Strickler makes Michael an offer he's actually interested in: helping Michael get Back In. While pressuring his contact point, Diego Garza, to look into whether Strickler could actually make that happen, Michael gets a client that hits him where he lives: A mobster's brother named Erik Luna is beating his wife and kids, and when Michael's called upon to intervene in the custody battle, he and the team are powerfully motivated to scare Erik away. Michael poses as customer who bought the wrong hot car from Erik, and even stages a fake drive-by attempt, but it's not enough. Plus Michael has to deal with the older kid's clumsy attempts to resolve things himself, but at least he gets to hit Erik a lot as part of his cover. As the final move, Michael "hires" Sam and Fi to take out the fictional assassins, only so all three of them can pretend to get shot in front of him. It works perfectly, until Erik's mobster brother gets involved to keep him from fleeing. But fortunately, fixing that is just a simple matter of gaslighting Erik in front of his brother, and the rest takes care of itself.
Meanwhile, Michael has satisfied himself that Strickler has the connections to come through on his promise, but Strickler will only deliver if Michael accepts a job from him, sight unseen. Michael does. He'll just have to hope it's nothing he can get paid for.
It's a busy night at the club below Michael's loft, but as he and Fi come home for the evening, he VOs about why he and other spies aren't really into that scene: "In a career where hearing loss is a serious operational concern and crowds of strangers have to be constantly monitored, they just don't seem like much fun." That doesn't seem to keep Fi complaining about not getting to go in and shake her narrow ass for the masses. When they enter the gate to Michael's courtyard, there's a blonde at the bottom of the stairs to the loft, and she looks pretty friendly. Michael thinks she's a lost clubgoer, but she assures him she's there for him. She presents Michael with a fancy gift bag, which she says contains "rejuvenating body lotion. A gift from a friend. I can apply it if you'd like." Michael politely declines the service, and hands the bag off to Fi as the woman leaves. Fi wonders who Michael's friend is. "He's not a friend. He's a recruiter," Michael reminds her. "Oh, Strickler," Fi remembers, and offers to apply it herself. Okay, a straight dude sending another straight dude a bottle of body lotion is a little creepy, no? Is that just me? Fi seems pretty impressed with the way Michael shot that bimbo down. As though we didn't already know he has the sex drive of a captive giant panda THERE I SAID IT.
Next day, a lot of helicopter shots of Miami accompany Michael's morning VO: "Training a covert operative takes years and costs a lot of money. In theory, it's all for the taxpayers who paid the bills. In practice, it's worth a lot on the open market. And when something's that valuable, there's always someone trying to sell it." That someone, of course, is Strickler, lounging on the sun deck of his yacht with that same blonde from last night, until Michael appears and tosses the unopened lotion bottle into his lap. "Strickler -- Agent To The Spies," the subtitles remind us, in case we don't remember last week. Shading his eyes, Strickler talks up the lotion, which he says is 40 percent aloe vera. "They say it's great for burns." Yeah, still creepy. Michael's not amused, so Strickler offers him a mimosa, and a story that might interest Michael. It's about an NSA logistics guy who was involved in a career-ending scandal, but got a second chance thanks to a fortuitous conversation on a ski lift in Aspen. "I know, because I was there," Strickler boasts. He used to be a ski lift? Strickler's point is this: "If we were working together, I'd be there for you, too." In other words, he might be able to help Michael get what he really wants, and let's say it all together now: Back In.