O'Neill's men are clearly not watching that boat very closely at all, because Michael has no trouble swimming up to it, heaving the bag with the bomb in it on board, and slipping it into a cargo area. After returning safely to where Sam is waiting, he says, "If anything happens to me--" "Oh, I'm finishing this, brother," Sam promises. "I'm getting Fi out of there no matter what. Just don't ever tell her I said that." Time to lock and load.
The Charger crashes through the locked gate and comes to a stop. Sam fires a few rounds out the window at a propane tank, which explodes obligingly despite not having a heat source to detonate the gas, as Michael told us we'd need way back in Season One. Having announced their presence, Michael and Sam get out of the car and take up position with their guns, preparing to open fire on the shack. O'Neill gives the order for everyone to get to the boat, and the shooting begins. Nobody's hitting anyone, though, and the bad guys get all the way to the dock. O'Neill is dragging Fi along as a shield, which is reminiscent of that bit in True Lies (again with the True Lies) where Tom Arnold takes "cover" behind a light pole. But then she swings her head back and catches O'Neill in the teeth, dazing him. Sam wings him with his sniper rifle while Fi, her hands still tied behind her, climbs the rail of the dock and jumps into the water. One of O'Neill's men takes a wild shot at her as she falls, because it's not like he's got anything else to deal with right now. Sam scores a couple of leg hits on O'Neill's men (the big softie), and Michael directs him to start herding them into the boat. O'Neill wants to go in after Fi, but his men manage to get him into the boat instead, and it roars off down the river. While Michael looks for Fi, Sam calls the Coast Guard to tattle, using his best "concerned citizen" voice. Michael goes down to the shoreline to look for Fi, and eventually she floats to the surface, face-down in the water. He runs in and clumsily fishes her out (seriously, he actually drops her as he's wading ashore with her), just as she regains consciousness, moaning from a wound in her arm. She gazes up at him with eyes that are either overflowing with love or glassy with shock. It could go either way, really.
Madeline's house has been converted into a field hospital, with Sean laid out on a cot in the sunroom, and Fi on the living room couch, both Glenannes out cold. Madeline comes home to find Michael changing Fi's bandage and mentions that there was supposed to be an open house there that day. But when Michael apologizes, she says she's changed her mind about selling. "If that's what you think's best for you, Mom," Michael says, like this is about her. Madeline points out, "You hide your clients here. You let your friends stay here." He steals shit from the garage. "I don't think you're ready to say goodbye either." Michael concedes the point. Generous of him, really.
From across the room, Sean sits up and calls Michael over. "So it's Westen now, is it?" Sean growls. Not bothering with the leprechaun voice, Michael starts to explain. He looks a little nervous about the conversation that's about to happen, like he couldn't just stick his finger into one of Sean's new nipples if things get too awkward. Sean doesn't want to hear Michael's explanation, and cuts him off: "Back in Ireland, there were a lot of questions about whether or not you were one of us. I always thought you were. Now I know I was right." Aw, I'm puking shamrocks over here. Sean says the problem is that now Michael can't ever go back to Ireland, now that O'Neill has outed him as an American. As if he could leave Miami at all. "Neither can she," he adds, nodding over at Fi. Can't she even try? Let her give it a shot and see what happens. Michael asks if there's anyone in particular he should look out for, and Sean says he'll take care of that. "I'll owe you for that," Michel says. "The hell you will! That squares us," Sean insists. He offers Michael help fleeing after what he did to Strickler. Michael's way ahead of him on that score: "Strickler's body was found next to a certain type of bomb," he says. "Our friend O'Neill will be charged with his murder and the twelve bombings in Europe." How did Michael arrange that, exactly? Did he have Strickler in the bag with the bomb? Whatever the case, it seems to satisfy Sean.
Now Fi's awake as well, so Michael goes back over to sit with her. Whatever it is she has to say to him, he lets her off the hook. "It's okay," he says. "We're no good at this." Does that mean they don't ever have to talk about the fact that the guy Michael insisted on working with, over Fi's strenuous objections, ended up nearly getting her killed? Awfully big of Michael to let it drop, if that's the case.
Just then, Michael gets a cell phone call from Garza, and it's not good news. Garza is freaking out, yelling in Michael's ear about Strickler. Calling from an apartment kitchen and slugging straight from a bottle of Jack Daniels, Garza says that Strickler's dead, and now someone is cleaning up his messes. Don't worry, Garza, they're going to be busy with those display cases for a little while. "I don't know who I can trust, even at the agency," Garza frets. He says someone's after both of them, and they need to meet right away. Garza gives Michael the address and apartment number where he is (he seems pretty sure that nobody's listening, as panicked as he is), and Michael promises to be right there.
When he pulls up, it already looks like a crime scene, complete with an ambulance and rubberneckers. Getting out of the Charger and walking up to the sidewalk in front of the high-rise apartment building, Michael VOs, "When you realize that an operation is compromised, that your enemies are on the move, you're on a clock. You have to move as fast as you can to try to contain the damage and harden your defenses before it's too late." Wait, is he talking about himself, or the people who now seem to be after him? He pushes past some gathered spectators and looks down. "Sometimes you make it in time..." Diego lies dead on the sidewalk, his head in a pool of blood. "...And sometimes you don't." Michael looks up at the high balconies above him, which suggest to him that Diego got down here without the aid of stairs or elevators. He continues, "When you work in intelligence, the worst feeling in the world is knowing nothing. Being caught up in something you don't begin to understand." Michael walks calmly back to the Charger, but pounds his fists on the roof in frustration when he reaches it. "Because it's not the enemy you see that gets you. It's the one you don't."
Not much of a cliffhanger, apart from the fact that Michael now knows less about his situation than he has for two seasons. The show will be back in January, so let's hope Michael has a great fall. Yes, I said great fall. What, too soon?
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at M.Giant[at]gmail.com.