Burn Notice Recap 3.7 “Shot in the Dark”

burnNoticeSeason3I have to warn you ahead of time. It was a bad week. It’s late. Rum is my friend. We’ll leave it at that.

I had totally forgotten that Michael’s loft was right above a popular night club. Fiona and Mike walk past the waiting wannabes at the club’s door. Michael’s voiceover isn’t much into nightclubs, since they can damage you hearing. Wow…he’s such an old man! ‘You can hear the music through the floor, Sam’s got beer in the fridge, knock yourself out.’As Michael approaches his stairway, a sultry blonde welcomes them with a gift basket of lotions ‘from a friend.’She even offers to apply them. Fiona doesn’t seem pleased. Michael turns down the offer, and assumes the gift is from a recruiter.

Michael confronts Stickler, the ‘Agent to the Spies’, on his boat at the marina (See? There IS a marina scene in every episode!). A well-trained operative is worth a lot of money on the open market, but Michael isn’t open for business. Strickler offers a mimosa, and help with Michael’s burn notice. ‘Michael, we all know what’s at the top of your Christmas list. Work with me, and I can deliver that list to Santa himself.’

Michael stops by for a delightful ‘pop in’with Deigo, his favorite new spy. The spy business, it seems, comes with a lot of paperwork. Unexpected pop-ins have their own set of bureaucracy to deal with, and Michael delights in foisting it upon poor Diego. Michael needs a favor from Diego. He gives him Strickler’s name to check and see if he’s a person who can make things happen. He even phoned Homeland Security to ensure Diego would have to investigate Michael’s claim. I don’t think Michael is making friends here.

Fiona seems incredulous that Strickler can help Michael at all. While she’s fixated on the conversation, Michael notices that someone has broken into her apartment. She pulls a weapon, and Michael lifts one from the umbrella stand inside the door. They surround the intruder, and flush him out. Their great threat appears to be a thirteen year old boy, who drops the handgun he was attempting to steal and escapes out the bathroom window. Michael chases him down. The kid seems distraught, and Michael finally gets him to talk. ‘I have to kill my step dad.’BURN NOTICE (Created by Matt Nix)

Is this really only the first commercial break? I am not NEARLY awake enough for this. Michael eats a yogurt, Fi leans on him, and they stare down the kid to get the information on his situation. The boy frantically tells them his step dad is trying to take him and his brother away, his mom wants to kill the step dad, and he thought he’d do the job first. Michael makes a deal, the kid tells them who his mom is, and they’ll try to help him. That’s apparently all it takes for the subtitles to label ‘Joey’as ‘The Client.’

Sam drives a sweet red classic car with Michael and questions his choice of clients, especially since Mike should be checking out Strickler, not dealing with domestic disputes. Sam’s nomination for quote of the night: ‘When the time comes to rescue a bunch of rich women trapped in a brewery you better step up.’Joey’s mom, who looks really familiar, meets with Sam, Fi, and Michael and seems genuinely concerned that she’ll lose her boys. Oh! She’s one of the daughter’s from “Charles in Charge!” Josie Davis! It seems her soon-to-be-ex plans to get custody in retaliation for her leaving. He’s a connected businessman, with political ties and family in the mob. The slimebag abused her and the children, too. The team seems sold on the idea of helping her out.

Poolside, Sam and Mike discuss Erik Luna, the abuser. Even the subtitles hate him: ‘A Sorry Excuse for a Man.’He does, however, have a lot of connections. Quinn, his brother, is a gangster with muscle. Sam seems worried, but willing to take them on. Bruce Campbell is, once again, owning this show: ‘He’s smacking his wife and kids around, I’ll plant a five iron in his freaking skull if it will help.’

It seems Joey and his mom and brother are staying with Madeline with Michael works things out. Madeline seems thrilled to be able to help them out, especially considering their situation. Fi tries to get some info from Joey’s mom on anything that might drive a wedge between Erik and his brother, Quinn. She relates that Erik did, indeed, have a dirty little secrete from Quinn: a side business Quinn didn’t know about. They need a good reason for Quinn to skip town and miss the custody hearing, and keep Quinn out of the situation. This sounds like the perfect bit of info.

Sam looks through the details of Erik’s side-operation, which involves profiting from seized goods at the docks. Joey walks in and asks to speak with Mike, who’s manufacturing a bug from a cell phone. Michael offers to let Joey help, in a sweet father-figure moment.

Michael’s voiceover seems excited for his next move: slugging the hell out of the abusing slimeball. Mike (‘Peter’) claims to have purchased a low-end car from Erik (via his secret side business) which nearly got him killed, via a mob-hit of some kind. He proceeds to beat the crap out of Erik, give him one day to return his money, and plants the bug he was working on earlier. Wow, that was effective!

The next step in this plan is to scare Erik enough to get him to leave town. Michael works to short circuit a street light, while Fiona disables Erik’s car. Sam charges up a cell-phone jammer. I’m not positive, but I think Sam just told Fiona and Mike ‘We’ve got firearms, and we’ve got snakes.’That…sounds…awesome.

Later that night, in the parking lot, Erik walks to his car. Mike kills the lights. ‘The same things people are afraid of as kids scare them when they’re adults.’Erik tries to start his car, which is clearly dead. Sam actives the cell phone jammer, so Erik can’t make a call. They activate some giant flood lights on their car, and take some pot-shots at him while he runs off. What? No snakes? I am very disappointed. Despite the lack of serpents, Erik seems plenty terrified and calls ‘Peter’to make a deal.

While ‘Peter’comes to join Erik at a water-view restaurant, he gets to overhear Erik proving himself a total and complete waste of oxygen. Erik is insisting his lawyer give his ex no more than one weekend a month, one holiday a year. ‘If she doesn’t sign, she’ll never see those brats.’Nice. Erik doesn’t have the money for ‘Pete’, but does offer to track down the gangsters trying to kill them. Michael tries to convince Erik to disappear, but Erik still seems unconvinced. He wants to team up instead.

Michael calls Sam to check in. Sam has a friend who will pull his cherry picker in front of Diego’s hanger and take a two hour lunch. Wow. I’m lucky to get a 10 minute lunch, and I don’t even get to drive a cherry picker. Sam, via split screen, runs off with a 6 pack of beer and a skip in his step while we get a view of Michael in said cherry picker.

Michael waits for Diego to take HIS lunch break, and hooks a network analyzer into the hanger’s network. It will give him base level info on the level of encryption Diego’s choosing to use at any given time. That may be enough to let Michael know when he’s touched a nerve.

As Michael leaves the hanger, Erik frantically calls Michael, reporting on a car that has passed his building repeatedly. Michael seems genuinely concerned, since the car Erik describes fits the description of Madeline’s car. He calls home to check and see if Joey has stolen the car. Sure, enough, the car is missing.

Michael speeds to Erik’s house to track down Joey. He finds the car, and spots a box of shells in the backseat. Joey’s hidden in the trees with a shotgun, ready to take Erik out. Michael tries to talk Joey down, and succeeds in getting close enough to snag the weapon. Instead, Michael advises THE 13 YEAR OLD TO DRIVE THE CAR OUT OF THERE AND BURN SOME RUBBER. Seriously…lol. Will there be some sort of disclaimer at the end of this episode where they don’t condone underage driving, stealing, and attempted murder?

Joey’s reckless driving does indeed scare the pants of Erik, and Michael gets another chance to slug him. Michael tries again to convince Erik to leave town, but Erik instead wants Michael to help him out. At least their plan to alienate Quinn from the situation is working. Michael is going to have to think quick, though, if he’s going to get stubborn Erik to miss his hearing.

Michael meets Joey in his stolen car, and they listen in on the bug they made together. Quinn is reaming Erik out, since he found him with a gun in hand. Erik is supposed to be the ‘clean’brother, and Quinn seems displeased, to say the least. Joey, encouraged by the level of freak-out Erik is displaying, agrees to stay at Madeline’s until everything is done.

Sam and Fi, with AWESOME theme music, arrive at a parking a garage, posing as Mike’s ‘connections’to find the lunatic that’s been harassing Erik. Their fee is a little high for Erik’s taste, but he comes around. He even has $40K in his trunk as an up-front fee. Michael slugs Erik AGAIN, since he nearly blew the deal by questioning the fee.

Back at Mike’s loft, either I’m really drunk or they’re getting out the ingredients to make a quiche. I swear. This is the strangest shopping trip ever. There’s a wisk, some bleach wipes, caro syrup, heavy cream, a bowl… Ooooh! They’re making squibs to fake gunshots! A quiche would be funnier, but I think these will be more useful. Sam calls Erik and lets him know they’ve found the man who’s been trying to kill him.

Erik, with ‘Peter’, meets Sam and Fi across from a Pawn shop, where the lunatic is apparently waiting. Sam and Fi are totally pulling off the cool as a cucumber assassin vibe. That is, until they fake their own deaths. They both die spectacularly, old west style, while Michael and Erik run off. As they run, Michael gets to fake his own death too. I’m sorry you’re reading this recap and not watching this, because those were the BEST DEATHS EVER! Slow motion, lots of blood, pained expressions. They milked this. Perfect. Erik runs off like a scared baby.

While Erik throws a pile of money together to leave town, Quinn walks in and insists Erik pull it together. Quinn has ruined our little plan, and accompanies Erik back to our ‘death’scene. Michael and Fi pull a U-Turn and head back. Sam, Fi, and Mike stage a scene in an attempt to make Erik look insane. ‘When you pull it off, it’s more devastating than a bullet.’

When Erik returns to the scene, he finds no blood and no shells, and a different store front. Erik beings to ramble. Michael, posing as a priest, claims to know Erik as a rambling lunatic. ‘He sees assassins everywhere.’Just then, Erik spots Sam, who’s know manning a fruit cart, and Fiona walking down the street. The ruse works perfectly, and they’ve set Erik up perfectly to look like a total lunatic.

Erik, it seems, is now locked in a mental facility. Wow…that was convenient. Joey’s family is now safe, and staying with cousins until they can get back on track. Fiona hands over the 40K they took from Erik to help them get back on their feet. Joey and Mike bond a bit over their shared messed-up childhoods, and the bright future in espionage Joey might have. The kid even tosses his hat into the ring for quote of the night: ‘So, you’re saying, I should eat a lot of yogurt?’

Sam, Fi, and Mike recap in a bar. Quinn’s business has been sullied by losing Erik as a front man, and the police are investigating him. Michael goes to gather his network sniffer from Diego’s hanger, and Sam drinks Mike’s unattended beer. Deigo, though, discovers Michael and pulls a gun. Michael hands over the network device and, based on Deigo’s unwillingness to hand over information, knows enough to know that Strickland is clearly connected.

Speaking of Strickland, Michael is meeting with him on his boat. Strickland offers Michael a job. If Michael takes it, he’s on his way to being a ‘respectable citizen’, if he declines it, Strickland will never bother him again. Michael, despite his reservations at being a mercenary, takes the deal.

Next week: 2 episodes left really? Michael needs ‘head bags.’Yeah…that’s not dirty, right? If you’re at Comic-Con, and get to see the Burn Notice panel, PLEASE post. I love to hear anything Bruce Campbell says.

4 Comments

  1. The1337 July 24, 2009
  2. The1337 July 24, 2009
  3. Al January 22, 2010
  4. Colleen Mengel August 25, 2010

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