Wow. Is there any better way to sum up the season premiere of “Burn Notice” Thursday night? It was literally stuffed with everything an action fan could want — explosions, great storytelling, and plenty of twists more jaw-dropping than anything you see at the movies these days. Considering that most seasons have been forced to start at square one, this may very well be the best lead-off to a season this USA drama has ever had.
What really made it so effective here was that executive producer Matt Nix was not afraid to change the game in a very big way — Fiona is now behind bars, and as brilliant as Michael Weston is when it comes to solving problems, even he can can’t break his perceived soulmate out of a high-security federal prison. To make matters worse for him, there is also a big bad roaming around out there in Anson — the man responsible for framing Fiona and putting him in his present predicament.
Are some people going to be frustrated by the premiere? Probably, but mostly because we witnessed a lengthy chase that didn’t really accomplish much of anything. Anson was not ultimately caught, and all Michael really ended up doing was showing that there was a reason for the FBI and CIA to be suspicious of a man they thought was just a humble psychiatrist. Fiona is still public enemy #1, even if there is evidence that she might be telling the truth. (Luckily, Gabrielle Anwar’s character is brilliant enough to know that agency’s attempts to fake Michael’s death were simply just that.)
We’re also not sure if there has been a season premiere that has done a better job of making sure everyone is involved. Madeline was actually forced to shoot one of Anson’s men in order to protect herself and Jesse — which is the first time that she has ever been forced into such violent extremes. Even Michael’s new friends at the government were present to help in whatever way they could.
We’ve always felt that the benefit of “Burn Notice” is that while it has never been the sort of show to win major awards, it has always been akin to watching a smart, action-packed summer movie from the comfort of your own home. There are memorable characters, enough tinkering to make even MacGyver jealous, and just enough humor sprinkled throughout to ensure that the scripts do not become too brooding. We’re also looking forward to seeing the show develop a more serialized tone — a move by USA as of late that has helped take some of their shows to the next level when it comes to critical acclaim.
What did you think of the premiere, and the direction “Burn Notice” seems to be heading in this season?