After a two-week hiatus, Burn Notice was back on Thursday night with an all-new episode. Called “Double Booked”, the eighth episode of Season 2 put a bit of a twist on the regular BN formula. This time, instead of the odd job of the week coming from a regular civilian, it’s brought to Mike’s attention by a dangerous ex-colleague who was supposed to be dead. This break from formula was ok for a bit of a change, but I think I prefer the standard eps that I’ve gotten used to over the past season and a half.
Odd Job of the Week: Michael is approached by an ex-spy named Larry who comes to him with an offer: pull off a contract killing that fell into Larry’s lap, and Mike will get $20,000 for his trouble. Of course, Michael is not a killer, so he wants nothing to do with the job, but he realizes that if he lets a psycho like Larry go through with his plan, then the body count will end up being pretty high. So Mike says yes, all the while intending to warn the victim and thwart the hit.
Mike approaches the target Jeannie, and explains what’s supposed to happen. She says that her stepson Drew must be behind the hit, as he wants her out of the way so he can get all of his dying father’s money. Michael then goes to work intimidating Drew, telling him that he better call off the hit or he’s the one who will end up dead. Drew is sufficiently scared of Michael and wants to listen to him, but there’s a big problem: he has double-booked the hit and can’t get ahold of the other guy who’s supposed to take out Jeannie.
Eventually, Mike — with the help of Fiona and Sam, of course — is able to work things out to a sufficient degree. He isn’t able to stop Larry completely and Drew ends up as a casualty, but Jeannie is saved and at least Mike didn’t have to kill anyone.
Burn Notice Progress: Sam and Mike track down Bill Johnson, the guy that Carla has chosen as her sniper. They see Johnson entering a building using the key card that Carla had Mike duplicate several episodes ago, so they realize that Mike is the one doing the dirty work for the sniper. That gives Mike an idea of how to figure out what Carla’s ultimate plan is, but the answer will have to wait for another episode.
Character Development: Madeline is on a counseling kick again, this time convincing Mike to attend a session at her home. One of the tasks the counselor sets forth is to have Madeline and Mike list 5 things that they are grateful to the other person for. After Mike lists things like “great eyesight” and “providing him with a cover ID”, Madeline flips out. Their subsequent argument reveals that she’s the one who forged Mike’s dad’s signature so Mike could join the military at age 17. Madeline saw that Mike was heading down the wrong path and wanted to make sure he had a fair chance at a good life.
My Reaction: In all honesty, I thought this was a pretty boring episode. It took me about two hours to get through the thing on TiVo because I kept pausing and stopping to flip through other channels, check emails, etc. I just wasn’t into the story at all, so I couldn’t get myself to finish it in a reasonable amount of time.
The Odd Job storyline was weak this time around, but it did bring up an interesting question: why wouldn’t Mike just kill Larry when he had the chance? Instead, Larry lives and will likely take out a bunch of innocent people in the future. And why did he go through the trouble of setting himself up for that sniper shot if he wasn’t going to take it anyway? Like Larry said, he knew the kid was dead, so he should have taken the shot.
I was completely lost on the Bill Johnson plot. I forgot where they got the name from, forgot the significance of the whole storyline (except as it relates to Carla), etc, and as a result, wasn’t paying much attention to that part of the ep. I guess I’ll have to go back and read my past reviews to refresh my memory about this Bill Johnson character.
Overall, not a great Burn Notice ep, but at least it made me appreciate the good ones all the more!