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"Burn Notice" Fail Safe (2011)

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Season 5: Another glossy and fun piece of light entertainment

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
24 March 2012

Michael Weston has got his goal – the lifting of his burn notice and return to work as an asset for the CIA, with the organisation that burned him in pieces behind him. With his handler Max he begins working on getting fully back on board, but his plans are scuppered when Max is murdered by an unknown assailant, leaving Michael with no alibi and a whole chain of evidence suggesting he did the deed. With the CIA closing in on the evidence that will point to Michael, the race is on to both discover more but also to uncover who was behind the framing before the CIA get who they think is "their man".

I must try not to repeat myself too much here but it is difficult because whenever I commented on the last few seasons of this show I noticed that was always saying roughly the same thing each time. This is partly because I am an amateur writer with a limited ability to express myself but also the fact that the show has set out its stall and has continued to deliver on its successful formula in pretty much every episode and every season – and the fifth is no exception. It isn't perfect by any means but with a good budget, steady audience share and a simple agenda this season produces solid weekly entertainment that is high in gloss and as easy to watch as it is easy to enjoy. The overall plot this season was pretty good because I thought the nature of it lended itself to be used in the way it is – as a small part of each episode, ticking over, progressing the bigger picture and keeping the viewer interested in it while also entertaining with the case per week story lines.

The bigger picture has urgency to it and I thought it progressed well – and I appreciated that the main villain was left "in play" for the next season. The weekly story lines were also better. If you ignore the way that every single week is life-threatening and involves big "newsworthy" action, they do play well and they avoid some of the sentimental devices hat previous seasons used to generate weekly cases for Michael. This time round we have a lot of work from Jessie which gives plenty of "higher stakes" work which generally allows for plenty of action and plenty of danger. It is "easy" television for sure but as light entertainment goes you do have to admit that it is very easy to consume and enjoy. It spends its budget freely, it looks glossy and it carries itself with such confidence that it seems to be able to pull off whatever it tries. I continue to love the knowing humour and sense of fun within the show – jokes about Sam's chin are always appreciated by this Bruce Campbell fan.

Burn Notice is what it is – glossy light entertainment, and it should be watched as such. I love my "grown-up" shows from channels like HBO, but sometimes you do just want to relax and Burn Notice is perfect for that. The action and drama part of it works on that level but the overall show is slick, fun and just plain entertaining. It is ultimately disposable and forgettable perhaps, but it works for what it is and I find it easily enjoyable.

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3 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Sadly missing the mark this season

5/10
Author: judy from Waukee, IA
19 December 2011

This episode of Burn Notice misses the mark. Just like so many of the episodes this season. The writing is getting poor. Jesse needs to go as he is a totally non essential character. It might have been nice though if they had made him the mole and not the other person, mostly because we no nothing of her, nor do we care. It was the same thing with many of the guess stars who were added to this dull episode i.e. Dean Cain. Also his CIA contact lady hasn't been interesting since she stopped running Max's murder investigation. Also Fi and Michael's relationship is getting a little old and he's getting too emotional about it. I don't mind the fact that she's in danger from Anson but I really am not sure I like Michaels' reaction to it. Again the writers have failed him too. I hope that they end it quick so I can remember all of the good episodes and won't have to sit through other bad ones.

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