We watched over a full minutes worth of scenes for "previously on Burn Notice" before we got to see Michael and Madeline standing before a fire in the kitchen sink burning every document of their soon-to-be "former life," every shred of evidence they ever existed. Mike was throwing the whole "kitchen sink" of their lives into oblivion and demanded Madeline even give up the life's work of her address book she had started before she was married. Mike thought he was being consoling by telling her "I know what it's like to leave without saying goodbye, but it has to be this way." He had rationale against all her protests: "what if in an emergency we need to call someone," "what will everyone think" and "Nate's little boy shouldn't have to grow up without family"; and she reluctantly dropped the book into the fire herself. Sam and Jesse were right then trying to buy the special, high-tech passport security chips needed for their documents, from Vanek, the rival-smuggler who Schmidt had called a "douche-bag." Schmidt had refused to come with them claiming his "bad blood" would hinder the deal; but, in reality there was something more – much, much more! Vanek initially refused to deal with them until they went from $200 thousand to $400 thousand; then, on top of that, demanded they give Schmidt the message he was taking over his business in Yemen, China and South Korea and was going to put him out of business. "And," he said, "give him this" as he slugged Sam on the chin. Jesse restrained Sam from responding but determined that Schmidt was going to get the message.
While Mike, Sam and Fiona went to have Dixon
finish their documents, Jesse stayed at Schmidt's safe-house to watch it – and Madeline. It was good he did because she tried to sneak out and ostensibly "visit Nate's grave one last time."
He had to restrain her and point out that the "CIA will see that coming"
but she persisted until he pointed out that she wasn't the only person who didn't get to visit a grave - he didn't get to visit his mother's either! At Dixon's business Schmidt continued to whine and complain incessantly and even maligned Dixon for keeping them waiting in the parking lot. Dixon explained that he had "raised the noses and lowered the ears"
slightly with Photoshop so computerized facial recognition wouldn't catch them but to human agents they would look the same – "and these baby's never expire."
They were just using Dixon's laptop to verify the chip with the immigration computer when Vanek rolled up with his goons and gave them chase. Mike and the group were only in Schmidt's high-centered van so were easily out paced and eventually cornered in a factory of unidentified type; except that it had working heavy equipment, was a maze of corridors and passageways and was full drums of chemicals – at least Diethyl Ether.
Mike had to bodily restrain and threaten Schmidt with going out to talk to Vanek before he would admit that he had called the Feds in a ploy to eradicate the guy. Fiona went ballistic because Schmidt's self-centered attempt to eradicate his competition was bound to sweep them all up. Despite all that, Schmidt continued to manipulate, connive, bitch and moan… about everything… the whole time. Fiona flipped switches and amazingly the abandoned factory's lights came on as well as human-sized industrial exhaust fans. They escaped out into a corridor heading to the back of the building just ahead of Vanek's ten guys with automatic guns. Still complaining, as if all of this was Michael's fault, Fiona had to keep prodding Schmidt along while Mike called Jesse, told him of their predicament and asked him to meet them out back with an escape vehicle which could withstand a lot of bullets. They tried several hallways but eventually ended up in a dead end room, just as Vanek's guys discovered where they were, so needed to barricade themselves inside.
Jesse concocted an intricate plan to obtain a dump truck from a construction company with Madeline. They played Earl
employees from the truck's rental company, who were sent to retrieve it for safety issues. The driver refused, so Madeline offered to have the mechanic test the machine and see if there was a problem. Jesse had him start the engine and try the hydraulics etc. to load up the power. When the guy turned on the lights the blasting cap that Jesse had planted blew up – which got them the "loan" of the truck. When they got to the pickup point they saw smoke coming out of the stacks so called Mike and was told to wait while they tried to make it to the back door.
Schmidt, in his ongoing tirade of complaints, suggest they use their "fourteen bullets"
to kill the eleven guys chasing them. Sam had to point out that the room was filled with barrels of Ether which was "gasoline on steroids."
Vanek called Schmidt's phone and Mike took it from him. Vanek offered that they could walk out unharmed because all he wanted was Schmidt and pointed out that they were protecting a "whiney little git who hides behinds his clients."
Fiona tried to talk them into sending Schmidt out to "talk to Vanek"
while Mike shorted out the huge exhaust fan in the wall. They had just gotten the grates and the power to the fan turned off when Vanek found a fork lift that could break through the door. Mike and Schmidt made it out but then the back-up circuit kicked back on, trapping Fiona and Sam still behind the spinning fan. While Mike rigged up a heavy object to poke into the fan and stop it, Sam decided to dump all the Ether on the floor as a deterrent to Vanek. The guy did bust through the door ankle deep in accelerant and Sam held a lit torch as sort of a "dead man switch" to prevent Vanek from shooting. Michael was able to stop the fan and as Sam crawled through it he tossed the torch into the pool of Ether. Vanek shouted "you are not gonna' like how this ends"
as he scrambled out of the room.
When they got to the room with the back door they found it already guarded on the catwalk by Vanek's men. Schmidt's tiresome whining continued saying he was "more of a watch and learn kind a guy so why don't you guys go first."
So, they all did… to Schmidt's consternation. He took off after them. Everyone made it past the highly inaccurate gunfire from the guard's machine pistols, except Schmidt who ignored Mike's orders to keep running and not stop – which got him pinned down. Mike had to go retrieve the pathetic excuse for a man from his superficial, grazing wound and run the gauntlet a total of three times. Before they could exit the door however Jesse called saying that Vanek's guys were right outside the door and not to come out. The one time that Schmidt actually shut his mouth was during a very heated discussion where Fiona wanted him to go out and clean up his own mess. Even Mike was beginning to weigh in when Sam threatened "since when do we send people to their deaths to save our own asses?"
At the height of the argument Vanek phoned. He told Mike "Schmidt knows that I tag every chip that I sell so that I can track 'em later. A little insurance in case I get caught. Trading the location of fugitives can be worth a lot. So when Schmidt sent the feds after me, he was sending them after you too! My final offer is: you give Schmidt to me and I'll get you out of the country myself."
Seeing the divisiveness Schmidt was having on the group, Mike decided to not tell the others what Vanek had revealed. Instead he feigned that they could try setting an explosion to open a new entrance and sent them off to set it up. When they had gone, Mike grabbed Schmidt at gun point and took him outside to face Vanek together. He told Vanek "you want what's inside his head? Does that still work if there's a hole in it?"
Mike demanded that they drop their weapons and back up to behind the gate. Then he would send Schmidt over. He had Schmidt start walking (to his constant whining) but when he got half-way there Mike called for him to duck and shot out a power transformer causing it to explode into a barrier of flames between them. "That's our ride,"
Sam called from the window as Jesse broke through the fence in the truck. They all made their escape.
Back at the safe-house, Schmidt was trying to drown his sorrows in booze and when Mike asked if the passports would get them out of the country the ungrateful shit accused Mike for going to give him up. Then when Mike said "I needed you to think you would die."
Schmidt accused "There's no way you could have known about the transformer when you took me out!"
Mike explained that "if it wasn't the transformer it would have been something else. I needed to make an opening for Jesse to get his truck in."
The arrogant Schmidt blustered "is that the same kind of crap that you shovel down your team's throat?"
Mike calmly but threateningly moved to right in front of his face and said: "all people need to know is that I didn't want you to die, and you didn't!"
Schmidt backed down and claimed that the passports would get them to Argentina but if Vanek ever got picked up they would become radioactive. He said he was leaving the house that night but that they could use it as long as they wanted. He wouldn't tell Mike where he intended to go except "on the other side of the globe from you." "You saved my life and I'm grateful,"
he said "but I get the feeling that if I hang out with you much longer my luck's gonna' run out."
Mike just smiled. Jesse came in and told him that a car was missing and Madeline was gone. Mike found her at Nate's grave and only told her that "if the CIA were here they would have moved in already."
Madeline reminisced about Nate and dismayed that it didn't seem right leaving Nate here alone. Mike observed to her that "he wanted to take you to a better place… to keep you safe… to see you smile again."
He said "let me keep that promise. I owe it to you and Nate."
Before they left, Mike noticed flowers on the grave (which Madeline hadn't brought) and found a card that said: "Would love to chat - a friend. (305) 555-0174."