Burn Notice – Episode 3-15 Review

“My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy. Until…” With only 2 episodes of Burn Notice left this season (and two more chances to hear that familiar opening line…unless you have the DVDs, TiVo, or DVR , that is), one would expect to see a climactic story arc or a surprise cameo or something (slightly) outside the norm of the typical television program. Last night’s episode delivered on all three of those characteristics and was firing on all cylinders. Last night’s episode followed our hero, Michael Westen, and his continuing efforts to find out what Gilroy (the second-half of the season’s nemesis) is up to, and just what (or who) is on the plane that Michael stole flight plans for last week. Meanwhile, Fiona finds herself neck deep in a “job” she takes, which involves helping a paranoid kidnapper nab his latest prey…but of course, Fiona has other plans. In the end, Fiona succeeds in her task (and even gets an added bonus when she does), Sam helps out his buddies, and Michael finds out what Gilroy has been working on. And then to top it all off…Gilroy gets blown up! Not the endgame he was expecting, I bet.

One of the best things about the episode, had to be guest star Carlos Bernard, whom I and most others know as Tony Almeida from the hit show 24. Also guest appearing was former Los Angeles Raider running back Vic Stagliano, as a white supremacist who tries to rob (and injure) Michael, after Gilroy sends Michael to purchase a 50-caliber machine gun for him. Overall, the episode, aptly titled “Good Intentions,” was well done, and delivered a storyline setup for what could prove to be the best season finale the show has had to date. Season 1 ended with the “introduction” of Carla; Season 2 ended with Michael turning down “Management’s” employment opportunity; and Season 3 will end with Michael coming face-to-face with the man who committed the crimes that got Michael burned.

All I can say, is that it’s about time! Lately on the show, it seemed like the writers were diverting their focus away from the original issue, which was Michael trying to find out who burned him,  why, and how he can get back in. We found out the ‘who’ in season 1. We found out the ‘why’ in season 2. Season 3 focused more on the ‘I need to get back into the spy game’ mentality that Michael has had since he was burned in the pilot, and now we are being rewarded (somewhat) by the unveiling of the ‘who did the what to accomplish the why.’ Overall, “Good Intentions” was a good episode, but there were some things that I found noteworthy.

First: Gilroy has been portrayed as a black-ops psychopath, yet he was never given material to actually show this psycopathy. Last night didn’t hit a home run when it comes to revealing Gilroy’s true nature, but it did manage to knock in a double when Gilroy decided to shoot off the 50-caliber when Michael was only about 5-7 feet away from the gun to prove his point, followed by his…I’ll call it a “pep-talk,” to Michael. During that scene, Chris Vance (who portrayed Gilroy) really conveyed to the audience, how psychotic Gilroy truly was. Secondly: I had a hard time buying Carlos Bernard’s accent. It just seemed to be a bit forced for him. Despite the accent, I felt he did a great job with his character. He portrayed the anguish and the hatred that people in real life can exhibit when they have gone through circumstances like what his character endured. I particularly enjoyed the scenes when his character, Gabriel, and Fiona talked about the loss of her sister Claire, as well as when Gabriel broke down while expressing his motivation for this kidnapping (the loss of his daughter Eva, who died because of a company that carelessly disposed of chemical waste). While I was hoping that Carlos would play a spy, or somewhat of a more “dangerous” character (something like the first couple episodes of season 7 of <24> before his character, Tony Almeida was revealed to be a deep cover “hero” of sorts) on his <Burn Notice> appearance. I wouldn’t have even minded if he had played a normal, law abiding client for Michael. Regardless of what kind of character he played, just seeing him again on the small screen was a treat in itself. Another thing in the episode that may bother some people, was the reckless abandon that Fiona had, in regards to the “job” she was offered. Typically, it’s Michael who throws caution to the wind, but he always tends to come out smelling like a rose. This time, Fiona did it, and almost paid for it dearly. I for one didn’t mind her recklessness, because it’s Fi, and I know that she can handle pretty much whatever is thrown at her (thank the IRA for that), and if she can’t…she will always have Michael and Sam there to help her out.

All in all, “Good Intentions” was an awesome episode, but then again, I would say that about every episode of Burn Notice. I do know that next week’s season finale cannot come soon enough for me and many people I know. I also know that the season 3 DVD release cannot come soon enough for me either. Cheers!

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