'Burn Notice' takes Michael to the jungle


Take The Most Dangerous Game, stir in a little Apocalypse Now, and sprinkle with Michael, Sam, Fi and Maddy, and you've got a kick-ass episode of "Burn Notice."


Michael gets a thoughtful present -- a gift basket overflowing with yogurt. It's from Tom Strickler, a secret agent agent. He lines up jobs, takes a cut, and everyone's happy. Well, not Michael -- he's not a hired killer. Strickler warns him that a pissed-off Ukrainian is after him, and that he can help Michael deal with the man. Michael declines.


As Michael managed to piss off quite a few Ukrainians back in the day, he'll need some help narrowing things down. He goes to Beck, an arms smuggler who works with all the big guys in the Eastern bloc. Beck is disinclined to help him -- he doesn't need friends, and Michael has little to offer his business -- but things take a turn when a passel of Ukrainians storm the cafe, throw some flashbangs, and whisk Michael and Beck away. Michael has time to snap a pic of the extraction team, call Fi, and hide his cell phone somewhere she can find it.


The Ukrainians are working for Chechik, one of the more brutal folks Michael had dealt with. He wants Michael's head on a stick -- after he's extracted all the secrets from it. Because Beck was sitting with Michael, they assume he has something to offer -- so Beck should REALLY stop insisting that the has nothing to do with Michael, that he knows nothing, that he never met he guy before today... Fortunately, Michael is able to talk them out of shooting Beck, and later engineers an escape into the Everglades. Beck is less grateful about this than you'd imagine -- he carps and complains as he and Michael run for their lives.


Some clever maneuvering on Michael's part means they're able to elude the search team, and the even take out the team leader. That brings Chechik out -- and he brings a whole bunch of reinforcements. Beck decides to try negotiating, but Chechik's men shoot him. Michael drags him away, but things don't look good. He asks Beck to trust him, and Beck doesn't answer. So when Chechik's men find Beck left out in the wilderness, it's possible Michael abandoned him.


Hah! Like Michael would do that. Beck is just a diversion, allowing Michael to prepare. This involves trip wires, bullets and a big shiny knife. Upshot: Michael lures Chechik and his men into a trap, then rises out of the water to hold the knife to Chechik's throat. Go, Michael!


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