5 Hours Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Recap / Burn Notice S 1 E 5 Family Business

Client of the Week

Michael's brother, Nate, comes to him with another job. He calls from an airport in trouble. Next thing we know, Nate's getting beaten by a foreign man in very nice clothes. He's very capable in a fight and threatens to kill Nate.

Nate took a job helping a man working security at a small, private airport. The man, Jake, did a few favors for a family of three men, the Zamars, who have started blackmailing him. When the little favors they've done aren't enough to make him do what they want, they threaten him. It turns out the elder Zamar is ex-Mossad, Israeli intelligence, and is training his two sons in arms dealing.

Team Westen's end is the younger son Ari, who's a bit of a playboy. Michael poses as an arms dealer looking for a distributor. He plays on Ari's insecurities/family resentments and uses him to learn where the Zamars have a stash of weapons. Michael steals the weapon stash and has Jake tell the Zamars that the new guy that Ari introduced him to, (Michael) came around saying that he owns Jake, roughed Jake up, and tried to get information about the Zamars.

In a paranoid frenzy papa Zamar pulls the family and their operation out of Miami, figuring it's better to relocate than to try to fight a heavily armed enemy that has intel on them and they know nothing about.

Meanwhile, Nate and Michael fight over ownership of the Charger. Both of them suffered at their father's hands, both worked on it, and both have a good claim to the car.

Burn Notice Arc

The feds turned the pressure up on Sam to deliver more intel on Michael's comings and goings. This led to him planting a somewhat obvious bug in the Charger. Fiona immediately identifies it as Sam's handiwork and Sam admits he might as well have signed his name to it. He struggles through the episode to admit this to Michael.

When he finally does, Michael tells him to just come directly to him the next time and tells Sam where to find the Homeland Security directive authorizing his burn notice (under his sink). When Sam hands it over, the FBI team is recalled and someone higher up the chain is tasked, though we don't learn who. Apparently, the situation was so unsettling that the feds dropped sixty dollars on a ten dollar tab. Sam takes the money and begins wooing a new Mrs. Robinson.

Tropes include:

  • Affectionate Pickpocket: How Nate steals Michael's wallet at the end of the episode.
  • The Alcoholic: Implied about Michael's father.
    Michael: Did you ever wonder how we got to the store to get groceries when dad was on a tear?
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Debbie, the younger Zamar's girlfriend, immediately falls for Michael. Hard.
  • The Alleged Car: The Charger still doesn't work well.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Ari's father slaps him when he learns he really screwed up.
  • Badass Israeli: The elder Zamar and his older son. Ari, not so much, although he still has the training and an itchy trigger finger.
  • Blackmail: How the Zamars put the screws to Jake. They threaten him with his previous infractions, then they threaten him and his wife.
  • Blindfolded Trip: Michael is blindfolded for his trip to the Zamars' warehouse.
  • Butt Monkey: Nate gets the crap kicked out of him.
  • Compliment Fishing: Fi spends some time talking to Michael about Ari's girlfriend Debbie, who's infatuated with Michael's international-man-of-mystery persona.
    Fi: Admit it, you were tempted.
    Michael: If I wanted some beautiful woman to screw up my life... I could do a lot better than Debbie.
  • Delinquents: Both Nate and Michael had troubled childhoods, though apparently Michael was far more ambitious about it.
  • Gold Digger: Debbie tells her boyfriend she wants diamonds, apropos of nothing.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Ari, the younger Zamar, is the jealous type, and nearly shoots Michael when he thinks Michael is out to seduce Debbie. (For the record, Debbie was throwing herself at him.)
  • Heads or Tails: How Michael and Nate settle their dispute over the Charger.
  • Hot-Blooded: Ari.
  • Ho Yay: "Michael, when you read this guy's profile, you're gonna wanna kiss me. Look, I'm not saying I'm gonna like it, I'm just saying you're gonna wanna kiss me."
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Sam plants a bug under the dashboard of the Charger and Mike and Fi immediately recognize it as his handiwork. Sam admits he might well have signed it.
  • Just for Fun: Michael's cover ID is "Steve Remington", gun dealer. Sam has to have some fun.
    • Sam also asks to lick the bowl when they're done making fake C4 out of cake frosting.
  • Kick the Dog: The Zamars threaten Jack's wife. She's pregnant.
    • The younger Zamar, Ari, pistol whips Jack when he hesitates.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The elder Zamar decides that it's better to move their operation elsewhere than face a heavily armed and dangerous competent enemy.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Sam begins a new romance with a very attractive woman.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sam pretends to be a drunk, unemployed stevedore to distract the Zamar sons.
  • Oh Crap!: When Maddie learns that Nate stole Michael's wallet at the end of the episode.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: "Well, next time you accept a bribe, I'd hold out for court-side seats."
    Michael: Well, since they're planning on killing you if you say anything else, I'd suggest "Yes."
    • Michael also spent his childhood stealing cars so his mother could get to the grocery store.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Michael pulls one on screen, walking away while Ari, the younger Zamar, has his back turned.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Michael demonstrates some plastic explosive to impress the younger Zamar.
  • Stunned Silence: Nate's busy looking for proof their father wanted Michael to have the car, and suggests Michael's a worse screw-up than he is. Michael responds that all the crap he did was how their family got basic things like groceries. This shuts Nate up.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Michael believed his mother when she said his father wanted him to have the Charger. He gets very attached to it very quickly. Nate suffers the same issue and scraps with Michael over ownership of the car.
    • It turns out that Michael's father kept notes on all his exploits. On paper, Michael's a bigger screw up than Nate; Michael stole more cars before age 12 than Nate has in his whole life.
    • In a similar vein, Ari Zamar has insecurities about his father's approval while resenting the controls his father places on his life.
  • Wine Is Classy: "Steve Remington" and Ari spend some time bonding over expensive wines. It's how Steve introduces himself to Ari.