Is it possible for a spy to get burned because of their support network? That’s the premise behind the latest season of USA’s Burn Notice about a burned spy one step closer to the truth and two steps further than he thought. Sadly, the conspiracies are leaving the audience more irritated than satisfied.
Burn Notice followed burned spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) who was one step closer to being reinstated with the CIA. He was working with them under the radar to catch everyone involved in the mysterious organization that had gotten him blacklisted in the first place. Michael and his loved ones felt a sense of relief that everything will soon be behind, but they didn’t expect another disaster looming on the horizon. Michael was framed in great detail of his handler’s murder. He enlists in his live-in girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) who was growing tired of always coming in second to Michael’s conspiracy. For additional back-up, Westen turned to his friends Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) and Jesse (Coby Bell) who had connections in private security that helped deliver some high tech gadgets. Michael is forced to confront his personal demons that involved him in mistreating his mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) for show and feeling twice as guilty for acting just like his late father. Michael is cleared of the murder charge after some heavy wrangling on his part, but he didn’t detect another threat heading his way that threatened to destroy everything. Will he be able to make it out alive or will there be casualties along the way?
Unfortunately, the only casualty on Notice is the show itself because it seems to have lost the luster it once had with this new season. The almost sudden wrap-up of the mysterious organization that was pulling Michael’s strings seemed like a game changer, until Max’s murder. The summer finale revealed that Michael wasn’t entirely free and clear of the organization just yet. Nowadays, Michael’s private conspiracy is just informing the audience how many enemies Mr. Westen truly has. Hopefully, the show won’t alienate audiences by throwing another plot monkeywrench into the mix. In terms of the cast, the once great dynamic changed greatly last season with the addition Bell as a younger version of Michael, which sadly took away screentime with the always hilarious Gless as Michael’s tough mother. Let’s hope that the show uses more of Gless in later episodes. On the otherhand, the dynamic between Donovan, Anwar and Campbell remained mostly intact. Anwar and Campbell each made their characters go above and beyond to help Michael, which brought trouble to their doorstep as well. It was nice to see Michael and Fiona pursue a committed relationship, but the melodrama surrounding it was simply unnecessary. As the lead, Donovan flirted with being the good guy and the pretend villain in some scenarios. He showed audiences that he could’ve gone in another direction without the help of his friends.
Burn Notice premiered on June 23rd and aired it summer finale on September 8th. It airs Thursdays at 9:00 pm on USA. New episodes are scheduled to air later this fall.
Verdict: A show that’s sometimes filled one too many conspiracy theories and less focus on the dynamic between the cast.
TV Score: 3 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)