Fresh off their interview with yours truly, Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar reunite with the rest of the cast to bring us the pulse pounding conclusion to Burn Notice’s third season. It’s never easy to keep suspense in a serial drama. It’s usually a fairly safe bet that all of your major players are going to survive from one episode to the next, and once you’ve removed any real sense of danger, what’s left? Well, whatever it is, Matt Nix and the people behind Burn Notice know how to make the most of it.
At the end of last episode, the “real life” supervillain whose release Michael and friends were attempting to prevent got one over on the good guys and got away. In the season finale, everyone’s favorite burnt spy came face to face with Simon, and the truth about this psychopath is too wild to be believed. But if that reveal gets your heart pumping, just wait for the last five minutes of the episode.
Dillahunt as Simon is inspired, and perhaps the first enemy on the show that will truly make you fear for the safety of the regular cast of characters. Add to that John Mahoney’s return as “Management” and an absolutely flawless performance by Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen – yes, I know she’s part of the regular cast, but her role in the finale elevates the character beyond anything we’ve seen before – and you’ve got the makings for the best damned episode yet.
It’s not flawless, mind you. The hotel bomb subplot is a bit weak, and like the bomb itself, a bit too easily defused. Not to mention that as great as Mahoney’s performance as Management may be, he can only work with what he’s given, and the rookie mistake the character makes seems horribly out of character for someone so entrenched in the life. Maybe it’s too much time spent behind a desk of late. But the worst part of the finale? Waiting for new episodes.
“Devil You Know” is near perfection, with 4.5 out of 5 lone helipads