Was it me, or was Madeline much more subtle upon last night’s return? She didn’t whine. She didn’t nag. She didn’t demand Mike get therapy or reconcile with Fiona. Or make him coddle Nate. She just smoked like a dragon, drank like a fish, and kept things light and hilarious. She called her VCR a “home theater system” for Pete’s sake. Between that and her ancient coffee pot, I half expected her to pull out a magic lantern and claim she’d gone HD.

I’m a bit chuffed over how I predicted that Sam and Madeline would be bunking together. Though I assumed it would be because Mike sickened of him, his beer, and his chips, not because Madeline needed protection from a crazy new covert operative (Stargate‘s Michael Shanks) assigned by Carla to “wrangle” our guy. His code name: Victor. His act: insane. His mission: Force Mike to assist with a smash-and-grab heist on a local pier. His vibe: a bit boring, if I do say so myself. “Help us or we’ll come after you and your family”? Snore. Didn’t Timo already pull this on Trevor last week?

addCredit(“Jeffrey Donovan: Glenn Watson”)

Victor wasn’t even a good foil to Mike. He was too predictablyunpredictable. You knew he wasn’t going to let Michael sever his radialartery with a chess piece and that he was packing fire under the table.You knew if Michael ignored him he’d show up and ruin Michael’s job.You also knew he’d want to kill the security guards on the pier, butthat Mike wouldn’t let him. And you tired of his twitchy, psycho killeract (“The last man who insulted me had to fish pieces of his tongue outof a garbage disposal”) and his love of rocking flower patterns inabout five to ten minutes.

That said, the heist itself really piqued my interest. First off,can you actually make an X-ray machine in the trunk of your Buick usingold TV parts and a taser gun? Are professional, government-sanctionedthefts pulled off in broad daylight? Why would a Chiquita Bananafacility be hiding sniper rifles? Moreover, what do Carla, Victor, andCo. want with the gun? Is it to use on Mike? To make Mike use? Or, as Ibelieve, is it because they are truly a good operation trying to stopthe bad guys from getting the weapon? Plus, when did Fiona start makingfriends at veterinary clinics that are willing to develop large filmsof scary weaponry for her?

But let’s get back to the bad guy/good guy thing. Last night’s jobinvolved the younger brother of Mike’s childhood best friend Andre.Little Ricky (played by one of the series’ best writers, Ben Watkins)is now all grown up and an accountant to Miami’s most dangerousgangster-turned-hip-hop mogul Valentine (Method Man, in the snazziestwhite suit and smoking the fattest cigar ever). Seems scary enoughwithout adding that Valentine’s number two, Eddie Ash (Felicity‘sRob Benedict), embezzled a boatload of cash from the rapper and framedRicky. Considering that Valentine called a board meeting just so hecould whack a dissenting worker over the head with a platinum record Ãla De Niro in The Untouchables, I’d say Ricky had reason to befreaked. Mike’s plan to pose as Boston-bred, mob-connected,diamond-wearing money launderer Jimmy Glynn and get Ash to admit hestole the money nearly worked — until Victor busted in and told Ashthat Jimmy had the feds after him, which just seemed to raise thestakes. Thinking he needed to clean his money immediately and tie upall lose ends, Ash sent a kill squad to Ricky’s house. Enter Fiona,flashing her abs, her thong, and her rock-throwing abilities to foilthe initial hit and Sam to pose as a disgruntled music lover (so whatif he likes Kenny G., Barbara Mandrell, Captain & Tennille?) inorder to kidnap Valentine and make him watch while Ash tries to do awaywith Ricky on his own.

Still, no matter how terrible Ash was, or how frightening Valentinecould be, I still don’t think it’s right how Mike seems to happily letthe bad guys of Miami murder each other. I buy what you guys said inyour comments about the system sucking and jail not working, but Ican’t help thinking prison would have been better for Eddie Ash thangetting pushed off Valentine’s boat. Nearly five people witnessed himtrying to kill Ricky and admitting to the embezzlement scheme. Soundslike a slam dunk case to me. Then again, Ash could have always turnedon Valentine and gone state’s evidence, ending up in witness protectionout west (I have been watching too much USA). So maybe he did get whathe deserved. And why would such a good guy like Ricky still want towork for Valentine after having proof that he’s a murderer?

Speaking of getting what’s deserved, I’m glad Fiona is finallydemanding things (like money) from Mike for her work. We know Sam’s gota pension, but what does she have to live off of? The odd bounty hunterjob? Selling her snow globes? I’m also happy she’s playing the market —just interested to know when Mike will too. As for Sammy, he once againdelivered my favorite line of the night, when telling Mike to take a”little sippy sip” of his curry.

So what did you guys think about last night? For my money, it wasn’tthe greatest episode, but it was solid. And can anyone tell me whenTricia Helfer is coming back?

Burn Notice
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