Sunday, June 15, 2014

Burn Notice, Season 1, Episode 9

I preferred the side story about Michael's burning in this one to the motw.

The motw was very standard. Nerdy young Asian slacker has a job house sitting these amazing houses in Miami for people that only use them once a year for holidays and someone observing him thinks that he owns the houses he lives in and the cars he drives, so they kidnap his girlfriend and hold her for ransom.

Somehow Sam's lady friend, Veronica (remembered her name!) knows the guy and puts him in touch with Sam and by extension Michael. When Sam talks about how his girlfriends reward him and how lavishly it does often beg the question 'What exactly do you do for these women?' It's asked a few times and it's always funny. It also plays on Bruce Campbell's fictional heart throb image.

The client (Luke) is worse than useless because he doesn't understand the first thing about how his team need him to act. He gets Michael made early on and he has to alter the plan, taking one of the kidnappers hostage then playing some psychological warfare, something that both he and Sam are quite good at. Fiona prefers the direct approach: torture, shooting, blowing stuff up. The three of them do tend to complement each other in that respect.

Michael pretends to be a hard ass kidnap negotiator and buys time for Fiona and Sam to rescue the hostage. The kidnappers also get arrested into the bargain.

The side story involves someone coming down to Miami to look into Michael's burn notice. The guy is represented as a bureaucrat and Michael makes him jump through hoops to see if he really is what he appears to be, refusing to meet with him until he's satisfied.

They got a little too cute with that I felt. Even if I hadn't already seen this and known that the 'pen pusher', played nicely by Arye Gross, was an assassin, I would have figured it out. He was just a little too perfect, too inoffensive.

However as Michael reflects just before the assassin tries to garrotte him, you can't be on your guard ALL the time, you have to trust that sometimes things are what they seem. Interesting that this unassuming, meek appearing character came closer than anyone else has to taking Michael Westen out. Fortunately Michael had the home ground advantage and being highly suspicious plants guns all over the place and managed to reach a hidden one.

It's going to get very nasty real quick now.

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