Saturday, February 28, 2015

Burn Notice, Season 5, Episode 14

Michael gets an upgraded clearance level, which actually makes him more valuable as an asset to Anson, and I wonder if being the puppet master that he is, if the evil psychiatrist had a hand in him getting the upgrade.

In the meantime he has to bring the killer of an old friend to justice with Jesse, while Sam and Fiona tackle the dangerous job of tagging Anson and seeing if they can find out where he sleeps and use that as leverage.

The story about the murdered friend struck me as very typical of similar shows. Devoid of inspiration the writers suddenly invent a very good friend of the main character as the catalyst for an episode. Andre (the now dead friend) is described by his younger brother; Ricky, as having considered Michael and Maddie as family. No mention of Nate or how the presence of the alcoholic, abusive Frank must have made Casa Westen seem a very welcoming family kind of place. Despite this supposed link Michael hasn't seen or heard from Andre in over a decade, and he never made any attempt to contact him when he got back to Miami, nor did he ever mention him. Maddie, likewise, despite living close never seemed to bother to keep up with the family. Maybe making Andre a friend from Special Forces may have made more sense.

Despite this implausibility Michael was to take revenge every bit as much as Ricky does, although he doesn't plant a bomb in the murderer's (a local drug lord by the name of Dion) warehouse, which Ricky does in retaliation for both his brother's death and that of a girl called Dolly (played by the actress Indigo, best known as Potential Slayer Rona in the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer). There is an amusing line when Michael sends Fiona to alter the bomb and when Fiona looks at it she tells Ricky to not give up his day job and asks how he learned to do this and his response is 'the internet'. 

Michael playing a loose cannon arms dealer to the hilt, with Jesse being his out there partner, manages to convince Dion's crew that their boss tried to blow them up. This leaves Dion with the unpalatable choice of either confessing to Andre's murder and cutting a deal which will get him solitary or taking his chances on the streets. They missed a golden chance of saying 'sucks to be you' there in my opinion.

While most of this is going on Sam and Fiona are tailing Anson. Michael's voice over keeps reminding the audience of how hard it is to tail someone who is an experienced operative, but I don't think that's really necessary with Anson. He's a gun psychiatrist and likes playing with people's heads, but he's not really an operative, that's why he had minions like Carla and Vaughn. Charles Finley made a welcome return as an environmentally conscious lawyer in order to convince local liked minded students to door knock the apartment complex that Fiona and Sam believe Anson lives in so that they can pinpoint him. As it turns out he doesn't live there, but uses a satellite setup from the place's balcony to pick up information. This in itself could prove useful leverage. They may be able to 'blind' him without him knowing or feed him incorrect data.

Anson pops up late in the episode so Michael can stall him while Fiona and Sam scope the apartment out. Michael broaches the subject of when the two of them may be quits and is told in no uncertain terms that the answer is probably never, or until Anson doesn't think he can use him anymore. The guy knows Michael so well and even has knowledge of his family history, gleaned by posing as Maddie's therapist some years ago. It's going to take a lot to get out from under this thumb, and you can't trust anything Anson says in any case.

Interestingly Renny Harlin directed this, I thought that may have meant some added pyrotechnics, it didn't really although the stunt where Michael got Dion to blow up a truck with an rpg was quite fun.

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