If you watch for the high-speed chases and spectacular explosions, the Burn Notice season 6 premiere, "Scorched Earth," will make you very, very happy. If you want a story that makes massive forward progress from the plots that ended season 5, well... Not so much.
When we last saw the oft-freelance spies of Burn Notice
, everything was falling apart. Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) continued to jeopardize his return to the CIA by almost-helping the evil Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns) burn a whole bunch of new spies. Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) turned herself in for the bombing of the British Consulate. Psycho villain Anson is on the run.
In the season 6 premiere, everything is pretty much the same. Only now there are more explosions.
Maybe they just don't have enough time in the premiere? The events of season 6 kick off within minutes of the season 5 finale, so we see all of the characters dealing with their same issues. Change necessarily takes a little longer than that.
As he always is, Michael is one of the highlights of "Scorched Earth." With his laser focus trained solely on the salvation of Fiona, we get to see the dark side of Michael Westen in full force. And that dark side is pretty dark. The season 6 premiere doesn't shy away from this -- at one point, Michael even reaches a crossroads at which he must decide between pure revenge and protecting his allies. Both choices seem possible, and the episode seems to be asking us exactly how far we believe Michael is willing to go.
It's pretty awesome.
Unfortunately, much of the supporting cast doesn't get quite as much opportunity for awesome. Fiona -- in custody for her supposed crimes -- doesn't get to be her normal, badass self. This is a serious flaw in the Burn Notice
season 6 premiere. A Fiona chained to an interview table is just not as cool as a Fiona holding an assault rifle. Jesse (Coby Bell) remains solidly in the background for most of the episode. And Anson himself is mostly just a shadowy figure remaining one step ahead of the good guys.
Sam and Maddie (Sharon Gless) do all right though. Sam manages a few moments of impressive bravery, and his wisecracks can withstand any dark plot. And Maddie... Well, Maddie is in danger and must protect herself. You can guess how wonderful that could turn out.
The most memorable moments of the Burn Notice
premiere involve loud and spectacular explosions. Seriously, the amount of property damage inflicted by Michael Westen in his dark mode is quite impressive. It makes for some fun TV, even if the city of Miami would likely be less amused.
If only the character-driven fireworks were as impressive, Burn Notice
would truly be back with a bang. Unfortunately, the continuation of season 5's plot means that we get little personal development to supplement all of the action. That development might too much to expect in a single episode, but it doesn't mean it's not missed.
Plus, Fiona is in jail. That Burn Notice
problem deserves a quick an explosive fix. Hopefully, season 6 will give it to us soon. Everybody needs a chance to move on.Burn Notice
season 6 premieres on Thursday, June 14 at 9pm on USA.(Image courtesy of USA)