Like the Van Halen song, "Unchained" was a good episode of Burn Notice tonight. We saw another seemingly impossible situation for Michael to get out of, yet somehow he did, and we saw a different kind of case for Michael and the gang tonight, that led to some highly entertaining moments.
I do not like the idea of the FBI covering up Nate's potential killer though. Is Michael really THAT important to them?
Two seasons ago, Burn Notice was like this every week.
Michael goes undercover with a funny accent, gets the bad guy to trust him, and leads him into a trap that gets him arrested. This was the BN formula back in the early seasons. The reason this episode gets a 9 is exactly because of that. You see, for those of you that don't know, Burn Notice used to be more of a comedy than anything else. Sure, there was a season-long storyline, but if Burn Notice was entirely focused on it's main storyline for the early seasons, each season would only have 3 episodes.
With Season 6, the main plot has a much greater importance. Things are darker. Michael's actions have consequences. The good guys don't always win. This episode, I feel, is one of the last times we will see the team in it's state as it was way back in the good ol' days. The calm before the storm that Matt Nix has promised is coming.
That's not to say the main plot didn't advance at all, mind you. We actually found out quite a bit, but this episode asks more questions than it answers. Basically we found out that there is some massive government conspiracy to cover up Nate and Anson's murder investigation. We don't know who or why, but we know some big boys in the government are behind this.
There are 2 episodes left in the first half of the season. This episode pretty much serves the purpose of reminding us what Burn Notice once was, and also reminding me why Burn Notice is so much better now. The main plot has always interested me more than the random clients popping up every week, but I enjoyed this episode because despite my frustrations with being weekly unsatisfied, I really did enjoy the way these characters interacted, got the bad guys in jail, and themselves out of crazy situations.
While this could, in some ways, be considered filler, I liked it because of the memories it provided. Fi is out, the team is investigating something, and a FBI agent needs Michael's help. Minor tweaks to what used to be a weekly routine. From this point until the end of Season 6 (which we won't see until winter) I fully expect fireworks.
+Fi back in action.
+Some scenes mirrored those of earlier seasons
+Deeper mysteries revealed
Not a perfect episode, but I can't think of anything horrible about it. And now, BN, bring on the good stuff.
"Because he was a Westen!". Ugh... probably the most cringe-worthy line in this show's history. That felt like something SVU would have spit out when that show was at its cheesiest.
Anyway, Unchained snapped a streak of intense, high-quality offerings from Burn Notice. That's not to say it was bad, but this one had a very by-the-numbers feel to it. There was also very little if any advancement in the main plot, so for the people craving the BN format of old, here you go. The vast majority of the episode was consumed with Team Westen returning a favor to an FBI suit who provides them with the sealed file of the investigation into Nate's death. Pretty slow and uneventful, although the final sequence in Quinn's house saved things a bit.
Also, it appears Lauren Stamile is leaving the cast. I remember hearing that she was pregnant, so this was to be expected. Still, the way her character's been written out feels lazy. Mike catches her fiance's murderer, so she's willing to fall on her sword for him and be re-assigned to f**king India for the rest of her career? Not buying it, writers. But then again this is the show that has Jesse constantly doing favors for Mike, who got him burned, for three-plus seasons now. Whatever. I'm perfectly willing to accept and even enjoy Burn Notice's heightened reality when the episodes are good, but when they're as frustratingly average as Unchained was, that's when I start picking it all apart. Simple bump in the road, hopefully.