Thursday, July 10, 2014

Burn Notice, Season 3, Episode 1

Episode 1 of Burn Notice's 3rd season continues the tradition started at the end of Season 1 by picking up where the final episode of the previous season ended (they didn't do this the entire way through the show's run, though).

Michael swims the five miles back to Miami Beach, losing his shoes, socks and shirt in the process and winds up on the beach, exhausted. He's almost immediately spotted by police who give chase. I'm not exactly sure why or why Michael ran. It's not normal for someone to land on the beach wearing a singlet and suit slacks, but it's also not illegal. He does make it worse by running and appropriating a tourist t-shirt and pair of cheap sunglasses though. I still think it was overkill to have a bunch of armed cops and squad cars apprehend him, however.

There is an indication when he breaks into a hotel utility closet and uses the switchboard to make a call to Fiona that Management have withdrawn their protection and they tipped off the police that he was involved in the incident at the marina, which wound up with 2 dead people (Carla and Victor) and a large disturbance.

Whatever the reason Michael finds himself in the local city prison wearing a stylish orange jumpsuit. Sam visits and says that he's doing the best to get him out, including using his own contacts in law enforcement, but the lack of id (the CIA got rid of all that when they burned him) isn't helping matters. Management have sent his sunglasses back (he left them in the helicopter when he jumped out) and a card wishing him good luck. He's definitely going to need it.

Bail comes in the form of Harlan, a former Special Forces friend of Michael's from his days in the middle east. Michael is quite rightly suspicious of this guy, but he does let his guard down remarkably quickly, which is a common criticism of mine with the show. The character of Michael is far too trusting a lot of the time, especially considering his background in covert operations, where lying has been elevated to an art form.

In addition to helping Harlan out with a case he's taken on involving a young Mexican girl who has a cartel attempting to take over her family's land, he's also got to deal with a pissed off Maddie. The bomb that Sam improvised gutted the front half of her house. Interestingly enough the rooms there are gutted, yet the facade doesn't look to have been damaged at all, including the plants, some of which should have been burned by the explosion. Sam's spending a lot of time at Maddie's helping her fix the damage and romancing the 39 year old daughter of her neighbour, who lets him drive around in the shiny red Buick.

I felt this episode was a perfect chance to bring back Lucy and get her to check out Harlan's story, but China Chow may have been busy, Barry the money launderer does appear so that he can created a believable background for Michael to get an in with Rufino, the bad guy. Michael portrays himself as a snivelling functionary for another organisation and to prove his cover even allows Rufino's vicious 2IC Falcone (played by professional villain Jeff Kober, I can't ever remember seeing him play a good guy) to dislocate his shoulder.

As I suspected once they get Rufino, Harlan turns and kills the guy. He also tried to kill Michael. He apparently holds a grudge from the Special Forces days when he was largely used as the fetch and carry guy. Michael gets the better of him and leaves him for his enemies.

I liked the brief case that they inserted knives into. That was very reminiscent of the one carried by James Bond in From Russia with Love, although that one also had rods of ammunition, belts of gold sovereigns and a bomb that went off if anyone tried to open it without the correct combination.

Harlan is just the first of many that will come for Michael Westen now that Management no longer have his back.

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