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Review: Burn Notice - Friendly Fire

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 29th 2010 2:05AM
burn_notice_chris_vance_jeffrey_donovan
(S03E11)
For a nice change of pace, Burn Notice played up the local color. Lots of Little Dominica (not Little Havana) and action, including multiple explosions, a little face-forward repelling and a new somewhat mystical character for Michael to play. No Southern boy this week. No tank tops or muscle shirts. Nope. Michael was looking like Mr. Applegate, the devil in the musical Damn Yankees.

The client came in the form of Houston cop Mack, Sam's old friend/nemesis. He was a nemesis because he had the audacity to marry Sam's ex-wife, Amanda, after him. Yes, Sam was married. Madeline's eyeballs nearly popped out of their sockets when she heard that. But to her credit, she was worried about Sam. Mack's visit had unnerved him, and Maddie feared that he would screw up on the job.

The job was pretty nasty, too. Initially, Sam and Fiona's attempt to infiltrate the Latino community was just a way to illustrate that in tight neighborhoods, cop-detecting kids are like an early warning radar system. But Fiona's ability to heist a car set up an in with the locals for Michael.

Michael had to deliver a dual performance; fooling Omar into thinking he was a magical badass while also letting Gilroy see that he had turned to the dark side. Gilroy wasn't buying that Michael had given up his Eagle Scout status. He may have read the burn file on Westen, but he still wasn't sure he had gone rogue. He needed convincing, so while Michael was working Omar, he was also putting on a show for Gilroy.

Michael's magic is pretty impressive, but none of this stuff can be done on the fly, not with the precision shown in this episode. But when forced to improvise, like when they were caught in room 402, the CIA training proved helpful.

It would have been nice to see Michael give Rincon a beat down, especially if he was the predator they implied he was, but instead Mack got to return him to Houston to face the judge. Omar regained his territory and Michael never had to snap his fingers again. It's possible that Omar could come back again in some future episode.

Finally, you have to hand it to the producers. The new villain, Gilroy, is quite a piece of work. Chris Vance is good in the role. The guy is a snobby Brit and -- as Michael labeled him -- a freelance psychopath. He knew about Michael killing Strickler and he seemed to have accomplices with high powered rifles at his beck and call. Last week in the marine stadium and this week shooting the champagne flute out of Fiona's hand. Michael is definitely playing with fire by getting into business with him. It may be a burn he won't be able to recover from.

Other points of interest

-- Madeline was like a dog with a bone trying to learn what was going on between Sam and Mack. When she learned Sam had been married and he still resented Mack's moving in on his ex, his line was priceless: "You don't sit in another man's canoe."

-- Fiona's one-woman intervention of Michael Westen was a success. Of course, Michael was more than ready for some R&R.

-- Where did Michael come up with that red shirt and tie? You think he found that off the rack or was it a special order?

[Watch clips from Burn Notice on SlashControl.]

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Bob

This installment like all of Burn Notice is pleasure to watch and great escapism after a lousy few days on the job. Michael and Sam are always the same and yet always different. Cool is always cool! My a show like this with weeks like the two be around for our pleasure for awhile

February 09 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Colleen

I love this show just the way it is. The scenes are short and sweet and uses the oldest show biz tactic in the book - ALWAYS leave 'em wanting more! We don't need to see Michael and Fiona - imagination is a beautiful thing!
Bravo to the powers that be that have kept the chemistry of this show intact for 3 seasons - I wish you many more!

January 30 2010 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
taya

Jeffrey D doing his best clint eastwood

January 30 2010 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

That was a wicked episode Donovan was brilliant with his cover this week, the finger snap routine was positively hilarious. Looking forward to seeing where this stuff with Gilroy leads should be interesting.

This is probably one of my favourite episodes.

January 29 2010 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
burnfan

In a Season 2 episode, Veronica's proposal to Sam forced him to reveal that he was still married. He married on a whim when he was younger and he never got divorced. Why he should be holding a grudge years later against someone who stepped after he left is unclear to me.

Donovan was killer as always.

Can't believe the director cut the final scene between Michael and Fi before anything happened. We saw that much in the trailer, and this episode was ripe for a tussle. This is late night after all and we are adults here, aren't we? Remember season one, "Broken Rules?" Wow! Can't we have a little more where that came from, please!!

January 29 2010 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theo

Jeffrey Donovan is a hell of an actor. I love when they make him play other roles within the show - definitely shows off his skills. I'm liking Chris Vance in the role too and I'm looking forward to him meddling with Mike more as the season goes on

January 29 2010 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Damir Secki

Yeah, I love "the suit" character was awesome! Jeffrey Donovan was so believable as "El Diablo" and his finger snapping routine was priceless!

January 29 2010 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
misguided

El Diablo!

January 29 2010 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Elizabeth

I really am happy about having this show on TV the characters do not try to over act one another..Madeline and her friend from earlier years was so sad / good / but sad I was hoping she would be on again...Thank you and God Bless

January 29 2010 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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