Burn Notice

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Crash into Me
s him, "I was an asset of yours once". "And things got complicated," he reminds her. "People got hurt." No shit. People continue to get hurt by her, up to and including in the teaser of this episode. She points out that that happens anyway. Well, if one of the people involved is Fi, it does.

Michael arrives at the bar Ryan named earlier, sticks a fresh plug in his mouth, and tosses the Charger keys to the parking valet. At a table out back, he meets up with Ryan and his dad, who's being played by Jude Ciccolella, a.k.a. Mike Novick, a.k.a. Poor Man's Hume Cronyn. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that father and son are being played by past and current third-tier 24 actors. "So you're the big bad boss," Michael says to the dad, who faux-modestly says he's just a businessman, and then puffs on his cigar with a smugness that is a lot more sincere. "Connor -- Big Bad Businessman," the subtitles say, trying to split the difference. Michael boasts about his driving talent some more, while Connor asks about warrants or accidents on his record. "I got plenty of accidents, but none on my record," Michael chuckles. Connor basically explains that Michael can be in their pool of drivers, like an office temp who crashes cars, but that's not what Michael -- or his cover ID -- is after. He claps a hand on Connor's arm and says, "I'm not looking to make a few hundred bucks driving third wheel in a bump-and-run." Well, who is, really? Michael says he wants a management gig. After telling Michael to take his hand off him, Connor makes him an offer: an auto shop owes them ten thousand, "And my boy here hasn't been able to collect." Over Ryan's objections, Connor says Michael has a job if he can help Ryan get the cash. Michael agrees, even though from what we've seen the last three seasons, collecting money from people is probably what Michael sucks at most.

As he and Ryan head down the street in the Charger, Michael VOs, "Family businesses are tough, and they're even tougher for criminals. Mix normal family issues with cash, violence, and the danger of getting arrested, and things get tense." That must be why Ryan is pouting out the car window. Michael tries to play on that a bit, and in the course of the conversation learns that Ryan's backup plan with Calia if she doesn't sue is "her kid falls down the stairs at school." Michael whoops, "You boys know how to kick some ass, don't you?" Ryan seems about as aware that Michael's mocking him as he is that Michael's doing freelance undercover work. As for the job they're on their way to, Ryan says he's already tried to collect from the bikers at the auto shop twice. "Third time's the charm," Michael says, because part of his cover is having no imagination.

He and Ryan enter the auto shop, which is so packed with bikers it's like a gay porno about to happen. Seriously, there's pecs and cars and welding everywhere. The biggest of the bikers squares off with Ryan and they bicker until Michael interrupts with the old "You're both pretty" joke. Working that cover ID pretty hard. The biker takes a swing, both Ryan and Michael duck, and after a few swift moves from Michael, a couple of bikers are on the floor. Including the welder, whose still-burning torch Michael picks up. The bikers all draw guns as Michael hides behind the acetylene tank with Ryan, who asks what he's doing. "What the hell's it look like I'm doing? I'm getting you your ten grand!" And it's not like Michael gives a shit about any kind of continuing relationship between these guys and Connor's gang. As for the torch, Michael VOs, "Anybody who works around acetylene know to be extra careful," even as he ignites a work table. "It's one of the hottest-burning, most explosive gases in existence." Which is why the tanks make good cover. Michael loudly reminds everyone that if their hosts shoot, "There'll be little pieces of biker rainin' all around here. Ten grand now!" When they're slow to comply, he starts torching the interior of the car they're standing next to. The lead biker gives in, even when Michael insists on collecting their guns as well.

A few minutes later, Michael and Ryan walk out under the half-open garage door -- along with some rather large clouds of smoke -- and get into the Charger. Ryan says it looks like Michael has a job. "We should celebrate somewhere else," Michael says as the bikers come out with new guns. Michael peels out, and they get away with nothing more than a shot-out taillight. Which, given Michael's love for spending all his spare time keeping the Charger immaculate, is practically a gift.

Staff meeting! Even back at the loft, Michael's still so in character that he's actually drinking a beer as he says he plans to bring Connor some ideas. Fi says Calia and son are doing fine at her place. "You are doing so well on this job, I think we're almost even," she adds to Michael. Whatever, crazy. After she leaves, Michael asks Sam what's eating him: "I've never seen you drink a beer that slowly." Sam reluctantly reports to Michael that he found that phone he was looking for. Wait, isn't that good news? Well, no, because Sam says it's at the abandoned Marine Stadium. Sam complains, "It's such a setup, Mike, it's not even a setup." But of course Michael is going to go look into it, because that's what Michael does, and having his friends tell him not to only makes him want to do it more.

As Michael (having changed into a suit) and Sam walk through the graffiti jungle that is the marine stadium, Michael VOs, "As a covert operative, there's often a fine line between hunter and hunted. Letting someone hunt you is just another way of finding out more about them." Like how they killed you. Because that's going to be invaluable information you can use. They emerge into the dilapidated seating area that faces out into the open bay, because this was presumably a venue for water shows and boat races and such back in the day, when Miami was the Wisconsin Dells of the South (note: I actually have no idea if that's true). Sam says the phone's signal is coming from right nearby, so as to leave Michael fully exposed when he goes out to find it. The VO continues, "Of course there's also a fine line between following up intelligence and walking into a trap." Whatever, Michael -- that line could be an eight-lane freeway and you'd still be on the wrong side of it right now. Michael tells Sam to stay where he is and cover him as well as he can while Michael goes out into the seats alone. Sam pulls out an inadequate-looking handgun as Michael goes on ahead. Walking down the bleacher steps, he hears a cell phone ringing, and follows the sound to where it's taped to the bottom of one of the seats. "Helleew?" he answers jauntily. A voice on the other end with a British accent says, "Sorry we missed each other at the hotel." Michael agrees, and asks who the person is. But the caller isn't telling. "I'm trying to figure out what kind of man you are," the mystery Brit says. "I need to decide if you're someone I should get to know better..." A seat about ten feet to Michael's left suddenly explodes in gunfire. Sam flinches and futilely scans the water for a shooter, but Michael just turns carefully, like you do when a bee lands on you. "Or someone I should kill," the voice on the phone concludes, as another seat ten feet to Michael's right splinters. "Well, let me know when you make up your mind," Michael says. Even though he's probably figured out that if the shooter wanted him dead that's what he'd be, he's still not entirely relaxed. I can't blame him; I don't like talking on the phone either. The caller assures Michael he'll know, and quickly plugs four more seats to emphasize the point. Sam belatedly yells at Michael to get out of there. Slowly, taking his time, and forcing a smile at whoever's out there, Michael does. If this is what shows at the Marine Stadium used to be like, I can see why it's abandoned now.

His next stop is someplace even scarier: Fi's place. She asks how it went. "We had a brief and unsatisfying chat on the p

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Burn Notice

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