This week on Burn Notice, Jason Bly, the government agent who Michael blackmailed out of town last season, shows up to wreak some havoc. Gee, if only there were some sort of external force that could get these two working together…

Antigua? Quad-kegerator? This spoiler is so there!

Michael asks Barry the money launderer to track down who owned the bank account that funded the mad bomber who tried to kill him. Unfortunately, Barry drew some attention to himself, and Agent Bly swoops in. If Michael doesn't turn over all the blackmail material, Bly will destroy him. Of course, he plans to destroy Michael anyway, but that's a technicality.

Bly shadows Michael to a bank where Madeleine's friend Paula works — she's having trouble with Prescott, a guy she met on an internet-dating site, and he seems to be stalking her. Once again, the subtitles helpfully inform us when Prescott changes status from stalker to bank robber. Michael and Bly are lumped in with the rest of the hostages. Bly jumps one of the bank-robbing goons and grabs the gun, then gets shot in the arm for his troubles. To get everyone out alive, Michael will have to think like a spy. Bliss!

This leads to several vintage Michael moments: He rigs the bank's data server to function as a giant cell-phone antenna so he can call Sam for help, then engineers a bunch of freak accidents that have the robbers on edge. I'd be freaked out, too, if my air hammer shot me in the leg (Michael tampered with the locking collar), my gun exploded (supercooling the barrel with liquid nitrogen, which the robbers helpfully brought in to break locks, makes guns  blow up when they're next fired), my energy drink made me feel like I was having a stroke (adding uppers and downers — in this case, antidepressants and allergy meds — to a highly caffeinated drink will do that), and my elevator suddenly fritzes out (yeah, that one wasn't that thrilling, but at that point, the robbers were thoroughly spooked).

That's all fine, but Prescott is still planning to kill the hostages by locking them in the vault and letting them suffocate. This is where Sam and Fi come in — Sam tracks down the getaway boat the robbers were going to use and forces the driver (pilot? Captain? First mate?)  to make like Keyser Soze is stomping on his entrails. Sam chews scenery with a chilling tale of how everyone will die horribly because they're robbing "his bank." Michael pitches in a few fun stories about how he was forced to keep one of Sam's victims alive so he could revel in their pain ("There's a place between life and death. Amazing how long a man can linger there…”). Add in a handy-dandy exploding getaway truck (thanks, Fi!) and you've got a rout. Prescott shoots his henchmen and tries to escape, but the cops arrive to arrest him.

All that time bonding, being shot at, thwarting evildoers and otherwise kicking ass makes Michael and Bly fall in love all over again. Bly agrees to drop the case he was building against Michael, and Michael turns over his blackmail fodder. Plus, Bly tries to track down the account Michael was looking for, but it's just a number — no name, no company, no way of identifying the owner. What's worse, it had electronic safeguards that got tripped. Whoever it is, they know Michael is coming.

Spy tips from Michael:

  • Gathering information? Guns, lock picks and listening devices are fine, but you'll probably get more scoop by buying someone lunch. Or, in Sam's case, a $3 beer.
  • When someone you're talking to starts acting like there’s an extra person in the conversation ("I understand why you hired me, Michael Weston, but this job you paid me to do is very illegal!"), they're most likely bugged.
  • Perks of wearing a wire: Free chest wax!
  • Air hammers are easily converted from useful tool to "a very inaccurate gun with a single bullet." Wait — air hammers?
  • When all else fails, sell your story like there's no tomorrow. If you've got Bruce Campbell on your side, you're golden.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • Sam met his dream girl: she made millions as a beer distributor, then retired to her multiple beach houses. Unfortunately, she wants a completely easy, stress-free life, and breaking friends out of bank heists doesn't fit into that.
  • Sam gloats that Michael called him, not Fi, when he was in trouble. Michael finally admits that he tried Fi first, but she didn't pick up. Considering how close Sam was to letting the call go to voicemail, he really has no room to talk.
  • Sam taunts Fi that his dramatic chops saved the day. Hey, I blew up a truck, Fi protests. "An important task, yes, but something an intelligent monkey could do," Sam replies.
  • Prescott was played by Mark Sheppard. I spent much of the episode waiting for him to set fires with his mind, hire a group of big damn heroes, smuggle nerve gas through an airport, create bionic technology, engage in spacebound courtroom theatrics, and/or invent a technology that would lead to the enslavement of an alternate universe while he himself was cryogenically frozen. Yes, I'm a geek.
  • I so love seeing Bly again –  he knows his way around a quip . He tells Michael to hand over all his evidence, any financial docs, any reference he has to him, "the page in your diary where you drew little hearts around my name…"
  • Another key quote: "I packed you a bag with some clothes to wear. I have to say, for a tough guy you sure dress like an Easter egg…" But a bad-ass Easter egg!
Posted by:Sarah Jersild