Edit

(TV Series)

(2007)

Quotes

Michael Westen: [voice-over] For a job like getting rid of the drug dealer next door, I'll take a hardware store over a gun any day. Guns make you stupid; better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

Michael Westen: [voice-over] Figuring out if a car is tailing you is mostly about driving like you're an idiot. You speed up, slow down, signal one way, turn the other. Of course, ideally, you're doing this without your mother in the car... Actually, losing a tail isn't about driving fast. A high-speed pursuit is just gonna land you on the six o'clock news. So you just keep driving like an idiot until the other guy makes a mistake. Again, all this is easier without a passenger yelling at you for missing a decades worth of Thanksgivings.

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[first lines]

Michael Westen: [voice-over] Covert intelligence involves a lot of waiting around. Know what it's like being a spy? Like sitting in your dentist's reception area twenty-four hours a day. You read magazines, sip coffee, and every so often, someone tries to kill you.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Sometimes the truth hurts. In these situations, I recommend lying.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] In a fight, you have to be careful not to break the little bones in your hand on someone's face. That's why I like bathrooms... lots of hard surfaces.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Southern Nigeria isn't my favorite place in the world. It's unstable, it's corrupt, and the people there eat a lot of terrible-smelling preserved fish. I will say this for Nigeria, though: it's the gun-running capital of Africa. And that makes it a bad place to drive a passenger sedan into a crowded market.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] If you're gonna collapse on a plane, I recommend business class. The seats are bigger if you start convulsing. Although once you pass out, it really doesn't matter.

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Michael Westen: Yeah, it's just better if my mother and I aren't in the same hemisphere.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Spend a few years as a covert operative and a sunny beach just looks like a vulnerable tactical position with no decent cover... I've never found a good way to hide a gun in a bathing suit.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] When you're being watched, what you need is contrast. A background that will make the surveillance stand out. An FBI field office is full of guys in their forties. At most South Beach business hotels, it would be tough to tell which middle-aged white guy was watching you. So you stay in the place where everyone is a Jell-O shot away from alcohol poisoning. If you see someone who can walk a straight line, that's the Fed.

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Michael Westen: [Answering his cell phone warily] Hello?

Madeline Westen: Michael?

Michael Westen: [surprised] Mom?

Michael Westen: [narrating] My mom would've been a great NSA communications operative.

Michael Westen: How did you get this number?

Madeline Westen: That's how you greet your mother? I got it from your girlfriend, Fiona.

Michael Westen: Mom, what do you want?

Madeline Westen: Were you going to come and see me?

Michael Westen: I'm not going to be in town that long, so I can't.

Madeline Westen: Well, come now then, you can drive me to the doctor.

Michael Westen: I don't even have a car, so...

Madeline Westen: Yeah, well, you'll figure something out.

[hangs up]

Michael Westen: [narrating] Drop me in the middle of the Gobi Desert, bury me in a goddamn cave on the *moon*, and somehow, she'd find a way to call me and ask me for a favor.

[Michael screams into a pillow]

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] I don't like stealing cars, but sometimes it's necessary. I have rules, though: I'll keep it clean, and if I take your car on a workday, I'll have it back by five.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Sleep through an aerial bombing or two, and noise isn't an issue. You just need some privacy and a bed. In a pinch, you can lose the bed. But the privacy's important for projects like this one. With everyone X-raying and chemical testing their mail these days, a box of wire and pipe and batteries sprinkled with chemical fertilizer is a great attention-getter.

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Madeline Westen: You know, you missed your father's funeral. By eight years.

Michael Westen: The last time I talked to him, he said, "I'll see you in Hell, boy," so I figured we had something on the books.

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[Michael tries to walk past drug dealer Sugar, who grabs by his side. Michael doubles over in pain]

Michael Westen: [narrating] It doesn't matter how much training you have; a broken rib is a broken rib.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Whether you're a coke dealer, a thief, an arms dealer, or a spy, you need someone to clean your money. Which makes a good money launderer the closest thing you can get to a Yellow Pages for criminals.

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Sugar: What's your problem?

Michael Westen: My problem right now is that a pretty-boy drug dealer with a bad dye job is standing in my way.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] I never run around in the bushes in a ski mask when I'm breaking in someplace. Somebody catches you, what are you gonna say? You want to look like a legitimate visitor until the very last minute. If you can't look legit, confused works almost as well. Maybe you get a soda from the fridge, or a yogurt. If you get caught, you just look confused and apologize like crazy for taking the yogurt - nothing could be more innocent... Cracking an old-school safe is pretty tough, but modern hi-tech security makes it much easier. Thing is, nobody wipes off a fingerprint scanner after they use it. So what's left on the scanner nine times out of ten is the fingerprint.

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Walter: I do have some Greco-Roman nude wrestling statues you might like to take a look at.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Fighting for the little guy is for suckers. We all do it once in a while, but the trick is to get in and out quickly, without getting involved. That's one trick I never really mastered.

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Michael Westen: [to Vince] Does that shirt come in men's?

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Powerful people don't like being pushed around. You can never quite predict what they're going to do. Or have their washed-out special forces secuity guys do. Point is, blackmail is a little like owning a pit bull; it might protect you, or it might bite your hand off. That's why it pays to make sure you know what they're thinking, and that means - eavesdropping.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] To build a listening device, you need a crappy phone with a mike that picks up everything. But you want the battery power and circuits of a better phone. It's a trick you learn when the purchasing office won't spring for a bug.

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Michael Westen: Listen, Fi, there's a few things I'm good at: tactical analysis, hand-to-hand combat, and I'm a decent cook. But relationships... they're just not my thing. They never were.

Fiona Glenanne: Well, now you're in Miami. Get yourself a 24-year-old with big fake tits.

Michael Westen: They bore me.

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[Having disarmed and knocked out a thug sent by drug dealer Sugar to ambush them, Fiona hands the thug's gun to Michael]

Fiona Glenanne: You really ought to do something about your neighbors.

Michael Westen: I know, I know.

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Sugar: [responding to Michael knocking on his door] Who's there?

Michael Westen: Hi! It's your neighbor!

Michael Westen: [narrating] Every decent punk has a bulletproof door. But people forget walls are just plaster.

[Michael aims a handgun and homemade silencer at marked-out spots on the wall and fires]

Michael Westen: [narrating] Hopefully you get him with the first shot.

[Michael fires again. Sugar screams in pain]

Michael Westen: [narrating] Or the second.

Sugar: [inside, aiming a gun at the door] Come on inside!

Michael Westen: [narrating] Now he's down and waiting for you to come through the front door. So you don't come through the front door.

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Sam Axe: Don't worry about him. I told him I'd give him fifty bucks to punch me in the face. That's all he had to hear.

Michael Westen: Yeah, I'd do it for twenty.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] People with happy families don't become spies. A bad childhood is the perfect background for covert ops. You don't trust anyone, you're used to getting smacked around, and you never get homesick.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Thirty years of karate, combat experience on five continents, a rating with every weapon that shoots a bullet or holds an edge... still haven't found any defense against Mom crying into my shirt.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Airbags save a lot of lives. But they also put you out long enough to get your hands cable-tied to the steering wheel.

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Michael Westen: [to his client's son David, who's getting bullied at school] All right. They key to fighting a group is taking out its leader. Take out its leader, oh, they'll all leave you alone. It's bully psychology. Works with third-world military units as well. When I was in Afghanistan - never mind that.

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Agent Harris: FBI? You got the wrong idea, pal.

Michael Westen: Ford outside has G-series plates, you got fast-draw holsters, off-the-rack suits, and cheap loafers. No, you guys are Feds.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] When you work solo, it's about prepping the ground. Home-court advantage counts for a lot. You never know what's going to happen. You prepare for everything... Most bad guys expect you to just sit there and wait for them, like those are the *rules* or something.

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Michael Westen: By the way, Vince, you're going to have a hard time blowing my brains out with the safety on.

[they struggle; the gun fires]

Michael Westen: Whoa! Hey, the safety was off! Well, what do you know? My mistake.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] If you're going to put prints on a gun, sticking it into somebody's hand isn't going to do it. Any decent lawyer can explain prints on a gun. But try explaining prints on the inside of the trigger assembly.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] As a spy, it doesn't matter if you're helping rebel forces fight off a dictator, or giving combat tips to a third-grader. There's nothing like helping the little guy kick some bully's ass.

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Fiona Glenanne: A spy is just a criminal with a government paycheck.

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Michael Westen: [riding in the backseat of a car between two henchmen] You know, Mercedes makes an S.U.V. now. Big back seat. It's great. Surprisingly affordable too.

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[Michael sees two FBI agents in an unmarked car assigned to keep tabs on him and motions to two boys nearby on skateboards]

Michael Westen: Kids, come here. See that cop?

[points to a patrol cop on a bicycle]

Michael Westen: I'll give you guys five bucks each if you go over and tell him that a man in that car over there tried to make you sit on his lap. Can you do that?

Skateboarder: Make it ten bucks each.

Michael Westen: [surprised] Fifteen, but you split it. All right, for fifteen, I want tears.

Skateboarder: All right, dawg.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] Need to go someplace you're not wanted? Any uniform store will sell you a messenger outfit, and any messenger can get past a security desk.

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Michael Westen: I assume you got word about my situation?

Sam Axe: You know spies. Bunch of bitchy little girls. Good news for you, I'm a drunk and a washout already, so I can talk to whoever I want, burned or no.

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Michael Westen: [voice-over] With this much money, things get complicated. Change a light bulb in a place like this, and a week later you're on a speedboat in the Cayman Islands with someone shooting at you.

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Mr. Pyne: Uh, what - what are you exactly, Mr Westen? A private detective?

Michael Westen: Oh no, I wish! Nothing that official. No, I'm just a friend of a friend in town for a while. You know, I thought I'd see if I could help.

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Oleg: The real Michael Westen, yes?

Michael Westen: Yeah.

Oleg: Back home, your story Russian Intelligence tells to scare. They say you are one name for many people. Special Operations team. They think one person cannot make so much problems.

Michael Westen: Nope. Just me.

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Michael Westen: Working hard?

Sam Axe: Tanning is an art and a science, Mike.

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[Michael is talking on his cellphone to Sam]

Sam Axe: You'll like this. I found out Vince is calling his Army buddies, trying to find out who you are.

Michael Westen: [laughing] Yeah, good luck with that. I don't even know.

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[last lines]

Michael Westen: [narrating] There's nothing worse for a spook than knowing you're being played. Someone is pulling strings. Who? Not some intelligence agency bureaucrat in a cubicle. This is someone with more... style. Not FBI either; they're not this creative and they don't do surveillance on their own guys. This is someone who knows what he's doing. Someone who wants to send a message: "Welcome to Miami."

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Abednego: [to other gun-toting thug, about Michael Westen, who's sitting between them] C.I.A.

Michael Westen: [narrating] What do you say to that, "No?" Explain that a lot of spies don't work directly for the C.I.A.? Lot of good that'll do.

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Michael Westen: We'll see what we can do.

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Michael Westen: [narrating] Once somebody sends a guy with a gun after you, things are only going to get worse. But like it or not, you've got work to do. For a job like getting rid of the drug dealer next door, I'll take a hardware store over a gun any day. Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

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Boris: Welcome, Mr. CIA.

Michael Westen: No, no, no, I don't work for anybody directly. That's why I get to do stuff like give you $750,000 to stop blowing up oil refineries.

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[Michael calls his contact to complete the deal to pay Boris $750,000]

Michael Westen: Yes, I have the wire-transfer information. The ABA number is 0210010175...

CIA Contact: It's off. We got a burn notice on you. You're blacklisted.

Michael Westen: Excuse me?

CIA Contact: I'm sorry.

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[Michael lies unconscious in a motel room bed. Impatient for him to wake up, Fiona, sitting nearby, kicks him. He comes to with a moan]

Fiona Glenanne: You're a lucky man. That many bruises, anyone would think you fell under a truck.

Michael Westen: Fiona, what are you doing here?

Fiona Glenanne: You've been out for a couple of days. The maid got curious, went through your stuff. You still have me in your wallet as your emergency contact. You take that out when you leave someone, you know.

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Michael Westen: I'm flattered you came,

Fiona Glenanne: Don't be. I needed to get out of New York anyway. Old associates were sniffin' around. And I wanted to try someplace sunny. And it sounded like you might die. So I - I wanted to be there, at the end... to tell you what a bastard you were.

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Fiona Glenanne: [sweetly] Oh, I called your mom.

Michael Westen: [alarmed] My mother?

Fiona Glenanne: Yeah, yeah, we had a lovely chat, She's thrilled you're home for Christmas.

Michael Westen: Home? I'm not home. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm gonna - I'm gonna go.

Fiona Glenanne: Leavin'? Yeah, you're good at that.

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Michael Westen: [noticing an FBI surveillance team] Fi, why don't you go run interference for me?

[seeing Fi's facial expression]

Michael Westen: Please, Fi. Come on. Make one of those scenes of yours, you know? Bite one of 'em. Set the other on fire. Just do it in about ten minutes. I need to clean up.

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Michael Westen: [voiceover] Most people would be thrilled to be dumped in Miami. Sadly, I am not most people. Spend a few years as a covert operative, and a sunny beach just looks like a vulnerable tactical position with no decent cover.

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Michael Westen: Just so we're clear, you want me to figure out who ran off with $22 million in stuff, catch the bad guys, clear your name, all for what is it, uh, $4,500?

Javier: 4,600.

Michael Westen: [sarcastically] Oh, well, that's much better.

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Michael Westen: [narrating] Even better, a money launderer will always take your phone call, burn notice or no burn notice.

Barry: Good to see you. Heard about your troubles, so sorry.

Michael Westen: Well, I'm working on it. Thanks for coming, Barry.

Barry: I'm in a service industry, it's what I do, I help.

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Barry: So, what do you need?

Michael Westen: An art dealer.

Barry: No, no, no, no. Art's a bad place to park money these days. I.R.S. is all over the place, plus some schmuck in New York says the wrong thing, you take a bath. How about stamps? Nice and portable, liquidity's better. Or coins? I got this guy that does coins, all cash...

Michael Westen: Has to be art. I'm looking for a piece that's not on the regular market.

Barry: Hot paintings? I might know someone... uh, nobody gets hurt?

Michael Westen: Nobody you care about.

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Sam Axe: [re: Fiona] You sure this is a good idea, you hooking up with her again?

Michael Westen: Okay, I'm not hooking up with her. I'm not, all right? I need her for tactical support.

Sam Axe: [laughs] Is that what they're calling it these days? "Tactical support"?

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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