Posts Tagged ‘fuse entertainment’

Burn Notice: “Devil You Know”

4 March 2010
by R.A. Porter

Over the last three years, Michael Westen has faced his demons, ghosts from his past, and – in Victor – a cautionary tale of his own future. In tonight’s season finale he meets something far worse: himself.

The monster whose crimes fill Michael’s burn notice has been locked in a dark hole, stripped of his freedom and the credit for his evil acts while Michael has roamed Miami. Simon’s life’s work is Michael’s burden. And Simon wants it all back. To that end he spent millions, double-crossed Gilroy, and broke into the bright light of South Florida to force Michael’s hand.

Guest star Garret Dillahunt brings his usual creepiness to Simon, and by moving with dancer’s grace and standing straight as a statue of Lenin, he imbues Simon with a definite Michael Westen-ness. This monster, more than Victor or Dead Larry or Brennan, is what much of the world sees when it sees Michael.

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Burn Notice: “Long Way Back”

6 August 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e09

For two seasons, I’ve found myself in the awkward position of complaining when my second favorite event on the annual sports calendar comes around because USA would preempt Burn Notice for two weeks. When USA lost the broadcast rights to the US Open to ESPN, the knowledge that Michael, Sam, and Fi wouldn’t be interrupted was the only comfort. You see, ESPN does shitty tennis coverage whereas USA has done kickass work for twenty years.

And then I found out the summer finale was in August anyway. Aarrrrgggh!

Alright. That’s out of my system. The gang will be back in January-ish so tonight’s episode, the episodes I have saved on the Tivo, and seasons one and two are all I’ve got to tide me over. Will it be enough?

Tonight’s episode alone might do it.

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Burn Notice: “Friends Like These”

30 July 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e08I apologize again or my absence the past couple of episodes. But this was a pretty good one to come back to.

Michael’s existence has changed a lot over the past two and a half years. From a closed-off and guarded loner, he’s learned to trust and care about other people in ways that had long been submerged. He’s still broken. But who isn’t? His sexy flirtation with Fiona in the pilot wasn’t about compassion or concern: it was about the raw physical passion between these two lovers. His early interactions with Sam were awkward, even after Sam’s deal with the Feds was in the open. And let’s not forget his idiot brother and insane mother, right?

Except that’s not who those people are. Madeline loves her son, Sam is a loyal friend, Nate really does try, and Fi…well Fi wants Michael’s heart and soul. Have they all changed or is it that as Michael has changed, his perceptions of those around him – and the reflected perceptions we see – have changed? I’d argue for the latter.

I’m not implying this is the authorial intent. These relationships really have matured over time, as a function of the writing and the performances. But try looking at the show as if it is truly and completely Michael’s journey and we are merely passengers seeing the world unfold before his eyes. In that case, we should expect the world he sees/we see to change in ways both small and large. Miami might appear larger and less restrictive. Madeline more nuanced and human. Sam more loyal.

In The Last Temptation of Christ, when Lucifer shows Jesus the world he could have if he faltered – a long, happy life in a verdant world – he tells Jesus that Israel has always been a garden and he had failed to see it as such. On one hand, this is Lucifer’s attempt to tempt Christ, so we know he’s pumping up the saturation of the colors a bit. On the other, we know that Israel is a land of desert and of forest and of gardens and of beaches. Throughout the rest of the film, Scorsese shows us only the desert aspect. Even at the final Seder, in the GARDEN of Gethsemane, the land is dusty and sere. Our perception of the world is intentionally Jesus’ perception.

I suggest looking at Burn Notice in the same vein. See Miami as though we see it through Michael’s eyes. See his friends and family the same way. He is changing.

Which makes his deal with Strickler that much worse.

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Burn Notice: “Signals and Codes”

9 July 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e05

My name is Michael Weston. I’m an actor. When you’re a busy actor you’ve got a lot. Cash, credits, job history. You’re stuck working in whatever city they decide to film in. Like Miami.

Out from the shadow of the Paxson arc, Michael’s back to trying to find his way back into the Company’s good graces. Fortuitously, he is tracked down by a slightly anxious, slightly overwrought, slightly…oh, who am I kidding. He’s batshit. Spencer is the ever popular trope of the brilliant mathematician who suffers from schizophrenia.1 He sees patterns everywhere and is able to track down Michael for help with a little alien/spy/treason problem.

Weston vs. Westen is a hoot and I’m happy to see the writers left plenty of room for Spencer’s return. Because tonight was fun.

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  1. I swear, one guy goes crazy and has Russell Crowe play him in a movie and all mathematicians are suddenly crazy. []

Burn Notice: “Fearless Leader”

25 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e04

And so the saga, nay the tragedy, of Detective Paxson comes to a close. I’m surprised she didn’t literally whimper as she trudged off the screen. For a show that rarely missteps, Paxson was a rolled ankle, stubbed toe, and nail fungus wrapped in a somewhat pretty package.1

After the first two episodes of the Paxson arc I thought Bloodgood and her character showed some promise; seeing how the arc played itself out I’ve had to reconsider my position. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Imdb only has Bloodgood listed for the three episodes in which she’s already appeared, indicating this arc is complete, though I expect we’ll see her later this half-season or sometime in the following half as an ally to Michael and the team. I do not look forward to her return.

At least we had some fun moments with Nick Turturro, my favorite being Fi’s lobster/bug line and the whole of the bush league smash and grab at the dry cleaners.

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  1. If you think that metaphor’s tough to parse, you should see the convoluted mess it was *before* the edit. []

Burn Notice: “Question and Answer”

11 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e02Things are heating up in Miami, Eff El A. Michael’s got a new admirer in Detective Paxson, she of the sly smile and withering looks, and some C4 in storage. If Paxson finds out what Michael’s got stored, things will get downright explosive.

Oh, and there’s a kid in peril and a birthday party in the works. It’s a busy day.

The Recap

Detective Paxson comes by to introduce herself to Michael and invites him to spend some time chatting at her place with bars and handcuffs. In the process, she takes away Fi’s bail jumper and costs her a commission. Which of course leads her to jump at another job on a referral from one of her former jumpers. Apparently a real sweet guy, he holds no ill will to Fi and sent his sister her way when she needed help with her estranged husband and missing son.

Bad things gravitate to  Michael, so of course this is a kidnapping.

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Burn Notice: “Friends and Family”

4 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3e01

Fiona, he did his government work, as you call it, for a reason.

For what? His country? And what have they done for him lately, other than betray him, leave him for dead, ruin his life?

The fact that you have to ask means you’re never gonna get it, Fi.

It seems like ages since Michael Westen jumped out of that helicopter, but the long wait is over and he’s finally coming in from the wet. Not in from the cold, however. If anything, the blanket of protection his mysterious benefactor-betrayers had provided has been lifted exposing him to the elements and the scrutiny of people it would be best ignored him.

It doesn’t take long – less than two minutes, in fact – for Michael to attract the unwanted attention of a bicycle cop at the beach. Things are definitely going to be different this season. Maybe.
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Burn Notice Season Three

3 June 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns3preview
Michael Westen’s had a rough couple of years, even if they have been in the sunny clime of Miami.

Burn Notice Season 3 premieres this Thursday, June 4, 2009 on USA Network in its new timeslot at 9p/8c.

Tracked by Feds, hassled by Bly, attacked by Arye Gross, and splattered in Toby Ziegler’s blood, and that was just the first season. He’s been tricked and threatened by Cylons and partnered with a psychotic stargating archeologist. But now he faces his biggest threat of all: a pretty cop with the tenacity of a Terminator.1

The new season opens where the last one left off, with Michael five miles offshore, swimming back to Miami. But the good news is…

Well the good news is that…uh…your status has changed. I mean, whatever magic they were working to keep you out of the police computers, they’ve stopped. Oh, you’re back on the radar of foreign agencies, too.

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  1. Or of an actress in a Terminator film. []

Burn Notice: “Lesser Evil”

5 March 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns02e16

I’m not sure what to say about tonight’s season finale. It did everything Burn Notice does well, only bigger. Much, much, BIGGER. Two big car chases, bombs and fireballs, and the biggest blowup to Michael’s situation we’ve seen since the season one finale made this the most packed hour I can recall. Despite all the action, there was still time for humor and a lot of real emotion, making the long wait until June and new episodes that much more of a drag.

Whereas last week was so much fun because Jay Karnes played such a compelling and capable villain, this week was exciting because Michael Shanks played such a compelling and capable client. It’s a real shame we’ve seen the last of Victor.

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Burn Notice: “Sins of Omission”

26 February 2009
by R.A. Porter

burns02e15

Well it wasn’t the right time when we met. It wasn’t the right time when we started dating. It wasn’t the right time when I moved to Miami. No, it was the right time to tell me when she showed up on your front step. Is that about right?

We’re winding down the season and ratcheting up the tension for Michael and friends. First and foremost, Michael needs to deal with the threat Victor poses, so he tells Carla a story, leaving out only the one small detail that her pet has bitten through his leash. He needs Carla to get the suits and sunglasses detail to back off so his hunter can approach, so it’s time to start opening up.

Maybe he should have started that a little bit sooner, at least to Fiona.

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