Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Burn Notice - Army of One...

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Burn Notice (S05E10)

In short: Jesse's massive security gig brings back rule #1: build a bomb, and Max's killer is now in sight.

Recap & Remarks: Wow, they do a recap of Michael's story line up to this point to start things off. Jump to Sam and Michael at the suspected residence of Max's killer. Cutting a speaker out of the Charger, Michael tapes it to the alarm sensor on a door leading into the guy's house. Sam trips a pressure plate, and the duo walk into a burning room. They chase him out the back and he makes it to a truck and takes off.

Getting patched up back in the loft, Fiona complains about missing the action. Sam knows a guy who might be able to partially recover data off of a burnt computer they dug out of the aftermath, but he promised Jesse he'd help in a security gig. Somehow, Pearce found out about the warehouse fire and is headed there to investigate... [start sweating Michael].  Michael switches to help out Jesse and the trio agrees to go 'radio silent' and not make any phone calls until something changes and they determine how Pearce is getting her information.

At the warehouse, Pearce demands to see all Michael's files and has connected a gun there to Lucien's killing [end of last episode]. He tries to stall, but she wants them ASAP.

Meeting up with Jesse, Michael gets the run down on his fake computer hacker role.  Jesse also slips in the fact that he needs Michael's mom to take some surveillance photos for him, which he isn't pleased about.

Sam meets up with Dixon, his computer forensics friend, who is still holding a grudge against Sam for tasing him in the past. As the argument drags on through a closed front door, Fiona picks the lock on the back door and tases Dixon.... again. They drag him off and head to his lab.

In the car with Madeline, Michael and Jesse run over the plan. They spot Holcomb, the guy running the 'project' they're trying to infiltrate. Maddie stays in the car to take pictures and Michael heads over to Holcomb and starts up his character. Michael gets an uneasy feeling heading into a building at the airport. Asking questions, he learns they are taking a billionaire hostage, and then Michael is supposed to empty his bank accounts. As Holcomb and crew round up the airport workers at gun point, they also grab Maddie out of the Charger and bring her inside. Holcomb threatens the group with a grenade if they don't cooperate.

After moving the hostages into a conference room, Holcomb is convinced by Michael to let him take roll of all the airport personnel, ensuring that they didn't miss anyone who might call the cops. He enlists his mom's help to keep people calm, and then plants a fake name on the list. He raises hell until they let him and another crony go and check out the hangar Michael's fake guy is supposed to work in. He ditches him long enough to call Jesse and update him. Then, Michael follows rule #1 of Burn Notice and BUILDS A BOMB [I'm pretty sure this is the first time rule #1 has been used correctly this season... and it took all the way until episode 10!].

Michael's bomb convinces Holcomb and friends that there's someone at the airport they missed. The gang heads outside and Michael shoots one of the guards in the leg with a makeshift gun, claiming the shot came from the roof of a far-off building. Jesse has completed his hole in the fence as the hostage escape route. He then heads off to keep the plane (that Holcomb and crew are waiting for) from landing.

Michael puts the fear of a special-forces-trained vigilante on the loose into Holcomb and friends before convincing them to head off and start a manhunt. Holcomb insists on leaving a guard with Michael and the hostages. Meanwhile, Jesse pretends to be an FBI agent at air traffic control and bulldozes an air traffic controller into rerouting the plane.

Fiona and Sam get to Dixon's lab and discover he has an ankle bracelet on and is (was) under house arrest. Sam agrees to call in a favor with the authorities to handle that issue later, while Fiona uses the speaker wire in her car to create an electromagnet. Shen then tapes the ankle bracelet to it, which apparently interferes with the wireless signal [I wouldn't count on that to keep me out of jail].

Photo by: Robert Zuckerman/USA Network
The game of manhunt is getting boring and Maddie has to calm the hostages. She helps Michael create a distraction and knock out his babysitter. He leads the hostages outside, but is too late to get them to the fence. He has to blow up an airplane just to get everyone back under cover without being seen. Michael heads back into the hostage room and makes it look like they were attacked. Holcomb buys the story.. at first. However, when he hears that the plan has been diverted, he immediately suspects Michael and the fictitious saboteur are working together, and puts a gun to his head to show his support of the theory. Dragging Michael outside, Holcomb is ready to kill him over the betrayal. Michael convinces him to give up his getaway plan in exchange for killing all the hostages.

Sam and Fiona find Dixon's lab crawling with cops, so she heads back to her car and 'unblocks' Dixon's ankle bracelet. Fiona leads the cops away while Sam and Dixon head into the lab.

In the warehouse, the hostages reason their way into wanting to surrender to the bad guys, but Maddie convinces them they'll get killed if they do. Michael comes in with Holcomb's "number 2 in charge" behind him. He seems to not fall for Michael's tricks and insists on staying behind him the entire time. One of the frantic hostages blows Michael's cover as she asks Maddie why her son is holding a gun. Michael is forced to put his gun down, and actually gets into a hand-to-hand fight with this one remaining bad guy, but the bad guy wins [which doesn't happen often]. Amazingly, Maddie comes out swinging and nails the guy in the back of the head, saving Michael from getting shot in the face. 

Michael borrows some of bad guy's blood to get in the character of a fatally wounded guy, and then somehow convinces Holcomb to relinquish his grenade in favor of a suicide plan to kill everyone after they escape. Holcomb and crew head out, and then Michael detonates the grenade safely amidst furniture. Holcomb heads back to his hiding spot, only to find a plethora of cops waiting for him. 

At the loft, Fiona shows up with a thumb drive and a name for Max's killer. Michael still has to give his files to Pearce though, putting a time limit on them finding the killer. He heads back to the warehouse and drops them off. Pearce shares a strange motivational technique with Michael, causing a massive wave of guilt to flood over him about the information he's been keeping from her. It all ends soon.

Best Lines of the Episode
Michael:  "The ironic thing about infiltrating a group of criminals is that the only way to successfully be accepted is to actually be helpful."

New Spy Lessons
  • In any search and capture operation, you have to balance speed with planning.
  • There's a cold math to hostage taking. Once someone dies, things get worse quickly... The key is keeping that first person alive.
  • When you need to get into a facility guarded by police, you have 3 options: you can go through them, you can go around them, or you can give them a reason to leave.
Predictions: Next episode: the killer.
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