BURN NOTICE 4.14: Hot Property

This week’s BURN NOTICE put the “case of the week” on the front burner, but did not neglect the season’s umbrella story, keeping it simmering nicely on the back burner, while also giving Sharon Gless a chance to shine as Maddie in maternal mode.

In fact, Maddie sitting down Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) and Jesse (Coby Bell) and forcing the men to reach a kind of détente was the highlight of an episode that was meant to be dominated by a showy appearance by Callie Thorne (Sheila, RESCUE ME) as the returning thief Natalie. Richard Kind was also back as Jesse’s former government handler, Marv, whom Sam (Bruce Campbell) suckered into providing intel on a planned auction of the NOC list derived from Simon’s bible. Sam pulled out his popular “Chuck Finley” alias to do the deed. (Chuck is practically a member of the team now, isn’t he?)

Thorne’s “surprise” appearance following a callous murder was bankrupted by the opening credits, which listed her name first, but she was still a welcome sight. Nat needed help stealing back a chemical weapon she originally stole for some shady Venezuelans, but she realized that the group is highly unstable and cannot be trusted with a weapon of mass destruction. (Um, duh, Nat!) Thorne is a high-energy, broad performer who is great fun to watch, but she makes Natalie a very antsy, combustible character who probably isn’t all that suited to covert ops. I mean, how long can she remain silent? She also seems a bit too high-strung to be an ace international thief (one imagines such work demands a lighter touch), but what the hey, she’s still fun to watch. And she still manages to sucker Michael and Sam…

Michael, Jesse, Sam and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) teamed up to get the weapon back, and the caper involved a lot of cool spycraft, including tips on storming a secure compound (Did you know how to silence a siren with insulating foam before this?) and even how to create a convincing fake chemical weapon (with tear gas and pesticides, of course)!

But there was no faking the sentiment when Maddie brokered the rapprochement between Michael and Jesse. All episode long, Maddie tried to get Michael and Jesse to slow down and talk. She tried approaching the guys separately, and she tried to recruit Fiona, but it wasn’t working. Eventually she simply grabbed the guys herself and made them listen to her through pure intimidation. She pointed out that unless they start trusting each other again, they are both going to end up dead, because what they are trying to accomplish is just too big and dangerous. She made them acknowledge that they had hurt each other – Michael by burning Jesse, and Jesse by shooting Michael in the chest – but she insisted that they both meant well. “Deal with it!” she commanded. Maddie wasn’t talking “closure” here; she was talking about getting by; about getting things done in a practical sense. She was talking about surviving. She forced them to shake on it, and that seems to be that. At least for now. I’m guessing the trust issue will resurface at some very inopportune moment in the future…

It’s become something of a cliché, but I have to award Line of the Week honors to Sam, who, following one of Michael’s daring gambits, scolded his buddy with, “I ever tell you you’re the reason I drink, Mikey?” Like Sam needs a reason, LOL!

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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