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'Burn Notice' recap: The trouble with Carla

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Burnnotice_lOkay, Carla (Tricia Helfer) and your fancy Yemeni coffee. I’ll admit that, being a diehard Fiona fan, I’m predisposed to hating your ex-Cylon guts. One, you bring too much sexy to your scenes and distract from my girl. Two, you don’t leave Michael any time for those good ol’ “what about us” conversations Fi craves. They barely shared a yogurt together last night! I’m also a little annoyed that you’re leading Mike on all these wild goose chases that water down the plot (I almost wish he would either spend episodes helping people or finding out who burned him, not always both). But what really sticks in my craw, what makes me totally not like you, is that you’re targeting Madeline. You get a pass on the busted sixties-era coffee pot—I understand that you just wanted to make a point that you could get in her house. And replacing it with a new high tech one was sweet (breaking in again, not so much). But I didn’t like you threatening her well-being (“Don’t test me again, or the next time I leave a gift at your mom’s house, it’s not going to be a coffee maker”). She’s one of my favorite characters on TV this summer. Step the frak off, or like Fiona, I may opt to toss you in the trunk! 

That said, I’d love to see Helfer cat fight with Sharon Gless. Then Tyne Daly (as Madeline’s new therapist just happening to be making a home visit) can intervene! And Hal Sparks can be watching for the hell of it. Hey, a rabid TV fan can dream!(And after the jump, the rest of my take on last night’s episode.)

Okay, so basically, the hour broke down intothree parts: The forgery scenes (in which Michael needed to duplicatesome fancy security passes for scary ol’ Carla); the job scenes (in which Mike, Sam, and Fiona aid an undercover DEA agent to get rid of a stalker who’s also one of the guys she’s spying on); and the mom scenes (in whichMike and Madeline grappled with their usual issues re: his work). 

I didn’t understand half the things Carla said about those littleplastic security cards her people needed Mike to copy (computer-what?Over-laminate-what?). What I did get is that forcing him to track downan infamous forger brought Season 1’s “phone book for criminals” Barryin the picture (yay!), which gave Fiona the chance to threaten him witha blackhead extractor. Then the forger turned out to be Mohinder’s dadfrom Heroes. I like this guy. I was just getting used to himmaybe becoming a recurring character—it did look like he was willingto help Michael by using the those cards to find out who Carla worksfor—when she went and had him killed.  Luckily, he’d made an extracopy of the card—those wily Tunisian forgers—that Michael stole fromthe dead man’s office. 

Hopefully, the forged card, combined with Michael’s discovery thatCarla “speaks Arabic with a Kurdish accent” will get him a step closerto decipher what is going on with his burn and who he’s aiding with allthese under-the-table operations. I’m into the mystery—it’s myfavorite part of the show—and I’m mildly hoping we can figure it outbefore he does. 

Sophia, the girl Michael helped out last night, wasn’t the usualsad sack. First off, she could handle herself with ninja moves and asemi-automatic. Second, she actually used Sam and Veronica to get toMike. Veronica, apparently, gets turned on when Sam is working.Anyway, in short: Sophia had been undercover as a hostess for twoyears spying on Campos, the main man in a billion-dollar drug businessrun out of Miami for some South American cartel. Then the guy’s secondin command, Raul, began to hardcore fancy her. And Raul, like mostdrug lords, was a bit scary. Or as Sam said the “guy won’t take ‘hitthe road Raul’ for an answer.” Michael decided the best way to ridSophia of Raul was to turn his boss, Campos, against him and let thecartel do the dirty work. So he approached Raul pretending he was an “expeditor” with police connections who could insure his delivers camefast and hassle free (and who has a bit of a gambling problem). Andwhen that plan fell through (oh yeah, this was after Raul tracked downSophia’s phone records and accused her and Mike are having an affair)he had Fiona stage a fake assassination attempt on Campos using asniper rifle and some C-4.  All this, and he still found time to go toa therapy session with his mother. 

Now, I feel bad for Madeline:  She’s been waking up with nightsweats since she had to flee to Fort Lauderdale and I’m sure she’s onlyimagining the worst about what Michael’s been doing over the past fewyears. For some reason she doesn’t look like a Mom who would berelieved to find out her son knows how to cut a throat or breaksomeone’s neck in one move. But what was up with her choosing alook-alike as the counselor (“there was something about her I liked,”yeah, we know what)? Or is that how all the older women in Miami aresupposed to look? I like it better when she and Michael just chat inthe kitchen like they did at the end of this episode (no potteryclasses, please!). When Madeline admitted she’d known about the stolengroceries, but didn’t want to tell Mike, I was actually moved. 

In the end, yesterday’s episode also had some pretty funny bits.For example when Raul, describing Sophia, said “She loves me more thanher own life” and all Mike could reply was “that’s a lot.” Or whenMichael told Sam he was paying for lunch, and Sam said “you got it Mikey,I’m starving anyway,” even though he’d just munched on a gigantic bagof chips and was holding a soda. And when Mike stole Sam’s fresh beerand dumped it in the garbage. Plus, Sam’s taking Pilates. What’s moregiggle-worthy than that? We also learned a little tidbit about checkforgery: You, too, can do it with some old checks, nail polishremover, scotch tape, and a hair dryer. I don’t suggest trying it, butI always wonder if the spy stuff Mike does on this show actually works. Which reminds me: Can youmake a bug from a cell phone?

So what did you guys think about last night’s episode? Do you stilllike the split narrative (Carla on one side, Mike’s jobs on the other)or would you prefer one plot? Getting annoyed with Madeline, or stilllove her like I do? Any guesses as to who Carla is and whom she mightwork for? Discuss!

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