The "previously on Burn Notice" scenes weren't any easier to watch in this episode than when we saw them for real in the last episode. We saw Michael screaming at the freshly killed Jack Vale "Who's Tyler Gray"; then segway to standing passively buttoning his shirtsleeves musing in voiceover about being careful who you shared any new information with. In came Fiona, in yet another of her all-to-tiresome rages, flailing and ranting about what an idiot Michael was to bring the CIA into it. After putting up with her tirade, Michael finally pushed back with the edict "I'm not going to let the man who killed my brother get away. I don't care who I have to work with." He explained that he was meeting Card who had called with information he had already found. In a self-aggrandizing, rapid-fire litany, Card blurted about: using all his tech geeks – entire Tyler Gray file – using FBI, CIA and Interpol databases – over 1,000 partial matches – photos sharing the tiniest detail with Gray. Then about it having only taken a low level gremlin, using NSA's supercomputer on the "global system," seventy-two hours to discover: video of a Barrett sniper rifle being stolen from a warehouse in San Miguelito Panama and that the same guy had flown out of Newark under a different name three hours after Nate was murdered. Of course, the computer could zoom in on a crystal clear image of Tyler Gray. Card admitted that "in this office I can tell any story that I want" and everyone had been told they were only investigating a weapons theft. He demanded, over Michaels anger, that only people who already knew the truth could go to Panama: him, Jesse, Fiona and – "Mr. Chin, whoever that is." Brady Pressman, who failed at finding Anson and took it personally, was also going with them to lead the mission. Then Card warned: "Whatever happens in Panama stays in Panama."
Uncharacteristically, Michael went to say goodbye to his mother, Madeline
, who didn't accept his excuse that he would be safe because he was taking along Jesse, Fiona and Sam
. "That means nothing bad's gonna happen?"
she warned. Conciliatory, he offered to call or check in with her, which only upset her more. "That's not good enough! Who do I call when YOUR call doesn't come?"
she demanded. He then gave her the phone number of Card's secretary at the CIA which seemed to stun her into silence for a moment. "Why are you really here? Since when do you drop by and fill me in on CIA secrets?"
Michael struggled to tell her basically he was trying to turn over a new leaf to "try to… begin to… make up for what happened to Nate."
He stumbled "I know you blame me."
She interjected "Not just you. There's blame to go around."
When he still stumbled that he was sorry and didn't know what else to do, she screamed back at him that "I don't want your apology!" "Every mistake Nate ever made was because he wanted to be like you. He had no business being out there, none!"
Mike miserated "I shouldn't have put him in harm's way,"
and Madeline replied "but you did. And I did nothing to stop you." "He only wanted to help you because he knew how proud of you I was,"
she continued. "I was his mother and my job was to protect him from you."
He reached out to touch her but she pulled away and shunned him – so, he had nothing else to do but get up and leave.
Fiona continued her adolescent tantrum all the way to Panama, where Pressman seemed to be competent and doing everything possible to be a team. She arrogantly pontificated about needing a masonry drill bit before Pressman could finish showing a state of the art breaching frame that didn't need to be mounted with screws. Sam instantly put dibs on the M-110 rifle with a state-of-the-art scope and Jesse recognized the APR-556 as being a "corner-shot" weapon that could shoot around corners. Mike and Jesse got level five body armor and Fiona continued her childish tirade by accusing "so, while we're risking our asses you're hanging back behind the front line"
flouncing off in order to get attention. Stunned, Pressman said "wow, she really doesn't like me"
and Mike made obviously feeble excuses for her. They went over all of the operation without Fiona. The next morning Mike found her at the window saying she wasn't able to sleep. She claimed she had only seen a sky that same color over the Irish Sea. She made a lame apology about "being difficult"
then re-hashed her opinion that they should be fighting this on their own and absurdly excusing that they "owed it to Nate."
Mike responded "we owe it to Nate to find his killer – period"
and then spotted an ambush team coming to get them. They somehow had been "made" and guys dressed in black were coming with automatic weapons. Mike took the team through a breech Fiona had made in the roof and Sam was first to run up and over Mike's launching pad, jumping to the roof of the building next door. Groaning, Sam advised "Try and roll when you land"
and Jesse complained "Just a heads up, I'm not wearing any shoes."
Back in Miami Madeline took Card's phone number, which Michael had given her, and turned it into a personal visit to the CIA where she threatened Card with exposing his Panama mission in order to get "everything you know about the operation that killed Nate."
Card placated her by showing her Nate's file and autopsy report claiming it wasn't to leave the file room. She told him that she could keep a secret. When she had seen it, he asked her if she was satisfied. She said "no" and, when he was condescending, had to tell him "I lost my husband and my youngest son all because of this agency. So, don't tell me about loss."
He asked "what do you want from me"
and she replied "just decency and answer to my question."
He capitulated, so she said that their home life wasn't a secret and admitted that it was her choice not to leave Frank. She described that her choice had seem to make Michael strong and capable but had destroyed Nate. "How do two brothers turn out so different?"
His pithily-insipid response compared dropping two bottles. They both break but one shatters and the other breaks into a jagged-edged weapon. "People don't all break the same"
he told her and that she was just focusing on the bad. "Michael is damaged… but he also happens to be a little boy who just wants to protect his mommy and his kid brother. Which means that all the people he ever helped actually have to thank – you and Nate."
To Brady's initial dismay, they decided to go out after Gray before he came and found them. Pressman and Jesse found Gray while Mike and Fiona used their cobbled up resources to build a flash-bang grenade and a breeching charge to use against Gray's armored SUVs. That's what Fiona wanted and she said so. "This is how it SHOULD be. You and me, working together – alone."
Mike told her that "after I get Gray, I'll leave. Iím out."
She recounted, "if we live long enough to see that happen, it sounds really good."
Brady located Gray in league with "los Hermanos," a gang of ex-military thugs, and was taken back when Jesse broke the digital display off of the fifty thousand dollar experimental scope he had given Sam. "Now we can actually use it, you're welcome,"
Jesse replied indignantly. He was basically able to take out the guard at their snatch point single-handedly, which finally got him some shoes to wear – even if he did have to cut out the toes and patch them with duct tape. Mike, despite his injury, demanded that he be the one to "put Gray in the trunk."
In the extraction Gray used one of his own men as a shield against their flash-bang grenade and was able to escape. They followed Gray to an empty warehouse where they found he had shot his own driver and fled to the building. Brady was shot in the leg and both Fiona and Jesse had to get themselves pinned down while Mike and Sam went to the roof. Mike called Card for backup and was told to "stand down," but he said it wasn't up for discussion and to "accept my apology in advance."
Sam acted as ballast on the rope while Mike jumped off the roof and swung through the window crashing down on Gray. He told Gray not to move then had to hit him again when he did.
However, the whole story began turning on its head when, in order to save all of their lives, Gray revealed that it had been Card who sent him down there in the first place. "This was supposed to be a suicide mission for you. Westen goes down to Panama, things go wrong, Westen gets ambushed by a merc squad, Westen goes home in a box. Only one problem – you just won't die."
To prove he was telling the truth, Gray suggested calling Card and claim that he had escaped. He predicted that Card would tell Mike to stay where he was instead of going after Gray and also stated that Card had told him Mike loved to hear people say they were proud of him – "right before telling me to go for the head shot."
Mike did call Card and listened while Card lied through his teeth about having Gray on surveillance going into an alley. Mike got Gray out of the building, threw him into their van and drove away just as an F-18 flew over and launched a missile at the building where Mike was supposed to be. At the same time Card was shown telling Madeline that the "One thing you'll always get from me is the truth."
He told her that he had always been hard on Michael because he had always thought of him as a son. Sam advised that they only had about 30 seconds before the jet flew around to make another run at them. Brady said they were firing Mavericks and they would never get clear of the blast radius. When Mike demanded they try he relented and stopped the car. After everyone else had gotten out, he drove off down the road and they all watched as the missile blew the car into a fireball. Card told Madeline that he was "deeply, deeply sorry"
and watched her round the hallway before he punched a number into his phone and said "please tell me that it's done."
Mike, Sam, Fiona, Jesse stood, while Gray knelt tied, in the amber light of the fiery explosion and Sam voiced: "So, what the hell do we do now?"