Burn Notice Review: "Guilty as Charged"

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This episode of Burn Notice was exactly what we have come to expect in a summer finale from Michael Westen and his gang.

In "Guilty as Charged," the much anticipated showdown of Barrett and Michael was surprisingly brief, confusing, and disappointing. The entire confrontation was not of the quality that we would expect from Matt Nix. I felt like they wanted to have Michael hurt and dying and attempted to write a scene that could end where they pictured it, regardless of the holes in the plot.

Summer Finale Scene

Here are a few of the things I noticed and questioned as the showdown happened:

  • Where was Michael planning on taking Barrett? Sam said the plan was for Michael to take Barrett after over powering the two guards; but where?? I was assuming the minisub, but then it appeared that Fiona and Sam were in that. Besides, was it big enough to have more than one person in it? 
  • Why didn’t Michael attempt to disarm the guy who was choking him? Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Michael actually monologue about disarming an armed foe in a recent episode? Why would he just let the guy start choking him out without a struggle, gun or no gun?
  • What happen to cutting off access to the bridge? Sam and Fiona were supposed to close off access to the bridge with explosives, yet Barrett drove through a gun fight with barely a ding on the car.
  • Who caught the speeding car and took the case? I know having someone take the case is the cliff-hanger of the summer finale, but given the holes in the overall showdown, I can’t think of anyone that could have caught a speeding car to be “right there” to get the case. I would have believed it a bit more if the feet had been running up, not strolling. 

I realize Nix and his team love doing cliffhanger endings. Last time was Michael in prison; one time he jumped out of a helicopter, etc. But I am worried that he and his team are letting the gimmick drive the writing.  I am sure some of these questions will be answered in the first few minutes of the next episode when the show returns (in November).

On the flipside of the holes in the Barrett plot, we had Michael helping a scumbag defense attorney named Adam Scott get back his five-year old daughter. I think both plans they tried were simple, elegant, and screamed of Michael’s style. Did anyone else catch that the last conversation between Michael and Scott seemed to be setting in a hook for Nix and his team to revisit the situation? I am not sure if Scott will turn up dead, or will need to hire Michael. But I do expect we have not seen the last of Adam Scott.

Major Pain

You have to admire Jesse’s commitment to keeping a promise. He had promised to put a bullet in the man that burned him and he did exactly that. While I had been hoping all season that Jesse would not shoot Michael, at least in doing so he was also saving Michael’s life. So promise made and kept. Good job, Jesse!

In conclusion, I must say that I really hate cliffhanger finales. I think the entire idea is one whose time has passed back when we only had three channels. If I wasn’t going to watch the show anymore, this would not have made me come back. Conversely, as a huge fan, all you have done is frustrate me over the break with questions. I have been watching the show all season, you don’t need to trick me into coming back to watch the show. 

What did you think of the finale? Am I being too hard on Nix? Does anyone else hate unnecessary cliffhangers? Check out a few Burn Notice quotes from the episode as you sound off:

Jesse: Sorry I'm late, I was sitting in the car for the last ten minutes with your head in the cross-hairs of a rifle, wondering if I should shoot the man who ruined my life.
Michael: And?
Jesse: Still thinking. | permalink
Madeline: If you're going to shoot my son, can you wait a few days. He is trying to save a little girl. | permalink
Sam: See Michael, if we had Jesse we would not be working with a guy with a tattoo on his neck. | permalink
Barrett: Our future together?
Michael: Yeah, I was thinking you could hire me on, you could reaaaally use some new staff. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Burn Notice Season 4 Episode 12 Quotes

Just hear her out Jesse, I have been baking in the sun for an hour, I'm tired, I am out of cigarettes and I am not going to be hauling my ass all over Miami to look for you anymore.

Madeline

Barrett: Our future together?
Michael: Yeah, I was thinking you could hire me on, you could reaaaally use some new staff.