Burn Notice Recap 3.6 “The Hunter”

burnNoticeSeason3Are spies a bunch of mean little girls? Let’s find out. Our opening montage is Fi beating the crap out of Michael while training. She seems to not be fine with Michael’s career decisions, despite her promise of support. Michael winces as she pummels the pads he’s holding. She only weights 70lbs, so I think Michael is INDEED anannoying little girl. Glad to have that question answered so quickly. Michael hears a knock on his door and steps outside to find a gift basket full of yogurt. Clearly whoever left it knows Michael well. The gift comes with a note and a meeting time. The going theory from Fiona is that the basket is a gift from the agency.

Michael wanders onto the balcony of that courtyard shopping mall/restaurant/hotel space they’re sometimes meeting people at. His voiceover gives us some tips on meeting a new operative. It’s apparently a lot like going on a blind date. You arrive early, prepare an escape, and be prepared for an ‘ugly surprise.’Seated behind Michael, in a very ugly surprise of a pink shirt, is his new friend Tom Strickler ‘Agent to the Spies.’Awesome. I wonder if there’s a tour map somewhere with all the spy safe houses marked. Like any good agent, Strickler has a business proposal Michael helps out the enemies of his enemies. ‘It’s called synergy. The enemy of your enemy is a financial opportunity.’The Agent collects 10%. Strickler has details on a job involving an old enemy of Michael’s, a Ukranian. Michael seems less than thrilled at the prospect of being a killer for hire. Strickler leaves Michael with his card, an unsettling threat, and the image of that pink shirt burned into his brain.

I really hope Michael wasn’t gone long. When he returns, Fiona is sitting with the full basket of yogurts and eating one of them. When did I get so old? I’m seriously yelling at the screen: ‘Fiona! No! Put them in the fridge! They go bad quickly and Michael has nothing else to eat!’Ok, I have no idea what’s going on in this scene because the yogurt is driving me nuts. Now, Fiona hands her partially eaten yogurt to Michael for him to eat, and opens a new one for herself. What the hell? From what I was able to ascertain from my husband, who was not as distracted by the yogurt, Fiona has some info on a local gangster that might be able to point Michael in the direction of his Ukrainian enemy. Fiona can’t introduce them, though, since she may have ‘intercepted’some of his shipments. ‘Sparking new P-90s, Michael. They deserve a good home.’

Sam’s at Madeline’s house, with a card from Strickler, who is one tenacious spy agent. Michael catches Sam up on the situation with the Ukranian. Michael needs to catch up with his nemesis soon and nip it in the bud. Sam is tasked with checking out Strickler in the meantime.

Michael’s voiceover seems plenty nervous about approaching Fiona’s Russian-linked contact cold. He’s hoping his charm will carry him. Shockingly enough, Michael plays this one totally straight and introduces himself to ‘John Beck: Guy with Connections.’Beck, who’s making me nervous by eating steak and reading a newspaper while dressed in entirely white, blows Michael off entirely. Michael, who has no shame, offers to help Beck avoid further P90 shipments being ‘diverted.’Beck doesn’t take kindly to threats. As Michael contemplates this, he notices an entire posse of Ukranian commandos storming the restaurant. They toss a flash grenade into the room, while Michael recommends Beck get under the table. I’m not even going to comment on that one. Since flashbangs make it nearly impossible to hear or see afterwards, Michaels’s voiceover recommends it’s better to shoot with a camera, not a gun. Take pictures not war! Michael takes a quick picture of the gangsters entering the room, calls Fiona quickly on his phone, and tries to defend himself against a group of thugs. He loses the fight quickly though, and is carried off, along with Beck.

In the back of a van, Michael and Beck sit, hands tied, with the Ukranians. The voiceover gives us some advice on hostage situations. The very things that keep you alive are also the things that get you killed. ‘If you have money, you live until you pay. If you have information, you live until you talk.’Beck, who apparently can’t hear the voiceover, won’t stop talking to save himself. ‘If you have nothing, you’re pretty much disposable.’Beck elaborates on how disposable he is, to Michael’s chagrin.

Fiona wanders into the restaurant where the startled and traumatized patrons are being questioned by the police. She notes the scene and realizes Michael was taken by a group of professionals. She tracks down his sunglasses and cellphone in a potted plant, and finds the picture Michael took. Sam, over the phone, recommends going to Strickler with what little information they have. Fiona wins the quote of the night handily: ‘I’m wearing my teeth-kicking heels. See you in five.’As Sam tries to leave Madeline’s house, she bars the door and demands information. It’s a little hard to try and pretend nothing’s wrong when you’re sneaking out with a gun and a bullet proof vest.

Back with our kidnapees, Michael’s captors are starting to nod off. He uses this opportunity to fake an attack on Beck and work their hands free. Michael and Beck tumble out the back of the van and dash into the bushes admist gunfire. They continue to stumble into the jungle, stalked by the Ukranians.

Sam is also a captive, of Madeline and her probing questions. He, hilariously, is still trying to play it off like nothing is wrong. Fiona shows up (‘She never shows up when there’s trouble’), and Sam tries to convince Maddy they’re just going to a movie. ‘Oh, I’m in the mood for a matinee. Should I bring a gun, too?’Fiona gives her the truth, which placates Madeline for now. She’s gets a whole new level of scary with this one, though: ‘Sam, let me remind you you’re staying in my guest room. You call me or God as my witness I will smother you in your sleep.’She IS Michael’s mom. Wow.

Back in the forest, Beck is not loving Michael’s plan of running east through the jungle, apparently towards alligators. As the Ukranians approach, though, Beck is more willing to follow. That scene seemed like filler, but Madeline was so awesome in the previous scene that I’ll allow it.

What would this show be without at least one scene in a marina. Strickler is enjoying the nice Miami day by sipping drinks with an attractive woman half his age on his boat. Fiona sneaks over his shoulder with a nasty looking shotgun. Strickler is entirely unimpressed with Fiona’s awesome shotgun, but is still willing to help if he can. Michael is, after all, a potential client. Strickler recognizes the man in the picture Michael took. Sam remembers the name of the gang boss, who was indeed involved in a job of Mike’s in the Ukraine.

Back at ‘The Fugitive: Michael Westen edition’, Michael is leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to lead the thugs deeper into the jungle. He’s snapping branches and leaving clothing behind. The only thing left to do is place a giant neon arrow above their heads. Beck wants to make a stand…with one handgun. Michael finally acquiesces to the more aggressive approach, and finds a nice bunker-type hiding spot to watch the Ukrainians. Michael still wants to lead them further into the jungle, and Beck finally agrees. It was just as boring to type as it was to watch, so I can only imagine how boring that is to read. Sorry, everybody.

Fiona and Sam sip drinks and spy on a creepy looking pilot at the bar. The pilot was responsible for bringing the Ukranian mob boss into the country. Fiona flirts like craziness, and slips her hand onto the pilot’s gun, cocking it and aiming it at…well…cocking it.

Back with the odd couple in the jungle, Michael demands Beck’s shoelaces to fashion a trap. Beck wants Michael to ‘listen to the guy with the gun, for once.’Michael agrees, and quickly strips the gun away from Beck in an awesome one-handed move. Beck tackles Mike and they tangle for a bit. Michael kicks Beck in the face. That was it. That was an entire scene. At least this one had a couple of neat action bits.

Fiona stuffs Mr. Pilot in the trunk while Sam calls Madeline with an update. He apparently is just as afraid Madeline as I am. Maddy insists Sam bring the pilot to her place, since it’s closer and they don’t have the time to waste.

Still in the jungle, the Ukrainians have discovered Michael’s booby-trap and fan out in search of their escapees. Fanning out works great to cover more area, but makes easier work for Michael and Beck, since they only have to take out one thug at a time. Lead thug approaches and Michael jumps on his head. He tries the face kick he used on Beck, but thug guy has better reflexes. He holds Michael up by his neck AND kicks Beck in the stomach. It takes Beck, Michael, and a thick vine to take this big dude down. Michael strips his gun and looks around for their next victim.

It looks like Mike and Beck left lead thug unconscious in the clearing. The voiceover helpfully informs us: ‘Military units are a lot like marching bands. Take out the guy conducting the operation and you’ll throw everything out of sync.’Despite the armory they’ve now amassed by looting lead thug, Michael wants to wait it out until Chechick, his Ukranian nemesis, arrives. Almost on cue, lead thug puts in a call to his boss, who I’m assuming is Chechick.

In Madeline’s garage, Sam interrogates the pilot. Mr. Pilot is not too keen on talking, since Chechick is one scary gangster. Sam leaves him in the garage and heads back in the house to discuss the situation with Fi. Fiona, of course, wants to choke the pilot to get information out of him. ‘He can whisper. I have good hearing.’While Sam and Fi argue, Madeline heads into her garage to talk it out with the pilot. She good cops it up with him, even offering him a cigarette. Madeline, all the scarier, OWNS this good cop act, talking up the soundproof qualities of her garage. ‘I’ve never once ever, ever seen them make anyone suffer. If they don’t think you’ll break, they end it quick.’Holy cow! Mr. Pilot looks just as terrified as I am of this creepy new Maddy. Now I have to go back and watch old Cagney and Lacey episodes.

Back in the house, Sam and Fiona are still arguing when Madeline slams the pilot’s confession down on the counter top. She got the latitude and longitude of a cabin in the woods. Seriously, she got the GPS coordinates out of a guy who wouldn’t even tell Fi and Sam his name.

Back in the swamp, Michael and Beck watch two boats full of hostile Ukranians arrive. In the front of one of those boats rides Chechik. He seems less than pleased with his men. Beck is not pleased that even more troops have arrived, and they didn’t take out the 5 original men when they had the chance. Michael makes a good point to a frightened Beck. ‘How long will they stomp around in this swamp once the guy who cuts their checks it out of commission.’

Fiona and Sam, who are having all the fun this episode, drive up to a boat rental shack. They throw some extra money at the guy to stay off the books and get the extra insurance for ‘small arms fire.’

Chechik shoots his wounded lead thug, who made the mistake of complaining, and orders the rest of them to fan out and search. Beck freaks out again, only this time he’s spotted by the Ukrainians who shoot him in the leg. Michael drags Beck off while the men board their fan-boats and give chase. Now Michael has to drag a wounded whiney baby of a man through the woods. Michael and Beck take cover by diving into a nearby river, but Chechik doesn’t seem worried, since he still has two of those awesome fan-boats.

ichael drags Beck, who is not a small man, out of the river and onto another shore. Michael wraps Beck’s leg in his shirt and talks Beck, again, out of quitting. For a professional criminal who easily outweighs Michael by 50 lbs, THIS guy is an annoying little girl. Sorry, Michael, I judged you too quickly.

The new goal is to slow the Ukrainians down. Beck is on the beach by himself when Chechik approaches. He offers Beck a deal: Tell me where Michael is, and we’ll give you water and bandages. When Beck points in the direction of the swamp, though, Chechik informs his men, in Russian, to kill Beck once Michael is found. This guy swore on the eyes of his children (eyes? Really?) and still broke his promise. I really hope he doesn’t have children with eyes.

Sam and Fi take their air-boat to the GPS coordinates. It looks like they actually let Bruce Campbell drive the boat. I bet that was a blast! Hehehe.

‘The goal of any retreat is to find the right place to marshal all of your resources and make a stand.’Michael is doing just that as he sets up traps and gathers ammo. Chechik approaches and shares insults with Michael via walkie-talkie. While they talk, a fuse burns. Michael’s traps begin their work, when an underwater explosion distracts the thugs long enough for Michael to get the drop on Chechik. Meanwhile, Sam and Fi rescue Beck from the remaining henchmen.

Beck’s men are waiting back on shore to load up the captured thugs. Chechik offers Michael $50K to let him walk away, but Mike ain’t having it. Beck seems to have shaken off his bad attitude now that they won, and shakes Michael’s hand with a friendly smile. Fiona returns Mike’s sunglasses and he happily dons them, despite the rainy day. Everything seems wrapped up nicely with a bow.

Madeline pours herself a cup of iced tea and worries at Michael. She threatens to buy him a toddler-type harness, since he keeps running away. Fan pictures anyone? I’m so glad to see Michael’s mom have a sense of humor and a strong sense of self. She’s really come into her own as a character this season. She and Michael share a moment, which is quickly ruined by the new curtains in Maddy’s sunroom, put up by a few workers sent over by Strickler. Looks like he’ll find a way to pay Michael no matter what.

Back at the hotel/balcony/mall, Strickler attempts to pass Michael his share of the job but Mike refuses it. There’s apparently a fine line between paid spy for an agency and paid mercenary, and Mike ain’t crossing it. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of the ‘Agent to the Spies.’

I have to say, as much as I missed Michaels’crazy cover character of the week, I’m glad he didn’t try a Bobby-Boucher style accent for this Everglades-centeric episode.

Next week: Fiona gets shot in the chest. I bet it bounces off her bony shoulder blades!

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