Sam and Barry are pinned down by an assassin as Michael gets a lead on Anson. An MI-6 agent tries to prevent Fiona's release from prison.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garret Hartley
Arthur Meyers (as Ward Smith)
Peggy Sheffield ...
Warden Mills
Sheena Colette ...
Call Girl


Dody financial consultant Barry, one of Mike's informers, needs urgent protection against an arms dealer and his goons. Sam, who is excluded from the CIA-sanctioned next chase for Anson, accepts to rescue Barry. Resourceful but rash kid brother Nate Weston is allowed to join the official mission, but Mike is excessively harder on the 'bumbling' novice now Fuona's release is finally within reach. To prevent being extradited on IRA terrorism charges to the British in extremis, she bribes the jail fixer to hide and find her. Tragedy hits murderously just when Mike's success seems complete. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 July 2012 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Barry refers to a homemade grenade launcher that Sam makes as a "Boomstick." This is the same term that Ash uses to refer to his shotgun in Army of Darkness. Ash and Sam are both played by Bruce Campbell. See more »


When Sam can't get a cell signal to call for help, Barry tells Sam that he chose to hide records at the lake house because cell service was unavailable. However, a few minutes later, Garret Hartley is shown talking on his cell phone in the driveway and Sam says he's calling for backup. Almost immediately, Sam's escape plan fails and he says Garret's reinforcements showed up. Obviously, Garret was able to call out on his cell phone. See more »


Sam Axe: [getting ready to flee] Now, were you a running back in high school?
Barry: I was Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls...
See more »


References The Real Housewives of Orange County (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Similar but never the same
30 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

As a Burn Notice viewer one should always pay attention to the title. In this case "Shock Wave," unbeknownst to us at first, is intended to convey meaning far beyond this episode's action. A recent interview with the creator, Matt Nix, confirms our previous observations that the series is changing -- according to him, deliberately so. Well... from what we've seen, yes and no.

The director Renny Harlin did a masterful job on the episode with active and unexpected camera angles, editing, pacing and choice of music - possibly the best yet in the series. He even compensated, mostly, for segments of weak screenplay. Oh, the overall plot and premise was true to form and even exceeded the complexity and innovation that we've learned to expect. It's just that the translation into the screenplay sometimes comes across (to a US audience) as unbelievable - or at least hokey and contrived. A US audience doesn't believe that one character loves another just because the writer needs them to and tells us they do - we need to see it, it needs to be set up. A US audience expects legitimate authorities to be above dishonesty and champion fairness (unless we are shown reason/necessity in the plot).

Fiona, Sam and Michael were about as "on their own" as they have ever been in the series. Fiona and AYN completed what most of us have been anticipating all along. It was nice to see how it actually occurred even if we had to overlook the hokey dialog/premise of the MI-6 and State Department characters. Michael and Pearce's segments gave us great twists and turns with another "Anson chase" all over Miami. I just wish they'd hire another writer who knew how to do the exposition needed without all the whining/contradicting/arguing - and I'm certainly becoming weary of the arrogant-manipulative-shrew character type they seem to readily apply to their female characters.

Sam and Barry's segment was sheer delight! They make a great comedic relief team who play off each other masterfully and the running beer can gag-line just fit Sam's character to a "T". I'd personally like to see more of Barry, Sugar and even Seymour.

With the several changes for good this season, why do we feel a sense of foreboding or uneasiness over where this is heading? Perhaps it's because the writers aren't only tweaking the characters a bit (mostly for good as far as I'm concerned) but they are messing with the "premise" and "structure" to a greater extent than we are used to with a show we like. We expect Michael to be "burned" and could be worried about how they are going to need to keep him burned. We expect Fiona to be able to assist with the "underworld" but as a "CIA asset" who now has an actual criminal record? Sam is, and always has been, "honest, dependable, capable Sam" and can take up some more slack - but where? And who is going to be the character that Matt says is going to be angry at Mike for the rest of the season - my bet is Madeline. And of course there is a HUGE "elephant in the room" that I can't discuss under IMDb penalty of "spoiling." Watch the episode and you'll know immediately what I mean. Matt says that the end of this season will put us (and I guess Michael, Sam, Fiona and the rest of them) in a "place that no one expected" - lets keep our fingers crossed that they don't mess with it so much that it's no longer #1 on USA Network.

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