The start of this episode is where I came in at Season 5 the first time around. It all makes so much more sense now! If anyone tells you that you can just drop in on an episodic TV show that's well advanced with it's storyline part way through a season don't believe them. It's not true. I always knew there was something missing, but couldn't figure out exactly what it was.
After finding Max's body and realising that he was being set up to take the fall, Michael sets about erasing his tracks. Jesse arrives outside the warehouse as Michael, Fi and Sam are about to destroy the gun used. He initially advises going to the police, which shows how naive he still has and how little he really knows about Michael's life before he appeared on the scene. In some ways Jesse is trying to build a normal life, but Michael Westen doesn't do normal.
It would have been no point going to the police, because the CIA have shut the site down and are all over it. Michael's teamed up with a new handler. The very attractive Agent Pearce (Lauren Stamile) a self described pit bull. She is however prepared to let Michael run his own investigation off book as long as it helps her find Max's killer, at this stage she does not appear to suspect Michael, though.
While doing that Michael is contacted by a former special forces commander who wants him to speak with one of his recent returnees about an issue. The returnee is an ex sniper, who was actually good enough to break Michael's record. He says it doesn't bother him, but you can see it does just a little.
That part of the storyline was pretty standard Burn Notice. The kid's sister has been put in hospital by someone and he suspects her boyfriend, it turns out that it was the scammers the boyfriend was working for. Michael, Sam, Fiona, Jesse and their new ally (he's one of those annoying clients who can't just sit back and let the gang do what they do best, but has to be there every step of the way) make the bad guy think they're a bigger, richer operation who want him to join them and expand his own horizons.
While it's nothing we haven't seen a few times before, I did like the fact that to reel their fish in they gave him Jesse's Porsche. It was very funny when Jesse's doing surveillance and just hoping nothing happens to the car. It did get a bullet through the windscreen (that was Fiona) and the back bumper got torn off, but it could have been far worse. I still remember what Michael did to his mother's neighbour's daughter's car, which Sam was using as his runabout at the time.
Fiona looks to have moved into the loft, she's 'Fionaed' the place. It has a breadbasket and potpourri and she's made him move the workbench and tools into the backroom rather than scattered over the kitchen. Jesse in particular ribs Michael about it.
There was never any doubt that they'd fix up the bad guy and have him brought to justice. The hot headed young sniper decides to talk to some CIA recruiters who are after his signature as an operative, and while he's learned a fair bit on this mission, I don't think he's Michael Westen Mark II.
The big shock comes at the end. Jesse and Fiona heavied the manager of the bodega where the cellphone used in Max's murder was purchased to give them the security tapes from that day. Michael then set Maddie up with a cartoon of cigarettes in front of the TV to watch them. It wasn't too hard to spot their guy. He wasn't Michael, but he looked like him, he wore dark glasses in the same style as Michael and even had his walk and posture down. Can't let the CIA get hold of them, because one look at the tapes and Michael's going to be down a deep dark hole for the rest of his natural born days.