Plot: We open on Michael in a cage, that knife wound Simon gave him still untreated. Sonya comes down the stairs, to bring Michael to James. She wants to know if his seduction of her was all a work. Mike explains that the part of him that agrees with what she and James do did care for her. When Mike turns the question back on her, Sonya says the work always comes first.
James is fairly sanguine about all the betrayal. Instead, he asks Michael to continue working with him. Go back to the CIA, tell them he failed to capture James, but that James still does not suspect. And Michael agrees. Strong gets a bit of static from the head of the CIA, but Mike earns them another 48 hours by pointing out he's the only one they have who can get close to James. In the meantime, Michael is freezing everyone else out, and Fi is growing worried. Worried enough to slip a tracer in his gun. She gets Jesse on her side, but Sam is unsure until he and Jesse trail Mike to Fort Lauderdale. Sam gives him a call, Mike claims he's chasing a few leads, won't be seeing James again for a few days. Less than a minute later, here comes James. Now Sam's worried.
Convinced that Mike's in too deep with these folks, their plan is to lure him to a lonely boathouse, where Sam has a seaplane (courtesy of his buddies). They'll drag Mike off and snap him out of it. But that's going to require a lure, and for that, Fiona convinces Maddy to bring Charlie, as they burn down Madeline's home, and blow up the car of James' guys while they were trying to get in through the front door.
This is kind of a critical time for Mike. At his meeting with James, he told hm the CIA won't rest until James is captured. So James consents to be captured. He'll go to jail, the Agency will consider the network wrecked, and Sonya will take over. . . along with Michael. While I'm impressed that James is so devoted to this cause he's willing to be thrown in some secret prison, he comes off as sort of a creepy father type, so happy to put these two crazy lovebirds together. Anyway, Michael is supposed to alert Strong that James is coming in on a helicopter for a meeting, Strong arrives, Mike captures James, he's a big hero, Sonya narrowly escapes, and the work continues, with the Agency's once-again golden boy as one of the leader's. So Mike's just about to make the call when Sonya gets word of what Fi did, and Sam calls Mike to let him know. Sonya advises Mike that Fi is an obstacle, and may need to be removed. Skating on thin ice there, Sonya. Mike roars off in the Charger.
Sam convinces Mike to ride out to the boathouse in Sam's car, but Mike grows suspicious, nearly wrecks the car on the bridge, and gets out. He and Sam start yelling as all cards are laid on the table, and Mike appears to being growing fond of the idea of being in charge of his own network, doing the work that needs to be done. Then Sam compares this group to the people who killed Nate, and it's fight time. Sam actually has the edge, once he topples Mike over the bridge, but Mike feigns unconsciousness and when Sam relaxes the hold, punches Sam in the face and escapes. He even tells Sam he'll let this slide because they're friends - this time.
This is concerning, but Fi insists they follow the tracer and try again. Which brings them to the meeting place, after Mike called Strong, but before the CIA or James have shown up. Sam and Jesse are somewhere downstairs, Sonya's goons all over the place, James in inbound, Strong is inbound. Michael is on the roof, with Fi on one side, and Sonya on the other, with a gun pointed at Fiona.
The Players: Sonya (Not Happy with Michael), James (The Guy Mike Betrayed)
Quote of the Episode: Fiona - 'Sam told you that some day someone would threaten this organization, and you would have to make a choice. Well that day has come, and that someone. . . is me.'
Does Fiona blow anything up? Those dudes' car.
Sam Axe Drink Count: 0 (6 overall).
Sam Getting Hit Count: 4 (6 overall).
Michael's Fake Laugh Count: 0 (3 overall).
Other: I'm surprised Peter hasn't reappeared. I figured the guy James shoved into a mental hospital for 15 years would get more than 10 minutes in one episode. I guess if he was around, it might serve as a reminder that James isn't a good guy, that as Sam said, these guys are no different than the people who burned Mike. They do awful things to people who don't deserve it, and justify on the grounds that they're doing important work. It's that German idea of "military necessity", where all other considerations (such a diplomatic or economic, moral) are irrelevant. If Michael had a reminder of that in front of him all the time, maybe he wouldn't be acting this way.
Though I'm still not sure this isn't a work. That Michael hasn't been lying to James, playing the man who is so fed up with the Agency (which has demonstrated it isn't any different from James or Management/Vaughn/Anson in its willingness to justify doing awful things) he'll instead help the man he's supposed to capture. Maybe this is all a way to make it really easy. James walks right into Michael's hands, because he believes it's part of his plan, but it's really part of Michael's. I mostly think Mike really has bought in, that he's just that fed up with the Agency's bullcrap, but I can't dismiss the idea he's just really selling this.
The scene after Mike got away from him, where Sam started choking up as he admitted he thought they'd lost Mike, that was a bit much. I enjoyed the fight scene, though. Sam did better than that time in Season 2 he had to stop Mike from going to Carla for money.
I thought it was funny James told Sonya he had always admired her loyalty, when he was a second away from shooting her in the leg as a traitor last week. So he admires her loyalty, when he thinks she's loyal. Which suggests it's a load of crap.
I was still expecting (hoping?) for Management to make an appearance. The way Michael told James his job was to bring in the leader of the network, to bring in James, made me all the more certain that James isn't the leader. He's a cardboard cutout, like what they did with the Mandarin in Iron Man 3. But, I guess not.