"Burn Notice" Friends Like These (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Michael is determined, despite Fiona's objections, to earn Tom Strickler's help in undoing his burnt status by helping him deal with a ruthless robber gang. Friendly money launderer Barry however calls markers urgently after his client's ledger is stolen, apparently by Milovan Dragas, who allegedly blackmails Realtor Natalie Rice by kidnapping her son.

  • While Michael takes a job from Strickler despite Fi's reservations, Barry the money launderer cashes in his favors and asks Michael to help retrieve the ledger with his clients' information which was stolen from him.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Michael was preparing for his mission for Strickler, the agent to the spies who'd promised to help MIchael get his burn notice reviewed in exchange for help on a job. Fiona didn't like the looks of Strickler or the job and told Michael to walk away if it didn't feel right.

    Strickler again assured Michael that he'd be able to get things done for him if the job was carried out well. Strickler took Michael to a weapons safe house for an American intelligence agency. Strickler said he knew exactly when the safe house would be unguarded. Weapons were being stolen, and Strickler wanted Michael to find out who was selling them and where. Michael was supposed to get the license plate number of the car driven by "the cleaner," the man in the heist responsible for getting rid of the evidence of the heist. As Michael and Strickler watched the cleaner leave the scene, the safe house exploded.

    Michael had Sam run the license plate. The car was fueling up in Doral, and there was a motel there that is known for not checking IDs. The only other business in the neighborhood was a bingo parlor, and Sam worried that Michael wouldn't fit in with the bingo crowd. He suggested Michael ask his mom to serve as the lookout for the cleaner. Sam also warned Mike that the roof was leaking at her house, so she was a little out of sorts.

    "Will there be any shooting?" Maddie asked Michael as he asked for her help. She agreed, and Fi was again concerned that Michael was dragging his mom into it.

    Michael's phone rang and he said he was calling in "all" of the favors Michael owed him. Barry's black book was missing -- the ledger of all his clients and the accounts where he protects their money. He was afraid his clients would "dismember" him when they found out it was gone. Someone demanded $5 million from Barry or he'd sell the ledger.

    Barry explained the situation, which included a mention of Amy, his new girlfriend. That bit of news seemed to surprise Michael and Fi a bit. Michael immediately posited that Amy had stolen the ledger.

    Sam watched Maddie as she played bingo while trying to look casual as she looked for the cleaner. Sam told her to keep a low profile.

    Michael checked Amy's house and someone was there, even though Barry thought she was out of town. Michael and Fi had to break in using the (poorly) locked wood fence to the backyard, but just as they came in, Amy appeared from the house with a golf club, and told them to leave right away. Michael tried to talk her over, pointing her a few things that would reveal her boyfriend as not be telling her the truth, but Amy just repeated her order, and swang the metal club at Fiona's head. She ducked, and sprang up with a solid right fist to the jaw that knocked Amy on her rump two feet away. While Amy tried to get her senses back, Fi told Amy very calmçy that there was a "trembler switch" under her car. Amy neither knew what it was, nor cared to hear the technical explanation Fiona provided. Fi told her that a live demonstration would prove that the car would explode as soon as she sat inside, and moved towards the car. Instead of sitting in the car, Fi tossed a brick into the driver's seat. The car erupted in flames. Michael told Amy someone wanted her dead and Amy finally admitted a guy with "some kind of foreign" name had offered her $100,000 for Barry's ledger.

    Sam and Mike broke into the guy's house and looked around for the ledger without any success. When the guy arrived, Michael decided to stay and confront him rather than take off and try a different approach. Michael asked the man for the ledger and when the guy took a quick swing at him, the guy ended up face-down in a glass coffee table and Sam said they were "going to need some head bags."

    They kidnapped the guy. Sam and Michael advised Barry to take a break from contacting his clients. Sam was ready to take off to a villa with Miss Reynolds, but Michael told him he might have to change his plans -- and let Mike borrow the villa for interrogating the ledger thief and his wife.

    Maddie called and said the cleaner was at the motel. Fi took off to the motel while Sam and Michael went to the villa for the interrogations. Sam tried to get the woman to talk. She said her friend was "a monster." The woman wanted to leave to get back to her son and Sam told her that she wouldn't go anywhere until he and Michael got what they wanted. She started crying uncontrollably.

    Michael, meanwhile, was taking a non-confrontational approach with the guy who said his name was George Washington. The man told Michael that he wouldn't say anything about the ledger. He said if he gave it up, he'd be killed. He also said that if he didn't show up for the sale of the ledger, a friend of his had instructions to post it on the Internet.

    "You have a gun to your head, I have one to yours," the man told Michael. "Who shoots first?"

    "I'll get back to you on that," Michael said.

    Fi told Michael she tailed the cleaner to a park and said she thought that's where the arms deal would go down. Michael thanked her and she told him to stop thanking her.

    Michael asked Fi to go in and talk to the woman. She brought tea into the room and chatted the woman up a bit. She said she was in real estate and sometimes lets people use empty homes off the books. She said the man showed up three days earlier and threatened her son if she didn't do what he wanted. She said, "he used me as his own personal real estate agent and ... for other things." Fi apologized for what had happened to her. The woman said she had to leave, but Fi told her she couldn't leave until Sam and Michael got what they wanted. The woman told Fi there was a condo near the airport that the man looked at twice.

    Michael and Fi scoured the condo and found a safe in a fireplace. Burn safes, voiceover Michael explained, are used in embassies to protect secrets. If they're opened, an internal ignition device would start a fire. "Pump in liquid CO2 and, if you do it right, you can turn that ignition device into a popsicle," he explained. "Do it wrong, you turn everything inside the safe into a pile of ash."

    Michael opened the safe. There were stacks of cash, but no ledger. There were, however, passports belonging to the woman and to the man. There was another passport, as well, belonging to someone they figured was pretty important.

    Sam went back to talk to the man and dangled information, like the man's real name (Milovan Dragas) and the name of his friend who is supposed to post the ledger on the Internet. The man tried to antagonize Sam, calling him a "rich man's errand boy" and mocking the fact that Sam was a Navy Seal. The man spit in Sam's eye and pulled a gun from Sam's waistband. He pointed the gun at same, who was sprawled on the floor below the man. He asked Sam, "How stupid can you be?" Then he pulled the trigger and nothing happened.

    "Not stupid enough to put a loaded gun in your hand," Sam said, as he pulled a loaded one from his ankle holster and shot at the wall. Then he asked the man to have a seat.

    Sam and Mike told Barry that Milovan was an interrogation specialist and knew he was in control until they found Tash, the third member of his team. Barry went off to see what he could find on Tash.

    Fi and Michael went to the park to scout out the operation. Strickler met them there and wanted to know how it was going. Fi got in Strickler's face, asking how he knew so much about the safe house. When Strickler refused to answer, she walked away.

    Later, Fi talked to the Milovan's lady friend and promised she'd get to see her son again if she cooperated. Barry called Fi and said Tash had opened a bank account in Overtown. Fi asked the woman if she ever took Milovan anywhere in Overtown and she said it was a store front on Post Street. The woman called her son and told him she'd be home soon.

    Michael and Sam went to the store front and decided to take advantage of Milovan's "nobody knows each other" policy. They went in and played like they were in on the gang and the guy inside at first welcomed them -- then he shot 50 rounds at them with a Mac 10. They survived the burst of inaccurate gunfire and asked for the ledger.

    The guy said, "The only one who knows where that ledger is her."

    "Her?" - Michael and Sam reacted at once, as they suddenly perceived the danger Fiona was in, alone with the master criminal they were after.

    The guy explained that Milovan was a fall guy and she's the psycho killer. Sam and Michael raced back to the villa. Natalie, the realtor, asked Fi to let her take the handcuffs off because she had to go to the bathroom after so many hours. Michael called Barry and told him to let Fi know -- if he heard from Fi -- that Natalie is the boss. Fi, meanwhile, looked for something to pick the handcuff lock with because Michael must have taken the key.

    Fi took the cuffs off and Michael and Sam showed up. Michael came in acting like he was angry about Fi's "tea party" with Natalie and slapped Fi. He then took Natalie into the bedroom and handcuffed her again. He left her inside, closed the door behind and whispered an apology to Fi, explaining that Natalie is the boss. He said they were going to let Natalie go, follow her, then grab her when she tried to make the sale.

    Fi was livid about the slap, but quickly played along. She asked Michael -- loudly enough for Natalie to hear -- what they did with Tash and Michael said he killed him. They also said they were going to kill Milovan and asked Fi if she could handle her "girlfriend." Fi played as if she still wanted to let Natalie go.

    Fi then whispered to Michael that he was "some damn piece of work."

    Sam and Michael staged Milovan's killing, telling him to scream until they started shooting, then to stop. "If you make any noise after we shoot, then we're going to have to shoot you for real," Sam told him. Milovan played along as they guys blasted more than a dozen shots and Natalie winced at the sounds.

    Fi went into Natalie's room and hurriedly told her to escape and take the red Buick in the driveway. Natalie climbed out of the window and thanked Fi for letting her go. "Go see your son," Fi said.

    Voiceover Michael explained that the best way to tail a pro is with a team. Barry was down the road and gave them a heads up as to which way Natalie had gone. The cat and mouse game continued to a beachfront park where they watched Natalie exchange keys with a guy on a bike. Fi then watched the bike guy take the ledger out of a beach locker. Michael took the bike guy down and grabbed the ledger. Fi went to Natalie's other car, where stacks of cash were in the trunk, and confronted her. They held each other at gun point and Natalie got away by using a crowd of kids passing by as a shield. Fi tried to follow Natalie, but she disappeared, having told Fi, "I'll see you around."

    Barry was happy to get his ledger back, and with the fact that the people blackmailing him were out $5 million. He told Mike all of his debts with him were cleared, and told Maddie to let him know how his roof repair guy works out.

    Maddie asked Michael how the thing with the cleaner panned out and he said he'd be finishing that the next day with Fi. Maddie wondered if maybe one day he'd tell her what it was really about, but she said there was no need to go into it that night. They clinked beer bottles and smiled.

    Fi showed up and told Michael she couldn't help him with the job. She didn't want him working with Strickler. She told him that working with someone like Strickler "changes you, little by little."

    She told Michael to do what he had to do. "I understand," she said. "I just can't stay here in Miami and watch."

    Michael went to the park and took the pictures of the exchange that he needed to take. Voiceover Michael said nothing hurt more than losing a friend and partner you trust, but he said he had to put those feelings aside and focus on the task at hand. There's time for emotions after the mission was done.

    Strickler thanks Michael for his work and praises the quality of his pictures. Michael wonders where the military truck that took all the weapons away ended up, and Strickler didn't answer. Strickler's phone rang and he handed it to Michael. It was Diego, Michael's favorite spy contact. Diego said there were moves in Washington on his burn notice and that he'd be calling to set up a meeting.

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