Burn Notice

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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The Devil and Michael Westen

Back in Madeline's garage, she comes out to find Sam packing up his guns and asks him what's going on with Mack. Sam says it doesn't concern her. She pushes. She gets nowhere. Sam leaves. Maybe he could give Michael some lessons on shutting Madeline out.

Oh, look at all the local color in Little Dominica. Street vendors! Things being passed between two parked cars! Kids riding around on bikes! And everyone in sight, on a street as crowded as Disneyland, is Latino. Except Sam and Mack, in the front seat of a stakeout car. Mack tells Sam that in addition to diddling kids, Rincon also smuggles drugs, and Mack (illegally) tapped a call saying Rincon has a meeting in this very neighborhood today. The walkie-talkie in Sam's hand crackles to life, and Fi's voice can be heard from another nearby car, alerting them to Rincon's arrival. "Somehow he looks even more like a child predator and cop killer than he did in the picture," she editorializes. The subtitles, knowing better than to argue with Fi, confirm that this is indeed "Rincon -- Child Predator & Cop Killer." Time to move. Sam reaches into the back seat and picks up a grocery bag with handles, and a handgun half-concealed between these handles. He tells Mack to stay where he is. "We can't spook this guy," he warns, which is going to turn out to be rich. Fi also emerges from her car, carrying a shotgun loosely wrapped in a silky scarf. Between the two of them, Sam looks like a guy who's just returning from a grocery run, and Fi looks like a chick carrying a shotgun wrapped in a scarf. As they start to converge in Rincon's direction, Michael's VO says, "Neighborhood watch is just a nice idea in most suburbs. But where you really see it in action is the inner city." People all over the street start whistling. I thought at first that it was at Fi, but the show hasn't been selling her alleged irresistible hotness as much lately. As the whistling is passed along the street in what is clearly a message, the VO continues, "Only there, it doesn't protect against crime, it protects against cops. Just like cops have drug-detecting dogs, some neighborhoods have cop-detecting kids. Once the alarm goes out, criminal activity shuts down like a picnic when it rains." We can see that now, thanks. "And any fugitives run like jackrabbits," the VO concludes, as Rincon disappears through a parking lot. Sam and Fi look confused, having not caught the snap (or the VO), until a kid in glasses offers, "Chiclets, policia?" Which is when they figure it out. Aware of people watching them, including a couple of toughs up on a nearby roof, Sam warns Fi, "If Rincon thinks the cops know he's here, he's gone." "Then we'll just have to show everyone that we're not cops," Fi says. Any excuse to do something illegal. And with that, she breaks the driver's side window on the nearest parked car (I think it's actually Ramone from Cars, resplendent in sparkly purple) and starts hotwiring it. Sam points her gun at those witnesses on the roof while she gets the car started, and they screech off just in time for the owner to come running up with a gun of his own. Like he's going to shoot at his own car. Ramone would never stand for it.

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Burn Notice

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