Burn Notice: “Question and Answer”

11 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e02Things are heating up in Miami, Eff El A. Michael’s got a new admirer in Detective Paxson, she of the sly smile and withering looks, and some C4 in storage. If Paxson finds out what Michael’s got stored, things will get downright explosive.

Oh, and there’s a kid in peril and a birthday party in the works. It’s a busy day.

The Recap

Detective Paxson comes by to introduce herself to Michael and invites him to spend some time chatting at her place with bars and handcuffs. In the process, she takes away Fi’s bail jumper and costs her a commission. Which of course leads her to jump at another job on a referral from one of her former jumpers. Apparently a real sweet guy, he holds no ill will to Fi and sent his sister her way when she needed help with her estranged husband and missing son.

Bad things gravitate to  Michael, so of course this is a kidnapping.

Bad man Santora beats up Howard, beats up Michael, and eventually tells Sam and Michael everything they need to find Brandon. A little reverse interrogation of a tweaking Michael by Santora and Chuck Finley: Dirty Cop first brings one of Santora’s goons out in the open for Fi to tail. Then, with a cellphone picture courtesy of Fi, it leads to Michael convincing Santora that his goon’s turned against him.

When Michael escapes and absconds with Santora’s car, the only choice Santora thinks he has is to go with Sam straight to the hideout, giving him the address on the way. A call from Sam, ostensibly to the security office on the island, gives Fi the info she needs to get Brandon to safety.

And as for the baddies…Sam ends their Mexican standoff by firing his gun outside the house, lighting the fuse inside.

Oh, and speaking of fuses, Miami cops aren’t very good at stakeouts. They neglected to watch the back of the storage containers so Michael used a water saw to get in and get rid of the C4.

Character

The XTreme flirtation between Paxson and M is interesting to watch. While it’s too angry to buy as true flirtation, I still felt Paxson was titilated by it all. I think Moon Bloodgood’s going to be a nice addition to the cast and I look forward to seeing how she complicates Michael’s life in the weeks ahead. I’m also interested to see how Fi is affected by the sexually charged competition between Paxson and Michael.

It’s Michael’s birthday and Madeline wants to celebrate. She wants to have a nice little dinner with Sam and Fi. She even wants to cook. Assuming Michael can stop being shot at and blown up long enough to come by that is. Before the birthday dinner, she gives Fi a piece of advice about Michael that speaks volumes to her, to him, and even to Fi: “Loving Michael is always trench warfare.”

Fi’s present to Michael is a WWI bayonet. She’s in the war for the long haul.

“Loving Michael is always trench warfare.” But Mad’s cooking. That’s something. I mean, *really* something.

Chin Bits

  • “You know my new girl, she rebuilt this engine by herself. I’m telling you, just put a nice sturdy tool in that woman’s hand…”
  • To his new girl’s vintage Buick: “I got you, baby.”
  • “Man, I can not get over this leather. It’s handtooled, right?”
  • Who wouldn’t want a five-pack of beer for their birthday?

Important Lessons in Spycraft

  • “Smart criminals have a variety of ways to find out if a meeting is under police surveillance. Some are more subtle than others. Throw a few punches and any cops in the area have to come running.”
  • “When you’re concerned you’re walking into a police stakeout, there are a number of things to look out for. Parked cars or vans, workers that seem unusually preoccupied, and curious kids. No matter where you go in the world, little boys like candy, puppies, and cops.”
  • “When it comes to cover IDs, impersonating a bad cop is much better than impersonating a good one. An honest cop follows policies and procedures…”
  • “While snorting lactose isn’t pleasant, it may put people’s minds at ease.”
  • “Interrogation professionals don’t ask questions directly. They hide what they know and don’t know.”
  • “When people are desperate for information they start filling in the blanks, often without realizing it. It’s something fortune tellers rely on. It works pretty much the same way for spies. Although fortune tellers usually don’t get smacked around so much.”
  • “Searching for a concealed enemy who could be anywhere is a waste of time. Usually, your best bet is to stay put and give your enemy a reason to come to you.”
  • “To tail someone, you need both skill and instinct…it takes good instincts to know when to stop following.”
  • “More battles have been decided by pennant races than people imagine.”

Final Thoughts

Episode scribe Alfredo Barrios, Jr. must really enjoy writing for Gabrielle Anwar. In addition to her little bayonet scene, she had two fantastic lines tonight, funnier even than Bruce Campbell’s:

  • “I want you to close your eyes and breathe deep. Picture a peaceful mountain stream. Can you do that? Picture yourself drowning the kidnapper in the stream.”
  • “This is a valuable lesson for you. C4 is meant to be used, not stored. I’m serious. All those times you told me to make the explosions smaller, I shouldn’t have listened to you and Paxson wouldn’t have anything to hang you with.”

And finally, am I the only one who’d like to see Michael whip out Shep again sometime? He plays someone tweaking really well.

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 Sketch War, Tumblr, and stalked on Twitter.

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posted by R.A. Porter in → Reviews

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