Burn Notice – Episodes 5-6 and 5-7 Review

My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy. Until. Well Burn Notice fans, it’s another week and time for an update on Michael’s pursuit of the person who killed Max and framed him. In episode 6, Michael is tasked by new CIA handler Agent Pearce, to locate a stolen Predator drone before it can be sold to some radical Serbians. Michael and team decides to use Miami’s top heroin dealer Carmelo (who stated previously that if he saw Michael again, he would kill him) to find the Serbs. Michael robs a shipment of in-transit heroin and leaves Sam behind as a “witness” to the crime. After some close calls for Sam, and a few unkind words from Fiona about using Sam as a “witness,” Michael is able to successfully recover the stolen drone and return it to the CIA. During the episode, Fi and Maddy pose as a mother and daughter to try to find information on the man who is pretending to be Michael. After pulling a sob story with a susceptible clerk and using some CIA provided facial recognition software, the team has a name…Jacob Starky.

Fast forward to this week’s episode. After being revealed to the team, Jacob Starky is now a wanted man. As Fi and Sam watch his house (only watch the house are their instructions), they are forced to get Jacob out, when a group of armed thugs arrive to snuff out Jacob. Using Jacob, the team attempts to contact his “employer” and get a big reveal as to who is behind the “Frame Michael Westen Plan.” Meanwhile, Michael does his client of the week stint for a woman whose ex-husband (John) has not returned their son (Tommy) to her when scheduled. The boy’s father recently lost his brother in Afghanistan and has suffered severe mental trauma because of it. As a former Ranger, Michael and the deceased brother share that connection. Michael goes to speak with the husband, but he freaks out, pulls a gun on Michael and runs away with his son. Unfortunately, the father has become disillusioned and angry and has taken up with some anti-government paramilitary extremists in their fortified training camp. After concocting a plan to get Tommy out, Michael brings in Fi, Jesse, and Sam to help in the escape/rescue. After diverting the attention of the militia to a nearby vacant house, Michael goes in, talks some sense into John, and leaves with Tommy.

By the end of the episode, Jacob is convinced that his employer is trying to kill him, and that helping Michael is the best way for him to keep his hide intact. Finally, after attempting to contact the boss, the team gets a response from the Bahamas telling Jacob to come there for a meet. Obviously Michael, not Jacob will be attending the “meeting.”

I’ve noticed that over the past several years, more and more TV shows are using extremist paramilitary militias as the villains. A few years ago, Criminal Minds used them and even referenced the infamous Ruby Ridge hostage crisis as a backdrop for a storyline. Don’t get me wrong, paramilitary groups are very real, and when used in TV shows, they provide a great antagonist for the hero to contend with, but I do think that they can be overused and the whole concept can become kind of stagnant.

So next week, we get an appearance from Bush frontman (or Mr. Gwen Stefani if you prefer) Gavin Rossdale as one of Fiona’s ex-boyfriends, and I have to admit, I am a bit curious as to what he will bring to the Burn Notice table. Until next week folks. Take care.

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