Sunday, January 12, 2014

Burn Notice 7.3 - Down Range

Plot: Michael's back in the Dominican Republic, trying to put thoughts of Fiona out of his mind. Burke's got something to help: heisting a truck. The guy he originally hired is a little smarter than Burke thought, and too greedy for his own good. Now he's dead, but isn't it lucky Michael knows some guys who can handle it? Strong wants to use his guys, but Mike argues convincingly that it needs to be Sam and Jesse, because their lies will match his lies. So they steal the truck, but a guard picks the wrong moment to step out for a smoke, and Sam has to kill the guy.

Don't worry, Strong assures us the guy was a merc, of the sort who burns down villages. Doesn't do much for Sam, but you can do something with it, if you like. Anyway, truck full of expensive severs and such successfully taken, and Burke has a major terrorist guy on the way to buy them. Trap is set, everybody ready to catch Burke and Serano, so Mike can get out from under Strong's thumb?

Too bad, because Burke's working for someone else, and his real goal is to abduct Serano and bring him to that someone else. So Michael has to keep the trap from being sprung, and do it in such a way Burke doesn't grow suspicious of him. Good thing Sam and Jesse stuck around. Now Michael's on a chopper with Burke and Serano, headed who knows where.

In the other story, Madeline is visited by Leo Sapienza, one of Nate's old bookies. Nate still owes him 80 grand, and Ruth is no longer inclined to pay (or perhaps isn't able if she's in rehab). But Maddy has a kid, so there's Leo's lever. And here's Fiona, Maddy's sledgehammer. So Maddy offers some jewels as collateral, the jewels have a GPS locator, they find Leo's safe, blow out the wall, and steal it. Meaning they have all his money, and his ledger, things his bosses will be very unhappy to learn he lost.

The Players: Burke (Man Who Needs A Truck Stolen), Strong (CIA Blowhard), Leo Sapienza (Bookie), Rafael Serano (Terrorist Bomber)

Quote of the Episode: Sam - 'I killed a man today. So I'm not going anywhere until I know he didn't die for nothing.'

Does Fiona blow anything up? She let Maddy push the button, but I'm giving Fi credit for Leo's rear wall.

Sam Axe Drink Count: 0 (1 overall).

Sam Getting Hit Count: 0 (0 overall).

Michael's Fake Laugh Count: 0 (0 overall).

Other: That moment of dawning comprehension on Leo's face, as he realizes this old lady took his safe, that was beautiful. And Sharon Gless played it well. She's outwardly very pleasant, but it's that sort of fake pleasantry that twists the knife. She could make a big show of this, humiliate him in front of everyone, just as easily as she could destroy him with that ledger. But she won't. She doesn't need to. The way she hands him the ledger, assuring him she has her own copy, is a nice mirror of his handing the little boy a bullet at the start of the episode. It's Leo's end, if he doesn't do what she says.

There's also how Fiona helps Madeline. One thing that's consistently frustrated me is how long Mike, Fi and the others kept up with trying to keep Maddy in the dark. Never trusting her until she called them on it directly, even though she came through for them. Here though, Fi doesn't try to shield her, or sugarcoat. Doesn't tell her to stay home while Fiona goes and handles things. She brings Madeline along, has her help set the det cord, push the button, and lets her lower the boom on Leo at the end. Fiona knows what it's like to feel helpless, forced to do things you don't want to protect someone you care about, just as she's been the one used as the threat. She gets it, and her nature is to strike back, to turn the tables. So she gives Madeline that chance, to feel the sense of closure firsthand. Maddy doesn't have to sit and wait for word that everything's OK, she knows everything's OK because she was there, she handled it personally.

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