‘Burn Notice’ – ‘Made Man’: Oh, a wiseguy?

Senior Television Writer
06.18.10 25 Comments


A quick review of last night’s “Burn Notice” coming up just as soon as I get to make up the codenames…

This one was all about the man, the myth, the legend that is Chuck Finley.

Finley is just a name Sam likes(*) and applies to all sorts of cover identities, but you get the sense that whenever he dusts it off, the writers are going to give Bruce Campbell something fun to play.

(*) Campbell has said Chuck Finley was the name of a friend of his dad’s, but I imagine someone on the writing staff was also a big Angels fan.

Here, it was a stone-cold killer, but what I liked about “Made Man” was that it didn’t just rest on Campbell’s scenery-chewing laurels and simply play the note of Chuck Finley, Monster. Instead, we got tension from Jesse mixing a piece of Sam’s real biography into the undercover character, and then that story enflaming the mob boss’s sense of Stockholm Syndrome until the plan fell apart. (And that gave us Sam’s discomfort at the idea of being the closest friend to a total psychopath.) Campbell can play big and broad, but he can also do well at smaller, more human moments, and he got a lot of both here.

“Made Man” also gave us some good spycraft tips (and inspired me to clean my lint filter). And while I don’t really understand or care about the larger story involving the evil organization Michael and Jesse are going after, that’s really a MacGuffin to put Jesse on the team and to let Michael slowly, unwittingly turn into the kind of self-rationalizing goon for Management who put him in this mess three years ago. I like this arc a lot so far.

What did everybody else think?

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