Burn Notice Review: Deals With The Devil

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Earning a rare perfect rating, "Depth Perception" took everything we knew about Michael and his relationship with his father and scrambled it like an egg being thrown into a blender.

Anson has to be the most sadistic, devious, malicious, manipulative bastard Michael has every faced - and I have never enjoyed a Burn Notice bad guy more. If Sam and Michael had made a deal with the Devil himself, they would have been less screwed over.

I couldn't see anything good coming out of Sam and Michael going to Anson for help. But then the emotions and responses Anson was able to pull out of Michael when he was asking him if you were Oscar what would you want? changed my mind. I began to think that Anson might not be entirely evil. Maybe Michael and Anson could find a middle ground. 

A Trip to the Cayman Islands

Then Anson dropped the bombshell: That he not only knew Michael’s father, but he arranged for his death! 

The look of pure hatred in Michael’s eyes after that told me two things: One, Michael will never find a middle ground with Anson. Two, when Anson and Michael’s relationship ends it will not be quiet, pretty... or peaceful. 

Of course, Anson wasn’t done at that point, either. Thinking three steps ahead, he had used the opening created when Michael went to Ivan of the FSB and stopped Oscar to burn Sam with the FBI, neutralizing any help he might have been. Well done, Mr. Fullerton, well done. 

Michael and Sam, I just want to remind you that it’s not the grenade's fault when it goes off because you pull the pin out of it while it’s laying in your lap. You knew the devil you were dealing with going into this. 

On the flip side, I want to acknowledge Jere Burns for his portrayal of Anson Fullerton. I have never despised and loved a villain more and I’m not sure anyone else could have pulled the part off as well.  

Speaking of Sam, when TV Fanatic was invited to interview Bruce Campbell at the beginning of the season, one of the questions that I wanted to ask was if we would see Beatriz (Ilza Rosario) from The Fall of Sam Axe turn up in Miami. This episode gave me the answer I wanted and I was thrilled to see her make an appearance. 

Beatriz brings out a protective, almost fatherly side to Sam. I think he sees a lot of himself in her at that age and wants to try and steer her away from the land mines he hit. I’m sure it’s a pipe dream, but I would love to see Sam taking her under his wing as an apprentice. Hey, they are both suspected of being Russian spies, right? There you go; a great reason for her to stick around. 

Any notion I had of Madeline not smoking anymore were laid to rest with Benny. While I can understand her anger and the slap she gave Michael, she should know by now that Michael is going to do whatever he can to keep her safe, and as far from Anson as he can. 

Michael was talking about himself as much as Oscar when he said that Oscar needs to know that the things he has done helps others. Michael needs to be the hero, that's why he would put himself in harm's way for Beatriz, who he met the first time the day before. 

Moreover, the answer to the question I asked previously - about wrapping up the story with Anson before the end of the season - was hinted at when Anson told Michael he'd be done by the end of the month. Could we really be finished with Anson at that point? Would you want to be?

Either way, with only two episodes remaining this season, it's very clear that Matt Nix and his team have their foot on the gas pedal. Though I'm not sure I can handle many episodes this emotionally packed. I loved it, but, man, I'm tired.

Check out the official promo for next week's outing NOW.


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

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


@MrWriteSF These is Burn Notice not family guy I think you have the wrong show Burn Notice does not recyc storyline they add to them


Well the writers certainly know how to ratchet up the tension don't they? Gotta tell ya though, it's starting to become a bit much--blackmailing Fiona, headshinking Madeline, arranging to kill her husband, hand-picking her boyfriend, then killing him, and now neutralizing Sam. This storyline is gonna collapse under its own weight unless the writers come up with some spec-TAC-ular plan/twist that does away with Anson once and for all--and hopefully doesn't give Michael to some other handler who's gonna make his life miserable yet again. I realize that keeping him burned is the basis for the show, but seven seasons of a recycled backstory may not keep viewers' attention--something needs to change IMO. As for Beatriz, I didn't see "The Fall of Sam Axe" so I wasn't aware she was a recurring character. While I had sympathy for the character, I felt that the actress who played her just phoned it in--her performance was wooden.


Oh my. Anson is the best villain. The best. He's not one-note, like so many other villains on TV. But all these delicious layers to confuse and intrigue us. His helping Michael understand why he needed to be the hero was fantastic and I started softening towards him. Then boom. He stops Sam from bringing the FBI against him and then tells Michael he killed his father. Wow. I hope he sticks around for a long-time, because he is fun and a worthy nemesis to Michael. But man, now all the episode villains are going to come up lame in comparison. Fabulous episode.

Terrie lynn mcdonald coleman

It was indeed an emotional episode...........but I'm having a hard time buying that Anson can continuously stay three steps ahead of Michael..........Yes, Anson may know Michael inside and out, but I think he's eventually going to slip up and Micheal will be free of him......I do see Michael offing Anson since he has learned he was responsible for his father's death........


@ Alex Roggio
A sixth season, consisting of 18 episodes, was ordered by USA Network on April 16, 2010 There has been no talk of a 7th season but their has been talk of a Burn Notice Movie


This was just such a mind-blowing episode. For the first time in WEEKS have I been this shocked, surprised and absorbed into an episode. The last time I gave an episode a full five was...well it was long back so I don't remember :P
Anson is a son of bitch with six brains. And the way he talks about Michael's parents is so unbearable, I can't believe Michael keeps his cool. When Anson helped Michael and Sam with Beatriz, and by the way, woo hoo for her return, I actually thought Anson and Michael were in the beginning of a sort of symbiotic relationship. And then when Sam was set up, I went back to hating Anson. I can't help but LOVE to hate him. When he told Michael that he killed Frank and said 'You're welcome', lets just say that was the last straw for me. I can never go back to thinking maybe he has a soul. However, I liked the way he brought out Michael's honest side. I can't be more surprised with Michael being truthful to himself than Michael was. It was almost refreshing.
Sam's loyalty remains unfazed, even after he's been in the line of fire for 50 different buddies. Of which 45 is Michael, obviously. But now since Sam is being investigated, it means he's probably less available to Michael as help. Sam never bores me, so I'm happy to see his role in each episode, and LOL when Anson was inspecting Sam's beer :)
Fiona was good on her part in this episode, but I would have liked to see more of her. Perhaps she could have been the one helping Beatriz after Sam met her, and Sam could have traveled down to the Caymans. Just a thought. And I'm not feeling the love between her and Michael. I know its a bad time for them, but it seems more and more that he just REALLY cares about her, not more than that. Not that its my top concern, just that we haven't seen much of that for the last five episodes. And it seems she's doing less and less to help Michael clear her name. I hope to be proved wrong soon.
Can't say too much for Jesse as I'm starting to lose interest in him, despite my attempts not to. Hopefully he'll have a bigger part next time.
I didn't see that slap from Madeline coming. Nor did I expect her to get angry. I didn't even think Michael would tell her about the therapist. Her last line was, 'Its the things you don't know that can hurt you', and it really got me thinking. Its really just the enemy, the weapon, the plan, the obstruction, the secrets that Michael doesn't know (yet) that keep coming to attack him. Madeline's really smart to point it out, she stood out big time in this episode.
But not as much as that dog Anson. From the day he played the unfortunate husband whose 'wife' was killed, to this day, he has been the one who scars your mind with every episode. Can't wait for the next one!


Burn Notice has been renewed for 2 more seasons so we'll be seeing more of the GRR I WAS BURNED STORYLINE soon. The episode was great, but this whole season is a deviation from the main storyline. This season is about Michael dealing with Anson to save Fiona, while he should be focused on his grand goal of getting back in the CIA. Hopefully when it's over, he can go back to that and finally get some closure on this "Burned" storyline.


I have never before enjoyed a show so much! Just when I think it can't get better, Burn Notice goes and gets better. I am already on the edge of my seat for next week's episode!


I really HATE Anson! While I enjoyed the show, I am having doubts about how fast all this information is coming out. Either Anson is a manipulative psychopath who is twisting facts to get the responses he requires and Mikes next task will be to unravel the truth from the lies. OR They are looking to wrap up the show in a nice neat bow :( I sincerely doubt that Anson was the mastermind from the time Mike was 16. He makes a good front man for evil but we may never find out who the ultimate puppet-master is/was.
I like the way Fi and Jesse work together but really want to see another Fi and Mike op. It is about time Madeline gets acknowledged for the vital role she plays to the team as well. The others see it, about time her son says "We couldn't have done it without you."


all I have to say is WOW you know there are few show left on these earth where they can truly Shock you I am shock that they were able to keep these underwrap without someone finding out and spoling it Well done Burn Notice. So if Anson Fullerton arranged for Michael dad death I wonder if he also arranged for him to join the CIA after he got out of the Amry I also want to know who Michael Killed that made Anson do all of these was it Anson son his real wife or was it Anson own father. I have to say these has been there best season EVER!!! and I can not wait to see how these ends but I do have a feeling that next season will be the last I wonder if Matt Nix will do a spinoff with Sam

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Burn Notice Season 5 Episode 16 Quotes

First we have to get you someplace safe, hopefully someplace that doesn't smell like wet socks.


Michael: I won't be told what to do forever, I need to know this ends.
Anson: You're done by the end of the month Michael, I promise.