Sunday, February 16, 2014

Burn Notice 7.8 - Nature of the Beast

Plot: Michael's supposed to be waiting for a James to meet him, but is instead told to hurry to a car, and then whisked away to a secret location (another giant house), thwarting Strong's hopes of catching him. James has a mission for Michael, to capture Marcus Carbral, the Dominican republic's top narcotics officer, and also its top drug smuggler. Cabral has a made a deal with MI6 in exchange for a safe exit from his homeland, and James is not all right with that. Michael is to capture Cabral so he can be interrogated and not get away clean. He's only allowed one helper, but at least James lets him pick. So now Sam's involved, as a man making a counteroffer. And it's a real counteroffer, briefcase full of cash and everything. Cabral needs a little convincing, mostly that MI6 can't protect him from his enemies, which Mike handles, probably concussing himself in the process. The capture doesn't go entirely smoothly, as Cabral is (wisely) cautious about being separated from his security, but they manage it.

Back in the States, Strong's had his people analyzing the copy of all that data Mike and Fi retrieved from that hacker syndicate, and it's led to something interesting. James has been paying the bills for a mental patient for the last 15 years, shuttling the John Doe from one mental hospital to another. Strong has him brought to a regular hospital, but has him brought out of sedation, and now the guy is on the loose in the hospital. Jesse winds up with a bomb around his neck, but manages to talk this man, Peter Mallard, into working with them to stop James. But Peter will only talk about James Kendrick to the man trying to bring him down, meaning Michael. What he has to say isn't encouraging, I guess. James and Pete were Delta, sent as part of a squad to kill a warlord. They find a peaceful village where the warlord is basically some kid. They're told to follow orders, wipe out the village. Peter begs James to stop the others, who are inclined to shut up and follow orders. James does - by killing them all in their sleep.

The Players: James (Network Leader with Messianic Pretensions), Marcus Cabral (Drug Smuggler/Sneaky Weasel), Peter Mallard (Old Buddy of James)

Quote of the Episode: James - 'Now when we find a monster, we don't make a deal with it. We destroy it.'

Does Fiona blow anything up? Yes! She blows the door to the morgue off its hinges! Finally! It's been so long!

Sam Axe Drink Count: 3 (5 overall).

Sam Getting Hit Count: 0 (1 overall).

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

Other: I thought it was interesting Michael let Sam be the one to approach Cabral, while Mike covered him from a distance. Most times, Mike prefers to be the one who gets close, probably because he doesn't want to put his friends in any more danger than he can avoid. I don't think Mike's stopped caring about his friends, so I wonder if that's a sign that he figured the most important thing was to make sure Cabral didn't escape. So if Sam couldn't sway him, kill Cabral. And the past history suggests Sam might balk at that. Maybe. He shot Andre, that smuggler with the speedboat full of money way back when.

The meeting between Maddy and Fi was nice. That Madeline is encouraging Fi not to keep Carlos in the dark, to not risk losing him. I imagine somewhere inside, Maddy harbors hopes Michael will come back and Madeline knows Fiona's probably the only woman for him. But she cares about Fiona enough to care what's best for her. And Fi loves Carlos. So Maddy wants Fi to not keep him in the dark. I tend to agree. Fi should know by now keeping secrets isn't going to lead anywhere good, and what's Strong going to do if she tells? He's already shown his hand. He needs this mission to succeed, and he needs Fi to help make that happen. Still waiting for Strong to catch a bullet, by the way.

We're getting more glimpses of James' resources. I mean, he bulldozed a huge mansions, just because he'd used it as his site to interrogate Michael. He has multiple identical cars, boats, helicopters, trains are not out of the question. Mike can ask for a suitcase full of a million bucks and get it, not to mention a table piled high with guns. I guess when he set himself on this path, he killed a bunch of guys he thought needed killing and took their money.

I still don't see how he can draw all these people to him, and provoke such loyalty in them. Burke made it seem like James was his religion, Sonya's not much different. Even Peter indicates he felt that way. You know, until James had him locked in a looney bin for 15 years. But I don't really see it. He's that sort of vague figure who says a lot of deep-sounding stuff that doesn't mean much. Morpheus in the Matrix was like that sometimes. Said things that sounded good, but weren't actually enlightening. I guess James is playing upon their dissatisfaction with their work. The murky nature of it, the ambiguous goals. Michael's made mention that as a spy, you accept that your work is done in secret, and it's ugly, and you just have to hope that when it's all over, it'll have been worth it. Maybe someone will even acknowledge the good you did. James is playing on that, promising them direct action. They don't have to let the lesser of two evils off the hook; they just take both evils, get what they need, then kill them both. I'd think there'd be issues with conflict of interest, but I suppose that's the point of all the work to establish their loyalty to him. They want what he wants, or they aren't part of the group.

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