At first, "Dead or Alive" looked like it might be a filler BURN NOTICE tale where the team helps on of Sam’s old pals,a cop who’s been framed and missing. But, in a credit to the show helmed by creator Matt Nix, it took some turns quickly.
A scuzzball drug dealer, Ted, enters the pictures and he’s a low-life right out of perfect casting and we not only find out he killed Kevin, but the cop’s partner, Pete is the one behind it, hording a load of drugs. While the team’s initial planned con is by the numbers for the most part, Michael playing the role of high-strung drug dealer Ray, the episode really belonged to Bruce Campbell’s Sam.
Things quickly turned into a story of justice and vengeance, or Jesse put it, chocolate and peanut butter. We haven’t seen Sam on edge like this, a possible loose cannon, in a while. The revised scam, making Pete think Kevin was a live was dicey gamble, and the final take down of so-dirty and douchey cop was very satisfying, capped by a funeral scene. Meanwhile the show effectively wove in the ongoing plot of the ubs stick with the list of names of the people who burned Michael and more. One had to wonder a bit why they’d turn it over to Jesse’s former handler Marv, but then again, where else could they go?
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