Burn Notice

Season 1 Episode 10

False Flag

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Sep 13, 2007 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
326 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Michael is hired to track down a woman's estranged husband, who has disappeared with their son. Michael soon finds himself pitted against somebody just as skilled and dangerous as he is.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Assassin

    Good job on this episode, Michael excepts a case where he becomes emotionally involve with a client that turns out to be an assassins he must put together his skills to try to protect the people he cares about, before she gets to them. Great action and Macgyver stuff that was exciting to watch, lol it was funny I was thinking how the show was going to be like when he went to DC when is friend Sam told him that the guy who burned him was coming to Miami. This lay the events for the final moments in this season.moreless
  • Review

    Great episode. This show never tries to overdo it with its characters. I think thats one of the reasons Im starting to like more and more shows that are on the USA network. They have such a low budget but that actually turns out to be a good thing because it means less characters to follow along with as well as extended scenes for more character interaction because they dont have the resources to have but so many scenes in an episode. This episode in particular highlighted that fact with the extended scenes. The scene with Michael and the assassin on the rooftop was one of the best of the series. You have two people here with a breif history which was explained in the episode and although she was an evil woman it seemed like she was very happy to see Micheal in Miami and when she went over the rooftop I thought her final line, while being a bit made for television, was still very good. Loved the case, like how it turned in the middle from what we were expecting it to be. The man who burned Michael seems to be on his way down to Miami for the finale, perhaps we are finnaly going to get some answers for a change.moreless
  • Filled with twists and turns.

    This episode was pretty much a mini example of what Seasons 2, 3 and 4 are like. The first half introduces the plot, the characters start to solve the problem, and then BOOM!, in the middle of it all something big happens that sets up the second half and eventually the ending.

    The beginning of this episode was pretty average for a Season 1 BN episode. Some story involved about Michael searching for who burned him, then the client stuff comes in after Michael asks Lucy for a fake ID. The client is a woman named Evanlyn who has lost her child with her husband. So the gang starts to search the husband's house and Sam notices a catolog with a vacationy woods area thing. So they go search a nearby camp ground featured in the catolog. Michael goes with Evanlyn to question the dad, when the BOOM! moment happens.

    The father is there, but he is not with the kid. In fact, the kid is at a friends house! So then Michael turns around and finds Evanlyn, who is not the mother of the kid, but instead an assassin sent to kill him. The father is now the new client.

    The next half of the episode starts off with Michael trying to protect the father from Evanlyn, and eventually escapes. Back in Miami Michael, Sam and Fi are trying to figure out how to protect the new client and catch Evanlyn. Michael ends up running into Evanlyn in a public area and finds out that she was an old aquantince of his back at his spy days. The next part is where they end up escorting the father at a certain place and time, knowing that Evanlyn was watching. Michael catches Evanlyn and the bad guy...or girl...loses of course, but the way it was done was undoubtfully the finest of the season.

    Now Michael gets a fake ID from Lucy to travel to D.C. and meet the guy that burned him, but Sam gives him some news: the man that burned him is coming to Miami to meet him, which sets up for the first of many Burn Notice finales.moreless
  • I love the idea of retroactive brilliance, the idea that you have a bad impression of something until later on, when you realize what they were doing. I initially hated this episode, until the mid-way point...moreless

    Sometimes what is presented to you is designed to throw you off the trail of the plot. The savvy television viewer is able to spot the solution to a plot long before it is executed by the heroes.

    That is primarily the reason I enjoyed this episode, because it really kept me guessing. But let me explain the first half.

    The introduction to the client of the week made me feel let down. Burn Notice had done such a good job on keeping things fresh and unique. Evelyn's presense for that first half of the story really grated on me. Michael started to get personally involved, and he says in the narration that it wa a bad idea. His "romantic" affections towards Evelyn was just awkward. It certainly didn't help that it was Lucy Lawless. Unfortunately being the "special guest star" meant that everyone LOVES her and that of course Fiona is jealous. All of the frustrating elements of the first half took a sky dive around one of the best narrative lines of the series. "A basic rule of covert ops is let someone do your dirty work, let someone else find the guy you want to kill. It's a great technique, as long as you're not the someone else." All of the problems I had with the first half felt like a distraction to keep me from guessing that twist. And the twist was good enough to make me forgive the first half. What made this so good was that finally Michael was outmanuevered. Someone actually beat him at his own game. Now Michael has to step up his own skills to beat her. And of course he does.

    And with that same Burn Notice technique, he is able to accomplish his goal through intelligent planning and careful anticipation. It may not be entirely realistic, but the show has enough confidence in itself. That is how Burn Notice works. Michael does some amazing things but his logic behind his plans makes sense to the viewer.moreless
  • good episode....

    Michael is asked to help a mother find her son. Michael gets attached to the case because of his past, which he soon finds out doomed him. The mother turned out to be an assasin that wanted a man dead and used Michael to find him. In the end, Michael was able to stop her and she killed herself. Interesting . . . I liked the character interactions between Michael and the mother. I also liked how Sam and Fiona reacted to it. I loved the idea of two spies pitted against each other. Overall, another good, solid episode of Burn Notice.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Fiona mentions that Sam's old bullet-proof jacket smells of "Old Spice and bourbon". As of 2007, Bruce Campbell, who plays Sam, does television adverts for Old Spice.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Michael: (voice-over) It's impossible to stop a good assassin from finding an opening and taking a shot. The best you can do is control where the best opening is, and sometimes that's enough.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Shoot a propane tank, and you'll just get a cloud of cold gas. You need an open flame and real good aim.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Remove the trigger bar spring from a SIG-Sauer P228, and you've got a 9mm semi-automatic door stop.

    • Michael: (voice-over) A basic rule of covert ops is let someone do your dirty work, let someone else find the guy you want to kill. It's a great technique, as long as you're not the someone else.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Facts are the hallmark of a good false identity. It is harder to create history than it is to alter it. Plus, the more truth to your lie, the easier it is to remember.

    • Fiona: Admit it Michael, you need me. You don't even have your own hairpin!

    • Michael: (voice-over) Co-operations need spies just like governments do. Of course they are not called spies, they are called security consultants. They are basically mercenaries with nice suits.

    • Michael: (voice-over) A guy with a gun is a guy with a gun. You can fight him and risks someone being shot, or wait for back-up.

    • Michael: (voice-over) A fake identity is known in spy trade as a false flag. Used to be you can make your own documents with a printer and a laminator. These days though, IDs have magnetic strips, holograms and infrared watermarks. You need a pro.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Assassination is 1% shooting and 99% preparation. Anticipating moves, devising approaches, recruiting sources; finding the perfect opportunity so the bullet's almost an afterthought. Usually that's when targets are on the move, when there are too many variables to control them all.

    • Michael: (voice-over) One of the things you learn in training is to avoid situations that cut too close. If you had a rough childhood, a situation with an abusive father and a vulnerable kid is gonna make you angry. That could be motivating. But it can also be dangerous.

    • Michael: How's my Mom?
      Sam: Locked up cozy and tight with a cigarette and a shotgun. Ready to kill anything that walks through the door.

    • Fiona: Evelyn comes along and she's attractive, sweet, needy. Don't deny it.
      Michael: Fine!
      Fiona: Isn't it interesting she turned out to be who she turned out to be. What shall we make of that?
      Michael: You made your point, Fi.
      Fiona: Did I?
      Michael: Yep, you did.

    • Fiona: Doug is sleeping peacefully.
      Michael: You gave him something.
      Fiona: Maybe, well, half of something.

    • Michael: Sam, I need you to call the US attorney and tell them we're bringing in Doug tomorrow morning.
      Sam: I'm on it.
      Michael: And, uh, someone needs to go to my Mom's. See that she's safe, make sure her house is secure.
      Sam: Think she's cooked dinner yet?
      Michael: I'm sure she'll heat something up for you, Sam.
      Sam: Well, then I'm on that, too.
      Michael: Fi, I need you to prep an armed escort. Doug! I need you to stay away from the windows!

    • Michael: (voice-over) Just because there are no windows or doors doesn't mean there are no exits. The thing to look for is an air conditioner unit, that's where the wall is weakest. Also, people watch doors, they don't watch air conditioners.

    • Michael: I can't talk about this right now.
      Fiona: Why not?
      Michael: Because I have a hard time focusing when I'm in handcuffs!

    • Sam: Here ya go, Doug: my lucky vest.
      Michael: It'll look great over my shirt.
      Doug: Thanks.
      Sam: It's a little worn, but it'll do the trick.
      Doug: Are these bullet holes?
      Sam: Yeah, I broke it in for ya.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Falešná identita (Fake Identity)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: April 16, 2008 on Prima
      Sweden: April 20, 2008 on TV6
      Australia: July 21, 2008 on TEN
      Germany: November 30, 2009 on Vox
      Slovakia: February 26, 2010 on JOJ
      Finland: April 5, 2010 on MTV3

    • This is the first time Lucy Lawless and Bruce Campbell have worked together since Xena: Warrior Princess, where Bruce Campbell had a recurring role.