Burn Notice

Season 5 Episode 9

Eye for an Eye

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Aug 18, 2011 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
117 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Fiona and Jesse work together for a pharmaceuticals magnate, but soon realize that he is hiding something. Meanwhile, Michael and Sam take on a bomb-maker involved in Max's death.

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  • When a show is as formulaic as Burn Notice, even minor tweaks to the format can be welcome.

    Last week we saw the team split into pairs to tackle two separate missions, and that's how things start out this week as well. Michael is still following the trail of breadcrumbs to find out who tried to frame him for Max's murder, and this week that trail leads to Tallahassee, home of a Romanian war criminal and clock repairman with a sideline in building bombs—including the one that blew up the boat Michael escaped from a couple weeks ago.

    Michael and Sam take bomb-maker Lucien to Interrogation Shack #3 in an effort to find out who hired him, but the old man just keeps himself amused for days "remembering" various suspicious people who stopped by the shop. Back in Miami, Fiona tags along with Jesse on one of his security gigs, protecting the house of gazillionaire James Forte, inventor of a miracle drug. When Jesse and Fiona catch the intruder in Forte's palatial estate, he turns out to be their employer's ex-partner Dan, the real inventor of the anti-viral, who wanted to give the drug away and make the world a healthy, happy place. Forte didn't see it that way, so he hid drugs in Dan's suitcase, got him thrown into a South American prison, and stole his girlfriend for good measure. If you're still not 100% certain, let me make it unambiguous for you: Forte is the bad guy here.

    So now the plan changes from "protect Forte's house" to "break into Forte's impregnable lab and find the evidence that he framed his partner." It's more or less at this point that the Romanian bomb-maker plotline, which had at first seemed to be the main story of the week, vanishes completely for a half-hour or so. Jesse and Fi bring Michael in to do one of his more entertaining characters of the season, the vengeance-seeking psycho who blames Forte's drug for his mother's death. It's sort of Christopher Molitisanti crossed with a second-tier Batman villain, but it's pretty amusing.

    The rest of the episode is basically a cat-and-mouse game between our crew and Forte's company security team, and it proves to be more of a challenge than some of the recent "Michael controls everyone's mind with his brilliance" cases. Things actually go wrong along the way, and the team is forced to adapt and come up with new plans, and best of all, there's not much time for relationshippy talk. It's always a relief when this show remembers what it does best.moreless
  • 509

    "Eye for an Eye" is what it was. When you tune into Burn Notice you pretty much are asking for your weekly dose of stuff blowing up and Sam saying goofy things and you got that today, but some of these missions that the gang has been taking as of late seem thrown together at the last minute, tonight's plot included. Nothing here was that original, nothing here was that memorable, they've done heists like this in multiples before.

    Not a bad episode, I enjoyed it for the most part, but I would feel guilty if I did not fault them for the lack of originality. For that it was just "a'ight" for me, as Randy Jackson would say.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Michael: (voice-over) Even a fender-bender can stop traffic for a few minutes, but creating a longer-lasting roadblock is about provoking an emergency response. Cops and firefighters won't go anywhere near a burning chemical truck billowing smoke that looks toxic. Which means you can get four hours of roadblock with a smoke canister and a little gasoline.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Sleight-of-hand tricks aren't just for kiddie parties. The same misdirection and quick moves that a magician uses to find a quarter behind a 5-year-old's ear can also help an operative plant a listening device in someone's car.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Work long enough as a spy, and you learn that distress calls don't always work exactly as planned. Just because someone calls for help doesn't mean they're going to get it. A surprisingly high percentage of the time, friends turn out to be less concerned with rescue, and more concerned with making sure no one talks.

    • Fiona: (to Michael) Grand gestures are great; sometimes I think it's the day-to-day stuff that's the hard work.

    • Michael: (voice-over) The morning after a failed operation you have two choices: you can admit defeat and lick your wounds, or you can re-engage immediately. Sticking by your enemy so you'll be in position when you find another opening.

    • Michael: (voice-over) When a plan goes wrong, it's crucial to stay cool. You may have to bail out, but how you bail out is everything. Do you run and leave behind evidence that gives away your plans to your enemies, or do you keep your mission alive by covering your tracks?

    • Michael: (voice-over) When you're being smuggled into a secure area, the best hiding spot is somewhere that people are confident they've checked thoroughly. By attaching reflective window tint to multiple sheets of glass, you can create what's known as the infinity illusion; and just like any magicians won't tell you, as long as the light outside the space remains brighter than the space inside, you'll be as good as invisible.

    • Michael: (voice-over) People tend to implement security based on anticipated threats. They install firewalls and encryption if they were afraid of being hacked. They use vaults and armed guards if they were worried about being robbed. And if you need to get them to keep their personal security with them at all times, you have to make them afraid to ever be alone.

    • Michael: (voice-over) A good way to sell your expertise in protecting people is to point out holes in security that most people wouldn't notice. Pointing out holes in security is also a great way to create new holes in security.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Like Aikido masters, interrogators know that breaking their adversary isn't just about leverage. It's about knowing how and when to apply it; the moment your opponent feels most confident... is also the moment he's more susceptible to a game changing reversal.

    • Michael: (voice-over) When you're looking for an angle in an interrogation it often helps to let a subject watch you go through the details of his life right in front of him. Keeping one eye on your research and one eye on his reaction can tell you what he wants you to see, and what he doesn't.

    • Fiona: Well, just because you have all the equipment doesn't mean you know how to use it.

    • Michael: (about the bomb-maker) All his personal stuff fits into one box?
      Fiona: He's not a big scrapbooker.

    • Michael: (voice-over) The real experts in resisting interrogations aren't the ones who're in stone wall silence; they are the ones who have mastered the art of talking about nothing. Pretending to cooperate, throwing out endless leads. They use your need for information against you; giving you things you want to believe, all they're doing is running out the clock. You're not going to break them with conversation, you need an edge.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Only the smartest, nastiest war criminals make it to old-age. If you have to capture one of them, you can assume they'll have a trick up their sleeve; like a concealed weapon, a covert escape route, or a metal floor grate rigged to electrocute any unwanted visitors.

    • Michael: (voice-over) In any investigation, leads go cold fast. It's true for cops and even truer for spies who tend to be after more sophisticated class of bad guys. So if you get intelligence that the person you're chasing hired a bomb-maker who lives a few hours off the highway, you can't afford to sit on the information. You have to move immediately.

  • NOTES (2)