‘Burn Notice’ – ‘Fast Friends’: The wrath of Khan

Senior Television Writer
06.11.10 38 Comments


A review of last night’s “Burn Notice” coming up just as soon as I’m up on texting etiquette…

“Fast Friends” was a marked improvement on the season four premiere, I thought. Part of that was the way the case of the week was inherently a part of the season-long arc, so it didn’t feel jarring or undercooked like the premiere’s biker story. And part was that there’s a lot of irony and dramatic tension to be mined from Michael having to help out a guy he put in the same position he was in three years ago. Of course a spy in Jesse’s position would seek out the legendary burned spy-turned-vigilante Michael Westen, and of course the secret is going to come to light at the worst possible time for Michael, Fi and Sam, and until then we can see the new foursome go about their usual business while this ax looms over them. Should be interesting.

Coby Bell never really stood out during the period when I watched “Third Watch,” and I don’t think I watched “The Game” past the pilot, but he fit in well here as Jesse. In particular, I liked the bickering between Jesse and Sam. We know Sam to be super-competent and awesome in his Bruce Campbell-ness, but to an outsider he would of course come across as a washed-up clown. The two come to an understanding by the end, but I’m sure there will be insults to come.

My one disappointment was that all of Sam’s fretting about Jesse the counter-espionage expert went nowhere – at least for now. It’s entirely possible that we’ll get three or four episodes into this story and discover that Jesse has known all along that Michael burned him, but if we’re meant to take his story at face value, then Sam’s complaints were wasted misdirection.

(Actually, two other complaints. First, whatever weird voice Jeffrey Donovan was doing as Michael’s undercover identity was easily the silliest one he’s ever tried. I’m okay with Undercover Mike sounding like Regular Mike unless there’s a specific point to the dialect, you know? Second, I was already yelling “KHAAAAAAAN!” in my head whenever the bad guy’s name was mentioned, but then to have a scene where Jesse is being tortured and screaming it himself? Taking it too far, and a distraction from an-otherwise tense and well-executed spycraft moment.)

What did everybody else think?

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