Oh, those sneaky powers-that-be at BURN NOTICE! They pulled a bait-and-switch with this episode, teasing viewers with a Simon story that quickly gave way to a case-of-the-week that had nothing to do with Simon. However, on the plus side, BN put an entertaining spin on the all-too-familiar “hero behind bars” scenario.
Sam (Bruce Campbell) needed to protect Juan (John Verea), an old asset who was locked up and marked for death by prison gang, so Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) went inside, posing as Juan’s cellmate. He called on feds Lane and Harris (who still owe him a big favor – or, as we’re discovering, a lot of little ones.) Once inside, the first thing Michael taught viewers was a handy tutorial on the importance of eye contact: make too little of it and you’re seen as a victim; too much, and you become a threat. Michael had the advantage of knowing a hit was coming, so when he recognized players falling into place for the actual attack, he was able to level the playing field a bit by ingeniously fashioning light body armor from the hard covers of big law books. And he made sure the attack took place inside their cell, so the narrow door served a choke point that reduced the effectiveness of the gang’s numbers.