Monday, August 29, 2011

Burn Notice - The Enemy of My Enemy is... a Tool

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Burn Notice - (S05E06)

Michael and friends (and Mom) are standing around trying to figure out how someone got a double of Michael to buy the killer's burn phone. They are brainstorming on how to delay giving the footage to Pearce when Pearce calls with a 'high priority' job.

Michael shows up the next morning 'only 5 minutes early,' and Pearce is staking-out someone who is about to sell a stolen predator drone. Since they don't want someone in the agency doing this, Michael rattles off a shopping list for him to scale a hotel and break into the courier's room. He outsmarts the room's occupant, but learns that he's already sold the drone.

Back in Pearce's temp office, she's chewing out someone on the phone. Apparently, she's being put in an awkward situation about losing an asset. She had a past lover and future husband killed in the field for the bosses doing the same thing. Michael tries to sell Pearce on letting him try to get the stolen drone back and make progress on the murder at the same time. Apparently, she's hurting enough to do it.

Fiona, Sam, and Michael track the Serbians and decide they can't do it alone, so Michael decides to frame them as ripping off Carmelo, a big drug dealer in Miami. The plan involves leaving Sam as a witness to the caper, which Fiona is a bit skeptical of, but Sam agrees. Fi heads off to find a drug shipment to steal...

After warding off two girls who are way out of Sugar's league in a bar, Fiona presses him for information on where to find Carmelo's stash. Meanwhile, Sam and Michael meet with Pearce to run over the plan. Pearce is extremely doubtful, and makes Sam 'sign out' the listening gear for the operation. Pearce mentions the name Manaro, which Sam immediately recognizes. He explains to Michael his rocky past with him [this is a guy from The Fall of Sam Axe]. Michael stalls more on the video tape footage.

Michael, Sam, and Fi pull off perhaps the most boring robbery in history by shooting at the car filled with heroine to scaring off the occupants. Fiona burns a fake bullet graze into Sam's head and they leave him behind and tow off the car. A while later, the second biggest heroine dealer in Miami shows up to investigate. Carmelo finds Sam crawling out of the bushes. He beats the fake story out of him, but Carmelo thinks he's holding back, so he brings him along.

At the amazing drug mansion, Carmelo threaten to kill Sam, who convinces him that he needs him to help find the Serbs, who really stole his drugs. Jesse, Fiona, and Michael listen in from the loft and Jesse is doubtful, but understands why they need Carmelo's help to find and out-gun the new drone-owners. Michael needs Jesse to convince the Serbs they have a new enemy named Carmelo...
Photo by: David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Jesse stumbles up to the Serbians in a restaurant, pretending to be baked out of his head [does an amazing job]. After some gun pointing and impatience, Jesse explains that Carmelo is mad about things going in and out in his territory, and then is roughly escorted out. In the meantime, Fiona and Maddie go to the county clerk's office and swindle a woman with access to county records to do an illegal search. She tells then to come back on Saturday.

Carmelo, Sam, and the drug-crew show up the Serbians' place - a shipping yard. Michael shoots a cell phone out of a Serb's hand, which sets them into motion while Carmelo stops to 'think' right outside. The Serbs immediately start shooting at Carmelo's car. Carmelo grabs one of the Serbians in the gun fight and sends Michael and Fiona something new to worry about: blowing Sam's entire story by getting information from his new captive.

Listening in on more of happenings at the drug mansion, Fiona is going a bit nuts over Sam's danger level. Michael claims he can get agency support to help him since it's an agency operation. He heads to Pearce and requests an extraction option for Sam. Pearce opens a door to reveal the two CIA nerds Sam held at gun point in his last official operation for the US government. Michael has an argument with them, but doesn't get anything.

Back at the loft listening, Jesse, Michael, and Fiona hear Sam try to talk his way out of things. The Serbian mentioned stealing a weapon and storing it at a marina. Sam gets one chance to get the Serbian to spill the real information about the drugs. Maddie and Fi head back to the county office and gain entrance to the server room to do searches... [why the server room?] Good thing it was the server room since Fiona plugs in a laptop and runs facial recognition searches against Michael's face. Maddie and Fiona talk about Sam's predicament, while the software finds 86 matches.

Sam is trying to get more out of the Serbian, who isn't breaking at all. He finally says he can prove the guy is lying by going to his place. The Serbian spills his address, and Michael and Jesse must get the drugs and other evidence there in time. They grab guns plus blueberry yogurt and take Fi's car. They get Pearce on the phone to give them satellite guidance all the way there. Sam stalls them one final time on the way up. Carmelo finally believes Sam and decides to go after the Serbians' other hiding spot, but keeps him anyway. The Serbian gets 'taken care of' and Sam is still a prisoner.

Michael again argues with Sam's old enemies to use a real extraction team rather than the police. The two tools stand their ground and argue that Sam isn't one of theirs and not mission-critical. Michael claims he'll take care of it, and Pearce seems genuinely sorry [not the pitbull she pretended to be last episode]. 

Carmelo shows up at the marina and Michael swims in to extract Sam. Fiona and Jesse stay behind with rifles for distractions and cover. Carmelo blows his way in and finds the drone, not the drugs. Just after he turns back to question Sam, Michael shows up and Carmelo recounts their last encounter. Michael explains his options (with Jesse's bullets) to surrender or get turned over to the cops. Carmelo takes the surrender and claims he'll kill Michael next time he sees him.

At the debrief in the police parking lot, the two CIA tools don't want to make good on Michael's offer to let Carmelo off. Sam, Michael, and Pearce insult them into doing it. Sam keeps the CIA's listening glasses...

Meeting up with Fiona and Maddie, Michael gets double teamed into agreeing not to take so many risks. Michael gets the info on his double and tracks him down. He and Sam tail him to a gun buy where he's buying a Glock for... something...

Best Lines of the Episode
Fiona: "Alright, I'll go find us a heroine shipment."
Sam: "Well, you know what they say about guys who wear glasses - less likely to get shot in the face by heroine dealers."

New Spy Lessons
  •  "Tricking your enemy into bringing the wrong weapon and you've got the advantage."
  • "One of the most useful contacts in the criminal under world is the small-time drug dealer."
  • "The key to robbing an armed transport is to stop the vehicle without putting the guards on the defensive."

In short: Sam's a damn good actor and the dorks he threatens in Columbia are back. Pearce is a pushover. Michael's double is armed for the next challenge.

Predictions:  More questions in the murder case before any answers...
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