Burn Notice – Episode 5-2 Review

My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy. Until… What is there really to say about this week’s episode of Burn Notice? Well, for starters, we get a glimpse into Michael and Maddie’s past, mixed in with the usual client of the week, and a surprise visit from Miami drug man (and former neighbor of Michael) Sugar. Heck, we even got to see former spy turned security consultant Jesse Porter for more than the 30 seconds he got during the season opener.

This week has Michael doing his 2 things at once routine that we’ve become so accustomed to. First, he has his gig for the C.I.A., and then he has his do-gooder, help the little person in trouble gig, which is brought to him courtesy of Jesse. This week, Michael is assigned to watch a British engineer (and CIA asset) at a conference in Miami and to ensure that he is not lured into a compromising situation, which is what the CIA’s intelligence has gathered for the chatter they have heard. With Michael doing double duty, he is forced to recruit Fi to help watch the asset and act as a diversion to anyone who would try to approach him and get what information they need from him. Fi is the perfect fit for the part, since the engineer typically uses conferences as a way to cheat on his wife of 20+ years. In typical Fiona fashion, she not only keeps the asset safe, but also manages to “persuade” the wayward engineer to go back to his wife as a faithful husband.

On the other end of the storyline, Michael, Sam, Fi, Jesse, and even Maddie are involved in helping to bring down a human trafficking ring in Miami that specializes in Japanese women and is run by members of the Yakuza (essentially the Japanese version of the Italian mafia). Jesse met a woman whose cousin was abducted by the traffickers and is being held in Miami. Sam, Fi, and Jesse are able to capture one member of the trafficking ring and get him to a secluded spot where nobody will be able to bother them during their interrogation. When the normal means of getting the subject to talk fail, Maddie forcibly volunteers herself to help gain the “prisoner’s” trust, much to Michael’s dismay. In order to keep his “I’m the boss” cover in tact, Michael has to berate and get physical with Maddie. Michael harnesses his father’s temperament and acts it out on Maddie, who even seems shocked at how well Michael does it. In the end though, it all works out and the kidnapped women are rescued and the Yakuza guys are locked up and extradited back to Japan.

This episode had several perks to it that helped serve it up as a very good episode. First. A couple times during the show, Michael’s new handler Max tries to sneak up on Michael, and both times, Michael greets him before Max gets within 10 feet of him, much to Max’s chagrin. Second. It appears Fi is looking for a new place to live. Early in the episode, she and Michael are checking out an apartment, when Michael (of course) gets called away. Fi notes later that the apartment was nice, but there was no place for her to display her snow globes. The big shocker (I guess) is at the end of the episode when Michael shows Fi the shelves he is making for her to keep her  snow globes on…in his, I mean, THEIR loft. After 4 seasons, Michael finally decides that he wants Fi to live with him! Last but not least, is the insight we got into Michael’s father, as imitated by Michael. We always knew that Papa Westen was 3 things: a drunk, an abuser, and of course a major ass. But it wasn’t until this episode that we got any glimpse of what it was like in the Westen household prior to Papa Westen’s passing. It’s now much more obvious that Michael, Nate, and Maddie’s lives were deeply effected by papa’s behavior. But if it had not been for Papa Westen being an asshole, we wouldn’t get to live each week with an amazing spy who has captivated and enthralled us for 4 years. See you all next week.

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