Burn Notice Review: "Mind Games"

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Burn Notice has always balanced the twin genres of comedy and suspense very well, and "Mind Games" showed us that those pools are deep, rich, and are not drying up anytime soon.

We got two new elements to Michael’s story this week, both balanced on Nate Westen as the center point. The first was that Michael has a nephew and Nate (and his family) have moved back to Miami to be closer to Madeline and Michael.

I’ve not been crazy about Nate Westen in the past. That feeling stemmed from the Yin and Yang aspect we’ve always seen with between the brothers. Michael always does the right thing, knows what he is talking about and saves the day. Nate? not so much 

A Concerned Michael

Nate started down that very same road in this episode and I was dreading his return to Miami, as it meant we'd see more of him. Then, the second element in Michael’s life became clear: he is addicted to wanting to know all the answers about why he was burned. Nate, having experience in addiction, saw the signs in Michael and told him as much.

The conversation between Michael and Nate about hitting bottom and no one being able to make him stop until he wanted to completely changed my mind about Nate. I saw the reflection of Michael in him at that moment. He wanted to be good and do the right thing, even if it was painful.

This was immediately punctuated by Michael ignoring Fiona when she asked him to come to bed. In a minute, he said, while showing all the signs of an addict who is letting the addiction control his life instead of the other way around.

I'm glad Nate is back in Miami, I think Michael is going to need his brother’s wisdom and guidance before this is all over. 

Of course, this serious and somber story element was balanced by the more light-hearted aspect of Michael receiving the best payment he has gotten in five years. Free frozen yogurt for life!  

Best Payment Ever

Overall, it was another outstanding episode. Do you think Michael is addicted or just obsessed?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

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


We all know he's an addict, Vaughn even told Fiona last season that Michael would never stop because he is addicted to this life. He can't stop until he has the answer to everything but he will never find the answer to everything. The others are powerless to stop him(even Fiona), as shown in this episode when Sam told Fiona that "he's Michael and he will do what he wants."


@ SnakeTheCritic There is a fine line between obsession and addiction. In general I have found this the best gauge: "Doing anything to the detriment of everything else in your life (including friends and family) should be considered an addiction" There will be those that disagree with me, but in reality it doesn't matter if your drinking, gambling, online video games, or looking for answers that will never come. When your life starts to suffer and you still can't stop, it is time to get help. For Michael, it's really to early to say for sure; he is obsessed for sure. Can he balance his obsession with life, that will be what we watch to see.


Quality episode. Loved the wrong lines and the free frogo especially the card. Loved Nate's line "Listen bro I know your going through some stuff, but half of you is better than all of most people."


@ Jim G : Do you think Michael is addicted or just obsessed? Sorry have to go with Justified I think Nate and Michael's relationship is well written. As was the rest of this episode. Michael struggling to let sleeping dogs lay, was great. Sorry I know it's lie, but that was in honor of this weeks cover. A lot of great lines this week my favorite was Nate : " Listen bro I know your going through some stuff, but half of you is better than all of most people."


Michael, What is it with the black hair? It makes you look mean. I want my sweet Michael back. By the way, when are you and Fiona going to marry? I want grandchildren. Grandma from Fairfax

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Burn Notice Season 5 Episode 3 Quotes

Mike, we've always known you were crazy; we just don't want you going crazy crazy.


Nate: how's Fiona, mom says you're living together.
Madeline: Yeah, It's moving fast, at this rate they will be married by the time they are 60.