Burn Notice - 203 - Trust Me

Category: , By Rev/Views

Episode 203 written by Matt Nix

This week Michael continues to dig into the mystery surrounding Carla while also helping a client who owes a loan shark $200K.

It's Friday and that means it's Burn Notice time! "Trust Me" is the third episode in the season and the show is continuing with the format of two plots, one concerning a weekly client and the second separate meta plot dealing with Michael's burn notice and his attempts to find out more about the woman sent to work as his handler.

The episode opens up with Michael and Sam heading into the Pakistani embassy with the intent of using a little distraction (Bruce causing a scene while stealing it simultaneously) to procure some sensitive information from the head of security. Michael explains that the head of security in most embassies is in fact a spy and there tends to be plenty of sensitive information around that they would be desperate to get back if it went missing. It turns out that the normal procedure for storing sensitive material is putting it in a standard grey filing cabinet located in your office, which you leave unlocked while there is an unsupervised guest sitting not more than five meters away. I guess that the Pakistan intelligence agency isn't that interested in keeping their information too secret, they must enjoy a good bit of being coerced. Or maybe the Miami head of security is just bad at his job, I don't know. Either way it's good news for Michael as all he needs to do is pop on some gloves, rifle through the top draw of the nearest cabinet and bingo, he's got something he can use as leverage.

I know that Burn Notice is meant to be light hearted fun and you're supposed to leave reality at the door when dealing with it, but this heist must go down as the easiest job Michael has pulled in the history of the show. Sure it's important to keep things pacey, but that one was as smooth as fresh snow on polished silver. Maybe I shouldn't think too hard about this and just enjoy it instead.

A bit later Michael is attempting to sneak into his mother's garage for car parts when she spots him. Maybe the Pakistani embassy should consider hiring her as their head of security, she's obviously better at surveillance than they were. Michael is brought in and joins a game of cards with his mother's friends (and Fi). Apparently another of Mrs Western's friends is having trouble as her son has borrowed $200K from a loan shark and has lost the money with a poor investment. Fi decides that Michael should take this job, it seems she wants him to pay penance for putting his burn notice ahead of her. Ah Michael; never cross an Irish woman even slightly, she has a million ways to get back at you. It doesn't matter what the show is called, Fi considers herself more important, women are a little crazy like that.

So Michael heads off to talk to the woman and her son (Andy) with Fi, they quickly identify that Andy has been the target of a rather old style sting. He was approached with a 'deal of a lifetime' by a man called Zeke and only had to front $200K to pay for a club in Cuba with a promise of thousand fold returns. Just as he handed over the money the "FBI" arrive; arrest Zeke, confiscate the money and leave Andy penniless. This is of course a classic con, one that anyone with a passing interest in con merchants or con films should immediately recognise. I'm not going to have a go about the use of such an obvious old school con because it fits here. Andy is clearly a complete rube, he's a nice guy but very naive. So it's natural that he'd fall for something so obviously false that would send anyone who's even been near a con movie into full alert.

Michael heads off to meet with the head of security for a little blackmail information exchange but he rapidly hits a snag. It seems that the information he's stolen isn't as valuable as the information on Carla, so down but not out Michael leaves to hatch another plan.

Fi is then sent to try and get her hands on the money direct from Zeke, to do this she comes up with the clever disguse of letting her hair down, wearing a very short skirt and employing a British accent that's just as terrible as the one Michael used in the first episode. I'm really enjoying the bad accent running joke, it's more fun than the yogurt one. Unfortunately her plan doesn't work out because Zeke likes to keep his office locked with a key card, Fi's hairpins don't work on key card slots so the gang have to come up with an alternative two man operation that involves someone playing a tempting mark for Zeke. Sam seems the obvious choice but Fi lands Michael in it instead (see Michael? Don't upset the Irish women, they'll hold a grudge forever and wear you down the same way water from a vine leaf wears away a rock!)

Michael meets with the head of security a second time to tell him that "He wins" and return the stolen files in a suspicious looking brown envelope. Intrepid photographer Sam Axe happens to be around with a camera and manages to photograph the entire exchange. Can you smell a second blackmail attempt coming? Mmm, blackmail...

Somewhere in amongst all this the loan shark comes round with a couple of heavies to put pressure onto Andy and his mother. Michael responds to the threats in the way you'd expect, he beats up the thugs with a magazine called 'Cat Fancy' and then informs them they'll get their money. At this point everyone seems to be wisely keeping quiet about any kind of interest, it seems this loan shark lends you $200K and only expects to get that much back. Perhaps that's why his men are easily fought off with nothing more than a glossy for people who like kittens.

Michael then heads off to the club to pose as a Texan oil baron trust fund baby. Cue the second terrible accent of the episode (hooray!) as Jeffery Donovan hams it up big style in order to compete with Gabriel's outrageously bad British accent.

Once inside the office Michael finds out that there's another snag (I'm sure he's tired of this by now, it seems he hits more snags in his plans than Malcolm Reynolds), the safe contains newspaper instead of money. So the gang need a third plan built off the back of the second one. A plan where they can get Zeke to hand over his money first. Enter Sam Axe, who poses as Michael's trust fund manager.

Meanwhile, Michael meets with the head of security again. Shows him the pictures and once again attempts to blackmail him, this time using the threat of being reassigned to somewhere unpleasant for accepting handouts. This time it sticks and the guy agrees to get the information.

Sam proceeds to manipulate Zeke by employing the strategy of 'walk away whenever Zeke refuses to hand over the money' and Zeke caves repeatedly to this. It's actually a lot funnier to watch than I've described it here. But basically Sam's part in the plan is to pick up all his toys and walk off saying "The deals off". The deal is set up and Michael gets Barry to help with a fake transfer. Then when the deal goes down the gang essentially pull a variation of the con trick used by Zeke and his partners. Sam intercepts them, sends them off somewhere and then blows up their car. Michael claims his ex-special forces mates have just aced some FBI men and want paying. Zeke promptly panics, goes back to the bar and hands over the original $200K (plus a little extra) to Michael. His partners then show up alive and Zeke is left explaining what he's just done. It's quite likely that we won't see Zeke again, he's probably enjoying a long swim in a special sack now. But maybe his partners will resurface seeking their money at some point.

The money is repaid to the loan shark (along with a lifetime magazine subscription to 'Cat Fancy') and Michael exchanges the photos plus negatives with the old head of security for the files on Carla.

It's a solid episode, not as good as the previous two but still enjoyable, light hearted and most importantly fun. We get two terrible disguises with awful accents and one whole explosion. What more could you want? (Apart from maybe a vampire and an explosion).


1 comment so far.

  1. MysterLynch 26 July 2008 at 23:16
    As always, a fantastic summary.

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