Burn Notice: Season 3 – Review
Review by Jack Foley
THE third season of Burn Notice was arguably the best so far given that the stakes were raised considerably for its main protagonist, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan).
Having escaped ‘Management’ at the end of the second season by jumping out of a helicopter into the sea, Westen was now on the radar of both the police and his enemies throughout the latest series – meaning that the day-to-day missions of being the hired help often faced being compromised.
As a result, his relationships with Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and Sam (Bruce Campbell) became strained as he placed ever more precarious demands upon them, while single-mindedly pursuing his primary objective of finding those responsible for landing him with the ‘burn notice’ in the first place.
During the course of the season, Michael also got to bump heads with several new enemies… beginning with the slimey ‘agent to the spies’ Tom Strickler (Ben Shenkman) and including sinister terrorist for hire Mason Gilroy (Chris Vance), who sought to recruit Michael for his own evil ends. Both represented better adversaries than Burn Notice has previously signed up for Michael and colleagues to handle.
The explosive season finale The Devil You Know also set forth a dramatic chain of events and revelations that made the prospect of season four similarly exciting, given that they saw the man responsible for the crimes Michael was accused of – Garrett Dillahunt’s Simon Escher – finally coming into play.
Escher provided yet another formidable opponent and we’re promised more of him in Season 4.
Elsewhere, the third season provided a stronger mix of heightened drama and comedy than usual, delving deeper into the personal lives of the main characters and raising the stakes and tensions between them.
The long-simmering romance between Michael and Fiona was developed nicely, even hitting the odd bumpy patch but coming back strong for the emotionally-charged episode Long Way Back, which offered welcome insight into their back story.
While even the usually good-humoured Sam was forced to take Michael to task on several occasions – both in terms of his demands on Sam’s personal life, as well as his blind refusal to accept the inherent risks of some of his actions involving Gilroy.
Not that Campbell didn’t remain the central comedic element of the show – especially when parodying CSI: Miami’s David Caruso during one well-observed episode.
But with just about every episode in the season making its mark in some way, and Michael forced to become more ruthless (to the point of actually killing people), Burn Notice continued to develop nicely without – crucially- showing signs of wear or tear.
Hence, this third season box set comes highly recommended.
No of episodes: 16
UK DVD Release: March 7, 2011