Sunday, September 4, 2011

Burn Notice - Hard Out...

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Burn Notice

Analyzing the boat bomb Michael found last episode, Fiona calls Michael's new enemy a master [bad sign]. Fiona convinces Michael to use her ex-boyfriend to get some info on the bomber. Fast-forward to lunch with Madeline - apparently it's a double date with her new boyfriend on a glass-bottom boat. They never ever get there [a shame too, glass-bottoms boats are very entertaining] as motorcycles start tailing them. It ends up in a trap, and Fiona voluntarily riding off on one of the bikes, claiming it's her contact's [really ex-boyfriend's] style. At the airport in front of a Lamborghini, Armand offers Fiona free help discovering the bomber's I.D., for only one small favor: he wants Fiona to steal a truckload of armor piercing rounds. She walks away not very happy...
Photo by: David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Back at the loft, Sam's freaking out over stealing bullets from a weapons manufacturer for Armand. As Pearce has Michael tied up at work, Sam and Fiona agree to do the stealing. Pearce just returned from Cairo, and briefs Michael on the new assignment that's putting Max's murder investigation on hold. The new mission is to snatch and grab a guy down in the Caribbean, and Michael gets to invite a friend with a security clearance...

Convincing Jesse to help out on his first day off since Christmas, he, Michael, and Pearce meet up at the docks to head out. Fiona sees Pearce for the first time and isn't happy that Michael never mentioned she's not a man. After an awkward goodbye, the trio heads to a random, hidden, Caribbean island and discover Cahill's 'client,' Miles Vanderwaal. They exchange cases and leave [very unexciting], and the trio leaves to grab Cahill on the trail.

Back on the mainland, Fiona and Sam are scouting the weapons manufacturer - Fiona outside and Sam inside (posing as someone wanting to offer them a new contract). They end the trip with zero easy options to get in, but Fiona insists that they have to get Armand's bullets from the truck he specified, and nowhere else, despite Sam's protest.

The island snatch goes off without a hitch, but the trio finds that Vanderwaal has his entire mercenary gang getting ready for some operation, and they have blocked the way to the boat. They decide to wake up Cahill and get information from him. He spills Vanderwaal's plan to set up an oil cartel in South America. Pearce and Michael decide to get the intel back before they can do it. Jesse scouts the island and doesn't report anything good.

Michael somehow convinces Pearce to pretend to JOIN the mercenaries, pretending to be a covert team working for the same company that hired them. Jesse and Pearce head off to wipe out the communication station so they can't get checked out.

Sam and Fiona have recruited Madeline to plant a smoke bomb inside, but she starts questioning why they're doing this in the first place. After convincing her that Armand would keep his word, she agrees to do it. Fiona finds Armand back at the loft when she returns. He tries to give her a bunch of brand-spanking new guns, but she turns him down. He asks about her 'new' boyfriend right before leaving.

Back on the island, the trio is ready, depending on Cahill to confirm their story. Pearce and Michael stroll up to the merc group and ask for Vanderwaal. They find him and blame Cahill for knocking out communications. Michael bluffs Vanderwaal into helping the trio 'secure the island.' The first thing they do is collect all the radios, claiming that they have been compromised. Jesse heads off with a gang of 'troops' while Michael, Pearce, and Vanderwaal head off to investigate the uplink.

Vanderwaal's a bowl of fun/big pain in the butt, but they convince him to show them where the info and money are hidden. Jesse, Michael, and Pearce give orders to split up the army and send them patroling all over the place. Now they're dealing with 5 guys with machines instead of 40.

Sam and Fiona are really twisting over whether to pull this heist or not. Fiona pushes forward, and they execute a plan to set off a smoke bomb, then the sprinklers, then a bunch of metallic sodium on a desk inside the weapons manufacturer. On cue, Sam and Fiona drive through the gate, hotwire the truck, and drive out amidst gunshots.

Meanwhile, the trio on the island arrive with Vanderwaal at the information-holding spot to discover his 'boss' has shown up and already taken the files. Vanderwaal learns from the team his boss left behind that they have no knowledge of Michael and friends... uh oh...  Tied up and in front of Vanderwaal's personal firing squad, Michael tries laughing and pitching a theory that Vanderwaal's boss, Jackson, is the leak. Vanderwaal buys it enough to take Michael to Jackson to get the files back, and lie to cover Michael. Vanderwaal lies to get Michael past the guards and immediately puts a gun on Jackson.

Now the BS game begins between Michael and Jackson. Of course, Jackson is telling the truth and Michael lying through his teeth. Vanderwaal ends up shooting Jackson and taking over, which Michael feels a bit bad about. Jesse and Pearce show up with Cahill and are ready to go, but Vanderwaal won't part with the information. Michael suggests Pearce request a chopper to fly all of them to headquarters, which she does. Of course, it's really CIA operatives in disguise and they disarm and arrest Vanderwaal.

Back in Armand's airport hangar, Fiona passes on his pitch of guns and glory. He reveals that Fiona's heist of the truck has gotten a rival killed, but at least she leaves with the information. Michael meets her at a restaurant and gets the lead on the bomber. He asks about Armand and the job, and Fiona reveals that she had dated him until she found out he had traded favors (a murder) to meet her. Michael's mom and her date shows up, interrupting an already awkward conversation. Madeline makes Michael give a toast, and the episode ends without revealing anything about the bomber lead...

Best Line of the Episode:
Pearce: "That's by far the craziest play I've ever heard in the field."
Jesse: "You don't hang out with him (Michael) enough."

 New Spy Lessons:
  • Low-tech explosives are clumsy and sometimes don't work, but they're nearly impossible to trace. Complicated bombs are better, but are sophisticated and require more expertise.
  • It's a good idea to bring a lot of fast-acting drugs when doing an extraction. The downfall of these is that you have to get close to your target.
  • The key to any battle is intelligence... if you want to stay alive, you ask questions FIRST.

In short:  Another CIA op completed. Sam and Fiona commit a real crime. Michael's mom is dating.

Predictions:  We'll see Armand again.
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