Burn Notice

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

Sam and Mack are back at Michael's loft, arguing in the courtyard next to Ramone. Michael comes downstairs to admire the ride, and soon finds himself getting drafted into this problem. "I think if Michael has time for Gilroy then he has time for finding a child predator," Fi says with standard Fi logic, as she and Sam tell him what happened before. Mack is being all glass-half-empty, saying that even if Rincon is still around, they can't exactly go and look for him. Michael says that merely means they need someone in the neighborhood. Like the local gang boss. "Someone at the top was smart enough to set up a network of eyes and ears," Michael says. "He'll be able to find Rincon." Mack asks if they're planning to enlist the local gang leader. "You got a better idea?" Michael grumps at him like Mack stole his wife. Mack, unsurprisingly, does not.

Back in the 'hood, Michael, Sam, and Mack sit in the Charger as Sam briefs them from some police files pulled by one of his multiple buddies. Apparently the local boss is Omar Hernandez, who looks pretty squat and cherubic in his surveillance photo. He started out with car theft and gunrunning, but has since graduated to robbing chain store warehouses for such items as medicine and baby formula, and then fencing them through the local bodegas. Plus his last arrest was for defending his girlfriend. So it sounds like he's a "good" gangbanger. Mack is doubtful of this, but Michael mutters, "You think this neighborhood gets a lot of protection from the cops?" Mack still thinks it'll be hard to get Omar on their side, so Michael busts out one of his favorite lines: "I'll have to be extra convincing."

Later, Ramone pulls up to the curb as Michael VOs, "In an army, a chain of command gets activated by unusual events. Tanks amassing on a border, a hacking attack on a central computer, assassinations of key personnel." As Michael steps out of Ramone in wingtips, a black suit, a solid fire-engine red tie with shirt and pocket square to match, and his hair flattened into a severe side-part, the VO continues, "A street gang's chain of command is no different. Showing up in a stolen car and making a splashy entrance will get a message sent up the ladder." And I guess the message Michael's going for is, "Look out, it's Evil Regis!" Four gang types happen to be conveniently stationed at the spot where Michael pulled up, and they step out to meet him, not in a particularly welcoming way. "I'm looking for Omar," Michael says in a Batman-style whisper. The unnamed leader of this little unit -- the smallest of them, ironically, who's such a little bad-ass that I'm going to call him El Burrito Mal -- says they've been looking for that car. "You found it," Michael rasps. He soon finds himself staring down the barrel of one of the other guys' guns. But not for long, because he grabs it, twists the guy's arms around, and has the man's own gun to his neck before any of the other dudes can react. Lucky for Michael they apparently have standing orders to never have more than one of them draw at a time. "I'll be waiting for Omar in there," Michael says, and drags his hostage past them into the nearest store. Then he does something to show how much he means business: he flips around the "Closed" sign in the window. Brr!

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Burn Notice




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