With last week's episode, Burn Notice endeavored to shock us by killing off a major supporting character. There's no question that the death was significant, but of equal importance was how it would affect everyone left standing. Show-altering twists are great, but often lose their impact if they're forgotten by the next episode.
Thankfully, Burn Notice takes time to pay attention to Nate's death, as well as the return of Fiona. In short order, Maddie gives Michael the cold shoulder, and everyone learns that Rebecca (Kristanna Loken) betrayed them. Michael and Fiona set out to find and kill her, so we get closure for his demise as well as get to see how the show's two lead characters mesh together again. It takes very little time for the show to fall back into familiar territory, such as Fiona going right for the guns and C4 when they need to break into a print shop. Rebecca escapes capture, but then decides to surrender, swearing that she didn't kill either Nate or Anson. So who does Michael need to kill? That's another question for us to wonder about.
There's also a case of the week to be had, which continues to give more attention to Sam, this time in the form of his long-spoken-of but never-seen girlfriend Elsa (Jennifer Taylor) , her son Evan (Dexter's Brando Eaton) and Morris the loan shark (Richard Burgi from The Sentinel, the first season of 24 and Desperate Housewives). Evan is a "spoiled punk" driving his mom up the wall, so she asks Sam and Sam asks Jesse for help setting him straight. In a moment of panic, Evan tells Morris that Sam and Jesse are going to help him with a truck heist. It's an odd if amusing combination of typical Burn Notice hijinks mixed with psuedo-family issues, and as mentioned previously, it's nice to see Bruce Campbell having a more sizeable role over these last few installments.
"Reunion" doesn't throw another curveball, but it provides gratification in a different way: by exploring aspects of the characters' relationships, whether it's finally introducing us to Sam's girlfriend or properly re-introducing Fiona to the ensemble. What's happening in the episode isn't as important as what it shows us about the people involved. Sam's relationship with Elsa isn't just for comedic reference; she's got a kid and problems with that kid that the show didn't have to introduce. After having her out of action for six episodes (which, lest we forget, amounts to a good third-to-half of the season, depending on how many are in season six), it's natural that Fiona and Michael would have to gel together again. These are developments worth seeing. (And it's kind of neat that Seth Peterson gets a guest-starring credit for simply appearing in a casket, no acting required.)
I'm still not quite sure where season six is taking us, but at the very least Burn Notice continues to turn out episodes that are worthwhile uses of an hour of our Thursday nights, and that's something to be appreciated. Now what does it all mean? We'll have to wait and find out.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.