One hell of a long pan sweeps us all the way back to Miami, specifically a yacht in a slip at a marina. Strickler's there on deck, oiling himself up even more, this time with sunscreen. The space is also accessorized with a bikini chick, but since she doesn't say or do anything in this scene she's hardly worth mentioning. Not when Strickler looks up to Fi aiming a shotgun at him. He's pretty friendly, considering. "You're Michael's friends, right? Want a mojito?" We can tell Sam is serious about finding Michael, because he doesn't immediately accept. Going to the bar to fix them, Strickler seems like he already knows what's going on, to a point. "I have some calls out," he oils. "I suggest you try harder," Fi says, pumping her shotgun at him. Sam shows him Michael's cell phone picture of the SWAT team leader, and luckily Strickler recognizes him as Vlad Something, who works for Pyotr Chechik. "Chechik? That rings a bell," Sam says. Maybe because a guy named Jeremiah Chechik has directed at least three episodes of this show. I'm sure that's just a coincidence. Without giving too much away in front of Strickler, Sam says he knows Chechik hates Michael. Fi wants to know how to find Chechik, and Strickler offers to "put out some feelers" among some illicit pilots who fly between Miami and Eastern Europe. Because apparently there's a whole underground airline. "I want names now," Fi insists, putting the gun to his face. Strickler's going to have trouble enjoying that mojito if it ends up leaking out the holes in his neck.
Back in the woods, Michael VOs, "When on the run, subtle things like broken branches, flattened grass, and disturbed ground can give you away to an expert tracker." Michael is going out of his way to create these very clues as he goes. It's almost as though he doesn't want to lose their pursuers. "An inexperienced tracker may require a more obvious trail," he adds, taking off his suit jacket and draping it over a branch. Angrily, Beck asks what he's doing. Michael explains, "We need to lead them deeper in. Turn their strengths to weaknesses." Beck doesn't know Michael or the way he thinks well enough to trust him on that, so Michael explains: "Their bulletproof vests will get hotter, their guns will get heavy. We've got to get them farther away from their supplies." I would have thought that it would be more important to get them farther away from their quarry, but I'm just an amateur. Beck's with me, plus he wants no more part of being in this swamp. "I say we make our stand right here!" "Can we make the stand over there?" Michael asks, pointing to a tangled stand of trees. Fine with Beck. Aw, they're learning how to compromise.
They hide there and watch as the men come into view at a distance. "Still think you can take them?" Michael murmurs. "There's five of them." Popping the clip on his gun, Beck confidently says, "I've got five rounds." "You have a hundred percent kill rate with a handgun?" Michael asks doubtfully. Unlike Michael, who has a zero-percent kill rate, because he's more interested in shooting near people. Beck blusters, and Michael warns, "You fire, they'll get our position. They'll flank us and hunt us down. We have to separate them. Gotta lead them just a little father in." "And then we strike?" Beck asks impatiently. Michael agrees. They're getting along better and better.
And then we're at an outdoor bar, I think the same one from ""Rough Seas." Except instead of a band of drug-stealing pirates, we're looking at a scraggly dude in military surplus with bloodshot eyes. Apparently he's the pilot that Sam and Fi tracked down via Strickler, and are now staking out from a distant table. "Oh, great, a drunk with a gun," Sam says, noticing the piece in the man's belt. "This calls for subtlety." "I can do subtle," Fi says. Off Sam's look, she clarifies, "I don't like to, but I can." She subtly approaches the guy just as he's about to drink a shot, then subtly takes it out of his hand and subtly downs it. He uses an old line on her, and she subtly flirts back, until the hand he subtly has on his chest is suddenly on his gun, which she doesn't even bother to take out of his pants. All she does is cock it. "Come with me or say goodbye to your two closest friends," she says. Subtly.
Beck wonders why Michael is wasting time fashioning a crude trap out of branches, and doesn't seem willing to hand over his shoelaces for the cause. You'd think a guy like Michael would have learned his lesson re: loafers years ago. "It doesn't have to work," Michael says. "They'll see it, figure we're close, they'll fan out, we'll injure one of them. "Oh, we're injuring them," Beck says disgustedly. Michael says it'll slow them down. "If I have to drag a complaining pain in the ass through the woods, they can too," Michael says. "Give me your shoelaces." Beck sticks the gun in Michael's face and says, "Maybe it's time we listen to the guy with the gun for a while." "Fine," Michael agrees, and snatches the weapon. Walked into that one, Beck. "Now give me your shoelaces," Michael repeats. When Beck goes to comply, Michael carelessly (or not) puts the gun down on the ground. Beck dives for it, and a fight ensues. Beck laughs triumphantly at getting one good punch to Michael's face, but that doesn't last long when Michael flattens him with the kind of kick Fi gave him earlier. Once again, Michael asks for the shoelaces, but this time he remembers to say "please." One step back, two steps forward.
While Fi stashes the pilot in the trunk of the Saab, Sam calls Madeline with an update: they got a guy who might know something, and they're on the way to the loft with him for an interrogation. Madeline says to bring him to her place instead. When Sam starts to argue, she snaps, "It's closer than Michael's loft and you don't have time to waste." Especially after her last display of stubbornness.
Michael and Beck watch from a hiding place as Vlad leads his men in their wake. He spots the trap, springs it harmlessly, and tells his men, "They're very close. Split up. Search the area." As they do this, guns at the ready, Michael VOs, "Spreading out in a search pattern is a great way to cover a lot of area. But it also divides your forces." However luckily or unluckily, Vlad is the one who's approaching their hiding place. Suddenly Michael drops down on him from a tree branch. Vlad effortlessly throws him off, which is not a good sign for the successful execution of Michael's plan. A much better sign is that instead of calling out, sounding the alarm and bringing his men running, Vlad just throws off his pack and wordlessly invites Michael to come at him again. Either because he's an idiot or because he can't resist a good one-on-one scrap, not that those are mutually exclusive. Michael re-engages, reluctantly, and it finally looks like he's met someone who can take him. As Vlad throttles Michael, Beck comes at him from behind, only to get easily repelled with a kick, but that's enough of a distraction for Michael to break Vlad's chokehold and get the upper hand, wrapping a vine around his neck while Beck crushes Vlad's knee with a vicious kick. While Michael's waiting for Vlad to pass out, Beck gets ready to shoot. "We need him alive, remember," Michael quietly reminds him, and invites Beck to hit him again. Beck obligingly pistol-whips Vlad unconscious to the ground. Their teamwork is getting better than that of some of the people in my office.
When we get ba