Burn Notice

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I, Otter, Kill You

The club outside Michael's fence is really hopping tonight as he approaches the gate with a couple of grocery bags. "Hey, back of the line, pal!" someone calls out. Michael gets as far as "I--" before getting an eyeful of the terrifying specter approaching him. Basically it's a very nice suit, topped off by a grinning skull with hair. Advanced forensic techniques combined with my DVR's pause button allow me to identify the skull as having once belonged to actor Tim Matheson. Clearly Michael has the same skills, and is also able to recognize the walking corpse as well. "Larry," he monotones. "Correct me if I'm wrong but you're dead." Surprisingly, Larry corrects him. The subtitles are hedging, however; they read, "Larry: Undead Spy." No shit. Otter, dude, Animal House was set in 1962, not filmed then. Michael hands Larry one of his grocery bags, and allows him through the gate with him before pushing him against the fence and roughly frisking him. "I always pat down guys who show up who used to be dead," Michael explains. Oh, Michael and his rules. I'm still not convinced about the "used to be" part, though. Larry says he's hoping he and Michael can work together: "I want to pay you a lot of money," he grins cadaverously, "to kill a lady." Why? Does he need a date?

After the titles and the ads, Michael and Larry tote Michael's groceries into the loft. "Still a yogurt man, I see," Larry says. I have to admit, without the full-on grin going he looks more like his former self. Not the Alan Stanwyk from Fletch Tim Matheson, mind you, but at least the John Hoynes from The West Wing version. He mentions that he heard about Michael's burning, and nearly has to don safety goggles to keep from being blinded by Michael's antennae, which are suddenly waving around furiously. "You think maybe I had something to do with it?" Larry scoffs, denying any involvement. It seems Larry has read Michael's dossier, with its lies about Michael's unauthorized kills and selling of secrets, and he took it at face value. Which means he figures that Michael has come around to Larry's way of thinking -- if you're getting paid to kill people, you might as well work for yourself and earn some real money instead of a government pittance. "Murder for hire? Civilians?" Michael says, all judgy. By the way, during this conversation he's been putting away his groceries, which include items that look like a carton of milk, a box of cereal, and a couple of flat boxes that go in the freezer. I had no idea he would go to so much trouble to disguise his yogurt. Larry whips out a head shot of Amy Pietz from Caroline in the City. "Jeannie Anderson," he says with a flourish. "She is our 'dead-ee.' That's my term. It's trademarked." Really? I would like to see that paperwork. Michael doesn't think she looks too scary, but Larry says, "Some people live, some people die, kid." He explains that Jeannie is a cancer nurse who married a rich patient, who went into remission and back into a coma. But before he dies, Jeannie needs to die first. Not too hard to put together what's going on here: "Who doesn't want her to have his money?" Michael asks. Larry says he doesn't know; it's all anonymous, via e-mail. Yeah, that doesn't leave a trail or anything. Michael wonders why Larry needs his help, and Larry explains that he wants Michael to do a solo job for him and "reestablish some kind of trust with me and if everything works out, well, maybe we can work together again." Larry offers Michael twenty thousand, apparently unaware that Michael always works for free. For his part, Michael VOs, "When a bad job comes along, you have two choices, and neither is very appealing. You can pass and watch the job go down, or you can take it and make sure the job gets blown." Seems like he's leaving out a third option there, but never mind. "Make it thirty," he says to Larry, who flashes that dead man's grin again and shakes Michael's hand. On his way out, Larry casually adds, "I'm gonna tell you what I tell all my clients: keep your nose clean. If a cop comes within a mile of this, I kill everybody. And you know me. I mean...everybody." Yikes, when did Tim Matheson get this scary?

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Burn Notice

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