Plot: Well, Michael knows who hired Derek Poole to blow him up. Even considering it's Victor, who works for Carla, Michael still wants to make friends. Just in case, he's moved his mom into his loft, which she is predictable unhappy about. Further complicating matters is the arrival of Samantha, a thief who also was engaged to Michael at some point. Yeah, Fi and Madeline loved that revelation.
Turns out Samantha's son (who is not Michael's) has been abducted by Tyler Brennan (Jay Karnes). He's used the boy as leverage to force Samantha to steal guidance chips for him. She needs Michael's help to get the chips back, so she can return them before their absence is noticed. Which gets a little tricky when Brennan shows up for the swap having strapped a bomb to the boy's arm. Yeah, he's that kind of guy.
New plan: Have Mike and Fi approach Brennan as themselves, only they're angry at Samantha for double-crossing them, and want to help Brennan block her attempt to recover the chip. This plan is complicated by the fact Brennan doesn't trust them - at all. They make it work with some ad-libbing (that even includes Victor).
Amidst all this, Michael has to navigate several conversations with Fiona and Madeline, while also trying to set up a meeting with Victor to get answers.
The Players: Samantha (Michael's Ex-Fiance), Brennan (Black Market Trader/Evil Son of a Bitch). The titles are getting kind of judgmental these days.
Quote of the Episode (We're doing a twofer, because it's my blog): Sam - 'If half this crap is true, Victor's a lot like you, only with, you know, rabies.' Brennan - 'For the record, punkin, I'm exactly as smart as I think I am.'
Does Fiona blow anything up? Well, Michael blew up a lot crap when they returned the chips, so it's a question of whether Fi made those explosives for him. Probably.
Sam Axe Drink Count: 0 (45 overall). Just as well. Sam's been hittin' the bottle pretty hard recently.
Sam Getting Hit Count: 0 (11 overall). But nobody much has been hittin' him. He hasn't played as many Annoying Guys recently.
Michael Fake Laugh Count: 0 (7 overall).
Other: Michael and Fi don't use aliases this week. I do wonder, when Brennan says that based on Michael's rep, he (Brennan) ought to have a larger gun, is that based on Michael's actual rep, or the stuff the Burn Notice people smeared him with? I mean, Mike's a pretty bad man as it is, but the stuff they say he did is really ugly.
I can appreciate Sam's attempt to both lighten the mood, and defend his buddy from the wrath of Maddy and Fi, but it was the wrong time Sam. The wound was too fresh.
I got annoyed with the back and forth about whether Charlie was Mike's son. He asked when she first mentioned him, and she said no. After Charlie's rescued, Michael points out the boy is too young to be his. As if she didn't already tell him that. And then they go through it one more time at the end. Did they all develop Alzheimer's or something?
Also, during the sequence in the changing room, what was with the slow undressing and jazzy music? I thought I'd stumbled onto late night Cinemax or something for a minute there.
When Michael tased Victor, how come he wasn't zapped as well? he tagged Vic in the neck, and he had a hold of Victor's face at the moment. Fi's experience with Ivan in "Comrades" says that should have dropped both of them.
Two things I like. When they hear someone approaching the loft, Mike, Sam, and Fi all go for guns and get Maddy behind them. Madeline, not content to rely on them, grabs a big ole knife. The other bit was how Michael starts the episode telling Carla (and us) everything he's done to find his killer up to that point (excluding any mention of Victor). even though he's actually telling the truth, Carla doesn't believe him. I love that he's lied so much, she won't even buy the truth from him now.
Despite all that complaining, there was quite a bit I liked in this episode. Samantha is clearly trying to banter with Michael, probably how they used to, but she doesn't quite get that he's different now, so it's sort of one-sided. And the whole thing lead to a heartfelt scene with Fiona at the end, which was nice. Victor's a lot of fun, mostly because Michael Shanks plays him as so mercurial. He sounds legitimately angry when he calls up Michael after the shooting. Once Mike explains, Vic seems fine with it. Excited even. He's always bouncing around like he's giddy, though he talks through gritted teeth a lot, which is an interesting contrast.
The real draw for me is Brennan, though. I've said this before, but I love Brennan as a foe for Michael, because he doesn't care about Michael. All the other serious threats he tangles with have some vested interest in Michael specifically. Not Brennan. He has other goals, and Mike is either a tool or an obstacle. Nothing more. And he doesn't trust Michael, so he isn't one of those guys duped into thinking he's making the smart play. When Brennan gives up the chip, he knows that's what Michael wanted, and he doesn't want to do it. He simply has no other choice. Which makes him dangerous, because he's the bad guy who escapes knowing he's been played. And he knows exactly who did it.
Also, that pool table was beautiful. He should have taken it with him.
Next week, Season 2 comes to a close. Will Michael convince Victor to help him?