‘Burn Notice’ – ‘Neighborhood Watch’: You got the knife, I got the briefcase

Senior Television Writer
07.02.10 32 Comments

A quick review of last night’s “Burn Notice” coming up just as soon as I promise there will be hitting involved at some point…

Midway through “Neighborhood Watch,” Michael voiceovers that sometimes spies get too clever for their own good, and that’s a trap that “Burn Notice” itself can fall into on occasion. We like to see Michael outsmart the bad guys, and navigate his shady post-spy existence, but sometimes we just want to see Mike, Sam and Fi break out the hardware and start shooting and blowing up everything in sight.

So “Neighborhood Watch” started with Michael trying to be clever, first with Audrey Kendra the assassin, then with both his client (played by Benito Martinez from “The Shield”) and the drug dealer bad guy. But Kendra proved to be nearly as clever, the client proved to be too stubborn, and the dealer too crazy, for any of his initial plans to work. And so ultimately things came down to Michael beating Kendra in a knife vs. briefcase fight, and to Fi showing off her sniper and demolitions expertise to scare away the bad guy. And that was all fun.

I don’t know that I’m looking forward to another episode of Kendra, though, as I don’t think I buy Navi Rawat as this smart and dangerous killer. More to the point, though, I think I’m starting to lose the thread on the larger arc about the evil group that Michael and Jesse are chasing. I know it’s all basically a MacGuffin to put Michael with Jesse and to drive the story forward, in the same way that a lot of the stories in the middle passage of a “24” season were irrelevant time-fillers. But it’s beginning to feel like this arc, contrary to Michael’s advice, is outsmarting itself by getting more complicated than it needs to be.

What did everybody else think?

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