Saturday, May 29, 2010

TV Review: Burn Notice -- Season 4 Premiere: "Friends and Enemies"

Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) may be a captured spy at the start of the fourth season of Matt Nix’s wildly inventive Mission Impossible meets MacGyver series Burn Notice, but the one thing we know about Westen by now is that he’s not going to stay captured for long.

Temporarily brought into custody at what the outside world may assume is a document processing plant that truly doubles as a secret holding center for VIPs (very important prisoners), Westen is persuaded to work alongside the agency that burned him by the mysterious and charismatic Vaughn (Robert Wisdom) who assures Westen that the government has plenty of use for burned spies since people without direct ties can cross lines that those on the paper trail cannot.

And soon enough, the two begin going after an illegal weapons salesman, which we realize is just step one in what Vaughn describes as “a new kind of problem” for our national security that will consume Michael in this summer’s return to USA Network’s hit series.

Finding himself drawn into another more urgent battle by Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and Sam (Bruce Campbell) who are in over their heads protecting a lawyer from Miami’s toughest biker gang who’ve gotten the greenlight to end their client’s life, Sam reassures their pal that although their reunion for their captured friend is brief, “this whole business here needs a little Michael Westen” before arming him to the teeth in a high speed pursuit.

Deftly balancing adventure with the building plot concerning Westen’s fate now that he’s begun putting the pieces together regarding who burned him and why, the season gets off to an action packed start with the same trademark tongue-in-cheek narration about Fiona infiltrating a group running on “testosterone and motor oil” that we’ve come to appreciate whenever the temperatures rise and Nix’s series once again takes to the airwaves.

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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I viewed an online screener of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.
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