USA Network’s Burn Notice was back with a brand new episode again last night. So far the show definitely seems to be following a pattern of having two main storylines in each ep, one dealing with Michael’s burn notice and one consisting of an odd job that Michael takes on in order to earn money for living expenses. I still like this approach, so I’m not complaining at all! Here’s what happened in episode 1×06, called “Unpaid Debts.”
Odd Job of the Week: In need of some extra cash, Michael asks Sam to find a job for them to do. Luckily for them, it just so happens that Sam’s friend Virgil needs some help right at that time. Virgil is a former spy who now repossesses boats for a living. When he recently went after a Donzi 27 ZR from a group of Jamaican smugglers, he got beat up pretty badly. He needs someone who can go in, recover the boat, and deliver it to its intended destination. If Michael and Sam can complete this mission, they’ll get $2,000 each.
Michael agrees to take on the assignment, but soon realizes that the situation is far more complicated than that. The Jamaican smugglers aren’t the only dangerous people involved; there’s also a group of dirty cops to deal with. To make matters even worse, Michael discovers the real reason everyone’s after that boat when he finds $10 million in cash stashed under the floorboards.
Burn Notice Progress If you recall from the last episode, the FBI detail was removed and someone else was assigned to tail Michael. This guy doesn’t even make a pretense of being stealth, he just charges in and does things like tow away Michael’s car, search his apartment, and tear up Madeline’s house right out in the open. Michael plays the same game and has Fiona follow the operative back to his hotel room, after which point Michael breaks in and plants a powerful magnet that will destroy the operative’s computer files. It’s not until the end of the episode when Fiona lifts the guy’s wallet do we get a name: the new nemesis is Jason Bly of the Central Security Service in Washington, D.C.
Character Development: We learn a couple of nice snippets about the main characters throughout this episode. For instance, Michael’s dad died in 1998 and Madeline hadn’t been with anyone since then. I know they showed the father’s headstone back in episode 1×02, but I wasn’t paying close attention and didn’t make note of the date (or of the father’s name, for that matter). In addition, we discover that Michael left Fiona in the middle of the night with no warning, but that he did it because he truly thought it would be for her own good. I don’t know if I believe Michael about that point or not, but I guess spies would always be able to use that excuse! And finally, we learned that Sam wasn’t a squeaky-clean operative back in the day (no surprise there) and that Virgil saved his ass a time or two.
My Reaction: I thought this was another decent episode. While I’m not exactly overwhelmed with excitement about what’s happening on Burn Notice, I do find the shows to be entertaining. At least I can sit through the entire thing without looking at the clock or wondering how much longer ’til I can check my email!
I think this Jason Bly character could add a very interesting dynamic to the show, especially if he and Michael continue to engage in the type of cat-and-mouse games they got into in this ep. Their relationship sort of reminds me of Michael Scofield and Agent Mahone on Prison Break, two worthy opponents going at it. Let’s hope the writers make Bly an intelligent character and don’t dumb him down just so Michael can get the upper hand all the time.
I’m getting tired of the constant references to Fiona and Michael’s past relationship. How many times does she have to bring it up? I hope their conversation in last night’s ep is the end of it for awhile. Talking it out isn’t going to change things and have Michael go back to her, right? So spare us all and just let it go for now… please!!