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Burn Notice Review: "Army of One"

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Both Michael and depth of this week's episode became an "Army of One," as he worked to rescue hostages (that included his mother) from a private airport.

I really have to watch what I ask for. After lamenting about how we haven't gotten a glimpse of Max’s killer, we got exactly that... a glimpse

Michael in Pain

Okay, we  also learned his name was Tavien Corza. But, honestly, five seconds of showing his face and five seconds mentioning his name?!? We only get 10 seconds of the story to which we've been looking forward with such enthusiasm?!?

Way to move the forward at the blinding speed of apathy!

While it was a mildly entertaining - with a few good quips - this episode was the Burn Notice equivalent of a caramel flavored rice cake. It looks good and you think it will be tasty. But, after the second bite, you remember you’ve had this before and it’s like recycled cardboard. 

In fact, it had so many recycled or formulated elements, it was like a Burn Notice Madlib:

Michael goes undercover as [mean/evil persona] with [bad guy]. He learns that [bad guy] is going to hurt/kill [insert victim or victims] and only he can stop [bad guy]. He uses [gimmick A] to get in good with [bad guy] who now trust him completely. He uses [bad guy] trust and [gimmick B] to [divide the group/turn them on each other]. Michael continues to [divide the group/turn them on each other] as needed, and he saves [victim or victims] while [bad guy] goes to jail.

I know that this formula is the basis for a lot of Burn Notice episodes. However, didn’t we see this same story two weeks ago when Pearce, Jesse, and Michael were stuck on a Caribbean island with mercenaries? Can’t they mix it up some?

I think I could have handled the recycled Michael storyline if the Sam and Fiona arc hadn’t pushed the ridiculous meter past 11.

Why did Fiona decided to drive across town breaking the speed limit with a man in her trunk and then seem surprised when a cop car gave chase? Why would anyone who has been tasered (twice) and kidnapped help Sam or Fiona? On what planet would gun loving Fiona choose to taser someone over pointing a gun at them? Was this storyline just an excuse to have Fiona tazer someone?

Hey, at least I got to see Pearce again this week (even if it was for about five minutes.) 

Hey, Mike, I have a crazy idea. Now that you know the name of the guy who killed Max, why don’t you bring Pearce in to the inner circle and tell her about Tavien Corza so she can use the sizable CIA task force assigned to her to go after him? I am guessing that would make too much sense or just be too easy, huh?

Maybe I am being to hard on this installment. But I just can't let go of the memory that this season started off with some really strong episodes. I'm anxious that the last two of this summer can bring us back around.

I can hope, right?  

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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    Are you people crazy? BN is one of, if not the best action series on TV. You have to remember that its a series and each weeks show will be ingredients to the season finale. It seems like Michael is doing the same thing every week,because his improvisation and disinformation skills are almost endless.

    Fionaglenanne

    This season is more about the team risking each others lives. There was Maddie in the second episode, Sam in the sixth, Fiona "kind of" in the eighth and now Maddie again. It is repeative, so it can get annoying.
    I have to applaud Michaels performance in this one. It was comparatively good.
    As for the story, it is again, repeative. So no surprise, though I was impressed by Madeline, and I did not expect her to keep it cool :P
    Another thing bothered me: Why is Michael constantly neglecting Fiona? I mean, maybe things will get better later, but they're going out now, and theres nothing about them since the third episode or something. Michael really has to stop taking her for granted, and pay more attention. But, I guess Fiona shouldn't expect too much from him, because he himself said the she deserved better, so I don't think she should be whining too much.
    Sam is Sam, no dissapointment or improvement in him this week. I think he had the smallest role in this one.
    Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next episode very much, since the story seems good :) And: I suppose this could be a very boring episode for people who havent watched a lot of the episodes.

    Fortyseven

    Not a great episode but not bad and it featured the closest/second closest Mike's come to getting killed. Way to go Maddy! It is a series so I expect a variance in quality. All the season finales have been good/great. Jared on Burn Notice, Ms. Parker on Suits!

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    I think the show is doing great. Why mess with a good thing. And way to go Madeline!! I like it when she is in on some of the action.

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    @Gina -- feel free to stop watching the show if you think its just THAT bad. @Jim -- a friend of mine likes to complain that the show follows the formula too much. To which I remind him that just about EVERY episode since BN's inception is Mike finding clever ways to outsmart the bad guys. The client of the week stuff is the show's bread and butter. You wanted more Madly and you got her saving Mike's life in a rare fight he lost (was that fight number two he lost? Hurricane episode being one and S1's finale being a draw). You wanted Agent Pearce and you got her. Honestly you guys are being a little too hard on the show. On the plus side this week we got Jared the Pretender (boy did he get old) after we had his "dad" last week! And Jared did put two and two together better than most do. He just didn't pull the trigger (ending the show). Overall I was mad we didn't see more of Max's killer, but I suspect the best is yet to come. I give it a "B"

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    Stick a fork in it, Burn Notice is done. Too bad, the early shows had promise, much better writing, less over-acting by Jeffrey Donovan, and a premise. Now it's just a bunch of ingredients, thrown together, with no purpose. Fiona used to be a strong capable force to be reckoned with & now she's a bored housewife harpie. I'm tired of the fat jokes for Sam's character too. Predictable and more than a little bit boring this season.