BURN NOTICE 5.1: Company Man

The premise of BURN NOTICE when it began read like this: Burned spy Michael Weston wants to find out who got him tossed out of the CIA, and then get back in with the agency. Over the course of four seasons, the show has threatened to reinvent itself on a regular basis by dangling the identity of the burner or appearing to offer Michael a new job. However, every time it looks like the status quo has changed, it just turns out that Michael is even more burned than last time. So, when season five opened with the suggestion that Michael could finally be back with the CIA, I was hopeful – but wary of getting burned again.

The new season picks up six months after last season’s finale, which saw Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) seemingly welcomed back into the CIA by Raines (Dylan Baker), but we learn that Michael is still being treated as an intelligence asset – not an agent – while he hunts down every name on that secret list that was the central McGuffin of last season. Now there’s just one name left – the boss, John Kessler – between Michael and his twin goals: learning why he was burned, and getting his credentials back. Michael has been teamed with the CIA’s top field operative, Max (Grant Show), but in order to take down Kessler, Michael insists on using his regular team of Sam (Bruce Campbell) and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar). And when everything goes pear-shaped for the G-men, Michael has to rely on his improvisational skills to track the baddie. But before Michael can get his hands on Kessler, the mastermind kills himself, leaving Michael with no answers.
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COVERT AFFAIRS 2.3: Bang and Blame

One thing I really liked this week’s episode of COVERT AFFAIRS is that Annie’s mission was relatively low-key. While the issue of CIA losing top recruits because their identities were exposed is a big deal to the agency and the hopefuls who saw their dreams crushed, the fate of the entire world was not trusted to Annie, who, let’s face it, needs a little more seasoning to really deserve the high-profile missions she’s been getting, such as last week’s Paris trip.

And, in this case, Annie (Piper Perabo) really was uniquely suited for the mission: She actually needed to complete her firearms training after being plucked from the academy prematurely, so she was sent to Camp Peary, the CIA training facility known as the Farm, to discover who was burning new recruits by posting their identities online. Suspicion centered on grizzled instructor Roy Gaskin (Tim Guinee) because he was acting…well, very suspiciously. Meanwhile, Arthur (Peter Gallagher) was having trouble with nosy Senator Godfrey (Greg Ellwand), and Arthur’s ex-wife, Gina (Rena Sofer), tried to act as intermediary – when she wasn’t simultaneously needling his current wife, Joan (Kari Matchett). Annie was able to avoid being burned herself long enough to figure out that fellow trainee Corey (Sebastian Pigott) was exposing his rivals in a bid graduate at the top of his class. Annie also made another key discovery when she ran into handsome emergency room doc Scott Weiss (Ben Lawson): He likes cute, flighty aunts who bring nieces to the ER.
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