"Loving Michael is always trench warfare." -Madeline"Question and Answer" continues to get good mileage out of Michael being a man without a country, or a protector, by introducing Moon Bloodgood as Detective Paxson, aka "Michael's worst nightmare." She's very much in the mold of Carla from last year -- gorgeous actress, knowing more about Michael than he wants her to know, and frequently getting in the way of his jobs -- and while I don't think Bloodgood's nearly as good an actress as Tricia Helfer, I like the way they're using the character so far. We've talked so much in the past about why the cops never seem interested in this guy who's been blowing up half of Miami -- now, thanks to Management cutting its strings, we have a cop all up in Michael's business.
Still, the heart of "Burn Notice" is and should be the episodic missions, and we got a very good one here. The kidnapping case gave all the characters some nice moments -- I was particularly amused by Fi helping the mom meditate by feeding her a fantasy about killing the kidnappers ("You're taking a rock from the stream...") -- and Michael and Sam's reverse interrogation scam was a great two-hander by Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell. The junkie snitch ID was one of Donovan's better cover performances to date, and Campbell had fun playing dirty cop. And, as Matt Nix said in our interview, "there probably aren't other TV shows where the two main characters are beating the crap out of each other for the benefit of the bad guy." It does end, once again, with the bad guys being tricked into killing each other, which Nix said he was going to try to do less of this year, but it felt less like a solution to the problem (Michael had already grabbed the kid by then) than a public service, so I was okay with it.
I also continue to love what they're doing with Madeline. By making Sam her temporary roommate (which also gives us the delightful image of Sam talking to his borrowed car) on the heels of him blowing up her sun room at the end of last season, the writers have knocked down most of the remaining barriers between Michael's mom and his work life, and it's fun to watch a Madeline who knows pretty much everything.
Good stuff all around, and this wasn't even the best of the three episodes USA sent out for review. (That would be next week.)
What did everybody else think?