Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dan the Handler

Dan is Michael's Handler, in the spy business, this means that Dan is responsible for Michael. Or he was, until Michael got burned. Michael tried to contact Dan after his burn to get more information but Dan was quite vague. He only left the hint that there were, "some that still support you [Michael]".

Dan appears willing to help Michael, but at the same time doesn't want to get involved.


Lucy (played by China Chow) is an old contact of Michael, and apparently, was trained by Michael. While she is quite vague about her current job, it appears that she is using her spy skill set in a legitimate business. Lucy has helped Michael get job leads multiple times, and is always there to help.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Burn Notice DVD June 15th

The Burn Notice Season 1 DVD will be releasing on June 15th (just in time to promote the 2nd season). As usual, it will include Special Commentary and Deleted Scenes


Major Characters

Minor Characters


Season 2:

1. Breaking and Entering
2. Turn and Burn
3. Trust Me
4. Comrades
5. Scatter Point
6. Bad Blood

Season 1:

1. Pilot
2. Identity
3. Fight or Flight
4. Old Friends
5. Family Business
6. Unpaid Debts
7. Broken Rules
8. Wanted Man
9. Hard Bargain
10. False Flag
11. Drop Dead
12. Loose Ends

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?

Loose Ends

Episode 12: Loose Ends
Production Number: BN111
Director: Stephen Surjik
Writer: Matt Nix & Alfredo Barrios Jr.

Click the Picture to go to the Loose Ends Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

In an action packed two hour finale, Michael finally meets the man who burned him, only to watch him get assassinated right in front of him. Now Michael is on the run, trying to keep his family and friends safe.

Full Summary:

Nate drives Mike towards the warehouse district where Fiona is hiding. Michael tries to tell Nate to leave but Nate insists on helping. In the warehouse district, Michael sees a piece of red fabric outside a window, and knows Fiona is in the building. Michael uses Nate's truck to slam his way into the warehouse. Fiona runs towards Nate's truck, Michael tosses her a gun and she provides cover fire as Nate and Mike get out of the truck. Nate takes Fiona's place, keeping the henchmen at bay while Fiona and Michael prepare an explosive surprise. While Michael, Fiona, and Nate escape through a window, Nate's truck slowly backs up towards the henchmen with no driver. When the men approach the truck, they see the explosives in the bed and have to duck for cover.

Michael, Fiona, and Nate go to Nate's place which is actually a foreclosure. Nate leaves to pick up Madeline and keep her safe. Meanwhile, Sam is getting beat up and questioned in the hold of a ship. The heroin importer, Harrich, and his muscle-bound assistant try to figure out why Sam was taking pictures of Kent and Melissa. Sam first claims to be DEA, then CIA, FBI, and even a boy scout. The entire time, Sam tries to turn Harrich and his guard against each other. Harrich, who is an ex-Green Beret, tells Sam he won't be killed until they can find the girl (Fiona). The best lead they have is Sam's cell phone, and the numbers he called last.

Fiona comes back to Nate's "house" with an arsenal she had hidden under an overpass. Harrich (the heroin importer) calls Michael and asks about Sam. Michael claims to be a fellow heroin dealer who simply was checking out his competition. Michael tells Harrich that he wants Sam back, but won't pay for "damaged goods". Harrich sends Michael an email with a picture of Sam for proof of life. When Sam has his picture taken, he does a specific pose. Michael and Fiona break into Sam's storage place to look through photos till Michael finds a match. It's the same pose that Sam used when he was with a hostage rescue team that fell into a trap. Sam lost most of his team that day, it's his way of telling Michael that he won't be getting out of this alive.

Nate bring Madeline to the house, but not after spending hours losing the multiple government agents trying to trail him. Nate goes out again, this time to pick up some disposable cell phones. Michael wants to know more about those who are following him, so he makes a call to Dan, his handler, from a public phone. Within minutes a pair of government agents are staring at the public phone while Michael and Fiona watch from a distance. However, those agents are just a distraction, Michael and Fiona flee into an alley way only to be confronted by an armored car. Michael has to use another car as a barrier just to get away. Meanwhile, Sam is trying to convince Harrich to just kill him, so Michael and Fiona won't get killed in the rescue attempt.

Michael receives another call from Harrich, he wants Michael and Fiona in one place in order to talk terms for Sam's safe return. Michael claims that he needs time to find Fiona. Michael then goes to Barry, the money launderer, to help him track down the second biggest heroin dealer.

"This is not a favor, I'm not asking. You're either my friend or my enemy" ~ Michael

Barry gives up the name, Carmello who hangs out in the VIP room of club Vidos. Barry gets a call on his cell phone, but it's for Michael. A female voice is on the line saying that she needs to talk to Michael. Michael hangs up, and Barry doesn't even want the phone back so he throws it away.

Michael, Fiona, and Nate are making explosives in Nate's kitchen. Madeline comes by with her cigarette and asks if she can help. Michael tells her that he's afraid for her life, and asks her to leave town with Nate. After an argument, Madeline agrees to go.
Fiona and Michael are at club Vidos, planting the explosives they made. Fiona leaves and Mike stumbles into the VIP room where Carmello is. Michael pulls a gun on Carmello, but his guards have Michael surrounded with guns of their own.

"Do you have a death wish?" ~ Carmello

Michael reveals the C4 explosives through out the club and also pulls out a dead man switch. If he's shot, the entire club will be leveled. Michael wants the name of the biggest heroin dealer, he'll give Carmello some time to think about it. Carmello asks who Michael is...

"I'm Michael Westen, and I used to be a spy" ~ Michael

Carmello calls Michael, and tells him the name and location of the biggest heroin dealer, and thus, where Sam is located. Carmello threatens Michael to never show his face again. Michael and Fiona stake out the location, and see that the multiple guards will be a problem. Michael calls Harrich to set up a meeting time to discuss terms for Sam's surrender, Michael will use this as a distraction to get as many guards off the boat as possible, thus making the rescue operation easier. To make sure Sam isn't killed early, Michael insists on hearing Sam's voice before the meeting.

Michael, Nate, and Madeline pack into the repaired charger. Michael tells his mother that he'll drive them around to the edge of Miami and lose any tails. Then he'll "borrow" another car so Nate can drive them to safety. Madeline reminisces of the first time Michael stole a car. Nate needed to go to the hospital and Michael's father was nowhere to be found. Madeline was angry, but proud of him. Before they leave, Madeline uses the safe phone Michael gave her to check her messages. By calling her tapped phone, the government agents were able to track her, thus Michael is instantly followed. Michael, out of options, stops the car and gets out with a gun and the tapped cell phone. Nate drives Madeline away. Michael talks into the phone and tells whoever is listening that if he doesn't get a call soon, he will kill himself. Michael puts the gun to his head. The government agents tailing Michael have stopped their car and pulled out their guns. Michael finally gets a call, it's the female voice. Michael asks for twelve hours to finish rescuing Sam, then he'll voluntarily come in. The female voice agrees, and the government agents almost instantly back off.

Fiona asks Michael why he will turn himself in voluntarily, why not just lie to the female? Michael tells her he's tired of running, and wants answers at any price. Michael and Fiona share one last kiss before heading off to rescue Sam. Michael and Fiona arrive at the boat where Sam is held. Fiona sets up on a roof top with a rifle, while Michael puts on scuba gear. Once the guards leave to have their "meeting" with Michael, Michael dives into the water and attaches a home made sticky bomb to the plank that connects the boat to the dock. Michael then uses a hook and rope to climb onto the boat when the guards aren't looking. He changes out of the scuba gear and heads down below to find Sam.

Harrich approaches Sam, ready to make the call to Michael so Sam can talk and therefore prove he's still alive. When Harrich makes the call, the hear the ringing of a phone inside the boat. Harrich opens the door of the hold to find Michael's cell phone on the ground, this is enough of a distraction so Michael can attack Harrich. After a lengthy exchange of blows, with Michael taking the worst of it, Michael is able to grab the spare gun out of Harrich's ankle, and shoot him in the gut. Michael tells him, depending on the type of bullet, he either has 30 minutes to get to a hospital, or he doesn't have a chance. Michael unties Sam and they climb to the top.

The guards on the boat heard the gun shot within the boat. When the begin to race towards the hold, Fiona uses the rifle to distract them and force them to duck. Michael and Sam come running out from within the boat. They run down the plank and across the dock. The guards try to give chase, but Fiona detonates the sticky bomb on the plank, thus giving Michael and Sam enough time to hop into Sam's Cadillac and drive off.

Sam thanks Michael for saving his life, but the beep of the On Star interrupts them. The voice specifically says Michael's name, and downloads directions. Michael tells Sam that this concerns his burn notice, and asks to borrow the Cadillac. Sam agrees, and gives Michael one last handshake. Sam is left on the side of the street as Michael drives off.

Michael arrives at the location specified by the On Star, it's the middle of a bridge with a semi-truck and ramp inviting Michael to drive up. Michael gets a call from the mysterious female.

"Michael, we're so looking forward to meeting you." ~ Female Voice

Michael drives into the semi-truck, looking for the truth.

Personal Commentary

Good lord, what a season finale. It's clear they wanted to go out with a bang.
I suppose I should try to cover just this episode first, but man there is a lot to go over.
First of all, we open with a much more paranoid Michael than we've ever seen, you can tell the assassination attempts have gotten to him. We also get yet another jab at yogurt, Michael must love that stuff. When Sam started that job on his own and used the phrase, "I'll see what I can do", it practically made me giddy.
The theme of the first hour of this episode instantly comes to light, it's trust. Michael and Cowan don't trust each other, Michael has to constantly ask for trust from his family but can never trust them in return. And Fiona has to ask Gillian to trust that the team would take care of her problems.
In fact, trust has been an issue for Michael for this entire season. He is a spy after all, it's practically his job to be paranoid and trust no one. It's been a struggle for him to let go with his friends, even a bigger one with his family. He trusted Nate in this episode, more than any other, and Nate came through. The "fur on his face" is gone, and maybe Nate can become a more reliable part of Michael's team.

I'm very happy Fiona confronted Michael over the risks he takes trying to find out more about his Burn Notice. Michael is truly proud of what he's done as a spy, so why can't he be happy with what he does in Miami?

That fireball, when Kent's car was blown up. It was beautiful. I will find or make a gif of that just so I can watch over and over again.

Finally, the meeting between Cowan and Michael. We learn that Cowan himself is just a small part in a very large plan. It's clear that whatever Michael is involved in, is a very long and intricate plan, and Michael's resistance is causing serious problems. I think one of the scariest thing in this episode was Cowan dying and Michael's bloody clothes and face. Think about it, considering how paranoid Cowan was, he still got killed.
The frantic call by Fiona was a great drama builder. For a woman that usually has such control, she was scared.

Another theme makes it mark, silent communication. Cowan's multiple messages to Michael were more direct, but Michael's little John 3:16 code was cute, Fiona's red fabric in the warehouse, and Sam's pose. All members of the team knew how to do it just right.

I'm glad Barry got into the finale, he's become an important tool in Michael's belt. However, Michael pushed him harder that he's ever had to. Along with this, the way Michael managed to get Carmello's help, and how he told Carmello his full name is proof of how desperate Michael had become. Especially with Sam's life on the line. Michael was leaving everything behind.

As this episode winded down, we had each character get a chance to say good-bye to Michael. Madeline got to reminisce about Michael's first stolen car, Fiona got a good bye kiss, and Sam got to give Michael one last handshake.

That final fight Michael had with Harrich was intense. That had to be the longest fight in Burn Notice history, and it looked like Michael took the worst of it.

And finally, the final explosion. Be sure to look at the multiple screenshots I took of it. Michael looks like a professional running, and Sam looks like a goofball. It's hilarious.

So, we leave Michael stuck in a semi-truck, unsure of his destiny....


Now, how about a look at this series as a whole. I want to congratulate the writers. Not only did each episode give us a fun capsule to enjoy, but they kept the Burn Notice over-arcing plot going. Most shows like to push it to the side, only occasionally throwing fans a bone. However, Burn Notice is different, they kept the plot moving. Each episode showed a different part of progress, it would be very difficult to shuffle these episodes in a different order without having discontinuity. On top of that they kept Michael's personality moving. As I mentioned, Michael was constantly learning to increase his trust of his friends, and even his family. I can honestly say that the Michael Westen we see at the end of the season is much different from when we first see him.

I also find it interesting what plot lines were dropped from the pilot to the rest of the season. For instance, Sam informing on Michael to the FBI was dropped within five episodes of Burn Notice. Fiona dropped her Irish accent, and Madeline's constant worrying about diseases was also dropped. In fact, Madeline was dropped from about 4 or 5 episodes all together. I think the writer's quickly found it easier to focus on the action and the main plot. However, Madeline was always needed, especially in this finale, to give Michael and anchor. He occasionally needed to have a reminder that there were people who cared about him, Madeline the most.

Anyway, I'm rambling. It was a kick ass season, and I can't wait till season two. (Seriously, I can't wait, how the hell am I supposed to sit around till next SUMMER!?)

Nate Westen

Nate Westen (played by Seth Peterson) is Michael's gambling brother, who has a history of stealing and manipulating to be able to gamble just a bit more. What, did you think Michael would have a normal brother on this family tree?
Now that Nate knows Michael is back in town and has a job, he can't wait... to try to make money from it to pay back gambling debts. Although he has skills at reading the faces of others to predict what they'll do, he is also impulsive and poor at planning ahead.

Dead Drop

Episode 11: Dead Drop
Production Number: BN110
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Writers: Craig O'Neill & Jason Tracey

Click the Picture to go to the Dead Drop Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog (Warning: May contain spoilers for the season ending episode, Loose Ends)

Quick Summary:

In an action packed two hour finale, Michael finally meets the man who burned him, only to watch him get assassinated right in front of him. Now Michael is on the run, trying to keep his family and friends safe.

Full Summary

We open with Michael doing inclined sit ups on a board in his apartment. When the door opens Michael immediately pulls a gun out and aims, only to find Sam holding a bucket of fried chicken. Michael drops the gun and chides Sam for eating something so unhealthy. Michael goes to the fridge to eats some yogurt. Sam tells Michael that he has a potential job, but Michael is more focused on his Burn Notice. Michael gets a text message, telling him to go to the park at 1pm. Michael knows its from Phillip Cowan. Michael goes to meet with him, Sam and his bucket of fried chicken provide back up. When Michael gets there, he sees a good perch in a parking garage. He runs up to find a greeting card and a clipped article referencing a previous job Michael did as a spy. Michael looks down to the street to see Cowan. Cowan points out Sam, wags his finger at Michael, and drives away.

Michael tells Fiona that a face to face meeting with Cowan is far away because he doesn't trust Michael, and Michael doesn't trust him. Sam leave Michael to interpret Cowan's message so he can meet with his new client, Gillian. She works security for a company, and is being blackmailed by a friend's boyfriend. The friend, Melissa, asked Gillian to help get her and her boyfriend (Dave) into a secure building. There, Dave took pictures and is using those pictures of Gillian failing to do her job to blackmail her. Dave is forcing Gillian and Melissa to smuggle heroin from Turkey into the U.S.

"I'll see what I can do" ~ Sam

Melissa, Gillian's friend and the other client, doesn't want anything to do with Sam. Before they can talk more Melissa's abusive husband arrives home, Sam and Gillian are forced to leave quickly.
Michael rushes home, Madeline called him because she got a weird call. Someone simply called her, said Van Buren street and immediately hung up. Michael tries to reassure her that it's nothing, but when there is a rustle at the window Michael immediately pulls his mother to his side and pulls out his gun. However, it's just Nate, who lost his key. Madeline called both of them, and demands Michael tells her who this "friend" is. Michael dodges the question but gives Nate his gun and asks him to protect their mother.

Michael walks up and down Van Buren street, before noticing a man reading a travel guide for Madison, Wisconsin (Michael Westen). It is a "cut-out" Michael has used multiple times. Cowan invites Michael to meet him on Thursday, and provides another clipped article of Michael's activities.

Sam needs to bring Fiona in on the job as a wingman, but her fees are pretty steep. Sam tracks down the credit card charges of Melissa's boyfriend to a gay bar.

"I think the balls are in your court" ~ Fiona to Sam

Sam finds out that Dave's real name is Ray Wagoner, he's a pickpocket and a hustler. Sam and Fiona go to Ray's house. When Sam goes around to the side, Ray tries to attack him from behind, but Sam dodges and puts him down with one punch. Fiona and Sam tell Ray to stop blackmailing Melissa and Gillian, however he says he knows nothing of any blackmail or heroin, he simply says that Melissa took him to some building to take pictures. Sam and Fiona figure out that Melissa has been double-blackmailing Gillian to make her do her bidding. Fiona had a "hunch".

Sam swings by Michael's apartment where he's finished work on the charger. Sam brought Gillian to try to guilt him into taking on the job. Michael grudgingly agrees. Mike poses as an ex-Green Beret and meets up with Kent trying to encourage him to expand his business. Kent is immediately suspicious and tells Michael to go away. Meanwhile, Sam and Fiona switch out Kent's cell phone with a bugged one, and switch the memory cards so no one can tell the difference.

While Michael is listening to the bugged cell phone, Madeline busts into Michael's apartment after she found that Mike had given Nate a gun. Madeline finally demands the truth and asks Michael to finally trust his family.

"Trust is something you work on" ~ Madeline

Madeline finally tells Michael that he was the one that left the family. This cuts Michael deeply, he then asks Madeline and Nate to trust him, and has to leave to meet with Kent. Sam provides back up during the meeting with a rifle, however, Kent and Michael move behind a mound of gravel. Kent pulls a gun on Michael, but Michael is able to break the gun out of his hands and make a get away, though not before Kent shoots the windshield of the Charger.

Listening in to the bugged cell phone, Michael confirms that Kent is now planning to kill Gillian in order to cover his tracks. Michael wants to use the next shipment of heroin to catch Kent and Melissa in the act. Melissa is uneasy at first, but Fiona assure her.

"You need to trust us" ~ Fiona

Sam will watch Gillian's car and the pick up of heroin, however, the area he's in has a cell phone blocker, so he gets no signal. Meanwhile, Fiona is listening in to the bug in Kent's phone and Michael is waiting to meet with Phillip Cowan. Fiona hears that Kent has planted a bomb in Gillian's phone, but she can't call Sam due to the blocked phone signal. So she calls Michael, and he's forced to leave. Before he does, he leaves a message for Cowan, "John 3:16". Kent and Melissa show up in a white van, Melissa loads up the heroin and Kent drives the van to the side of the parking lot so they can watch Gillian's car blow up. Michael and Fiona show up and fill Sam in on the situation. Sam and Fiona distract the guard, while Michael uses Sam's floor mat to get over the barbed wire fence of the parking lot. Michael goes under Gillian's car while she's walking out to the parking lot. He's able to disconnect the C4 just before she starts the ignition, thus saving her life.

Michael, Fiona, and Sam meet up with Gillian to show her she almost died. They suggest that she takes a vacation while they sort this out. Michael's plan is still to frame Kent and Melissa with the heroin. Michael is once again about to leave to meet with Cowan, however, Fiona stops him. She asks why Michael is so determined to go back into a business that caused him so much trouble. Michael wants to clear his name, and he wants to be proud of all the good work he's already done. However, Fiona points out that Michael is doing good right here in Miami.

Sam and Fiona position themselves to monitor the deal that Kent and Melissa are about to make. Sam is in a car with a telephoto camera and Fiona is using a long distance listening device on a bridge. However, Kent & Melissa's buyer doesn't show up. When they get back into the car a missile blows them up. Sam is immediately surrounded by men with machine guns and taken away. More men chase Fiona, but she's able to jump off the bridge into the water.

Meanwhile, Michael is outside St. John's church at 3:16, Cowan calls on the pay phone telling him that he has to meet him at the parking garage over a mile away in 10 minutes. Michael has no choice but to run it. Michael barely makes it. When Cowan finally shows up, he has Michael lift his jacket to prove that Michael doesn't have a gun. Michael asks why Cowan burned him.

"You think this is about me" ~ Cowan.

Cowan admits to trying to have Michael killed.

"The people I work for have plans for you" ~ Cowan

"You're making everyone nervous" ~ Cowan

These are the last words Phillip Cowan says, he is shot, by an unseen sniper. Blood is sprayed on Michael's shirt and face. Cop sirens can be immediately heard in the distance. Michael calls Nate and tells him to bring his truck and come pick him up. While driving away in Nate's truck, Michael gets a frantic call from Fiona. He finds out that Sam has been captured and Fiona is still running away from men with guns. Fiona can't finish talking before more men come and she has to run.

.... to be continued, in Episode 12: Loose Ends.

Personal Commentary:

Because this is a two part episode, the Personal Commentary is done for the whole thing. Go to Episode 12: Loose Ends to find the personal commentary

Mr. Westen

Michael's father died 8 year ago, thus he's only known through anecdotes from Michael and Madeline.

According to Madeline, Michael and his father are a lot a like, however, Michael would often agitate his father.

According to Michael, his father was abusive, and simply hated him. Michael also says that he had a tendency to not finish his work, and leave his son to complete the project.

His gravestone says he was a beloved father, a description that Michael disagrees with.

Hard Bargain

Episode 9: Hard Bargain
Production Number: BN108
Director: John Kretchmer
Writer: Alfredo Barrios, Jr.

Click the Picture to go to the Hard Bargain Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

Fiona's birthday is coming up, and she tries to get Michael to tell her what her birthday present will be. Michael was supposed to meet a bureaucrat from the CSS named Perry Clark, however, Michael wants to be careful. So he calls the police on Perry, just to watch to see how he reacts. Perry reacts just like a bureaucrat would, maybe he can be trusted...

Full Summary:

Sam needs a favor, now! Nick Lam is a "dude with a problem". He's a house sitter for uxorious mansions, and he's been known to lie about whether or not he owns those mansions. His fiancee, Dawn, who also believes he's rich was kidnapped. They're asking for 5 million dollars, 5 million he doesn't have. They are calling Nick in one hour.

Michael helps Nick through the call, gets Nick to demand to see a video of Don alive & well, in two hours. Nick needs to make the pick up in a public mall. Fiona suggests gifts that Michael should buy her as they walk around waiting for Nick to get the call. When Nick finally gets the call and picks up the video, he makes a great mistake and looks towards Michael. Lucio Velasquez, the man sent to keep an eye on Nick, sees Michael and gives chase. Michael runs away, and Fiona gives a distraction by showing Lucio her gun. Lucio, realizing he's outnumbered, tries to run himself. Lucio tries to call the kidnapping boss and tell him to kill Dawn, but Michael tackles him in time. After a struggle, Lucio pulls a gun on Michael, but Fiona makes the save with a tazer.

Nick is nervous after viewing the video, and Lucio is tied up with Fiona using her tazer to soften him up. Michael takes a photograph of Lucio with Sam hugging and smiling, thus making it look like Lucio betrayed his boss. Michael also plans to print up a false confession and use Sam's FBI buddies to make it look like Lucio is about to testify against his boss. They will use all of this to force Lucio to help them find Dawn. Reyes, the head kidnapper, has kept everyone in the dark though. Lucio just finds the targets, he doesn't know where the kidnapped are kept. Lucio tells them that he's already late on reporting in. So Fiona gives him a broken foot as an excuse.
In order to use Lucio to find Dawn, Michael will need to make an appealing target for Reyes. So he sets up Lucio with a new target. Fiona will play a rich, spoiled wife and Sam will play the disgruntled bodyguard. In order to stall Reyes longer till Sam can find where the hostages are kept, Michael, as Andrew Chambers, will act as a hostage negotiator for Nick.

When Andrew Chambers (Michael) first calls Reyes, he gets a sniper rifle pointed towards him just incase Michael is a cop. However, Michael points out that cops don't wear the fine clothing he does, so Reyes let's him into his car. Michael is stripped just incase he's wearing a wire, however, he also gets a massage while negotiating. A nice perk. Michael negotiates the price down to 3 million, and gets a 48 hour delay.

Meanwhile, Sam gets a small GPS device secret put in his shoe, and then goes to Reyes as the disgruntled bodyguard and demands to see where the hostages are kept. After some pushing, Sam gets his wish. Michael now knows where Dawn is. However, Reyes has gotten impatient, and demands the money from Nick and Michael in 2 hours or Dawn dies.

Michael prepares Thermite and make shift flash grenades so Sam and Fiona can rescue Dawn. Fiona blows the door off the warehouse where Dawn is kept, and Sam throws in a flash grenade. Fiona & Sam are able to save Dawn and take out the two guards without firing a shot.
Michael as Andrew the hostage negotiator stalls with Reyes by saying the family can't withdraw that much money at once. Once Michael gets the call that Dawn is okay, Michael tells Reyes that the family won't pay. Reyes yells at Michael and tells him to get out. Michael escapes before Reyes can figure out that he lost his hostage. When Reyes arrives at the warehouse, he finds his guards tied up, and police arrive just in time to arrest him.

Dawn finally gets to see Nick, however, now that she knows he was lying about being wealthy, Dawn simply slaps him and walks away.

Perry, the bureaucrat, finally gets to meet with Michael in Michael's apartment. Michael turns his back to make some coffee, and Perry pulls out a wire to try to choke Michael from behind. Michael is able to get his fist between the wire and his neck. After a struggle, Michael and Perry are on the floor. With his last ounce of strength, Michael punches through a cabinet to grab a hidden gun, and shoots Perry square in the stomach. Perry runs away and Michael is left gasping for air on the floor.

After Sam does some research, he finds that Perry was found dead in an alleyway by police, with no identification on him. Michael & Sam theorize that someone was impersonating the real bureaucrat Perry Clark to try to get close enough to Michael to kill him. Fiona is helping Michael repair the cabinet when Michael pulls out Fiona's birthday gift. A special gun that she had seen at Nick's house. Fiona is pleased.

Personal Commentary:

I loved this episode, heavier on the comedy than any episode before, thanks to Nick and his surfer ways. It definitely made any scene with Nick more enjoyable. Michael's Burn Notice took a bit of a back seat in this episode, it was mainly only covered at the begining and the end of the episode. We also, once again, got zero interaction from Madeline Westen. She's probably so worried about her son who never calls. We've got a new reccuring joke too, what does Sam Axe do to those women, and do we really want to know.
This episode marks the first time we've seen Michael be directly responsible for someone's death. For some, it couldn't come soon enough. After all, he's supposed to be a major security risk. For me, it shows that Michael has actually lost a step. He got sloppy, careless, I thought he'd at least have Fiona or Sam hiding somewhere as back up.
This episode also might mark a big change in the overall burn notice plot. Has the man who burned Michael gotten fed up with his plan, is he ready to kill Michael? Or is there someone else at work, someone who's opposed to the plans for Michael?

Agent Harris and Agent Lane

The FBI Agents, Agent Harris(played by Marc Macaulay) and Agent Lane(played by Brandon Morris)who have been charged with keeping track of Michael's actions. They aren't told why they have to track him, nor do they care. They are also using Sam Axe as an informant, threatening his pension if he doesn't give them the information they want. However, after Sam "broke in" to Michael's appartment in Family Business and "stole" an important classified document, Agents Harris and Lane were taken off of Michael's case. They are soon replaced by Agent Bly.

Wanted Man

Episode 8: Wanted Man
Production Number: BN107
Director: Ken Girotti
Writers: Craig O'Neill & Jason Tracey

Click the Picture to go to the Wanted Man Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

After Michael helps Fiona go bounty hunting, Fiona insists they help prove the bounty's innocence. However, Michael is going up against a very paranoid man with lots of security. On top of this, he's trying to track down the man who wrote up his Dossier, Phillip Conrad.

Full Summary:

At Fiona's home, Michael is still reading his dossier, discovering some fiction written about his past. Fiona isn't happy that the report is getting more attention than her. While going to the beach, Fiona takes a slight detour to pick up a bounty (Thomas McKee). However, McKee is already being chased by Wayne Ray, another bigger bounty hunter. Michael "accidentally" bumps into Wayne so Fiona can catch Thomas, however, when Thomas pleads his innocence and offers double the bounty if Fiona will help prove his innocence, Fiona brings him to her house instead. It appears Fiona wants to use him to make Michael jealous.

Back at Fiona's house (filled with snow globes from various locales), the fugitive tells his story. Thomas McKee is nothing more than a delivery man. Some woman at a hotel showed him a 2 million dollar diamond-encrusted, spider broach, and later, it turned up missing. The police fingered McKee because he had access. Fiona asks Michael for a favor, and they decide Thomas will stay in Fiona's apartment while they investigate.

Once again, they use Barry the Launderer to track down someone who's trying to sell the broach. Apparently, the man who's trying to find a buyer is named Cristo, and he's crossed Barry in the past.
Cristo - the Fencer, walks into his home to find Michael. Michael quickly disarms him and tries to get some information on who has the broach. When he refuses to talk, Michael starts calling Cristo's contacts to make him lose clients. Cristo finally gives up and provides the phone number of the man with the broach. Michael steals one of Cristo's pieces of jewelry (from the fridge) to keep his silence. Sam is able to track it down to Lawrence Henderson, owner of the hotel where the broach was stolen and a very paranoid and secure man. He has cash flow problem and apparently framed Thomas for the theft of the broach.

Fiona is getting jealous of how much time Michael is spending with the Dossier, so she starts trying to make Michael jealous of Thomas. It also works well as motivation for Michael to finish the case quickly. Fiona agrees to contact her Libyan friends, so Michael can use them to track down the man who wrote the Dossier.

Back at Fiona's house, it appears that Wayne Ray, the other bounty hunter, has found Thomas' hiding spot. While Fiona takes Thomas out of the house Michael attempts to delay Wayne. Michael manages to put up a good fight, but ends up on the floor getting choked by Wayne. However, Fiona makes the save by sacrificing one of her snow globes over the back of Wayne's head.

Now that Wayne the bounty hunter knows about Fiona's home, Thomas will have to stay at Michael's apartment. The plan to catch Lawrence in the act is simple, Michael will act as a buyer, with Sam being the middle man. Once Lawrence brings the broach is out in the open, Michael will bring in the police and clear Michael's name. Unfortunately for this role, Sam has to act very security conscious, which means no drinking alcohol. Sam meets with Lawrence, and sets up a meeting for Michael in Lawrence's home.

Meanwhile, Michael meets up with the Libyan contact, Anwar.
"You're Westen? I thought you'd be taller" ~ Anwar
Apparently there have been some nasty rumors spread about Westen and his tactics. However, Michael just wants to talk, and leaves Anwar with that thought.

Thomas and Fiona are enjoying a candle-lit dinner in Michael's apartment, Fiona is really working Michael's last nerve.
Michael and Sam arrive at Lawerence's home, playing the characters of Mr. Smith and Charles respectively. Mr. Smith and Lawrence talk price on the broach, and Michael is able to work it down to 1.2 million. However, Lawrence won't show the broach, and he wont' deliver the broach outside of his home. Michael can't make him budge, so he leaves with hints that Lawrence could have problems with security.

Michael meets up with the Libyans, and is forced to put a bag over his head and get driven to a secret location where he meets with Anwar. Michael offers to give up the identity of a team that blew up a gas refinery the Libyans own in exchange for Anwar delivering a fruit basket to Phillip Conrad (author of Michael's Dossier). At the very least it will get Phillip's attention. Anwar agrees, and the Libyans put Michael in the hood again and take him away.

Returning to Lawrence's home, Michael begins gathering intelligence. He plans to make it looks like Lawrence's home is unsecured. He uses an LED laser to overload some of the security cameras, and Sam leaves cigarette butts sprinkled on the lawn in Lawrence's home to make it appear someone has been watching the place. Fiona also meets one of the security guards at his home and makes it appear that she's bribing him. However, all this paranoia Michael is pulling ends up backfiring. Lawrence calls another meeting with Mr. Smith, and leads Michael to a room filled with his personal security and a badly beaten Cristo.

Thanks to Cristo, Lawrence now knows that Michael isn't who he says he is. Before it can get worse, Michael uses Lawrence as a body shield till he can get to the fire escape and run away from Lawrence's armed guards.

Michael, Sam, Fiona, and Thomas all meet in Michael's apartment to plan out the next step. Since Lawrence no longer trusts them, they'll have to get the broach out in the open with a whole new method.

Michael watches Lawrence leave his home in a big SUV with lots of security. Michael calls Sam and tells him to begin. Sam, on a rooftop with a different cell phone, calls the police and tells them that there is a bank robbery at Dale bank (the bank Lawrence is heading to). Then, with a deer rifle, Sam shoots out the security cameras, causing bank security and civilians to run in a panic. Fiona uses a stolen car to block traffic, and Sam starts up a radio blocker so the security guards can't use their radios. All the makings of a high profile bank robbery.

Lawrence pulls up in his SUV with security in tow, when Michael gives him a call. Michael tells Lawrence to look up, and Lawrence sees Sam with the deer rifle on the rooftop. Lawrence yells gun and points, his security pulls their guns and point towards the rooftop, Sam ducks and stays out of sight. Just in time, the police show up from Sam's panicked call. They arrest Lawrence and his security, and find the spider broach.

Fiona meets up one more time with Wayne, the bounty hunter. Fiona turns over Thomas, and Wayne walks away confident. However, a phone call reveals that the bounty of Thomas has been dropped, and Thomas hops back into Fiona's car a free man.

Phillip Conrad gives Michael a call, and he's not happy. The FBI are now on his front lawn, wondering why Anwar gave him a fruit basket. Apparently, he'll be in touch. As a reward for her work, Michael gives Fiona a present, a "Welcome to Miami" snow globe.

Personal Commentary

The main case in this one, was kinda boring for me. I enjoyed the details of it MUCH much more. For instance, Michael fighting Wayne the bounty hunter, and losing. Though he did give some good tips on trying to stop a guy like that. And poor Sam had to play a sober character, that man must have suffered.
We got to enjoy some more development of Fiona and Michael's relationship. Yes they've slept together but can it ever be anything more. Yes Fiona pushed him with the jealousy, basically proving to Michael that he does have some feelings for her, but I just can't see him keeping a girlfriend.

Oh yes, the SECOND episode where Madeline Westen doesn't show up, heck, she isn't even mentioned. I'm starting to miss her antics.
Be sure to read the full Writer's Blog on this one, I clipped the best part below.

Agent Jason Bly

After Michael gave Sam a confidential document to turn over to the FBI Agents, those agents left and were replaced by CSS Agent Jason Bly (played by Alex Carter).

The job of the FBI Agents were simply to keep tabs on Michael, but Bly's job was to make Michael's life and his friends and family's lives miserable until Michael stopped pursuing his burn notice.

At first, Michael didn't even know the name of his new "friend" until Fiona helped him pick his pocket. Armed with a name, Michael then set out to set up some bank accounts with Barry and used this to make it appear that Agent Bly had taken bribes of cash from Michael. With his career in jeopardy, the once confident CSS Agent quickly folded and handed Michael his burn notice in exchange for never revealing the bank accounts.

Broken Rules

Episode 7: Broken Rules
Production Number: BN106
Director: Tim Matheson
Writer: Mere Smith

Click on the Picture to go to the Broken Rules Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

Michael infiltrates a crime gang, posing as a thief, who are terrorising a merchant. Meanwhile, Michael blackmails an agent to reveal information about his burn notice.

Full Summary:

Michael, now armed with the name of the CSS Agent, Jason Bly, decides to announce his secret name to a group of customers at a resturant. However, Bly is ready with a comeback. He knows Fiona is running some guns in a stolen car, and tips off the police. Michael and Fiona are forced to run, but are able to ditch the car in a parking garage and get away.

Back at the apartment, Fiona and Michael managed to avoid the cops, however...

Michael: "If I'm going to go to war with Bly, I'm going to need some money."

Ernie Paso is the client. He's been paying protection money along with the entire street. He's willing to pay Michael 20 grand for the job. Michael's hesitant to get involved with organized crime, but Ernie pushes his soft side. Michael accepts.

Bly is still working his magic. He made Sam's girlfriend, Veronica, believe that Sam was cheating on her. Sam and Fiona talk about the best way to smooth over Sam's girlfriend.

The ring leader of the criminal organization is Conha Rameriaz, and she also has an assistant, Diego Cruz. Michael wants to scare off Rameriaz, so he dresses in biker clothes, grabs a bat, and acts like a lunatic in Ernie's shop to make it appear that a new force is in town. He next finds two of Rameriaz's henchmen, Oscar & Luis, and beats them up to spread the word.

Michael looks up Barry, the Launderer, and asks him to set up some fake bank accounts for his good friend, Agent Bly.

In order to continue to sell his crazy persona, Michael uses a dumpster to trap a car full of Rameriaz henchmen, disables it, then pours paint thinner in it. Once that's done he's able to use a simple lighter to threaten the henchmen into giving him their money. However, when Michael leaves the alley way, Diego Cruz pops out with a gun and takes him to see Rameriaz.

After Rameriaz has Michael punched around a bit, she tells Michael about her plan. She's not interested in the nickle & dime extortion money, she wants the real-estate. It won't be as easy for Michael to work her out now. Michael becomes the newest enforcer for Rameriaz.

Back at Michael's apartment, Agent Bly has arrived in a nice new car and let himself in. He gives Michael another threat. Unless he accepts a slower paced life as a security guard, he'll throw Nate (his brother) in jail, and tell a few of Fiona's enemies her exact whereabouts. Michael is forced to concede, and Bly is happy. They'll meet later to finalize the paper work.

Diego Cruz takes Michael on a routine collection, however, Michael wants to make a good first impression. So, he goes to Fiona's car where she was doing survalence, and "steals" her purse (after Fiona gets in a few punches. Diego is infuriated, but Rameriaz sees no problem. She talks to Michael privately and tells him that she wants Ernie and his whole family killed with a fire bomb.

Michael warns Ernie, who runs and closes shop. When Diego and Michael arrive at Ernie's shop and find it closed, Michael improvises and tells Diego that he was instructed by Rameriaz to kill him, Michael pulls a gun on Diego. Diego laughs and tells him that Rameriaz instructed him to kill Michael. When Michael tells Diego to get on his knees, he regrets not stopping Rameriaz sooner. Michael sees his opportunity, and lets Diego up so he can "finish it". Diego plants the firebomb in Rameriaz's office, and she is killed. Diego walks away from organized crime, and the streets are now safe.

Later, Michael and Ernie meet in a church. Ernie thanks Michael and tries to give him his fee, however, Michael refuses and even returns most of Ernie's money. Michael just needed enough cash to do some trick with a bank account in Agent Bly's name. Ernie wants to tell the world about what Michael did, but Michael makes him swear secrecy.

Michael and Agent Bly meet up to finalize Michael's new life, however, Michael refuses. He then pulls out a folder and explains to Bly how he set up multiple suspicious bank accounts in both their names, and the new car Bly is driving around was actually bought by Michael. Agent Bly's career is ruined if any of this gets out, as it appears he's being bribed by Michael. Michael requests his burn notice, and Bly is left to think about it. Michael leaves Bly... in the car Bly drove up in.

Back at Michael's apartment, Fiona wants to talk to Michael about their relationship, but Michael doesn't know what to say. Fiona isn't satisfied, so she begins to fight him. After a series of punches and kicks are exchanged, Fiona and Michael end up in Michael's bed.

They wake to the knocking of Agent Bly on Michael's door, he hands over Michael's burn notice and leaves.

Personal Commentary

The writers are not shying away at all from the main burn notice plot. Frankly, it's a good thing. Though the "job-of-the-week" plots are enjoyable, this show wouldn't be nearly as good without the over-arching plot and the character development.

Speaking of character development, everyone got their turn.
Fiona seems to be impressed that Sam is actually more romantic than she thought, not to mention that she seems to be more concerned with her relationship with Michael than usual.
Sam, of course, was revealed to have a soft side. Michael is quickly becoming the unwilling saviour of the common man.
Poor Agent Bly, when he first showed up I thought he was going to be a real thorn in Michael's side for a long time. Instead, the moment his chips are down Agent Bly buckles.

Barry The Launderer

Barry the Launderer (played by Paul Tei) has been used multiple times by Michael Westen as a go between to track down illegal art dealers or to set up illegal bank accounts. Barry apparently knows about Michael's burn notice, but doesn't care.

After all, business is business.

Unpaid Debts

Episode 6: Unpaid Debts
Production Number: BN105
Written by: Nick Thiel
Directed by: Paul Holahan

Click the Picture to go to the Unpaid Debts Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

Michael retrieves a boat from Jamaican gangsters and discovers $10 million dollars hidden onboard. However, there is also a group of crooked cops who are trying to claim the cash. Meanwhile, a CSS agent urges Michael to stop his investigation into who burned him.

Full Summary

Michael Westen, while trying to figure out who entered his apartment, gets a frantic call from his mother, Madeline Westen, saying that strange men are outside her house. Michael and Fiona Glenanne arrive at his mother's house quickly, Fiona uses a shotgun to keep the driver of an unmarked van at bay while Michael enters his mother's house. After fighting two men, a third comes out with Madeline and identifies himself as a government agent. He threatens Michael to stop looking in to who burned him, or else he'll continue to destroy Michael's life. The agent makes sure to break and tear a few more items before leaving.

Michael is interested in keep this mysterious agent here, so he has another source of information about his burn. However, he needs money to pay for his mother's remodeling costs. Sam Axe tries to convince Michael to take a job from his old Navy Seal buddy, Virgil. Before visiting Virgil, Michael goes back to his apartment to find a bug in his phone. In order to fool the agents that are listing, he rambles off random codes and information. The longer it takes them to decode the random information, the more he can watch them.

Virgil, the client, was a doing a repossession on a boat named Donzi, however, when he tried to take the boat from a group of Jamaicans he got beaten badly. Virgil says he wants to keep his reputation, and offers two thousand dollars to both Michael and Sam, Michael considers it. Meanwhile, the agent has taken Michael's charger for "evidence", while also disconnecting his phone line. Michael is forced to take the job Virgil offers. But first, he'll have to borrow Virgil's truck.

Michael takes up the alias of Homer, a friend of Virgil who is also a repossession man. First, Sam calls police with a fake drug report, thus giving Michael and Fiona some cover. Michael walks up and "repossesses" the boat. The main Jamaican, Andre, warns Michael that they will see each other soon.

Back ashore, away from the dock, Michael searches for, and finds a GPS device. They destroys it, and head to a garage to drop off the boat. However, when Michael (as Homer) talks to Mason (Virgil's client), Mason and his friends are quickly concerned when they don't see Virgil there. Michael observes explosives strapped to chloroform. Mason and his friends pull out police issue guns and threaten Michael, wanting to know where Virgil is. Michael creates a distraction by lighting the garage on fire, he hops into the truck under gunfire, and runs away with the boat.

Michael confronts Virgil, telling him that these guys were most likely dirty cops. Sam tells Michael that in 1984, in East Germany Sam screwed up big time and Virgil gave him a second chance. Michael agrees to continue the case, but Virgil needs to go into hiding. So, Michael takes Virgil to his mother's house to keep him safe. Madeline and Virgil quickly find common ground.

At Michael's apartment, Fiona and Michael sweep for bugs. To keep the listeners busy, Michael keeps talking. Fiona uses this opportunity to force the question on Michael as to why he left her. Michael finally admits that he left because his cover was blown, but he also left for fear of commitment. Fiona and Michael discover an optical bug, one that uses a laser to read the vibration on glass to hear what's going on inside the apartment. Michael counters this with a vibrator duct taped to the glass.

Sam, after ripping up carpet and sub flooring, finds ten million dollars in real money inside of the boat. Michael wants to talk to Virgil, however, he's in Madeline's bed. Michael, speaking in the accent he uses for his Homer alias, talks to the dirty cops to set up a meeting. Meanwhile, Sam and Virgil go to dump the boat (without the money) in an empty field. Mason and the cops wanted Virgil to do the dirty work of bringing the money to them. However, now they just want the Jamaicans and the boat all in one place, they'll take care of it from there. While Sam and Virgil dump the boat, the Jamaicans catch up with them and shoot at them. Sam and Virgil are able to get away, and the Jamaicans are left with an empty boat.

Michael needs time to work out a plan, so he tries to stall the meeting with Mason and the cops. However, they show him a picture of Virgil's daughter, and threaten to "find" drugs in her car. Michael goes to the hotel where the agent that threatened his mother is staying. Michael sets up a magnet where the agent would normally keep his laptop, thus setting up a trap that will wipe the hard drive of the agent's computer.

While Andre and Michael (as Homer) meet in a bar to discuss when they can exchange the money, Madeline and Virgil go out on a date at another club. Andre is shipping money between two powerful clients. Virgil sees one of the Jamaicans enter the bar where he's having his date, and tells Madeline to keep her head down. Virgil runs, and tries to fight the Jamaicans, but ends up caught. Andre is informed, and offers Michael a deal. The ten million dollars for the life of Virgil.

Michael, Fiona, and Sam pack up the money into Virgil's truck while trying to come up with a plan. They also consider simply keeping the money. Michael gets a call from the agent who he set up a trap for. He isn't happy that his laptop is now wiped. Michael tells Fiona that the agent will be changing hotels again, so she'll have to follow him.

Michael and Fiona head to the middle of a bridge with the stack of money. Sam picks a high point and brings a sniper rifle. As both Mason and the cops and Andre and the Jamaicans approach Michael, he pours gasoline on the money. Michael first gets Virgil back from the Jamaicans, then introduce them to the cops. Michael begins to walk away, Andre tries to shoot him, but Michael ducks. Sam uses his rifle to shoot Andre. This triggers both sides to shoot at each other while Michael burns the money and takes off with Virgil.

Virgil, Sam, Michael, and Fiona split some of the money from the boat. The Jamaicans are dead and the cops are in jail, however, Virgil still has to keep a low profile for a while. As a favor, Sam contacted some friends and got Michael's Charger back. Michael bugs the agent again, this time he distracts him long enough to have Fiona pick the agent's pocket. They learn his name, Agent Jason Bly.

Personal Commentary

Another helpful spy hint. Flour and glow powder on the floor lets you see who's been in your house. We get to see that Michael does have loyalty to his dear mother, even if he doesn't want to admit it.

This new CSS agent is an interesting foil for Michael. Just as smart, but willing to do harm to everything Michael loves. It will be interesting to see how this works out. And Michael even pays for the remodeling costs.

Once again, Madeline's house becomes a safe house. I also believe that this episode is the first time we've seen Michael and Fiona kiss, even if it was just a peck. Once again, Sam and Michael's relationship is put to the test, and once again they prove to be loyal to each other. At least Sam's pension isn't getting pushed on anymore. Truthfully, this episode over all was just a bit formulaic and convenient. Then again, at this point in the series it's hitting it's stride.

Oleg the Landlord

Oleg (played by George Tasudis) is the Landlord of Michael's "apartment", located outside of Club Warehouse. He charges Michael $200 a month for rent. Before Michael arrived, Oleg had problems with the drug pusher Sugar, however, Michael solved that problem.
Seeing an opportunity, Oleg asked Michael to help one of his waitresses get the drug cartel off her back. Michael helped him in exchange for four months of free rent.

Family Business

Episode 5: Family Business
Production Number: BN104
Written by: Matt Nix
Directed by: Sandy Bookstaver

Click the Picture to link to the Family Business Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

Michael infiltrates a family of gunrunners after they threaten an airport supervisor, hoping to scare them off. Meanwhile, the FBI are putting pressure on Sam to gather more information on Michael.

Full Summary:

The episode opens with Michael getting a call from his brother, Nate, who is apparently in trouble again.

"There's a good reason covert operatives keep their job a secret from their family. Once your family knows what you do, you've got problems. Best case they're scared. Worst case, they think they can get into trouble and you can help them out of it."

This time Nate's problems are not gambling related, but instead, he tried to help out a friend and got beaten down for it. Michael will help him out... if Nate "cleans up his act".

Fiona & Michael are working on his father's car. While working, Fiona finds a bug in Michael's car, but Michael already knows of it. Fiona accuses Sam and wants to ask him up front (with a wrench), but Michael holds her back.

"I'll behave.... maybe" ~ Fiona

Nate has accepted a job from Jake Miller, an airport security employee who has gotten in way over his head. After the Zamar family gave him a few items to grease the wheels, they started asking favors. Now they want him to lie about what flights are going out, and are threatening his pregnant wife.

The leader of the organization, Eli Zamar along with his older son Ilan and his younger son Ari. Michael starts with some light intelligence gathering.

"When gathering intel, little things can tell you a lot. A top fleet alarm system, well placed cameras without blind spots, paying attention to strangers in the area"

It becomes obvious that these guys are professionals. Michael sends Fiona to do some more personal observations, she uses the "looking for a bathroom" excuse, but doesn't get far. However, she's easily able to tell they are arms dealers. She even notices the Desert Eagle on his hip.

Michael explains to Jake, the client, that he can't go to the police. The old security manager died under mysterious circumstances. The only solution Michael sees is to get them busted with the guns. Meanwhile, Sam is getting pushed further with the FBI agents.

Sam & Michael follow the Zamar family, only to be forced to walk around an alley way searching for where the guns are stored. However, Michael ends up getting caught exposed.

"Fighting is something you want to avoid. Once you fight someone he knows your face. You kinda blow your cover when you hit a guy with a piece of rebar. When you have no choice, rebar it is."

Before Michael is forced to fight, Sam comes in with a big "drunken" distraction.

"What the hell does it look like I'm doing? I'm throwing crap at a warehouse!" ~ Sam

With that distraction, Michael and Sam are able to get away safely. Jake, the client, is forced to continue to play along.

"Mike, I saved your ass at the warehouse, the least you could do is have some decent beer in the fridge" ~ Sam

Back at Michael's apartment, Sam & Michael rethink their strategy for figuring out the location of the guns. The younger brother (Ari), according to Fiona, isn't as bright. Sam bugs his car, they find out what his likes and dislikes are. Find out about how Ari doesn't like his dad treating him like a kid, and his taste in wine. Back at Michael's apartment, Michaela nd Fiona have bought supplies. He uses cake icing to make large quantities of fake C4, while Fiona makes a small sample of the real thing. Sam prints up a fake ID, Sam Remington.

Michael now goes to his mother's house to help them look for his father's will and to pick up some nice cufflinks and a cigarette case. Madeline tells Michael that Nate is angry that he didn't get the car. Nate seems to take it personally.

At a club, Michael swoons Ari Zamar by buying Ari's favorite wine in front of him, then swooning him and his girlfriend, Debbie, by conveniently liking the same things Ari likes (information he learned from the bug in Ari's car).

Ari gets pulled away by his older brother Ilan, but Michael leaves his fake business card with the time 1 am. Later Michael and Ari meet so Michael can try to sell his fake C4 to Ari. Ari is interested, but wants to see a demonstration. Michael takes the sample of real C4 Fiona prepared and blows it up without flinching.

"Are we in business?"

Debbie, Ari's girlfriend, is apparently more interested in hooking up with Michael than staying with Ari. She called him five times in one night. Michael tries to further sweeten the deal with Ari by throwing in 50-calibur machine guns. Ari is unsure of doing business without his father's approval, however, when Michael threatens to walk away, Ari stops him and decides to do business

Sam admits to putting the bug into Michael's car, but defends himself by saying he made it obvious. Michael tells Sam to "break in" to his apartment, and even tells him where to look. At a meeting with Ari, Debbie shows up early to seduce Michael. Ari confronts Michael and accuses him of trying to steal Debbie away from him.

"Dealing with a blown cover is about stalling for time. Stay alive long enough to figure out what they know, and tell a bigger lie to save yourself"

Michael laughs off the accusation and pretends to think it was a test, Ari is convinced. Michael will still get to see Ari's arms location.

"Riding in a car with a blindfold on takes some getting used to. Good news is the driver is too busy making sure you can't see anything to pay attention. He won't notice he's being followed"

At the arms location, Ari tells Michael that he has paid off some of the police, so Michael's original plan no longer works. So, he goes to plan B. He instructs Jake, the client, to go up to Eli Zamar and ask him why he's now answering to Ari's friend Steve Remmington (Michael's alias). He claims Steve knows of his own personal information and that he has pictures and information about the Zamar operation.

"Ari, what did you do?"

Eli runs Jake out and rushes to the warehouse. However, Michael has already come, emptied the supply, and left his fake, Steve Remmington business card. The Zamar's are left chasing a ghost while Sam throws the stolen weapons into the river. The family is forced to run. Jake and his wife are now safe.

Sam Axe hands over a confidential document he "stole" from Michael's apartment to the FBI agents. Apparently, this information is so good, so important, that they are being taken off the case, and a new person will be taking over Michael's case.

Nate and Michael find their dad's will, but there is nothing in it about the car. Madeline lied so they would come together. Nate hugs Michael in a moment of compassion, then steals his wallet.

Personal Commentary

You can tell the writers and the actors are starting to hit a stride, getting to know their characters better and truly becoming them.
I'm starting to think that Michael's father's car is going to become a running theme through out the series. A constant reminder of Michael's father, and a little project to keep him busy between his various cases and working on his Burn Notice.
Speaking of which, we actually took a break from the main burn notice plot, that's okay, it appears we'll pick it up in the next episode.
Nate is back and he's still in trouble. It looks like he's the unofficial fourth member of team Michael. Even though he doesn't actually bring any skills to the team other than getting in trouble and being "proactive" in finding new clients.
I enjoy Fiona's intelligence gathering efforts, how silly she looked in such a nice dress while crossing her legs while she pretends to need the bathroom.
I also enjoy when Michael was getting chased in the alley way, yet again he's forced to deal with locked doors. Sam's distraction was hilarious.
Once again, Michael shows off his chops at lying and worming his way into making a business deal. And he gives helpful hints on how to make fake C4, delicious. Michael's dad kept tabs on Michael's arrest record. Does that suggest he was disappointed with Michael? Is Nate insulted? Thinking that his dad liked Michael more for some reason, that's why he left the car to him?
Michael also shows how to back out of a blown cover, that was a crazy laugh that came out of no where. Great acting.
Sam was forced to put a bug into Michael's car, yet Michael still helped him get the FBI off of his back. There is a true friendship there.
And how simple Michael manages to wrap things up. The family is gone and his client is safe. Of course, if they ever see his face again, he'll be in a lot of trouble.

Hmm??? Someone new to watch over Michael. This is going to be interesting.

Madeline Westen

Click the Picture to go to the Madeline Westen Gallery

Madeline Westen (played by Sharon Gless) is Michael's mother. She doesn't fully know what Michael does, and constantly worries. She has a smoking habit, and is neurotic, constantly going to the doctor for different ailments she thinks she has.
She thinks that Michael and his father are just alike, and that Michael was the one that would agitate him, Michael strongly disagrees.

Madeline also keeps up with Fiona, often using her as a source of information for Michael.

USA Character Bio:

In Michael's eyes the only thing worse than a fully armed assassin happens to be his obsessive mother, Madeline (Sharon Gless). Widowed, with an empty nest, Madeline has made it a priority to keep Michael in her life ever since his return to Miami. She lives in their family home, plotting ways to keep in touch with her oldest son, and to make peace between him and his brother Nate. Madeline's late husband wasn't a winner by any means, but he gave her two sons that she adores.

While playing cards with her neighbors, she finds time to send Michael clients that are in desperate need of help. In return she offers Michael tidbits of information, and occasionally lets him use her place as a "safe house."

Old Friends

Episode 4: Old Friends
Production Number: BN102
Writer: Alfredo Barrios
Director: David Solomon

Click the Picture to go to the Old Friends Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

A friend of Michael requests assistance in freeing his daughter from a prostitution ring. Meanwhile, Michael must protect himself from repeated assassination attempts by an old friend. On top of this, his gambling brother Nate is back in town, and eager to "help".

Full Summary

The episodes opens with Michael and Sam trading trivia in a sports bar. Michael notices Jan Haseck, a Czech Assassin, walk into the bar.

"If it looks like you're about to get into a fight that could get you killed, try starting another one."

Michael starts a fight with a fat guy in the bar, and in the confusion, gives the assassin a welcome punch to Miami.

"When bobby trapping your home, it's important to keep it simple. Make it easy to set up, easy to disable. One more thing about bobby traps, make sure your friends know about it."

Michael rigs a shotgun up to his apartment doorway just incase Jan the assassin shows up again. Michael's mother calls and says the disposal is clogged and she needs Michael's help.

"No, do NOT put your hand down the disposal"

Upon entering his mother's house, Michael is attacked by Nate Westen, his younger brother. Nate has taken a thousand dollars from an old school friend, Bill, in exchange for finding Bill's daughter, 18 year old Jenna, who left home to become a model.

"Spies go to bars for the same reason people go to libraries, full of information if you know where to ask."

Michael uses a series of photos of Jenna and her "boyfriend", Brandon Diggs, to track him down to a bar. Fiona convinces Brandon to leave the bar, so Michael can question him. He admits to being a recruiter for the Wilhelm Brothers, who are known official do modeling but to the underworld are simply Pimps. Michael uses his brother's compulsive gambling "skills" to read the Wilhelm Brothers and get invited to one of their parties.

Now back to the Jan the assassin Fiona has been tracking him, and tells Michael he left his hotel room. Michael sneaks in and learns what little he can about his "old friend". Michael borrows Sam's car to get to the hotel, but Jan attacks him with a knife.

"The key to a good knife defense, is to control the knife and hit him with everything you've got."

Michael tries to fight back, but eventually runs into a packed elevator.

"It's also about knowing how to make the body count unacceptable".

Michael finds Jenna at the party, however, gets ushered away from her quickly. Now back to team Miami (Michael, Sam, and Fiona). Sam wants to sneak Jenna away, Fiona wants to go in guns blazing. Michael decides on stopping the car she'll be transported in and taking her from there.

Back at Madeline's house, a handful of "enforcers" came to beat up Nate and remind him of his gambling debts. Nate wants his half of the job money now, but Michael is convinced that Nate will simply gamble it away rather than pay off his debt, Nate walks off in anger.

"A rescue attempt is hard enough when it's someone wants to be rescued. It doesn't matter whether it's a brother with a compulsive gambling problem, or a girl who thinks she's about to launch her modeling career. So you eliminate escape options, keep a low profile, but no matter what you do you'll still have someone screaming bloody murder in the back of your car."

While preparing the car at his mother's house, Michael hears that Nate went to his house, the house he rigged with a shot gun in case anyone unfriendly entered. Michael rushes to his house, only to get shot at by Jan.

"A ricocheted might not be deadly, but it sure feels that way."

A ricocheted bullet hits Michael in the back of the shoulder, however Nate pulls out a gun and chases Jan off.

Without Michael, Sam and Fiona improvise, Sam gets in a "car accident" with the car transporting Jenna, delaying the Wilhelm Brothers flight plan for another day.

Flashback to Michael's apartment where Nate is doing field surgery on Michael's bullet wound. When Sam walks in and asks questions, Michael is forced to give an obvious lie to give Sam the benefit of plausible deniability.

Michael changes up the plan. This time he captures one of the Wilhelm brothers and stuffs him in the trunk of a car. From there he negotiates the release of Jenna and the payment of the Wilhelms' other girls. Michael exchanges one Wilhelm brother for Jenna, then delivers her to her father, Bill.

Over to a hot dog stand, Jan the assassin is eating a hot dog when he starts choking and searching for a syringe. Michael comes in and grabs the syringe from him, revealing that he found out about Jan's peanut allergy and sprinkled Jan's favorite food with crushed peanuts. Michael holds the syringe hostage for information about his Burn Notice.

"A lot of people want you (Michael) dead from old days... now you are the one to protect " ~ Jan

Michael leaves Jan with the syringe in his thigh and zip tied to the park bench.

Later, Michael receives a package from an "old friend" simply saying that they would see each other soon. Michael calls Sam and finds out that some high clearance level officers picked up Jan and left him in a jail cell with his own shoelaces, thus allowing him to hang himself.

Michael is left wondering who this old friend is, and why they want to keep him alive.

Personal Commentary

I'm glad we got a scene of Sam and Michael simply hanging out and talking. It provides some proof that Michael actually see Sam as a friend, not just a contact when he's burned. We'll see later in the episode how this relationship is strained by the FBI. We get another glimpse of a simple fix for booby trapping your home, and a few helpful hints about when to actually set it. Michael has to lie to Sam about why he started that fight.

The introduction of Nate's brother. He is a moocher and a compulsive gambler who's only real skill seems to be getting into trouble and some level of dumb luck. This'll be the second case that Madeline brought to Michael, I wonder how involved she'll get into Team Miami (Michael, Sam, Fiona). I also like how Nate squeezed every last bit of money he could from Bill the father. Still, 3,000 dollars split with Nate is a pretty low pay for Michael.

I also enjoy how Michael is able to use extremely obscure clues to get a lead and start his investigation. A series of photos from a photo booth? No problem. Note during the party, right after Michael gets separated from Jenna how quickly and seamlessly he slips from one character to another. That's the skill of a spy and more importantly, the skill of an actor.

Sam likes to sneak, Fiona likes to blow stuff up. Another trip to the hardware store for planning the rescue mission. That place must be doing great business with Michael around.

The action scene with Michael dodging Jan's bullets was nice, though I was a bit annoyed that some random shots from Nate is enough to make him slowly walk away. A bit odd. I loved Sam's method of stopping a car. It works, it's painful, but it works. Nate doing surgery on Michael. SMALL INCISION. SMALL INCISION!

I'll be interested to see how stressed Sam and Michael's relationship becomes with the FBI putting the grind on Sam. The final scene with Jan and the hot dog stand was incredibly creepy. The number of ways Michael can get you is scary. Either way, it was a very well done scene. A lot of people wanted Michael dead, now they have to protect him, an interesting hint. I truly think that the zip tie is Michael's most used weapon, with the second one being duct tape.

So, an "old friend" is looking after Michael, they want him in Miami, they want him alive, and whoever is pulling this has some very high up connections.
The mystery goes on.

Sam Axe

Click the Picture to go to the Sam Axe Gallery

Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) is a man who has done a little bit of everything, and now does just about nothing. He drinks heavily and ogles different women. Sam prefers using computers to find files and information rather than searching through paper files or getting the information from people. Sam crossed Fiona in the past, however, they seemed to get over their differences quickly. Sam is informing on Michael to the FBI because his pension is being threatened, however, Sam is always careful to only give a certain amount of information.

After Michael let Sam find a classified document in his apartment, the FBI left and were replaced by Agent Bly. Bly did his damage to Sam by calling Sam's current girlfriend (Veronica) and trying to make it look like Sam was cheating on her, Michael was able to straighten out Bly however, and Veronica got an apology from both Sam and Agent Bly.

Sam has proven himself to be loyal to his old friends, and even romantic at times. This has impressed Fiona, who has apparently forgiven Sam for their past transgressions.

USA Character Bio

Handsome with a good-natured grin, Sam (Bruce Campbell) is a former Navy Seal, Military Intel Operative, and all-around Cold Warrior. In his prime he was point man on an array of armed conflicts the world over. He worked with Michael many times during those heady days.

When Michael reconnects with him in Miami, Sam has embraced his post-espionage days by letting loose. Once, he loved the threadbare world of secret surveillance in the communist bloc, or forward recon in the touch-and-go Middle East.

Now, he has moved on to mojitos, Sugar Mommas and bikini watching in the bars and on the sands of South Beach. He's reliable and consistent, in the way that you can count on a former spy to dig up solid intel and execute missions with stealthy aplomb. Despite his predilection for rich divorcées and cocktails, he is an asset to Michael, even when he becomes an informant for the FBI. Though the Feds have Sam keeping an eye on Michael, he needs Sam's friendship, partnership, and expertise, now more than ever.

Fight or Flight

Episode 3: Fight or Flight
Production Number: BN103
Written by: Craig O'Neill and Jason Tracey
Directed by: Colin Bucksey

Click the Picture to go to the Fight or Flight Gallery

Full Summary
Personal Commentary
Writer's Blog

Quick Summary:

Michael is hired by Oleg - The Landlord to help his waitress who is being threatened by a drug cartel. This job won't be easy, as the only solution that the drug cartel sees involves murder. Meanwhile, Michael is dealing with Fiona who wants a key to the apartment and getting the Charger from his mother.

Full Summary:

Michael continues to search for allies to help him figure out who burned him. He "stumbles" his way into a International Conference and picks up the trial of an old friend who might be able to tell him who issued the Burn Notice. Michael is able to make a daring escape before being caught by security.

Back at the apartment, Michael is angry at Fiona for breaking in, again, but Fiona counters that Michael never gave her a key, nor is he willing to get a car of his own. She accuses him of being afraid of commitment. Fiona leaves, and alter when Michael is leaving, Oleg, the landlord, asks for him to take on a job and help out one of his waitresses who is getting harassed by a drug cartel.

The Client is Cara, a waitress who accidentally witness the beating of some pizza boy by a drug cartel member. She's in way over her head. She also has a teenage daughter named Sophie. Both are quite scared as they have received threats from drug cartel thugs.

Flashing over to a International Conference, Michael has caught up with a spy buddy of his, Akhob Thabet. Fiona will help track the guy if Michael talks to his mother about getting his father's car.

*** My father's approach to car maintenance is the same approach he had to his family. If it doesn't work, bang it. If it doesn't fit, force it. And above all else, make sure it looks good on the outside.

Sam helps Michael get his hands on the name of the member of the drug cartel who's threatening his client, Alvaro Desantos. However, when Michael goes to meet Alvaro, he's told that the family will soon be taken care of. Michael warns Fiona in time for her to serve up some Molotov cocktails for the incoming thugs.

After Fiona repels the cartel thugs, Michael has to move his clients to a safe house. Specifically, his mother's garage. Michael sets up the house with a motion alarm in case anyone approaches, and an electrified door knob in case anyone unwanted comes knocking. Sophie is still upset that she won't be able to go to her Spring Formal as planned.

Michael, after getting the word from Sam, checks in with the drug cartel lawyer, Bruce Gillmen. Michael stops Gillmen on his morning commute to try to convince him to no longer pursue Cara and Sophie, but he's unmoved. In fact, the next time Michael comes over, Bruce tries to have him killed with a car bomb, but Michael anticipates this and avoids it.

Michael walks in on his egyptian spy friend, Akhob Thabet, while he's in the middle of a job. Using his leverage, Michael convinces Akhob to get a copy of his burn notice.

Sophie runs away from the safe house to go to her Spring Formal. Michael comes to the rescue of Sophie just in time, and ushers her into a science lab. Michael heats up the door knob to the lab to create a distraction, and disarms the two hitmen. He also finds some spark plugs for his Charger.

Michael feels that a new plan is needed. Michael videotapes Alvaro while Sam calls him, pretending to be Cara's lawyer. Michael then edits this sound and video to make it look like Alvaro was about to squeal to the police. Sam ensures that the FBI gets a hold of the tape, and Michael then meets up with the lawyer, Bruce, and leads him to the FBI tape. The end result, Bruce Gillmen and the rest of the Cartel confront Alvaro and force him into a car trunk.

For all her trouble, Fiona finally gets a key to the apartment. And after some work, Michael gets to look at the actual Burn Notice, but it's issued by name is a series of letters and numbers. But it's a start, and the mystery goes on....

Personal Commentary

I love Michael's opening escape sequence. It brings further proof that he is not some action hero. He ran into dead ends and locked doors, and when he finally reached the roof and had to jump, he managed to injure himself. I'm also beginning to see a theme of "odd payments" for Michael. He took the last assignment in exchange for information about two FBI agents. He'll end up doing this assignment for four months rent.
Within the first two minutes Sophie was on screen, I knew she'd run off to go to her spring formal and Michael would have to save her, it was painfully predictable. Another odd payment comes up when Fiona will only help track down Akhob Thabet if Michael talks to his mother about taking his father's Charger (though it needs spark plugs). Sam is quickly finding his place in Michael's little team as the man with many connections... and a moocher.

This episode has a fine example of how Michael likes to work. Even though he often plans and prepares, he's also willing to just walk right in to a dangerous situation if he feels it can finish the job quickly. I was also surprised that Michael was willing to fight his way out of the situation (with Sam Axe providing the getaway) just to save a client he had only recently met (or was it to save Fiona?).

Fiona shows off her differences from Michael. Michael prefers to use his mouth, his mind, and a good hardware store to solve his problems. Fiona prefers Molotov cocktails. Both methods are quite fun to watch.

Another odd payment, Michael's clients can stay in his mother's garage only if he visits his father's grave. Michael's way of telling his clients that the doorknob to the garage was now electrified was hilarious: "Don't.... don't touch that". Sophie fulfilled her "whiny teenager" contract complete with predictable prom that she HAS to attend, despite the fact that she's gonna die. Her future actions are quite predictable at this point.

Michael of course comes to the rescue of Sophie before the little whiner gets herself killed. I'm not sure if the director tried to have a "Disney moment" between Michael and Sophie and failed, or if he purposefully made it look like it failed to get the point across that Michael is not a family man, nor a romantic. Either way, the whole thing was painful.

Michael shows a bit of give by letting Fiona have a key, maybe he is ready to settle down.