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Steven Culp on "Burn Notice"

Episode: Where There's Smoke

BURN NOTICE - "Where There's Smoke" - Michael and Jesse learn that the man behind the rash of global terrorism attempted to rob a safe deposit box at Dade Trust Bank in Miami. The only way to figure out what he was after, and perhaps discover a clue to the mystery man's identity, is for Michael and Jesse to rob the bank themselves. - Sam and Fiona also have their hands full when they take a gig to protect an expensive prototype at a ritzy gala event. To keep a low profile, Sam and Fiona must pose as a happily married couple: Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Finley. Their marriage gets off to a rocky start when a group of kidnappers show up to spoil the party.

"Burn Notice" Promotion Pictures featuring Steven Culp




Detailed summary:

Moving on to this week, "Where There's Smoke" was another good offering, moving the overarching story forward but, also revealing that Jesse has developed some real feelings for Fiona.

So it appears our inevitable love triangle has finally started taking shape. Jesse has feelings for Fiona, Mike and Fiona love (and hate) each other. The only piece missing is Fiona showing feelings for Jesse. Don't get me wrong, I am sure there will be more to it that my simple break down, I am just acknowledging the elephant in the room.

I think Madeline said it best though at the end of the episode. Mike and Fiona Love each other, and they hate each other, but it is always each other. I honestly don't know if a true triangle will be formed. However, I am guessing it is Jesse's feeling for Fiona that contribute to him not killing Mike when the truth comes out about Mike's involvement with him being burned.

This was also very much a Fiona episode, we got to see her do weapon improvising and acting for the kidnappers. I really liked it; normally this is all left to Mike, so it was a fun chance to trade places. I think it would have been awesome if she had actually done some of the voice over narration for her parts by butting in with "excuse me, you were not there" or something. But maybe that is just my Fiona fanboy side peeking through.

For those that didn't recognize him, or for those that did recognize him but couldn't place him, the lead kidnapper was wonderfully portrayed by Yancey Arias who has been on NCIS: Los Angeles and the failed relaunch of Knight Rider.

No review would be totally complete without a mention of Madeline and her continued patience with her son's request for help breaking the law. However, I did feel that they missed an opportunity with her when she was helping Jesse with Christian.

Once she got Jesse to back off, I was really expecting her to step up as the "average woman" and convince Christian to trust Jesse and Mike completely instead of keeping them out. Instead Jesse eventually did it, which worked for the story of course. I just felt it was a missed opportunity. (c) by ViddWizard

Detailed summary:

Well, you have to hand it to 'Burn Notice.' Tonight they came up with a twist that was totally unexpected. It made the show for me, and after last week's disappointing adventure with a frozen-face Burt Reynolds, this was a welcomed return to the vibrant 'Burn Notice' we're used to. For more on the uses of a light bulb and the new geometry among the team, follow me after the jump.

Any time you engage one of the main threesome in a life or death situation, 'BN' is compelling viewing. In this case, it was Fiona who was in jeopardy. Lately, Michael has seemed so disengaged, it was refreshing to get him agitated. And coming on the heels of last week, when Fiona called him out for being a disappointment to her, this was a good carryover story line.

Sam was using his Charles Findlay alter ego again, this time with Fiona along as his trophy wife, Charlotte. Bruce Campbell in a tux looked positively Bondian -- the beefy Sean Connery 007 from 'Diamonds Are Forever.'

Dressed to the nines, Fiona and Sam were doing security for a couple hosting a fancy party. They thought they'd be protecting a thing -- in this instance a priceless lithium battery -- but before any guests arrived, kidnappers ambushed the house and took the wife. To protect the client, Fiona got herself kidnapped, too.

Fiona, naturally, had the wherewithal to protect herself. She also quickly assessed the danger and realized it was a lethal situation. Alas, the client -- Christian (Steven Culp) -- wasn't taking Michael and Sam's advice. It was a good situation for 'Burn Notice,' especially since it was high stakes with Fiona in danger.

There were some very good moments for Emmy-nominee Sharon Gless. First, we had Madeline set off the bank alarm with a cigarette. Unfortunately, Maddie wound up getting apprehended. Fortunately for Jesse and Michael, Maddie was resourceful enough to play the 'widow card' and get herself released before the cops were called in.

Later, Maddie refused the brush-off from Michael when she heard about Fiona's kidnapping. "Go get your girlfriend," she told her son. In the end, it was Maddie who saw things as they really were. Jesse's lack of focus during the kidnapping was due to his emotions. Jesse likes Fiona. As in like on the way to love. "It's always each other," that's how Madeline explained Fiona and Michael's love/hate relationship.

When Michael and Fiona were reunited and kissed passionately, the look on Jesse's face said it all. However, even if Jesse now knows that Fiona and Michael are more than colleagues, will he just keep his feelings to himself? Like I said at the top, the geometry has changed. This is a triangle, one that's unexpected, but welcome.

Just the notion that Michael has competition for Fiona is tantalizing, but then when you factor in Jesse discovering that Michael was the guy who burned him and also the guy who has the woman that Jesse loves, that's intense. Fiona may also have something to say about Jesse's affection for her. Should be explosive, which is how you would want it to be with Fi. (c) by Allison Waldman

Detailed summary:

With tensions running high between Michael and Fiona, Fiona and Sam take a job providing security for Christian Akins (Steven Culp), who believes thieves are after his company's prototype super-efficient lithium ion battery. Akins is caught by surprise when the thieves show up posing as caterers and kidnap his wife. Fortunately, Fiona convinces the kidnappers she, too, is worth ransom money.

For the better part of three seasons, Burn Notice had centered on Michael. Michael knew the value of teamwork and trust, but Sam, Fiona, and Maddie were clearly secondary characters. The addition of Jesse in Season 4 has allowed Sam and Fiona to take the lead more often, fleshing out their characters independent of Michael. The timing seems right for this.

We've seen hostage situations on Burn Notice, but not with Fiona in the lead. Once the kidnappers showed their faces to Fiona and Mrs. Akins, Fiona knew there would be no point paying them. She cleverly relayed this to Michael, Sam, and Jesse when the kidnappers made their ransom demands. I was confident Fiona would get herself and Mrs. Akins out of trouble. Still, I enjoyed seeing Fiona juggle her performance as the frightened, passive trophy wife and her natural confident persona. The wild card to the plot was Christian Akins, who managed to contact the kidnappers even with Jesse watching him.

In the B story, Michael and Jesse staked out and broke into the bank previously targeted in a botched heist. They stole a safe deposit box containing a Bible. On closer inspection, Michael realized the Bible was a cipher. He and Jesse saw that the book belonged to Michael's old enemy, Simon, but Michael lied to Jesse, saying he didn't know who Simon was.

In the final voice-over, Michael revealed Jesse was more than an asset to him now; he was a friend. Jesse has developed feelings for Michael at the same time. I don't think he'll simply turn on Michael when the time comes. We'll see. (c) by Gerald So

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