Burn Notice

Season 7 Episode 9

Bitter Pill

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Aug 08, 2013 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
54 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


James needs help to protect a diplomat at an economic conference in Miami. But the hit squad didn't make their move at the event 'cause they've already poisoned him. Michael and his team tries to find an antidote. Meanwhile, Madeline notices that James has been having his men follow her everywhere she goes.


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  • Bitter Pill

    This was an enjoyable episode of Burn Notice. We knew what the outcome would be, but they also threw us a curveball along the way along with playing up the Michael/Fiona angle perfectly. This was a really strong episode despite the action movie cliches it succumbed too.
  • ah hello

    He's undercover he has no choice but to stand and watch or they all go back to prison or James would have done the same to all of them
  • The good guys . What good guys?

    I do not consistently watch Burn Notice. However, I happened to catch the last 20 minutes of Bitter Pill. I am disturbed. The penalty for cowardice is execution? No judge, no jury--just summary execution. And it wasn't the James character alone who committed the murder. Michael and company were complicit in the act--they certainly did nothing to stop it. I don't mind flawed heroes. For example, NYPD Blue featured the wonderful and complex Andy Sipowitz , capable of great acts and terrible ones. But NYPD Blue always had a true moral compass underlying the story line. "Bitter Pill" is aptly named. It lacks civilization. And if these are the kinds of heroes we applaud, what does it say about our morality?moreless
David Meunier

David Meunier

Ben Snyder

Guest Star

Sammy Sheik

Sammy Sheik

Khalid Mazik

Guest Star

Christopher Maher

Christopher Maher

Dr. Omar Hamed

Guest Star

John Pyper-Ferguson

John Pyper-Ferguson

James Kendrick

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Michael: (voiceover) There are many techniques for dealing with guards without raising alarm. They all boil down to two basic steps, a stunning move to stop your target from crying out and a subduing move to keep him quiet.

    • James: Do you know who I am?
      Madeline: You're the man Michael's working with.
      James: Yes.
      Madeline: The man who keeps sending people to watch me.
      James: You care about your family very much. What you have to understand is, so do I. I made a commitment to your son to protect you, all the people he cares about. That includes you and Charlie.
      Madeline: You want to protect us?
      James: Yes.
      Madeline: Then why do you have people follow us everywhere we go?
      James: I know. It seems extreme. I'm a man who's willing to go to extremes to do what I feel is right, and I make no apology for that.

    • Michael: (voiceover) Being under surveillance is more stressful than most people realize. Even when you have no contact with the people watching you, just knowing that they're there can take a lot out of you. The problem is you begin to feel eyes on you all the time. Often it's just your imagination playing tricks on you, but sometimes those eyes are all too real.

    • Michael: (voiceover) Once you've sold your cover I.D. to your target, it's important to know your limits. The more complex and technical your cover is, the greater the danger you'll be discovered. If you're pretending to be an expert in organic chemistry, it's a good idea to make your move as quickly as possible.

    • Michael: (voiceover) When you have to make a cold approach and you have to make it fast, you don't get any points for being polite. The most important thing is to get your target's attention. Because it doesn't matter if they like you, as long as they like what you have to say.

    • Michael: (voiceover) There are a lot of reasons strip clubs have become a common meeting spot for a wide range of criminal activities. For one thing, they're open in the day, windowless, and too loud for good audio surveillance. They also provide privacy. Dark corners designed for flirting with dancers work just as well for a covert meeting. And of course, if you're doing or saying anything illegal, chances are, everyone else will be too distracted to notice.

    • Michael: (voiceover) For someone who's not used to being under surveillance, knowing someone's watching can be a lot worse than being oblivious. The problem is that, when anyone could be watching you, it often feels like everyone is watching you. Whether you're a professional or a civilian, there's ultimately only one real way to figure out for sure if someone's watching you. You have to go somewhere concealed and see if they follow.

    • Michael: (voiceover) Combat support hospitals are portable operating rooms that can be set up anywhere in an hour. If you don't have time to get your wounded to a doctor, hospitals like these can bring the doctor to you. But there are still some injuries that even immediate medical attention can't fix.

    • Michael: (voiceover) Personal security uses a method called "arm's reach." In an attack, if you're closest to the client, you shield them. If you're closest to the attacker, you focus on the threat. One man tries to defend against danger, and the other one tries to find it. Of course, if personal security has to get involved, something's already gone very wrong. A good security setup stops threats before they ever get close. With a combination of human spotters, computerized facial recognition, and electronic surveillance equipment, the goal is to find the bad guys long before they make a move.

    • Madeline: How did they know? How did they know my schedule or Fiona's? How did they know when to call?
      Michael: They were probably watching you.
      Madeline: Oh, really? And that's okay with you?
      Michael: No, it's not okay. It's just-it's just a fact of life right now.
      Madeline: You know, sometimes, Michael, people get used to the wrong things. I can't afford to do that. Not anymore. I've got Charlie.
      Michael: Just let it go.
      Madeline: I can't do that anymore, Michael. You do whatever it is you have to do. And I will do whatever I have to do.

    • Michael: (voiceover) Working a long-term undercover job is about learning to live with uncertainty, the uncertainty that comes with chasing something you can never see. You're often going after a target you know little or nothing about. You don't know their plans. You don't know where they'll be. You don't know what they know about you. After a while, that uncertainty begins to gnaw at you. It affects you, no matter how well-trained you are. The real battle becomes the one within yourself, to keep your doubts at bay. So that when the day comes to take your target down, you're ready.

  • NOTES (0)