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Burn Notice: “Bad Breaks”


Burn Notice

“Bad Breaks”

Season 2 , Episode 13

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Well that was a wild one, huh?
For about the first ten minutes of tonight’s Burn Notice, I was mildly befuddled, trying to figure out why the show had completely abandoned its master-plot in favor of two unrelated stories: the harassment of Michael by blackmailed government agent Jason Bly, and Michael’s investigation of an internet stalker who’s been pestering one of his mother’s acquaintances. Not that it wasn't fun watching Bly annoy Michael by having our hero's loft condemned, but by the time the client—who’s never actually named as “The Client,” curiously—was showing Michael around her super-private bank, I was thinking that we were in for another routine “Michael thwarts corporate espionage” plot, and I wasn't getting why the Bly story was being relegated to a subplot.
Then Bly walked into the bank during the client's tour, in order to keep the pressure on Michael. And Bly was closely followed by the client's internet stalker, Prescott, who was armed with a cache of weapons and backed by a crew of bank robbers. And we were off to the races.
After my complaints last week about the lack of neato spy tricks in “Seek And Destroy,” I’d be some kind of hypocrite if I didn’t love “Bad Breaks.” I mean, c’mon: We had Michael impersonating a doctor in order to get the latitude to slink around the bank, sabotaging Prescott by drugging his men, turning his vault-cutting tools into self-destructing weapons, and turning the bank’s Ethernet into a cell phone transmitter so he could contact Sam. We also learned how to cut through a wall with a pair of scissors (by starting at the sockets), how to trick a mark into thinking that the pills you’re giving him are safe (by ingesting some yourself, and then vomiting them back up before the coating dissolves), and how to jam an elevator with a door-stopper. And we had the coup de grace to Michael’s plan: Operation Quicksilver, which involved Sam representing himself as some kind of powerful crime boss who would crush Prescott and his men if they messed with “his bank.”
All that, plus Michael found time to have dinner with his mom, fix his favorite chair with duct tape, and patch things up with Bly (who proved to be an asset to his plan inside the bank, and some small help with the bomber-hunting story arc). I mean, there were so many gears turning in this well-constructed contraption of an episode that I spent most of the hour nodding in gleeful appreciation.
Sure, there may have been a few too many coincidences here or there, but hey… I’ve got enough faith in Michael to believe that no matter what was in that bank, he would’ve found a way to use it to his advantage. Besides, I can’t think of the last bank-heist movie I saw that was this much fun.
Grade: A-
Stray observations:
-“You just assumed I was never going to broil anything?”
-After all the talk here in the comment section last week about where Michael’s money goes, I was amused to hear him and Sam bickering over their meager operating budget. Then again, who wouldn’t sympathize with Sam’s dream to date a woman with six beach houses and a quad keg-erator?
-I love that Sam and Fi still squabble with each other over who Michael needs more.
-According to Bly, Michael dresses “like an Easter Egg.”
-“There’s a place between life and death. It’s amazing how long a man can linger there.”
-Did you know that Burn Notice has been outperforming some network shows in its prime-time slot? Sometimes the good guys win.