Burn Notice

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: A- | Grade It Now!
Occupational Hazard
n the main room, red indicator lights come on and security moves in. Michael tells Harlan to break a chair to get him a pry bar while he moves a wardrobe in front of the door. Michael VOs about coming at security devices backwards, and gets busy breaking open the grate over the high window while Harlan holds the wardrobe in place despite the security guys trying to get the door open. Soon Michael has the window open, and he and Harlan swing out and into the alley. By the time Rufino's goons get to the window, all they see is a couple of guys running away. Their faces aren't visible, which is especially wise in Michael's case, because he's still wearing that embarrassing hat.

At the loft the next day, Michael and Harlan give Marta the weekly "Sorry, Client, this is going to be harder than we thought" update. With that out of the way, Harlan asks Marta for a minute with Michael, and apologizes to him for getting careless, blaming it on his involvement in the case. This is the first time they've talked about it? Even on the whole long jog back from Rufino's club? Michael says it's fine. They talk a little more about Michael's delicate situation, and Harlan promises to have Michael's back no matter what. Michael thanks him for that, and adds, "I'll do the planning next time." He picks up his cell phone and says, "Hey Sam. Feeling thirsty?" Now, that question is way dumber than anything Harlan did.

Cut to a sidewalk café, where Sam is buying Barry the Money Launderer mojitos in exchange for talking to him about his help with the Rufino job. Barry is being his usual weak-kneed, reluctant self, but since Sam just wants him to put together a fake profile for Michael, Barry agrees, as long as they promise to "have Rufino out of Miami by tax season." I don't know why they used that line instead of a joke.

Back at Madeline's house, Michael's killing time by tearing out the walls, while Madeline reminisces about how his father used to do all the repairs himself. "Frank used to just go out and find stuff," she says happily. Michael holds up something and says, I wouldn't call tearing wire out of your neighbor's air conditioner 'finding.'" Oh, look who's being all judgmental. How many cars did you steal last season, Michael? Sam arrives, carrying a folder and greeting them cheerfully. "Oh, look, there's the guy who blew up my house!" Madeline says. "Nice to see you're having such a sunshiny day, Sam." Michael asks about the shiny red Buick convertible Sam's still driving -- you know, the one he and Madeline made their getaway in during the Season Two finale -- and Sam basically hints that he's getting to use it for getting "a little friendly" with its owner. "Mrs. Reynolds?" Michael says incredulously. "You're romancing an eighty-year-old woman for a car?" Sam corrects that he's talking about her daughter, who is "39 going on 22." We may or may not get to meet her at some point, but I think the show would rather give more air time to the car. Harlan shows up out of nowhere, and Sam tells them both that Michael's got a meeting later. Holding out that folder, he tells Michael that he's going to be "Tom Wellington, Esquire, lawyer for a shady international investment group." When Michael complains, Sam says, "Hey, you want to pick the name, you gotta go to the meeting. And listen to Barry talk about his skin care regimen." And his non-jokes, too, don't forget.

Michael paces around near an abandoned area of shoreline with a big old docked cruise ship in the background (sorry, can't tell which one), holding a briefcase and wearing a suit. He VOs, "High-status cover IDs are rarely effective. Claim to be a big shot and people get suspicious. Claim to be a big shot's errand boy, people don't think twice. Act like you don't want to be there, because you're tired, you're underappreciated, or you're sick, and people tend to trust you even more." So Michael's character voice this week will be "sick." It's like he's not even trying any more. While he's pacing around, suddenly Falcone appears from nowhere. And he's a close-talker, so clearly Michael's "sick" bit isn't working all that well. Or this was filmed before the H1N1 outbreak. Michael says he's heard Falcone is the guy to set up a meeting with Rufino. "You can think of me as the gatekeeper," Falcone agrees. The subtitles also agree, telling us this is "Falcone -- The Gatekeeper." I used to love the subtitles as much as anyone, but I'm really not sure they're adding much value any more. Falcone says the proposal Michael sent him looks good, but he wants to know why Michael's imaginary buyers are interested in the land. Michael pleads ignorance, saying he's just setting up the meeting. He wisely leaves out the fact that the buyers are fictional. But Falcone takes his gatekeeper job very seriously. He's keeping the hell out of that gate. Consider that gate kept, motherfucker. In fact, when Michael claims attorney-client privilege, Falcone grabs him by the arm, twisting it and pushing Michael up against a piling. "I understand and respect the importance you attach to your professional ethics," Falcone says. "But you see, my profession? We have our own code that compels me to break your arm if you don't answer my question." Michael insists that he knows nothing, so Falcone lets him go, but not before first warning Michael against trying to steal from him or talking to the police. And dislocating Michael's shoulder for him. "Be at the train yard in Kendall tomorrow morning at ten," Falcone says pleasantly before walking away. Michael slams his shoulder into the piling to get it back into place, and after some moans and groans, is on his way. Falcone is going to feel pretty silly when he realizes that he never told Michael not to kidnap his boss, either.

As the Charger coasts slowly through what I assume is the specified train yard, Michael VOs, "Like a wedding, an armed extraction requires a lot of planning if you want it to go well. And like a wedding, it's not the sort of thing you want to do twice." Uh, Michael, have you seen this show? "Which is why you hold a rehearsal before the big day." Unfortunately, as Michael, Sam, Fi, and Harlan get out of the car, that's not what we're going to see. Instead, we see Fi yell at Michael for letting Falcone fuck up his arm, and they talk about how they're going to pull it off (the kidnapping, not Michael's arm, that is). Sam claims this is a perfect spot, which, we'll see about that. Sam points off in the direction he thinks they'll come from, and says they'll need a "distraction." Hearing one of her dog-whistle words, Fi asks how big. "More than a firecracker, less than a neutron bomb," Sam says. He thinks that after Fi makes with the boom, the bad guys will retreat to a position between some parked locomotives. Harlan will then go in shooting, and Michael will make his move during Rufino's escape. "What could be easier?" Fi asks. The woman is a jinx machine.

Back at the loft, Fi's putting together her bomb in the courtyard, instead of on Michael's workbench like usual. Must be a new house rule. Sam comes out to micromanage her work, and Fi wants to know what Sam thinks Michael's next big-picture goal is going to be. After trying to dodge the question, Sam tells Fi he thinks Michael will "try and get back in." Fi argues with Sam like it's his fault. "Why, when he's got so much here?" "So much?" Does she mean a loft over a nightclub with no walls that the city of Miami might just urban-renew out of existence at any moment, a histrionic mom, a clingy girlfriend, and a best friend who calls him "Mikey?" Enviable. Fi gets more and more pissed off, and finally stalks away, throwing the half-brick of C-4 she's not using over her shoulder as she goes. Sam catches it and says, "Whoa, hey, sister, don't be throwing explosives at me just 'cause you can't take the cold, hard truth!" Why not? She throws explosives at other people for less.

Next morning, Michael's back at the train yard and back in character with his briefcase and hanky, VOing, "Any ambush depends on knowing where your target is going t

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Burn Notice




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