Sunday, December 14, 2014

Burn Notice, Season 4, Episode 17

Unfortunately because Michael needs that list and now Brennen now has it, he has to deal with the slime bag.

Brennen's prepared to play, because he knows how dangerous Michael is (he still won't have forgotten the threat Michael made against his daughter, and that is referenced briefly in this episode), but unless Michael and his crew do what Brennen wants he will bring Vaughn and his organisation down on him. That also goes if Brennen dies, so Michael can't just kill him, much as he wants to. I thought that may be a hollow threat, because Vaughn gave me the impression he was backing off, but then again he's also rather slimy and duplicitous as well as ruthless, so maybe you can't trust anything he says.

To do what Brennen wants, Michael is going to have to work with someone. This is insurance, Brennen knows how slippery Michael can be (I do occasionally wonder if Matt Nix based Michael Westen on Harry Harrison's master thief Slippery Jim 'The Stainless Steel Rat' Di Griz), and wants someone to keep an eye on him and his friends and make sure that they don't get up to any tricks. He says that the new partner is a big fan of Michael. That makes the viewer wonder exactly who it is, and as Jesse and Michael turn around to see, in walks Larry.

When Brennen got the list Michael described him to Jesse as their worst nightmare. He was wrong. Michael's amoral former partner Larry in partnership with Brennen is their worst nightmare...squared.

Jesse is sidelined for a lot of this, he's going through problems after losing Marv. It appears during a conversation with Maddie, that Marv was more than just a handler, he was a form of mentor/father figure to Jesse, and he was one of the few genuinely good people that Jesse encountered in his line of work, so for him to die the way he did seems terribly unfair and wrong to Jesse.

Sam makes his displeasure with Larry known at Michael's apartment and threatens to joke him with a piece of rebar. Larry laughs it off and says that Sam is a wet rag, keeping Michael from being himself. To Larry, Michael should be the killing machine he was when they worked together. That is the real Michael Westen as far as Larry is concerned, and all the others in his life: Sam, Fiona, Maddie, even Jesse, they're just holding the real Michael Westen back.

It is fun to see Larry and Michael working together and you see how good Larry could be as an agent, if he weren't a complete and total psychopath.

They get the job done and turn the tables on Brennen, then Larry throws the monkey wrench into the plan by killing Brennen. He doesn't care about Vaughn and Co, he thinks that he and Michael can fight them off and ride into the sunset. Larry may die gun blazing, but he doesn't really care, he has nothing else in his life. No family, no friends, he doesn't call anywhere home. He's an empty shell of a person, brilliantly played by Tim Matheson, too. In the end they leave him to take the rap and explain Brennen's body to the police, but Team Westen will be busy dealing with the aftermath and trying to survive. Should be a cracker of a season finale.

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