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Review #2912: Burn Notice 5.5: “Square One”

Posted on the 23 July 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

After giving the enormous impression that the season was about to turn on its head, with Michael in an even more precarious position than ever, the writers pull a fast one on the audience by minimizing the consequences and moving on in exactly the same direction they were already on. They even replace Max with a new handler for Michael. The episode moves on from the CIA situation to a “normal” case so fast that I wouldn’t be shocked if I developed whiplash as a result.

Review #2912: Burn Notice 5.5: “Square One”

In all fairness, it’s not like Michael does nothing to resolve the frame job, and he does charm the hell out if Agent Pearce. But it all felt so contrived to make it seem like a major event in the series, timed to floor the audience, and it wasnt. Granted, it’s now clear that the organization that burned Michael is still out there, so that’s progress, but now it feels like a matter of delayed gratification.

Let’s face it: as soon as it turned back to the typical case-of-the-week, the stakes in the episode all but disappeared. It’s nothing we haven’t seen plenty of times before: Michael playing a part, getting support from the usual gang, with the added benefit of Jesse actually being involved this time. I won’t say it was boring, because it wasn’t, but it felt a bit bland after so many of those expectations were dashed.

At this point, even as a relatively new fan of the show, I’m waiting for them to do something with more impact to Team Westen. They set up a lot with Jesse, but it never quite came to fruition. They set up something really different with Michael’s return to the CIA, and that has been watered down since the premiere. The best episode so far was “Bloodlines”, where they actually took a story to the next level. This episode could have taken the series back to that kind of territory, but it sidestepped that potential.

Writing: 1/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Rating: 6/10

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