Ben Watkins returns as the brother of Michael's best friend and wants Michael to help him find out who killed his brother. When I first saw him in the episode, Bad Blood, I was hoping his brother would come out and turn to Michael for help. Usually ex-cons have a hard time readjusting to life on the outside. But instead we learn that he got out of prison where he was in the episode and then got killed. I was hoping to see him and Michael interact. Too bad.
"Breaking Point" was a little bit different than your usual Burn Notice. They jumped right into the super serious passing of Michael's old friend and had about 7 minutes of somber tone, before introducing the client. It was different, I'll admit that, but not necessarily great.
But this was an entertaining episode once the premise was introduced. And Friends with Benefits star Andre Holland was not terrible in his serious role, but I'd stick to comedy if I were him.
It usually means Jeffrey Donovan is going to be in humorless, self-righteous mode as Michael, which is not my favored flavor of Burn Notice. As I mentioned last week, the show is usually at its best when it's able to balance a breezy, comedic tone with all the explosions and double-crosses. It's not that Matt Nix and the rest of the creative team should never reach for more serious, emotional moments, but in general, Burn Notice works best when its dials are set closer to "Glib" than "Earnest."
So when tonight's major plot became clear—that Michael's best friend from childhood, Andre has been shot and killed, and that Andre's brother Ricky wants Michael to help him find the killer—I cringed a little. Part of the problem is that Andre is so near and dear to Michael's heart that we maybe heard his name once in passing three or four seasons ago. But that's just a TV trope we have to deal with; even Tony Soprano had a childhood best friend and cousin we never heard of until the fifth season. No, what really bugged me about this storyline is that the show has just established a worthy adversary for Michael in Anson, and already, he's relegated to the sidelines while our heroes take on another case of the week.
As it turns out, however, "Breaking Point" wasn't nearly the worst case scenario I'd braced myself for. Yes, Michael did have his "grim avenger" moments, but he also broke out another ridiculous new voice for his arms dealer character, so it all balanced out. It turns out Andre was killed because he found out gangster Dion Carver had whacked and robbed the leader of his gang. Michael and Jesse set up a fake arms deal in order to flush out the cash Dion stole, a scheme that provides the only excuse needed for the pyrotechnics of the week.
This episode also introduced Charles Finley, Environmental Lawyer, as Sam tricked cause-conscious college students into occupying Anson's condo and figuring out which unit he lived in. This subplot kept Anson in the story, but just barely. It's frustrating, because Michael finally has an enemy who is immune to his powers of persuasion and seemingly three steps ahead of him at every turn, and he's already been shifted to the back burner. Burn Notice could have its own Ben Linus here, but I fear Anson is destined to make brief appearances at the beginning and end of each episode until the season finale, which would be a waste of his supervillain potential. As always, I invite Burn Notice to prove me wrong.
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