Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Burn Notice, Season 3, Episode 10

There was a 'this is what you missed' voice over this episode as well, so maybe I got it wrong about the break between 8 and 9. 9 just had that feel of coming back after a break at the start.

Michael is dealing with the fall out from Strickler's death (which seems to be being brushed under the carpet) and Diego's, which for once Michael is not suspected of being involved with. They have however put the 'unburn Michael Westen' project on hiatus. Fiona can't work with her arm, so Michael agrees to take on one of her cases involving an insurance scam that has taken the life of the husband of a young lady called Calia.

I still don't really understand Michael's motivation to get back into the CIA. I watched The Avengers the other night and the Black Widow's comments about having 'red on her ledger' made me think of Michael Westen. Michael has a 'hero complex', he's 'white knighting' all over Miami to square things after what he did in the service of his country for the past 20 or so years. If he goes back to the CIA, who have a reputation for being rather unethical, what does he do when he's told to do something against his principles, something that may hurt innocents for the 'greater good'? It's not like he can just say no. Now if he's offered a job he doesn't want he can walk away. He can't do that with the CIA. While Strickler was a detestable human being he wasn't wrong when he told Michael that the CIA wouldn't allow him to work with a former member of an illegal paramilitary unit who runs guns. Nor would they look kindly on his habit of involving a retired out of shape Navy SEAL on jobs.

He gets word about Diego's killer and goes to meet him in a hotel. The desk clerk has been told to expect someone matching Michael's description and hands him an envelope addressed to him. It contains a room number. Just as Michael reaches the room, the door is open and it's firebombed. Sam says that matched what happened to a British scientist some years ago.

Michael is later contacted by someone with an upper class British accent and told to go to the abandoned Mariners stadium. There he has a conversation with the same British accent while shots from a sniper rifle are fired all around him. That tallies up with a shooting in a South American soccer stadium. So Michael is either dealing with a master assassin or someone with the same skills who likes to copy notorious incidents.

On top of this he's infiltrating the insurance scam by pretending to be a teeth sucking, loose cannon redneck driver. The car came in handy here, because it really sold the image he was trying to project.

I noticed the name Tyne Daly in the opening credits and she turned out to be a county records clerk who could give them what they needed to crack the insurance scam. When she proved immune to Sam's charm, they sent Maddie in to make friends with her. Unfortunately she took that too literally and they became BFF's.

Part of the joke there was that Sharon Gless (Maddie) and Tyne Daly worked together and made their names in the cop show Cagney and Lacey, so this was a good chance to see the two together again.

Maddie is forced to betray her new friend and hates Michael for what he has to have her do. He later makes it up by staging a break in, so that no one will ever know Maddie's former friend took the records and she gets to keep her job. They also break the insurance scam wide open and give Calia some money and peace of mind.

The appearance of Tyne Daly and Michael's deadly cat and mouse game with the British assassin aside, this was a fairly standard episode, but it has launched well into the second part of the season.

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