The most memorable quotes used in Burn Notice.
Michael (voice-over): Covert intelligence involves a lot of waiting around. Any meeting, any appointment, you have to show up early, make sure you are not followed; make sure the area is secured; check out the other guy's advance team and see how well he is prepared. It's good trade craft but it's like hanging out in your dentist's reception area 24 hours a day. You read magazines, sip coffee, and every once in a while someone tries to kill you.
Michael (voice-over): In a fight, you have to be careful not to break the little bones in your hand on someone’s face. Never happens in movies, but in real life a busted hand will get you killed. That’s why I like bathrooms. Lots of hard surfaces.
Oleg : You're real Michael Westen, yes?
Michael : Yeah.
Oleg: Back home, your story Russian Intelligence tells to scare. They say you're one name for many people. Special Operations team. They think one person cannot make so much problems.
Michael: Nope. Just me.
[After Michael almost broke Sugar 's hand]
Michael (voice-over): There is a reason spies have a hard time making friends.
Michael (voice-over): What do you do when an operation goes bad? Not much to do, but smile and try to stay alive.
Michael : Would you put some pants on?
Sam Axe: What? I work better when I can breathe down there!
Michael: Fiona, you were supposed to stop the car, not blow it into the Everglades! What happened to shorting the ignition?
Fiona: You said disable; it's not going anywhere.
Michael (voice-over): My mother's understanding of my career changes with what she wants from me. One day, she can name everyone on the National Security Council, the next day, she thinks I work for the post office.
'Michael' (voice-over): A hitman is like a plumber, a dentist or a mechanic. Everybody is always looking for a good one.
'Michael' (voice-over): Truth is, identity theft isn't hard. A number and an ID is all you need to drain a bank account and return some money to some very surprised retirees. But why stop there? As long as you're stealing someone's identity, why not use it to contact some known terrorist organizations on unsecured phone lines? Why not use it to threaten federal judges and insult the local drug cartel? Most fun I've had in Miami.
Michael: You lost my car in a card game?
Nate Westen: Well, I needed the money and you weren't helping me out. Besides, nothing ventured, nothing gained, bro.
Michael: It was a rental car you ventured.
Michael (voice-over): When you go on the run, the first thing you do is lay down tracks in the opposite direction, but that only works if the bad guys find the trail and believe it's for real, which means selling it. You need to put on a little show, make them feel clever. When you make somebody work to get a piece of information they'll believe it that much more because it's hard to get.
[Madeline is reminiscing about Michael and his father]
Madeline: I remember what fun you two had always working on cars in the garage.
Michael: Fun? I remember him making me fake a seizure at Mr. Goodwrench so he could steal spark plugs.
Michael (voice-over): Spies go to bars for the same reason people go to libraries: full of information if you know where to ask.
Sam: If I lose my pension, you're gonna be changing my diapers when I'm 95 and drooling.
Michael: Sam, I would never let that happen. I'd smother you with a pillow first.
Michael: Hey, can I borrow your car?
Sam: Where ya going?
Michael: Uh, just to the store to get some new yogurt.
Sam: [chuckles] Come on, Mike. Fiona calls, whisper whisper, all of a sudden you gotta have yogurt? What's the big secret?
Michael: No big secret, just looove yogurt.
[Fiona is making an explosive concoction]
Michael: How's it coming, Fi?
Fiona: Dangerous, unstable. Remind you of anyone?
Sam: Hey, Mikey. When you read this guy's profile you're gonna kiss me.
Michael: I am not gonna kiss you, Sam.
Sam: Look, I'm not saying I'm gonna like it. I'm just saying you're gonna kiss me.
[Nate hugs Michael and walks away]
Madeline: Now you see Michael, you're too hard on him. I mean, he can be so sweet. I just want us to be a family.
Michael: I know, Mom, I know. [Michael pauses and then looks up.] He just stole my wallet.
Michael (voice-over): Getting information out of someone who doesn't want to give it up is all about upsetting the target's emotional balance, impairing their judgment. Fear is good for that; anger is not bad either.
Michael (voice-over): As a rule, spies don't like dealing with cops. Covert ops are illegal by definition. If they were legal they wouldn't need to be covert.
Michael (voice-over): You can tie up a lot of resources by keeping a bugged phone line open. As long as it's open they're supposed to keep listening. Say a few cryptic things now and then and they'll be stuck in their little van trying to figure out what the hell you're doing.
Fiona: Honestly, I don't know why they bother. They should just put a bullet in your head and be done with it.
Michael: Apparently I'm more valuable alive than dead. But I'm sure they'll take it under advisement.
Michael (voice-over): Military firebombs are typically white phosphorus or chlorine trifluoride. These are remarkably effective, but they are also unstable, lethally toxic, and hard to find at the grocery store. The main ingredient in a homemade firebomb, on the other hand, is Styrofoam. A military demolition expert can put something together in a few hours. An IRA trained guerrilla can do it in twenty minutes... give or take.
Michael (voice-over): In intelligence work, surveillance is called coverage. It's like basketball; you can run zone defense or man-to-man. Man-to-man is risky; follow someone too long and they're going to get suspicious. Zone is usually the way to go. Stay put and let targets come to you. Less obvious, easier on the feet... and you can catch up on your celebrity gossip.
Fiona: You have always had a problem with my work. I have always supported you.
Michael: I'm helping people; you're running guns! Big difference!
[Michael and Fiona are in their car being chased by cops]
Michael: Do you have guns in the trunk, Fi?!
Fiona: A few semi-automatics, yeah. I got a deal, Michael. This guy was selling Browning 9mms for 200 bucks a piece.
Michael: You have unregistered weapons in a stolen car, Fi!