'Burn Notice' Gets NSFL: Wounds and Waterboarding Galore

One thing I love about Burn Notice is that, for all its glamorous Miami porn — sunny beaches, fruity cocktails, high-fiving Chris Bosh — it doesn't shy away from the dark side of Michael Westen's career.

With drug kingpin Rafael Sorrano now a captive, Burke squeezes him for information by showing him some disturbing live footage: Mike stands over Sorrano's sleeping daughter's bed, holding her at gunpoint. Yikes.

To be fair, even if the proverbial ish hit the fan, Mike is about as likely to shoot a kid as he is to turn towards the camera and magically fire a bullet out of my TV screen and into the wall behind me. But it's still a jarring image. "If you want to stop a monster," he tells us, "Sometimes you have to pretend to be one."

Of course, Burn Notice can't help but remind us what a sugar pie honey bunch Westen really is. As he leaves the bedroom, he snuggles the little girl's teddy bear up next to her. Fionna, please carry this man's child immediately.

To infiltrate a ring of Russian criminals and rescue a prisoner for Burke (Westen's a ... triple agent now? I'm losing count), Mike must wear a concealed listening device. A very concealed listening device. But where to put it?


Sam slices Mike's arm open, then hides the device in a bloodied bandage. No, thank you. As a proud and outspoken member of the squeamish community, I am not a fan of this scene.

Back in Miami, Madeline and Fi kidnap a spy, Ivan Gorev, to bolster Mike's cover story about a mole within the Russian operation. The episode cheekily cuts from Madeline pouring out Gorev's water bottle to Mike getting waterboarded. Damn. This went from zero to Zero Dark Thirty in a matter of seconds.

To carry out their part of the plan, Sam and Jesse must make a room look like an abandoned CIA operations center. Sam (that is, American treasure Bruce Campbell) throws fistfuls of shredded paper in the air. I would like to spend my next birthday throwing fistfuls of shredded paper in the air with Bruce Campbell.

It's not long before Sam and Jesse get their million-dollar action movie moment, jumping off a balcony onto a moving bus. (SAM: "I think I tore a ligament or something on top of that stupid bus." JESSE: "Will you stop complaining about that?" SAM: "I'm not complaining. It just hurts." JESSE: "That's called complaining. That's what complaining is.")

Undercover as Westen's CIA contact, Burke bombs a path to safety for Mike and the prisoner, Sonia. But after that, he's MIA. Could Burke really have been killed? In the episode's final moments, Sonia — who's been unconscious every other time we've seen her — knocks out Jesse and escapes. Question mark exclamation point question mark exclamation point ...

Image via USA