Monday, March 2, 2015

Burn Notice, Season 5, Episode 15

This episode was titled Necessary Evil, but I think a better name would have been Why Madeline Westen Can't Have Nice Things.

After Fiona and Michael find an extremely novel way to break into the government security building across the road from Anson's apartment with the satellite dish that he piggy backs off of (it involved posing as window washers and Fiona's lack of height was once again joked about, and wrecking a window washing platform to make it look like they accidentally fell into the office they needed to be in), they get some information off the computer in the room before building security arrive.

The information leads them to one of Anson's agents and it turns out to be Maddie's new boyfriend Benny. Even if I hadn't seen this season before I would have known as soon as Benny turned up that he was doomed one way or another, that's just how her life works. The only romantic entanglement aside from Benny that I think she's had was with Sam's ex-SEAL buddy and that never worked out because he's a bullet and danger magnet.

Initially Maddie refuses to be believe it and is convinced Michael has made a mistake, but a search of his house turns up evidence that he is connected to Anson in some way.

While that's being dealt with Michael is tasked by Pearce to try and stop a Liberian warlord from creating a missile on American soil. The brass gave the gig to Michael because of his experience in that part of the world, however that's a double edged sword. They can't risk sending Michael in for that very reason, someone may have crossed paths with him before and will recognise him. Interestingly Pearce said that he's authorised to run the op using Sam and Jesse as his operatives. It is curious how quickly the CIA have altered their stance on Michael using his 'people' on missions that they sanction.

Once Sam and Jesse get in there and meet the scientist working on the missile they realise that he isn't betraying his country, at least not willingly. The Liberians have effectively abducted him and to make him work for them they're holding his daughter hostage. Once Fiona gets that bit of information she's all for finding out where the girl is, kicking down the door and getting her out. Of course they can't do that because that would tip the Liberians off and get the scientist and probably Jesse, who is being held for good behaviour and to ensure that Sam returns, killed. The warlord is unstable and quite violent. I felt they kind of missed out with the casting of the daughter. For the entire time she's referred to as a 'little girl', so I was thinking she'd be a pre teen, but when we see her she looks at least 14 and possibly older, and her father didn't really look old enough to be her Dad, either. It's still not at all cool to kidnap her and threaten her father with her life, though.

Michael, Sam and Pearce come up with one of Michael's crazy schemes to arm Sam and Jesse and end the whole thing without any unnecessary loss of life. They do something that Sam and Michael occasionally do in that they reference an earlier job they pulled. This one was apparently in the Ukraine in 1997. Burn Notice is like James Bond with it's timelines, they sound okay in theory, but don't make any actual sense without the use of a TARDIS when you try and think about them in practical terms.

Once they've ended this one off happily and managed to blow up the missile in the process, thus pissing off the people at the CIA who already don't like Sam Axe, because they wanted the specs (although they've got the guy who built it in the first place, I don't see why he wouldn't simply tell them how he did it, he does owe his life and his daughters to them after all). Michael goes back to his surveillance of Benny with Maddie in tow. It becomes apparent that Benny regrets his deal with Anson and wants out, that's when Michael gets tipped off that something is very wrong. He's out of the car and running towards the house when the whole thing goes kaboom. RIP Benny.

Aside from killing Benny it's worrying that Anson did this, because now Michael doesn't know if he did it because he no longer had a use for him, if he was upset that his agent wanted out, or if he was sending a message to Michael and knows that they've found his information gathering device, and is that the only one? No Jere Burns in this episode, but his spectre looms large over it all.

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