Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall

Review: 'Burn Notice' returns to USA

Is there a point anymore to the show's story arcs?

<p>Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan)&nbsp;finds himself in a sticky situation as &quot;Burn Notice&quot;&nbsp;returns.</p>

Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) finds himself in a sticky situation as "Burn Notice" returns.

Credit: USA

There's a point in tomorrow's mid-season return of "Burn Notice" (10 p.m., USA) where one of the show's recurring villains tells ex-spy hero Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) that he's abruptly leaving Miami - but not to worry, because his replacement would be arriving soon.

And it's at that point where I decided I'm done paying attention to the larger "Burn Notice" story arcs.

'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Firinne': Sins of the Sons

As the Sons' time in Belfast approaches its end, is that story finally taking on life?

<p>Jax (Charlie Hunnam)&nbsp;has some questions for an old friend on &quot;Sons of Anarchy.&quot;</p>

Jax (Charlie Hunnam) has some questions for an old friend on "Sons of Anarchy."

Credit: FX

A review of tonight's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I store my kids' baby teeth in a wall safe...

'30 for 30' - 'The Best That Never Was': Where have you gone, Marcus Dupree?

Jonathan Hock tells the heck out of the story of the college fooball shooting star

<p>Marcus Dupree, today.</p>

Marcus Dupree, today.

Credit: ESPN

A week after arguably the weakest "30 for 30" film yet, we got one of the series' strongest installments with "The Best That Never Was." A few quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I give you my power of attorney...

'In Treatment': Week three in review

Several sessions end abruptly, as Paul takes the patients in directions they don't want to go

<p>Gabriel Byrne and Debra Winger on &quot;In Treatment.&quot;</p>

Gabriel Byrne and Debra Winger on "In Treatment."

Credit: HBO/Paul Schiraldi

Once again, we're reviewing all four episodes of "In Treatment" this week in one chunk, with my thoughts on each session coming up just as soon as I like PBS and soup...

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 45: 'Conan,' 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Burn Notice' & more

Alan and Dan talk about Conan's first show, the frustrating pacing of 'Sons' season three, and more

<p>Conan O'Brien and Jack White on &quot;Conan.&quot;</p>

Conan O'Brien and Jack White on "Conan."

Credit: TBS

The

Because Conan O'Brien's TBS debut was by far the biggest TV event of the week, Dan and I decided to delay this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast by a day so we'd be able to discuss it after we'd seen it, rather than spend more time speculating. So we talked about that, looked ahead to Thursday's return of "Burn Notice" and, because Dan finally caught up on "Sons of Anarchy" over the weekend, got to discuss some of the problems with season three. And thanks to reader mail, Dan got to extol the virtues of "The Vampire Diaries" to me. The rundown:

The premiere of "Conan" -- 01:40 - 11:15
The return of "Burn Notice" -- 11:20 - 16:20
Reader Mail (accents and pacing) -- 16:30 - 32:25
"Sons of Anarchy" -- 32:30 - 49:20

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.

Review: 'Conan' debuts on TBS

Conan O'Brien's basic cable premiere was a very familiar, middle-of-the-pack episode of a Conan talk show

<p>Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien, together again on &quot;Conan.&quot;</p>

Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien, together again on "Conan."

Credit: TBS

A late night talk show is a marathon, not a sprint, and when someone begins a new show, or a newcomer takes over an old one, there's a sense that you should wait a while before forming an opinion. Jimmy Fallon, for instance, was a disaster on his "Late Night" debut, and has by now carved out an entertaining little niche for himself.

With the first episode of "Conan," Conan O'Brien's new TBS talk show, snap judgments feel more fair. Conan's been in the late night game for close to 20 years, knows what he wants to do and, after stumbling early in his "Tonight Show" stint in a futile attempt to get the Leno fans to like him, has rediscovered his rhythms. Though much of the material in the first episode of "Conan" was about his uncomfortable departure from NBC, the show itself felt not unlike an episode of "Late Night" or one of his later "Tonight Show" outings.

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Natural History': Hands on a hard mummy

One week after a series low point, the "HIMYM" creators give us a vintage, sweet, funny episode

<p>Ted (Josh Radnor), Lily (Alyson Hannigan)&nbsp;and Marshall enjoy a black tie night out on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Ted (Josh Radnor), Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall enjoy a black tie night out on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

A review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I pelt you with my Phish bootlegs...

'The Walking Dead' - 'Guts': Escape from Atlanta

Rick makes some new friends but has trouble getting out of town

<p>Glenn (Steven Yeun)&nbsp;and Rick (Andrew Lincoln)&nbsp;try to blend in on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) try to blend in on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

A quick review of the second episode of "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I'm an organ donor...

'Sherlock' - 'The Great Game': Moriarty the mastermind

The 21st century Holmes reboot ends a very satisfying (and brief) first season

<p>Benedict Cumberbatch in &quot;Sherlock.&quot;</p>

Benedict Cumberbatch in "Sherlock."

Credit: PBS

The short but sweet three-week run of "Sherlock" concluded on PBS tonight, and the Mark Gatiss-scripted conclusion was in many ways the most fun of the three chapters. The structure with the mini-mysteries suggested that Gatiss and Steven Moffat weren't sure if they'd get to tell more stories with these characters, and were therefore going to stuff as much as they could into the final 90 minutes, and yet it never felt too busy. (For the Holmes scholars out there, were any of those  adapated from actual Arthur Conan Doyle stories?)

Then again, the sensational closing sequence with Holmes, Watson and Moriarty would seem to disprove my theory, because there's no way Gatiss would be so cruel as to end things that way if he didn't think he'd get to continue the story in the future, right?

I thought the middle story was a bit thin, but the opening and closing installments of "Sherlock" were just fantastic, and I'm glad they're going to be able to make more before Martin Freeman's tied up with his "Hobbit" duties.

What did everybody else think?

'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Hold Me in Paradise': Return to normalcy

Nucky rubs presidential elbows in Chicago, while things get ugly back home

<p>Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon)&nbsp;disagrees with his wife on &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon) disagrees with his wife on "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I besmirch the national pastime...

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