Friday, May 30, 2008

False Flag

Episode 10: False Flag
Production Number: BN109
Director: Paul Shapiro
Writer: Matt Nix & Ben Watkins

Click the Picture to go to the False Flag Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

Michael takes on the case of a mother whose son was kidnapped by her abusive husband. The case takes on a personal measure for Michael, and he let's his guard down. The woman he was hired by turns out to be an assassin.

Full Summary

The episode opens with Michael taking Fiona shopping. Michael isn't shopping for shoes, however, he's looking at getting a fake identity (or False Flag). Michael goes to a local copy center. Michael strikes a deal for a fake Driver's License and Passport, however, the copy center owner pulls a gun on him and shows Michael a wanted poster. Michael ends up handcuffed while the copy center owner calls a contact at the FBI about Michael. Fiona sees him in danger and provides a distraction till they can both run away.

Back at Michael's apartment, Michael is searching for his lock pick set so he can remove the handcuffs. We learn that Michael needed to the new ID so he could travel to Washington DC and confront Phillip Conrad. Fiona eventually produces a lock pick from her hair, and tells him that he will need back up. Michael is reluctant to admit he needs any help.

Sam feels that looking into anyone else for fake IDs would be foolish, as they've probably all been tipped off. However, Sam suggests Lucy, the security consultant, and mentions a job that she needs help with. Michael meets with Lucy and agrees to take a job, if Lucy will provide a fake identity.

Evelyn, the client had her son, Jasper, kidnapped by her estranged and abusive husband Doug. Michael sees himself in this situation, and takes pity on Evelyn.

"I'm going to find him" ~ Michael

Michael returns to his mother's home after weeks of being absent, but is only concerned about finding his birth certificate and medical records so he can help Lucy fake his identification. While there, Michael and his mom talk, and he gets his mom to admit that she only stayed with Michael's father to keep the family together.

"I'm going on a trip" ~ Michael
"The last time you said that you left for 10 years, Michael" ~ Madeline

Michael talks with Sam and Fiona, and decides to go question Evelyn again, without back up. Fiona pushes Sam to tell her more about Evelyn, however, Sam says he has to go pick up Mike's yogurt. When Michael meets with Evelyn he assures her that she's doing the right thing. Michael admits his attraction to Evelyn, but does his best to stay focused on the mission.

With Michael, Sam picks the lock on Doug's house. As they search through the house, two men with guns pull up to the front and two more in the back. Sam and Mike kick out the in-wall AC unit to escape the house. Fiona and Michael meet with Evelyn again, she got attacked by two men outside of her custody hearing for Jasper. Michael comforts Evelyn Afterwards, Michael and Fiona have a fight, and Michael continues to say he can handle this case on his own, causing Fiona to walk away.

Sam, inspired by the outdoor magazines he found in Doug's house, tracked down his license plate number to a lodge in the woods. Michael drives Evelyn to the lodge. When he arrives he sees Doug, pulls out his gun, and asks where Jasper is. Doug tells Michael to leave his son out of this, since they had already killed his wife. Michael realizes this was a trap, and turns the gun on Evelyn, who is now holding a gun of her own. When Michael tries to fire, he finds that Evelyn disabled his gun. Michael and Doug duck into the lodge while Evelyn, the assassin, opens fire.

Michael uses a screw driver and the lock pick he got from Fiona to fix his gun for one more shot, then he takes a propane tank, and duct tapes an aerosol can to it with an open flame. Meanwhile, Evelyn has given up shooting and decides instead to simply ram Michael's car into the lodge. Michael and Doug jump out of the lodge, and Michael throws the propane and open flame at his car. He shoots the propane tank, thus releasing the gas, which is ignited by the open flame. The explosion doesn't harm Evelyn who jumps out of the way, but disables Michael's car and provides enough distraction for Michael and Doug to jump into Doug's car and drive away.

Michael, Sam, Fiona, and Doug all regroup. Michael asks Fiona to take Doug somewhere safe, while Sam and Michael plan to check on Lucy, who may have been fooled by Evelyn's crying mother trick. Outside of Lucy's office building, Michael gets a call from Evelyn Michael had apparently once chased Evelyn, but never caught up to her. Evelyn mentions how cheap the labor is in Miami, she says she can pay any kid off the street a grand to do a hit. Evelyn then points out a car is about to run over Lucy, who just walked out of her office. Michael runs and pulls Lucy out of the way of the car just in time to save her life.

Back in her office, Lucy berates herself for failing to see through Evelyn's disguise. Evelyn calls Michael, and threatens Sam, Fiona, and even Madeline if Michael doesn't give up Doug. Michael decides that Sam should call the Attorney General so they can turn Doug into witness protection. They also have Sam stay at Madeline's place to provide protection. Michael and Fiona spend the night preparing for a fight.

In the morning, they have Doug put on one of Sam's old bullet proof vests, which smells of Old Spice. Sam drives Doug to the Attorney General's office, with Fiona behind in an SUV. Evelyn is on a rooftop near the office, ready to take her shot when Doug steps out of the car. However, Michael uses his experience of Evelyn's ways to predict her moves and stop her. When Michael tries to bring her in, Evelyn chooses to jump to her death instead.

Lucy meets with Michael, and reports that Jasper and Doug are safely in witness protection. She also gives Michael his new identity. However, Sam comes up and tells Michael that might not be necessary. Sam has heard through his contacts that the man who burned Michael is coming to Miami.

Personal Commentary

Man, am I glad that Burn Notice is back from their little Wimbeldon Open vacation. Now, back to the action. It appears that the assassination attempt on Michael gave him a good scare, he wants to get away from his loved ones and attack his Burn Notice directly in Washington DC. Whatever progress Michael made in trusting his friends, he appears to lose it in this episode, when he doesn't want any back up. Or perhaps he simply doesn't want to admit that this mission got very personal very quick.

Note that when Michael first talked to Evelyn, he said that he WOULD find her child. Michael has always kept distance, only saying, "I'll see what I can do". This is the first time he has instantly accepted the case and even confirmed he would succeed.
Madeline Westen was gone for a while wasn't she. And as always, Michael is trying to come and go without even acknowledging how long he was gone. It appears though, that now even Madeline is admitting how abusive Michael's father was.

The big twist in the middle of this episode was very nicely done. I should have known the situation was too perfect for Michael, but Lucy Lawless played her character to perfection. I'm also glad that Michael respected physics and logic when he pulled the exploding propane trick.

Finally, Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell)'s bullet proof vest smells like Old Spice? Where could they have gotten that idea?

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