It's out of the frying pan, into the fire for Michael Westen in this week's Burn Notice. After killing his mentor-turned-adversary Tom Card, Michael has to escape the CIA, represented by "heavy hitter" Olivia Riley (The Wire's Sonja Sohn).
Michael's exit plan involves coming right out into the open, stealing a car and crashing it through a parking garage wall in order to reunite with Fiona and Jesse. While they make their getaway, Sam is apprehended by Riley and taken into Agency custody. It's up to Team Westen to prove Card's crimes without going down for the one Michael just committed.
As Riley puts pressure on Sam and the CIA pays a visit to Madeline, Michael decides for the second time to walk into the path of the enemy, in order to lure Riley and her team into an ambush. Unfortunately, Sam says the wrong thing and Riley stops her convoy short of Jesse's crosshairs. The CIA team discovers the explosives Fiona set for them, and Plan B falls apart quickly after that.
As the CIA agents surround Michael, Jesse and Fiona, Sam realizes that Riley doesn't intend on taking in his friends peacefully, and Michael isn't willing to leave without Sam. His next drastic move is to use himself as bait, while Jesse and Fiona escape via storm drain. An overzealous Riley sets her team off after Michael (who happens to be armed with "a flaming block of C4 stuffed with bullets"), but leaves herself exposed. Jesse and Fiona get the drop on Riley, ordering her at gunpoint to tell her agents to stand down.
She does not take this well. "It just became my mission in life to put you behind bars," she vows. Michael may be reunited with his friends, but he's also destroyed his recently restored reputation with the Agency.
At episode's end, Michael pays a visit to his mother, informing her that he killed Card, and that their problems are far from over. He wants her to leave town, and she's not interested. "There's a part of me that will never get over what happened to Nate," she tells him. "If I don't forgive you, I'll lose you, too. I'm staying."
"This is a fight I can't win," he replies.
"Well, you have two choices," she says. "You can give up now or you can go down swinging."
Picking up after the not-so-surprising but still shocking ending of the two-part season premiere, 'Over The Line' serves to show the immediate fallout of Michael's choices even if it doesn't significantly advance the overall storyline of season six. It does the job of introducing a new recurring adversary for Michael and company - and a well-cast one in Sonja Sohn at that. In that sense, it's the prologue to the final act of season six, whatever that may be. One thinks this episode will have more resonance once the rest of the story unfolds.
Burn Notice takes next week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, but will return on November 29. Fans should also check out USA's recently announced Burn Notice Science Challenge.
For more from Brittany Frederick, visit Digital Airwaves and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.