Review: Burn Notice - 201 - Breaking and Entering

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[Naturally this review will contain mild spoilers]

It's been about nine months since Michael Western drove on board that truck and we were left wondering what would change about Burn Notice. Well, the wait is now over and the answer thankfully is "very little". The season premier kicks off directly after the last season ended, Michael is still in the truck and he's deposited at a location where we can hear gunfire, explosions and shouting. After all this dies down Michael heads out to discover an exploded plane, several dead people and one trussed up man laying on the ground in an airfield.

The woman who's got in contact with him at the end of the last season, (she identifies herself as 'Carla') tells him he needs to assist the guy in stealing some data from a computer system he designed. Which means Michael is going back to Miami, returning to Fiona, Sam and Madeline. While this is a somewhat predictable move, it was also a fantastic one as I'm thrilled that there haven't been any major cast losses as the gang were great last season.

Speaking of the cast, how are they on their return?
Well Jeffrey Donovan is still on top form as Michael Western, he's able to charismatically propel the narrative along and looks just as believable in the role as he did last season. He's obviously comfortable playing the straight man of the series and provides a solid board for everyone else to bounce off. But that doesn't mean he's above being funny on occasion, his English accent in this episode is so unbelievably bad that it moves around the scale to being so bad it's hilarious.

Speaking of accents Gabrielle Anwar's American one has improved since last season and she sounds more natural and comfortable using it. Of course, I'm not a native to the big old Isle of USA so take my comments on American accents with a pinch of salt, but it does sound less jarring to my ear at least. Gabrielle's character; Fi hasn't changed much since the previous season. But given that there has only been a 48 hour gap since she last saw Michael that's understandable. Her best scenes remain those where she interacts with Bruce Campbell's character - Sam Axe and the longest scene she has with Michael essentially wraps up any emotional interest she had in him last season. Does this mean the plot will move on to getting Michael involved with a different woman? (Carla?)

Bruce Campbell is every bit as brilliant as he always is, right from his first appearance in this episode wearing one of Michael's too small shirts and all the way through he's just funny and charismatic. He doesn't have that much to do in this episode except look beaten up, talk to Fi and chat up women. But he does that well, he's superb as Michael's sidekick and knows how to provide just the right about of flair. Bruce doesn't overact and steal the scenes from Jeffery, but you do always notice and enjoy his time on screen.

Sharon Gless also reprises her role as Madeline Western, but she has little to do in this episode apart from complain at Michael a little and look put upon, she's obviously unhappy to learn her son is a spy. She also gets mildly harassed by the people who are involved with Carla, nothing major happens to her here, they just do it to send a message to Michael.

The surprise in the show has sadly been signaled well in advance, it was advertised that Tricia Helfer would be joining the cast as Michael's handler. She's such a distinctive individual for people who've watched BSG that will recognise her voice immediately and clock her as soon as she appears on screen. She hasn't had a lot of physical screen time at this point, but the phone conversations she's had with Michael have been good, although sometimes they do give you flashbacks of Number Six conversations with Baltar.

The story is all you'd expect and want from an episode of Burn Notice, it's fast paced, energetic and fun with almost everything wrapped up by the end of the episode apart from a teaser about the main plot. I'm hoping that the later episodes give the viewer a little more evolution in the show style (shows can get trapped just providing the same thing over and over) especially after the tense and exciting last season finale, but this is not a comment on the first episode. Which was funny, exciting and great to watch.

Till next week, here's a shot of everyone's favourite hunk showing a little chest hair!



2 comments so far.

  1. MysterLynch 15 July 2008 at 02:20
    Excellent write-up!

    Sadly, I got my dates wrong. I am looking forward to watching the second, and am planing on watching the first in the next day or two.
  2. Serena 31 August 2009 at 10:11
    A great review about this great show. Its really an excellent job. So keep it up. If you wanna get this show then go through the link and download Burn Notice TV Show with all episodes...

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