Sleazebag." He and Fi glare at each other across the room. Outside, Michael's VO continues as a squad car pulls up behind him. He decides to close the trunk and smile rather than let them see what he's got in there. "Of course, with a two-man team, there's not a lot of margin for error. All it takes is a cop showing up at the wrong moment and the team ceases to exist." Michael pleasantly greets Detective Paxson, who has gotten out of the unmarked car that pulled up behind the squad car. "Detective Paxson -- Inconvenient Cop," the subtitles say, which is about as accurate as they've ever been regarding her. Even they aren't trying to convince us that she's "Michael's Worst Nightmare" any more.