Burn Notice: Shot in the Dark
by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 24th 2009 10:02AM
(S03E07) Burn Notice usually stays on the fun side of spying. This episode was all about getting back to doing a Robin Hood job, and since it tapped into Michael's psychology so perfectly, it added a good dollop of emotion to the fun.
And there was also that preview from last week that left fans gasping. Was one of the gang of three going down? Fortunately, in the world of spoilers and such, if that were true it would have been all over the net. Fortunately, it was all part of the con. More on that after the jump.
Joey, the client, was a 13-year-old boy with an abusive stepfather who threatened to take him and his little brother from their mother. Sounded like a job for Super-Michael, and so it was. Fiona was on board immediately, and even Madeline got involved, taking the family in for their protection. As she told the mother, "For two little boys being knocked around by their father, Michael would take on the Chinese army, honey."
Did you notice that the stepdad, Erik Luna, looked a bit like Jeffrey Donovan? Jeffrey used to be cast as S.O.B.'s like this all the time. Now he's playing a hero, but in character, Michael found numerous reasons to smack Erik around. Every chance he got, he gave him a shot, and he wasn't pulling his punches.
You have to love the way Sam has friends everywhere. A friend with a boat. A friend with a cherry picker. A friend on the county commissioner's office. Where would Michael be without Sam's connections ... and Fiona's C-9.
There were two nice set pieces, starting with the lights out, fear will get you every time in the parking lot. The other was the highlight of the show, the one that answered the question from the preview. With that shoot-out in the alley, they were doing a variation on The Sting. The mark, Erik, got to see Fiona, Sam and Michael murdered in a hail of bullets. Nothing like squibs and red dye to make it all look real, and it scared the hell out of Erik. As for the ultimate goal, making Erik look crazy to his mob boss brother Quinn, that was a big too neatly wrapped up, although seeing Michael as Father Peter was a hoot.
The heart of the show were the moments between Michael and Joey. Michael taught him how to turn a cell phone into a listening device and later, involving him into the con after he convinced him not to shoot his Erik. Michael understood exactly how to reach him. It was obvious that Joey had lots of little Michael tendencies, including audacity and courage and stealing Michael's car. In Joey's eyes, Michael's intelligence, confidence and skills are admirable. When Joey imitated Michael's stance, the identification was clear. That and Joey admitting that if he wants to be like Mike, he might need to eat more yogurt.
Finally, in the sub-plot, Michael ticked off his reluctant espionage link, Diego, just enough to get him to confirm that Strickler – agent to the spies who showed up last episode – has high level government contacts and can make things happen. Michael decided to do take a chance with Strickler, to dance with the devil as he put it. That should make for an interesting final two shows of the season.