Ariel Ponywether has been a fan of The Simpsons since the first time Bart was ten.View all articles by Ariel Ponywether
Michael and the gang are left reeling in the wake of Nate’s death; Madeline’s avoiding Michael, and he and a newly-freed Fiona are left in a lurch when Rebecca escapes from the fortified penthouse she’s been stashed away in, forcing them to spend the day tracking her down. Meanwhile, Sam recruits Jesse to help him deal with his girlfriend Elsa’s rebellious, ecstasy-addled son when he steals her bracelet
Another mixed bag of an episode. While the bookending segments were well-acted and heartrending (especially Nate’s open-casket funeral), Sam and Elsa’s relationship feels paternalistic, bloodless, and one-sided. Sam mouths blandishments about loving this woman, but I absolutely cannot buy a single bit of it – Campbell has better chemistry with Gabrielle Anwar, and she and Sam are semi-rivals.
The best bits focus on Michael’s quiet despair at his brother’s death. Jeffrey Donovan portrays Michael’s wordless pain in a perfectly accurate, well-sculpted way that sucks the audience into his wounded eyes.
Burn Notice’s not quite fish/not quite fowl status is making itself difficult this season, in spite of movingly acted moments (Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar in particular get a couple of lovely moments as Michael grapples with what Nate’s death means for his own mortality and the morality of those around him). But except for those bookending scenes, this one was nothing but filler.
LETTER GRADE: C+
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