BURN NOTICE “Past and Future Tense” Review

Burn Notice (USA) Past and Future Tense

Michael gets a glimpse of his future when he protects a retired spy in the “Past and Future Tense” episode of BURN NOTICE. Michael and the crew spot a Russian black ops team at a spy convention and learn their target is Paul Anderson (Burt Reynolds), a former CIA operative who outed his covert past on an internet message board, so they must convince an arrogant Congressman and former foe of Anderson’s to protect him. Jesse’s former boss Marv (Richard Kind) is also at the convention and Jesse and Fiona team up to get information from him about the failed bank robbery Kendra mentioned. Unfortunately Marv also gives Fiona evidence linking Michael to Jesse’s burn notice and she destroys it before confronting Michael with a punch and some choice words about his becoming someone who only cares about the idea of people, not the actual people who have his back every day.

Burt Reynolds should come to Miami more often. Not only does he bring the funny (“Are you telling me I can’t shoot Russians when they invade Florida”), but he makes Michael adorably crinkly with irritation. “Did anyone tell you you’re no fun?” “All the time.” Heh. Plus, Maddie gets to threaten a Congressman and her laugh alone shows why Sharon Gless got that Emmy nomination. Reynolds plays well off the entire cast, but my favorite exchange is with Fiona. “They used to call it karate, but I think they have a new word for it.” “Foreplay?” “Hel-loo.” I’m disappointed the black ops team is so inept, but it’s a fun storyline and The Wire’s John Doman is slickly arrogant enough as the Congressman to make his bloody face a happy ending.

The Michael burned Jesse subplot may finally be going somewhere. As much as I like Jesse as part of the team, watching Michael, Sam, and especially Fiona look guilty whenever Jesse complains about his situation is tiresome, so I’m happy to see the truth edging closer. Fiona’s attempts to convince Jesse to concentrate on the future instead of the past are heartbreaking because we’ve heard them all before. They didn’t work on Michael and they aren’t working now, so she’s forced to protect Michael even though she hates them both for it. I’m over the build-up and ready for the fall out because it should be epic. Jesse’s quiet rage when he tells Fiona he won’t stop until the people who burned him are six feet under is chilling.

“Past and Future Tense” feels like a transition episode of Burn Notice. Jesse has been accepted as a full-fledged member of the crew, but when he finds out about Michael, Fiona’s reaction will look like that day at the beach Jesse complains they never have and the show dynamics will inevitably change. I’m just not sure how yet.

Line of the week, courtesy of Sam: “Okay, so bad cop, badder cop, and worst cop? I can deal with that.”

What do you think will happen when the truth comes out?

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