Burn Notice
Good Soldier

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When You Are Engulfed In Flames
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Michael and Sam are in Sam's Buick, staking out the office building they followed Bill Johnson to at the end of last week. Michael VOs about the two options you have when it comes to finding out about an enemy position. "You can watch from a distance; slow and safe. Or you can go inside and take a look; quick, but potentially fatal." Gee, which one is Michael going to pick? Sam is in the middle of trying to talk Michael out of his chosen course, on the grounds that they don't have enough intel to proceed. Michael disagrees: "The people who burned me got a specialized rifle to a sniper, got him an access card to this building, and sent him to a conference room on the fourth floor. That's a fair amount of intel." And a decent substitute for this show's stubborn lack of previouslies. He asks Sam what Bill Johnson has been up to, and fortunately Sam has a "Fed buddy," which I am assuming refers to a friend Sam has in the FBI rather than one with a full stomach. Either way, this pal of Sam's has been tracking Bill Johnson's credit card transactions from one Daytona strip club to another. I didn't even know you could stick those into g-strings. Michael holds up the access card prototype he stole from Nefzi's workshop and reminds Sam, "They killed someone for this badge, and I went to a lot of trouble to steal it. Shame not to use it."

With that, Michael gets out of the car and walks up to the front door and swipes the card. You know, the placement of the card reader on the outer door struck me as odd last week, too. Yes, most office buildings require security cards these days, but I've never been inside one where you need a pass just to get into the lobby. Of course, I'm just now realizing that that would be the point. Michael walks right in like he belongs there. He looks reputable enough in his standard, all-purpose suit-no-tie ensemble, but a decent shave would have completed the illusion. He's apparently got his razor set on "28 o'clock shadow" throughout this episode, probably because they shot it out of sequence and just decided it would be easier for continuity if he kept his whiskers at the ideal length for the cover ID he'll be adopting later. Or maybe Michael is just that good.

Noting the number of plainclothes guards standing around the lobby, he gets on an elevator and the pass takes him right to the fourth floor while he screws in a telephone earpiece so he can hear Sam spouting witticisms like, "What do you see up there, a mastermind petting a Persian cat?" But the floor seems to be vacant. Neither of them can seem to figure out right away why anybody would want to send a sniper to an empty floor. Uh, I've got a theory, but Michael isn't jumping to conclusions. Instead, he finds the conference room with no furniture save a massive table. An oval-shaped impression in the carpet tells him that the table was recently moved to its current position. Still not putting it together, it seems. He's usually quicker than this. He walks around it and opens a sliding door to a balcony, with a stunning view of what I assume is Biscayne Bay just outside. Still puzzled. Then he realizes that the table has been lined up so that it's basically pointed straight at the open door. At last it seems to fall into place for him as he finds three tiny holes drilled into the top of the table in a triangular configuration. Just right for, say, a tripod. He VOs, "Most people think snipes like to shoot from ledges." Well, no, I always assumed it was rooftops, mostly from watching this show. "The fact is, the best sniper position is inside a room, through an open window. It hides the shooter, masks the report of a supersonic round, and makes the muzzle flash impossible to see." Finally, Michael tells Sam that this is Bill Johnson's sniper perch. Sam wonders what the target could be, since the nearest buildings are barely visible through the heat haze on the far side of the bay. Just then the Fisher Island ferry chugs across Michael's line of sight, well within range. "I think I found his target," Michael murmurs. Well, okay, but how hard could it be to hit a boat?

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Burn Notice

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