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Eye for an Eye
Season 5, Episode 9
BN 509.jpg
Air date August 18, 2011
Written by Michael Horowitz
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik
Episode Guide
Hard Out
Army of One

Eye for An Eye is the ninth episode of season 5 of Burn Notice.


  • Client: Dan Tesmond
  • Bad Guy: Lucien (bomb maker), James Forte (thief/liar)


Fiona and Jesse work together for a pharmaceuticals magnate, but soon realize that he is hiding something. Meanwhile, Michael and Sam take on a bomb-maker involved in Max's death.

Spy Facts[]

  • In any investigation, leads go cold fast. Its true for cops, and even truer for spies; who tend to be after a more sophisticated class of bad guy. So if you get intelligence that the person you're chasing hired a bomb maker who lives a few hours up the highway, you can't afford to sit on the information. You have to move immediately.  
  • Only the smartest, nastiest war criminals make it to old age. If you have to capture one of them, you can assume they'll have a trick up their sleeve. Like a concealed weapon, a covert escape route, or a metal floor grate rigged to electrocute any unwanted visitors.
  • The real experts in resisting interrogation aren't the ones who stonewall in silence. They're the ones who have mastered the art of talking about nothing, pretending to cooperate, throwing out endless leads. They use your need for information against you. Giving you things you want to believe. All they're doing is running out the clock. You're not going to break them with more conversation, you need an edge. 
  • When you're looking for an angle in an interrogation, it often helps to let a subject watch you go through the details of his life right in front of him. Keeping one eye on your research, and one eye on his reactions can often tell you what he wants you to see, and what he doesn't. 
  • Like Aikido masters, interrogators know that breaking their adversary isn't just about leverage. It's about knowing how and when to apply it. The moment your opponent feels most confident, is also the moment he's most susceptible to a game changing reversal. 
  • A good way to sell your expertise in protecting people, is to point out holes in security that most people wouldn't notice. Pointing out holes in security, is also a good way to create NEW holes in security.
  • People tend to implement security based on anticipated threats. They install firewalls and encryption if they're afraid of being hacked. They use vaults and armed guards if they're worried about being robbed. And if you need to get them to keep their personal security with them at all times, you have to make them afraid to ever be alone.
  • When you're being smuggled into a secure area, the best hiding spot is somewhere that people are confident they've checked thoroughly. By attaching reflective window tint to multiple sheets of glass, you can create what's known as "The Infinity Illusion". And just like any magician won't tell you, as long as the light outside the space remains brighter than the inside, you'll be as good as invisible.
  • When a plan goes wrong, it's crucial to stay cool. You may have to bail out, but how you bail out is everything. Do you run and leave behind evidence that gives away your plan to your enemies? Or do you keep the mission alive by covering your tracks?
  • The morning after a failed operation, you have two choices. You can admit defeat and lick your wounds, or you can re-engage immediately, sticking by your enemy so you'll be in position when you find another opening.
  • Even a fender-bender can stop traffic for a few minutes, but creating a longer lasting roadblock is about provoking an emergency response. Cops and firefighters won't go anywhere near a burning chemical truck billowing smoke that looks toxic. Which means you can get four hours of roadblock with a smoke canister and a little gasoline.
  • Sleight of hand tricks aren't just for kiddie parties. The same misdirection and quick moves that a magician uses to find a quarter behind a 5 year old's ear, can also help an operative plant a listening device in someone's car.
  • Work long enough as a spy, and you learn that distress calls don't always work exactly as planned. Just because someone calls for help, doesn't mean they're going to get it. A surprisingly high percentage of the time, friends turn out to be less concerned with rescue, and more concerned with making sure no one talks.


Michael wants to move quickly before his lead on the bomb-maker goes cold. The man lives in Tallahassee. Sam isn't sure they're making the right move, questioning Fiona's intel because the alleged bomb maker just looks like a harmless old man. But Michael wants to make good on the work Fi did, and she says the guy is a war criminal. Michael tells Fi that he and Sam won't be back until late the next day, which means they won't make it to a planned dinner that night at The Forge. She asks if she should cancel the reservation before realizing Michael never made one.

Michael and Sam stake out the old bomb-maker and as finishes his third donut. The man, Lucien operates a clock shop. Lucien gets a little suspicious when he hears Sam say his name, noting that he doesn't hear the name Lucien much these days. Michael tells us war criminals survive to old age by having some tricks up their sleeves when they've about to get caught. Lucien tries to lure Sam and Michael to the back of his shop and sends an electric jolt through a metal floor grid, setting it on fire. Michael saw this coming, though, and backed he and Sam away just in time. Lucien says he won't talk, but Sam thinks otherwise.

Sam tells Lucien they just want to know who he made the bomb for, and he starts listing off a bunch of false information -- days' worth of bad information. To get an edge, Michael has Fi bring some of Lucien's personal info -- which all fits into a small box. She heads back to Miami to help Jesse on a personal gig.

Fi and Jesse visit a woman who's sure someone's been in her house even though the alarms haven't gone off and nothing has been stolen. Her husband seems to be a little skeptical about his wife's concerns.

Michael goes through Lucien's possessions in front of him, hoping for a reaction to something. Lucien finally reacts to Michael looking at a newspaper article about a charity 10K race in Atlanta.

Jesse and Fi are sitting watch in their clients' house when the sensors go off in the man's home office. They catch a man at a computer. He says he's not a burglar. He tells Jesse he's James' old business partner, who had been imprisoned in South American years earlier. He says he faked his own death and got back to Miami to discover that James had stolen the company, his future and his wife. He was married to Sadie, James' wife. Fi insists that if the story is true, they should see to it that Dan doesn't go back to prison. As the cops get close, Fi helps Dan escape while Jesse goes back to buy some time. Jesse tells James that the intruder got away and Fi was giving chase.

Back at the loft, Fi finds that Dan's story checks out. He invented an anti-viral drug that James wanted to make money on while Dan wanted to make it available publicly. James had Dan set up on a drug charge and paid off a judge to make it stick and get Dan locked up. Meanwhile, their company, HLX, turned into a gold mine. Dan explains he was in their house to find any information to get to HLX. Jesse and Fi decide to help him, realizing that they are now part of James' top-notch security team.

The next day, Jesse tries to get the full security clearance at HLX, but James' head of security and James both tell him the security at the building is solid and he's not needed there. HLX's security chief then mocks Jesse, telling him to go to a coffee place around the corner and he should try to go keep it secure.

Michael decides to use his leverage on Lucien just when Lucien is feeling most confident. He starts throwing out more false information when Michael shows him the article about the charity race and tells Lucien they know his daughter wrote the article and that they'll have her deported unless he tells who he made the bomb for. He gives them a name of a man he meets at a cafe in Orlando. Sam goes despite having called "not it."

Fi asks Michael to help shake James "to his core." Jesse distracts a couple of HLX's security guards to chastise them for letting maintenance workers into the building without adequately checking the workers' badges. Meanwhile, Michael cruises into the building unseen. Michael then corners James in the parking garage and plays the part of a grieving man whose mother died as a result of HLX's drug. He says he disable the security cameras around the buildings. Michael blows up three cars right before James' eyes before fleeing. HLX's security team, including the smug chief security officer, show up and James is livid. He fires all of them on the spot and tells the head guy he'll be fired, too, if he says anything. Jesse calls James and says he heard the explosion. James tells Jesse he has full security clearance and will not leave his side until "this psycho" -- the supposed stalker -- is caught.

Michael and Fi tell Dan that they're planning on getting into HLX and cracking the safe to get the gene sequence for the anti-viral. Jesse is at HLX and tells James he's going to fortify the place and he'll need to get started that weekend.

In Orlando, Sam finds out that the cook at the cafe Lucien sent him to doesn't work there anymore. Michael tells Lucien to think of another way to find Nikolai, or the feds will ship his daughter back to Bucharest.

That weekend, Jesse and Sam smuggle Michael into HLX and get him some time to crack the safe. While Jesse and Sam install blast-proof windows in James' office, the head of security says the additional cameras he installed himself caught an extra lab tech in one of the labs. He goes to check and Sam texts Michael that security is on its way. Rather than show evidence that he's trying to crack the safe, Michael smashes up the rest of the lab to cover his tracks. When Ross, the security chief, comes into the lab, Michael traps him and takes him gun. We next see Michael holding Ross hostage, having duct taped explosives to the man and threatening to blow him and everyone else up if any of the other guards shoot. When Michael realizes that James is watching on a security camera, he tells him over Ross' radio that he's like hell and he's going to last for forever. Michael then escapes right out the front door.

The next day, Jesse tries to tell James that he can secure HLX, but James says he's having Ross take the billion-dollar trade secrets in the safe to a bank vault in Palm Beach. An armored truck is on its way and James will be in the convoy with Jesse.

Michael decides their only option is to convince James the convoy isn't secure. He, Sam and Dan create a roadblock by staging a crash involving a gas truck and creating some toxic-looking smoke. The convoy gets stuck at the scene of the accident and Jesse starts to cast doubt on Ross' security. He asks Ross if he told anyone the route, then plants a bug in Ross' car and says the stalker must have been listening in. Jesse suggests that James let Ross take James' car and that James carry his trade secret gene sequence out of the armored truck because it's a target. James goes along with it.

Jesse drives James to a warehouse where Michael and Dan are waiting. Michael explains to James the real "stalker" is Dan, and James is stunned to see Dan. He tries to pay Dan off or give him a piece of the company, and even when Dan mentions that James stole the only woman he ever loved, James says "Sadie was no catch." That's when she emerges and says she's heard everything she needs to hear. Jesse, meanwhile, is flipping through the secret documents, which include records of payoffs in addition to the gene sequence.

Dan says the HLX board is on his side and he'll be making his way back into the company. James, meanwhile, is looking at five to 10 years in prison for conspiracy.

Michael and Sam go pay Lucien another visit and they hear some noises outside. Lucien then reveals that the visit to the cafe in Orlando was a distress call and there's someone outside coming to rescue him. Sure enough, Sam sees shooters outside with guns pointed at their hideout. Bullets start flying and Michael soon realizes that Lucien's distress call wasn't necessarily heard by a friend, but by someone wanting to make sure no secrets got out. The shooters pepper the small building, hitting Lucien who decides to tell Michael where to find the person he made the bomb for just before he dies -- only because Michael gave Lucien his word about keeping his daughter safe. Sam blows up the hideout and he and Michael run for it.




  • Ross
  • Lucien
  • Sadie Forte
  • James Forte
  • Dan Tesmond


  • Dan Tesmond (the client) is an anagram of Edmond Dantès, the main character who was framed by his best friend, in the Alexandre Dumas novel "The Count of Monte Cristo"