Friday, June 24, 2011

Review - Burn Notice Season 5 Episode 1 Company Man

After four seasons, Burn Notice doesn't have the spunk or allure it used to have. The overarching plot of Michael's burn notice has become a labyrinthine mess of spies, spy agencies, and whatever else in an impossibly complex system created to stretch the show out a few more seasons. Meanwhile, the action scenes no longer have the coolness to them. Explosions, car chases, gun battles, spy tricks--we've all seen it.

These problems become very evident in "Company Man," one of the weakest season premieres of the show to date. Following the seemingly huge shift at the end of the fourth season, Burn Notice had the chance to switch things up for once, which may or may not have been a good choice. Still, the alternative, what the writers choose, is lacking--a several minute long montage of how Michael and the CIA took down a bunch of people until only one called Kessler remains. Convenient, isn't it?

 Well, rest of the episode is a listless procedure through the normal steps leading up the Michael finally cornering Kessler and seeing that he shot himself. There are good moments in there--Michael's Russian character and the Venezuela, some of Fi and Sam--but the plot is lacking, even in comparison to average midseason episodes. There isn't an identifiable villain (when the writers are great at creating them) and none of the spy stuff is particularly inventive.

At the end of the episode, it's unclear where the show is going. Michael is back in Miami with his friends and family, but he also has his CIA buddies. There will again be the struggle between the spy life and personal life, and it seems like Michael might be leaning on the personal side, uncovering his car after a discussion of his mother.

I want to be optimistic about this season, but given the show's progression over the years, it's hard to stay positive. Kessler appears to be the final bad guy in a long, convoluted stream of them, and there is no indication there is more. But there always seems to be more, and the CIA guys could probably be in on this also as part of something bigger. And why is Jesse staying around?

Score: 8.0/10
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