The Bandit was on 'Burn Notice' tonight in the person of Burt Reynolds. I'd love to tell you that it was great to see the big screen star from the 1970s and 1980s on television again, but it was rather painful to watch him in action. File this under the heading of the AARP edition of 'Burn Notice.' For more on Gator and the spy who didn't want to come in from the cold, read after the jump.
There's nothing wrong with the elderly on TV. Betty White has been completely delightful this year on a myriad of shows. However, Burt was stiff as a board and I'm not referring to his botoxed face, which didn't change expressions very much. He just moved really, really slowly and -- as a result -- the entire episode felt stilted.
There was another aspect of the casting that bothered me. Instead of Paul being sharp as a tack, he was dotty. He couldn't remember the combination to his safe, for example. Sorry, but for a guy who was once Michael Westen, it was really depressing to think that he would become this kind of relic. Later in the episode, they attributed Paul's problems to memory troubles.
Okay, that's not unusual for the elderly, but I would have liked it better if Paul had known more than Michael and Sam at some point, like the character that Tim Matheson has played on 'BN,' Larry Sizemore.
The one time Paul showed real grit was when he shot the lead Russian point blank without remorse. From his point of view -- as a Cold Warrior -- killing a Russian in Miami was completely legit. James Bond would have pulled the trigger, too. And the upshot was that the corrupt Congressman was compelled to cover the death or risk scandal. In exchange, Michael got Paul the protection he needed to retire in peace.
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