Burn Notice Season Finale Review: Never Saw This Coming

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As this season has come to a close, the emotional intensity has been practically tangible. So much so that the last two episodes have both garnered a perfect rating from this reviewer. Last week, I threw down the gauntlet when I asked if Matt Nix and his team could make it a triplicate and end the season the same way.

In response to my challenge "Fail Safe" picked up said gauntlet and promptly used it against me in an episode that was so well done, I would have given it a 6 star rating had it been possible. 

On a Key Mission

Let’s start with the biggest game changer: Fiona turned herself in. To the very last second I thought Michael was going to be able to stop her. Even after the first agent drew his gun, I though Michael would rescue her. 

Michael made it very clear to Fiona that there was no line he wouldn’t cross when it came to her. Of course, he promptly followed that statement with handcuffing her to a cage... so there might be some therapy in their future, if they have a future.

I can’t even fathom what this is going to mean for next season. While it’s conceivable they could break Fiona out, my gut feeling is that Nix has another ace up his sleeve and - much like Fiona turning herself in - we won’t see it coming. 

Now that he no longer can use Fiona as leverage, where does that leave Anson? Given that Anson is still around and the last we heard from him is when Michael said that he would see him in Hell, I suspect he's going to continue to be a thorn in Michael’s side. Let’s not forget that Anson also has agent-turned-traitor Rebecca Lange (Kristanna Loken) working for him already.

Michael may have some new allies, as well, depending on what happens with the virus he planted in Pearce’s computer. I can’t imagine it will go over well for Pearce or Michael that on his first op a traitor was discovered and evidence was planted, implicating the rest of them. 

While I don’t agree with Michael’s method, I can understand his logic of fixing what he breaks. Though, it has to be different this time when he actively burned agents, including Pearce, who had just begun to trust him again, compared to when accidentally burned Jesse.

Then again, with Lange being discovered as a real traitor, maybe they will focus on the larger picture or be able to use that to undo the damage the virus caused quickly. Clearly this will be a question we will ponder until next season. 

Anson didn’t give up his hold on Michael without a fight. Even when his head was in the cross-hairs, he convinced Michael to give him a reprieve by pointing out that had Michael not been burned, he would not be as close to his family or Fiona. Looking back at where Michael came from, I have to agree with him. We don’t always get what we want in life, but we do seem to get what we need. 

For better or worse, Michael needed to be burned. He might be figuring it out, too, considering his comment to Pearce about it not feeling the same being back in the CIA saddle. Jesse certainly has taken a different route after being burned and then cleared. 

Many things to think about during the break and I can’t wait to see what trick Nix and his team pull out of their hat next. And, Mr. Nix, if you’re ever in the San Francisco area, I would be honored to sit down and have lunch. 


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (177 Votes)

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


burn notice has been my favorite tv show since it first came on. wish it would be on every week all year.


i keep screaming at the tv caught her micheal


Well made show. I enjoyed watching the series very much. I just finished watching season four on netflix. And I am looking forward to seasons five and six. I hope that they do more than just two more seasons, best series I have seen in quite awhile. Very satisfied.


I love this show.....


Am I the only one that wonders why they just don't kill Anson? How can he give evidence to the FBI about Fiona if he's dead? He's never said anywhere someone will deliver it if he doesn't come home one night. Why don't they just simply kill him - it's frustrated me ever since he came in to the plot.

Childish gambino

I actually dont think there was that much more to Sam's apology
I think it all has to do with the fact that Sam was acknowledging and apologizing for the SERIOUS repercussions to his "mistake." (i.e. that Fiona is pretty much going away for life). the awkward sorry may have been because he may have let Fiona overpower him, instead of he said she tricked him but i think that is all it has to do with.


1) There was def something more to Sam's apology at the end, but when I searched online most people didnt seem to notice it.
2) I'm tired of Anson. I didnt want to wait almost a whole season just to finally see Michael stop working for him (thru a phone call..) in the last minute. I don't even get what Anson is even doing, and he can control Michael just with a couple words. Maybe next season we see Anson is actually a super crazy ninja...


Yes, Michael did ask Jessee to destroy Pierce's laptop after bringing Reed into custody. The one event that has me anxious is the strange apology by Sam to Michael for letting Fiona get away, twice stating that he was sorry. Obviously, there's more to this than we see on the surface. The one scenario that I'll hope against happening is that Sam is really working opposite Michael. They have been too loyal all these years for there to be any trickery going on.


did anyone else think Sam's apology to Micheal after he had left was strange. maybe he let fi go on purpose or he is working for anson.


Wow, spectacular season finale, and I give it a full FIVE. The intensity levels were through the roof. They were also my favourite parts. Anson and Michael near Anson's car while Fi almost shot him. Fiona expressing her rage back at the loft (I was actually quite surprised she managed to channel her anger in yelling only, I'd have expected some throwing of objects). Fi and Michael back at the loft when he found out she was giving up. "There is NO LINE when it comes to you!" My favourite line in this entire episode, and one of my favourites in this season. Handcuffing was obviously one of Michael's more reluctant choices. What I can't get is that he handcuffed her, and then just zipped out to the other mission? Its kind of an LOL factor for me, although it was the most intense scene. Sam could have fought off a 5'3 woman, I really don't know how she managed to over power him, and also cuff him.
Welcome Dean Cain! I remember him from Las Vegas, and I have to say he added a little fun to the first attempt of capturing Reid. Couldn't make much of the other guy, and Rebecca, well, lets just say I didn't see her trick coming. I didn't see a lot of things coming. And it seems as though the bad guys (Reid in this case) in this season keep getting weaker and weaker, but I'm not going to focus on that.
Okay, so I have to say that Anson is quite strong-headed. He just cannot give up, but maybe thats why he is what he is. And whats going to happen to him now? Fiona's turned herself in, so what can Anson even do? And his virus or whatever isn't even going to matter since I'm pretty sure Jesse managed to destroy the computer. I can say that I won't miss him next season, I think we've had quite enough of him. I really think that Michael should have kept Pearce in the loop, because he's going to have a lot of explaining to do to her next season.
I agree with Jim, I really thought Michael was going to catch up to Fiona and save her up till the second the guards surrounded her, but then episode ended. This was the saddest season finale in all, and one of the saddest episodes. I really wanted to cry while he was reading the note. Fiona isn't as determined as Michael, which keeps them balanced most of the time, but this time the scales tipped in Fiona's direction. Oh and the line she said, "Yeah, I don't do charts." It reminds us that Fiona is street-smart, but she hath not the patience to quibble over tiny equations and details.
I hope next season they attempt to break her out, it would be fun. But something tells me there will be long procedures before she actually walks into a jail cell. But of course, we need to wait for over SIX MONTHS to find out.
Can't wait, but I'll have to *sigh*
Oh, and anyone notice that Madeline wasn't there today? I think they should have had her there. Perhaps this season finale should have had two parts like season 1 and 4.
P.S. I think they should change up the theme song a bit, its been the same for 3 seasons. And I hope Michael doesn't get a new hairstyle like in the first few episodes of this season.

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Burn Notice Season 5 Episode 18 Quotes

If Anson doesn't back off then I'm ending this one way or another.


Michael: You lied to me
Anson: I told you what you needed to hear.
Michael: One way or another, this is over, I'll see you in hell.