Burn Notice is an awesome show, no doubt. In fact, it's probably the best show on TV right now, espcially with horror stories like Jersey Shore flying around everywhere. But every show reaches the point where it's episodes start to borrow material from their past and try and make it look fresh.
24, another great action show, suffered from this in it's later seasons. I'm terribly afraid it's Burn Notice's turn.
After 4 seasons of fresh stories and exciting clients, I'm sad to say Season 5's first client borrows from a Season 2 episode called "Comrades." Yes, I may seem like a nerd right now, but I only remember because it was one of my favorite Season 2 episodes. The basic concept is that a bunch of bad guys are kidnapping a few girls and holding them in a box somewhere. Michael & gang try and get leverage of their own by kidnapping guy part of bad guy group. They send someone to make friends and fake an escape, and then tale them back to the girls. Happy ending.
The only difference between the 2 episodes was that in Season 2 it was an American Mafia Group, and in this one it was the Yakuza, and in Season 2 Michael was the guy that went undercover, and this time it was Madeline.
Now, the main thing that made this episode the slightest bit "fresh" was the fact that Madeline really got to show off some spy skills of her own. She had to sell an escape and allow Michael, Sam & Jesse to tail them to the girls, while making it look like a car chase. It was interesting to watch her take on things, but still not fresh.
I also enjoyed the little tidbits of Michael acting like his father to scare his mother. It was an interesting angle, learning a lot about the infamous father Michael has that gets a mention every other episode. In this one, we really learned a lot about him.
And that brings me to my main dissapointment with this episode, besides the fact that it's a copy of an old episode with a different title. That it, there was NO advancement in the main storyline. This may seem like a rant more than a review, but I was really expecting something to happen. Instead, Max (Michael's CIA Partner/Contact) gives him an irrelevant job about some drunk guy who hits on girls. That's it? I mean come on, I wanted to see what else is going to happen in the CIA story, and so far it looks like they're just going to be an annoyance as opposed to a breath of fresh air in a show that's supposed to be about a spy who has nothing to do with the CIA anymore.
Whatever. That doesn't mean it was bad, it just wasn't as good as past episodes of Burn Notice. In fact, it was a good hour of telivision, and definately better than Jersey Bore. But it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Oh yeah, and I hate Madeline's new haircut. Summary:
+Madeline gets to show some spy traits of her own.
We all love Burn Notice, but if there could be a criticism of it it would certainly be that the show's PG rating really holds it back. Sometimes the dialogue is not "extreme" enough and the overall tone of the show can come off as childish.
Well, the show responded to those erroneous accusations in a big way tonight as we had the edgy episode we have been waiting for. Michael had to thrust his mother into his plan and had to strike her, yell at her and generally rough her up to trick a hostage. It was exactly the controversy the show could use.
Another criticism could be that some of these cases feel a little bit formulaic and that they have been done before. That one might be a little bit more valid, but the show's resolute effort to present these characters the way they do is going to lead to that.
Still, this was a strong episode of television, all criticism aside.