Now, we all love BURN NOTICE for the fun and informative tricks o’ the trade Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) shares about being a spy. Well, this week he found a more productive use for his insider knowledge: getting a job. Specifically, getting a job as a fake security consultant by sharing his SpyTips with one Mr. Bocklage (played by Alan Dale – you remember him; dude last seen on LOST. The man with the best agent in showbiz, since he lands on all the best shows, up to and including TORCHWOOD). Michael showed Bocklage how a thief used infrared paint to map out an escape route for a robbery planned for that night. And Michael didn’t show this one to Bocklage, but how cool was that little trick of tying off the hydraulic arm on the door to create an instant lock? Brilliant!
Anyway, the main point of this week’s installment was to interrogate captured contract killer Kendra (Navi Rawat). Jesse (Coby Bell) was anxious to interrogate Kendra, but Michael was playing it cool. How does one squeeze information out of a stone-cold professional who’s convinced she is going to die anyway? I mean the kind of professional who was only too happy to torture herself by slamming her own head on the table? (Rawat was kind of impressive there, not only letting the bravado drip off her tongue when she was in reptilian predator mode, but rolling her eyes back as she pounded her noggin bloody on the tabletop.) Turns out the answer was pretty simple: an elaboration on the ol’ good-cop/bad-cop routine, with Jesse pretending to be a desperate, slightly incompetent interrogator to get on her good side. “You have to sell the guilt in the eyes that comes with betrayal,” Michael said. Coby Bell came through with a nice wounded look. Sam (Bruce Campbell) also wanted a crack at…er, cracking Kendra, and when Michael told him he needed Sam to play mean boss to Jesse’s incompetent flunkie, Sam declared he was “eating my lunch and drinking my beer in protest!” Eventually, Jesse was able to wheedle a few tidbits out of Kendra by convincing her she was able to turn him against his own superiors.
Oh, about that “security consultant” job… Michael and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) infiltrated Bocklage’s firm to prevent a superthief known only as “Mr. Slippery” from stealing a sword that used to belong to Alexander the Great. Fi had a connection to Buddy (Steven W. Bailey), who forges high-end luxury gifts, and was recruited to make part of a counterfeit scabbard. After the requisite number of twists and turns, “Mr. Slippery” turned out to be more properly called “Ms. Slippery,” when Bocklage’s assistant, Selena (Meta Golding), proved to be the thief. Fiona declared, “I have to be honest, I didn’t see that one coming.” But I’m afraid I was. Whenever one of these shows goes to great pains to stress that an unknown person who has never been photographed is a man, it usually turns out to be a woman. And, once again, the Law of Conservation of Casting dictated that Golding (ex-Brianna, LOVING) was not hired merely to play a personal assistant, but rather someone more significant. In this case, the baddie. Plus, the director tended to linger on her for far too long, far too often for her to be just a minor character. I mean, really, who cares about a reaction shot from an executive assistant?
And while Michael explained that the fastest, easiest way to steal huge data files is by uploading them to public file-sharing sites rather than attempting to e-mail then to yourself, Fiona demonstrated an unorthodox trade secret of her own: She shot Buddy, her own client – but only to prevent him from entering a building wired with a bomb.
It was difficult to choose Sam’s best line of the week. My early favorite was when Sam got all meta and said of surveillance video of Kendra: “This is appointment television, baby.” But I think Sam pulled out the winner at the end, in toasting Jesse’s work with Kendra the cleaner: “To the new guy, for putting that hot slice of crazy in the rearview.”