Burn Notice Recap: “Trust Me”

Whooo damn, that was fun! Mike asked me to talk to y’all about tonight’s episode while he’s off eatin’ some chicken tikka with his new buddy Wasim, so let me tell you a little about myself. Name’s Davis Cullen. Daddy made his money in oil, but ain’t no way I’m livin’ like that. Up at four, in bed by nine. No, siree. I told him, “I don’t want your life” right before I left Texas. Lucky daddy’s always had a soft spot for me so I got a nice fat trust fund.

The Recap

Mike and Sam gotta get into the Pakistani consulate so Mike can get his hands on a file. Don’t matter what file, just anything’ll make the head of security take notice. So while Sam’s doing his best impression of – wassisname – Roger Murtaugh in the lobby, Mike slips back into this fellow’s office. Gets hisself a file and leaves a note.

Next you know, Mike’s using all his spy expertise to sneak around his mama’s garage lookin’ for car parts. But his mama’s too good for that and catches him. Drags his butt inside where a bunch of hens are playin’ poker. Fiona got her butt whooped good, looks like. Then one of them ladies tells about another friend of theirs got a dumb kid in deep with a loan shark. Fi wants to help, so Mike and her meet the lady, Diane.

Her boy Andy borrowed a heap of cash to invest in a club in Cuba. ‘Cept there was no club in Cuba. The whole thing’s a scam. Andy’s out 200 grand and the shark’s gettin’ hungry. Mike and Fi know all about the scam. They even tell Andy how it all played out. Sap didn’t even know he’d been had, till they told him!

So Mike and Fi go to this club, Velvet. Fi figures she’s got the best shot to get back in his office, ’cause she’s hotter than a horned lizard in August, so Mike heads out to meet up with Wasim. But it turns out Zeke’s office needs one them magnetic cards like in a hotel, so she can’t get the money. Things ain’t much better for Mike. Wasim ain’t bitin’.

The loan shark shows up at Diane’s house and roughs up Andy somethin’ awful. But Mike uses a copy of Cat Fancy to bust them up even worse. Baranski, that’s the loan shark’s name, gives them two days, but he puts the debt on Mike, too.

Mike gives Wasim back his files, but he does it in the park where Wasim’s having a picnic with a cute little blond lady. Sam gets pictures so it looks like a payoff. When Mike picks up a dinner tab later, Wasim knows he’s been had. If he wants to stay in good with his bosses and stay in Miami, he’s gonna have to find them files on Carla that Mike wants.

Now here’s where I come in. Mike figures I’m the kind of fella can get in good with Zeke, so I go to his club and just act natural. Eventually Zeke takes notice and asks Fi about me. Then we go back to the VIP room and party for a bit. I cut out to break into Zeke’s safe, but it’s just a dummy. A few hundred bucks and cut up newspaper. So I plant a bug and get the hell outta Dodge with Fi.

We’re gonna have to do this the hard way, so I gotta get in on Zeke’s scam. Me and my lawyer Chuck Finley go talk to Zeke. You might know Chuck. Been around Miami for a bit, good guy to have in a scrape. ‘Cept Chuck’s got the purse strings on my trust fund and makes it hard for me to invest in this here club. Oh wait, that’s right. The club in Havana’s a scam and we’re supposed to make it look like we’re hard to convince. Damn!

See, what we’re gonna do is put $200K in an escrow account, then Zeke’s gonna have to match those funds. So all we gotta do is get $200K. And fast, ’cause Baransky’s kidnapped Andy’s mama.

That $200K is as good as got, ’cause Mike and his buddy “Bad Check Barry” the money launderer are talkin’ again. It’s good to see that, ’cause they’d been on the outs. But Barry’s gonna transfer some money from a closed bank account. It’ll only be a few minutes before someone notices it’s fake, but Mike figures that’s all it’ll take.

See, what’s gonna happen is this:

  • I go to the house Zeke and his partners rented.
  • I call Barry and he transfers the money.
  • Zeke calls his partners to come on in and pretend to be Feds and bust Zeke.
  • But Sam and Fi jump them first and blow up their car.
  • Zeke sees that, and I tell him *my* partners are ex Delta Force guys who just killed a couple of Feds. They’re gonna want their money.

Me and Zeke head to Velvet and he hands me all the cash in the real safe, almost $250K. After I leave, I got no idea what’s gonna happen to him, but I’d guess his partners ain’t gonna be none too happy. But I’ve got the money for Mike and that’s all I care about.

Mike pays off the loan shark with the money, minus $300. He bought him a subscription to Cat Fancy, just to give him a reminder to keep his “hands off people’s mothers.” I suspect Baransky’s not gonna bother Andy and his mama.

Character Counts

Tonight continues the aftermath of Fiona and Michael’s breakup. He can claim they weren’t dating all he’d like, but in fact and deed they were. It’s pretty clear tonight that Michael’s regretting the breakup even more than we might have guessed he would from the season premiere, but he’s not going to let that show. Much.

Madeline’s upset by it all, because she thinks Michael’s better, almost happy, when Fiona’s around. His unwillingness to open up and meet her half way make him just like his father. A second week running, we see a bit more of how much Madeline does love *and* understand her son. But as much as she wants Michael to be happy, she understands Fiona’s need not to be the second most important thing in his life. From experience.

When Michael finally talks to his mother about the breakup, he thinks she’s upset because he won’t be giving her grandchildren. But that’s not Madeline’s concern:

Michael: This is about grandchildren.
Madeline: No honey. It’s not about me. It’s about you. Life is hard if you have to live it alone. And having kids makes the ride more fun.
Michael: I was fun?

The smile and gentle stroke on the cheek Madeline gives is all the answer to that question he, or we need.

Chin Bits

So, did I mention I’m in Vegas tonight? Away from my Tivo and ability to replay the show to get these great lines? Here’s what I got.

  • “Couldn’t it be Jamaica, those guys are probably very easy going.”
  • “Hey, smooth is smooth”

And my favorite Sam exchange of the night, where Michael actually gets the zinger after telling Sam to leave his cellphone on to bug Zeke’s office:

“How’s Ronnie supposed to get in touch with me?”
“Tell her to try the bar at Carlito’s”

Important Lessons in Spycraft

Huh. You think it was tough to catch all the great Bruce Campbell bits? Imagine how much harder it must be to get all the lessons in spying!

  • Low-level agents get traded, not prosecuted
  • Stay away from embassies and consulates
  • Bureaucrats get worried about pissed off journalists
  • The head of security in a consulate is almost always a spy
  • A cellphone makes an excellent bug in a pinch, but it uses a lot of juice. An unused USB port can keep it charged
  • A hairpin can open many locks
  • A low-end safe can be opened with a hammer, but if it’s already open that’s probably overkill

Parting Thoughts

Michael’s got a file on Carla now. She’s still got the advantage, but he’s no longer completely blind. He knows, at least, what cover she used in Kurdistan. It also seems likely to me that Michael actually does have a friend in the Pakistani intelligence community now. Or at least someone who might consider Carla a common enemy.

There is, of course, no way that Michael and Fiona are going to stay apart for too long. She’ll start dating someone – I can probably even tell you who, and who will be playing him, but that’s cheating – in the next few weeks and that’s going to gnaw at Michael. He loves her. He knows it and so does everyone else. He just needs to put her first, or get her to accept coming in second.

What did everyone else think?

R.A. Porter is an aspiring television writer who currently toils away in the software mines. He can be found at his personal blog and stalked on Twitter.