Review--Burn Notice: Truth and Reconciliation
Author of the book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, Barbara has published articles and short stories in collections like the Cup of Comfort series. Her first novel, The Elf Queen, is available from http://Amazon.com and Dragonfly Publishing; the sequel, The Elf Child, comes out in 2011. Also in 2011, Deliverance, a romance from TWRP. By day, a family law attorney, at night, parent to three special needs kids, and a constant novelist. Find out more at http://awalkabout.wordpress.comView all articles by barbara mountjoy
This somewhat lackluster episode carried on the trend of recent storylines where any time Michael Westen and his buddy Sam Axe need to get to a baddie, they put Fiona in an expensive dress and send her in as bait. Sure, she's an empowered woman and all, and she could likely kill a man with her pinkie-- but really? Is sex the only plan?
This time she gets dolled up to seduce a Haitian man named Jean-Pierre Duman, the son of a Haitian dictator (Think: Baby Doc Duvalier) who has run to the U.S. after his father's death and has taken a false identity to escape prosecution for multiple crimes and official oppression back home. Duman comes to the team's attention when a father seeking justice for his daughter Veronique, jailed by Duman and later killed by his people, comes to Michael for help. While Michael first shies away from the case, Sam talks him into looking into the circumstances, as Sam had done some work in Haiti back in the day, and knows something about just how hard those prisons were.
As they're scoping out Duman, and Fiona, in her skimpy dress, has gotten herself invited back to Duman's house to get the "special tour" of the upstairs, Veronique's father shows up in the front yard with a bullhorn, yelling at Duman to come out and face justice. Fi takes advantage of the distraction to plant a bug in Duman's office, and Michael practically drags the father away to save his life. Michael finally agrees to take the case, but only if the father goes back to Haiti. The father says he understands.
A snippy Fi points out that most of Sam's friends wear uniforms, so they (and by implication, Sam as well) are useless, but Michael finds a way to use this to his advantage and tells Sam to make peace with the FBI guys who used to spy on Michael, the ones Sam screwed over pretty much.
Sam approaches the FBI and offers "unofficial" information about the international fugitive Duman, points out where he is likely to be found and how these agents could get credit for busting him. When they start to tail him, Michael steps in, taking the cover of a representative of a company that used to be in deep with the Duman family. "The best way to approach a fugitive is to be one of the people who can help him stay on the run," he says, and he offers to take all of Duman's history and make it disappear.
Meantime, Michael has arranged to meet the bank manager from the Caimans, to piece together the identity of the person who paid to have him killed. When Fiona grouses about Michael putting himself in danger, he reminds her that people warned him not to meet her the first time either.
"I almost blew off your head with a block of C-4," she remembers fondly.
Michael goes to the parking garage in Miami where this bank manager, Gustavo, has agreed to meet him. When he finds Gustavo, he tests him to see if he's really who he says he is--and the man tries to kill him. So he kills him right back.
As Michael and Sam are planning the next step, they hear via the bug that Duman has discovered Veronique's father staying in a local motel. He hasn't left after all. "I don’t want safety…I want justice," the father says. Michael and Sam hightail it over to save him. After a tense standoff, Duman invites Michael over to talk business.
Their business, however, is interrupted when Duman's supposedly-dead dictator father shows up and blows Michael's cover, knowing the person he claims to be is not part of the company. Michael barely escapes with his life out the second-story window.
Knowing that "killers by and large are whiny losers," the team comes up with Plan B, again dangling the lovely Fiona as bait, before they save the day.
The real bank manager, Gustavo, has meantime been found dead back home. Michael discovers that the man he had encountered and killed was smuggled into the country by someone he and Fiona know from previous operations. Fiona interrogates the smuggler to find the storage unit where the man had been delivered. They go to the storage unit, expecting an ambush. Sure enough. The intended assassin runs across the roof and escapes by jumping over a 12-foot fence. When the person turns around in the light, Michael discovers the one who tried to kill him is an old... friend?
The episode also has a somewhat extraneous story thread about Michael's mother, a stolen tape deck, and Michael's dad finding a way to matter to his family, but there didn't seem to be much reason for it. Michael's brother, who was miraculously saved from jail several episodes ago is also still out of the picture. But at least Fiona's long legs still get plenty of air time. And sometimes, that may be enough all by itself.
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