I can only imagine that it is bad news to be involved with any mobster outfit, especially those featured on Burn Notice. If you somehow get lucky and happen upon those who can truly help your cause, thank your lucky stars.
Spoilers are like fine wine… it’s liquid gold if you know what you’re doing.
Michael and Fiona are enjoying what appears to be frozen yogurt at the beach while Michael pores over Carla’s dossier, which appears to be largely devoid of any really juicy details. Fi lets slip the Lincoln that’s been tailing them all day. This is when Michael decides to flee the scene, Lincoln in tow. In a “kids, don’t try this at home” moment, he jumps from the moving car in order to push a random rickshaw in front of his tail. It turns out his tail is none other than his brother Nate.
Back at Casa Michael, Nate weaves his tale of woe: his secretary friend is in bad with the Russian Mafia and he needs Michael to step in and untangle the sticky web. The damsel in distress only wants to do good by bringing her sister to America. After she pays an initial $25,000 fee, she goes to pick her up, but as it turns out, the mobster-in-question wants double the initial fee or the sister dies.
Katya, Nate and Michael set off to do initial surveillance. Michael deciphers Ivan the bad guy’s tattoos: the spade for thief, the tiger for enforcer and the skull for murderer. Ivan seems like quite the charming fellow, don’t you think? Fi then continues to tail Ivan.
Later, Sam meets with an agricultural guy, Harvey Gunderson (played by Larry Miller with even less hair than I’ve ever seen on him). The purpose of this meeting is to find out how legit Carla is in the industry. Sam wants the info, but Harvey seems unwilling, for whatever reason, to part with it so easily. Too bad Sam can’t drink Harvey under the table.
All Sam has to show for his efforts the next day is a wicked hangover. Fi’s attempt to pin anything on Ivan went just as poorly. With their backs against the wall, the three plan on hitting Ivan hard for any kind of info. If they make him think this is the end of the road for him, he might just crack under the pressure.
Fi’s solo effort to take Ivan down does not go as planned, so Sam springs into action. Before he arrives to save the day, we learn that if you intend to use a stun gun on a person who is in contact with you in any way, you will be stunned yourself. Sensing that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, Fi takes one for the team and stuns Ivan anyway.
Sam and Michael end up building one badass interrogation cell to house Ivan. If they control all aspects of what Ivan can see, hear, eat and so on, and if they make him think all hope is lost, they might be able to better extract information. Once Fi brings Ivan back from the disorienting drive through the Everglades, he gets the third degree from Sam. Of course when you’ve dined in gulags more horrific than this, you’re not going to break as easily.
Sam suggests expanding the supporting cast to include everyone. Michael takes on the role of “Prisoner #2” in order to gain Ivan’s trust. To look convincing, he needs to look the part. Enter Fiona, who proceeds to beat the living piss out of Michael.
Once in the holding cell, Michael asserts his dominance and kicks Ivan’s ass. Working as Sergei from Tampa, Michael doesn’t initially learn much from Ivan… but that’s how these things start: slow and easy.
Fi and Sam stake out the Russian restaurant where Ivan focuses his energy. Thanks to thermal cameras, Fi is able to determine the top floor is heat-shielded. Inside, Sam points out the boss, Takarov, who looks an awful lot like a bad Larry Flint impersonator from the 70s. Sam plays up the angry customer, buying Fi the chance to get up to the third floor. What she hoped would be the missing girls turns out to be pirated computers running God-knows-what.
Sam makes one last go at extracting information from Ivan, telling him that the Russian outfit is near extinction. With Ivan still as strong as a rock, Sam places the shroud over his head and turns up the electronica. It was torture for me to hear what I did, so I’m not sure how long Ivan can hold out. Sam proceeds to change metaphorical suits and is off for yet another meeting with Harvey.
Back in the cell, Ivan finally lets Michael in on what he knows. Basically, he won’t say a word to the Americans, because the girls will be dead before they have any clue as to what happened.
As it turns out, Ivan isn’t the only one withholding info from Sam, so he kicks his other character into high gear. Before Harvey can enjoy the crab cakes, Sam flashes a DEA badge, insisting he gets the info, or else Harvey will be on the outside of the agricultural society looking in.
This is why they paid Sam the big bucks, kids.
Michael determines that Ivan must escape the holding cell and return to the girls for them to survive. Nate is skeptical of the plan, but ultimately agrees to help out.
By helping out, it’s Nate’s turn to take one for the team. Michael engineers the escape with a little help from Ivan. Nate is bitch slapped back to the Stone Age, while Michael and Ivan walk out unharmed. Michael insists not going back to Takarov without the girls, so he has Ivan tell him what he wanted to know all along… the location of the girls.
The two reach the house in Hialeah to find the guards not knowing what’s going on. Michael gets the guards to split up, making it easier to ultimately take the rest down and save the girls. Meanwhile, Ivan goes to Takarov, thinking he’s doing the loyal thing and forewarning him of the impending danger. Of course, there was no Sergei, no operation in Tampa, and so I guess that’s the last we’ll be seeing of ol’ Ivan.
In the end, Michael and Nate make nice, and Nate gets a kiss from Katya. All Sam got from Harvey was a PO Box address, so we leave Michael and Fi enjoying yet another surveillance session in the hot Miami sun.