'Burn Notice' - 'Partners In Crime' Recap
by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 12th 2010 1:38AM
(S03E13) 'Burn Notice' is generally more serious dealing with spy business than a show like 'Chuck', which is more playful. There's more blood on 'Burn Notice,' and the killing is not done to popular music. Both shows are fun, but for a tougher brand of espionage, 'Burn Notice' is the way to go.
This was one of the better 'Burn Notice' episodes because it put Michael somewhere he hasn't been in a while -- a very vulnerable position. And Larry was back. You remember Larry, played with menacing lunacy by Tim Matheson? More on Larry, the Colombian cartel, Jack Fleetwood and -- oh yeah -- Michael's brother, too, after the jump.
Tim Matheson has never seemed as manic on screen as when playing Larry the lunatic. Actually, he's Michael's former CIA partner and, as such, he has a real knack for getting Michael into maximum trouble. The entire Colombian cartel business with the $2 million in small change and Carlos ordering a hit on Michael was Larry's mischief making. And all because he wants to work with Michael again ... and he wanted the money, too.
Michael also had his hands full with Gilroy, who is proving to be a nasty piece of work. What he's really doing remains a mystery, one that Michael has been trying to uncover without much luck. The fact is that Gilroy is a lethal adversary and Michael's playing with fire by working with him. At any point, Gilroy could try to kill him.
What made this episode click was that the usual cooperation Michael needs and gets from Sam and Fiona was compromised. It was refreshing to see Sam get all Boy Scout about Larry's extremism and Gilroy's dangerous scheme. Sam had every right to be offended by Michael's over-reaching. So was Fiona. It's one thing when they're all rowing in the same direction, working for a client. It's quite another when Michael's neediness comes off as abusing his friends.
When Sam refused to give Michael the flight charts for Gilroy, he was making a stand. It was a good reminder that Sam is not Michael's lackey. Fiona's rejection was just as resounding because she recognized that Larry was getting to Michael in a way that nobody else -- not her or Maddie or Sam -- do. Fi resented that connection and was afraid of it, too.
The scene where Nate confronted Michael in the loft was the best. Michael was talking about turning an asset -- which reminded me of 'Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler.' What Michael realized was that Larry had isolated Michael, treating him like an asset. It was a brilliant ploy by Larry with the cell phone, and it had been working, too. Larry was cornering Michael. Nate managed to remind Michael that he wasn't alone anymore. Yeah, Nate!
The finish was probably as expected since they didn't want to get rid of Larry, just neutralize him. Michael managed to shelve Larry 'Garber' for now, but he will likely turn up again -- like the bad penny. As for Gilroy, he got some of what he wanted, but Michael kept the whole enchilada, the stuff Sam -- not Chuck Finley -- stuck his neck out to get.
Like Bogey and Claude Rains in 'Casablanca,' Sam and Michael do have a beautiful friendship. That's what I thought of as they walked away together at the end of the show.
Other points of interest
-- I loved the bit about jumping out of the hotel room onto the mattress in the pool, although it was great to show what happens if you miss the mattress. This is the second week in a row for broken ankles.
-- Nate's wife must have been insane to invite Madeline to move to Las Vegas before she got to know her. Fortunately, Maddie's not going anywhere. And Ruth, well, I wouldn't bet on her and Nate lasting very long, despite the marriage license.
-- Michael apologizing was therapeutic. He should do it every five or six episodes.
[Watch clips from 'Burn Notice' on SlashControl.]