Burn Notice: Cruising Along

Burn Notice S06E03: "Last Rites"

Even Shakespeare knew his dramas couldn't all be high-octane, stabby-town bloodbaths from start to finish. Possibly the action genre's original scribe, Ol' Bardy Pants strategically cooled out his audience every now and again by resetting the emotional playing board with slower scenes so the machinations of awesomeness could surprise in full force with a stronger impact. I'm not saying last night's episode of Burn Notice was slow, just enjoyable in a non-bullets-and-explosions sort of way. Hey, that's still Burn Notice. Intrigue and espionage come part and parcel with the life of a spy. All in all, on top of the deft con Michael and his crew pulled, I was enthralled at the motivating tragic reasons, and what was being set up for episodes to come.

Luckily before getting into the nitty-gritty of this week's mission, we kicked things off in my favorite place so far this season, following Fiona's Adventures in Lady Jail, specifically Cellblock 9, the wing for high-risk offenders.

I know there's been some talk of Fi being so much of a badass that there's no true threat to her being in prison, but considering she doesn't know exactly who ordered the hit on her, and whether it is a single person or a network of baddies, then really anyone could be a potential enemy, or everyone. Even the toughest customer can't fight off an entire prison (though how awesome would that be), and with the news that Michael finally scored a prison visit, Fiona was all about staying alive long enough to share a special moment with her one true love. Thankfully she found a huge resource in the block's resident smuggler Ayn (Anything You Need), who agreed to help Fiona out in exchange for a favor: friendship.

No just kidding, she definitely wanted something more prison-related, but wouldn't say what just yet. By the way, if anybody has actually been to Lady Jail please chime in here. What were all these random pictures on Ayn's wall?

My assumption is she would have her clients trade in photos of loved ones for toilet grigio and so on, but I am not a female convict (yet). On the outside, Jesse and Michael met up with Pearce, who received a distressing phone call from the Evil Anson Fullerton. Michael's nemesis promised Dani information concerning the death of her fiancée Jay and even provided her with a picture of the guy who killed him.

'Twas a sad tale indeed, involving Jay's cover getting blown in Syria (topical) and this man Ahmed Damour ganking the intel Jay had been protecting in the first place. Long story short, Damour had been living on the government's dime as a CIA asset all thanks to the ill-gotten data (satellite information and pirated Sugarland mp3s). Michael figured Anson was trying to get Pearce to disobey CIA orders in favor of revenge, thus screwing up any pull she might have in getting Fi out of prison. Got to admit, I almost wanted Pearce to storm Ahmed head on and take him down point blank, all "Break yourself!" just to get more Fiona in Lady Jail plotlines but then again I am biologically part-dumb and was fired from the CIA in my early 20s for such thoughts.

Plus Westen's a dyed-in-the wool romantic (this season), so he couldn't resist a chance to help a fellow member of the lonely hearts spy club. The plan? Intercept Ahmed on a Jazz Cruise he's about to take and trick him into thinking he's so deathly ill that he tells his son Sharif about the location of the data. On the one hand I am jealous of these special agent brains that effortlessly cook up a scheme to make someone think they are dying, but on the other, I'm like "wait Pearce you can't get the CIA's help again?" Does Pearce have any pull at all? Maybe she doesn't even work for the CIA and really is just a manager at Ross who gets discounts on slacks. Nah, I'm just doofin'

I had already started to miss Ayn, so I was very happy to return to Lady Jail just in time to hear her utter "…pick a book bitch, you know you can't read" to some random black-market customer. The laid-back, sassy smuggler took a tiny break from insulting clients and made a deal with Fiona: If Fi blocked the door the next day at a set time, Ayn would provide her the name of whoever ordered the hit.

I love seeing an entrepreneur be confident about her line of work, so the line, "If the price was right I could stage a Beatles reunion concert in the main yard." tickled me just fine. Ayn's a great example of the way Burn Notice can pack even its one-off characters with a whole lot of quick charm. Anyhow, Fiona countered with a list of materials needed for the job, and the two developed a mutual respect for each other, but by that time I was distracted by the selection of titles available in the mobile library:

Hmm, what will it be, Danielle Steel's Going Home, a book on Finland, or Seabiscuit? I guess the real question is which has the best smuggled goods inside? Probably Going Home.

Moving forward it was fun to get the Westen clan involved, because I can't get enough of Nate's caring eyebrows, and after all, you know, the CIA wasn't available. Which got me thinking that maybe we don't need a CIA in this country at all. Perhaps we just need to spend more time with our families on secret operations. Seriously this summer, instead of going to the Grand Canyon, let's all pile into the station wagon and hunt down international criminals. Yeah right, no way my mom and bro could pull the same weight as Maddie and Nate. They'd be interrupting covert affairs to stop for grub at Quizno's I bet. Go Westens!

So on the cruise Michael pretended to be a doctor while Pearce pretended even harder like she didn't want to straight-up let her lover's rage take over and commit murder on the high seas. It was funny all the smiling we got out of Michael who kept pointing out how people on vacation look like they are having a good time.

Deep down, he really does need a vacation and I pray this is not the closest he gets to it. On the gambling floor, Jesse pulled his weight making first contact with the mark.

He cracked me up with his dice talk, all "…you got to let them know you love them…and if you love something what to do you do? You set 'em free!" Jesse haters, this guy's alright. He brings a complimentary strain of showiness and refinement to Westen's world, offering both spy capabilities and comedic relief that's different from Sam and Maddie. Jesse chugged Ahmed's gambling drink so the murder-mark would have to order a new one. Unbeknownst to him though Pearce chilled at the bar and infected his cocktail with some chemical that mimicked the effects of meningitis. This caused Ahmed to do what we in the cruise line industry call the "horizontal floor boogie."

This story hit a little too close to home because I once thought I had meningitis and had to go to a South Los Angeles emergency room. By the end of it luckily I did not have meningitis, and the doctor was just like, "My diagnosis is that you have been in a crazy Los Angeles ER. I prescribe 10 ccs of leaving that corner where the bums have set up camp under the chairs and you should be fine." Anyway, to make Michael's doctor story seem even more plausible, Jesse swallowed some of his own magic sick pills so that later on Doc Westen could point to him and be like, "See? They drank out of the same Whiskey Sour."

On dry land, Sam, Maddie, and Nate hit up Sharif's mansion once word got back to the Damour household that the fake virus might be lurking around the marble floors and gold-leaf painting frames. I felt bad for Sharif, who seemed pretty scared that his dear sweet papa was going to die, but then again his daddy did kill an innocent man.

Behind bars, Fiona successfully pulled off her end of the bargain using a makeshift sparkle-bomb to cause a diversion for Ayn while cronies jacked a rival smuggler. All this for a measly message concerning five or so cigarette packs? I guess this one's on me because I was too stupid to know what "incendiary" meant. Gee whiz, I was really hoping for some awesome explosion but what I got was the equivalent of a some fireworks you kept too long in the hallway closet and then your dad is like, "Well, that's it. Inside, kids."

Convinced that he was truly going to give up the ghost, Ahmed directed Sharif to go ahead with the mysterious contingency plan that involved protecting his future. Sam and Nate left Maddie behind to sleep in the backseat and trailed the young Damour and his crew to a warehouse (yes, where all shady business deals go down. Honestly if you own a warehouse and are NOT using it to meet Russians with silver suitcases you are missing out). Sharif used the warehouse for exactly this purpose and came very close to selling the data drive to some enterprising Russians (ah Russians, the eternal enemy).

Sam and Nate informed Michael of this development while Pearce seemed to be at her absolute breaking point about to ring Ahmed's muscular neck. Michael was like, "You can't let revenge get the best of you." Then Pearce was all, "I have a play, get out of my way!" I don't know about you guys, but I never really thought Pearce was anywhere close to murdering Ahmed. Maybe it's because she's so easy on the eyes, but each time any character mentioned her falling out of line, it felt like any minute they were going to break into chuckles and be like, "Nah, we know you don't have it in you."

What she did have in her was a brilliant scheme to come clean to Ahmed about the components of his weaponized poison and how it could possibly be Russian in origin. Right then and there Ahmed called up his dear sweet son and commanded him to back off the deal with Paul Giamatti's Ruski brother and take vengeance on these guys who Damour figured where behind his poisoning.

When the bullets settled, Nate and Sam apprehended Sharif and the drive, while back on the boat Pearce finally got to brag to Ahmed about how he and his son would be totally screwed from here on out. You did it Pearce! Jay would be proud.

Fiona meanwhile was raring to get the name of the person who ordered the hit, but Ayn didn't think it was such a bright idea to divulge that information out loud on the floor. Fiona slammed her by the throat against the wall (a gesture that will hopefully continue to end each Lady Jail adventure) until Ayn explained further that she would get a note to Michael and to seriously chill the hell out.

In the final scene, Michael got to see Fiona and was like "business, business..." then devolved into a sobbing Irish brogue.

At first I was like, "What in the hell is happening?" but then I did some sleuthing and realized Michael first met Fiona undercover. I didn't mind this emotional scene because it was quick and heavy. Perhaps that's the way Burn Notice should sneak in its heartfelt moments—just nothing all episode, and then in the last 30 seconds, someone pulls some serious Pride and Prejudice haps. Luckily Michael did not leave Lady Jail empty handed, as Ayn made good on providing him the address of the person responsible for ordering a hit on Fiona. Though how much do you bet it's just some go-between guy who they'll have to shake down for some information? In any case, for the next two weeks, I like to think this is happening in both both Michael and Fiona's hearts:


DEBRIEFING:

– What will Michael do with the information on the note?

– Are you going to Google Maps that address?

– Did Jesse win you over this episode?

– What's next for Fiona's Adventures in Lady Jail?

– Do you wish there was more explosions in this episode?

Burn Notice Photo Gallery: Season 6, Episode 3, "Last Rites" Psst! Once you enter the viewer, you can navigate through the photos using your left and right arrow keys.

Comments (31)
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– What will Michael do with the information on the note? probably go kick someone's butt.

– Are you going to Google Maps that address? no.

– Did Jesse win you over this episode? more so in the last episode.

– What's next for Fiona's Adventures in Lady Jail? hopefully more adventures with Ayn.

– Do you wish there was more explosions in this episode? no. even though they are a burn notice trademark, it's ok not to have explosions when you have a gunfight instead.
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Michael stop before someone else dies Please
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I'm not sure where else to bring this up but we need more reviews by this guy. I don't know why they stopped but they need to start again, Ryan does a great job!
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One thousand percent agree. Fantastic reviews every time. Ryan rocks! Keep 'em coming.
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-He'll take the information from the note and find the guy and take him out for a yogurt. Duh.

-Nope, because I'm just that lazy.

-Never had a problem with Jesse, and he continued to represent here. So yay.

-I don't know, but like you, I am DIGGING the Lady Jail. Paper Lady Stand Up.

-No, I am glad they had an episode that chilled it with the explosions. But they do a generally decent job of using realistic stuff to do realistic things, and that's one of the things that I've always loved about this show.



Also, with the prison books, I love the really old looking one with the title "Books".
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It dawned on me last night, this episode was essentially cribbed from the original Mission Impossible (the show, not the fake movies) in tone and concept, which is why it felt different and why it worked without explosions.
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Darn that show is good!!!!

One of the Best on TV.
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I liked the episode and had more fun watching it than previous episodes. Maybe it had to do with the plot and episode overall not putting such a big focus on Michael -- it's getting to a point now where Mike is putting me to sleep... and not with a tight sleeper hold. The prison stuff with Fiona is kinda fun and brings something new to Burn Notice that it hasn't had in a few seasons.



Jesse didn't win me over because I didn't need any, uh, winning over. I've always liked Jesse and I think a big part of that is the bits of humor he can sometimes provide. Sam hasn't been much of a comic relief in a long time -- he's too busy always being the voice of reason to Michael oft-passionate decisions -- and I think Jesse kinda fills that void.
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That scene w/ Fi and Michael just killed me!! It was great, but I am glad they gave us a bit more that way I ha a chance to compose myself before the credits ran.

I feel kinda bad for that guard whose address Michael has....that dude has NO idea what is coming his way...which is pain, fear, more pain and lots of scary looks from a man you don't want to piss off. Dude is in for a big surprise.
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I loved this episode from beginning to end. For me, Burn Notice doesn't have to blow stuff up all the time to impress me. I love the spy games they play on other people. It's so fun and informative to watch. I also loved the emotional ending between Michael and Fiona. It was heartbreaking to watch. Great drama for a great show! Burn Notice has always been a top 10 show on tv for me.



Michael will definitely track down the guy on the note. What he'll do with him or to him, I have no idea but can't wait to find out.



I have been a fan of Jesse since he first appeared in Burn Notice, so he's never had to win me over. He's smart, charismatic, and skilled as a former counterintelligence agent. He has a fun, witty attitude to him that makes me laugh every time. I really don't understand the hate for him at all. In my opinion, its about time he was made a regular.



Fiona's adventures in lady jail could go anywhere. This is uncharted territory for her and for us. I want her out soon but am enjoying the ride so far.



Don't need so many explosions. The informative, smart spy games are more than enough for me.
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You know, I could write the spy tips using simple logical BS to dazzle you all with. That's what they're doing now anyway. Educational this show ain't but it's still watchable just for Maddie and Sam a Fi and even Michael but they need to change the title to something more relevant like How I met your Mother and they could use this one and nobody'd know...
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Shut up Muder. No, really! You're such a tool. Thanks for telling us how spy-smart you are. Did I mention you're a giant tool?
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I like episodes where they spy rather than blow stuff up. This episode was ok, although the premise felt a little quick to dump intel on our characters at the beginning. Pearce finally doesn't feel like a total stick in the mud. That said, I didn't buy that she could come up with the solution to the big twist and Michael couldn't.
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Oh come on, Fi on a rampage is why we watch and putting her in the pokey gets us all wet - especially the gals out there. Now just toss in Maddie and we got us a spinoff worthy of these two fine actresses...
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So you also know what gets the "gals" (you sound like Fonzie) all wet --- a sex reference, look at you, all edgy and whatnot. Shut up dude. You're an embarrassment.
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Fi's storyline so far hasn't felt like she's in danger, she's on SUCH a higher level than everybody else that it's really just melodrama while she MacGyvers another solution to the week's problem.



Maddie is entertaining in small bites, but as a full-time character I don't know what she could do, 90% of the time she's playing bridge with the girls or shopping or sitting around the house, and then Michael comes by with yet another crazy adventure problem and they argue, pretend like they don't want to talk about old times, then work together. Without that in her life, it'd just be a show about smoking cigarettes (which admittedly she does with surprising aplomb). Fi as a character seems to have actually lost autonomy since the early days, the last few seasons her only interests have been to get moony-eyed over Michael, worry about Michael, think about Michael, help Michael, brood over Michael's next questionable decision that ultimately goes right anyway, etc..
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Is it so hard to get all the books facing the right way?
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In prison, EVERYTHING is hard. Except sneaking in fireworks.
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Apparantly the prison people don't watch shows about prison as you said because nothing is hard in prison - including sneaking in a Sherman tank if the plot calls for it. Fi should get herself one and then we'd really have something. It's kind of getting difficult to take this show seriously anymore so why not just make it more fun. Seriously...
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Making fun of you, now that's f'ing fun!! Easy, but fun!! Please stop talking.
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I really love this weeks episode! I also enjoy when Micheal and fiona reminisce the first day they have men! then enter Irish accent! epic and sweet
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This was one of the better episodes I've seen of BN in the past couple of seasons. As a "Jesse hater", I was surprised at how likable he was this episode. Did it "win me over"? No, but it's a start. Next up for Fi - someone tries to shank her in the Lady Jail showers.



BTW, the name and address that Ayn provided to Michael was for a guard that was helping out / acting as a facilitator with the hit on Fi - not the guy behind it all. So don't be surprised next week when you see it's not THE guy. They already told us as much. My guess is that Anson is behind the hit, since he likes to work Westen over from multiple angles.
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I think his display of emotion is fine in theory, but you are right that it's still relatively unfamiliar and awkward in what quick spurts we see it. Maybe give it time?
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Unfortunately Michael has already let us know the spy stuff takes top spot in his heart and that Fi is just a pleasent aside when he's not bashing bad guys. Of couse he loves it when Fi bashes bad guys with him and that's his ideal life but not Fi's...
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Whoops - thanks for the name confirmation. I agree Anson is somehow behind this, but am prepared for a twist should he happen to have a boss to answer to
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DUH...
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"DUH..."? Good one Beavis. Spare us.
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I guess, I'll come out and say it. I do not enjoy watching Michael cry and act overly emotive. There's something unconvincing about it and it just makes me uncomfortable. The whole scene with Fiona was off-putting. I don't mind the storyline as a whole, him working to get her out and her trying not to be killed. But him swinging from blind rage to sadness and whatnot leaves a lot to be desired.
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I cried too, first time in a long time while watching a TV show. I found the scene very moving.
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A better episode then the previous ones this season. More in line with what is usually brought.I enjoyed it. But this season is kind of starting out rather blah for me. However, at least Fi got her ex terrorist badassery back.



Debriefing;



Could go three ways. He goes all Michael Weston on him. Or he kills him. Or he cries some more, since that is a thing this season.



Nah I am good.



He was better this episode. I think this was the first time I think that he was in the opening credits. If he is going to be a permanent member of the team. Then give him some more things to do then be the loud mouthed distraction.



Shower scene? Making Jameson irish Whiskey in her toilet instead of Pruno.



No. I liked the overall story with Pierce, so at least she will be able to relate to Michael more when he does something for Fi or against Anson.





However, the whole crying thing was dumb. Michael can do anything, anything except break his girlfriend out of a prison apparently. And the CIA is all powerful except when some genius psychologist is up against them and they can't get an "innocent" woman out of prison. This season among all is kind of far fetched and doesn't go along with the mythology thus far set for the show.



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Ha - fingers crossed for your Whiskey prediction
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