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Burn Notice: Season 2 - Review

Burn Notice: Season 2

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

BURN Notice remains one of the best kept secrets on American TV – at least to UK viewers.

A hit on the ever-excellent F/X (home to True Blood), it has nevertheless yet to be picked up by any of the so-called ‘major’ channels (from Sky to Channel 4 or 5), yet is a small-screen gem just waiting to be discovered.

By turns sexy, smart and action-packed, the show slickly combines espionage action with wry humour, intricate plot twists and often gripping suspense.

It follows former CIA operative Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) who, after mysteriously being blacklisted from the intelligence community, must rely on his wits and skills to somehow recover his stolen identity.

With the help of his ex-girlfriend, Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), a former IRA affiliate, and best friend (Bruce Campbell), Michael must track down his elusive nemesis and get to the bottom of his burn…. while earning money by being available for hire to anyone who has a problem.

In many ways, Burn Notice serves as a keen mix of the slick style of Miami Vice, the ‘mission of the week’ qualities of shows like The Equalizer and The A-Team and the big screen scale of cinematic franchises such as Bourne and 007.

Season 2, having established its characters so successfully, as well as the intriguing central scenario underpinning it, went from strength to strength.

Admittedly, there are times when you wish Michael would be allowed to get on and pursue the people responsible for burning him… but patience is rewarded towards the end of the season, when the excitement and intrigue (and cliffhangers) are suitably well managed.

In between, the various missions of the week offer various problems for Michael and company to solve that are never less than entertaining in both their design and accomplishment.

Of the principal players, Donovan is as smooth as they come – offering viewers various tips on his trade by way of a voiceover – yet sometimes prone to the odd moment of vulnerability or poor decision making.

Anwar’s Fiona is sassy, sexy and definitely not to be messed with, but equally prone to the odd vulnerable moment, while Campbell’s Sam is a constant source of light relief – yet equally adept at tackling any situation, no matter how compromising or painful.

The action, meanwhile, is really well staged and – like 24 – worthy of a place on the big screen.

With a third season already aired in the US and a fourth season on the way, it’s not too late to jump on the Burn Notice bandwagon. It’s fun, exciting, sexy and super-stylish to boot and worthy of a prominent place in anyone’s DVD collection!

Certificate: 15
Episodes: 16
UK DVD Release: April 5, 2010