Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Burn Notice, Season 5, Episode 12
Once I saw the names of Tim Matheson and Jere Burns (especially Jere Burns) in the opening credits I knew that this was the episode that would give this season the spark it so desperately needed. Matheson is of course Michael's mentor the completely amoral Larry. Burns on the other hand is new, but I remember him from later seasons.
The episode picks up where the previous one left off, with the CIA taking Michael in for questioning to explain his part in Max's murder. I think if Pearce had her way she would have simply shot him then and there, but still had to follow protocol. Jesse and Sam manage to derail the convoy en route using Fiona's Hyundai. When Jesse and Sam had to use Fiona's car because Jesse's Porsche was in the shop in the previous episode, I knew it wasn't going to escape unscathed. Sam's terrified of Fiona's reaction if they so much as scratch it, where Jesse may feel it's payback for what she let Michael do to his Porsche a few episodes back. As it turned out it wasn't totaled, but it would have needed some bodywork after they clipped one of the CIA vehicles to make it stop.
Between the three of them Michael, Sam and Jesse manage to calm Pearce down enough to let him deal with Tavian and at least prove that he's innocent. He wears a wire to the meeting, and once Tavian knows he's busted he leaps to his death. As far as the CIA are concerned that's the end of the matter. One of their agents was killed by an assassin, not one of their own, so Michael is free to get on with his life, he's still an operative, but there's more behind this and everyone knows it. Pearce certainly isn't happy.
Michael arrives back at the loft and is met by Larry. This is a surprise because as far as Michael knew Larry was still in an Albanian prison, he escaped and now he's looking to rebuild his illegal fortune by ripping off the British embassy and he needs Michael to help. He's also brought along another hostage, a psychiatrist called Anson. The first time we seen Anson he's bound and gagged in the trunk of Larry's car and is being coerced into helping because Larry has his wife hooked up to an explosive device.
When Larry blows up Anson's wife and the psychiatrist goes into a meltdown over it, I bought it, audiences bought it. It's a testimony to Jere Burns acting talent, and he's still killing it as Wynn Duffy in Justified.
The whole thing is an elaborate set up. Anton, not Larry was the mastermind of things. Anson set everything up so that he could take Larry out of the picture permanently and blackmail Michael and Fiona into doing his bidding. Anson is the closest thing Burn Notice ever had to a Bond villain (actually Jere Burns would make an awesome Bond villain), he's got a grand plan, he's undeniably insane, he's brilliant, has seemingly limitless resources. I do often ask myself though why Michael didn't simply kill him once he let he and Fiona know who he was. I guess if James Bond had done the same thing the franchise would have been a lot shorter though. You never kill your good villains.
Anson is behind everything, he's the last member of Management still left standing (they do a little montage of them: the guy Michael and Max killed in South America, Vaughn, Simon, the old guy who called himself Management, even Carla. Technically Simon may still be around, just out of sight) and Anson was the mastermind of the whole thing, he spent more than half his life building it up and Michael Westen tore it all down. Now that same man is going to help him rebuild it and put him back on top.
He has footage of Michael and Fiona's involvement in the explosion at the British embassy. Fiona planted the bomb that killed Larry, but another one went off that killed two security guards, that was Anson's doing, but no one will believe it's not Fiona, and that Michael wasn't involved, he was in the building at the time, assisting a known enemy of the state in Larry. He's got them both over a barrel and he knows it. His true colours are revealed when they ask him about his 'wife' and he refers to her as 'some lady'. He was never married, or if he is, his wife is safe and sound. That poor woman was collateral damage so that he could sell his story and get the outcome he wanted.
Interestingly Pearce is still Michael's handler. She's not real happy about it and I can't see the two of them sharing a great working relationship. It's going to get interesting now that Michael is working for Anson under duress.