If nothing else, Burn Notice can always be counted on for a good time. Last week wasn’t the show’s best episode, but still gave us a villain from the past being delightfully evil. This week’s episode gives me pretty much the same impression. To paraphrase a fellow magician, it’s not so much about the plot as it is about entertainment.
Things are getting uncomfortable in the ongoing subplot. Sam and Fiona come to the rescue of Fake Michael (aka Jacob Starky, played by Charlie Weber), saving him from some armed thugs who decide to make a house call. This puts Real Michael in the awkward position of having the guy in his loft and becoming his best hope for survival. However, it also entices Jacob to give up his boss. While we don’t get to meet the mystery man just yet, we do get to enjoy a fine boat explosion. Some might call the lack of a reveal frustrating, but I’m happy with simply moving past Jacob and one step closer to whomever the ultimate villain is.
Meanwhile, Michael teams up with Sam to solve a family situation. A woman named Denise needs them to get her son back from her estranged husband John – who happens to be armed, cantankerous, and part of an anti-government militia. As usual, Team Westen has walked into something much bigger than it first appeared and must handle a larger problem to achieve their original goal. There aren’t any surprises, but we benefit because we get to see all four of our heroes together in the same place at the same time. There’s also heavy weaponry, Fiona hitching a ride on the underside of a tanker, and another visually appealing explosion. I wonder if this show holds some sort of record for the most things blown up on television.
Lest you think this is the small-screen version of a Michael Bay movie, though, there’s some heart underneath it all. Burn Notice might be fun, but it never loses sight of its characters no matter how much chaos it creates, and this episode is a great example of that. In the fourth act, we see John’s vulnerability as he comes to his senses, and there’s a touching scene between him and Michael. And while she only appears for a few moments, Sharon Gless makes the most of them as Madeline can easily draw parallels between Denise’s failing relationship and her dysfunctional marriage to Michael’s father. I think she only has a few lines of dialogue, but even so, she gets the underlying point across beautifully.
There’s one minor thing that I take issue with in this episode. Someone on the Burn Notice team had a little too much fun speeding footage up at the beginning; I understood why it was done – to show the passage of two days of surveillance – but it was a little difficult on the eyes.
All in all, though, “Besieged” is another fun caper in true Burn Notice fashion, and it also keeps the season five plot train rolling. While I’m not sure that season five will reach the heights of season four’s story arc, this is still one of the most entertaining shows on television, and that is equally as important as breaking any mold or winning any award. I’m happy to sit back, relax and watch the adventure unfold.