Season 1 - Episode 4: Fight Of Flight

Burn Notice

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Michael Westen agrees to investigate threats made against his landlord’s favourite employee, but ends up dealing with a dangerous Colombian drug cartel. Meanwhile, Westen attempts to pin down a former ally who might be in a position to tell him why he was burned. Cara, a waitress working for Westen’s landlord, witnesses a man beat an innocent pizza delivery boy until he is brain dead. After she agrees to testify against him, Cara finds a dead rat nailed to her door and men watching her home. Oleg the landlord is desperate to get his favourite waitress back, so he asks Westen to take on the case in exchange for four months’ rent. With funds scarce, Westen jumps at the chance.

After enlisting Fiona to protect the waitress and her teenage daughter, Sophie, Westen tracks down Cara’s tormentors. Their leader is Alvaro Desantos, a distributor for a major Colombian drug cartel. Westen decides that the best approach is to conceal his fear. He calmly approaches Desantos and orders him to stop threatening Cara, but the Colombian is not ready to play ball. “By the time we finish our mojitos, this will all be done – for good,” Desantos says, menacingly.

Aware that Cara and Sophie are now targets for Desantos’s hit squad, Westen races the Colombians to Cara’s home. Canny Fiona has managed to ward off Desantos’s henchmen for the time being, but Westen knows they will be back. He has no choice but to build a makeshift safe house for Cara and Sophie – inside his mother’s garage. This decision does not go down well with Sophie, who now has a complex alarm system standing between her and her school dance.

With Sam’s help, Westen locates the cartel’s lawyer, Bruce Gellman, but has to take drastic steps to get him to talk. “I love commuters,” says Westen as he lays a stinger to take out Gellman’s tyres. “Anybody who drives the same route to work every day, it’s like they’re doing all the work for you.” Gellman arranges to speak to the head of the cartel and meet Westen the next day, but the only person waiting for Westen at the designated time is a hapless assassin.

However, the would-be killer does provide one bit of useful information. “I spoke to the guys in Colombia – they say to kill you all,” the failed assassin says. Westen has no choice but to help Cara and Sophie disappear. However, persuading a stroppy teenager to leave behind her friends and social life proves to be almost as difficult as dodging the Colombian mafia.

At the same time, Westen is desperate to track down Akhom Thabet, an old Egyptian associate he expects to be attending a conference at a Miami hotel. He gatecrashes a meeting at the venue, but is nearly caught. “The important thing is to disappear before people can ask questions,” Westen says, as he flees the scene. “If they do decide to ask questions, you just have to hope you’re in a building with a lot of hallways and plenty of exits.”

Using a spot of old-fashioned blackmail, Westen forces Thabet to get him some information on why he was burned. “It’s not much, but it’s a start,” says Westen, inspecting the details Thabet provides. But the Egyptian has a friendly warning for his old friend. Is the agency finally losing patience with the spy it tried to burn?

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