'Burn Notice' rips our hearts out

Gabrielleanwar_burnnotice_s3_290 "Burn Notice" brings the hurt this week -- not with torture or evil (although there's a bit of that) but with an emotional gut-punch.

Michael gets a job from Strickler -- track the Cleaner who clears the scene of a weapons heist with a firebomb or two. Subtle! For this, he enlists the help of the women in his life -- Fi to do some tracking, and Maddy to blend in at a local bingo parlor. Both do their jobs admirable.

But there's another job -- someone has stolen Barry's ledger, which contains all the details of all the accounts that he uses to launder funds. Someone is blackmailing him to get it back. Barry calls in all his favors to get Michael to help. They quickly determine that Barry's new ladylove, Amy, helped in the theft. Amy is unwilling to talk, until Fi shows that her car is rigged to explode -- by blowing it up with a well=placed brick. She points them to the house where she met with the guy who set Barry up.

Michael and Sam toss the house but don't find the ledger. They're interrupted in their search by the perps -- a brutal thug with an accent and a terrified woman he slaps around. Since they can't very well disguise their presence, Michael and Sam kidnap the pair. The woman, Natalie, says she's just the real estate agent, she knows nothing! She weeps whenever Sam even tries to ask her a question, so Michael sends in Fi to gain her trust. It works -- Natalie soon tells Fi about the place her employer rented.

At the safehouse, Michael and Fi find the thug's passport -- he's Milovan, and he used to work Serbian intelligence, He's trained at counterintelligence. He's not going to crack. It looks like he'll get Sam to crack, though -- Milovan lures Sam close by taunting his military service, then burns him with the cigarette Sam gave him and grabs Sam's gun. Sam got pwned! Ah, but it's not quite as it seems -- the gun Milovan stole wasn't loaded, and Sam has a weapon that works.

Natalie gives Fi more info about the third member of the band, and the guys go to find him while Fi stays with Natalie. But the third man tells them that Natalie is the mastermind, the killer. She's brutal! Which is problematic, since Fi has fallen for her line and unlocked her cuffs. Michael and Sam burst in before Natalie can do anything. Since they're fizzing with adrenaline and they need to disguise that fact, Mike pretends he's angry -- and smacks Fi across the face. Holy crap! Fi is furious, shocked, hurt, bewildered... she eventually seems to realize that he was doing what needed to be done, but she's absolutely furious.

Michael, Fi and Sam tail Natalie to a park and see her make the drop. Michael tackles the buyer and gets the ledger back. Fi takes on Natalie-- who proves to be a stone-cold bee-yotch. She threatens to shoot her way through a crowd of kids if Fi follows her. Natalie escapes unscathed -- but I'm betting this will not be the last we've seen of her.

It may be the last we see of Fi. She tells Michael she can't help him with his work for Strickler. In fact, she can't stand to be in Miami with him anymore. She knows this is what he has to do, but she also knows she can't stay there and watch. Oof!

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Ok, those last couple of scenes, when Fi tells Michael she's leaving, and then Michael thinks she's come back to help him... Oy. Fantastic - if heartbreaking - stuff.
  • Sam is preparing for a weekend with his ladylove in a friend's villa. Unfortunately, that villa works well as an interrogation center. Sorry, Sam!
  • Sam bemoans his lost weekend. "The bar inside, Mike -- nine different kinds of rum!" And "I just didn't expect to be wearing pants here!" Hee!
  • Maddy is pissed that her roof is leaking. Fortunately, Barry's got a guy for that. In return, Maddy tells him how to explain to his clients why he wasn't answering his phone -- ashram retreat!
  • Barry explains the ledger: Yes, it's like a Little Black Book, "except instead of blondes named Chloe I got a bunch of angry rich guys who are going to dismember me when they discover its gone."
  • At what point did you guys figure out that Natalie was the Big Bad? I think it was the second meeting with Fi -- she just seemed TOO pathetic, and her story was TOO perfect for tugging Fi's heartstrings.
  • Michael seems to have lost everything working fro Strickler -- and Strickler isn't keen to share details on what's going on with the guy he had Michael tail. But he does deliver -- Diego calls Michael and tells him that there's been movement on the burn notice. He could be back in.


Spy tips from Michael

  • Tidying up after a crime is a lot like cleaning up after a party -- expect slightly more extreme. God knows I've had some parties that seemed to necessitate burning my place to the ground to get it clean again.
  • Want to find someone's hidden document cache? Place a tiny tracker on a document and give it to them to hide.
  • Some people shut down in the face of pressure. Best way to interrogate them: Don't apply pressure. Avoid confrontation as long as possible.
  • There's a reason fear only works so well when you're interrogating someone: For the most part, the person you're interrogating is already scared to death. To really get good info, give them a friend to confide in.
  • Burn safes are designed to incinerate all the documents within them when they're breeched. If you pump it full of the right amount of CO2, you'll freeze the ignition mechanism -- and the contents. Wrong amount of CO2? Well, you just get a pile of ash.
  • Mac10 - big gun, fired a lot of round, hideously inaccurate in the hands of an amateur. Avoid the first burst and you're in good shape to survive.
  • Best way to learn what a captive knows: Set them free and follow them.
  • Best way to tail a car: Have someone waiting midway down the route they're taking to tell you where they turn. Then hand off surveillance at regular intervals.
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