Burn Wiki
Season 6, Episode 8
BN 608.jpg
Air date August 8, 2012
Written by Alfredo Barrios Jr.
Directed by Alfredo Barrios Jr.
Episode Guide
Official Business

Unchained is the eighth episode of the sixth season and the eighty-eighth episode overall. 


  • Clients: Woods (FBI agent on a clock)
  • Bad Guys: Quinn (fugitive mob boss), James "Jimmy boy" Leary (murderous son of a bitch) 
  • Wayne Meyerson (party animal) 


In order to find out more information about the government's investigation into Nate's murder, Michael must help the FBI take down a Boston mobster.

Spy Facts[]

  • As a spy you get used to dealing with government bureaucracy. If you need to requisition a weapon, get an interrogation log to an analyst, or even arrange an emergency evac from a hostile territory, a bureaucrat can be your best friend. But when you need a simple answer to a straightforward question that same bureaucrat can become your worst enemy. 
  • If you need to get information from a government official, it's often best to approach him outside his usual place of business. When he's not in an environment that reinforces his authority you're a lot more likely to get something out of him. Especially if you can catch him alone. 
  • Whether you're trying to run someone off the road or just trying to sell that you are, it all comes down to the vehicle you use to do it. You want a light frame so you can maneuver faster than your target, and a low center of gravity so you don't flip. Choosing the right car can mean the difference between a clean stop and a nasty spill. 
  • As far as cold approaches go there's nobody spies would rather deal with than sales people. They're talkative, eager to please, and most meet too many people in a year to remember them all. And, no matter what a salesman has going, on they can't bear to offend a potential customer. 
  • Setting up a blackmail is about more than knocking your target out and snapping pictures of things he won't remember. It starts much earlier with all the things he will remember. You need to make sure that by the time you knock him out he's ready to actually believe that he did anything. Once it's time to spike your target's drink, the important thing is to control the dose. Mix too much sedative with alcohol and you shut down the part of the brain that controls the heart and lungs. Which means your target won't be sleeping… He'll be dead. 
  • There's always a risk when using a stolen car in an operation, but there are ways to minimize that risk. Take it from an employee parking lot during mid-day and chances are it won't be missed for hours. You want an older model to avoid anti-theft devices and a common neutral color that won't attract attention. Of course it doesn't matter how carefully you choose a car if you have to drive it through a police check-point. 
  • A car on fire makes a great diversion, but it takes a few minutes to get it fully engulfed. If you don't have much time to spare, you find the closest burning materials that will create the most smoke: like old newspapers and fast food bags doused in hand-sanitizer. Stuff them into rolled up rubber floor mats and you've created a vent that will focus the flames into one area. And the more focused the flames, the faster everything burns. 
  • A successful blackmail depends on the psychological state of your target. Leading with your demand can risk putting him on the defensive right from the start. But if you start by showing him how his world is about to crash down first, he'll be looking for the key to his salvation and be more likely to take it when you offer it to him. Of course no blackmail attempt can succeed if your target has no fear of being extorted. 
  • The passage of time is one of the most often used tools in counter-intelligence. It allows an adversary to observe you and determine whether you've been followed. Then, it's just a matter if they've seen enough to make a new acquaintance or a corpse. 
  • Spies feed enemies false information all the time. Sometimes though you have to give up the real thing, actual intelligence that puts innocent people in danger. It's rough rolling the dice with someone else's life; but sometimes it's the only play. 
  • When you've been driven to a meeting in a head bag, figuring out your location can be a challenge. If you know how long you were on the road, you can use the local speed limits to calculate a general area and if you can get to a window, local landmarks can narrow it down even further. It's the sort of thing you learn in the boy scouts, except boy scouts rarely do it with a gun to their back. 
  • A good defensive position is known as a force multiplier. One man can hold off three others as long as he can remain well protected, while keeping up a steady stream of suppressing fire. Only problem is doing that requires a lot of ammunition and when it's all gone, your defensive position very quickly becomes a death trap. 
  • Taking a hostage is only as effective as his relationship with his rescuers. The more they value his life, the more leverage you have. Of course if your hostage doesn't value his own life, all bets are off. 

Full Recap[]

Previously on 'Burn Notice': Michael had a bead on Anson Fullerton. Nate helped bring Anson down, but before Anson could be brought into custody both he and Nate were shot by an unseen sniper.

'Unchained': Michael is struggling to get any answers about Nate's death from the FBI. Fi assures him the FBI will find Nate's killer, but when Michael says he isn't so sure she suggests he start an investigation of his own. She offers to help, but Michael doesn't want to risk losing anyone else he loves.

Michael sneaks up on Agent Sexton of the FBI in a restaurant, but Sexton isn't very forthcoming. Michael pulls a gun on Sexton and says he needs to know everything Sexton knows and Sexton admits the file is closed and the case was shut down. There's no explanation as to why, but "brass" wanted to put a lid on it. Sexton says he wasn't happy about it. Michael leaves.

Back at the loft, Pearce tells Michael she "got an earful from Langley" about Michael's stunt. Michael says he did what he had to do to get some information. Pearce says the FBI must have taken the case because they didn't really want the CIA to get to the bottom of it. Sam says a "buddy of a buddy" at the FBI might be willing to share the file on Nate's case in exchange for some help with another case. The FBI has been looking for a gang leader in Boston and his right-hand man, Jimmy, is in Miami. They think Quinn, the gang leader, must be hiding nearby. Pearce volunteers to help and Michael says he's in.

There's a time crunch to the FBI case. Michael and Sam meet with Agent Woods, who has a witness who could help him bring down Quinn, the gang leader. But the witness, Kelly Duke, is clinging to life in a Miami hospital, "and if he dies, my case dies with him," Woods says. He needs Quinn to be found quickly. Michael suggests staging an arrest of Michael with Jimmy, and then letting them escape. That will get Michael to Quinn. Michael will wear a tracker the whole time. Michael says it'll start as soon as he gets the FBI file on Nate's murder investigation. Woods hands it over.

Pearce looks over the file and says there isn't much there. Jesse wants to find the gun used in the shooting by tracking down the company that makes it. He wants to blackmail the company's VP of sales, who is the son of the owner. Jesse plans to take the son out clubbing and snap some racy photos to get the information. Pearce wants to help and says she'll have cover IDs and plane tickets (to an event in Jacksonville) in the morning.

Fi still wants to help Michael, but he gets upset when she keeps pushing to be involved. He's hesitant since Nate died. Fi tells Michael not to blame himself for what happened to Nate. She says she's going to keep working with Michael "because it's who I am, it's who we are."

At the docks, Michael is cuffed as the FBI prepared to arrest Jimmy, who is nonchalant about the situation when he's cuffed. Jimmy is put in the back of a car with Michael, who pretends to be a Boston mobster. When he and Jimmy get a second alone, Michael says he has to get a message to Quinn and Jimmy pretends he doesn't know Quinn.

They take off for a two-hour drive to the federal detention facility. Fi comes up behind the FBI car, which has Woods driving and Sam up front. Michael tells Jimmy she's going to bust them out, and reiterates the message he has to get to Quinn. Jimmy says it's a bad idea. Fi runs the FBI car off the road, then uses a shotgun to blast Michael and Jimmy's back door open. Michael convinces Jimmy to come along, telling him the escape is going to be pinned on him anyway.

Michael, Jimmy and Fi get to a motel and Jimmy has a bunch of questions. Jimmy resists the idea of taking Michael directly to Quinn, but Michael and Fi work some magic and Jimmy says he'll make a call.

Jesse and Pearce watch Wayne Meyerson, the VP of sales and party animal from Meyerson Industries, the gun maker. Jesse bumps into Wayne and pretends to be a gun buyer for the Pentagon, and convinces him to get some drinks at a strip club. Jesse spikes Wayne's drink to start the blackmail process and get him to believe his night was wilder than he thought.

After waiting a while, Jimmy gets a call and says Michael can go see Quinn. They rob a car and head out, but a police checkpoint gets in the way. Michael runs it, but one of the cops recognizes them as the escapees and they have to make a serious run into a parking garage. With the cops following, Fi prepares to set the car on fire with some hand sanitizer. Jimmy, Michael and Fi abandon the engulfed car and jump out of the garage while the cops are left stunned.

Woods tells Sam the whole thing is getting out of control after hearing about the high-speed chase. Woods wants to move in on Jimmy right away, but Sam convinces him to hold off.

Jimmy takes Michael and Fi to a dark garage and says he's going to be driven to Quinn -- and he needs to change his clothes. The tracker is hidden in Michael's belt, which throws the plan into question. Also, Fi isn't allowed to join him. They try to figure out a way for Michael to communicate a signal to Fi when he's ready, and Michael goes.

Sam and Woods follow the tracker's signal and discover that Michael's clothes are in a garbage can near a park.

Wayne wakes up at 2 a.m. and Jesse shows him pictures of his exploits with one of the strippers. Wayne is worried, but when Jesse starts the real blackmail attempt Wayne is suddenly not so worried anymore. He says his father can handle it all because he has connections with all law enforcement and most politicians. Pearce, listening in on the whole conversation, steps in and threatens to bring Wayne's dad down, as well, by calling the U.S. Attorney's Office about Wayne's father's secret bank accounts. Wayne agrees to give up the records of all sniper rifles his company has sold in the last year. Jesse worries that Pearce showed her face and shouldn't have, but she says she did what she had to do. Jesse asks how she knew about the bank accounts, and Pearce says, "I didn't."

After waiting quite some time, Michael comes face to face with Quinn. Quinn tells Michael that he wants the information about where Kelly Duke is, and warns Michael that if he lies Fi will be killed. Quinn gets on the phone with his guys who are holding Fi and they hit her to the ground, which Michael hears. Quinn says that's just a taste of what will happen if Michael messes around. Voiceover Michael tells us that sometimes a spy has to give real intelligence that could endanger innocent people's lives -- and this might be one of those times. Michael tells Quinn that Kelly Duke is at North Miami General Hospital, under 24-hour police protection. Quinn sends some guys to check it out and tells Michael that someone's dying that day -- either Duke or Fi.

Michael's information checks out and Jimmy convinces Quinn that Michael is legit. Quinn tells Michael he's free to go. He sends Jimmy to the hospital to take care of Kelly Duke, and probably the cops who are guarding him. Quinn asks Michael about what kind of payment he's expecting, and Michael says he'd prefer to talk about a longer-term position with Quinn's group. He asks if they can talk over a nice bottle of Scotch. Quinn agrees.

Michael gets to Quinn's place and starts looking for landmarks. He gets his bearings, asking Quinn about the view and the bridge across the way, then calls Fi to clue her in on where he is. He finishes by saying, "This place is on fire," ostensibly in admiration of Quinn's mansion. When they hang up the phone, Fi takes out the two guys who were watching her, while Michael takes out Quinn's guards. Fi calls Sam and gives him the landmarks to Quinn's place.

Michael tries to hold off three more of Quinn's guys, including Jimmy, who are outside Quinn's office as long as he can. Michael shoots at the office door to keep them away, while he keeps Quinn tied up in a corner. WIth just one bullet left, Michael knows he's running out of time, and Quinn tells him boys to go ahead and kill Michael and him, if they have to, because he'd rather die than go back to prison. They move in but just before Jimmy can get to Michael, he's shot by Woods. Michael strolls out, with Quinn, asking Sam and Woods, "What took you so long?"

Jesse shows Michael the invoice that shows The Pryon Group purchased the gun that was used to kill Nate. Jesse leaves and Fi teases Michael about how he didn't want her to help on the case.

Pearce wakes them up with a loud knock on the door of the loft. The CIA found out about her approach on Wayne Meyerson and she's been reassigned to Mumbai. She makes Michael promise that it will have been worth it, and she leaves.





  • Brian White as Agent Woods
  • R.D. Call as Quinn
  • Michael Houston King as Wayne Meyerson
  • Billy Smith as James Leary
  • Bill Kelly as Agent Sexton
  • Daimion Johnson as Agent Braun


  • This episode marks the last appearance of Lauren Stamile's character Agent Pearce.

Continuity Errors[]

  • The license plate used on the car used to pass through the police roadblock was the same used on the black car Michael and Jimmy were arrested in. I63S7U