Friday, June 19, 2009

What I’m Watching: Burn Notice

Burn Notice: Season 3, Episode 3 “End Run” (B+)

It’s always great to have a familiar guest star come back, especially when he’s a terrific actor. Jay Karnes, who for seven seasons grilled perps on “The Shield,” returns as arms dealer Brennen, who Michael conned last season and then let loose. Reviewers like Alan Sepinwall have noted that Michael, time and time again, sets up the “bad guy” to be killed after he’s helped his clients, but this is one case where he didn’t do it, and it came back to haunt him. And the craziest thing is that he let him go a second time. Luckily, Karnes is a fantastic actor and Brennen is a fun character, who’s smart and professional, but quickly sensible in unexpected situations. What was most exciting about this episode was the smoothness and ease of Michael’s plan to get Brennen to back down – with a little research and a little phone re-routing, he had him convinced that his bank accounts had been completely drained and that his daughter was in danger. That’s really the power of Michael Westen. I also thoroughly enjoyed his interaction with the low-level employee whose car he smashed, and who he forced to say all the numbers. Michael's brother is decently cool also, and it’s great to have so many recurring players back in one episode, including Paul Tei as Barry, who quite surprisingly bonds with Madeline over hair product. Fi and Sam are great supporting characters, but it’s always nice to have a few extra recurring players in the mix. The ending scene is a great tease for what’s to come. Detective Paxson seems quite infuriated, and it will be interesting to see how Michael’s stoic calm deals with her cold-blooded revenge.

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