Monday, August 30, 2010

Burn Notice: Guilty as Charged... but still pleading not guilty

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Burn Notice

This week's episode was accompanied with the first ever live online drinking game coordinated through Twitter. partnered with @AndDrink to tweet out exactly when to drink. I was definitely tipsy by the end, so depending how you were playing (shots vs. sips), 32 drinks later it was a good episode no matter what happened. Let us know if you liked it or would like AndDrink to do this with other TV shows. Also, we're taking suggestions for the rules of the Burn Notice Drinking Game, so don't be shy.

This week's episode opens with a review of the trouble Michael and gang have dug themselves into. A recap reminds us they've brought the 'biggest bad ever' (allegedly) to town and they've been outed to Jesse to appear more as foes than friends. Michael heads off to talk to John Barrett and set up a meeting to give him the Bible. It seems like Mike is trying to 'level up' again and tries to lobby for Barrett to give him a job. Michael meets with Vaughn to update him (and for some reason they re-introduce him with a text overlay...) where he learns Jesse popped up as a threat by digging into the 'intelligence community.' Michael covers for him with Vaughn and moves on with the plan: double cross Vaughn and capture Barrett.

Just as the plan appears to be a done deal and ready to be executed, a top defense attorney becomes a client (well, technically his five-year-old daughter is the client...) when his daughter is kidnapped. Being blackmailed by a client's brother, the attorney hires Michael to get her back. After some fake 'scoping out,' Sam and Fi tail the kidnappers back to where their headquarters is located. They tag the cars and then track those to where they're keeping the girl. With all this instant success, it feels like things are going a bit too smoothly... Jesse is spotted watching the little performance and speeds away before Fi can talk to him.

Sam reasons where the girl is being kept from the trackers on the cars, while Fi is apparently out looking for Jesse. Now comes the best part of the episode where the trio secures a submersible to use for a surprise for the kidnappers while going in after the girl. Michael gets to meet with Vaughn again (why???) and reassures him again (second time in twenty minutes...) that Jesse isn't a problem, even though Vaughn found where Jesse was staying. After Fi confesses to kissing Jesse for cover, Michael executes the plan to rescue the girl. Michael gets ambushed after the bad guys overheard the plan on her father's ex-wife's tapped phone line. After the failed attempt (with disappointingly no submarine footage), Michael cuts a deal with the bad guys to trade the girl for the kidnapper's now-imprisoned brother.

After chewing out the lawyer for screwing things up, Sam and Michael negotiate more gang help in the form of a foot soldier for the next plan. In the meantime, Michael's mom and Fi stakeout Jesse's place to talk. Fi tries the friend card and explains how and why they became friends, but Jesse drops the f-bomb (bleeped) and stays pissed. Michael's mom tells Jesse about Mike's current client and they give him a place to met up with Michael to talk.

Sam and Michael create a fake prison transport van complete with fake guard (cartel member) while Fi kidnaps the dick valet that she had to distract earlier at the kidnappers headquarters (ironically). Michael plays host to the kidnapper as they watch the fake break-out of his brother. After explaining and using a traffic light 'changer,' the charade runs like clockwork and they move on to exchange. Michael grabs the girls as Fi and Sam take out the kidnapper's helpers. They get away, but sloppily as they have to dodge more bullets than normal. After returning the kid, Mike keeps the submarine as payment... awesome.

Jesse takes the invite and shows up to see Michael. They exchange unfriendly words and Jesse doesn't commit to anything, and declines to help with Barrett. The trio decides to run the meet with significant risk to Michael. Barrett shows and Michael learns that Simon's Bible was his insurance policy against the people who burned him and Michael, a list of names encrypted with a book code. He wanted Michael to deliver it to Barrett so Barrett could go after Simon's enemies. Right after this explanation, a team shows up to fight Barrett's team and apparently capture him. It turns out to be Vaughn and friends which puts Michael in a bad place. Jesse shows up and appears to shoot Michael through the chest, but actually nails the guy behind him. Barrett then saves Michael and appears to drive them both to safety. Barrett still thinks Michael set him up and threatens to torture him. Running out of time (and blood), Michael grabs the steering wheel and flips the SUV they were getting away in. The episode ends with someone in boots picking up the case with the Bible, the code, and the list of information they decrypted. My money's on Jesse... (and exactly zero preview scenes from the next episode...)

Joke of the episode: After the member of a drug cartel unloads the submersible, Sam asks "So do we need to sign anything or... the keys are in it?"

New Rules to Remember: "You can learn a lot from patterns of movement... A spy can examine vehicle tails to find out where a target lives, does business, and hides the things he doesn't want found." & "Shooting through a friendly to hit a target is a tricky thing to put off." -Agreed.
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