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Friday, 5 of March of 2021

Burn Notice – “Breach of Faith”

I doubt the autopsy report is hidden under a keg of Red Stripe.”

Sometimes all my kvetching about wanting the more serialized elements of Burn Notice to be brought to the forefront seems a bit silly. This isn’t to suggest that “Breach of Faith” is a very good episode (it’s good, but nothing to write home about), but it does serve as a reminder of how well the show can handle its episodic stories while still providing a real sense of progress on the serialized elements (I almost feel like the serialized elements prevented the episode from being better).

“Breach of Faith” is an odd little episode, in large part because it recalls better episodes (specifically¬†“Bad Breaks” from season 2, one of the show’s best episodes) and too easily dismissed plotlines (Detective Paxon) while still managing to be a fairly solid entertaining hour of the show.

The episode’s locked in a building scheme is fine, though it feels a bit hollow since the building it a bit empty of, well, other people. While “Breach of Faith” could’ve made for a really solid hostage riff (like how “Bad Breaks” provides a stellar rethinking of the bank heist plot), but deflates a bit due to the small cast of characters involved (and how very obvious they are, especially Nick) and the checking back to, and brace yourselves, the seasonal arc.

The seasonal arc, tracking down the residence of the corpse (aka The Cobra) discovered last week, while fine (and with a decent, albeit predictable, payoff), prevents the tension in a hostage situation from ever really taking off. I wouldn’t mind if the seasonal arc intruded on another episode, but part of the enjoyability of the hostage story is that you often only get a few locations, and you get decent character development time. “Breach of Faith” doesn’t allow much room for doubt about Nick’s slimey nature, ¬†for Patti/y to make a convincing circle as victim turned friend, and for Josh to really become unhinged.

The larger problem, however, was the presence of the police. It immediately calls me back to Moon Bloodgood’s Detective Paxson from season 3 (her time on the show feels like eons ago), and the rather handy way her presence in the story was taken care of. And while I liked Lt. Casey, and think he’d be a decent recurring character for the show to visit, it would still mean returning to the police again and again, and Burn Notice isn’t interested in letting that aspect of Miami into the lime light. Paxson’s limited ability to get Michael cornered proves this, and I doubt Casey (“Tough SOB”) would have much more luck.

Ultimately, there’s no pleasing me.¬†Burn Notice seems damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. At the least, episodes like “Breach of Faith” allow me to clarify myself and my expectations for the show, which in turn helps me parse out what it is I like and enjoy about the show. And it’s for this reason that thinking critically about what we watch, read, and listen to is important.


  • Aw. Michael drummed up some business for Barry. That is so nice of him.
  • I had no idea Red Stripe came in kegs.

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