Burt Reynolds guest stars on tonight's "Burn Notice" (USA, 9 p.m.) as a retired spy who becomes a target for Soviet agents.
The episode is getting a lot of promotion because of Reynolds' appearance, but to me, it came off as a little flat. There were some interesting moments in which Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) saw Reynolds as himself about 30 years in the future, but really, the most interesting part was a glimpse into Michael's own past and his former encounters with the Russians.
"Burn Notice" has been a bit inconsistent this year, mainly because the Jesse storyline hasn't had much of a payoff so far. The writers had built in a good balance among the Michael-Fiona-Sam chemistry, each character complementing the other, but for me, the chemistry hasn't been there with Jesse.
What was particularly disappointing was introducing Robert Wisdom's ("Supernatural," "The Wire") spy chief character in the first couple of episodes as a potential ally/enemy for Michael, then having that character all but disappear. It's always best seeing Michael work against someone formidable, but we haven't had that. Instead, it's been watching Jesse become Michael's sort of protege, with the dark secret that Michael was the one who actually got the burn notice put on Jesse inevitably going to come up at some point.
"Burn Notice" is still a lot of fun, and writers should be trying to keep any show fresh by changing the dynamics, but I think in this case, the writers went down the wrong path.
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: As always, "Burn Notice" is followed by a new episode of "Royal Pains" at 10 p.m., which also introduced a veteran actor in Henry Winkler this season, but hasn't skipped a beat.
Also new on cable is a "Futurama" (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)
On the networks, there's a new "Rookie Blue" (ABC, 9 p.m.), followed by "Boston Med" at 10 p.m.