Thursday, December 8, 2011

Burn Notice - "Damned if You Do" ...anything... (S5E13)

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Burn Notice (S5E13)

In short: "Anson's a dick."

Best Lines of the Episode:
  • Maddie to Sam: "Fine, if I can't smoke, you can't drink my beer."
  • Sam about Anson: "It's official: the guy's a dick."
  • Jesse: "Pleasure doing business with you sons of b!tches."

New Spy Lessons:
  • "Creating a good diversion... is about giving the enemy the impression he's being attacked in a way that demands the attention of all his forces, ideally something big and very very loud."
  • "Convince the bad guys that you're willing to kill their prize before letting them have it."
  • Active security systems help keep people out. Passive security systems help capture the bad guy after he leaves. They're often cheaper and more effective. Plus, they let you know who your enemies are."

Anson is now holding the leverage of Fiona's 'accidental' killing of the guards at the British Consulate, and Michael's a bit paralyzed. Ironically, his CIA career is now steamrolling forward. He and Pearce do an interview to get him a higher clearance. More ironically, he directly lies about Anson's existence... and then heads off to meet him.

Quantrell D. Colbert/USA Network
Now under Anson's thumb, Michael is forced to help him clear his name from the CIA computers. Anson sends Michael to Puerto Rico to kidnap the creator of 'Voidbot,' a virus that will remove all the digital evidence of Anson. Meeting with Fiona and Sam, Michael explains his new 'task,' and rebuts their strong opposition. He relents to letting Fiona accompany him. Sam proposes they used Michael's mom to steal information about the British Consulate incident from the police station.

In Puerto Rico, Fi and Michael discover Oswald (the programmer) surrounded by guards. They contrive a plan to divert the guards via explosion at the gate, then Michael sneaks in, grabs Oswald, and floats him up the beach.

Back in Miami, Michael is trying to convince Oswald to give up his virus, and finally does by threatening to hand him in to the police. Oswald spills the history of Voidbot and the guy who sanctioned its development: an international drug dealer.

Sam and Jesse train Maddie on how to capture data off a laptop's DRAM chip, which is painful, but she gets the job done... without smoking. She and Jesse head into the police station, under the pretense that she's Jesse's girlfriend's hairdresser. Jesse gets the cop out of the room to get a soda, and Maddie goes to work on his laptop. Keeping the cop out of the room proves a bit difficult, and Jesse has to act like a complete flake and laugh a bit to hard at lame jokes. The cop almost catches Maddie, but she plays like she was reaching for a cigarette.

Michael and Fi take Oswald to his former home to get his access cards to get back a confiscated hard drive which houses the virus. Apparently, he hid the access cards in an old projection TV, which his girlfriend put in storage on the other side of town. Out front, Michael (who's keeping watch) sees Xavier (the drug dealer and Voidbot's original commisioner) drive up. Michael grabs Oswald and holds him hostage with the threat to kill him if Xavier doesn't let them go. They escape with only lame threats from the overdressed drug lord. Later, Oswald convinces Fi to arrange for underground transportation to the Dominican Republic (via 'Go boat').

Meanwhile, as Jesse and Sam are sifting through the police information in a bar, Anson shows up and sums up the information for them. He renews the threat to turn in Fiona and makes a few new threats against them.

Michael heads into the storage unit to get the key cards, leaving Oswald tied to a pole outside as a lookout. Xavier's guys show up. Rather than run, Michael uses a forklift to place a contain on top of their SUV. This buys just enough time for he and Oswald to escape and head to the government facility where the virus is being kept. Right before Michael walks in, Oswald stops him and confesses he was setting up Michael. Had Michael entered the facility, he would have been tagged with micro-RFID chips that would allow him to be tracked by satellite. The new plan is to find someone else to go in... who they don't mind being caught... Xavier. After introducing Oswald to a non-smiling Jesse and Sam, they finalize the new plan and head off to set him up. Sam and Jesse take Oswald to negotiate the deal with Xavier. After some gun-pointing and the exchange of a small black case for the key cards, Xavier fires a few final threats and then heads into the government building. He gets the drive and takes off.

At the same time, Michael and Fi are off hijacking a dump truck to cut off Xavier. They arrange to cut him off under an overpass where satellites cannot see. As the authorities close in, Michael demands the disk drive from Xavier at gunpoint and makes a copy. Under more of Xavier's threats, Michael and Fi climb back in as the 'full Homeland Security response' goes after him. Voidbot safe in hand, Oswald hops a Go boat to join his girlfriend, leaving a warning with Fi on the power of the virus.

After a heart-to-heart with him mom, Michael heads in to meet with Pearce and learns that he passed his security review, and gets his new higher clearance. He then heads to give Voidbot to Anson. Anson immediately demands that Michael use his new clearance to upload the virus into the CIA computers. Michael is shocked... and screwed.
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