Sorry not to have anything new for ya'll. Partly it's that my review schedule has been shelved for a month or so, and partly it's that Burn Notice is just so bad that I still have a metric fuck-ton of stuff to talk about. And the topic of the day is... execution.
See, Michael Westen spends a lot of time talking about "When you're a spy," and "When you're a covert operative," and "If you work in the information industry," but he's not really a great spy. In fact, he's a horrid spy. A spy needs to be able to talk to anyone and everyone. Micheal Westen can only talk to the bad guys. In a room with the client or victim, he's invariably cold and distant, and visibly makes the characters uncomfortable. You'd think that a guy who's a jerk on the outside but secretly cares for children and puppies would be more invested in that whole "reassuring people" thing.
Further, Sam Axe, who's introduced as an "Ex-Spy" but later is retconned to "Ex-SeAL," can talk to people. He makes friends with everyone and easily comforts clients and victims alike. He can befriend anyone in minutes to the point of them lending him their stuff. Expensive stuff. Cars, for example. Further, in the three seasons that I watched Sam was the only one who shot anyone. He also did some pretty impressive sniping on a couple of occasions, including dealing a fatal abdomen shot on a guy with 3/4 cover, and one-shotting a surveillance camera from across the four-lane street and two floors up (twice).
(Not quite true. Micheal did shoot that one guy who's name I can't remember. That Agent to the Spies guy. But that was because AttS sold out Micheal's twoo wuv, so I really can't count it. It also wasn't an impressive shot. Fast, yes, but he shot the guy from fifteen feet away with a pistol. Some things should be epic, and the first time the protagonist kills someone directly is one of them. Also, that whole scene was shot and scored and lit like it was something epic, but the writing and the acting made it more melodramatic than moving. Say it with me guys: /epicfail.)
Also, The Girl. Good lord does she irk me. To start out with, she's really not that great looking, but the show treats her like she's a world-class beauty (before you ask, yes I did get the opinion of people who like women on this one. There was some discussion over whether the excessive muscles were scary or hot, but no-one said that she was a beautiful as the show and everyone in it seems to think). Also, for someone who's said to be a slightly psychotic, trigger-happy, gun-dealing, ex IRA guerrilla, she's surprisingly level-headed and tame. Yes, she talks about blowing shit up left and right, but someone with the character we're repeatedly told she has would have gone solo and blown up a bunch more shit than she actually does. Maybe it's the leash her twoo wuv has her on, but she's surprisingly open to reason and logic. Also, as you may have gathered, she doesn't ever shoot anyone. The show makes her out to be this amazing marksman, but she's the one that gets to miss things.
Yes, I know, the voice-over tells us at one point that it takes great skill to miss someone while making it look like you're trying to hit them. But if we've seen her hit anyone before, it's still an informed trait. That's the thing about extreme skill, and it's the reason that trick horse riders generally start out straddling the saddle like anyone else. Starting with the basics actually makes the exceptional more believable. It shows the range of skill that's required to impress the audience.
At one point (during the Great Sam Rescue at the end of season one), Fiona's got a sniper rifle and a great vantage point on Sam's captors and instead of sniping them off, she provides cover fire. With a sniper rifle.
Head? Meet Desk. I know you two will meet often and I hope you will become good friends.
So... yeah. I hope that clarifies some of my gripes on the characters. If not, feel free to ask questions here or send me an email.