Monday, July 21, 2014

Burn Notice, Season 3, Episode 8

In Season 2 of Burn Notice it was highly noticeable that episode 8 was the half season kickstarter. It's not like that in Season 3. It is the halfway point of the season, Season 3 is 16 episodes, just like Season 2 was, but this is far more like a standard episode, and the alteration in the stories focus came about a few episodes ago when Paxson was effectively replaced by Strickler.

So Michael has gone over to the dark side (working for Strickler) and Fiona is not happy about it. She's even less happy when he calmly involves his mother in what he's doing for Strickler. Okay, they had to plant someone at a bingo game and Maddie's less noticeable in that setting than anyone else Michael can call on and it's low risk, but as Fiona points out it flies in the face of Michael's previous policy to try and protect his family from getting into what he does. It may be low risk, but there is still a risk and he's thrown Maddie under the bus to get back into the CIA, which has become an obsession. Considering what they did to him, how quick they were to drop him and the startling lack of interest that they have shown in him I don't know why he's so desperate to get back in. There's also no guarantee that Strickler is telling the truth. This guy lies like the rest of us breathe.

Complicating matters a bit is Barry. Honestly why Paul Tei does not get an opening credit is beyond me. He, like Maddie, is an unofficial member of Team Michael Westen.

His 'little black book' has gone missing. Yes, Barry keeps his clients details in a hand written ledger, which he doesn't even store very securely. He claims that in this digital age it's a selling factor. Computers are too easy to hack and access.

His girlfriend (I'm betting now his ex-girlfriend) was the one who took it and sold it for $100,000. It's worth a whole lot more. The girlfriend, played by Debi Mazar (who I remember as Vincent Chase's foul mouthed press agent in Entourage), is not the brightest crayon in the box, she takes a swing at Fiona with a garden implement and gets punched in the face for her trouble. Then Fiona proves that her car was wired to explode by tripping the device and blowing it up.

They got an address from her and Michael and Sam went to check it out. They met a mobster type and a woman he was abusing at the house, so took them prisoner. They stashed them in a holiday getaway Sam had intended to use for a weekend of loving with Miss Reynolds (Maddie's neighbours daughter, who still lets Sam use the bright red Buick).

They picked the woman out as the weak link and tried to get Fiona to cozy up to her. Through her they got another address where they found her passport, the other guy's passport and someone else, who the 'mobster' claimed would release the information in the ledger to the internet if anything happened to him.

The passport should have tipped them off. The guy was a Serbian interrogator. Why would he want a money launderer's ledger? How would he move it? Michael and Co didn't twig and it took the other guy to let them know that the whole operation was being controlled by a woman. The same one Fiona was getting friendly with.

Sam and Michael raced back and Fiona had already let her out of the cuffs. Michael had to get her out of the way and lock up the other woman without letting her know they were onto her. He had a number of options open, but he elected to hit Fiona in the face. This is a result of working with Strickler and using his methods. Fiona let Michael know in very certain terms that he was on extremely thin ice with her after that.

They let the woman escape and tracked her. Fiona confronted her. It ended in a stalemate, as while Fiona doesn't want to incur collateral damage, her adversary had no qualms about that. She walked away and melted into the crowd, but they got Barry's ledger back.

It had another happy coincidence. Barry holed up at Maddie's just in case and got her a good deal on fixing her roof. Sam's bomb at the end of Season 2 had damaged the roof so that every time it rained (it rains a lot in Florida) it leaked.

Fiona tells Michael that she doesn't like the path he's headed down or what it's doing to him and walks so she doesn't have to witness it. That could be the tip off that this is half season, but it's not as climactic as last season's one. And Michael falls further into Strickler's web.

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