Season finale: Burn Notice (season two)

Spy versus spy


Burn Notice is something of an odd show for the USA Network. While most of the USA output is fluffy stuff like Monk or Psych, Burn Notice is quite edgy and dark – a spy show where villains frequently get shot by the good guys, who are all busily trying to avoid getting shot by the people who are supposed to be good guys, too.

After a slightly intermittent first season in which most of that initial edginess was squandered on USA Network quirkiness, the second season has been far superior. After the introduction of BSG‘s/Canada’s Next Top Model‘s Tricia Hilfer as Carla, one of those responsible (possibly) for the ‘burn notice’ that ostracised our hero from the rest of the spy community, we gamboled merrily along from explosion and murder to explosion and murder – via way of the equally vicious spy Michael Shanks from Stargate SG-1 – in the hope that by the end of the season, we’d know what was going on and what Carla was up to.

Did we?

Of course we didn’t. 

But we were kind of expecting that. But for a finale, this was slightly lacklustre. Too much time was spent on a rather dull mission for Michael, clearly designed to cope with the fact that could only get Hilfer for a day’s filming for the entire season. And unlike the first season denouement, where the plot did at least go somewhere, here we’re pretty much treading water until the first episode of the third season.

So brace yourself for disappointment, basically – a good season let down by a finale that tried to replace good plotting with lots of stunts. Oh well.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.