(Season 1, Episodes 4-7)
Now that I’m through the first half of Season 1 of Burn Notice, I’ve got to say: it’s not exactly setting my world on fire. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent show, and there are a lot of things I really like about it, the whole thing just hasn’t come together for me yet. Although, I will say that the last episode in this batch, in which Michael gets Agent Bly to hand over his Burn Notice dossier, is pretty awesome. Burn Notice has been steadily getting better, so I’m looking forward to my next installment.
1×04 “Old Friends”
We’ve been hearing about Michael’s brother for a while now, so I’m glad we get to meet him in episode four — I was convinced he would remain a mystery until season 3 or something. I like how he further illustrates how different Michael is from the rest of the family, while remaining the same at his core. Michael definitely gives off the impression as someone who is striving to be better than his environment, but when it comes down to it, he’s a thug. He may wear nice suits and use fancy martial arts moves, but at the end of the day, he’s still stuffing dudes into trunks.
I’d like to see more of his brother. He adds an interesting element to the team, and his gambling problem could make for some good future storylines. Plus, I like seeing him with Michael more than I like seeing Fiona with him, so that’s a plus too. Sure, there isn’t as much nipple play, but that scene where Fiona grabbed Michael’s nipples when he was changing in the hotel was super-creepy, so I could definitely do with less of it.
Speaking of that hotel scene, I want to see if I can get away with breaking into a room like that. You know a maid would totally let you in if you have on a bathrobe and some ice.
1×05 “Family Business”
It looks like I got my wish with Michael’s brother showing up again. It’s also good to have him back because I feel like Michael needs a plausible reason for having a new case every week. I can buy that his brother knows enough people in fucked up situations to keep everyone busy for quite a while.
I’m also hoping that the show continues to delve into Michael’s relationship with his father. It seems like there may be more to it than just him being a crappy dad. They spent a lot of time looking for his will, so if they don’t follow up with this storyline, I’m definitely going to be disappointed. I kind of expect him to be a fellow spy or something of that nature — or perhaps I’ve just watched too much Alias.
Anyway, this episode was pretty solid, but the cases of the week still aren’t grabbing me. I’m definitely more interested in Michael’s relationship with the people who are watching him, and so far the weekly cases just seem like filler to me.
1×06 “Unpaid Debts”
This case was a bit more interesting to me, mainly because it involved Michael’s mother. I liked the Virgil character, mainly because he’s a quintessential grizzled Florida dude. I also liked how he made himself comfortable in Michael’s mom’s house really quickly; it’s a shame they had to send him away at the end of the episode. He would have been fun to keep around.
I may be reading too much into this, but when they were on their date before the Jamaicans came and ruined everything, they were talking about Michael’s job, and his mother was complaining about how he never told her anything. Virgil said something about the information being classified, and she replied that she could handle it, since she put up with Michael’s father for 30 years. Now, this could mean that after putting up with her husband, she could handle anything, but it sounds to me like a clue that Michael’s father was maybe a spy as well. Again, I’m probably reading way too much into what was probably an innocent exchange, but I did find it interesting.
I’m still not getting the whole Fiona/Michael thing. She’s not bothering me quite as much as she has in the past, but she and Michael still have no chemistry together. This wouldn’t annoy me so much if the writers weren’t constantly trying to create sexual tension in every single scene they have together. It doesn’t work, and I just find it really distracting.
1×07 “Broken Rules”
This was definitely my favorite episode of the series so far. It took a dark turn, and Michael got the dossier on his Burn Notice. This is the first case of the week that I really enjoyed. Michael was a psycho thief and just spent a lot of the episode being completely insane. He smashed up a bodega, stole Fiona’s purse, and then, had someone blow up a crime boss. That to me was a surprise; I’m not sure Michael has ever gone so far as to just murder someone like that. Maybe he has, and the fact that it was a woman just made it more shocking? I don’t know, but it was pretty crazy.
My favorite scene in this episode has to be when Michael drilled holes in the thieves’ car, poured paint thinner on them, and stomped up and down yelling, “this is my neighborhood,” over and over again. He may say that as far as covers go, he prefers international playboys, but he plays crazy thief pretty well. Plus the button-down shirt he wears once he’s in the “gang” is pretty amazing.
So Michael and Fiona finally get together this episode. It was inevitable, and I’m just glad they didn’t drag it out any longer. It’s also appropriate that they used hand-to-hand combat as foreplay, because quite frankly, these two wouldn’t have been believable otherwise. They both seemed uncomfortable afterwards, so I would be surprised if Fiona and Michael lasted terribly long as a couple.