Burn Notice

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Crash into Me
hone," Michael says. He says he was reminded of a stadium shooting in South America in 1998, which Sam is already researching. Showing admirable lack of concern for how Michael just survived a reenactment of a multiple homicide, Fi changes the subject to herself, namely the project she's working on: she's building a bug for Ryan. She invites Michael to join her over the magnifier, and he's only too happy to accept. The music gets all sexy as Fi starts babbling digressively about how Michael and Sam came back for her back in the summer finale, even if she didn't actually need saving. Michael soon gets as bored with this as the rest of us and tells her she's welcome. "Watch it, you're getting solder on my transmitter," she says, and then they share a smile like she just made a clever double entendre. The hell? That wasn't even a single entendre. That was a non-tendre.

Back at the bar with Ryan and Connor, Michael basks in Connor's praise for a while before pitching his plan. It's a scam called "Death Wish." Sounds perfectly safe. As Michael explains it, using condiment packets on the table to demonstrate the movement of various vehicles, the way it works is that a stooge waits at a railroad crossing. Meanwhile, three other cars will work together to box in a city vehicle, then rear-end it into the stooge's car, which will bounce right onto the tracks and in front of a commuter train (indicated by a salt shaker in Michael's demonstration). See? Perfectly safe. He says it's good for a hundred grand from all the potential defendants. "Someone gets killed, you could add a couple of zeroes," Connor grins creepily. Michael spits over his shoulder in agreement. Ryan tries to object to the idea, but Connor tells him to shut up and says they'll try to organize it in the next couple of days. Should be fun!

Meanwhile, out front, Fi gets the parking valet to leave his post by asking him to drop something back in her car. While he's gone, she picks up Ryan's keys from the board and pops open the remote fob. "The best place for a bug is on something people keep with them," Michael VOs, ignoring the fact that Fi's planting it on something Ryan doesn't have with him this very minute. In fact, this is a great way to make sure they miss all of Ryan's conversations with his dad/boss. Oblivious to this, Michael's VO continues, "Many car remotes these days have enough space inside to hide a small bug. Not to mention a battery to power the transmitter." Fi tucks both of these items into Ryan's fob, closes it up again, and says into it, "Sam, can you hear me?" From across the street in a parked SUV, Sam tips her a thumbs-up. "It's a quick, efficient, low-risk operation that costs as much as you care to tip the valet," Michael's VO adds. Although I think it's only low-risk if you don't cut as close as Fi just did, finishing up and heading back into the restaurant just as Michael comes out with Ryan. He's kind of pissed about Michael's gall. Michael claims to have no interest in Ryan's daddy issues (which is the opposite of true) and blows it off, spitting on the ground some more. This cover ID of his is kind of gross.

Michael comes into Madeline's house, having just fixed the taillight on the Charger in her garage. See what I mean? He's got two other projects going on and he takes the time to patch up his car. Although I'm sure he'd claim that's just so his mint-condition black 1972 Charger doesn't look too distinctive. "Just wear and tear," he claims when Madeline asks what happened to it. "Whatever," she says in that tone that means she doesn't believe him but isn't going to press it. She's getting better at that tone all the time. She's busy packing a beach bag, because she's off for a little outing -- with Tina. Michael's just about to get into that with her when Tina herself comes in. Michael pastes on a smile for her benefit, and she says Madeline's lucky to have a son who visits so often. Madeline snarks that he was gone for a couple of decades, and they're out of there. A moment later, Sam calls Michael on his cell phone to say that based on what he just heard over Ryan's listening device, he's pulling the Death Wish scam right now. "He's paying some poor old guy to get knocked in front of the 5:35 commuter train." Michael checks his watch and realizes that time is so short, they can't even call the cops! They'll just have to rush over and blow the scheme themselves.

"When you work under a cover, whether you're a cop, a DEA agent, or a spy, you're getting into business with the bad guys," Michael VOs. We see Ryan behind the wheel of a sporty blue Infiniti as he and a couple of small trucks screech into position, bookending a city utility truck. "Your job is to stay in control of that business," Michael's VO continues. Michael is not doing a good job, then. "Sometimes they take your ideas and resources and hurt innocent people. It's every undercover agent's worst nightmare." So maybe Michael should have pitched a nice, safe bake-sale scam instead. Further up the road, a guy sits waiting in a car as a railroad crossing gate goes down in front of him. He hears the train a-coming. It's rolling 'round the bend. "Which is why you do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen," the VO says, just as Michael and Sam come screaming around the corner behind Ryan and his team, in the Charger and that maroon SUV, respectively (even though Sam told Michael on the phone that he was getting fresh wheels). "Boxing in a large vehicle and forcing it into a crash takes a coordinated group effort," Michael continues. "It's a little like flying planes in formation if one of the planes is trying to get away. Very difficult, and very, very dangerous." And yet Ryan was able to organize it in a matter of hours. Maybe we're all selling him short. Sam makes it even more dangerous by bumping the SUV on the city truck's right, bouncing it off some parked cars and up onto the sidewalk. Yeah, they're all about public safety, aren't they? Good thing no one was on the sidewalk or in those parked cars, or who knows how many bystanders would have just gotten killed to save one guy who's willingly participating in a car crash. "The good news is that when a plan requires clockwork timing and precise movement, it doesn't take much to ruin that precision." With that, Michael bumps Ryan's car into a spin-out, then pulls up next to him to glare at him out the window before driving away, I guess just to make sure Ryan knew it was Michael. The truck is now free to turn off, avoiding the car waiting at the railroad crossing and averting a real crash. "Do it right and you can avoid sending anyone to the morgue." The train passes by harmlessly. "You may bruise a few egos, though," the VO admits as Michael drives off, leaving Ryan to thump his steering wheel in frustration.

The typical beginning-of-third-act come-to-Jesus team meeting starts with Fi storming into the loft to demand what happened. Michael explains they had to step in to prevent a death, but now their cover is blown. I'd add that unless he's an idiot, Ryan has also figured out that someone's listening in on him. Fi guilts them by saying she told Calia she'd be home by her son's birthday. Which still might be the case, unless she specified which birthday. Sam says it gets worse; it sounds like Ryan and Connor are going to be focusing on their existing pipeline for a while. "Like my client," Fi realizes. Michael asks Sam what they'd need now to get the gang busted, and Sam says they'd need the records on everyone that the doctors taking part in the scam have treated. "Then if we're gonna save Calia, that's what we need," Michael declares. "Good luck with that, brother," Sam chuckles. Indeed. But at least now Michael gets to show Madeline why she shouldn't make friends with her assets.

At Madeline's house, she's already pretty upset, because Michael has already told her what's up. "You're asking me to go back to my friend -- a woman I tried on bathing suits with, for God's sake -- and blackmail her into giving me documents?" Michael reminds her that he said not to get too close. "Why? So

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Burn Notice

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