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Published on July 8th, 2008 | by Erich Becker


Burn Notice – Breaking and Entering (02×01)

USA Network’s Burn Notice took the summer by storm last year combining the elements of a procedural, with the snark of Gil Grissom on CSI, and a comedic bite rolled into serious stories. The show excelled at making a name for itself with its overall mythology on why Michael Westen was burned and how he was going to save himself from being trapped in Miami forever. In the final episodes of season one we are introduced to bigger players in the game, including the unseen Carla (Tricia Helfer) who beings manipulating Michael from the very start of this episode. Her motives aren’t known beyond Michael driving into the back of a trailer and emerging with two dead bodies and a tied up security consultant to work with.

While it looked like the season finale was going to change up the show’s formula, season two eventually finds Michael back in Miami performing a job for Carla in order to meet her and find out what is going on. Carla, as we’ve known for some time, is played by Tricia Helfer, assuming yet another villainous role after her run as Six on the Peabody-winning Battlestar Galactica. Although she is in the episode for less than a minute, her presence (and beauty) alone make her stand out and give a face to the previously ambiguous element behind the show’s burn notice.

Westen finds himself needing to help a security consultant who the syndicate (a cool name we’re giving to the people manipulating Westen) has taken his family hostage. The target is a private security firm (aka mercenaries) with data the syndicate wants. When we finally get to see the data it makes no sense to any of our main characters, but its obvious there’s a lot of wheels turning here. There’s a grand aura behind this season with many of the cogs in the wheel beginning to sync up into something bigger, which should make the next few months fun avoiding the heat on Thursday nights.

The season does start a little low key, especially with the return to form no more than five minutes into the season premiere. Not that this is a bad thing, as previously stated Burn Notice‘s biggest advantage over other procedurals is that you forget it IS a procedural at heart, with each episode focusing on the relationship between Michael and Fiona, Michael and Sam, Michael and his mom, throwing in a client, a bad guy, Michael with a funny accent, and ending with the bad guy getting his due in a clever manner. While some shows have strived to change up the formula each and every season, My Name is Earl comes to mind, to mixed results, Burn Notice stays true to what made it fun in the first place.

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About the Author

Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!

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