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TV Review: Burn Notice – “Enemy of My Enemy”

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This week’s Burn Notice on USA is called “Enemy of My Enemy.” Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) helps Pearce (Lauren Stamile, Community, Grey’s Anatomy) recover a stolen military warhead by sending Sam (Bruce Campbell) undercover into the hands of dangerous heroin kingpin, Carmelo (Todd Stashwick, Men of a Certain Age, Heroes). Sam convinces Carmelo that the Serbians that took the warhead really have Carmelo’s drugs. Things take a dangerous turn, and Michael finds the CIA unwilling to help Sam. Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and Madeline (Sharon Gless) are not pleased with Michael’s willingness to risk his best friend’s life.

Fiona and Maddie seem to think Michael is being awfully selfish in sending Sam into such a risky situation. Are they right? Michael certainly seems to give them consideration when they confront him. But in this scenario, Michael is already known to Carmelo, and there is a lot at stake in recovering this warhead. Michael is worried sick about Sam, and goes in himself to rescue his friend when things get dicey. Yes, Michael is shown to be too-mission driven plenty of times, often at the expense of his friends. But in this case, there is a lot more going on than just looking into revenge. Michael knows he is playing a dangerous game, but Sam is willing, and the end result is important.

It’s great to see more of Jesse (Coby Bell) this week, as the fifth main character has been absent much screen time this season. This is due to plot circumstances, and understandable. But it is also regrettable, as Bell is now a valued member of the cast, deserving of his fans and attention.

Fiona and Madeline have their own side mission, attempting to find the man who looks like Michael on a security camera, furthering the investigation into who killed Max (Grant Show). Anwar and Gless have delightful chemistry. Their characters are different in many ways, but both are tough, and they deeply love Michael, so they also have things in common. Any time they can go off together is a good time. Their aliases are very humorous, matched only by yet another variation of Chuck Finley.

Speaking of Max’s death, why is it that Burn Notice has a tendency to kill off wonderful recurring characters so quickly? This is far from the first time it has happened. Richard Schiff and John Mahoney have also been victims of this trend. It would be nice if the series would keep around some of the very strong talent it attracts for a more considerable length of time. Which is not to say that Show’s replacement, Stamile, is inferior in any way. But he is still missed.

Not everyone on Burn Notice gets killed off. “Enemy of My Enemy” actually returns several previously seen characters. Sugar (Arturo Fernandez) puts in his fourth appearance, while Carmelo is in a 2007 episode. Agents Manaro (Brendan O’Malley) and Bailey (unable to find the actor name) are in the TV movie, Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, which conveniently was released on DVD this week. They are silly in a good way, and hopefully will return to bother Sam again.

Burn Notice airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on USA.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com