Burn Notice 2.11 "Hot Spot" Recap
Previously on Burn Notice: Someone tried to blow Michael up, much to his annoyance. Carla hires Michael to find out who was trying to kill him, which happens to be what he was doing anyway. It's so nice when management and employees are working towards the same goals! Except, you know, Michael really just wants to make friends with whoever is screwing up Carla's plans.
Welcome to "Hot Spot", which I assume is a reference to anywhere in the near vicinity of one of the leads of Burn Notice. Hi everyone, I'm Ms. Gwennie Pennie, filling in for Katie Scarlett as she recovers from a sinus infection. We open on Michael and Fiona arguing. Fiona is happy to help Michael get revenge, but not to be Carla's errand boy. "Revenge is a waste of time," says Michael. "So is watching TV and eating candy, but you do it because it feels good," retorts Fiona. Point to Fi! Michael promises to knock whoever tried blow him up around a little for good measure when he finds him, and momentarily appeases Fi's bloodlust. Fi points out that the storage facility that they're standing in front of has security cameras that might have caught the bomber going to and from the loft, and she got the name of the service rep who installed the security system as well as the model number. "You do care," Michael smiles. Well, DUH!
Michael talks his way in with an "upgrade" for the storage facility's security system. By "upgrade" he means a new unit so he can steal the old one, of course. Blondie, the office manager, is wary. Maybe it's because Michael's southern fried accent is more suspect than day old KFC. Blondie calls the security company about the unexpected upgrade, and hands the phone off to Michael, who has a completely different conversation than Ron, the security manager. Michael hangs up on Ron as Ron screams about calling the police, hands the phone back to Blondie and says, "Well, somebody's in trouble! But it ain't me." Clever Michael thought he might need to buy some time, so he already had his computer ready to call all the storage facility's phone numbers at once. The cacophony of ringing phones and Ron's slow call back to Blondie give Michael just enough time to dash out the door to Fiona, waiting with the Saab.
Back at the loft, Fiona's learning her fortune after some Chinese takeout. "The one you love is closer than you think," she reads aloud, then gazes meltingly at Michael. Michael is impervious to Fi's ample charms when there's exciting surveillance footage to watch though, and doesn't so much as glance at her. "What's yours say?" Fiona wonders, grabs Michael's fortune cookie and smashes it into a zillion pieces. Fiona Glenanne - No Demolition is Too Small. "The one who burned you is closer than you think." "What, what?" Michael sputters. He realizes she's just seeking attention and is unamused. But he's not totally annoyed because he's thinks he's spotted the man who tried to kill him in the security footage!
Sam and Michael are having drinks at the Cafe Carlito. Sam is unimpressed with the bomber. So am I, Sam. He's wearing a City of Miami Department of Public Works uniform and is kind of mangy looking, which just goes to show not all uniforms are created equal - but more on that later. Anyway, Sam has a great idea for a way for Michael to unwind - football! He has a friend with seats on the 50 yard line three rows up who has a problem. "When is the last time you did something regular people do?", Sam wonders, "Don't be afraid, I'll be right there with you." Michael looks skeptical, to put it mildly, but agree to meet Sam's friend (and former Dolphins player) at 2.
Are you ready for some FOOTBALL??? Oh wait, that's Sunday. Michael and Sam meet with Sean Martin (played by former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin), who coaches for 1st and Goal, which seems to be some sort of at-risk/future superstar football team. He isn't the one with the problem, it's his player, Corey Jensen. Corey is a good kid but got in a fight with a local gangster who now wants Corey dead. Corey and his sister are holed up at Coach Martin's house, and Michael and Sam agree to go pick them up and get the scoop.
But guess who's befouling the Charger? Mike's Burn Notice Lady, aka Carla, aka Jib Jab to me and a friend who think that whenever Tricia Helfer talks her jaw does this weird thing just like in those Jib Jab cartoons. Seriously, who shows all their bottom row of teeth when they talk? It's just weird! Tall, Blond and Evil wants Michael to come with her for a little chit chat. Michael willingly hands off the keys to Sam and heads off.
We cut to Carla cutting off Michael's cable tie handcuffs, then removing the bag from his head. "Don't I get tied to the chair? Don't go soft on me now, girl," Michael deadpans. Oh, Michael! Don't give me any ideas. Carla, however, lacks my imagination and wants a casual meeting to discuss Michael's progress on the investigation. He learns that the bomb residue was the same as on the other operatives (plural) who were attacked. Carla won't share names though, and Michael complains, "I thought you weren't going to tie my hands." "I've seen your work. And you're just fine with your hands tied," Carla replies. Mreow, mreow! Oh, and if you need to tinkle, Michael, you're going to have to hold it or be shot. That'll make you pee shy.
Sam is just getting ready to pick up pizza for the gang at the loft when Michael returns with nothing worse than a few paper cuts. Michael gloats that Carla is a step behind him on intel, but his cheer is tempered by the news that Fi is "fired up" about their new case. Michael's new fortune: "When the tiny ex-IRA agent is angry, thing go boom."
Meet Corey and Tanya. Tanya got a ride from local gangster Felix Cole, who promptly attacked her. The fifteen-year-old managed to fight him off and escape, but her brother was understandably pissed and went after Felix with a baseball bat. Corey tries to explain but Fi cuts him off, "No explanation necessary. Use a golf club next time. Greater force to a smaller area." Corey takes this advice with a side of "Holy shit, who is this lady?" But now they're trying to kill Corey and they have nowhere to go. Fiona says it's fine, they'll take care of it, but Michael asks Corey and Tanya to excuse them for a moment. He then asks Fiona out onto the balcony in the tone reserved for hostage negotiators dealing with a particularly dicey situation. They head out and Fiona shoots down all of Michael's reasonable solutions, but Michael doesn't score any points when he says she's letting her emotions get the better of her. Oh, kind of like YOU did last week Mike? He's smart enough to play along.
Michael, Fiona, and Corey scope out Felix's hangout in the Charger. Felix heads up the 24K crew. The title cards helpfully point out: "Felix Cole - Gangster", but Fiona's not having it. "He doesn't deserve to be called a gangster. Anyone who attacks a fifteen year old is a pervert", she sneers. The title cards are also smart enough to play along with Fiona and regroup: "Felix Cole - Pervert." We also meet Tony Soto, the boss, learn the whole 24K crew are trying to kill Corey, and that any car that gets boosted from here to midtown is Felix's guys. Corey thinks it's hopeless, but Fiona has that homicidal gleam in her eye. It's so bright I can see it through her sunglasses.
Fiona, Sam and Michael regroup in the loft. Sam thought they would just be finding a lost dog or something. "You're going to have to work a little harder than you're used to," Fi chides. "I work plenty hard, lady, I just make it look easy," Sam retorts. He's not making pickle spearing look very easy though, as he and Michael prod at them in a jar with forks. Pickles and yogurt in the fridge, Michael? Will there be a little Westen bundle of joy in 9 months? Michael wonders how they're going to play this, and Fi's answers is of course head on. Corey and Tanya are going to need a safer place to stay, which of course means. . .
A trip to Madeline's! Madeline is delighted for the company and guilt trips Michael that if he didn't bring people over, she'd never see him. She thanks him for springing Nate out of jail and having his arrest expunged. Michael explains that it was done for him, and oh, by the way, it was the same people who had him arrested in the first place. "Sometimes I forget how complicated your life is," Madeline understates.
"There's a reason armies wear uniforms," Michael voice-overs. "Uniforms suggest organization, power and numbers." You forgot HOTNESS! Take a lesson, bomber! Michael, Fiona and Sam are all getting dressed in black suits, white shirts and black shades. The guys deck themselves out with a little extra bling, and we learn Fi has a tramp stamp. The fact that she has an ass you could bounce a quarter off of was already well known. The trio head out in the Charger and meet up with Felix in his red GTO at a stop sign. "Nice car," Michael calls out. "It's too bad, really." "What's too bad?" Felix replies. That they're going to throw a pepper grenade in it, shoot out all the tires, and melt the engine block with a coffee can filled with Thermite and a burning fuse. Aw, I already saw that Thermite thing on Mythbusters! "It's time for you to leave Miami," Michael orders.
Michael catches Corey up on their progress and gets the low down on Felix's top three boosters. Madeline is happily feeding Corey the contents of her pantry, including some oysters from when Michael was a baby. Tanya, who isn't as big on aging soda crackers as her brother, wants to go home, but Michael says it's not safe. He also checks to see if they have any other family in the area Felix could target, but sine their mom died, it's just the two of them. Coach Martin looks after them when they need it, so Sam is dispatched to warn him to lay low.
Michael and Fiona are flirting and building a shape charge to break into Felix's HQ through the fire exit. Michael is fumbling with the det cord and Fiona purrs, "Let me do that. I have a more delicate touch." She also made some progress finding the bomber. There's a chance he works for ASA Dismantling, who contracts to do the city's demolition work. She promises to look into it, then finishes up the bomb. "It's beautiful," she says, looking it it fondly. "Yeah, beautiful," Michael replies fondly as well, but he's not looking at the shape charge!
The trio are decked out in their uniforms staking out Felix. Felix is inside ranting to his crew about their inability to find out who these people are. That was a sweet ride, dude - I get why you're pissed. Maybe they should have just strapped the can of Thermite to you and spared the car. Oops, a little of my inner Fiona slipped out there, sorry! The gang is about to rid Felix of his lack of knowledge by blowing in the door. Sam steps in with the shotgun and lines the crew up on the back wall. "Who the hell are you people?" Felix growls. "Name's Johnny," Michael replies. He blithely informs Felix he has 48 hours to get out of Miami or they will make his travel arrangements for him. Felix huffs and puffs, but Fiona is the one who blows his house down when she lights the vodka she's dumped all over the bar on fire.
Michael and Fi head back to the loft. "Did you see the shopping list your mother gave Sam? Corey is eating his own body weight in cereal every day," Fiona says. Guess the pantry is cleared out! The reminisce about how they met and we learn Michael's cover in Dublin was "Michael McBride." We also learn his Irish accent is much more appealing than that southern fried one. Fi wonders where he went, and Michael says, "You know how it is with cover IDs. You become who you need to be." "And everyone gets to guess who you really are," Fi replies quietly. She leaves for a meeting at ASA Dismantling, feeling blue and wondering who the real Michael Westen is. Michael sits on the bed, looking after her and wondering why those two crazy kids can't just make it work. I might be projecting a little bit there.
Cut to Fiona strutting through a warehouse filled with guys welding. She's wearing a tiny (even by Fiona standards), skin-tight tube dress, sexy hair and smoky eyes. "Nina Roberts, GreenRow Publishing, we spoke on the phone yesterday," she says to a hunk in a hard hat. "Oh right, you sell the calendars," he replies, removing his hard hat to show off his own sexy hair. "No, darling, I make the calendars. Theme calendars," she says, showing off a Firefighters one. The men of demolition are next because, "Nothing turns a woman on more than when something goes boom," she flirts, tossing her hair over her shoulder. You said it, girl. Mr. January (mini spoiler!) just needs to give her names and photo of all the guys, but not to fill them in on what he's doing, so as to spare the homely's feelings. "What are you looking for?" Mr. January wonders. "Depends. But I think I'm looking at Mr. January right here," she breathily responds and leaves him wanting more.
Michael, in uniform, sits in the Charger in a parking garage, watching one of Felix's top guys try to steal what looks like a Camry. "Lose your keys? I can give you a ride," Michael calls out, getting the thief's attention. The thief tries to land a punch but Michael drops him like a sack of potatoes after smashing his head into the side of the car then sending a spin kick to his head for good measure. Michael's only injury is his sunglasses have slipped ever so slightly down his nose. He pushes them up while looking down at his unworthy opponent.
Split screen to Sam in Corey's SUV, hanging out at the marina. Sam is in uniform as well, and has another henchman in his sights. Literally in his sights, since he shoots the guy with a bean bag round. He does no permanent damage but assures the thug, "The temporary damage hurts like hell. Did I forget to mention that?" Oops! Silly Sam!
Cut to a black Corvette being passed by a black Saab. Could it be our favorite former IRA agent? Of course! Fiona, uniform clad, cuts the Corvette thug off. She hops out and offers to exchange insurance information with him, but decides it would be a better idea if he got in her trunk and put on the lovely cable tie handcuffs she's holding. They're in the hand without the gun.
"There's an element of theatre in any offensive campaign," Michael VOs. "It's not just about bullets and bodies - killing people usually creates more problems than it solves. It's about undermining your enemy's will to fight, destroying the morale of his troops, sending the message that fighting back is useless because the battle is already lost." Michael, Fi and Sam have left Felix a care package - his three lieutenants, bound and gagged in front of his hangout. They're also hanging out across the street in their spiffy threads. Have I mentioned how the uniform is rockin'? Michael gives Felix a call and says the guys are a going away present for him. Felix gets even more pissed and pulls out his piece. "I'm good to go," Michael assures him, pulling aside his jacket to show he's packing as well, while Fiona readies her weapon, "but do you really want to do this in front of all these people in broad daylight?" He sounds a little bored. Even Felix isn't that stupid, but he makes with the threats, "You just wait, Johnny boy." "Oh, I'll wait. I'll wait 23 hours and 14 minutes," is Michael's cool reply. Felix huffs off while Michael smirks. His phone rings and surprisingly it's neither Madeline or Carla but Tony Soto, Felix's boss. He wants to talk to Michael in person and has thoughtfully sent a car to pick him up. Tony agrees to leave two of his guys to keep Fi and Sam company while he and Michael meet, so Michael hops into the car.
Smoky club. Haven't they banned that in Miami like everywhere else? Everyone seems to have cigars, so maybe there are different rules. Tony is holding court at a big corner table and is pleased to make Johnny's acquaintance. "You got style Johnny. You're aggressive. I like that." Get in line, dude. Tony and Johnny (Michael) work out a deal that Felix will go bye bye if Johnny and his crew can make a Maserati untraceable.
Michael and Sam have switched back into their civvies and are taking the Maserati to Madeline's garage to work on. They do a montage of changing VIN tags, stealing info from an out of state Maserati to create clean paperwork, and using hydrochloric acid to burn the VIN off the chassis of the car. Once the car is cleaned and cloned, Sam offers to drive it around South Beach, "just to make sure it drives OK" - aka have fun tooling around in a $150,000 car. Michael tells him to knock himself out - he has a meeting with Carla.
Cut to Carla sliding into the backseat of an SUV. "Hello, Michael." Sorry, Michael, I didn't recognize you with that black bag over your head. She clips his cable tie handcuffs once again and he yanks the bag off his head. "Do we have to go all the way to your office, or can we just do this here?," Michael says. His annoyance with Carla seems to be pretty high. Maybe he'd rather be tooling around South Beach with Sam. Scratch that, knowing Michael he'd probably rather be watching riveting footage from a storage place's security camera. Carla has his list of names of European demolition experts and notes that his ex-girlfriend is on there, but Michael is sure they can rule her out. Carla needles him that Fiona had the expertise and the access. Ooh, I think someone is jealous! Michael says with all those names he's going to need some time, and Carla grants his two days. 48 hours seems to be the running time limit in Miami. She tells the driver to pull over and leaves Michael to walk back to the loft. I guess Carla's never heard the saying you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. We do get a nice shot of Michael in his black t-shirt, slipping on the Oliver Peoples, so I won't hold it against her.
We pop over to Madeline's house for quick check in on Corey and Tanya. They're checking out the old Westen family Christmas photo. Aww, look there's Mr. Abusive Dad looking grim, Madeline looking a little like Sam's lady friend from season one (I guess we know where Michael got his good looks), Nate with a dopey grin on his face, and young Michael with his arm protectively over Nate's shoulder and sporting a major shiner. Corey and Tanya are sad they don't have any family photos like that, but that quickly fades when they learn Michael's shiner was because he got in a fight with his dad to protect Nate, and the photo was taken because Madeline threatened to dump the whole Christmas dinner in the trash unless everyone shut up and took the picture. Ah, family memories.
Cut to Fi back at ASA Dismantling. Mr. January has put together the requested information, and will be waiting for her call. Don't hold your breath, buddy. Fiona checks the file while she heads back to the Saab, and look who we have here! The bomber is Derek Poole and he works part time for ASA. She calls Michael and fills him in as he and Sam suit up as Johnny's crew. There's a knock a the door. Michael and Sam pull out the guns as Sam gruffly calls out, "Who's there?" It's Coach Martin, sporting a bloody lip. Guess he didn't keep his head down after all.
Coach Martin got jumped by Felix and his boys. Felix wants a meeting with Corey or he's going to go after the rest of Coach's players, but Felix just wants to talk to him. "No, he's going to kill him. He probably will kill you both," Michael evenly states. Should they call the police? Of course not! Michael tells Coach to call Felix and set up the meeting.
Michael and Sam have changed again. Geez, those guys are clotheshorses. They're at the Cafe Carlito and it turns out the spot where Felix wants to meet Corey is the perfect spot for an ambush. Felix is a one trick pony and pulled a similar stunt a few years ago. Unlike most people, Michael is pleased with the prospect of being gunned down in an alley.
Back at the loft, Michael and Sam transform Corey's SUV into a bulletproof vehicle. Who knew that all those crappy phone books that no one needs anymore (thanks, internet!) are actually really useful? Stuff them in the door panels of your car and a non-armor piercing bullet will only penetrate to the depth of a quarter inch. Foam sealant will keep your tires rolling, but there's no cheap alternative to bullet proof glass. Are you sure, show? I thought I saw some at Ikea. . .
Johnny (Michael) is meeting with Tony, who's impressed with his work on the Maserati. I think Tony is a fangirl, y'all. He wants to check out Johnny's operation, so they head off in Corey's SUV. "I figured you for a nicer ride," Tony says. "We don't like to take anything flashy to our location," Johnny replies. "We can't afford to attract attention," Fiona adds. "Now about Felix," Johnny goes on. "Don't worry about him. This checks out, I'll take care of Felix," Tony assures him. Especially when Felix, who's been camped out waiting to see Corey's car drive by spots them, takes off after them, blocks them in an alley and shoots up the SUV. That would make me cranky too. Michael throws it in reverse and gets them the hell out of there while Felix realizes the error of not having a plan B.
Some random warehouse area. Johnny (Michael), Fiona, Tony and his deputy exit Corey's now bullet ridden SUV. Sorry about the car, Corey! Only the Charger is indestructible on this show. Johnny suggests Tony has some housecleaning to do, and says they're leaving Miami until things chill out. Tony assures him he'll take care of it. Sam pulls up in the Charger behind Michael and Fi, and they're off. Michael shoots a little smile and a "You the man!" hand gesture at Tony as they head off. He's so cheeky!
Coach Martin, Michael and Sam exposit that Felix and his crew have left town as they walk the football field. Coach Martin hands over three tickets since he heard a lady was doing most of the work. Isn't that always the way? Corey wanted to say thanks, and tosses a football to Michael as a hello. Nice catch, Michael. Let's just watch that again to see if I missed any details. That gray v-neck is nice. I miss the uniforms, but fewer layers are good too. Tanya is also there, and tells them to be sure to thank Fiona too. Speaking of Fi, she calls Michael to let him know she's found the bomber's house. Michael says he's on his way and tells her to wait, but she's tempted by the fact it looks like it's been empty awhile. "Take it easy and be careful," says Michael. That'll happen.
Fiona and her fabulous ass cross the street to an older bungalow type house behind a chain link fence. After a quick pick of the lock, she's inside. When Michael starts VOing about the placement of booby traps, we know Fi's in trouble. She trips a contact plate under the rug, and the walls burst into flame courtesy of the accelerant the bomber soaked them with. Fi cringes against a not yet burning wall and bares her teeth.
Michael arrives at the bomber's house while frantically leaving Fi a voicemail. The fire department is there trying to douse the flames. Michael ducks the caution tape and stalks up towards the building. "Hey, you can't be here," a fireman shouts, grabbing Michael and moving him back towards the tape line. "Is anyone in there? Did you find anyone in there? Is there a woman in there?! I just need to know if someone was in there! Did you see a woman come out? Did anyone see anything?!" Michael shouts, getting more and more frantic. The firemen manage to push him back towards the tape. Michael stands a moment, looked totally panicked, then turns back towards the Charger. Grabbing his cell, he calls Fi again. "It's Fi, leave a message." "Fi, Fi, pick up the phone! Call me if you get this! I need to know where you are!" he shouts as he drives off.
Shots of the Miami skyline going from day to night. There's a shot of the Greenberg Traurig building. I've been told "traurig" means sad in German, which is a nice subtle clue as to how Michael is feeling. We see him pull up at the loft in the Charger, and he climbs out into the pouring rain. His shirt is already wet, so it's my assumption he's been out looking for Fi for hours. He calls her cell, yet again heading straight to voicemail. He hangs up and heads up the stairs looking shell shocked, opens the door and fumbles with the key while the lightning and thunder crash in the background. He pauses, pushing against the closed door, at a total loss. "There you are," Fiona calls out from the background. "You've got to get a landline in here." She starts babbling about the bomber's place while Michael heads toward her. He looks like a man lost in the desert who just spotted an oasis. Fi continues to babble that her cell phone bit it in the fire, but finally stops when Michael reaches her. She looks up at him wonderingly, "Michael, you didn't think that. . .", she trails off, as he begins to gently stroke her hair. The look on his face says, yes, yes he did think that, and to see his beautiful Fiona, here, safe and sound, is even better than watching hours of security footage. He gently cradles her face in his hands, and they rest their foreheads together for a moment before sinking into some steamy kisses while Fiona wraps her arms around Michael's dripping form. From the rain, people! Get out of the gutter.
It's the next morning and Michael is trying to creep into the loft with breakfast and coffee as a surprise for Fi, but the surprise is on him when Carla is there waiting. She knows Fi stayed the night, but Fi left before Carla got there. I can't imagine the two met because then we'd be finding Carla's dead body instead. My money is totally on Fi in a battle between those two. Anyway, Michael is all too happy to tell Carla that her little list of European bombers was a bust. Carla makes with the threats and says there are those who think Michael is more trouble than he's worth. "What do you think is going to happen to you if you don't deliver?" she growls. "Same thing that would happen to you, I suppose," is Michael's even reply. Looks like your dog is off the leash, Carla! Take that! She tries to be menacing by making veiled threats on his life, but he looks more annoyed than anything. She takes off and he calls Fi, again getting her voicemail. It's sweet, and nice to see Michael getting a taste of his own inaccessibility, but it doesn't really make sense. How would she have gotten a replacement cell phone in the time it took him to get breakfast? Give me more rain soaked kissing scenes and I'll let it slide, show.
And that's a wrap! Tune in next week for more, and start stockpiling those old phone books, just in case.