Monday, April 20, 2015

Burn Notice, Season 7, Episode 2

The news that the man she told Michael was working for the CIA actually wanted to do him harm sends Maddy into a tizz, and what makes it worse is that no one will give her any answers about whether or not her son is alive or dead.

Sam and Jesse both caution her to let the authorities deal with Dexter Gamble (that's Nick E. Tarabay's character name. It doesn't sound right to me. The Gamble maybe, but he's not a Dexter). However Hurricane Maddy is a force to be reckoned with and leaving Charlie with a friend, off to the federal building she goes.

Things happen in the carpark that just don't seem right and panic her. Initially her fears seem unfounded, but then when the elevator jolts and starts going up instead of down she freaks out. She's got the gun she carries in her bag out, and pointed when the doors open and standing in front of her is a rather scruffy looking Michael Westen.

Her inquiries are putting him and his mission in jeopardy, so this is a courtesy to get her to back off. She's not happy about it, but she knows Michael and once he sets down a course, he follows it through to the end. It's actually a very good and measured performance from Sharon Gless. I never really watched Cagney & Lacey, because Tyne Daly's performance grated on me, but I think Sharon Gless has done some of the best work of her career in Burn Notice.

Michael is actually spying on his friends, because they're after Gamble, and the CIA is counting on them to lead them right to him. Before Michael can continue his mission of taking down Burke and his terrorist cell, they need to remove Gamble from the picture. Spying on Fiona leads Michael to flashback to Dublin when he first met Fiona, working undercover as Michael McBride.

While it's nice to see how the story of Michael and Fiona started, we do have to endure Jeffrey Donovan's dreadful Irish accent. The accent always hurts the show's credibility, because no genuine Irishman would ever accept Michael's cover story that he's a born and bred Irishman.

As Sam, Jesse, Carlos and Fiona close in on Gamble, with Michael taking up a sniper position to shoot Gamble, once his friends flush him out, Gamble stays a step ahead and actually kidnaps Fiona.

For some reason he seems to believe that Fiona knows where Michael is. She does know he's working for the CIA, although she refuses to admit that to Gamble. She is however telling the truth when she says that she hasn't seen him in nearly a year and doesn't know if he's alive or dead. Gamble refuses to accept it.

Sam, Jesse and Carlos get ready to go in with all guns blazing and Michael disobeys his handler, stopping them before they can get themselves killed. The expected recriminations follow about how he should have at least let them know that he was still alive. I find this rather tedious. Michael was deep undercover, if he let his friends and family know where he was that puts him and them at risk. Even just breaking cover to let them know he was alive, could do that. I think what Gamble did to Fiona actually illustrates that. Having worked covert ops in the past, both Sam and Jesse should be aware of this and understand it, however much they may not like it.

Strong (Michael's handler) is all for sending a tactical team to storm the building Gamble is in. Michael knows that at the very least that action will get Fiona killed, so he can't let it happen. He stresses to Strong that doing this will also lose him agents and he doesn't want to do that if can be prevented. A famous Michael Westen seat of the pants plan is coming.

Michael rings Gamble and speaks to he and Fiona. When he was with Fiona she told him about a code she had with her father. When he said 'Time to be brave, little angel' it meant get down and lay there until the shooting passes. Michael signs off with that comment, in his Irish accent. Fiona knows what it means and hits the dirt. At the same time, army snipers with machine guns start pouring fire into the building. The clueless Gamble is hit multiple times and dies. When Fiona comes out of the building, she goes straight to Carlo's arms.

Michael intercepts her when she's being attended to by one of the medics called to the site. Before leaving she kisses his cheek and tells him to take care. Michael's mind goes back to the Dublin bar the first night he saw Fiona Glenanne. The bartender tells him to give her a wide berth, she's taken. Michael watches her kiss her boyfriend on the cheek, laughs and tells the barman that's a goodbye kiss. In the present that's the same kiss she just gave him.

This was the show's 100th episode and it was fitting that we went back and forth from Michael and Fiona's past to their fractured present.

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