Burn Wiki
Hard Time
Season 4, Episode 10
Air date August 12, 2010
Episode Guide
Center of the Storm
Blind Spot

Hard Time is the tenth episode of the fourth season and the fifty-fourth episode overall.


  • Clients: Juan Ruiz


Michael interrogates Simon in order to gain more information on the cipher he found. Meanwhile, an old buddy of Sam's serving jail-time ask him for help, because he thinks his life is in danger.

Spy Facts[]

When you're preparing to interrogate a trained operative, the most useful information isn't professional, it's personal. You need to get into the target's head, understand what makes him tick. Of course, that's easier with some people than others.

Handcuffs, like anything metal, are vulnerable to metal fatigue. Give someone enough time to work on them, and they'll break down just like anything else.

When you realize you're being followed, escaping isn't always the best option. If your pursuers don't know who you are, driving evasively, calling the cops, or pulling a gun will just send the message that you're a threat. Whenever possible, the best play is to make the bad guys think you're not someone to worry about. If they think you might be a cop who's onto them, you have to convince them you're just a harmless attorney working on an appeal.

Every environment has its rules and customs, and your survival often depends on knowing them. In Russia, you never refuse vodka. In Pakistan, you always clear your dinner plate. And in prison, you're careful about making eye contact. Too little eye contact, and you become a victim. Too much eye contact, and you become a threat. Either way, you're never more than a couple of blinks away from getting a shiv in your back.

Old cemeteries are great hiding places as long as you don't mind desecrating a grave. People don't often go digging in cemeteries, and unlike buildings or houses, they don't get demolished or remodeled. Bury your stash near an old, nondescript headstone, and there's little chance anyone will recover it, unless they're meant to.

In the jungle, the first warning that a predator is approaching is silence. When violence is imminent, animals instinctively know that keeping quiet and still is their best shot at survival. Prison's a lot like the jungle, silence is not a good sign. Averted eyes, stockpiled food, and guys wearing heavy coats on a warm day also indicate trouble's on the way

Suits of armor fell out of fashion because the added protection isn't worth the trade-off in speed and agility. Flak jackets and bulletproof vests are popular because they allow for a free range of motion. The key is to shield your core and mentally prepare for strikes against your unprotected arms and legs. All lightweight armor is vulnerable to some extent. Layered book cardboard won't stop a bullet, but it's dense enough to thwart all but the sharpest blades.

Fighting in tight quarters with your back against a wall may cut off escape options, but it creates a choke point and forces your opponents to form a single-file line. If you have to fight a group, it's better to take them one at a time.

High school chemistry teaches us that volatile chemicals like sodium metal will burn when they come into contact with the moisture in the air, which makes them ideal triggers for particularly nasty booby traps. High school chemistry also teaches us that oil and water don't mix. So to diffuse a booby trap triggered by moisture, you submerge it in oil. It's messy, but it'll keep you from being blown to bits.

Any medical facility is going to contain plenty of combustible material. Pure oxygen can pack a punch if paired with the right accelerant. The same properties that make ether a powerful anesthetic, also makes it extremely flammable. Alcohol is used to sterilize wounds. Pour it on the floor, it can also make an effective fuse. Any place where lots of dental lab work is done on the premises will have a butane torch. It's used to cast molds or teeth out of wax. It can also be used for any other task that requires a controlled, pointed flame. 

Few incidents inspire a police response as intense as a prison break. Local, state and federal authorities come after a fugitive with everything they've got. Dump an escaped prisoner someplace, give him a gun, make a few calls, and you can guarantee he'll make a lot of new friends in law enforcement.

Full Recap[]

Michael meets with Simon, during which Simon breaks his handcuff and starts a scuffle. While Simon has the upper hand he tells Michael where he buried some intel that Mike would be interested in and that they would talk after he listens to an included tape.

Sam meets with an old contact in jail and finds the contact's life is in danger and decides to try to save him. While talking it over with Michael, Michael convinces Sam that the people at the prison would recognize him and they both agree that Mike will go in.

Sam and Fiona track down the intel and find a bomb that explodes when exposed to air so they have to come back later. Sam and Jesse talk to a blackmailed guard in order to help Mike and Sam's old contact escape, meanwhile Fiona and Madeline retrieve the intel.

As Mike, Sam, and Fi listen to the tape they learn that Vaughn had hired Simon for the same job he hired Mike for. Mike met with Simon and while Simon did not reveal what the bible translated he did reveal who was trying to get it. He told Mike that he should yet the guy have it because that would lead to Vaughn being taken down and Michael would be able to take down the other guy with out Vaughn getting in his way.





  • John Verea as Juan Ruiz


  • The character Juan Ruiz is played by John Verea, who is actually Gabrielle Anwar's ex-husband and the father of her son Hugo and daughter Paisley.
  • Sam Axe's guard uniform's name tag is "Campbell"(from Bruce Campbell), as visible when Sam and Jesse enter the infirmary.

Continuity Errors[]