Wow, smallest list I remember seeing in a long time. With only three shows to review this week, I don’t think it’s fair to do a best or worst, especially since none were standout favorites or losers this week. Enjoy this week’s abbreviated version of TV Thursday.
Burn Notice #7×03 – “Down Range” – Burke has a new job to pull, but his “guys of choice” get on his bad side when they realize what he’s trying to steal and want millions for their help. He allows Michael to call in his “guys in Miami,” Sam and Jesse and together they set up to steal the truck of computers that are being sent in to replace the ones that were destroyed in Michael’s bombing. Strong, of course, isn’t happy, he wants to bring in some special forces types, but Michael convinces him that, in a clinch, going with the guys he knows is better than the guys he doesn’t. Sam and Jesse arrive and the plan is set in motion. They’re going to steal the truck carrying the computer components and then Burke is going to sell them to another unsavory terrorist type named Serrano, presumably for big bucks. That makes Strong happy, he gets two terrorists for the price of one, but things have a habit of not working out like we plan. Meanwhile, in Miami, Madeline is approached by Nate’s former bookie who demands the $80k that Nate owed him or something bad might happen to Maddie’s grandson, who she’s just gotten full legal custody of. This doesn’t set right with her so she calls Fiona and together they set out to make the bookie’s life very difficult. Back in the DR, Michael is going to sneak into the warehouse where the truck is being kept and Sam and Jesse are suppoesd to cover him with sniper rifles and kill anyone that gets in the way. Sam ends up having to shoot a rent-a-mercenary in the back to save Michael, although Burke assures him that he was a really bad guy. Once they have the truck, Burke just has to set up the sale. He tells Michael to find a secure location and he’ll bring the truck in. Strong tells Sam and Jesse to go home, they’ve done enough, but they refuse to leave, insisting on staying until the end. Strong surrounds the exchange spot with snipers as Burke and Serrano arrive. Apparently, it takes a lot to get Serrano to come out of hiding, everyone is after him. Burke shoots Serrano’s guards and takes him hostage, apparently he doesn’t want Serrano’s money, he wants to deliver Serrano to his previously unknown boss. A helicopter appears to take them away and spots all of the snipers. Burke assumes the snipers are Serrrano’s, but he says he couldn’t have set them up, he didn’t even know where the drop was. That makes him question Michael, but Michael walks in front of a window and Sam takes a pot shot at him. He then puts Serrano in front of the window and tells him to call off his troops. He does and Strong pulls his men back. They all get into the chopper and Burke blows the computers to make good their escape. Strong is pissed, he not only lost Burke and Serrano, but there’s an even higher employer that nobody knew about. Michael is pissed too. He says he thought there were no secrets between them, where did this employer come from? Burke says he can’t tell Michael anything but he can let his employer explain when they turn over Serrano. Back in Miami, Fiona and Maddie trick the bookie by giving him jewelry with a tracking device, then they follow it back to his lair. They use det-cord to extract his safe and abscond with all of the money and paperwork inside. They set up a meet and Maddie tells the bookie that she has copies of all of his criminal enterprises and if he ever bothers her or her grandson again, the police get them. Now, was it a good episode? I thought so, although most of the twists weren’t very surprising. Anyone who has watched Burn Notice for any length of time knows that the bad guys introduced in the first couple of episodes are never the guys pulling the strings. They always have bosses or organizations or something above them whispering in their ears. It was never just going to be Burke selling computers to Serrano, there always had to be more to it. That said, the CIA follows the same predicable form it always has in this show, it ignores everything that Michael and his team tell them and they screw it up. Seeing how having to shoot someone in the back affected Sam was nice, although I’m not sure why he reacted that way. After all, he’s ex-special forces, former government operative, it isn’t like he hasn’t killed lots of people in the line of duty before, this should be no different, especially when it’s pointed out that these are paid mercenaries that tend to execute whole villages. I could see if he had to put a bullet through a cop or someone innocent, but that’s just not the case. Finally, the part with Maddie and Fiona was priceless, especially the look of glee when Maddie pushed the trigger to blow out the wall safe. The last bit where she got over on the bookie was great too. “And remember, I own you!” Amazing bit of acting on the part of Sharon Gless. We’re seeing that there are some fundamental changes in the group dynamic this season and I’m not sure how it will shake out. Yes, Sam and Jesse got to work with Michael again this week, but it didn’t last and now Michael is off on his own again. Fiona got to work with Maddie, but it was a minor, albeit funny, b-story. I’m just hoping they manage to get the whole team back together by the end of the season, watching these little slivers of group content, while enjoyable, is a little painful too since it never seems to last long. And who is this mysterious “big boss” that Burke works for? Someone we’ve seen before? Maybe a member of “Management” that didn’t get taken down? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Defiance #1×10 – “The Bride Wore Black” – Finally, the day of Alak and Christie’s wedding comes. As part of Alak’s bachelor party, it is expected that he’ll sleep with another woman playing the part of his soon-to-be wife. He refuses and gets into a fight with another Castithan. During the brawl, they break through the wall and find the withered remains of a man. It was a scene right out of Bones. Doc Yewll checks out the remains and finds that it is the body of Kenya’s ex-husband, Hunter Bell, who disappeared years earlier. We see through a series of flashbacks just what a dick he was, he abused and beat Kenya, he was a thief and a scoundrel, the world is probably better off with him dead. Nolan is content to let sleeping sleazebags lie, but Tommy wants to investigate the crime so he and Irisa spend a lot of time checking for clues while everyone else is getting ready for the wedding. Meanwhile, Datak gets pissed off when he learns that marrying into the McCawley family will not get him control of the mine, Rafe has made arrangements that it will return to the Irathians after his death. Datak tells Alak that he can’t marry Christie, but when Alak goes to Christie and explains, Rafe convinces him to go through with the wedding anyhow. Tommy and Irisa search where the body was hidden and find a whisker belonging to long-time Need/Want bartender Gerald. They go to his trailer and, when he doesn’t answer, they break in and find him dead, killed by a Castithan blade. We see more flashbacks, including one where Tommy is convinced by Bell to become a deputy and another where Bell gives Datak his start, but will give him no respect in return. Bell tries to kill Datak, but the fight is broken up by a much younger Rafe McCawley and that starts their strained friendship. Tommy and Nolan reason that Datak has motive for killing Bell and for shutting up Gerald, who was the only witness, so they arrest Datak. Nolan then decides that Datak is an ego maniac, he would never have hidden the body in the wall, he would have displayed it in the center of town and lets him go. The town gathers for the wedding, which is half human and half Castithan, but we see Doc Yewll and former mayor Nicki meeting. Nicki wants to know if Yewll is going to join her, a continuation of their meeting last episode and they do a flashback. A much younger Nicki has come to a much younger Yewll for medical advice, she’s having pain and Yewll uses her medical technology to scan her arm, showing that she’s not human. Hunter Bell breaks in and sees this and threatens to blackmail them. Nicki kills him, much to the horror of Yewll. Apparently, Nicki was never human, she was an Indogen, modified to look like a human, for purposes unknown. We saw something similar a couple of episodes ago where the Indogen modified an alien to look like a famous astronaut, so it’s hardly out of the blue. Back in the present, Nicki reveals that she killed Gerald in cold blood to keep him from talking, even though he had never said a word all these years and Yewll has had enough. She kills Nicki, pretty humanely in fact, and then puts her into her car, with a note on the windshield admitting guilt for both of the killings. Oh, and Alak and Christie get married. Datak attends after Stahma tells him that Alak’s happiness is more important than using him as a pawn. I think everyone, including Datak, is starting to realize that he’s not really in charge of the Tarr family. So was this a good episode? Absolutely. The whole thing with Nicki came completely out of the blue and blindsided me, but I don’t mind. I honestly wish they’d go into more detail about these human-replaced aliens. I can understand replacing the astronaut, but what possible use was Nicki that they’d view her as valuable and transfer her memories into an Indogen? It’s actually kind of a shock, right after Nicki retrieves the golden artifact and now she’s dead? Yewll has the artifact now, will she actually do anything with it? What does it all mean? I loved the scene at the end where Irisa comes to the wedding, after saying she thinks weddings are stupid, and holds Tommy’s hand. I think they make a cute couple and want to see more of them. One thing that I think is important to note is that this show has always made it difficult to really care about the characters, most of them are clearly out for their own agendas and none of them, Nolan and Irisa included, have been particularly likeable. I think, for the first time, I really do care about and like Rafe McCawley though. Even though he’s been against the marriage since the beginning, he’s finally come to accept it’s what his daughter wants and in this episode, he fights for her happiness. He never gets mad at Alak for his father’s stupidity, he really seems to care for his, now, son-in-law. I couldn’t stand Rafe at the beginning, but I think he’s a good character now. How long will it be until the rest of the characters develop good personalities?
Warehouse 13 #4×18 – “Lost & Found” – Finally! Something happens in this show! Sorry, I’m still not all that broken up about Myka’s ovarian cancer, which was a positively painful thread through this episode. Myka! Warehouse! Magic gadgets! Go get one! Artie gets home at 1am, when nonviolently everyone else is standing around at the front door chatting, and announces that he’s got the goods on notorious Warehouse pirate Roaring Dan Seavey, who stole a bunch of artifacts from Warehouse 12 a century before. He, Pete and Myka head off to New York to buy the other half of a map which should lead them to the plundered booty, leaving Claudia behind to take care of Nick and Steve to do paperwork. Where Abigail went, who the heck knows. Anyhow, the gang meets up with their supposed black-market seller and finds out that it’s Charlotte who wants to split the treasure with Artie. Roaring Dan Seavey has left a series of clues that they have to unravel before they can find the artifacts. Picture Goonies on a much smaller budget. Artie immediately decides he’s going to ditch Charlotte and get all of the artifacts for himself, making himself a Warehouse legend and Charlotte and her bodyguard do the same thing, eventually tasering the gang and stealing their clues. Back at the Warehouse, Claudia finds herself between Nick and Steve. Steve knows that Nick is lying and is up to something, but Nick is convincing at it. Unfortunately, Steve is right all along, Nick has played them both and tricked them into getting him into the warehouse, where he heads to the Bronze section and tries to release someone by the name of Paracelsus, but since it requires a DNA sample to operate, he tricks Claudia into deactivating the security, then he zaps her and unbronzes Paracelsus, who turns out to be his father. Back in New York, they find the treasure, but Seavey has a few tricks in store, including an artifact-fueled dust monster that nearly takes out Artie and does, apparently, kill Charlotte. Not really though because she can’t really die. They take out the monster, with the help of Charlotte, and all have a civilized chat. Charlotte and her son Nick, just want a normal life, they’ve been alive for hundreds of years and now they want to die. Myka, in her cancer-addled brain, makes a big deal over death and how it’s not all that wonderful, but I can see Charlotte’s problem. Nick has been 15 for hundreds of years, none of them can form any long-term relationships and everyone they know grows old and dies, except for them. That’s not a very worthwhile life in my opinion. The plan was for Charlotte to get a geode from the treasures, for Nick to unbronze his father and then to figure out how they can undo the eternal life mojo, but that’s not how it works out. Instead, Paracelsus decides he has to “deal with” Claudia and bronzes her, destroying the control panel so she can never be unbronzed. Paracelsus and Nick flee, leaving Charlotte holding the bag. Clearly, this is going to be the major thread for the rest of the season, which isn’t much since there are only 2 more episodes left. They have to rescue Claudia and hunt down Nick and his father, which could have been epic if it was allowed to play out for a longer period of time. I suppose they could let this roll through their final season next year too but it doesn’t seem that exciting. It’s going to be too short or too long, no matter which way you look at it. I also thought the characterizations this episode were completely off. Claudia and Steve are best friends, to have her doubting him and siding with Nick made no sense. The same is true of Pete and Myka. Myka doubting Pete’s reaction to her cancer, other than him pointing to the warehouse as a solution, made no sense. The other that sort of bugged me was Charlotte saying she didn’t think they’d give her what she wanted out of the warehouse. Did she ask? I’m sure if she showed up, asked for Artie’s help, especially having the second part of the puzzle box that unlocked the greatest mystery in warehouse history, he’d have bent over backwards to help her. But then again, they wouldn’t have a story, would they? I really don’t like how they’ve done this season, it hasn’t felt at all cohesive, it’s just crap the writers had on their chalkboard but never put into the show. Now that it’s all winding down, they’re clearing their desks, I’m sort of afraid of what they do with their 13-episode final season next year. It wasn’t a bad episode at all, in fact, it was one of the better ones of the year.
Other Stuff I Watched: Toy Hunter #2×10-2×12, Mythbusters #11×08, Firehead – Rifftrax