Burn Notice

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Up Michael's Alley

So they get to work, cleaning the place up, arranging the chairs, and making it look not so much like an abandoned, dingy, sad little storefront church, but a dingy, sad little storefront church that's actually in use. "There's a long tradition in spycraft of making enemy assets appear unreliable," Michael says. "Make a loyal operative look like a traitor, for example, and if you're lucky, your enemies take him out for you." Hmm, that seems familiar. Who have I seen do that? Oh, right, Michael Westen, about a dozen times. While Fi gets busy scooping up gravel to cover up the fake-blood spills in the alley, the VO continues, "Better than making an enemy look disloyal is making him look insane." Well, more of a departure from Michael's SOP, anyway, so I approve. Sam tears the newspaper down from the church's front window and hangs the neon cross as Michael finishes, "It takes some doing, but when you pull it off, it's more devastating than a bullet." Then Sam goes out on the street, and uses a wad of cash and some bad Spanish to buy a hat, apron, and cross necklace from an eager fruit vendor.

Everything is in place for when the Luna brothers arrive with Quinn's bodyguards. Quinn and his guys seem skeptical, given the lack of forensic evidence on the scene, and Erik's choice of this moment to tell him about the drive-by attempt earlier in the episode isn't helping. Quinn wants to see the actual hide-out where the assassins are supposedly secreted, and Erik leads them up, but balks at going in. "If they're in there," Quinn says, drawing his gun while his bodyguard does the same, "We'll be fine." He's using the pronoun "we" a bit loosely here.

The little group enters the pleasant little church, only to find just Michael standing there, reading a Bible. He turns and asks in a warm, friendly tone, 180 degrees from his Pete-voice, "May I help you?" Quinn and his guard quickly tuck away their guns, totally fooled, as Erik flips out at the sight of Michael. After all, Michael has made no effort at all to disguise himself, other than to put on a priest's collar. "I saw you die!" Erik freaks. Michael acts sympathetic. "Oh, no, Erik, has it gotten worse?" He introduces himself to Quinn as "Father Peter," and Erik sputters that this isn't the guy. "I mean, that's Pete, but..." Addressing Quinn by name, Michael says he does homeless outreach, and tried to help Erik after finding him on the street "in a daze. Has he been talking about the killers? He sees assassins everywhere, and now he claims to be hiring killers of his own to go after the other killers. I've tried to help him." Aw, Michael seems so sad on Erik's behalf. Erik leaps at him, forcing Quinn and the goon to pull him off and out of the church. With a heavenward gaze, Michael follows them out on the street, as Erik comes more and more unglued. He yells even louder when he sees Sam looking over from his fruit cart, and Fi flouncing down the street with some shopping bags. Screaming about conspirators everywhere doesn't really help convince Quinn that Erik is all there. Quinn has his men force Erik into the waiting SUV. "He's lucky to have you for a brother," Michael tells Quinn. Quinn looks upward himself, then joins his brother in the car. Michael's farewell to Erik is a sign of the cross and a wink. Done and done!

So things are nicely wrapped up. Later, April tells Fi that she's gotten full custody, what with Erik being locked up in the mental hospital. Fi gives her the $40,000 of the hit fee that Erik paid in advance, in its entirety, minus ZERO for commission and ZERO for expenses. I hope they're not counting on actually collecting the second forty grand from him at this point. April thanks Fi and looks over to where Michael and Joey are leaning coolly against the Charger, the latter carefully imitating the posture of the former. Michael asks Joey if the kid will be all right, and Joey says that his mom thinks he's a delinquent. Well, Joey, you have tried to steal not one but two guns in the last hour. Michael assures Joey that it's possible for "delinquents" to turn out okay, in such obvious terms that Joey asks, "So you're saying I should eat a lot of yogurt?" Joey asks. "Can't hurt," Michael says.

In the tag, there's some more denouement exposition, and Sam reads from the newspaper that Quinn's under investigation. They notice that Michael's been unusually pensive, which Sam tries to help by advertising the low-calorie beer we just saw another commercial for during the break. I'll skip that part, since I don't recap commercials. Michael heads out to "follow up on that Strickler business." Sam, meanwhile, sells some more beer.

Michael returns to Garza's hangar to retrieve his network analyzer, but when he closes the access panel, Garza himself is standing there, pointing his gun at him and telling him to put it down. Michael is not fazed. "Find out anything about Strickler?" he asks in a friendly voice. Well, Garza did and he didn't. "I've spent the last four days dealing with reporting procedures for six different U.S. intelligence outfits. Including one I didn't know existed. That's in between the calls, e-mails, meetings." Michael repeats the question, and Garza threatens to transform Michael from "the burned spy I hate to the anonymous burglar I shot. I've got a career to think about here." Michael hands over the device. "I just needed to know how connected Strickler is," he says. "I'm pretty sure you just answered my question." And earned a free network analyzer into the bargain.

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Burn Notice

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