Hey Folks. My name is Katie Scarlett and I will be your Burn Notice recapper. Let’s get a few things out of the way right at the beginning.
1. Michael Westen/Jeffrey Donovan is a beautiful man. He has a great voice, mesmerizing blue eyes, arms to die for and I’ve been assured by folks in the know that he smells good as well. There are times when this is hard to ignore. I’m not going to try.
2. I like Gabrielle Anwar and Fiona. I liked Gabrielle in Scent of a Woman and in the delightfully cheesy Three Musketeers. Fiona makes me laugh and I like, that for the most part , she isn’t whiny and she frequently makes herself useful in a fight. She’s a crack shot and can defend herself. In the case of a fight she won’t standaround holding a vase while the men play grab ass.
3. There will be no talk of Fioael or Michona. Mash ups are stupid. I firmly believe that when Michael and Fiona retire from the spy business they will be together. I believe they are an OTP. I don’t even mind seeing a little of it each week, but I never want to see a whole show about it and I’m not going to search for it in every episode.
4. Bruce Campbell is the awesomest of awesomes.
Last Time on Burn Notice: Michael was a spy and, for reasons unknown to him, was burned. This is spy talk for being fired. After Michael was burned he returned to Miami ,where he grew up with an absent father, Madeline, his dramatic mother (played by the glorious Sharon Gless) and a ne’er do well younger brother named Nate. Along for the ride is Fiona, Michael’s gun running ex, and Sam, a retired spy who loves alcohol and women. Michael has set up shop in an apartment above a nightclub. He owns a mattress which sits on the floor, a refrigerator stocked with yogurt and a spoon. He drives a kick ass Dodge Charger. He helps people by using his Super Secret Spy Stuff and he is actively trying to figure out why he was burned and who burned him. He’s getting closer to finding out the truth by working for a secretive woman named Carla who is pulling LOTS of strings and is generally making Michael’s life hard.
When we last left Mike, his brother had been jailed, his contact, Carla, was trying to organize a hit and the front door of his apartment had been wired with explosives. Michael found this out after he opened the door and…..
“When you’re a spy you learn to live with the idea of people wanting you dead. An old enemy, a dissatisfied employer, a disgruntled asset. You work long enough, the line to kill you gets pretty long. Still, getting blown up is really something you never get used to.” During this voice over we see Michael on the ground, looking pretty good for someone who was blown up. Sam is calling to him and as Michael struggles to bring the world back into focus, Sam tells him to relax, that he took a “pretty bad fall, no make that a very bad fall.” I should point out that at this point, Michael’s sunglasses are sitting haphazardly across his face and it makes me laugh. I lost an earring yesterday and all I did was go to Provinos with my family. Michael gets blown up, falls off of a balcony, bounces off the roof of his car and lands flat out on his back on the concrete and his sunglasses are just a little off kilter. Spies are so cool.
Sam gets Michael up and helps him to his car. Aside from some ugly looking scorch marks, the only apparent injury is Michael’s left arm. Sam notices that they are being watched and the car chase begins. Being the AWESOME spy that he is, Sam out manouvers the bad guys. In the process, he destroys his own car. This is a bummer for him, cause his girlfriend gave him the car and he’s taken pretty good care of it. After grieving for the car for about 10 seconds, Sam and Micheal abandon the car and take off down the streets of Miami. We get a voice over about how being a hunted spy makes you hyper aware, and I’m not sure that’s true, cause at this point Michael starts to sway and I think he might be seeing everything in doubles. Sam suggests a hospital, but Michael waves that off. Silly Sam, your Mikey is too cool for a hospital! It’s at this point that Mike becomes aware of a man walking into the middle of the street and takes off after him. Michael recognizes that this man is at the end of this rope and is trying to commit suicide. Michael rescues him and already I feel for the guy, he just looks so sad.
Mike and Kenny sit on the curb and Kenny reveals that he was trying to off himself because his son, Jack, needs the money. Sam reminds Michael that people are trying to kill him and maybe sitting on a curb in the middle of Miami isn’t smart. Michael asks Kenny if he will be OK, and Kenny, who is doing a poor job of holding back his sobs, nods yes. Since no one believes him, we end up back at Kenny’s with Sam outside guarding the place and Michael and Kenny inside.
Michael asks Kenny to tell him his story and Kenny reveals that his 6 year old son, Jack, has a heart problem. It’s getting worse and Jack’s condition may be fatal. The suicide attempt was to get insurance money for a procedure since Kenny was conned by some people who sold him fake drugs with the promise that it would help Jack. Not only did Kenny lose all his money, but Jack actually got worse. Kenny can’t afford the surgery Jack needs. Michael tells us that the first rule of Spy School is not to get emotionally involved. He tuns and looks at young Jack who is coloring a picture, and decides to get involved. He instructs Kenny to tell him everything about the people who conned him and that Michael will get his money back. “By any means necessary.” Couple of things, first of all, those people should rot in Hell (Dean Winchester could help with the punishment.) and the little boy playing Jack is the 2nd cutest Jack in the world. The first one has my heart tucked safely away in his race car bed in Indiana.
Michael and Sam leave Kenny and walk down the street. Sam takes this opportunity to remind Michael of all the things that are not going great for him: almost blown up, brother in jail, people following him. He doesn’t need to get wrapped up in someone else’s problems. Finally, Michael snaps. “I’m running on fumes, Sam. This is all I got. I can help this guy.” Sam doesn’t look happy, but agrees to help. A car comes screeching around the corner down the alley toward our boys and almost instantly Micheal goes from weary to furious. He picks up a rock and when the car stops, he breaks the driver’s side window and asks to be let in. He gets into the back of the car (insulting the driver along the way) and ends up in a room tied to chair with a bag over his head. The bag is removed and we see Carla, her 2 goons and some Cheetos.
Carla demands to know what game Michael is playing and Michael reminds her that he didn’t try to blow himself up. Carla looks unconvinced and angry and possibly a little scared. After a bit of arguing, Michael yells that he wants his brother out of jail and that he wants answers. His voice quiets and cracks a little as he tells Carla that he “wants his life back”. You can see that he is barely holding it together and this is a different Michael than we’ve seen. He is angry and not entirely in control. Carla orders him to be taken out of her office. I think that Jeffrey Donovan does seething anger better than any other actor out there–Christian Kane is a close second–but with this scene, Donovan takes us past that and we are beginning to see some holes in the armor. I don’t mind that, but I swear, I never want to have to write about Michael crying.
Michael and Fiona inspect the damage to his apartment. Michael is wearing a sling. Slings are not comfortable. When I popped my shoulder out of socket and had to wear one, I hated it. It caused me more problems than it was worth. Michael looks like he shares my sentiment as he keeps fidgeting with it. He asks Fiona to determine the chemicals used in the bomb. Fiona tells him that she admires his work ethic, but that he could take a day off to recover from almost dying. Michael shuts her down and walks away, asking Sam for info about Kenny’s case. Sam tells him that the scammers have a source in a medical clinic in Coral Gables. They decide to pull a con of their own.
Sam and Fiona head to the clinic where Sam makes a scene about being in pain from liver disease. He waves around a wad of cash and the receptionist tells him that they will try to fit him in. He sits in the waiting room where Fiona approaches him and tells him she might have something that will help. A nosy clinic worker keeps looking in their direction.
As Fiona and Sam head outside, Michael voice overs that “medical scammers, like pimps, crack dealers and feral dogs” have to protect their territory, and that they often need muscle to help protect said territory. Fiona and Sam finish their “deal” and we are introduced to Todd, the Enforcer. He tells Fiona to scram and shows her his gun. Fiona doesn’t look scared. Micheal walks up, pretends like he is making nice and wants a piece of the Medical Scamming action. (He has adopted a funny accent which, by Southern standards would simply be categorized as Yankee. If someone can be more specific, let me know.) He offers Todd a hand shake and when Todd makes a move, Michael grabs his head and smashes it into his knee, shoves him in the trunk and takes his gun away. Todd is a pretty useless enforcer.
Michael and Sam take Todd (who is in a large trashcan) into an abandoned commercial building. Michael tells us it’s the perfect cover since people can come and go all day and the floors are sound proof. Michael and Sam do some remodeling. The attach these long metal bars across the walls so that Todd can’t just break through the plaster and they cover the windows so he can’t open them. They turn the trash can over and Todd comes tumbling out.
Back at Kenny’s, Michael tells him to go ahead and schedule the surgery and make his reservations for the trip. Kenny looks skeptical but Michael reassures him and even offers up some babysitting so that Kenny and can get started. Michael takes Jack back to his mother’s house. Mom wants to know why he is wasting time on this when Nate is still in jail, but Michael assures her it is being handled. Madeline reluctantly walks into the den to join Jack and Fiona. She tells him that she has some toys he can play with and they leave to go find them. Fiona asks why she has to stay and Michael tells her that he doesn’t want the house blown up. Fiona tells him that she was supposed to go meet Campbell (her paramedic bf). Michael asks her sweetly to stay and she agrees, but not before giving Mike a dirty look. At this point Donovan looks right at the camera with widened eyes. Not sure why, but it made me laugh.
Sam tortures Todd for information. The torture comes in the form of cutting his own thumb and allowing the blood to drip on Todd’s bald head and running down into his face. It’s gross. At this point, Todd gives up some info about one of the Head Scammers In Charge and Sam locks him back in the room. Sam also puts his bloodied thumb in his mouth. I don’t get that. It makes me sick to see it. Is that a boy thing? On the phone with Michael, he does remark that he is going to need some band aids. If he knew he was going to cut himself, why not prepurchase some band aids? I’m just saying.
Michael is in his apartment doing some stomach crunches. He is all sweaty and he is wearing a grey tank top. His arms are perfection. Seriously, it’s really hard to recap this scene. He looks good. He’s gotten rid of the sling and is just kinda holding his arm across his body. He calls Kenny to arrange a recon mission. The grey tank top needs to be permanent. He’s in Miami for goodness sakes. What is it about Hot Boys on TV covering themselves in multiple layers? Annoying.
Michael and Kenny sit in the Charger looking for a member of the Scammer Club. Michael reiterates that Kenny is to “tell me” when you see him. Anyone who has ever watched TV, read a book, or taken a breath, knows what is about to happen. Kenny sees the “doctor” from the scam and jumps from the car to chase after him. Michael chases after them and after allowing Kenny to get in a few satisfying punches, Michael sends him back to car and Philip, the fake doctor, gets the Todd treatment. Phillip and Todd talk for a bit with Sam secretly listening in and we discover that although they may be scared of Sam and Michael, they are more scared of “that and what she will do.” Sam perks up at this as a new player has entered the game.
Sam and Michael play the “Who Talks First” game with Todd and Phillip. Todd and Phillip are not keen on this game. Both are tied to a chair and blindfolded. Neither is willing to give up the name of the Big Boss, so Sam pushes Todd out of the window. However, Michael tells us that death is not necessary, only the screams. Todd’s chair has been wired to only drop a floor and Michael pulls Todd back inside. Phillip gives up the boss lady as Rachel. Sam encourages Phillip to call and set up a meeting for them with Rachel.
Michael, Sam and Kenny are eating lunch while Sam explains the plan to Kenny. Michael gets a phone call from Carla requesting a sit down and off he goes. He ends up in the same room as before, tied to the same chair with the same bag over his head. Carla tells him that the Organization has a new job for him–find out who tried to kill him. Like he wasn’t going to do that anyway. Michael says that he will, but he wants his brother out of jail. Carla says it will happen on Thursday. She wishes Mike well, patronizes him a little and off she goes.
Back at Madeline’s, Fiona and Jack sit down to play army men. Fiona hilariously describes in detail the weapons of the army men. Jack looks amused.
Michael and Fiona show up at a pool. Fiona has on a beautiful white bikini and I can’t believe that Gabrielle Anwar has had 3 children. Michael has on a black Speedo. I don’t think there have been words invented in the human language that could describe this beautiful site. He looks smoking hot. They hop into a hot tub with Rachel, who is played by an actress that I know from a brief stint on All My Children. They agree to go into business together.
After lunch, Fiona gets Rachel alone and starts quizzing her about her “marks”. Rachel admits that it is more of an older crowd, but when they do con a parent, it’s great. She can get more money and use it to pay for her house on Keystone Island. The parents cry and hug you cause they think you’ve saved their child. Again–special place in Hell for people like that. I know the show is fictional, but you know people like that exist. Fiona is as irritated as I am and punches Rachel in the face. They fight and Rachel gets away.
Back at Michael’s, Fiona apologizes and Michael tells her not to worry about it. That he wants her to go back to Madeline’s and protect Jack. Michael asks Sam if he’s had any luck finding Rachel but Sam has no news. Mike gets pretty angry and decides that there is only one thing left to do. He’s got to borrow the money from Carla. Sam is pretty set against this plan, as this will put Michael under Carla’s control. Michael’s done and so is Sam. The two square off and the fists start flying. It’s clear that Michael is going to be the ultimate winner, but Sam takes the wind out of his sails. Blocking the door, Sam says, “You can hit me all you want, but I’m going to stand here until you get your head back into the game.” The fight goes out of Michael and he walks away, holding that sore left arm. If he would stop punching people with it, it might heal faster. I’m just saying!
Fiona, Sam and Michael meet to discuss how to find Rachel. The only clue is the house on Keystone Island. Michael comes up with a plan and it involves Fi’s boyfriend’s ambulance. Fiona doesn’t look happy about this, but she agrees to ask Campbell for help.
Michael and Sam hook up a cell phone to a computer. They are going to try get Rachel’s location using a computer program that can pinpoint sound. We are reintroduced to Campbell who is labeled as “Fiona’s Boyfriend.” Campbell tells her that they are done, as Michael will always come first for Fiona. Fiona tries to refute, but her phone rings and it’s Michael. Campbell tells her to answer it, as they are finished anyway. Campbell’s graphic changes from boyfriend to ex-boyfriend. No big loss.
We are back with T0dd and Philip who have been reunited. They are tied up sitting back to back on the floor. Mike calls Rachel and tells her that they have a new offer. If she gives them $250,000 and leaves town, they won’t kill her. Michael reveals that the siren that Rachel hears is on it’s way to give aid to Todd and Phillip. Mike holds the phone away from his ear while Todd and Phillip yell for help. Michael fires 2 shots into the floor and then boys get quiet again. Rachel hears the siren and pauses for a bit, but ultimately turns Michael down. No matter though, cause Sam’s and Michael’s Spy School Stuff has paid off and they know where to find Rachel.
Rachel is trying to hightail it out of town when Michael and Fiona show up. They convince her that she is a dead woman. They are taking over her operation. The only way she can stay alive is to go to jail, otherwise “they can’t take the chance.” After some finageling, Rachel tells them where she has $500,000 hidden and she calls the police to confess. Michael shoots a ring of bullets around her head as a warning and a reminder to make her confession good. She looks pretty scared.
Michael gives all of the money to Kenny and tells him to use the left over money to start a college fund for Jack. Kenny enquires about the Scammers. Rachel confessed and Phillip and Todd were found hog tied behind a police station. Michael goes to leave when Kenny asks him to thank Fiona as well. It seems she made quite the impression on Jack. He drew her a picture. It’s Fiona and Michael. Michael is wearing his sunglasses and they are holding hands. Michael thanks him and leaves.
It’s daytime and Fiona is nursing a drink andmourning for Campbell. Michael tells her that she will findanother boyfriend. Michael is a little smirky as Fiona starts listing Campbell’s qualities: sweet and cute and had other impressive qualities. The smirk fades a little from Michael’s face. Michael apologizes and Fiona finally looks at him. She questions him about his apology and he tells her that he wants her to be happy. They share a sweet half smile, before Fiona looks away andpulls something out of her bag. The explosives at Michael’s were professionally set, but after they were set, the front door had to stay closed. If the Bad Guy went out the balcony he may have been caught on the security cameras from local businesses. Fiona asks Michael if he is really going to go after these guys. Michael says yes, that the “enemy of my enemies may be my friend.” He hands Fiona Jack’s picture, kisses her on the cheek and walks away. Fiona opens the picture and smiles.
Michael gets home to find Carla waiting for him eating some yogurt. Tricia Helfer plays Carla, and I know that it is humid in Miami, but she really needs a hair cut. She also needs a bra on with that shirt. She inquires about the progress he’s made finding out who’s trying to kill him. He lies to her and she calls him on it.
We end with this voiceover “When you’ve spent enough time as an operative, recovering from a brush with death isn’t about an appointment with a psychiatrist, or a week in Hawaii. It’s about having a purpose. Whether it’s something to fight or someone to hunt.”
I love this show so much and I am so glad that it is back. How can you not love a show that preaches that “guns make you stupid and duct tape makes you smart.” Until next week my fellow spy lovers.