While Burn Notice has had some interesting cases of the week the last times out, with three episodes remaining in season five, tonight it is time to get back to business. Ergo, we have “Depth Perception,” which gives us three plotlines and a whole lotta stuff to chew on.
The first: Michael’s relationships with his parents, neither of which are in good shape. Maddie, still upset from her faux-boyfriend’s death, throws Mike out of the house for not telling her about Anson being her faux-therapist as soon as he found out. Michael’s dad Frank is still dead, but we learn that he was apologetic for being an abusive piece of work, at least before Anson killed him. Not that an overdue apology excuses Dad’s behavior, but it does throw a big “what if” in there.
The second: the case of the week, where Jesse and Fiona travel to the Cayman Islands with orders from Anson to get his money out of a no-longer-so-secret bank account (which makes me think of this Simpsons scene). This means they have to get a “sleazy banker” to help them, even if it means suggesting at gunpoint that he fake his own death. Watching Fiona and Jesse help him with that is another one of those cases where Burn Notice makes us smarter about something we don’t need to be smarter about.
The third: the overall mythology, in two different but conjoined parts. When Beatriz from The Fall of Sam Axe gets in trouble, she comes back to Miami looking for Sam’s help. Helping her leads Michael to partner with Anson. We get to hear what happened to Beatriz after the movie and see more of Sam’s fondness for her, reminding us that Bruce Campbell is not just here for the wisecracks. More importantly, we see what makes Anson tick as he tries to figure out how Michael does what he does. Anson’s been a “talking head” for a lot of this season, but this episode showed us just why and how he might have climbed up to mastermind status.
On that note, kudos to Jere Burns, who plays Anson. I remember him from when he was doing sitcoms in the 90’s, so to have him pop up here as a smarmy bad guy (not to mention his similarly smarmy role on Justified) is both confusing and interesting.
All three lines play themselves out pretty well, and all of them give us questions to think about when the episode ends. Is it really that big of a surprise that Anson set up Sam? No, but how is Sam going to get out of it? How does the knowledge that his father might have been a changed man affect Michael’s thoughts and feelings toward him? Will that factor into his relationship with his mother? As we get closer to it, what exactly will Anson’s big plan entail? Lots of stuff to ponder over, which is always a good thing.
The show also cribbed two actors from Nikita this week: Simon Kassianides, who played in season two’s “Knightfall” (and has bonus spy creds since he appeared in the Bond film Quantum of Solace) as the banker, and Mark Ivanir, who was in season one’s “Alexandra,” as a Russian spy handler. Wherever there’s a spy show, there will be Russian villains.
We’ve got two episodes left in season five, so it’s a given that things are going to heat up now. Yet we also know there’s at least a sixth season of Burn Notice on tap, so how much will get resolved without answering too much? And what comes next after that? Michael says he doesn’t know what to do, and I don’t know what he might do, but I certainly want to find out!