Burn Notice reveals the psychological profile of corrupt, homicidal third world political figures, who are “by and large a bunch of whiny losers.” Good to know! Also,  Madeleine rewires a car, Sam goes fishing, Fi’s reputation speaks for itself, and Michael meets the man who wants him dead.

Michael thinks he’s tracked down the banker who set up the mysterious account that someone used to pay the mad bomber who tried to kill him. One problem: The guy he meets is armed with knives, not information.

To distract himself, Michael takes the case of Claude Laurent, a Haitian man whose daughter was killed in a secret prison by a corrupt family of political strongmen. Claude has tracked the killer, one Jean Pierre Duman, to Miami, where he’s living as party boy Luc Renard. Claude wants Duman to stand trial for his crimes. How could Michael refuse such a case?

Easily, it turns out — at least at first. But Sam shames him into taking the case, and everyone he encounters — even the FBI agents who were tracking Michael — is more than willing to help out. Fi breaks out her French and seduces Duman, then plants a bug in his office. Before she can get any more information, Claude crashes the party with a bullhorn. Michael gets him out before he gets killed, and tells Claude to go back to Haiti. Claude says he understands — but that doesn’t mean he agrees. So while Michael is trying to worm his way into Duman’s trust by claiming to be a cleaner of past lives who is working with an American corporation who engaged in corrupt activities with Duman’s family in Haiti (got that?), Claude is still hanging out in Miami. Duman’s goons track him down, and Michael is only just able to talk Duman out of killing him, claiming it would raise more problems than it solves. Duman agrees to let him clean his life.

One problem: Daddy Dearest Duman, who was presumed dead (after all, the family buried someone in his grave…) is actually alive and well and still in contact with the corporation Michael claims to work for. He knows that Michael is lying. Michael manages to get away (thanks to Sam and a high-powered rifle), but there’s no chance Michael will be able to get documents tying Luc Renard to Jean Pierre Duman. That means that no one can do anything through official channels.

Unofficially, however… Fi seduces Jean Pierre again (Jean Pierre really isn’t that bright), drugs him, and she and Michael drop Duman through the roof of a kidnap-ready truck. Sam and Michael arrange to have Duman and Claude smuggled back into Haiti, where Duman can be prosecuted. Sam turns over some documents about Daddy Dearest Duman’s corrupt business dealing to the FBI guys who helped out. With any  luck, Daddy Dearest is going down, too.

The Big Bad Plot
Once Michael & Co. figure out the fake banker/real killer must have been smuggled into the country, Fi uses her contacts (and apparently fearsome reputation) to get the address of a storage area where the knife-wielding quasi-banker was dropped off. Michael decides to use himself as bait, going to the storage locker late at night to see if the killer will be waiting for him. He is — and he’s Victor, the psycho spy who stood in as Michael’s minder earlier this season. Why is he trying to kill Michael (besides for the sheer joy of it)? Does Carla know this is happening? Are parts of the organization that burned Michael working against each other? Only two episodes left — I damn well hope we find out!

Spy tips from Michael

  • Bribery is not as easy as it looks — you can’t shop around, you can’t get your money back if the info is bogus, and “the only thing you know for sure is that you’re handing your money to a thief and a liar.”
  • Worried that the person you’re meeting isn’t who he says he is? Change your story in ways that the real person would notice — give the wrong sum for the bribe, or say you talked on the phone — and see if he corrects you. If he doesn’t , watch out for knives.
  • Mass murderers tend to drink the same brand of champagne. They don’t mention what brand that is. I wonder if that’s part of the marketing campaign?
  • Sometimes, staying hidden means getting behind the brightest light you’ve got — especially if the folks looking for you have eyes that have adjusted to the dark.
  • More fun with meds! Get the right concentration, and the mild sedative in standard allergy meds can cause dizziness, hallucinations and unconsciousness. Again, I don’t tend to see that in any marketing campaigns.
  • If you’re involved in a foot chase with someone, keep them in visual contact until they tire out — and hope they don’t jump a razor-wire-tipped fence.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Fi complains that meeting this banker is a bad idea. Yeah, but people warned me not to meet you, Michael replies. “I almost blew off your hand with a block of C-4!” Fi reminds him. “And I made a friend,” Michael says, in a “that’s one to grow on” voice. Hee!
  • Sam supplements Michael’s all-yogurt diet with a big ugly fish. “I figured you could use the protein,” he says. Go, Sam!
  • Fi lays out the problems of finding info on the banker/killer: “The Miami gun smugglers  and the Miami people smugglers —  they don’t get along. And I’ve always been more of a gun person.” “You’re sure as hell not a people person,” Sam says.
  • There’s a plot about Madeleine’s car stereo getting stolen, and the wiring on her car being goofy because Michael’s dad did it, and Maddie fixing it herself, but I really didn’t care.