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Wednesday, 22 of September of 2021

Tag » Burn Notice

Podcast 002: Basic Cable is Just Like Everyone Else

Well, well, well. It’s an All-Monster Podcast. It’s like Rampage but better because we have four monsters tearing up your town instead of just three. These week, Karen, Matt, Nick and Noel discuss a range of topics across the television landscape including The Walking Dead, the Mad Men finale (yeah, we know it’s old news — but it’s our show), how cable has disappointed us by having the nerve to cancel shows (Rubicon, Caprica), the USA brand (popcorn/beach-reading), how Life Unexpected is gross probably because they need to keep up with the rest of the CW, and Conan’s pedestrian return, among other things. It’s an interesting hour of witness. Listen to the podcast at the bottom of this post or subscribe to the podcast feed.

Running time: 75 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • The Walking Dead: 0:00:58
  • Rubicon: 0:10:23
  • Mad Men: 0:16:21
  • Cable as a Haven: 0:21:42
  • The USA Brand: 0:25:53
  • House: 0:29:52
  • TV Actors: 0:35:59
  • Chuck: 0:37:41
  • Nikita (and other spy dramas): 0:44:51
  • The CW/Life Unexpected: 0:51:41
  • Parenthood defense: 1:04:25
  • Conan: 1:06:21

Brief note from Nick: I know that Chuck didn’t air this week because of the Lauer/Bush thing. I meant last week.

Burn Notice – “Guilty As Charged”

You do not get to lie to me anymore!

Burn Notice comes to a summer close, with new episodes back in November, including the couple of extra episodes USA tacked into the show this season. But those are in November, so we have to wait a bit, I’m afraid. However, this break will give us (or at least me) time to decide about how I should be thinking about Burn Notice. As things stand right now, I find myself where I tend to myself at the halfway point of every season: not caring a lick about the show.

I suppose, at this point, I should probably get over myself and just accept the fact that Burn Notice isn’t going to alter its formula one iota. It save me from writing the same thing over and over again and probably enjoy the show more. But “Guilty as Charged” pretty much sent me over the edge on Thursday, and I have only just now recovered. Read more »

Burn Notice – “Hard Time”

I see unstable minds think alike.”

Burn Notice, why do you keep doing this to me? Better still, why do I keep thinking you’ll change? I know that you don’t bother devoting episodes to your seasonal arcs until the end of the season (and sometimes not even then), so why do I keep expecting you to do it before that? It’s frustrating, especially when the procedural element you elect to focus on is, well, dull and relatively stakes free.

A part of the problem is that, oddly, I bought into the USA promos, which basically showed every Simon scene (really, it did), and thought that Michael and Simon dueling for information would be the episode, not the cold open and the tag. I don’t know what caused this sudden bout of naïveté, but trust me when I tell you that I don’t have high hopes for seeing a lot of Robert Patrick next week.

…Okay, so I do, but it’s only because I love Robert Patrick. I mean, who doesn’t? Read more »

Burn Notice – “Center of the Storm”

Knowing when to walk away is harder than you think.”

This episode was a little bit like Christmas. Vaughn comes back to do something shady, and the lovable FBI duo of Lane and Harris also return, asking for help. All this episode needed was Barry and/or Larry Sizemore, and I would’ve been a very happy camper. On the character front anyway. On the plot front…well, meh.

“Center of the Storm” kind of dropped the ball a bit this week, with a lot of interesting elements that ultimately get bogged down by the episode’s hitman with the heart of gold plot. And I can’t decide if this was quickly re-written to accommodate the shift in episode counts (though I don’t think this was the case), as next week’s episode seems like it could’ve been the mid-season cap episode, or that the writers simply decided to let the serialized elements stay too far in the background, but it made for a bit of a messy episode. Read more »

Spy Myths in Covert Affairs & Burn Notice

He is Michael Westen! There are only four of us!

This week’s episodes of Covert Affairs (“Walter’s Walk”) and Burn Notice (“Past & Future Tense”) were both very good. Covert Affairs is still having to do legwork, fleshing out the characters and the world, but it’s doing an admirable job of that. Meanwhile Burn Notice has the luxury of being an established show, with its format and characters firmly in place and ready to go for anything.

What both shows touched on this week, however, was about something more than just how a new show develops or how an established one keeps itself fresh. This week, Covert Affairs and Burn Notice tackled the notion of spyhood in their own specific ways. Unsurprisingly, both shows dealt with the issue of spyhood from their particular vantage points: new spy and old spies. Read more »

Burn Notice – “Neighborhood Watch”

This is just a harmless game of cat and mouse between me and a professional killer.”

Maybe it’s because of how self-aware the episode was, but I thoroughly enjoyed “Neighborhood Watch.” Easily a standout episode of the season thus far (though, if you’ve been watching, you know this isn’t a huge accomplishment since this season has been kind of “Meh” so far), it’s a script filled with solid quips (“Better to have Michael Westen than a 2×4.”), a strong CotW story, and interesting development of the arc (though I figured Vaughn would like to know that Michael’s making headway).

The episode is also elevated by some solid guest work from the always great Benito Martinez and Navi Rawat, shedding her NUMB3RS character with nary a regret and providing a legitimately fun dynamic to the show as Kendra, the professional killer responsible for killing that guy in the airplane the crew discovered last week who was in turn responsible for something else (it’s getting a bit muddled right now). Read more »

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.

Read more »

Burn Notice – “Made Man”

And neither will Mr. Slicey.”

So “Made Man” essentially shows us how much of a threat Jesse is as a member of the group. He’s prone to unnecessary improvising, violence is his first reaction to any situation, and he doesn’t have much in the way of restraint. Indeed, the comparisons to Fiona I made last week seem all the more apt this week.

But Jesse has a lot more going on than just being a slightly more ax-crazy version of Fiona. He’s also a more ax-crazy version of Michael. He has Michael’s overdeveloped sense of right and wrong, but unlike Michael, he lacks the cool head and ability to think two or three moves ahead. This head-strong nature puts Jesse at odds with Michael, who is used to being in control, both as a solo agent and a team leader. Jesse challenges all of this. Read more »

Burn Notice – “Fast Friends”

It’s more efficient to use him as a resource.”

This is a step forward.

Last week I talked about how I felt Burn Notice needed to exploit its arc more often, dedicating full episodes to it, as opposed to book-ending it during an episode, with a Client of the Week (CotW) story sandwiched in between. So you can imagine how pleased I was that the show integrated its two story structures — arc and CotW — into one unified plot. I don’t think “Fast Friends” is a great episode by any means, but it is something of an improvement of over last’s weeks almost perfunctory offering. Read more »

Burn Notice – “Friends and Enemies”

This whole business needs a little Michael Westen.”

I didn’t watch season 3 of Burn Notice too closely. I watched the summer portion with a fair amount of dedication, but the winter portion somehow slipped by me. When I tuned in for episodes, I wondered where Detective Paxson went and why Gilroy really mattered that much (he felt like a stall). It made the season a bit of a mess for me, but the finale won me back with its oddly disturbing final shot and an eagerness to see if the arc for the season would be a little clearer.

“Friends and Enemies” is a decent season premiere. It essentially lays the groundwork for the coming season with the standard Client of the Week plot as the primary focus. It’s a structure the show has used for most of its run, but one I’m hoping the show, with its set-up this season, will eventually begin to integrate better. Read more »