Review: Burn Notice - Friendly Fire
by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 29th 2010 2:05AM
(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.]