Maybe inspired by sister network MSNBC’s weekend offering of an inside look at life behind bars, the second episode of Burn Notice’s new season could accurately be titled Lockup: Miami. It’s our first chance to see how Fiona is dealing with her circumstances as the newest guest of the federal prison system.

As you’d expect, things aren’t going well for a petite woman who looks like she’d have a tough time reaching 90 pounds with a pocketful of rocks. Fiona finds herself taunted and tested by the joint’s baddest bitches and spends most of the episode looking over her shoulder for the beatdown she suspects is lurking around every corner.

For the first time probably ever, Fiona Glenanne is actually worried about someone not named Michael Westen. It was quite out of character for the woman who has been nothing but raring for action since we met her six seasons ago. Hearing her despairing prison letters to Michael and seeing her flinch at the slightest impulse felt like a convenient script device. Which made it all the more satisfying to see Fiona deliver a swift and smoky comeuppance to her tormentors later in the hour.

Still, there was much more going on than just Fiona trying to make sure she didn’t lose her daily fruit cup. On the outside, Michael and company are working to get Fi out of prison – or at least arrange some sort of visitation. To do that, Mike drops in on his mentor and former training officer, Tom Card (played with Perry Cox-like energy by John C. McGinley), hoping to call in a favor.

In the Burn Notice universe, much like real life, something never comes for nothing. And when you’re a spy, there’s usually only one thing people want from you – run dangerous missions on their behalf. This time, it involves helping the DEA infiltrate another of the drug cartels trying to set up shop in Miami like they were opening a corner Starbucks. But when Michael realizes that his cover could be blown, Jesse insists that he can pull off the operation alone and sends Mike back to the truck to handle things from the command post.

Watching the crew fall in line for scraps of information makes you long for the autonomous days of the Westen Gang – back when they took jobs to make some spending cash while aggressively pursuing a bigger goal. Recently, it feels like Michael has become just an errand boy who happens to have a particular set of skills. Plus, it feels like you need a flowchart to keep up with the alphabet soup of organizations Michael and crew have worked with/for in the past couple of seasons. Any freelancer will tell you that working for multiple bosses comes with the territory. And it’s great if you’re a consultant or a humble television and movie reviewer. But it’s kinda hard for a TV spy.

This week also saw the re-introduction of Nate Westen. Michael’s well-intentioned yet frequently misguided brother has returned to Miami after admitting that his wife and young child walked out on him for reasons unknown (or at least unstated). While there wasn’t much for him to do in this episode, it’s set up for him to once again join the team on a limited basis. With Fiona in the hoosegow and Madeline starting to get visits from the nastiest of bad guys, it’s probably good for the group to have a “new” civilian face that can get them into a few more places – or spice up a few more storylines.

But what’s an ending without a cliffhanger? As the episode closes, the beatdown Fiona anticipated finally arrived. However, it comes courtesy of the woman she thought was her closest friend in the pen. After catching a frying pan to the back of the head and nearly being drowned, Fiona not-so-gently convinces the would-be assassin to admit that a mysterious person on the outside wants her dead. Stay tuned.

So the season rolls on. Will Michael decide to stop waiting on the kindness of semi-strangers and get more aggressive in trying to break Fiona out of prison? How long before Fi starts running things in the joint? And how long before Nate starts screwing up his brother’s operations? Any other questions, comments or general repartee? Hit it in the comments section.