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'Burn Notice' - 'Guilty as Charged' Recap (Summer Finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 27th 2010 1:15AM
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(S04E12)
You can count on the finales of 'Burn Notice' to leave you wanting more, and that was precisely what happened after this episode ended. November can't come soon enough for fans who, like me, want to know how Michael Westen is going to get out of this fix! More on that and the need for submersible vehicles after the jump.

There were three elements tugging at Michael throughout the episode, and none of them were easily dismissed or ignored. There was nothing for Fiona and Sam to handle on their own, not because they weren't capable, but because this was a Michael-centric finale.

The Jesse situation was particularly gnarly because he had literally become a loose cannon. The Westen team -- Madeline included -- had no idea where he was or what he might do ... other than the fact that he wanted to kill Michael. Madeline realized the gravity of the situation, and even though she had seen it coming and warned Michael about lying to Jesse, she wasn't going to abandon Michael. She eschewed a trip out of town -- Michael's idea -- in case she could reach Jesse. "Maybe I'll stay and try to convince him not to shoot you."

Before Michael could deal with Jesse or the Barrett exchange, a case fell into his lap. It was the kind of case Michael couldn't turn down; rescuing Sarah Scott, a kidnapped child. Michael identified her as the client, not her scumbag lawyer father. The brother of one of the lawyer's client's was the culprit and to retrieve the kid, Michael had to employ some illusion.

But first, Michael needed a submersible vehicle to get to the impregnable spot where Sarah was being held. Michael's infiltration might have worked if the bad guys didn't know that he was coming. Lawson was a step ahead of Michael because he'd tapped the lawyer's phone. That seemed like the kind of loose end Michael doesn't miss, but for this ep, he missed it.

That meant that in order to get the girl, Michael and company had to pull a 'Mission: Impossible' kind of sleight of hand exchange. Bullets flew and wheels screeched, but in the end, Sarah was saved and Michael was paid off with the sub.

Michael had to set up the Barrett exchange without being killed. A simple phone call wasn't going to work. Michael had to impress Barrett, so he walked into the lion's den. With rifles trained on him, Michael arranged to meet Barrett with the bible.

Unfortunately, Jesse wasn't interested in being part of Team Westen. He was hiding out in Hialeah. Fiona reached out to Jesse, and give credit to Michael, he trusted Fiona to make the first attempt to reach him. And Fiona trusted Madeline to be persuasive. More than anything that Fiona or Michael said to Jesse, it was likely Madeline's words that stuck with him.

The fly in the ointment, however, was Vaughn. All season long, Vaughn let Michael do his thing. That gave Michael a sense of confidence that when he told Vaughn about the meeting and said, "My operation, my way," Vaughn would respect him. Wrong! Of course, Vaughn may have assumed what we knew Michael had in mind. That Michael would use the bible and Barrett to make a deal for Jesse.

When Vaughn's team broke up Michael's meet with Barrett, Westen was captured and Jesse got to do what he'd been wanting to do for weeks. He shot Michael. Actually, he shot through Michael's shoulder to kill the guy who was holding him captive.

Barrett took bleeding and vulnerable Michael in his SUV and as the seconds ticked away, Westen had to make a bold move. He crashed the car. Michael will survive the crash and the gun shot, but somebody else now has the bible. Who that somebody is remains a mystery ... till November.

Other points of interest

-- Vaughn's approach to the Barrett meeting was clumsy and obvious. Michael was right not to trust him.

-- The somebody who picked up the case with the bible was wearing military boots. It might have been Jesse.

Quotable dialogue

"I know it's hard to believe, but I am your friend." Michael to Jesse.

"I'm not looking to join that black tee shirt and sunglasses set. No offense." -- Michael to Barrett

"Are you confused now?" -- Michael
"I don't think so." -- Fiona

"I'm not a saint, Mr. Westen. Neither are you." Lawyer Scott to Michael.

"If you don't like what she has to say, shoot her. Shoot us both." -- Madeline to Jesse.

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B

I don't think Jessie picked up the briefcase. Jessie had on short sleeves. The person who picked up the briefcase had long sleeves on.

August 29 2010 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony S

Great finale, except we seen this before.

The big bad rolls into town with guns demanding to meet with Michael and swap with x. He then shows himself as the person "who burns Michael" and promise to make nice only if Michael works for them. The deal is sealed as we see the team prep for the exchange. Meanwhile, a client drops by with an urgent request. And then as the commercials about to roll, the Mother or the Brother gets into trouble. Then we see the deal goes ahead. Suddenly, something goes wrong, Fiona and Sam watched helplessly from the sidelines. Michael got shot/kidnapped. Some cars being blown apart. The client is shown to be alright. The big bad dies within 5 minutes mark. Michael gets into a car/helicopter. Fade to black.

That was the season 2 finale. Come on Burn Notice writers! Mix it up a bit!

August 28 2010 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iain

Lawson tapped the ex-wife's phone, not the lawyer's phone. The lawyer, after being told not to say anything to anyone, told his ex-wife. On the phone.

August 27 2010 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kev H

He tapped the ex-wife's phone, not the lawyers. It's very clearly stated in the dialogue.

August 27 2010 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robert

Jesse promised to put a bullet in the person who burned him. Now that's accomplished maybe he'll chill out a bit.

August 27 2010 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shamon

I think mike and Jessie set something up just happy the wait won't take until December but now is set to return in November .Nice recap and i also hopeful sometime next season we get more sam backstory always good to hear more on him .

August 27 2010 at 4:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what the hell kind a foolery was that with the Escalade flip? In one tenth of a second it went from a 2010 to a 1999 escalade. Why didn't they just have an old one from the start and just say it heavily armored plated? That was craziness.

What was the point of having Sam and Fiona at the drop point if they did nothing? Oh whats that? Mikes just got shot then kidnapped? Lets hop in the sub and get to the 2011 Hyundai Genesis with new optional 6 speed automatic with limited edition electric blue paint and do nothing.

I am a big fan of the show but WTF?

August 27 2010 at 3:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Chris's comment
J

Sam and Fi were there to stop Barrett's men from crossing the bridge, not from stopping Michael and Barrett from making a deal. They were also there for surveillance. When Vaughn's guys showed up, they were outmatched and knew not to interfere, or they'd end up dead... and since Michael is now kidnapped in their minds, they need to remain alive to help rescue him. Made perfect sense to me.

Nice catch about the SUV though... I'll have to go back and watch it again.

August 27 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
obamey

I was laughing so hard when i saw the old escalade flipped even though michael clearly grabbed the steering wheel of a brand new escalade.
USA network needs to give this show more money so they can make their effects look better

August 27 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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