Author of the book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, Barbara has published articles and short stories in collections like the Cup of Comfort series. Her first novel, The Elf Queen, is available from http://Amazon.com and Dragonfly Publishing; the sequel, The Elf Child, comes out in 2011. Also in 2011, Deliverance, a romance from TWRP. By day, a family law attorney, at night, parent to three special needs kids, and a constant novelist. Find out more at http://awalkabout.wordpress.comView all articles by barbara mountjoy
As the parabolic curve cycles through from the end of last season to the mid-point of season three, we know that that was then (when Michael Westen remembered how much he loved his "trigger-happy ex-girlfriend") and this is now (when he wants his old job back to the exclusion of all else.)
Fiona's dropped every hint short of a B-2 Bomber that if he doesn't get off this kick, she's leaving. Being a stubborn type, he ignores it. So she sells her car and gets packed to go.
Michael's singlemindedness, however, has paid off. His file has appeared on the desk of the Deputy Director for review. They're taking him seriously. So he's psyched. At the same time, Fiona comes round looking for a lost handgun, which Michael spends the next several scenes mooning over like a lovesick panda. Make up your mind already!
Of course, the crisis comes that forces him to do so: an "ultraradical bastard" from Ireland has crossed the Atlantic to capture Fi and raffle her off to the highest bidder. The terrorist, Thomas O'Neill (no, not the former Speaker of the House, Lipstick Jungle's Paul Blackthorne) shows up with a small army of guys to do the job, but Fiona's brother Sean (Gideon Emery, the voice of John Connor in the videogame version of Terminator Salvation) gets there first to warn Fiona.
Once Sean gets done complaining that Fiona's packed all her best weaponry, Michael appears, and is forced to resume his former identity as Irishman Michael McBride, which is how Sean remembers him. Michael goes into A-Team mode, and Sam finds a place for the pair to hide.
But this is Fiona.
Michael, meanwhile, is dealing with Tom Strickler, who's got his review all set up, but Michael is clearly distracted by his situation with Fiona. When Strickler shows up with the version of Michael's history he wants the burned spy to present to the Agency, Michael balks at the fact it's lies and evil lies at that, dealing with folk he doesn't even want his name associated with. Apparently it's time to decide what he's really willing to do to get the job back, after all.
Back to Fiona's situation. Michael goes with the standard A-Team plan, i.e., the best defense is a good offense, and poses as an American arms dealer (although Sean informs Michael his American accent is somewhat "dodgy") who offers to hand Fiona to O'Neill for the right price. Seems like the plan that usually works, but not this time. That's just about the point everything goes wrong, because there's a factor that Michael hasn't taken into consideration: weasels are always weasels.
There were nice parallels drawn in this episode between Michael's and Fiona's lives, as well as multiple avenues for Michael to explore his emotional attachment to people and places. The ending had various opportunities for cliffhangers, but didn't take the easy way out, which was refreshing.
It'll still be a long time till the second half of the season returns in January, so keep that Burning curiosity focused on how Michael is going to get out of this mess!
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