The final appearance of the season for Michael Shanks on Burn Notice was in this episode called Lesser Evil, which was the second season finale. Shanks is a marvelous actor and he’s turned his crazed Victor, The Wrangler character into a must-watch character on this dramatic adventure series. This was the fourth time we were treated to Victor’s presence, and it was well worth it. It not only ends the arc that began with the Bad Blood episode, but it answers all of Michael Weston’s questions about who burned him.
Jeffrey Donovan is the star of this show, and for two seasons, his one focus as Weston has been to find out who burned him and cost him a normal life, such is normal for anyone in his line of work. With Victor’s assistance, the questions are finally answered.
In this episode, Weston decides to trust Victor. He says in the narration that sometimes you just have to trust your gut, and that’s what he did here. As it turns out, Victor had very good reason for his oddball behavior and his actions during the past few years. It’s actually very emotional, a poignant story that Shanks pulls off brilliantly. There’s a moment when he tells Weston what to look for where his eyes water. He’s gone back to his old life, remembering, and it just tugs at your heart.
Together, Weston and Victor go after the person who burned Weston. It’s no surprise that it’s Carla, the woman who has been toying with Weston from the beginning and who Victor has done nasty deeds for, is the one who burned Weston. The best part is that she meets a terminal ending. She was an annoying character. I certainly didn’t gain anything from watching her myself.
The climax, however,was a stunner. I let out with an audible gasp, in fact. It’s not that I wasn’t almost expecting this particular resolution, but it’s how it happened. I don’t want to spoil the specifics here for anyone who may not have seen it yet, but how this story goes down between Weston and Victor is quite shocking, emotional, and tear-provoking.
Donovan, for his part, also played this scene with excellence. I suppose his choice is where the show’s title of Lesser Evil comes into play. I do wish there had been an alternative, and in truth, there may be. As permanent as it is, the continuity errors of the last scene lend to the hope that there might just be a Plan B, should the producers choose to go that route.
That said, heroes today are different than they were in the heyday of television, and I miss those types. Things today are so gray in nature that heroes are questionable. Watching this episode with the ending it has made me glad that I’m not a regular viewer of the show because I don’t think I could respect Weston in the future or like his character. I understand the ending, but I don’t want my heroes to make those kind of choices, and I certainly don’t want my children learning from their examples.
This is my issue with how season two of Burn Notice comes to an end. Aside from the very dramatic elements of the plot which were superb, I just have such conflict over the ultimate ending. Worse, having seen the first show of season three, there’s no dealing with this. It’s like Weston had taken off a band-aid and nothing more. Because of the lack of contemplation or reflection, it irks me even more, leaving me unfulfilled as far as the series itself goes.
As for the episode, it was great, and Shanks was absolutely thrilling to watch. He brought his character 180 degrees from how it was when we first saw him in the Bad Blood episode. Victor went from being The Wrangler to The Client, and every second was believable and riveting. I’m definitely glad I watched.