Burn Notice

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: A | Grade It Now!
I, Otter, Kill You

Shot of Jeannie's little Prius negotiating the suburban streets. Shot of a big honking dump truck being driven by a big honking biker type down a two-lane highway. I wouldn't put much money on the Prius against either one of them. And shot of Michael in his stolen pickup racing to intercept the truck. Throughout this scene, we can see black storm clouds massing on the horizon, adding an impressive air of portent to what would otherwise be a pretty straightforward vehicular action scene. Yes, I just gave props to Burn Notice for the weather, what of it? 24-style splitscreening commences as an MWVO explains, "It doesn't matter if you're trying to take out a moped or a dump truck. every vehicle has three areas of vulnerability: the driver [who doesn't look all that vulnerable to me], the engine [ditto], and the tires." As Michael catches up to the dump truck on the highway, he adds that a can of paint across the windshield or a cannon round to the engine block might stop the truck, but neither will keep it from swerving into oncoming traffic (not that there is any). But as Michael passes the dump truck, he explains that forcing a vehicle's front tires off the road will make it impossible for it to swerve. How's he going to get those tires off the road using a much smaller truck? By getting in front of the dump truck and standing on the brakes. Now, when I heard him talk about forcing the tires off the road, I thought he was talking about pushing them off onto the gravel. But as the dump truck not only crashes into the back of the pickup but climbs clear up the collapsing truck bed until its front bumper is inches from the back of Michael's head, I realize that "off the road" can also mean "up off the road." Both wrecked vehicles grind to a smoky halt as Fi and Jeannie approach from the opposite direction in the Prius and pull on past before stopping a short distance behind the truck. Shaky from the collision, Michael struggles out of the pickup, but he's still able to easily take out the much larger dump truck driver with one punch. Yes, Michael Westen can literally beat you up in his sleep. He limps back to Fi, who gently helps him into Jeannie's Prius.

And then the dump truck being driven by the actual hitman comes and pulps all of them. Okay, not really, but I can't help wondering how Michael knew he had the right truck.

Back at the loft, a fully-recovered Michael wraps things up for Larry: the hit is off, no homicide detectives are involved, and Drew is on the run. Larry isn't seeing the upside: "You know," he says, "the last person who cost me a bunch of money didn't tell me about it with a smile on his face." And when that person smiled afterward, he looked like Larry. Michael insists he did Larry a favor and saved him a lot of hassle. Larry admits that he digs the dump truck stunt Michael pulled off. "Maybe we'll get a chance to work again together someday," Larry says. "Yeah, maybe not," Michael responds, a bit shortly. Larry takes his leave, saying he's got to "shuffle off to Buffalo" and shaking Michael's hand. So does this mean the episode is ending twenty minutes early? After Larry is gone, Michael looks at the hand Larry just shook and wipes it on his shirt. I'm really not sure that's sufficient precaution, knowing Larry. Maybe Michael should remove the hand entirely. Just ask Sam to bring his chainsaw over.

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Burn Notice




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