Thursday, February 19, 2015

Burn Notice, Season 5, Episode 8

I don't know if the people behind Burn Notice had plans for Lauren Stamile beyond Season 5, but they did really want the audience to get to know Agent Pearce.

In this case Michael and Jesse are soloing with her somewhere on a Caribbean island while Sam and Fiona, with occasional help from Maddie, try to track down the bomber who attempted to blow Michael up.

While Pearce's superiors do want progress on the case of Max, they also want her doing other work, and one of those jobs is an extraction of a character called Cahill, who is selling classified information to the highest bidder. For an extraction like that Michael says he needs a team. Pearce tells him that they're it, but she is allowed to bring in an outsider, although they'd need government clearance. That rules out Sam, and very definitely Fiona, but Michael's smile tells Pearce that he knows someone and that someone is Jesse.

The meeting between Pearce and Fiona prior to Michael and Jesse taking off to the Caribbean with her is interesting. Fiona knew that Pearce was female, but Michael had neglected to mention just how attractive she is. Fortunately Fiona was wearing her trademark sunglasses, otherwise we would have seen glowing green eyes. Initially I was prepared to not like Pearce, both her attitude and her looks reminded me of Paxson (Moon Bloodgood, Season 3), however she grew on me very quickly.

It's kind of fun to see Pearce in the field and they soon realise that the job turns from a simple (when is anything in the world of Michael Westen ever simple?) extraction to a fight against a vicious mercenary. The mercenary in question is Miles Vanderwaal. Vanderwaal was another character first encountered in The Fall of Sam Axe. The name and occupation tends to suggest that he's South African, although David Dayan Fisher's British accent only has a nodding acquaintance with South Africa. I am pleased that they didn't attempt to overdo it with the accent, because they only would have messed it up.

Once they have to think on their feet Michael comes into his own and develops a plan of attack that Pearce says is insane, to which Jesse counters that she clearly hasn't known Michael for very long. There's a nice moment between Pearce and Jesse where she gets to know a bit more about Michael and starts to trust him more than she has before.

The rest of that story is pure Burn Notice. The three pretend to be consultants working for the mercenary's commander and they've found his operation wanting. Jesse gets to play the hard ass drill sergeant and we see some of Pearce's moves, too. Michael's speciality is turning one against the other and he does that here, letting Vanderwaal shoot his boss, then delivering the information and the mercenary to the waiting CIA team.

Back in Miami Fiona has examined the pictures Michael took of the boat bomb and the sliver of C4 he removed and has said that it's very good work, but she doesn't know who made it. She can find out, but it will require contacting and doing a favour for a slimy arms dealer by the name of Armand. Fiona doesn't like him, but he did get her out of Ireland when no one else could, so despite the fact that he's always hitting on her she does have an understanding with him and he will give them the information, especially after she and Sam agree to steal a specific arms truck for him. Fi does what he wants and says that this settles their ledger.

Fiona's less than happy that Michael only asks questions about Armand and how dangerous he was after he's gotten the information he required, whereas before he was okay for her to get it. They cut the argument short when Maddie arrives at the restaurant with her new boyfriend Benny, who seems refreshingly normal, he's either acting or he's going to wind up dead or in fear of his life, because of Michael's life Maddie can never have nice things. Sigh.

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