Burn Notice – Episode 4-2 Review

My name is Jesse Porter. I used to be a spy. Until…Michael Westen burned me. Yeah, yeah I know that’s not the beginning of the show, but for last night’s episode (and the remainder of the Jesse storyline arc) they may as well change the beginning monologue. So Burn Notice fans, last night we dove into the story of recently burned spy (or counter-intelligence agent as he puts it) Jesse Porter, played by the newest addition to the trio we’ve grown to love over the past 3 seasons, Coby Bell of television’s Third Watch. Like the preview for next week’s episode says, it looks like the trio is going to be a quartet for awhile.

Onto last night then. So we all know that our favorite burned spy Michael Westen just burned another spy while retrieving data for his new “handler” Vaughn. In the aftermath of burning a spy, Michael is feeling a bit, well…unhappy I guess. He doesn’t want to be responsible for burning a spy, so of course his conscience has gotten the better of him, and he is determined to help Jesse. Sam on the other hand isn’t convinced and tries to persuade Michael to leave it alone. Of course with Michael being Michael though, he dismisses Sam’s idea since as he reminds Sam…he himself was burned and knows how it feels. Michael also knows that Jesse will come looking for him the day he finds out it was Michael who burned him. Michael sees Jesse as an asset that he needs to keep close. Both for his own well being, but because Jesse has information that the mysterious Vaughn needs. After sneaking into an office building to access the phone lines, in an attempt to find Jesse, Michael and Fi get caught in a bit of a pickle with building security and have to make a…distraction of some kind. So in normal Fiona fashion, she blows something up. Michael and Sam then go to Maddie’s house after getting a “Need Help Now” text message. Maddie is going to rent out the garage and wants Michael and Sam to clean it out. Even though Michael reminds her that he uses the garage, Maddie insists that they clean it and tile the floor. While tiling the floor, Michael and Sam catch a call from Jesse. They now know that Jesse has a meeting set up. While surveilling the meeting, the trio observes some suspicious SUVs approaching the meet. Jesse’s contact has set him up. Sam creates a distraction that helps Jesse escape. Later on, Michael return to his loft, notices the lock is out of place, and surprise attacks Jesse. Jesse has heard of Michael Westen…and needs his help. It appears he’s being hunted by an old enemy named Khan, who believes that Jesse stole $2 million from him. Michael decides to sell himself as an enemy of Jesse to ally himself with Khan, get Khan to but some illegal guns, and then get him arrested. Jesse is obviously doubtful. Michael runs into difficulty when Khan’s #2 man, Lee opposes the idea of them working together. The trio, plus Jesse, decide that Jesse will stage an assault on Khan, and Michael will intervene and chase off Jesse. Jesse goes off script, which irritates Sam, but the ruse is successful. After that, Michael convinces Khan to buy some guns to hunt Jesse with, Khan and Lee get arrested, and all is well. Until Khan gets released from jail thanks to a sort of “get out of jail free” card the DEA owed him. Khan then captures Jesse and tortures him, but gets nothing from him. As a favor to Michael, Fi recruits Barry to help put together some evidence that Lee stole the money from Khan. Jesse plays along with Michael’s ruse, and in the end Lee and Khan end up shooting (and presumably killing) each other. After that, Jesse (who had been staying in a condo next to Fi) moved into Maddie’s garage due to a bee infestation at his “condo.” Michael met with Vaughn, who told Michael that the information they need from Jesse is needed soon. In the end, Jesse swore that he would clear his name, find the person who burned him…and kill him.

First off, let me start by saying that I don’t trust Vaughn. Yeah he’s an interesting character, but if the show’s past is any indicator, he’s got an ulterior motive, and I’m betting it’s not a positive motive. I think that Robert Wisdom portrays the character in excellent fashion, and I’m curious to see where Vaughn’s story goes from here. In Coby Bell’s first full appearance as a series regular, I was kind of disappointed in it. Don’t get me wrong, I expect that Matt Nix and company will not disappoint us fans with this character., but his first outing was a bit stale. If we get an episode that delves into Jesse’s past, I think that will be an awesome episode. Another thing that concerns me is the addition of Jesse to the original trio. Yes the trio is a tried and true formula, and I understand the desire to spice things up some, but it’s important not to stray too far from the original formula. I don’t expect Jesse to be a long running, season crossing character, but I do know that if the writers lose focus on Michael, then the show will no longer be the Burn Notice we all know and love, and at that point I’ll have to change to another channel on Thursday nights…and that would be terribly disappointing. See you all next week.