Saturday, June 25, 2011

What I’m Watching: Burn Notice (Season Premiere)

Burn Notice: Season 5, Episode 1 “Company Man” (B+)

This season opener gives me plenty of hope for the future of this show. There was always a chance that if Michael actually succeeded in making it back into the business that the show might be forever transformed in a negative way, losing its token off-book edge. Yet that’s hardly the case here, but we’re still seeing a much sleeker version of this show and of Michael. His slick-backed hair is only part of his new getup, as he operates with new recurring cast members Grant Show’s Max and Dylan Baker’s Raines. His “No, I need answers” response to Raines’ offhand “You want answers” is what we’ve been hearing all along, but the quick catch-up in black and white in the opening minutes of the episode show that some progress has in fact been made. I like that Michael is being repositioned as an extra-governmental agent with free reign to do whatever he wants, sent in to interrogate in his own way when CIA tactics prove ineffective. The fact that he’s trying to keep his friends – namely Fiona and Sam, rather than Jesse, who I’m surprised to see is still around at all – involved in his missions is hopeful, and I think that their frustration with being sidelined is going to make for some good drama (and comedy) this season. Michael isn’t a different character, still narrating his worst-case strategies, like firing off names and simply hoping something sticks, and this new role for him is just right and should prove very intriguing to watch.

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