Entertainment Magazine

Review #3128: Burn Notice 5.14: “Breaking Point”

Posted on the 14 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Ben Watkins and Rashad Raisani
Directed by Renny Harlin

Personal cases are always tricky for a show like “Burn Notice”. The show wants to be serious-minded, but breezy at the same time, and sometimes that doesn’t mix very well. When Maddie came to Michael’s loft at the start of this episode, I thought the case might have involved Michael’s brother Nate. I think he has already shown up this season so that would’ve been a repetition of plots. Instead, it’s Michael’s childhood best friend who is killed. On top of that case, Team Westen still has to deal with Anson’s growing threat. I get the sense that they’re building towards some big showdown at the end of the season so this is laying the groundwork for that event.

Review #3128: Burn Notice 5.14: “Breaking Point”

Michael’s old friend Andre turns out to have gotten out of jail and was killed by rival gang members in Miami when he robbed Dion, the gang’s leader. Michael uses Jesse to concoct a scheme that flushes out the stolen cash as well as ensure justice is done for Andre’s killer. This involves a lot of money tied into a deal for heavy arms and dangerous weapons. Michael then has to make sure the deal goes through so he comes up with yet another goofy disguised voice that seems all the more laughable when compared with Jesse’s far superior hustler persona.

Sometimes, I wonder how the villains on this show don’t somehow bust out laughing at how ridiculous Michael sounds. The personal element here comes in the form of Andre’s brother Ricky, a guy with a hair-trigger temper who wants to dole out vigilante justice on Dion. Michael, being the sensible guy he always is, has to keep Ricky from outright killing Dion on sight. This would work so much better if we haven’t seen this plot over and over again on this show.

The better subplot is arguably the parts where Sam and Fiona hunt down Anson in Miami. Anson’s threats are getting too repetitive to address here, but at least Team Westen isn’t sitting on their hands, waiting for the next one to come along. It’s something very small, with Fiona getting a tracking device on Anson’s car by using the undercarriage of an 18-wheeler to hide, then following him to one of his probably many hideouts. He hides in plain sight, living in an apartment building so Sam digs out his Chuck Finley alias and recruits some local college students to do some recon for them. It’s an amusing sequence just to see Sam outsmart some kids in order to get the information he needs.

Of course, there’s nothing in the hideout of note besides what looks like an encrypted transmitter, but it’s a start to the operation that takes Anson down. I suspect Anson has many more tricks up his sleeve and that the transmitter is just one part of a much larger operation. That is aided by the end sequence where Michael erases Anson’s name from the records of the CIA. This is a battle that is going to last a while. I just wish they developed more of this mythology arc and did away with the cases of the week, things that are arguably a waste of Michael’s valuable time and resources.

Grade: 7/10

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