Burn Notice

Season 6 Episode 14

Down & Out

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Nov 29, 2012 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
70 votes

By TV.com Users

TV.com Episode Review


    Burn Notice "Down and Out" Review: Fugitivity

    While Burn Notice has seen its share of special guest-stars, Patton Oswalt's turn on the spy-go-round felt especially tailored to give the comedian-actor a sampler plate of espionage life. Outside of that, "Down and Out" was mostly a ho-hum, mission-client adventure.

  • Episode Summary

    Michael and his friends try to find a way to get out of the country. With Agent Riley closing in, they have to help to a smuggler before he help them.

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    • Down and Out

      The episode certainly had its slow points, and Patton Oswalt being involved in a torture sequence just seems way too out of character for the actor, but it also was not that bad as a whole.

      The action is still better than most things on TV these days, even if sometimes the storylines are a bit questionable.
    • filler

      There's really nothing else to say about this episode. Matt Nix and company must have needed to kill a night off the schedule to keep their master plan for the remainder of the season in order. The novelty of Patton Oswalt on Burn Notice of all things wore off very quickly. Sam's goodbye to Elsa fell flat (though not for lack of effort by the actors), because Elsa has had almost no actual screen time on this show, therefore I don't really care about her. We know Maddie's not going anywhere. Those of us who've read the casting notes know that Oswalt's character wasn't going anywhere for at least one more episode. There was zero movement on the main story arc, all Riley did in her two or so appearances was walk around and scowl.

      Yeah, I think that about covers it. Pretty barren hour of Burn Notice, not at all worth the two week wait. I'm already starting to forget what happened. Hopefully things get back on track next week.moreless
    Alon Aboutboul

    Alon Aboutboul

    Jabbar Hamady

    Guest Star

    Jennifer Bini Taylor

    Jennifer Bini Taylor


    Guest Star

    Patton Oswalt

    Patton Oswalt

    Calvin Schmidt

    Guest Star

    Sonja Sohn

    Sonja Sohn

    Olivia Riley

    Recurring Role

    David Fickas

    David Fickas

    Jack Dixon

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (16)

      • Michael: (voice-over) Counterintelligence usually starts as a subtle game of cat and mouse. Your adversary pretends not to be watching you, and you pretend not to notice, but the longer it goes on, the more inevitable it becomes that you'll end up in open warfare.

      • Michael: (voice-over) When an operation goes seriously wrong, you have to decide quickly whether to bail out or keep pushing and try to salvage what you can. Bailing out is less risky, but when it means leaving someone behind to die, sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and roll the dice.

      • Michael: When planning an escape, patience is key. Someone without training might jump at the first chance to strike, but that's exactly the wrong time, because that's when your enemy's most alert. In fact, the best time to make your move is after you've let plenty of other opportunities go by. The other advantage of patience is it gives you a chance to find out if the situation has changed.

      • Michael: (voice-over) If you think someone might be following you, the temptation is to drive erratically. It may force the tail to reveal itself, but it also reveals you're onto them. A better approach is to drive very conservatively. Go below the speed limit and linger at stop signs. You won't win any fans on the road, but it'll help you lose your tail. If they think you're simply an overcautious driver, it'll catch them off guard when you suddenly take a risk.

      • Michael: (voice-over) Most intelligence agencies lack the resources to set up safe houses all over the world, which is why they depend on expat civilians to lend their homes or businesses for missions abroad. If you're a former Syrian intelligence officer, the local Syrian restaurant can make a handy base of operations and save you a few bucks on lunch.

      • Michael: (voice-over) Spies will use whatever they can to get behind enemy lines, stealth, deception, and even capture. A prisoner of war can learn about enemy morale, supply, and location. Of course, the first thing you have to do is convince your enemies you're worth more alive than dead.

      • Michael: (voice-over) Surveillance doesn't always have to be covert to be useful. Sometimes the best way into a target's life is through the front door. There are advantages to being obvious when the goal is less about information-gathering and more about intimidation. There's nothing more jarring than realizing that your every move is being watched.

      • Michael: (voice-over) Electroshock torture is a messy business. While most of the damage is internal, the electric arc that's created can burn anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 degrees. If you want to look like you've been tortured, but aren't willing to hook yourself up to a car battery, a curling iron can create similar burns without the risk of stopping your heart.

      • Michael: (voice-over) Flashbang grenades may not be deadly, but if one goes off nearby, it can cause temporary blindness and hearing loss. The combination of those effects is enough to stun even the most hardened soldier. But if you can take cover in time to protect your vision, you can still stay in the fight. You may not be able to hear your enemy, but if you can see him well enough to pursue him, then it's just a matter of not letting the ringing in your ears distract you from taking him down.

      • Jesse: Why don't you just tell us why you're in hiding? Let's start there.
        Schmidt: How about I don't? How about you leave? All you need to know is there's a big, scary guy who wants to grind me into dust.
        Fiona: Mr. Schmidt, there are at least a half a dozen things in here that I could use to blow you into little-bitty pieces, and I would use the dust to powder my nose.

      • Michael: You might want to invite us in.
        Schmidt: Dixon, you slack-jawed, traitorous nimrod! I-- That's your spy friend!! I-I tell you I'm going off the grid, and you bring the most radioactive man in Miami to my door?!
        Michael: Are you gonna invite us in, or do I have to start shooting?

      • Michael: (voice-over) Counterintelligence, broadly speaking, is the practice of spying on someone who's spying on you. With a little patience, you can learn a surprising amount about your enemies just by watching their own surveillance teams. It starts with carefully observing who's at what location, when they're there, and how often. Once you have a list of possible candidates, you cross-reference with people from other surveillance sites. If anybody shows up more than once, it's a safe bet it's not just a coincidence. It's a lot easier to keep your secrets if you know who's after them.

      • Sam: Oh, come on, Dixon. After all we've been through? Didn't I get you a cargo plane last time I saw you?
        Dixon: Oh, yeah. That was easy to sell. I just put it on Craigslist and said, "ignore the bullet holes."

      • Michael: (voice-over) Even if you evade the FBI, ATF, and DEA, a life of crime is tough to explain to the IRS. That's why many career criminals have a day job. It gives them a cover I.D., access to equipment, and a real W-2. It also makes them easier to find if they won't answer your calls.

      • Michael: (voice-over) There's a reason fugitives are so paranoid. When you're on the run, even the smallest change in your environment can put you on high alert. But, then again, sometimes being paranoid pays off.

      • Michael: (voice-over) When you're a fugitive, it's tempting to flee the country and worry about the details later. But it's also a great way to get caught. Since most countries now require biometric I.D.s, the first step in getting out of town is getting good documents. You can't just go somewhere new. You need to be someone new when you get there.

    • NOTES (1)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)