Shortly into the “Burn Notice” Season 2 premiere episode, Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) is caught enjoying a cup of java in the apartment of the show’s hero, Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan), to which Sam comments (something to the effect of), “I didn’t expect to see you back so soon.” I share Sam’s confused reaction to seeing Michael Weston back at his old-new stomping ground, especially after having left Michael in the back of a pitch-black semi-truck at the end of Season 1. I had assumed Michael was being trucked off to some nefarious locale, where he would finally meet Carla, the woman with the husky voice on the other end of last season’s phone conversation, and discover once and for all, why he was burned, and why he is such a hot commodity to these faceless people.
As it turns out, not so much.
As the Season 2 premiere begins, Michael is allowed out of the truck, only to discover some dead bodies and a computer geek named Jimmy bound and gagged on the ground. Carla (Tricia Helfer, as it turns out), ever helpful, calls to give Michael new orders: help the geek to carry out his mission, save the geek’s family, and then they’ll take it from there.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen – after the ominous last-minute promise of Season 1, Season 2 begins … where it originally began. With Michael Weston still in Miami, still working freelance for whoever needs his help. The only difference? Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica fame has joined the cast, so now instead of just leering at the wondrousness of Gabrielle Anwar’s multi-talented Fiona, we can also leer at the wondrous icy coldness of Tricia Helfer’s Carla as well. That’s an improvement over last season, I suppose.
Still, if you were a fan of Burn Notice when it arrived on the air last year, you should enjoy the second season’s opener. The sunny, good-natured feel of the show remains on target, and while Michael Weston’s personal life, especially the one with again-off again girlfriend/partner Fiona gets a real “talking” about between the two, much of what was fun and great about Season 1 is maintained for Season 2. The inclusion of Tricia Helfer is welcomed, if just to give the show a little bit more mystery that it may have been lacking as more of Michael’s world is opened up to us.
The Season 2 premiere won’t wow a whole lot of people, and will probably not really convert non-fans of the show, but if you were a fan of Burn Notice Season 1, you should be more than happy with how Burn Notice Season 2 begins.
Paul Holahan (director) / Matt Nix (teleplay)
CAST: Jeffrey Donovan … Michael Westen
Gabrielle Anwar … Fiona Glenanne
Bruce Campbell … Sam Axe
Sharon Gless … Madeline Westen
Tricia Helfer … Carla