We open in an unhappy place – Fi has packed up most of her small arms (not to mention medium-sized arms and personal belongings) as she prepares to leave Miami and Michael to go home to Ireland.
Unfortunately her brother Sean (who met Michael when he was undercover in Ireland and still doesn’t know he’s an American called Westen, not a republican called Michael McBride) arrives from home with the news that a hardliner called Thomas O’Neill is in Miami to kill Fi. Cue lots of Irish accents, explosions and Fi not liking being The Client.
In other news Diego tells Michael his case is being reviewed by some regional experts – in Diego’s view it’s a waste of time – while Strickler wants Michael to lie about what he was doing in Africa and sell a story about helping a Somali warlord. Michael is not happy about this and becomes even more unhappy with Strickler when (highlight for spoiler) he tells O’Neill where to find Fi so she can be sent back to Ireland for a painful and violent death. Personally, I was quite happy with Michael’s countermove here…
Long Way Back highlights and spoilers:
- Both Fi and Michael are right about the situation. Fi: “If you didn’t see this coming, then you weren’t paying attention. You’re too worried about your own future for there to be one for us. ” Michael: “I’m not doing this for me. Fiona, I’m out in the cold and the longer I stay there the more I endanger everyone in my life.”
- Most of us get hung-up on a loved one’s stuff when there’s a break-up – we press noses to their shirts for a whiff of perfume or cologne or fondle a watch or a piece of jewellery. For Michael it’s Fi’s .45 handgun that’s tugging at his heartstrings…
- Sean complaining that Fiona has lost her Irish accent (he’s on his own with that).
- Fi knows someone who can deliver big guns, in the same way you and I know someone who can deliver Chinese takeaway.
- Sean is even more trigger-happy than Fi and succeeds in making her look level-headed in comparison.
- Fi may be a gun-runner, but she has principles and prevented O’Neill blowing up a prep school – he’s had her in his sights ever since.
- I love that Maddy introduces Sam and Michael as if they were ten-year-olds making airfix models at the kitchen table (“Boys, this is Tiffany) rather than grown men poring over a bomber’s Interpol file with hand guns stuck in their waistbands.
- Sam to Mike, just after Maddy’s announced she’s thinking of selling the family home: “It’s okay if your head is spinning. I mean, first it’s your girl, now it’s your childhood home.” Michael: “I never liked that house.” Sam: “Yeah, but you like Fiona right?”
- Poor Sam paying the price for Fiona not keeping her head down and letting Michael do the finding of O’Neill. The sight of that gorgeous car plummeting from the rooftop to save her is a little bit heartbreaking even if you’re just a viewer.
- When Michael demonstrates to Sean that he’ll be okay ‘undercover’ as an American, Sean’s response: “Dunno, your accent’s a bit …dodgy.”
- If we hadn’t already understood exactly how much Michael needs to work with people he trusts (ie Sam and Fi), the moment where Sean nearly gets Mike killed by not turning off his laser sight drives the point firmly home.
- Michael and his boxes of model aeroplanes and guns. Bless.
- The proper shock of O’Neill turning up at the safe house, knocking out Michael and kidnapping Fi.
- Strickler is even nastier than we thought. He deserves everything he gets.
- Even when punched in the mouth by O’Neill, Fi has the gall to tell him that he ‘hits like a girl’.
This exchange before they go in guns blazing. Mike: “Sam, if anything happens to me…” Sam: “Oh I’m finishing this brother. I’m getting Fi out of there no matter what…. Just don’t ever tell her I said that.”
- The last twist – someone’s in town clearing up behind Strickler. They’ve killed Diego and they have Michael in their sights. I’m so glad we don’t have mid-season breaks like the US…
Posted by Jo the Hat