Recap / Burn Notice S 3 E 16 Devil You Know

With Gilroy dead and the authorities scrambling to get him, Michael tries to avoid capture and track down the mysterious Simon. It turns out that Simon gets to him first, threatening to detonate a bomb unless Michael brings him Management. While Sam and Fi try to locate and dispose of the bomb, Michael calls Management and tries to stay one step ahead of Simon. Meanwhile, Madeline gets stopped by the FBI and interrogated about her son.

Tropes

  • Ax-Crazy: Simon.
  • Batman Gambit: Simon rigs up a bomb in the hotel to force Michael's compliance. He also booby-trapped the helipad that Management was landing at and distracts the Organization's attention with a low-rent team of operatives.
  • Better the Devil You Know: The point of the episode. He despises Management, but the guy is preferable to Simon. Michael's narration lampshades this by mentioning Churchill and Stalin putting their differences aside in the face of the Nazis marching on the Soviet Union.
  • Blood Knight: Simon relishes the chance to kill anyone for any reason.
  • Call-Back:
    • The greeting card is finally used.
    • Just like the end of the second season, Michael has the opportunity to kill a former agent of the Organization, who would rather die than be taken in alive. This time, though, Michael chooses not to fire.
  • Car Fu: Simon escapes with Management in an ambulance. Michael goes after him in a truck and ends up deliberately crashing into the side of the ambulance.
  • Cliffhanger: Michael is taken by the Organization.
  • Darkest Hour: Michael is faced with an evil version of himself threatening to kill thousands of innocent people.
  • Demonization: The Organization transplanted Simon's record and crimes to Michael's file, which was how he got forced out of the CIA.
  • Enemy Mine: Simon forces this on Michael, who in turns works out a more sincere one with Management.
  • Evil Counterpart: Simon to Michael. In a way, he's also one to Victor—being a former agent that bucked the Organization's control, but far less sympathetic and not well-meaning at all.
  • Evil Old Folks: Management reminds Michael that he is not the kindly old figure he appears to be.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Simon to the Organization.
  • Foreshadowing: Simon warns that it's only a matter of time before Michael becomes just like him. This warning highlights some of the morally ambiguous things Michael does next season, as well as pays off in full towards the end of Season 7.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Between the end of the last episode and what he does here, Michael is branded a criminal and actively pursued by law enforcement.
  • It's Personal: Simon kills indiscriminately, but he really wants to make Management suffer.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Justified. Michael's only option to rescue Management, stop Simon, and keep his team safe is to go alone. He tells Sam and Fi to tell the police where he is, so that they'll be right behind during the confrontation.
    Michael: You can't follow me this time, Fi. I gotta do this one on my own.
  • Never Split the Party: Zig Zagged. Early on, Fi and Sam argue that Sam has to stop the lone wolf stuff and work with them every step of the way. Michael agrees. The group does have to split up to deal with Simon's bomb, but the real split comes when Michael has to go after him alone (which Fi objects to).
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Simon could've simply killed Michael, but he took the time to gloat to Management about his superiority. Doing so gave Michael the opportunity to stick him with a knife and get away.
  • Not So Different: Simon wants the same thing as Michael: his life and reputation restored.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Management when told that Simon is loose.
    • Michael when he realizes that Simon knew where Management would be landing.
  • Outgambitted: Simon knew Michael would cut a deal with Management and booby-trapped the helipad. Michael realizes it at the last moment.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Part of the backstory is the Organization replacing Simon with Michael after he became uncontrollable. While Simon doesn't focus on it, he takes the time to gloat after he captures Management.
    "I guess your new little pet didn't work out so well."
  • Sadistic Choice: In the end, Michael can either shoot Simon dead or stand down and be taken in by the Organization.
  • Save the Villain: In the climax, Michael must save Management from Simon's clutches.
  • Un-person: Simon in a way. All of the things he did were pinned on Michael, while he was left to rot in a secret prison.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Management thinks the worst is over when Simon's local team is taken care of.
  • Villain Ball: Management knows the location for the intended meeting and comes in by helicopter, not taking into account the lack of other helipads in the area would mean Simon knows exactly where he would have to land to make the meeting on time.
  • Villain Has a Point: Michael is prepared to put a bullet in Simon's head when this is all over. Management warns him how damaging that will be, especially with police on the way.
  • Wham Episode: The Organization has its hooks in Michael again.
  • Wham Shot: The episode ends by suggesting that Michael is in some hellhole of a secret prison, but the final shot shows him instead in a lavish office.
  • Wild Card: Simon's subtitle reads as "?".
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