Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Burn Notice, Season 4, Episode 3

Any doubts that anyone harboured about Jesse becoming part of the team after episode 2 were dispelled at the beginning of this episode, with the rest of the gang hanging out at a local bar waiting for Jesse. I know I've harped on this a bit, but Burn Notice is a show which worked very well with it's ensemble cast from day 1 for 3 seasons, so introducing a new principle into the mix at this stage is a big thing and it needs to be noted.

Sam still doesn't like Jesse. It's not just the jealousy and his doubts about Jesse's ability to be a team player, it's what Jesse used to do. Every time Sam speaks about Jesse negatively he mentions counter intelligence. There's something hidden in Sam's past where he had a bad experience with a counter intelligence operative.

Before being burned Jesse was working on something down at Miami's docks and it concerned someone he had code named Cobra. Sam thinks Cobra is a ridiculous code name, especially compared to one like Chuck Finley (yes Chuck does appear again in this episode, he's a mob hit man this time).

It's Jesse's inability to turn a blind eye to bad things that involves the gang with a local mob boss who is heavying defenceless port authority officials to steal high end goods like TVs.

Maddie later gets the story about how Jesse's mother was killed as part of a small time robbery and understands why he followed the path he did, she also becomes quite maternal about him and knows that Michael burned him, and has it out with her son at the end of the episode. She won't tell Jesse the truth, but doesn't understand how he can lie to someone and at the same time say he's trying to help them. Both Maddie and Michael have a point and how they get around it will be a key to the season. Fiona has some of the same issues and she doesn't want to see either man get hurt, but can't see how it can end in anything but tears.

Michael tries to impersonate an FBI agent, but all that gets him is a beating when the mob boss uses his own contacts at the FBI to blow Michael's cover. That's when Chuck Finley enters the picture.

Jesse again goes off book to help win the mob bosses' confidence, by getting Sam to tell one of his war stories about a wounded comrade in El Salvador. The story is true, but the point of it is that Sam doesn't like to use his past in that way. It pisses him off and Jesse is told in no uncertain terms by both Sam and Michael that when they're working Sam's past is out of bounds unless he says otherwise, but if that happens it has to be his decision, not someone else's.

They do put things right by once again playing one against the other. The fake double cross is Michael's go to plan. If someone were planning a major heist or job they could do worse than watch Burn Notice for advice. I'm not sure that all Michael claims is true or as easy to rig as he says it is, but it would be fun to find out.

The spectre of what was done to Jesse continues to hang over the show and it will be a major arc.

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