'Burn Notice' Recap and Review: 'Scorched Earth' (6.01)
What do you think about when you think of Burn Notice? I think of witty voiceovers, explosions, and unique ways to get out of trouble. The season premiere has all those - but it's still missing something. What's left is pretty good, just not perfect.
After the "previously on" that reminds us we don't get to enjoy Tim Matheson's acting on this show anymore, we pick up almost immediately where we left off, with Fiona being searched, processed and eventually handcuffed to a table in an interview room while Michael sits in his Charger and deals with her absence. Sam finally finds him, but Michael is not exactly chummy. He grabs his old friend and demands to know how Fiona really got away from him. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe she was right?" Sam asks him, which doesn't go over well with Michael either. "What do I do now, Sam?" he asks tearfully. This is a Michael Westen breakdown, which he is more than entitled to at this point.
The two of them head to meet up with Jesse and the CIA folks, with Jesse warning them that Anson is trying to blow out of town in a green Jaguar. He's spotted the car on traffic cameras and thinks that Anson's headed for Cutler Bay to escape via boat. He also has to convince Agent Pearce (a returning Lauren Stamile) that Anson is a lot more than a shrink. "For now, Michael's on his own," she tells him.
This means that Michael is going to steal a big rig, even if it means nearly shooting the guy who owns it. This is a man who is clearly on his last nerve, for better or for worse. (And once again, I wonder how Jeffrey Donovan hasn't gotten more acclaim for his acting. In an action-driven show, he's still put tremendous heart and emotion into Michael for years now.) He swipes the truck and has Sam create a traffic break so that he can jackknife the truck and block all the lanes without anyone getting hurt. As if that's not enough, he decides to set it on fire so people really avoid it. And that's our first great explosion of Burn Notice season six.
Back to Fiona: she's being interviewed by Jason Bly (returning guest star Alex Carter). When she starts trying to tell him the truth about what happened at the consulate, he is some combination of confused and unimpressed. This gets him kicked under the table, which doesn't do anything but it probably makes her feel better.
Sam and Michael are in the Charger, scanning the stalled traffic for Anson's green Jaguar and arguing with one another. When they find the car, though, it's empty and another driver tells them that Anson left it behind. This is his cue to call and taunt Michael from inside the chemical plant he's now holed up in. He tells Michael that he sent a violent paranoid schizophrenic to Madeline's house, like he just has these people on call or something. Maybe he does. Who knows.
When he can't raise his mother, Michael wants to rescue her, but Sam points out that they have Jesse for that. Maddie hears about Fiona's arrest on the news and is shocked; she goes to call Fiona, but grows suspicious when her phone line is dead. Looking outside, she realizes there's a crazy dude on his way to her house. Mama Westen is no idiot, and goes into hiding just before the crazy person takes in her front door. (How many times has her house been damaged over the course of this show? Geez.)
Bly still doesn't believe Fiona's story. "You wouldn't have killed Larry unless you had a good reason, like, say, protecting your boyfriend Michael Westen," he tells her. She tries to say that she and Michael have only a "business arrangement." He reminds her that she's facing three counts of murder charges. Fiona stands her ground and refuses to change her statement.
Outside the chemical plant, Michael is not happy that Pearce can't get him any backup. "If we wait for backup, we're going to lose him," he tells Sam. As usual it's up to Team Westen to save the day. How are they going to flush out Anson? They don't know, but Michael realizes Anson got in through the front door: he shot the security guard at the gate, and has now paged the rest of security claiming they did it. "I guess the good news is we found him," Sam quips as shooting begins. Michael eventually decides to fake his wounding and Sam's death to catch the two guards by surprise. "Believe it or not, we're the good guys," Sam tells them, though they obviously don't believe it.