TV Review: Burn Notice - Season 3 Premiere

I have to be honest: When season 2 of Burn Notice ended I was simultaneously excited and concerned about what could happen now that the people behind Michael’s burn notice have been revealed and pulled out. The premiere episode of season 3 starts right where things left off, and shock of all shocks there is no yogurt! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria! Creator Matt Nix and his team have found a way to change up Michael’s circumstances and make Burn Notice not only the same great show we love, but even more of it. The question is whether the show can avoid being the same as always, and risk getting stale. The foundation has been set as season 3 kicks off.

The biggest change to the series is that Michael is no longer being protected. I’ve always been a little bothered by all the shenanigans Michael, Sam and Fi got into while the Miami PD sat by the wayside. Sure they’re good spies, but there was a lot of destruction throughout the first two seasons. Season three has started off with repercussions for past actions by the team. This helps to change up the formula a little bit. I’ll continue to enjoy Burn Notice but things have gotten a bit too predictable. The introduction of a nagging police detective has the chance of inducting the show with a revitalized sense of purpose.

As season 3 begins Michael sets out to get his job as a professional spook back, but it’s Fiona that asks the question we all have: why would he want his job back? Now that the mysterious “Management” behind the burn notice have put Westin back on the grid it’s easy for friends and enemies to find him. Such is the case with Harlan (Brian Van Holt), an old spy buddy of Michael’s who comes to him under the auspices of sharing a job. Things go awry, as they often do, and Michael has to use his natural ability to be a super McGuyver to get through unscathed. It’s a nice little story for the premiere, but doesn’t hold much of a punch. The idea of Michael’s old enemies finding him in Miami has so much potential to make the procedural elements of the series much more intense. I just hope the writers can capitalize on that better than the premiere episode.

The season continues on in the second and third episode by getting right back to tried and true Burn Notice formula. Yogurt (phew!) comes back, Michael has witty witticisms to say to the Miami detective interested in his activity, people need his help, and Sam and Fi still stand by Michael’s side despite not really liking each other all that much. If you were concerned that Burn Notice was about to change gears you can rest easy. But if you’re like me and hoped that season 3 was going to ramp up the show significantly you might be disappointed. It’s time for Burn Notice to take its characters and shake things up a bit.

Burn Notice - Season 3 Premiere

Starring: Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless

Premieres: Thursday, June 4 at 9:00 pm EST on USA

Steve West

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.