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July 28, 2014

'Burn Notice' - 'Neighborhood Watch' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 2nd 2010 1:25AM

(S04E05)
The latest wrinkle in 'Burn Notice' has been Kendra the assassin, who killed Jesse's contact. She's a smart cookie and dangerous, but just how she fits in to the overall season story has yet to be revealed. That said, there's been no talk of who burned Jesse or what Vaughn wants from Michael for a couple of weeks. Is this a calm before the storm or are they just dragging it out for the length of the season? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Kendra is quite a character. So far I like her more than Carla or Detective Paxson among the women who've been out to get Michael. Kendra is talented. She outwitted Sam and Michael and escaped a perfectly nice trap that they had set for her.

Operation 'Boring Tape Drive,' as Sam dubbed it, involved a 1980s tape drive that nobody could decrypt because the technology was so antiquated. Considering he's such an old warrior, it was surprising that Sam didn't have an ancient tape drive in a garage or storage unit somewhere. They needed a hoarder to find the right machine to play the tape.

The case was set in a clinic where drug dealers were selling heroin on the street. David was the reluctant client; he believed in calling the cops. He was a tough guy to convince, but Michael was committed to helping him. In for a dime, in for a dollar, that's the Westen style.

Sugar, Michael's drug dealer neighbor from season 1, was back providing Sam with some intel and Michael with some contacts. The idea of using the greed of the pusher to get him to screw up his operation was smart. Only the clients objected to Michael sticking his neck out for them.

Leave it to 'Burn Notice' to come up with a clever way to do surveillance: a model remote control airplane with a camera attached to the fuselage. It wasn't a big part of the story, but it was a cool element.

It was interesting that Michael wasn't really listening to advice from Jesse and Fiona about how to deal with the dealers, but a story from Madeline about Michael and his brother Nate's past got through to him. Michael may act like his mother is an annoyance and a pain in the neck, but she's a moral compass for him. She reminds him that in his soul, he's a boy scout.

There's a real visceral charge when you watch the good guys beat the bad guys. When David stood up to Cutler, Michael compared the situation to sending your kid to school for the first time and hoping he does all right. You could see David growing in confidence as Jesse and Fiona gave him the kind of fire power back-up that Cutler couldn't counter.

Since Michael couldn't decipher the tape, he decided to lure Kendra out by offering to sell her the tape. After a few failed meet-ups, Michael agreed to a remote location where he was alone and unarmed. Sure enough, Kendra double-crossed him. Fortunately, instead of a gun, she preferred a Japanese knife.

So Michael and Sam took Kendra hostage and as the previews show, they're going to try and get her to talk. Should be fun.

Other points of interest:

-- That was Rhys Coiro as Vince Cutler, the drug kingpin. He was crazy director Billy Walsh on 'Entourage.' And David, the doctor with high morals, was played by Benito Martinez, who was Captain David Aceveda on 'The Shield.'

-- It was great when Madeline showed up at Michael's and he asked her not to smoke, then she lit up. That was all it took for him to stop eating his yogurt.

-- The attache case was lead lined and came in handy when Michael used it as a shield from Kendra's knife, but maybe Michael should have refitted it like James Bond's brief case in 'From Russia With Love.'

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George

I found myself almost irrationally annoyed by constant references to the "tape drive". Michael found a tape. The tape drive is the device that reads it.

July 02 2010 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to George's comment
johngaltx

At times it looked like he had the tape and the drive. Other times he just had the tape. If he had the drive, a trip to any Goodwill store or PC repair joint would have had an early PC-DOS computer, but plot seemed to hinge on Mikey meeting Kendra by offering up the package for her to buy. Plus they never established whether there was any money in the gym bag.....

July 02 2010 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lucycaruso

yeah i really liked this episode :)

July 02 2010 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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