Burn Notice

Season 1 Episode 3

Fight or Flight

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jul 12, 2007 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
379 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A single mother witnesses a drug dealer brutally beat up a man. Oleg asks Michael to help the woman, Cara, his best waitress, after she stops showing up for work.

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  • Answers

    Nice case about helping a mom and daughter from getting killed by the cartel by talking to the cops. Landlord agree to give him 4 months off rent if he would help them. Good action, engineering just like good ol macgyver. Michael finally get his first piece of information about how he got black listed.
  • A fun, well-acted episode. Nothing to write home about, though.

    As light as air, but very much watchable, Burn Notice is in no hurry to change gears anytime soon. The main plot this week is benefited by an injection of lighthearted action-scenes, but the rest of the episode never really kicks off in any significant way: Fiona is still trying to bed Michael before he leaves town, and we discover that Michael has some serious daddy issues. And, once again, we're teased about the overall arc during the final moments of the episode. Michael comes off a lot more competent as an agent during this episode, and the fact that we're being introduced to agents from his past fleshes out the character a wee bit, but the show still feels too self-contained, too restricted, and very by-the-numbers. And I really am trying to get my head around Fiona's Americano accent, I am, it's just...well...it's ridiculous. Still, it tickled me when Dublin was casually thrown into conversation in certain scenes.moreless
  • Michael helps a mom and her daughter escape from a drug dealer who's trying to get them killed.

    In this episode, Michael's landlord asks him to help a waitress who witnessed a drug dealer kill a man. The drug dealer wants to kill so that he wouldn't get in jail. Michael tries to talk to the cartel's lawyer, but only to get refused and making things even more difficult. Now he has to frame the drug dealer so that it would seem he's an informant for the fbi. Meanwhile, he gets in touch with an old spy-friend who can get his burn notice. And Fiona convinces him he should get his dad's car and to give her a key to his apartment.moreless
  • Michael keeps looking for answers

    Michael is still looking for those who burned him but hey, he needs to pay the bills and he takes this 'case'. Now that I've seen every season, it's good to go back and watch the old episodes and how every character was well defined from the beginning, specially Fiona. I liked the whole key situation and how Fiona made Michael give it to her. Michael fixing his father's car was really nice, he's finally trying to find some peace of mind.

    Ugh, I hated the young girl for a moment but I understand how hard it must be to leave everything behing all of a sudden and start over somewhere else. Great episode... Keep them coming!moreless
  • Good.

    I find this show to be very interesting. It's got a really weird atmosphere - almost feels like Magnum, or like, any show from the 80's. I enjoy Michael's character, but as far as the characters go, thats pretty much it. Fiona's cool too, but can be a little annoying in high dosage. The rest is not really all that interesting.

    The case of the episode - hmm. Intersting but this is supposed to be a spy show yet the episodic cases tend to be, well, rather low-scale. Although I enjoy the McGyver-like weapons and solutions, I think the main reason I tune in to this show is because I want to see a spy show.

    Michael's father being mentioned here and there and Michael finally visiting his grave was a nice touch, hopefully the show will continue to develop his character.

    The "overall" arc progression was laughable, I honestly believe it's actually unneccessery to be included in the show at this point. One of the main reasons though I enjoy this show is how witty it is. I like Michael's commentary and the subtle humor and light heartedness is awesome too. Also, the camerawork is often outstanding.

    Overall, an ok episode, but it almost feels as if im enjoying this show for the wrong reasons.moreless
George Tasudis

George Tasudis


Guest Star

Natalie Dreyfuss

Natalie Dreyfuss

Sophie Stagner

Guest Star

Dedee Pfeiffer

Dedee Pfeiffer

Cara Stagner

Guest Star

Marc Macaulay

Marc Macaulay

Agent Harris

Recurring Role

Brandon Morris

Brandon Morris

Agent Lane

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Michael's hand on the mug (after it being given to him by Cara) changes position between shots.

    • The alphanumeric tracking code and special access program code name on the Homeland Security Directive were 37104:AA920435:GTVKNJ37 and Cold Sunshine, respectively.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Michael: (voice-over) A drug cartel is a business. If killing a witness to protect a valued employee from jail time is the best way to keep making money, they'll do that. If it looks like that employee is testifying to the FBI though, they're just as happy to leave the witness alone and take care of their problem another way.

    • Bruce: You have no idea who you're dealing with...
      Michael: No, I read the article. Most of it anyway. Scary guys, drugs, guns... Did I miss something?

    • Michael: (voice-over) I love commuters. Anybody who drives the same route to work everyday, it's like they're doing all the work for you... and a punctual commuter, a guy who's in the same place every morning at 8:36am, it's almost too easy.

    • Michael: If they had any brains at all, they would put the word out there. You show up, and someone makes a phone call.
      Sophie: You really think they would use kids at my school?! Are you serious?
      Michael: Yeah. That's what I would do.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Threaten any serious criminal organization, and they're going to do one of two things: they'll send someone to make a deal... or they'll send someone to make a corpse. Either way you've got something to work with.

    • Michael: (voice-over) When faced with a superior force, you can do two things: you can retreat quietly, or you can attack with as much fanfare as possible.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Convincing a bully to back down is usually a matter of showing them you're not afraid of them. Of course, some bullies have guys with .357 Magnums... then you change tactics.

    • Michael: (voice-over) My father's approach to machinery was similar to his approach to his family. If you don't like how something works, keep banging on it till it does what you want. If something doesn't fit, force it. And above all, make sure it looks good on the outside.

    • Sophie: So we're supposed to stay in here, in the garage, and do nothing?
      Michael: Pretty much. It's not so bad as safe houses go. You got a TV at least. I once spent three days in Riyadh storage facility with nothing but a flashlight and an Arabic celebrity magazine.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Approaching a spy in the middle of a job gives you a lot of leverage. They're playing a delicate game, and the last thing they want is someone coming in and smashing their delicate game with a brick.

    • Michael: (voice-over) When you go on the run, the first thing you do is lay down tracks in the opposite direction, but that only works if the bad guys find the trail and believe it's for real. Which means selling it. You need to put on a little show, make them feel clever. When you make somebody work to get a piece of information they'll believe it that much more because it's hard to get.

    • Sophie: (to Michael) What are we supposed to do in Buffalo?
      Michael: Same thing you do here, there are malls... and clothing stores.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Faking a surveillance video has come a long way, it used to be slaving over a VHS tape with a razor blade. Now it's a few hours and a computer.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Asking my Mom for anything is a lot like getting a favor from a Russian mob boss. He'll give you what you want with a smile, but believe me, you'll pay for it.

    • Michael: (voice-over) Basic rule of bodyguarding, never fight with the protectee around, mostly because if they catch a stray bullet, you're out of the job.

    • Michael: (voice-over) But in the end, sometimes making an escape is just about being willing to do what the guy chasing you won't. Like jump off a building.

    • Michael: (to Sam) Well, I'll tell you what, if there's a situation that requires showing off your upper body and boozy flirting, you're my guy.

    • Michael: What're you doin', Mom?
      Madeline: (while smoking) Makin' a salad. I'm gettin' healthy.
      Michael: Does the recipe call for cigarette ash?

    • Sophie: It's a freaking garage. I'd rather be killed than live here.
      Michael: Well, those are your two options.

    • Michael: (looking at his father's gravestone) "Beloved" is a bit of a stretch.

    • (Michael is attempting to console Sophie)
      Sophie: So you're saying that if we're meant to be together that we'll find each other.
      Michael: Sure.
      Sophie: You're really bad at this.
      Michael: Yeah.

    • Michael: Sam, I need you to come to the safe house.
      Sam: Yeah, let me just put on some pants.
      Michael: Come naked, just come now!

    • Michael: (voice-over) International conferences attract spies for the same reason hotel bars attract hookers. You can do business and drink for free.

    • Fiona: Michael would change his identity and disappear to get out of a parking ticket.

    • Michael: Listen. (sighs) I need the car. The Charger.
      Madeline: Oh, Michael, that's wonderful! Your father always wanted you to have something to remember him by.
      Michael: Oh, (touching scar on his cheek) I have this to remember him by.
      Madeline: I remember what fun you two had always working on cars in the garage.
      Michael: Fun? I remember him making me fake a seizure at Mr. Goodwrench so he could steal spark plugs. I remember him quitting every project early and handing me a to-do list to finish the job for him.
      Madeline: And look at you now, Michael. So many things you can do.

  • NOTES (3)

    • When Michael gives the newspaper to Bruce, the journalists who wrote the cover story (Craig O'Neill and Jason Tracey) are the writers for this episode.

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Bojuj nebo uteč! (Fight or Run!)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Brazil: October 16, 2007 on AXN
      New Zealand: November 18, 2007 on TV3
      Australia: February 5, 2008 on TEN
      Czech Republic: February 27, 2008 on Prima
      Sweden: March 2, 2008 on TV6
      United Kingdom: October 19, 2008 on FX
      Germany: October 12, 2009 on Vox
      Slovakia: February 17, 2010 on JOJ
      Finland: February 15, 2010 on MTV3