Burn Notice Friends and Enemies

Full Summary of Episode 45

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401 - Friends and Enemies (45)  

Photo of Burn Notice TV season four episode 401
The "previously on Burn Notice" segment was so extensive it pretty much had to summarize the whole of season 3 - ending with Simon on the ground chortling "you're just like me," agent Callahan telling Madeline that there was "no telling what Hell hole Michael Westen was in" and M sitting dazed in an opulent sitting room with fruit baskets and a fireplace. A man named Vaughn entered in "$1,200 shoes" and thanked M for what he did for the "old man, Management," who was now safe in an undisclosed location and Simon, who was locked away in a prison. He proclaimed himself Ms new friend and M replied "you're not my friend." Vaughn tossed M a thick folder and said "let me know when you're ready to talk." After reviewing the extensive documentation inside a cell he called for Vaughn who wanted to know what they all meant. M said there were "crop burnings, assassinations, little wars around the world all connected to some fat bank accounts."  Vaughn said that they needed Ms help in stopping the people behind the bank accounts. He said Simon's escape wasn't an accident, "it was an attack… against us." M asked "who is us, exactly" and Vaughn merely spun rhetoric about government's needing help with some things "best done by people who no longer have official ties to the government… like burned spies." M couldn't believe that with all their connections they needed him. Vaughn said if "this were a foreign government you might would be right, but this is a new kind of problem, this is about a guy who is willing to let a guy like Simon blow up Miami to protect his cash flow." He claimed that M and he were on the same side whether he liked it or not. He claimed that he knew M had "some bad experiences," some of their people were psychopaths, "but that's over now." He said that M would be "not an errand boy, a partner."  Vaughn asked "where would YOU begin" and M replied that many of the wars linked back to a weapon's supplier, Gregory Hart, who uses a sat phone to do his banking. Vaughn said "lets go talk to him together and then you can decide whether you're in or out."  As M turned away, Vaughn grinned as though he had won a victory.
In the jungles of South America, Vaughn handed M an automatic and said "if you want to… shoot me." M said, "I'll take a rain check." As Hart was telling them that he worked for a "16 digit Swiss bank account and an anonymous email address" M spotted an incoming explosive drone. Vaughn shot Hart's leg to "make him talk" but he didn't know anything more, he said that "I was a dead man the minute you started coming for me." They left just before the drone came in shooting and used anti-tank missiles to obliterate the compound, hitting Vaughn and knocking him to the ground. Vaughn asked "are you in or are you out?" Ms burn was apparently still in effect because he had to ride back to Miami in a cargo hold. From the balcony of a plush hotel, Vaughn told M that "this wasn't the first time. Whoever, is killing 'our people' and not just 'ours.' CIA, German intelligence… anyone who gets close, gets dead!" M asked flippantly, "so now it's MY turn?" Vaughn replied that he knew it was dangerous but they were betting that Michael Westen could succeed where others had failed. M made it clear that "this is MY investigation. Simon came after me, you asked for MY help, we do it MY way." Vaughn told him, "there's a car waiting outside, say hello to your mother for me." Madeline gave him a subdued and tearful "welcome home Michael." Exhausted, M said he was "sorry about everything," and Madeline just said they would talk later and that he should go see Fiona who she hadn't heard from since he had been gone.
Fiona gave him a welcome kiss while she loaded her guns to go protect a client which she and Sam had taken. She explained that a good Samaritan lawyer, Winston, had tried to help a girl by impounding her "ex's" bike which turned out to be the enforcer of a biker gang who had now put out a contract on him. Sam honked and they had to run out on their way to rescue Winston from Hunter and his squad who had come to kill the lawyer. Winston tossed a sack of all his money onto the lawn to pay the gang off but they just set it afire. M told Sam and Fiona to stay in the car while he went in to bluff it holding Mac 10 automatic weapons in both hands. The gang left saying they would be back and M had to ask "so who's that guy again?"  After the adrenaline rush was over, it was M who pouted that Fiona had just "went on with her life and acted like nothing had happened." So, this is Fiona, she slugged him. Then kissed him. She said that "knowing you I don't know whether to be more worried where you were, or why you're back." He told her that saving Management had earned him some trust and he was working on something. That, of course, began this season's war for Fiona. M decided that plan "A" was to have Barry set up some blackmail which made it financially more secure to keep Winston alive than to kill him. Barry made it look like Winston was doing guns for the Breaker so that if they killed him it would start an investigation. Fiona needed to get into the breakers records and obtain account data; and, this is Fiona, she did with seduction, subterfuge and knocking people out before climbing out a window.
Vaughn called requesting M "drop by" and gave him information that Hart was being investigated by counter-intelligence group who had offices near a Miami military base. He handed M a key card and said to go get the information but said he would disavow any relationship if he got caught. He also already knew about Ms dealing with the biker gang and told him to "go back to work Robin Hood." He did by blasting his way into Big Ed's girlfriend's house. The girlfriend turned out to be as brain-dead and bitchy as Hunter. She caused a diversion with Sam long enough for M to get slugged by Big Ed and have to ride him around while knocking him out with pressure on his carotid. Finally Sam had to slug Darla to get her off him. Tied up, Ed proclaimed that Winston was green-lit for the honor of the Breakers; then, listened as they outlined all the blackmail evidence they had on him. Ed asked "who are you" and M said "I'm a man of honor, just like you." Ed called Hunter and told him to come over alone; but, like an idiot he telegraphed that he was calling off the "green light on the lawyer." Hunter didn't come alone. Instead he came with his own crew and pulled a gun on Ed calling him an old man who shouldn't be giving orders and shooting him. M came in a'blazing and Winston rescued Ed into their car. They were chased by Hunter shooting at them and called Fiona to "bring the rest of the gang." She slugged one of them and stole one of their bikes then led the gang to Biscayne Highway where they assisted in taking down Hunter and his boys. Ed gave Winston Hunters jacket and told everyone to leave the guy alone.
We then saw Winston getting a Breaker's tattoo and saying "you should keep Michael around." M finally went back to have a talk with Madeline. She said it wasn't so much having him gone that was bad but that the FBI explaining that he was a monster. He had to explain about Simon once being like him, then turning rogue and then being blamed for things Simon had done. He said he had "spent my entire career officially being nowhere. So it's not hard to pin things on someone who's job is to never have an alibi." He told her, he had worked with bad people because he had to get Simon. She asked "that's it? It's as simple as that?"  "I don't know," he said very melancholy, "when I caught Simon he laughed." With voice cracking M continued, "he said it was just a matter of time until I was just like him." That finally subdued Madeline who hugged him and said "he's wrong… that's not the man I raised." A big mistake, Michael used Fiona to give him a ride to get the information he and Vaughn needed. She ragged on him as though she hadn't been with him through all the issues. He got out, but just enough in time to watch as fed types screeched up and hauled off a counter-intelligence man named Jesse Porter who was being blamed for breaking into (his own case?) files. Later Sam came to the loft and explained that they weren't going to prosecute because they would have to declassify the files. They were going to burn him instead - "Mike, you just burned a spy," Sam said.
Actually this was a good episode for content, there was a lot of it. Some fans have critiqued this episode as not "breaking" from the "A" story/ "B" story type of plot; which is ridiculous, because that is why this show works.  Most fans critique about the hokey, tired scripting for Fiona and Madeline. In this episode, Madeline was given two competing personalities. She showed understanding and consideration when she told him "we'll talk later"; then, acted pissed and gritchy when he did come back. She acted hateful and condescending until he broke down then acted tender and compassionate.  It's as though the writers don't really have a handle on either Madeline or Fiona and merely throw in lines that sort of fit the action that they need at the time. Let's hope that sooner or later they figure it out and get it together. It would be nice if this show got to continue for a few more seasons.

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