Michael Westen with money troubles? Boy, now you really know how bad the economy is when a burned super spy has to dig up a job to keep himself in Armani suits. Actually, I thought it was a refreshing change of pace that Michael actively pursued an assignment rather than just wait for somebody to come along -- to Sam or Madeline or Fiona -- who needs help that seemingly only Michael can provide.
What was weird is that for much of the episode, the case was much less important than the subtext between Fiona and Michael. This is an interesting development and so different from other classic TV pairings. Watching Fiona and Michael you don't wonder if they'll ever do it, because they've done it. No, you wonder what the heck does it mean and how do they deal with the emotions stirred up by Fiona's near death and Michael's reaction to possibly losing her?
(S02E11) "The one who burned you is closer than you think." -- Fiona
A year ago, the idea of anybody doing anything for a pair of 50-yard line tickets to watch the Miami Dolphins play football would have been a joke. Fortunately for Burn Notice, the Fins won the AFC East and are relevant again. Therefore, Sam's Good Samaritan act -- which got a major boost when Fiona got involved -- had a decent payoff, beyond the idea of them doing something nice for a friend.
Were you thinking Men in Black when you saw Fiona, Sam and Michael in their uniform black suits complete with sunglasses and heavy weaponry? They really do find a way to make the three of them seem like a much more formidable force. Even more than the old Mission: Impossible team, Michael, Fiona and Sam are like the IMF trio deluxe, with each of them more than able to handle adversity. More on that adversity after the jump.
Then the network caused a global groan so loud that it shifted the tectonic plates when they announced that Nelson had to cancel and they would replace him with Larry the Cable Guy.
It's such an obvious and safe choice that might be a good recipe for ratings, but it's a sure fire recipe for boring. Here are the iconic stars who would have made much better kindling for a white hot comedy roast.
Well, if you think Michael was ticked off about being burned, you should take his temperature after there's an attempt on his life. This episode, which picked up right after a bomb went off in Michael's loft doorway, had a little bit of everything that makes Burn Notice one of the best shows on TV. In short, it was great to have it back on the schedule. And yes, there was little doubt that Michael would survive the blast. It's good to see the Charger and the loft did, too.
Michael has a lot of reasons to be bent out of shape. Carla's still yanking him around and now she's involved his family by having Nate arrested. In one of the few times I can remember on the show, he really lost his cool when he screamed at her, "I want my brother out of jail. I want my life back!" Carla got the message.
Unlike Debra -- nice choices, Deb -- I've refrained from putting pictures of these hunks on my walls, but I sure have followed them from show to show, enjoying every moment when they were forced to take off their shirts or flex their muscles.
Oh, Bruce! He is such a hunk. Remember The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.? He was the epitome of the western hero, looking great in black with a cowboy hat, on a horse. And that killer smile. Now, on Burn Notice, he's sort of an older hunk with the great Tommy Bahama shirts and perpetual five o'clock shadow, but still great looking. And since I was fortunate enough to meet him -- on a set visit -- I can tell you that he's a really an eyeful up close. I'd love to be in his arms any time!
- I kind of want to see the new Paul Rudd, Sean William Scott movie, Role Models. In honor of its impending release, the Cinematical Seven examines seven characters who should never be role models.
- Cinematical has a new Watchman video. Check out girls kicking ass!
- Does To Kill a Mockingbird best capture the American spirit, or maybe something like Field of Dreams? At the end of this historical week, join the discussion on Cinematical.
- Fanboys is the highly-anticipated movie that has been delayed so long it's become almost a myth. Finally though, Cinematical has proof of life: an actual Fanboys trailer!
- Bruce Campbell plays the role he was born to play: Bruce Campbell. This movie looks amazing. See if Cinematical agrees with me when they review My Name is Bruce.
Neil, an Emmy nominee for How I Met Your Mother, and Sarah, who is also a guest/semi-regular on Mother as well as a permanent regular on Scrubs, are a great choice for this gig. They're smart, funny, quick, attractive and maybe even unpredictable.
I mean, wouldn't it be a hoot if Neil came on stage in his Dr. Horrible gear and asked Sarah if her Hanes undies were riding up or doing their job? She should then counter and ask him about that smell, you know ... the Old Spice? Hey, maybe they should get Bruce Campbell to confront Neil about the Old Spice deal -- that was Bruce's commercial before Neil took over!
(S02E06) You have to admire the stones on a guy who can insult someone else's wardrobe while he himself is wearing a Daiquiri Ice colored polo.
As much as I love the larger than life characters on this show, Victor the Wrangler was a little too much for me. I never enjoy seeing brand new characters who talk to the regulars like they are old buddies. I know that's how TV works but if a guy is going to engage in as much douche speak as Victor, he's got build up some goodwill first, or else I'll end up hating him from the beginning. That, however, may have been the point.
(S02E05) "Sammy's gettin' some hammy tonight." - Sam Axe
How great was it seeing Michael and Fi still sitting in that car? I like to imagine that they were sitting there for an entire week while we waited for the new episode.
Not that I didn't enjoy Michael's how-to on exposing covert security but I feel bad for the delivery guy. As if it isn't bad enough to get to the delivery and realize you've been pranked, this poor guy is also going to get the crap beaten out of him. No wonder Michael helps everyone he meets. He has a lot of bad karma to make up for.
(S02E04) I'm sure you die-hard Burn Notice fans saw it in the first scene. The show has now expanded its yogurt promotion to include the frozen variety. The producer's also have started sharing other uses for yogurt. Next time I have a hangover, I'll try a nice cool tub of Dannon to stop the throbbing.
I was wondering when Nate was going to show up again. More importantly, I was curious whether or not he would still be running scams. At first glance, it would seem that he meant everything he said about making "a few changes." However, as we all know, nothing on this show is ever what it seems, except for Michael's inability to refuse to help those in need.
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.
For the most part The X-Files was an intense character study of two FBI agents struggling with their beliefs in the supernatural, in America and in each other. Sometimes, however, it was just a show about cool monsters. Here are some of my favorites.
Eugene Tooms ("Squeeze," "Tooms")
Tooms was so cool and creepy he had to be brought back for another appearance. What I liked best about Tooms was that he was one of the few monsters that looked totally human but was pure monster. Whether he was eating livers or squeezing through an air vent, Tooms was the first threat on the show to make me believe that monsters might actually exist.
Fortunately for me, I've had the chance to catch up. I even got to visit the set. The USA Network rebroadcasts and occasional marathons have helped -- hooray for DVRs -- but I really think it was the Burn Notice Season One DVD set that filled in all the blanks. Reasonably priced and recently released, the set has become one of my favorites, as had the tale of Michael Westen, professional spy who has been inexplicably fired -- burned -- and dumped in Miami. There's a lot to like in this show, and in this DVD set.
Nobody's handed anything to Jeffrey Donovan. He's been at it for a while, doing notable turns in CSI: Miami and Monk, playing recurring characters in The Pretender and Touching Evil, and practically stealing Hitch from Kevin James and Will Smith by playing a nasty S.O.B.
Like his alter ego, Jeffrey Donovan is a very cool customer. He never lets you see him sweat, even when he's got ever right to in the glare of the spotlight, the heat of the Miami sun, and the hardball questions of the media roundtable he was facing. Okay, we weren't all throwing hardballs, but as this Q&A shows, Jeffrey D. can handle himself in any and all situations.
(S02E01) Man, it's been a long time since last season. I remembered very little of what they showed in the recap and after being reminded, I was hungry for the new season.
It occurs to me as I'm watching this episode that Michael Westen is a less philanthropic MacGyver. He knows a lot of tricks that will help you in sticky situations but he's smart enough to keep most of them to himself. I, personally, have never had to run from the police but if I ever do, I now know the best way to stop the airbags from going off.
While chatting with Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, creator Matt Nix was talking about the new season of Burn Notice -- more on that below -- when he casually mentioned Bruce Campbell was hurt on the set. "He actually just pulled his hamstring doing a stunt, I just got a call, he's on the way to the hospital."
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