Episode five opens with bad news and good news. The bad news is that it's another Nate episode, and I really wasn't looking forward to another week learning more about one of the many reasons Michael left Miami in the first place. But the good news is that Nate is getting the crap beaten out of him at a private airport, which makes up for a lot. It seems that Nate decided to try and do a little solo Michael-ing, helping out a security guy at a private airport who's being leaned on by one of the companies that operates there. In over his head, Nate uses their dad's old Charger to guilt-trip Michael into helping him out. And while working on the engine, Michael discovers that Sam has also been using the car; it's bugged, presumably so Sam can keep tattling on Michael to the FBI. Anyway, Michael reluctantly agrees to help Nate out, only to find out that the bad guys are high-powered illegal arms dealers. Very upscale and paranoid. Fortunately Michael senses that the younger brother is looking for opportunities to expand his role, so he poses as a dealer himself to get access to the gun stash. Which he, Sam, and Fi forthwith steal, leaving the bad guys to think they're up against serious players, which in turn causes them to bail on Miami for good. It's almost as easy as it sounds.
At the same time, Michael's gotten tired of pretending not to be up to anything, so he lets Sam turn his illegally-obtained burn notice over to the FBI guys who have been tailing Michael since the pilot. And just like that, those FBI guys are gone, moments after notifying Sam that new spooks will be along to take their place. And moments before Sam introduces himself to the lady at the next table, Veronica (80s hottie Audrey Landers), who will be a suspiciously innocuous presence in the background of Sam's life for the remainder of the season.
Stage Three: Bargaining
When we rejoin Michael for episode six, his little burn notice stunt seems to have kicked over quite the anthill in the intelligence community. When his mom calls to tell him that armed men are currently entering her house, Michael and Fi jump in the Charger and rush to the rescue. It's there that they meet Michael's new nemesis, played by Alex Carter (Detective Vartann from CSI. He's all faux-friendly as his goons trash Madeline's house in front of Michael, advising him in no uncertain terms that he needs to back off. He also refuses to identify himself or even the agency he works for, which of course tells Michael right off the bat how easy it's going to be to annoy this guy. He gets started on that as soon as he gets home, by simple expedients like reciting random phrases to foreign voice mail numbers on the phone he knows is bugged, and sneaking into the agent's hotel room to rig a booby-trap that will wipe the agent's computer. And as always there's also the Job Of The Week, in which Sam's friend Virgil, a boat repo guy, gets the team caught up between money-laundering Jamaicans, dirty cops, and a Donzi with ten million in cash under the subfloor (a plot that ends in an almost literal scorched-earth resolution when Michael ends a standoff between the two groups by torching the money and gets all the bad guys either shot or arrested at the same time). Fiona reliably takes advantage of Michael's need for her help by forcing him to talk to her about why he left her years before without saying goodbye. I of course have Michael's back on this one; his only mistake was not leaving years earlier. And in the end, Michael gets a new clue simply by picking his enemy's pocket and learning that he's dealing with Jason Bly of the Central Security Service. Oh, that Jason Bly.