Burn Wiki
Split Decision
Season 6, Episode 5
BN 605.jpg
Air date July 19, 2012
Written by Ryan Johnson (III)
Peter Lalayanis
Directed by Scott Peters
Episode Guide
Under the Gun
Shock Wave

Split Decision is the fifth episode of Season 6 of Burn Notice.


Card (Michael's training officer), Wes (obsessed S.O.B), Greyson (Fiona's gun supplier)


Rebecca's brother is the target of a gangster and Michael and Sam do what they can to help her brother out.

Spy Facts[]

  • In many ways being a spy is just like any other job; you get a paycheck, go to meetings, return phone calls and if your supervisor invites you to a fancy lunch without telling you why, it's either very good news or very bad. 
  • Unlike criminals, spies are trained to work with their captors to negotiate their own release. In most cases, it simply requires staying calm, relaxed and being as helpful as possible. Of course it's a lot more difficult when the person standing across from you is someone you hate.
  • Selling a cover as a former convict is about the little things, the habits you learn in prison. Things like wearing shoes without laces, refusing to make direct eye contact and asking permission before doing even the most basic tasks. 
  • When making an approach, solid intelligence is often just a starting point. Gauging the different reactions of your target and those around him can help you fill in the blanks. While you may already know how a man feels about his dad, keeping your eyes open can also tell you about how that mans wife really felt about her father-in-law. 
  • Budget constraints force most government offices to manage their data using rigid, out of date, filing systems. The constant glitches and lack of technical support give you a great opportunity to side-step the normal rules and procedures. Of course, if you run into someone who insists on doing something by the book you better know how to bend those same rules… in your favor. 
  • Explosive breaching is usually the fastest way into any building but it isn't exactly the most subtle. When a softer touch is required a compact hydraulic wedge can quickly pry a door away from its frame without waking up the neighbors or singeing off your eyebrows. 
  • The mistake people make in trying to deal with a guard dog is: trying to deal with a guard dog. A well trained German Shepard can run nearly thirty miles an hour, jump about five feet vertically and bite with more than 500 pounds of pressure. Trying to distract a dog may seem like a good idea but it usually just delays getting attacked by a few seconds. The best strategy is to stay as far away as possible and, if you can, put some solid steel between you and the animal. 
  • More often than not, high speed chases end with the fleeing driver in handcuffs or in a bed at the hospital. Escaping with your freedom and the ability to use both of your legs, means making a get-away the cops aren't prepared to deal with. 
  • When your target draws a conclusion you're not ready for, you play along if it helps you get the job done. Sometimes it makes wrapping up a mission quick and easy, and other times it makes your job that much harder. 

Full Recap[]

Card, Michael's training officer, joins Michael for lunch and says there's "news on your whole 'Get Fiona Out of Jail' project." The CIA wants to know that she's "a friend of the agency" in order to help. They want her arms supplier, and Card says Michael needs to convince her to cooperate. Told he has no choice, Michael says he's in.

Michael finds Sam outside of the loft. Sam says he's "giving Rebecca some space" because he's terrified of the look in her eyes when things aren't going her way. Sam's trying to figure out where her brother might be, but Rebecca isn't saying anything about when, how or why he took off. Michael tries to get some info from her. She says there are some dangerous people after her brother, Trent. Anson found out where Trent is hiding and said that if Rebecca doesn't do his bidding he'll tell the dangerous people where Trent is hiding. Michael says they need to go after the dangerous people. Rebecca is dubious, but Michael assures her he keeps his promises.

Rebecca takes Michael to a club where Trent used to work. She points out Wes, the owner who took over the business after his dad was busted by the cops. Wes is after Trent because he got wise to the fact that the club was a front for a criminal syndicate and told the cops. Wes is offering rewards, bribing cops. Michael says he needs to figure out a way in.

Michael, Jesse and Sam brainstorm how to convince Wes it was someone other than Trent who tipped off the cops. Sam sees that Wes' dad died in prison six months ago, but his cell mate, Butch McCall, is out on a work-release program in Tallahassee. Michael needs background info on Hank, Wes' dad, to be able to approach Wes and claim he was an old prison buddy with intel on how he was taken down. Jesse heads to Tallahassee with Nate.

Card visits Fiona in prison to ask her to work with the CIA. It doesn't go well. Fi isn't excited to see him. Card asks for her help putting out Greyson Miller. Card tells Fiona that Michael wasn't excited about it at first, but agreed it was necessary once it was clear that this was Fiona's ticket out of prison. Fiona agrees to help and tells Card that he needs to go to Maddy and get a picture frame Fiona had given her. Card knows he doesn't want to know why, and heads off to get it.

Jesse and Nate bicker after a six-hour road trip to Tallahassee. They catch up with Butch and at first he doesn't want to talk. A little cattle-prod taser does the trick, though. Butch comes to and finds himself tied to a chair with Jesse admitting they were lying before, but they aren't cops. They just want to know more about Hank, Wes' dad. Butch agrees to talk after more cattle-prod threats and a promise of $500.

Jesse gives Michael the background he needs to be able to approach Wes while posing as a former cell mate. Michael heads off to see Wes and things don't go great at first, but Michael works some magic to get Wes to listen to him. Michael tells Wes that an ex-DA in prison who said the cops had a secret informant on him. Wes isn't convinced until Michael says there was a file in a warehouse in Overtown that would tell Wes who the snitch is. Michael offers his "services as a procurement specialist." Wes agrees, but warns that if Michael is playing some game he'll be buried alive.

Michael goes to Sam and Rebecca and tells them he needs them to plant a file that he and Wes can "find." Michael doesn't want a name on the file because he wants Wes to tear his own team apart looking for whomever the snitch would have been.

Michael visits Wes at home and sees that Wes has focused his search on Trent, Rebecca's brother. He tells him again that it wasn't Trent, then lays out the plan that he and Wes will use to get into the police warehouse to find the file that will name a different unnamed informant.

Meanwhile, Sam and Rebecca pose as detectives and sweet talk a file clerk at the police warehouse to slip their file into a closed case, which is outside of normal protocol. And by "sweet talk," we mean Rebecca coaxes the shlubby guy into looking down her shirt and then threatens to get him busted for sexual harassment.

Card brings Maddy to see Fiona and they hug. Maddy gives Fiona the picture frame and Fi pulls out an encrypted data card, which is essentially a phone book for all of her contacts. Fiona calls Greyson to set up a meeting, which Card wants to happen with his own associate. Greyson refuses to meet with someone he doesn't know, and says he'll only do the meeting -- which is ostensibly happening so Fiona can sell back some weapons -- with Fi or Michael. Fi agrees to send Michael. Greyson says he'll text the details.

Michael and Wes get to the warehouse and Michael's phone rings with Fi's number on the caller ID. Michael doesn't answer it. Instead, Michael uses a tool to pry open the door. They get to the file and Wes pulls out the folder. A guard shows up and Wes wants to shoot him but Michael creates a distraction by tossing something to the other side of the storage space. Michael sneaks up on him and knocks the guard out with a choke hold. They step outside and see a line of cop cars headed right for them.

Michael and Wes head to the roof because Michael knows the cops have to check the whole building before heading up to the roof. He calls Sam for help in creating a distraction that might help he and Wes escape. Sam tells Rebecca that they'll need to set off an alarm and she realizes that means the cops will be chasing them instead. Sam admits the plan isn't perfect.

While Michael and Wes prepare to rappel down the side of the building, Fi calls Michael again and he finally answers. She tells him about the meeting with Greyson and Michael hesitates but says he'll be there. Card gets on the line and tells Michael to drop what he's doing and tend to the meeting.

Sam and Rebecca break into an impound lot and work their way around a German Shepherd guard dog to bust into a car that Sam attempts to hot wire. Sam busts the car out of the lot and right through a few cop cars, which give chase quickly. Just as some cops bust through the door to the roof, Michael and Wes are gone.

Michael and Wes drive away but Wes is still anxious. Card calls Michael and tells him time is running out if he wants to help Fi. Wes rips the phone away from Michael and tells him to focus on this job.

Sam and Rebecca, meanwhile, are being chased by the cops and Sam calls Jesse to ask him to get a boat and get to the port bridge, "like, now." Sam tells Rebecca he hopes she can swim. With the cops on their tails, Sam drives right into the water under the bridge. The cops watch helplessly as Sam and Rebecca jump onto the back of the boat with Jesse at the wheel and take off.

Back at Wes' place, Wes sees in the file that the cops had a different informant. Michael prepares to leave when Wes says there's only one person who could have given the cops that much info -- his wife. Michael gets Wes amped up about his wife turning on him. Wes wants to kill her, but Michael tells him he's too smart for that because he'll go to jail. He tells Wes to leave his wife and kick her out of the good life. Wes does.

Michael does Wes the favor of tearing Trent's picture off his wall, since Trent is no longer the target of Wes' search. Michael leaves and calls Card immediately. Card gives him the location. Michael needs to get the guns and get wired up, and over to the meeting place in 30 minutes.

Card tells Fi he ordered her some food and she says that's not enough for her to forgive him for pulling Michael out of Ireland with no notice. Card straightens her out on that story, explaining that Michael's cover was about to be blown and he wouldn't leave Fiona. He says they'd both be dead if Card hadn't taken Michael out. He asks her to guess who dropped everything and flew half way around the world to make sure that didn't happen.

"So, for all the happy memories that you've made so far with Michael Westen, the fun, the excitement, the felonies," he tells her, "you are welcome."

Fi says nothing as Card leaves.

Michael shows up for the meeting and Greyson is late. Greyson finally shows up and at first thinks the whole thing is a set up, but Michael convinces him by telling him Fi needs the money from the weapons to buy him off because she skipped town and went back to Ireland with some Brit. Greyson buys it, hands over the cash and Card's officers move in to make the arrest. Michael gets one moment where he gets to twist Greyson's fingers and bring him to his knees, saying, "You really think Fiona would replace me with a Brit?"

Michael immediately calls Card and asks if Fi can now be free. Card confirms that she's now a "CIA asset" and is invited to the company picnic. It's Michael's job to get her bounced from prison.

Michael gets to the loft and finds Sam and Rebecca waiting. Sam wants to drink some celebratory beers, but Rebecca isn't drinking and Michael says he isn't, either. Michael tells Rebecca that her brother is out of harm because Wes found someone else to blame. She thanks him. Then she holds up her end of the deal: She reveals that she's been providing travel documents and cash to Anson every couple of weeks and she can tell Michael the exact location of the hotel in Atlantic City where Anson's expecting his next drop. She just asks Michael to promise that once he has Anson in custody, "no deals, no negotiations, no compromises."

"Anson will get what he deserves," Michael says, "I promise you that."





  • Raymond Forchion as Butch McCall
  • Wayne LeGette as Greyson Miller
  • Rick D. Wasserman as Wes Foster
  • Beth Curry as Donna Foster


  • Fiona: You think a little lousy takeout is gonna make me forgive you?
    Card: Forgive me? Forgive me for pulling every single string at the Agency to get you out of here? Or is this still about Ireland? Because if it is, let me straighten you out on that score. Michael's cover was about to be blown. He wouldn't leave you. Forget about the fact that, if he stayed, you'd both be dead right now, or worse. And would you, uh would you like to venture a guess just exactly who dropped everything and flew halfway around the world to make sure that that didn't happen? So, for all the happy memories that you have made so far with Michael Westen, the fun, the excitement, the, uh, the felonies... you...are...welcome.