Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 2/27/09

BURN NOTICE went out of its way to be as soapy as possible this week, introducing Michael’s previously unknown former fiancée and a son who may or may not be Michael’s! BURN NOTICE also brought in a passel of familiar faces. In addition to the returns of Tricia Helfer (ex-Six, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) as Carla and Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson, STARGATE: SG-1 and ATLANTIS) as Victor, we also met Dina Meyer (ex-Roxy, NIP/TUCK; ex-Barbara, BIRDS OF PREY) as Samantha, while Jay Karnes (ex-Det. Dutch Wagenbach, THE SHIELD) filled the snarky villain role, Brennen. Thief Samantha came to Michael because Brennen had blackmailed her into stealing a missile guidance system by kidnapping her son. Samantha used the possibility that Michael might be his daddy to compel him to help her get the boy back without letting the guidance system end up on the black market.

Relax, little Charlie was not Michael’s spawn (and Michael came up with a typically brilliant plan to save the boy and the guidance system) — but that reveal didn’t make things any easier for Fiona, who practically had to be physically restrained from launching herself at Sam. This episode was so heavy with Michael/Fi subtext that it practically became the text! Fiona’s jealousy/confusion has been percolating for weeks now, recently manifesting in her resenting Michael’s bromance with Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), so her head was about to explode when Samantha showed up on his doorstep. (And given Fi’s skill with guns and explosives, that festering anger is more dangerous than most women’s.) Michael and Fiona still both insist they’re no longer an item, but in classic soap form, both wallow in Meaningful Glances and Things Left Unspoken. Except that this time, Michael actually said some stuff: He explained to Fi how Samantha proposed to him after a whirlwind romance — and the reason he broke up with Sam was because he met Fiona and fell in love her. Awww. How will that confession affect Fiona?

After the mission was over, Sam and Michael parted ways on a bittersweet note: “Charlie’s not yours, but he could have been,” Sam sighed. “A lot of things could have been,” he replied, wearily. They kissed, and she left.

A couple of random fun points from the episode:

•Brennen told Fi, “I’m exactly as smart as I think I am,” which was funny because his Detective Wagenbach was well-known for not being quite as smart as he thought he was. (He ranked himself roughly on par with Columbo and Sherlock Holmes.)

•Michael’s advice about breaking into maximum-security facilities: “Trip one sensor and you’re toast; trip 100, and nobody knows what to do.”

•Samantha and Michael acknowledged their still-simmering attraction by checking each other out as they stripped to their skivvies and put on clean suits at the facility.

•Michael apologized to his mother for being such an uncommunicative… uh, handful, and for letting his messy life of international intrigue interfere with her quiet domesticity.

While all the emotional angst was going on, Michael was also trying to work a deal to team up with Victor against Carla — because it appeared that she had also burned Victor. After trading bullets in a game of cat-and-mouse, Michael gave up on teaming up and got the drop on Victor with a homemade Taser and set out to trade him to Carla (who wants revenge for Victor killing her operatives) in exchange for Carly telling Michael who burned him. That set up next week’s season finale…

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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