“Turn and Burn”
July 17th, 2008
With all of the Emmy hooplah, and then The Dark Knight over the weekend, it leaves less time for a show like Burn Notice. I didn’t blog about the show last summer not out of spite but out of design: the show is just solid, fun summer entertainment, not bothering with complex emotions or anything else. And, while that makes it a lot of fun to sit down and watch late Friday night, it makes it somewhat less fun to blog about.
However, I don’t want to do the show a disservice by ignoring it: there was still talk of the show somehow taking a nose dive in its first two episodes of the season, and I think this put that to rest. While the stakes are certainly higher this time around, the show still gives Michael more control than chaos, and his adept skills and reverting to a controlled state are some of the show’s finest moments. This week’s episode even seamlessly integrated the ongoing Carla narrative with one of Michael’s traditional clients, something that I feel gives just the right level of balance when all is said and done.
I think this is what we can expect in Tricia Helfer’s time on the show: small tasks as opposed to last week’s big one wherein they use Michael’s talents without it overpowering the series in the process. It lets Michael treat her as one big case, if you will, searching for hints via her Kurdish arabic accent or anything else he can get his hands on. I like it because, unlike last week, it’s a back and forth. Michael is not a pawn for Carla, but rather someone who she needs and who needs her to a certain extent. While he is somewhat taken hostage by her demands, he does have free will to take on other projects and to do his own investigations.
And that’s what keeps the show, more or less, the same as before: Fiona is just as happy when a plan involves a sniper rifle and C4, Sam is just as much of an oaf (And a dependable one, as seen here) as ever, and the show feels like it’s in its groove. The episode’s case, a floundering DEA agent who is at risk for being pulled out of the field before her investigation is up if Michael doesn’t help her, is fairly predictable but certainly exciting enough with the aforementioned explosive devices. Similarly, Michael’s case for Carla is a simple piece of usual spy work getting a card copied, but there’s just enough intrigue (His meetings with Carla) and light-hearted humour (Yet another awful but entertaining accent from Michael).
The only real misstep is the show’s usual one, Michael’s relationship with his mother. Relatively speaking, I really enjoyed this episode’s storyline – it was quick, it felt like it was actually get to the bottom of their relationship, and the end revelation was about as emotionally connected as they’ve been. Unfortunately, it’s still an almost entirely irrelevant story to the main ones. Michael as a character won’t change as he connects with his mother, and if it does the show will be worse off – while not quite as bad as In Plain Sight’s awful parental storyline, it still needs to be reconsidered slightly.
- Interesting to see Ugly Betty’s Kevin Alejandro in one of the roles, if only because it reminds me of a time when Ugly Betty was a much better show. Here, he was solid in the role of Raul, although I felt that the DEA agent was kind of lifeless by comparison. If she needed that much help from Michael, she was pretty hopeless.