Burn Notice

Season 5 Episode 16

Depth Perception

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Dec 01, 2011 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
113 votes

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Episode Summary

Michael must ask Anson for help after Sam's old friend Beatriz turns up in Miami with a hitman on her trail.

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  • Depth Perception

    While Madeline calling Michael out was good, I can't help shake off the feeling that we have seen this 100 times already on this show. We did get some good scenes with Anson and Michael today though and while this story arc is so over the top, they have done a tip-top job keeping us on the edge of our seat in suspense and getting what will happen next.
  • The Amazing Fake Out Twist we got from Ansen during the seemingly predictable "let's bring Larry back again times 4" summer finale has left us at a standstill. Because what makes Ansen a Great New Villain is that he knows MW better than he knows himself.moreless

    His ability to decern what Michael might do before he himself even knows. Leaves Michael between a rock and a hard place. He obviously isn't going to fall in line again with the guy that burned him just when he was getting back into the CIA. But Ansen is so good at his specialty and has so much background info that Michael has been unable to make even Tiny moves without Anson catching him.

    Basically we are back to season 1+2 with Carla telling him to do what she says or else. And Michael knows it, and he's not gonna put up with it for a second. Except Ansen is smart enough to know that Michael knows etc.

    Ansen has dug his way into Michael's head in a way that no villain before has. He knows everything about Michael and how he will act and seems to have him beat and Michael knows this. Yet in this episode he is forced to play the game and open his mind to Ansen (yay Beatrice!).

    This is Extremely Dangerous for any Spy as they are trained to Compartmentalize things. And the really good ones (ala MW) do it as second nature. Plus people who haveDaddy Issues is a common recruiting element (MW again). When you start opening those doors it can be dangerous. Which is why Westen lies then changes the subject when Ansen questions his motivations about why he does the day-to-day client-taking thing.

    I guess the only question left is will Ansen keep his promise that this has an ending. That he won't just keep dragging it out with one more thing the way it has always gone down before. If he's going to continue being smart then he should keep his promise and end it quickly.

    Because it doesn't take a Super Shrink to know that after all he's been through since being Burned. Michael Westen isn't going to buy the, "it's almost over, just one more thing" line forever.

    All in all, I'm actually happy to see a more cerebral battle especially since I suspect it is leading up to a big finish.

    [Ever been to a summer popcorn flick and actually find yourself yawning at the predictable 3rd explosion? One explosion after another gets boring no matter how big the explosion; but if you build it up slowly then it really hits big even if the explosion itself was literally small.]moreless
  • Can you say WOW - best episode ever.

    Not only is Anson the slimiest best villian...we geta deeper hint of Michaels back story, his motivations and the reason he does what he does and why he's soooo good at his job. What a twist ending just when you think Anson's in his place he drops more bombs than you can shake a stick at. Jesse is a great addition to the team and i like that Madeline is more gutsy than ever - maybe she'll be able to bring Anson down.( rubs hands together) - wouldnt that be a treat!

  • excellent episode

    spoilers ahead

    Wow, and just when I thought the Anson story arc was moving slowly. Depth Perception was the most entertaining episode I've seen from Burn Notice in a long time, due in large part to certain characters being shifted around and taken out of their comfort zones. Seeing Madeline come at Michael like that was jarring and definitely unexpected. Michael working together with Anson was also interesting to watch, and it's almost as if the writers felt that Anson wasn't intimidating enough as a villain, especially after him trying to reason with Michael about why he does what he does... so they lowered the boom in the show's closing stretch, during which I said 'holy $#!%' out loud multiple times. There was enough intensity, revelations, and all around great TV in Depth Perception to cover two episodes of Burn Notice (forget imitators), maybe more.

    Season 5 appears to be turning out a lot like Season 3. Both seasons had shaky starts, but season 3 absolutely caught fire in the final six or so episodes, and season 5 looks to be doing something similar. My already high interest in how this is all going to play out shot up dramatically after tonight.moreless
Chris Marks

Chris Marks

Oscar Markof

Guest Star

Ilza Rosario

Ilza Rosario



Jere Burns

Jere Burns

Anson Fullerton

Recurring Role

Chris Marks

Chris Marks


Recurring Role

Marc Macaulay

Marc Macaulay

Agent Harris

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Fiona: I should disappear. You'll be able to bring Anson down.
      Michael: And you'd keep running for the rest of your life. Not after all this. I am not losing you, Fi.

    • Michael: (voice-over) If you want to incapacitate an enemy's moving car, the first thing you need is a bigger vehicle. A utility truck gives you enough horsepower to keep you from getting left in the dust and a full-size metal bumper that can take a pounding. The trick is getting close enough to your target to precisely time an accident that keeps innocent bystanders out of harm's way and surprises your enemy with a hard impact to force them out of control. And if their wheels aren't touching the ground, they'll have no way to escape.

    • Michael: Anson was using anything he could against me. Fi, you. And he mentioned dad.
      Madeline: What about your dad?
      Michael: It doesn't matter. I don't want to know. I don't need to know.
      Madeline: Michael, I'm not trying to tell you how to run your life. You're a big boy. But it's the things you don't know that can hurt you.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Faking someone's death is all about getting the details right. The human body contains five liters of blood. Finding half that amount spilled across the seat of an abandoned car is enough to lead any crime scene investigator to draw the obvious conclusion. Answering the remaining questions of where the body went and how the victim was injured is as simple as a blood trail run cold, destroying any DNA that doesn't match the victim, and lots and lots of bullets.

    • Michael: (voice-over) As a spy, you get used to the idea that you sometimes have to ask your enemies for help. It's not an easy thing to do, but unfortunately the best information is often in the hands the worst people.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Surviving an enemy sniper attack is about finding adequate cover while being able to stay mobile enough to escape the shooter's pre-scouted kill zone. Pulling the shifter linkage of a parked car into neutral and using it as a rolling barricade allows you to do both...as long as you can get it moving.

    • Michael: You've seen my psych profile.
      Anson: I helped write your psych profile.
      Michael: Good. Then you know that if my friends are in danger, real danger, I will help them, whatever the risks.
      Anson: What's the point?
      Michael: My point is I'm no good to you dead or in jail. So you help me, and it's a lot more likely I will stay healthy, free, and useful to you.

    • Michael: (voice-over) When you want to catch a well-placed and well-protected spy, you can't just call local police. That kind of investigation takes high-level resources and an even higher level of operational secrecy, which means you have to start with someone connected to the very top.

    • Michael: (voice-over) The Cayman Islands are home to only 60,000 people, but thanks to lenient tax laws, it's the fifth-largest financial center in the world, but it's not banking like most people are used to. Bank locations tend to not offer services like online bill pay, drive-through teller windows, or even ATMs. What they lack in modern conveniences they make up for in guaranteeing their clients complete security and anonymity. Whether you're a Wall Street executive looking for a tax shelter or an international criminal hiding a small fortune, it's nearly impossible for government agencies to access your information when your bank of choice is nothing more than a number in a phone book, a sign on a window, and a sleazy banker with very white teeth.

    • Michael: (voice-over) When a spy is killed in the field, it's often hardest on the people they were spying on. Mourning the death of someone you thought you knew is complicated enough when the spy was a trusted colleague or friend. But it's even more difficult when they were someone you loved.

  • NOTES (1)