July 24th, 2008
We’re running Carla free this time around on Burn Notice, which means that the scent of normalcy is in the air. This is, really, the prototypical Burn Notice episode: it’s got your client of the week, it has Michael looking for answers in dangerous places to discover who burned him, and it has a storyline that integrates Michael’s mother into the story in a way that’s still heavy-handed but certainly not overly intrusive.
I won’t have too much to say about this one, because it just worked: there wasn’t any shocking twists or new characters introduced, but it was just solid television that deserves some attention.
Being without Carla means that the show will have to continue the burn storyline without her, and thus the threat is less immediate – while I don’t quite understand the negative criticism of the opening episodes, this one is firmly within the old tradition and none of Carla’s more murderous influences are really at play here. Michael turning his attention to Carla’s own past is smart, and the storyline (Featuring the actor I know as Yair Marx on Entourage) with the Pakistani Consulate was right on target. It had everything: some neat tricks, some strong back and forth, and a nice sense of “Only Michael Weston Could Get Away With This” that the show does nicely.
The Client of the Week, meanwhile, was less interesting but still charming. The running Cat Fancy joke was extremely solid, and the various twists and turns were convoluted but ultimately entertaining. I do think that Patrick Fabian really needs to start asking people to let him play a nice guy every now and then, since between this and Pushing Daisies I’m going to think “Bad Guy” for a lifetime, and that’s just not fair. It also gave some great chances for Fiona and Sam both to play into Michael’s cases: the show is obviously having more fun with its supporting cast this year, as both Campbell and Anwar have had some real fun roles to play.
And Sharon Gless, as Michael’s mother, has finally been “in on the game.” While I do think that the character has no life on its own without Michael, allowing it to branch further into Michael’s life through Fiona and just in general is a smart trend that will serve her well. The character was fairly pointless last season, in a way, so now it seems as if she is less a distraction and more a real, live moving part in this world. If that can continue, this is in the better interest of the series as a whole.
That’s the end of it, really – a solid episode of an engaging television show. Who’d have thought it would be so simple?
- It will be curious to see how long it takes for Tricia Helfer to return, if only because I worry about the show becoming too complacent and falling into some of last season’s sameness.
- There was such happiness for Sam and Fiona when they got to blow a car to smithereens – I had fun too, really.