Michael Westen was in his loft training with Fiona who was characteristically slamming him with her passive-aggressive anger over not being able to manipulate him into giving up the spy business, when a “secret Santa” left a gift basket on his stairs. Seeing the gift basket he observed: “two days’ worth of yogurt,” and Fiona nagged "the most you’ve ever been paid for a job.” The gift card simply said: “A Friend” and gave a time. As customary, M arrived early to the meeting and sat down to scout the area when the guy at the next table, Tom Strickler, said “Hi” and acknowledged his skill at choosing scouting locations. He claimed to be an “agent” of sorts for spies, who merely wanted to take advantage of the “synergies” in MWs normal “surviving skills” in Miami – for a 10% cut. For example, he explained, an old enemy of Ms (A Ukrainian upset about a deal that M did in the ‘90s) was coming to town to kill M. The synergy came because the killer himself had enemies who would pay if Strickler took credit for the deed when M inevitably took him down. Sort of: “the enemy of your enemy is a business opportunity.” M refused saying that he wasn’t a killer for hire, and Strickler left advising "call me." Back at the loft, Fiona pointed M toward a guy who went by the name of “Beck,” who had become highly connected, for a Miami hustler who didn’t speak Russian, by hijacking cargo for high placed Ukrainian’s. She had “intercepted” a couple of his shipments of P-90s, so M was on his own to make contact. Also, Sam called to say that Madeline had received some new curtains from a guy named Tom Strickler. M had to explain that Strickler was sort of like the guy who had contacted Sam in the ‘80s to “accidentally” blow up a bridge during one of his operations. Further, as usual, Madeline put the bite on Sam for “blowing up my house” to buy her some new curtain rods.
M approached Beck directly at a restaurant and was told “No." Beck said that he had acquaintances, associates and enemies but not “friends.” So M told him about his diverted shipment of P-90s and said that he could get it to stop, which made Beck angry; just as an extraction team stormed in with guns and flash grenades. M took a photo of the men, called Fiona and left his phone with his glasses in a plant. The men took both him and Beck because they were together. Beck yabbered about having the “wrong guy,” which was making him dispensable enough to kill, so M spoke Russian and got them to take them both to Chechik. Fiona found Ms phone and glasses in the plant and decided that she and Sam needed to go find Strickler. Two hours in a truck into the everglades M escaped with Beck who managed to obtain a gun from a guard and was pissed at M. Madeline played her one-trick-pony character by being obstructionistic with Sam about his leaving, until Fiona came and finally told her that M had been captured. With ash flipping off her ever present cigarette she threatened Sam that "you better call me or as God is my witness I will smother you in your sleep.” Strickler recognized the photo that M took as being of "Vlad B-something” who he knew worked for Pyotr Chechik. At the point of Fiona’s gun, Strickler immediately made calls to pilots who may have smuggled Chechik into the states.
As they ran through the swamp with Vlad chasing them, M began to leave a trail in order to keep the guys following them into a trap. Just like Madeline does all the time, Beck followed along behind M pissing and moaning all the way saying: "I grew up in the Mangrove swamp and fought to get out, now I'm not going back in." Fiona and Sam found the pilot who had smuggled in Chechik and Madeline demanded that they bring him to her house because it was closer. Then when neither Fiona or Sam could get the guy to talk, Madeline went in with cigarettes and was able to scare him into telling her the coordinates where Chechik had been dropped off in the swamp. M set up an ambush for Vlad, only obtaining Beck’s cooperation by taking the gun away from him and knocking him down. When Vlad got close, he split up his men and M was able to jump on him from a tree. Vlad however quickly subdued M and Beck had to help give M the advantage. M kept Beck from killing Vlad but said "you can hit him again if you want." The fight ruined Vlad’s knee. Wounded, Vlad called in Chechik who came in an air boat with more men. Vlad said he couldn't run with them because of his bad knee so Chechik shot and killed him. Observing from a distance, M told Beck "that's Chechik!" Sam and Fiona bribed a man to rent his air boat and came to coordinates they were given -- which amazingly, just happened to be exactly where M had the forethought to lead Vlad!
Beck acted like an idiot yet again and tried to wave down Chechik to give him M. Chechik shot him in the leg and now knew their position. M tried to haul him to safety but couldn't so they decided upon a ruse. Beck was left behind on the beach and when Chechik came finagled a promise not to kill him if he told where M had gone. Chechik agreed but then gave orders to his man in Russian to kill Beck; however, before the guy could do it, Fiona and Sam showed up and got the drop on the guard. M drew Chechik deeper into the swamp and booby-trapped a river crossing. After verbally sparring with him over the phone, then blowing up some of his men in the river, M captured Chechik at knifepoint. As he was being loaded into one of Beck's trucks, Chechik still threatened M with revenge from his boss, ex-KGB Fedor Markov. Markov, however, just happened to be an underling of one of Beck’s long time associates which immediately made Chechik want to bargain. Beck refused to negotiate for his silence and took the gang away. He then told Fiona that he wanted his P-90s back and M said he’d see that he got them. Beck then told M “you said you were a good friend to have… I could do worse.” Fiona gave M back his sunglasses that she retrieved from the restaurant. Madeline told M that her new drapes had been hung by "your nice friend Strickler." She also said "don't mess them up when you're sweeping them for bugs.” M refused the payment from Strickler that he had gotten from some Baltic Separatists who wanted Chechik out of the picture. He said that he was not a mercenary and was never going to work with him. Strickler said "OK, what does a burned spy want? Think about it and I’ll be around."