No matter what else went on in this week’s BURN NOTICE – no matter how entertaining it was – the only thing that really mattered was that Jesse Found Out. He knows Michael burned him. Not good. Very, very not good.
The episode began like any other: with Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) and Sam (Bruce Campbell) lying to Jesse (Coby Bell) to get him to do their bidding. Now, granted, their objective also moved Jesse closer to his ultimate goal of stopping the Big Bad, but Jess also has that subsidiary goal of uncovering who burned him. And it was just convenience that pointing Jesse toward John Barrett (Robert Patrick) helped obfuscate Michael’s culpability. Michael and Sam faked up a report citing Barrett as the man behind all the world’s troubles – the man Jesse has been hunting for three years. The trio decided the best approach was a straightforward approach (*snerk*): They called Barrett and offered him the Bible. They knew he would send someone to check it out, so they set up a convincing booby trap using a 55-gallon oil drum, a portable defibrillator and Skype. They caught an errand boy – who turned out to be an active-duty U.S. Army officer. So Barrett was definitely connected!
While Jesse was suspicious of Sam’s seemingly very convenient source, Madeline (Sharon Gless) was openly contemptuous of Michael repeatedly lying to Jesse – especially in her home. She was feeling the pressure to such a degree that she felt the need to get out of town in order to avoid lying to him anymore.
Once again, Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) brought in the case of the week, this time involving a British lothario, Charles (Jamison Jones), who was fleecing widows. Sam decided that the best way to take him down was to use his “Chuck Finley” persona – even though the shady guy was working under the name “Charles.” But Sam refused to alter his alter ego, noting, “Chuck Finley is forever.” Fi really took this week’s baddie personally. Sam had to physically restrain her from killing the guy in cold blood. (She was invested in the guy who was stealing assets – get it?) They came up with a plan to drug Charles and convince him he went on a wild spending spree. “That plan sounds insane!” declared the client, Emily (Jean Louisa Kelly). “Insane is one of our specialties,” Fiona replied.
As part of the surveillance of the bad guy, Fiona and Jesse were spotted by guards; rather than run off, Fi decided to kiss Jesse, making it look like they were a couple who stopped for a little sumpthin’ sumpthin’ rather than a surveillance team. Then, later, there was an awkward moment when he brushed her hand while they were building a bug. While I have sensed a growing attraction between the characters for weeks, these two scenes felt a bit rushed and obvious; however, I put that down to storytelling expedience; the-powers-that-be needed to set up maximum conflict for later in the episode. Speaking of maximum conflict, when goons threatened Emily, Fiona went in solo and took out the thugs with explosives and beanbag rounds. Fi is really kicking ass and taking names this season.
The gang ultimately won out by improbably pulling the blackout routine once again, this time convincing Charles that he had killed Emily in a blackout. He drained his account of $1 million and handed it over to Michael to “clean” the situation. There: cash recovered for the widows. Check, please. Or, as Sam put it: “Consuela: Five beers!” he barked. “We gotta hydrate!”
Better put the celebration on ice, Sam, because things went south fast – in the form of Jesse getting the drop on Fiona and holding a gun to her head. He noted that something had been bothering him, not only about Sam’s report, but the entire operation. So he pressed his pal Mark, who was finally able to get hold of security camera footage from across the street on the afternoon of the break-in. The tape revealed Michael fleeing the scene. “Michael burned me,” Jesse hissed. “And you all helped cover it up!” Anwar put real fear into Fiona’s watery eyes and pleading voice. “I thought I meant something to you,” she gasped. His eyes contained pain, but they also held hurt. “Goodbye, Fiona,” he said, coldly. Fi closed her eyes to await the end. When there was no shot, she opened them to see that Jesse had run off. Perhaps she does mean something to him after all? She immediately went to Michael with the news. “I think he’s gonna make us pay,” she moaned.
Oh, I think he’s gonna try, for sure. Practically all Jesse has been talking about has been taking down the Mysterious Big Bad, and killing the guy who burned him. It’s what he has been living for. And he trusted Michael’s crew to help him. Oh, the betrayal he must be feeling! Of course, Michael has been very conflicted over this, but still, he continued to lie and use Jesse for what he thought was the greater good. I confess that I have been suspicious of Jesse all this time; I was afraid that he knew perfectly well who Michael Westen is, and was working for the Big Bad to take down Michael. But this week’s revelation seems to indicate that Jesse has been sincere. He really is just a burned spy looking for some payback. Will he get it next week? Let’s hope not!