After the meeting, Michael calls Sam to let him know what Erik wants to do. "I guess we're gonna have to make him regret that decision," Sam says, pulling a bag of groceries and a six-pack of new product-placed beer (not his usual brand) out of the trunk of his Buick in Madeline's driveway. Michael back-burners Erik for the moment and brings up the B-plot involving Garza. Sam's on that: a friend of his who works at the phone company plans to park his cherry-picker in front of Garza's hangar and take a two-hour lunch. "That's all I need," Michael says as he hangs up. Sam says the same to his product-placed six-pack.
We then meet up with Michael, perched high in a phone company bucket truck, watching unnoticed in sunglasses and hardhat as Garza leaves his hangar for lunch. Good thing Garza isn't eating in today. Michael VOs, "With today's powerful encryption, it's usually a waste of time trying to decipher encoded communication. Tap the data stream of even a low-level spy, and you're just going to get incomprehensible garbage." With the coast clear, Michael lowers himself to the ground and goes to his second outdoor junction box of the hour. "Just because it's garbage, doesn't mean it's worthless, though," he VO continues. He picks the lock on the access panel, and pulls out a device about the size of a portable DVD player. In fact, I suspect that's what it actually is. His VO tells us, "A network analyzer can tell you how much information someone's accessing and how encoded it is." He hooks up the DVD player to the guts of the panel, except it turns out to have a keyboard when he opens it up. I shouldn't have underestimated the prop department. "If someone starts using heavy-duty crypto and changing their security protocol, you know you've touched a nerve," Michael's VO concludes. "And sometimes, that's enough to tell you what you need to know." Or, alternatively, end up with that spy pointing a gun at you. Which may actually mean the same thing.
His work done here, Michael gets a call on his Pete-phone from Erik, who's freaking out because he thinks the bad guys are there right now. Michael looks around like, "No, I'm not." But Erik has seen the same old, dark-blue box-mobile drive by three times. Michael tells him to stay put until he gets there, and dials his mom's house as he gets into Fi's Saab. Yep, Joey took Madeline's car. "Let's hope that's all he took," Michael says darkly. Why? He can't be worried that the kid took Madeline's cigarettes. He wouldn't be able to carry them all.