Burn Notice (2007–2013)
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Shock Wave 

Sam and Barry are pinned down by an assassin as Michael gets a lead on Anson. An MI-6 agent tries to prevent Fiona's release from prison.


Renny Harlin


Matt Nix (creator), Jason Tracey | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeffrey Donovan ... Michael Westen
Gabrielle Anwar ... Fiona Glenanne
Coby Bell ... Jesse Porter
Bruce Campbell ... Sam Axe
Sharon Gless ... Madeline Westen
Jere Burns ... Anson Fullerton
Paul Tei ... Barry
Zabryna Guevara ... Ayn
William Mapother ... Garret Hartley
Ward G. Smith ... Arthur Meyers (as Ward Smith)
Lauren Stamile ... Agent Pearce
Seth Peterson ... Nate Westen
Peggy Sheffield Peggy Sheffield ... Warden Mills
Vincent Flood Vincent Flood ... Anthony
She ... Call Girl (as Sheena Colette)


Dody financial consultant Barry, one of Mike's informers, needs urgent protection against an arms dealer and his goons. Sam, who is excluded from the CIA-sanctioned next chase for Anson, accepts to rescue Barry. Resourceful but rash kid brother Nate Weston is allowed to join the official mission, but Mike is excessively harder on the 'bumbling' novice now Fuona's release is finally within reach. To prevent being extradited on IRA terrorism charges to the British in extremis, she bribes the jail fixer to hide and find her. Tragedy hits murderously just when Mike's success seems complete. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 July 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Barry refers to a homemade grenade launcher that Sam makes as a "Boomstick." This is the same term that Ash uses to refer to his shotgun in Army of Darkness. Ash and Sam are both played by Bruce Campbell. See more »


Some of the dialogue between Sam and Barry, as they are hiding from the bad guys, echoes when it shouldn't. See more »


Sam Axe: [fashioning a badge out of a beer can] I need your wallet, some scissors, and a glass.
Barry: What's the glass for?
Sam Axe: We don't waste beer in my family.
See more »


References The Wire (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Similar but never the same
30 July 2012 | by rrjmdpaSee all my reviews

As a Burn Notice viewer one should always pay attention to the title. In this case "Shock Wave," unbeknownst to us at first, is intended to convey meaning far beyond this episode's action. A recent interview with the creator, Matt Nix, confirms our previous observations that the series is changing -- according to him, deliberately so. Well... from what we've seen, yes and no.

The director Renny Harlin did a masterful job on the episode with active and unexpected camera angles, editing, pacing and choice of music - possibly the best yet in the series. He even compensated, mostly, for segments of weak screenplay. Oh, the overall plot and premise was true to form and even exceeded the complexity and innovation that we've learned to expect. It's just that the translation into the screenplay sometimes comes across (to a US audience) as unbelievable - or at least hokey and contrived. A US audience doesn't believe that one character loves another just because the writer needs them to and tells us they do - we need to see it, it needs to be set up. A US audience expects legitimate authorities to be above dishonesty and champion fairness (unless we are shown reason/necessity in the plot).

Fiona, Sam and Michael were about as "on their own" as they have ever been in the series. Fiona and AYN completed what most of us have been anticipating all along. It was nice to see how it actually occurred even if we had to overlook the hokey dialog/premise of the MI-6 and State Department characters. Michael and Pearce's segments gave us great twists and turns with another "Anson chase" all over Miami. I just wish they'd hire another writer who knew how to do the exposition needed without all the whining/contradicting/arguing - and I'm certainly becoming weary of the arrogant-manipulative-shrew character type they seem to readily apply to their female characters.

Sam and Barry's segment was sheer delight! They make a great comedic relief team who play off each other masterfully and the running beer can gag-line just fit Sam's character to a "T". I'd personally like to see more of Barry, Sugar and even Seymour.

With the several changes for good this season, why do we feel a sense of foreboding or uneasiness over where this is heading? Perhaps it's because the writers aren't only tweaking the characters a bit (mostly for good as far as I'm concerned) but they are messing with the "premise" and "structure" to a greater extent than we are used to with a show we like. We expect Michael to be "burned" and could be worried about how they are going to need to keep him burned. We expect Fiona to be able to assist with the "underworld" but as a "CIA asset" who now has an actual criminal record? Sam is, and always has been, "honest, dependable, capable Sam" and can take up some more slack - but where? And who is going to be the character that Matt says is going to be angry at Mike for the rest of the season - my bet is Madeline. And of course there is a HUGE "elephant in the room" that I can't discuss under IMDb penalty of "spoiling." Watch the episode and you'll know immediately what I mean. Matt says that the end of this season will put us (and I guess Michael, Sam, Fiona and the rest of them) in a "place that no one expected" - lets keep our fingers crossed that they don't mess with it so much that it's no longer #1 on USA Network.

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