Season 1 - Episode 3: Identity

Episode 3: Identity

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Ex-spy Michael Westen continues his investigation into why his career was suddenly ended. He discovers that his motherMadeline has been interrogated by two mysterious men. However, she refuses to reveal all until Michael agrees to do her a favour in return.

Westen pays his mother a visit to ask if she remembers seeing anything strange in the neighbourhood. Madeline is initially reticent, but then offhandedly reveals that two men had been taking pictures outside. Westen is incredulous as his mother reveals that she asked them in for coffee. “I made them devilled egg sandwiches. They were in some sort of... government something,” she says, casually. As Madeline reveals that she left one of the men alone in the house, Westen’s eyes fall on a plug socket. The house has been bugged.

Certain that the people listening in must be close by, Westen rushes to an empty property on the same street. He kicks down the door to be greeted by the smell of burning. “Once your surveillants know you're on to them, the clock starts ticking. The question for them is whether they can destroy their equipment and get out on time,” he says. But Westen is too late. To add to his problems, his mother makes it clear that she will not be revealing any more about the visitors unless Westen helps her friend, Laura.

Forced to comply with Madeline’s emotional blackmail, Westen reluctantly calls at Laura’s house. The door is opened by a bruised elderly lady with her arm in plaster. After responding to a scam letter telling her she had won a prize, Laura became suspicious. She alerted the police, but was subsequently beaten by the con artists. “I checked my bank account, it’s all gone. It’s all I had,” she reveals. Westen softens, but with very little information to go on, he is less than optimistic about solving the case.

Enlisting Sam and Fiona to help, Westen traces the con artists. He reinvents himself as a criminal New Yorker on the run from the law, and sets about ingratiating himself with the fraudsters’ leader, Quentin. Meanwhile, Fiona and Sam set up a ruse to make Quentin believe that his two young apprentices, Bonnie and Greg, are about to sell him out.

Westen hopes that the fake betrayal will make Quentin so paranoid that he will trust only him. However, things do not go quite to plan. Westen gets a phone call from an irate Quentin, who has uncovered Sam’s trick much earlier than planned. "You've been in the business way too long when you recognise the sound of a .45 calibre over a phone,” says Westen. He frantically figures out a way to keep the young con artists safe from Quentin, who is now in a homicidal frenzy.

Angry at Fiona and Sam for messing up, and with a suspicious Quentin refusing to take his calls, Westen struggles to get the con artist back on side. Now mad with paranoia and under self-imposed house arrest, he volunteers his bank account details to Westen in the hope that he will hire a hit man to dispatch Bonnie and Greg. Seizing the opportunity, Westen wires the money to Quentin’s elderly victims instead. He also has an original plan for keeping the murderous crook off his back. When the case is finally closed, Westen’s mother makes good on her promise and drops a bombshell that sends his investigation in a new direction.

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