Burn Wiki
Nature of the Beast
Season 7, Episode 8
Air date August 1, 2013
Episode Guide
Psychological Warfare
Bitter Pill

Nature of the Beast is the eight episode of the seventh season and the one hundred and sixth episode of Burn Notice.


Bad Guys: Sonia, James Kendrick


While Michael is tasked by the organization he infiltrated to take down a drug smuggler, Fiona, Jesse, and Strong find out more about its leader, James.

Spy Facts[]

There are few things riskier than taking down a high priority target during a meeting in a public place. You're usually operating alone, out of radio contact, surrounded by civilians, while your support has to stay out of sight, often blocks away, so they won't be detected. The hardest part of the job is that until the target shows up, your job is to just sit there and try to act natural. The thing to remember is that you're not just setting a trap. You're also the bait.

For a spy, the strain of a deep cover assignment goes beyond just being alone, surrounded by enemies who'd kill you if they knew your identity. If you want to survive, you can't let any of that strain show. You have to project total confidence, total comfort, and greet your enemies like old friends.

When operating in third-world countries, a dollar is usually a lot more useful than a bullet. In a place where the government runs on bribes and connections, you can get a lot done with a nice suit and a bag of cash.

If you need to sabotage a boat, an explosive charge underneath the water line is usually the most efficient way to do it. The challenge is that normal explosive devices and salt water don't mix. Remote detonators won't transmit underwater, so you need to use a timer. The components can't get wet, so you need to make sure the device has a waterproof seal. And once you're done, comes the really hard part: putting the device where you need it.    

An underwater explosion isn't something you want to be close to, because water doesn't compress under pressure. The shockwave carries a long distance without losing kinetic energy. And if you're still in the blast radius when the bomb goes off, that kinetic energy will shatter every bone in your body.

One of the basic rules of combat is "hit first, and hit hard." You only get one chance to surprise your enemy. The important thing is to make it count.

Spies are trained extensively on what to do when taken prisoner. If escape is impossible, the most important thing is to make a connection with your captor. Find out what they want and try to talk your way out of the situation without bloodshed. Of course, it's a lot harder to connect with someone who happens to be criminally insane.

Extracting a high-value target from a foreign country is a challenge even under ideal conditions. If the capture of the target left witnesses and raised alarms, it's even harder. The problem is that high-value targets tend to have a lot of friends and allies. They can alert local authorities, set up search parties, and if you're really unlucky, they can bring out some big guns of their own.

One of the oldest tricks in espionage is the false surrender of a prisoner. It's a desperate move used only when you're completely outmanned and outgunned. It means approaching your enemy alone and unarmed. It's not ideal. But it will get you close enough to attack.

Full Recap[]

Michael is waiting in a restaurant for a meeting while Agent Strong and his crew try to maintain watch from afar. The waitress hands Michael a cell phone, telling him he dropped it. He insists it isn't his, but she shows him it has a picture of him, Maddy and his nephew Charlie. James calls Michael on the phone and tells him to meet him in a car on a corner. Strong and his team try to keep track of Michael's movements as he runs through some streets and into a plaza. Michael gets to a corner where four black Town Cars are sitting. The lights flash on one and Michael gets in. Strong's men lose track of him and the four black cars all leave in different directions.

Michael is brought into a mansion where James is waiting for him like an old friend. Michael asks James why he still doesn't trust him and is keeping him in the dark. James tells Michael that he spent his whole life in the dark working for the CIA, adding, "I was just turning on the lights." James tells Michael he's there because of what he's seen and done and still has a soul. James says he created the network "to be the conscience" and do the right thing. He says they don't make deals with monsters, they destroy them. He hands Michael his first "monster": Marco Cabral, head of the Dominican narcotics police, who is also the country's biggest drug smuggler. He's now turning his intelligence network over to the Brits in exchange for "a very comfortable retirement." James tells Michael the operation has to be precise. James tells Michael that Burke was working on this in the D.R. and would want Michael to finish it for him.

"It would be an honor," Michael tells James.

Strong tells Jesse he's sending him and Fiona to Biloxi to find a mental patient whose bills James has been paying for some time. Fi heads to a restaurant to meet with Maddy, who tells Fi that Carlos called her because he's worried about Fi. Maddy asks Fi what's really going on with this trip to Mississippi and Fi tells her it's about Michael's operation. Maddy tells Fi that, as her friend, she can't watch her lose Carlos. Fi tears up and says she's in a bind and loses either way.

Sam and Michael are in the D.R., but Sam isn't sure he wants to get mixed up in taking down an MI-6 operation. Michael quickly talks Sam into it and they hatch a plan to beat the Brits to the meeting and give Cabral a better offer -- $1 million in cash.

Sam puts on his sharp business man outfit while Michael sits up high above the courtyard restaurant with a sniper rifle. When Cabral arrives, surrounded by four officers with their fingers on the triggers of their assault rifles, Sam gives the whole backstory of knowing about Cabral's deal with MI-6 and wanting to give him a better offer. Cabral seems intrigued, but when he threatens to simply take Sam's money and go with MI-6 anyway, Michael fires a warning shot that blows up a bottle of champagne next to Sam's table. Cabral's men are spooked and Sam tells Cabral to give him a call if he's ready to talk business before he takes the briefcase of cash and leaves.

Sam tells Michael he thinks the mission is too risky. He says Cabral seems very serious about staying with MI-6. Michael starts to think about using Cabral's fear of the British being unable to protect him.

Jesse and Fi get to Biloxi and Strong hands them a file but doesn't even have a name of the mental patient they're looking for. He's been brought to Biloxi General Hospital under the cover that he needs an outpatient procedure. They have a picture, which shows a Special Forces tattoo. Suddenly, a security alarm goes off and they find a security guard on the ground and their "John Doe" has gone missing. Jesse convinces Strong to lock down the hospital by getting the CDC to believe a report of anthrax in the hospital to get it quarantined.

Michael and Sam prepare to plant a bomb on a boat near Cabral's meeting with MI-6. The boat is supposed to take him to the Cayman Islands. Cabral asks his men to check the boat, but the MI-6 contact says the boat has been swept. Cabral demands his men check the boat. As they approach, Michael moves the bomb toward the boat, risking his own safety because he won't be able to emerge from the water to avoid the blast. The bomb goes off and Cabral panics before leaving and telling MI-6 he won't work with them. Michael eventually stumbles out of the water, much to Sam's relief. All Michael wants to know if whether it worked. Sam tells him it did.

Sam isn't too pleased that Michael risked his life and he's getting tired of doing the CIA's bidding under the threat of being locked up. He says that would be better than dying somewhere on one of these missions. Just then, Cabral calls and asks Sam if his deal is still available. Sam says it is.

Meanwhile in Biloxi, Jesse, Strong and Fi have an hour left in the quarantine and can't find their guy. He's cut the security camera feed. Fi guesses he could be holed up in the elevator shift. With the help of security, they open all the elevator doors at once and there's still no sign of the guy -- until he sneaks up on Jesse's security escort and then on Jesse, who goes silent after taking a punch from behind.

Sam and Michael are waiting to meet with Cabral and Sam tells Michael he's worried that Michael is getting into the job a little too much. Michael tells Sam he knows and that's why he needs Sam there. Sam understands.

Cabral arrives for the meeting in a parking garage and they shake hands. Sam tries to get Cabral into the car that Michael is waiting to drive them away in, but Cabral is hesitant. He doesn't want to be separated from his men. Cabral is shaken again and tells his man to kill Sam. Michael, seeing things are going south, slams the car into reverse to take down the guard and Sam smacks Cabral in the head with the briefcase to stun him just long enough to push him into the car before Michael drives them away.

Jesse is now a prisoner of his John Doe and starts to try to talk to him. The guy puts a highly explosive solution around Jesse's neck. He starts to ask Jesse questions. He wants to know, "Is he here?" Jesse doesn't know who the man is talking about, but the man punches him when Jesse says he doesn't know James. "John Doe" tells Jesse that he's been in a mental institution for 15 years because James put him there. Fi and Strong bust through the door and Jesse convinces them that "John Doe" is the victim and wants to get back at James as much as they do.

Michael is driving Sam and a knocked-out Cabral to meet up with James when they come across a military roadblock. Rather than try to escape the heavy artillery, Michael puts himself up as bait in a "false prisoner" surrender. Wearing Cabral's shirt and a hood over his head, Michael walks up to the men pretending to be Cabral while Sam negotiates his own right to pass through. Michael approaches slowly before head butting the first man he comes to. He and Sam then quickly take care of all the men and take over the big truck that has a .50-caliber machine gun mounted to the top.

Michael and Sam bring Cabral to James, who is waiting on a boat. James gives Michael and Sam tickets back home and fake passports. Michael tries to get in on whatever James has planned for Cabral, but James tells him to go home and get some "earned" rest.

Michael gets back and meets with Strong, who tells him about James' Delta Force training. He tells Michael that John Doe was in Delta Force with James and wants to meet with the guy who's been undercover with James. Michael walks in to meet with the man, whose name is Peter, who tells Michael about a mission his and James' unit was sent on in Mogadishu to take out a warlord. The warlord turned out to be a punk kid with some friends and the rest of the village was full of women and children. Orders came down to take them all out anyway. Peter said he didn't want to do it and he asked James to try to talk the unit out of it but they wouldn't disobey a direct order. James told Peter he'd "take care of it."

Michael asks what James did.

"He killed them all," Peter says. "The whole unit. Slit their throats when they were sleeping."

Peter says no one can stop James. He says he tried and James put him away for 15 years. He says he loved James and would have followed him anywhere, "and he led me straight to hell."