Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Burn Notice, Season 2, Episode 10

The cliffhanger was wrapped up so quickly that I'm not even sure why they did it in the first place. We knew Michael was going to survive, not just because he's the hero of the show, but because he dived over the balcony just before the explosion wired to the door went off.

Sam's the one who picks him and gets him out of harm's way. In fact a recurring theme in the episode is the loyalty of Sam Axe to his best friend Michael Westen. It hits home in this one how time and time again Sam inconveniences himself and even puts his life on the line for Michael. In this episode he even takes a few punches from Michael himself to make the former spy wake up to himself.

Carla's not at all happy about how things have panned out. She and her people didn't try to kill Michael and they didn't kill their own sharp shooter. It's highly likely that someone she's working for is playing her for their own ends, but this isn't looked at as a possibility. Michael may think it from some things he says, but he doesn't outright suggest it to Carla.

Despite being a target and being tasked with the job of tracking down whoever attempted to kill him, Michael still takes on a job for a random stranger. He meets the guy trying to kill himself by getting in the way of a bus.

A quick conversation establishes that the new client has a sick son and has been scammed out of money he could have used for the child's treatment. Something about that triggers Michael and he offers to help the man.

I wasn't aware that medical scams were a big business in Miami or anywhere in the US, but this episode seems to suggest that they are.

Michael uses Fiona and Sam to flush one of the scammers into the open and then takes the man prisoner, he tracks down the other member of the gang and takes him hostage as well. Sam plays the bad cop and uses an old CIA interrogation technique which involves making one hostage think you've killed the other to get them to talk. They give up the leader of the scam; a woman called Rachel.

Given Fiona's background you wouldn't think she'd have a strong maternal streak, but she does and it comes to the fore after she's played a game of soldiers with the sick little boy.

It unfortunately nearly jeopardises the whole thing when Rachel gloats how easy it is to play on the emotions of parents with desperately ill children and take them for everything. Fiona goes in fists swinging. She came off second best, which I felt was a little unrealistic. Fiona has plenty of combat training and we've seen her take down men much bigger and stronger than her, she can even hold her own sparring with Michael. Rachel, on the other hand, while showing off an impressively fit body, should have been easy pickings for Fiona, yet she had more dirty tricks and actually left Fiona on the ground when she was done.

The gang did eventually track her down and convince her that it was in her best interests to give herself up to the police. Again I felt it was interesting how they played the dynamic, despite Fiona clearly being emotional and therefore thought of as weak by Rachel they still said she ran the show and Donny (the name Michael used in his role as the muscle) did what she said, yet he thought better and kept her grounded.

Campbell finally realised that Fiona may have called him her boyfriend, but she was really still interested in Michael and would go every time he called. He was just convenient whenever she needed someone who had access to an ambulance, so that relationship came to an end and I really think it was best for both parties.

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