Burn Wiki
Necessary Evil
Season 5, Episode 15
Bn 515.jpg
Air date November 17, 2011
Written by Matt Nix
Directed by Alfredo Barrios Jr.
Episode Guide
Breaking Point
Depth Perception

Necessary Evil is the fifteenth episode of the fifth season and the seventy-seventh episode overall.


  • Clients: William Resnik (hostage) 
  • Bad Guys: Joseph Kamba (lunatic warlord), Rawls, Benny (Madeline's boyfriend)


Michael runs point on a CIA rescue mission which involves a scientist kidnapped by an African warlord. Meanwhile, Sam and Jesse go undercover as microchip specialists but quickly get in over their heads.

Spy Facts[]

  • For a spy, the first step after identifying your enemy and finding his base of operations, is listening in on his communications. This can be as simple as planting a bug in his phone or as complex as breaking into a military-grade encrypted radio. Higher security makes the job harder, but it comes with a silver lining-the tougher the security, the more valuable the information it's protecting. If you can break in, you can be pretty sure it's going to be worth it.   
  • In any secure facility, the biggest vulnerabilities tend to be at the lowest salary levels. A company that will spend tens of thousands of dollars checking out senior staff will often hire janitors and window washers for 9 bucks and hour after a 20 minute interview. Getting hired is usually not too difficult, and it's even easier to pay someone a couple grand to hand over a uniform and leave town.  
  • One of the few businesses that still makes house calls is black market technology venders. When someone's paying a lot of cash for illegal weapons-systems components, they expect full service. And when your customer will settle any issues with a bullet to the head, it's a good idea to show up in person. 
  • Spies are surprisingly good recyclers. The ability to repurpose items in the field can often mean the difference between life and death. A broken eyepiece from a microscope can make the perfect disguise for a rifle sight. And a computer with a fried motherboard can house the magazine of an M-4 rifle. It's not exactly separating your bottles and cans, but it'll keep trash out of the landfill and possibly keep you out of the morgue.  
  • Whether you're smuggling drugs to sell or weapons to save a friend, you can't just hide contraband and pray. You have to be able to talk your way through an inspection. The key is to keep cool, and keep talking. The more they're listening to you, the less they're looking at whatever it is you're carrying. 
  • There is a fine art to making an electrical malfunction look spectacular and yet, not do any real damage. Especially when you're dealing with a deadly missile. The trick is to overload a non-explosive component, like the motherboard. Replacing resistors with plain-copper wire will amplify the current, overload the circuit, and result in some impressive, but relatively harmless fireworks.  
  • There's nothing quite like searching the home of someone you care about they've betrayed you. It's something spies have to do regularly, even with the people they love the most. It's never easy searching for something as hard as you can, and praying you find nothing at all. 
  • An electrified fence can't protect against someone who has no need to breach it. When you have a network of gas pipes that run across property lines, a well-placed block of C-4 on a gas main outside the fence can cause an explosive chain reaction inside whatever compound that fence is protecting. 
  • It's always difficult eavesdropping on someone you know well, or worse, someone you care about. The closer you are to them, the worse it feels to listen in on their private moments. Harder still is spying on someone you love, who's blatantly betraying you. 

Full Recap[]

Michael and Fiona pretend to be window washers in order to get into Anson's apartment and copy files off his computer.

Agent Pearce assigns Michael to a case involving a Liberian chemical company looking for guidance chips to make a bomb. Pearce wants Sam and Jesse as operatives on the mission. Sam agrees to the job in order to patch things up with his CIA contacts. They pose as black market technology dealers and pay a visit to Joseph Kumba, the man who is having the bomb built by William Resnik. He's holding Resnik's daughter for ransom, which is why Resnik is building the bomb. Jesse stays with Resnik while Sam tries to buy time with Kumba saying they need to get more chips.

Meanwhile, Madeline wants to go on a double date with Benny, Fiona and Michael. But Fiona and Michael find out from the info they stole from Anson that he's got Benny on his side. Madeline won't believe them, but then she finds photos of Fiona and Michael in Benny's house indicating he's spying on them. She plants a bug in Benny's apartment, but Anson, one step ahead, plants a bomb in his house too. Madeline watches Benny's house blow up with her boyfriend in it.

Sam keeps stalling Kumba's bomb production by requesting his team move an electrical face for fear it might interfere with the bomb. He's buying time for Jesse to get access to the guns Fiona planted. The tactic works and eventually Sam and Jesse manage to free Resnik and kill Kumba's men in the process and detonate the bomb.





  • Rick Gomez as William Resnick
  • Jonathan Adams as Joseph Kamba
  • Lovensky Jean-Baptiste as Crowley
  • Aubrey Peeples as Sophie Resnik
  • Hunter Womack as Rawls


Continuity Errors[]

  • As Sam walks through the compound door carrying the case, the exterior shot shows Sam carrying the case vertically by one of the end handles. The subsequent interior shot shows Sam carrying the case horizontally by the side handle.
  • Resnick tells Jesse his daughter is being held hostage, but Jesse never gets a chance to relay that information to Sam. In the next scene, Agent Pearce magically knows they need to find the kidnapped daughter.


  • Benny