Spoilers for tonight's "Burn Notice" coming up just as soon as I deduct a mojito...
After the awesomeness of last week's Westen-Brennen II rumble, a letdown was inevitable, and while I enjoyed parts of "Fearless Leader," it played to disappointing type.
Detective Paxson remains something of a dud character (and I think that's on the writing as much as it's on Moon Bloodgood), so an episode in which she was more central wasn't as much fun as I suspect the producers were hoping. And for a character sold as being so tough and smart, Erik Palladino's Matheson made a real rookie mistake by letting Nick Turturro's Tommy (whom he viewed, rightly, as an untrustworthy loser) and his random new crew play such a big role in his next heist. (I assumed at first he was setting Tommy up to be humiliated or worse while he went off and did a job elsewhere.) And because Michael had such an easy time evading the police tail, we had an episode where neither of Michael's adversaries were nearly as potent as they were being sold as.
And yet there was a real charm to Michael's interactions with Tommy, to seeing Michael have to carry this guy while making it seem like he was buttering him up, and then to see him realize that both he and Tommy were better off if he turned Tommy from sap into ally. Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Nick Turturro due to his time as Flying James Martinez on "NYPD Blue," but I thought he and Jeffrey Donovan worked well together.
But the real highlights of "Fearless Leader" were the personal subplots, both the comedy of Sam suffering through an audit from what turned out to be the grown-up son of one of his old flames (though was the headache in his eye from the audit, or from Madeline's inedible cookies?), and Fiona's frustration at everything Michael has been up to, from screwing up the gig at the start to his insistence on getting back in the spy game. When you see what a soft touch Michael was with a guy like Tommy, you understand where Fi's coming from. He's not cold enough to be a spy anymore, not that he seems to realize it.
What did everybody else think?