Burn Notice Season Finale Review: Never Saw This Coming

at . Comments

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
  • 5.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (177 Votes)

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


Thanks for your comment RealDiehl. I just watched the episode again on Xfinity. About 4 minutes into the show Anson was screaming at Michael and said "the love of your life is lonely and abandoned in Ireland, wondering if you're dead or alive" I think this is going to be used in future episodes.


@DANNY: I think Anson was talking about the past in reference to Fiona.


Did anyone notice when Anson said to Michael something like .. your first love or the love of your life is in Ireland? No one has mentioned that, but I thought it might be indicative of another woman in Michaels life. Any thoughts?


I get the feeling Sam and Mike are going to have a minor falling out next season. If you ask me, Sam let Fiona "escape" and turn herself in. Once Mike finds out, he's going to be a little bit peeved. Sam just might do something reckless to get Fi out of jail if he feels guilty enough. However, that's all speculation. Unlike some folks, I'm looking forward to next season with as much excitement as ever. I've not seen a decline in the writing or acting. IMO this series has continued to produce one great ep. after another. It's just that once you raise the bar to a certain height it becomes more and more difficult to surpass previous efforts. Thanks for another great season of witty and insightful Burn Notice reviews!


Was hoping this last episode would redeem the season. Wanted Anson dead from the start. I am tired of the over-arching evil that plays with Michael's life. Get a new plot already. Also will miss the interaction between Fiona and Michael, may have been the only thing keeping me watching this entire last series.


The worst part for me was how Mike and co. had info, but decide to threaten Anson instead of bringing in the CIA. Then Mike's threat gets defused and Anson isn't killed because he convinces Mike that he was the one that gave him his life in Miami. The episode was downhill from there. Sam and Fi seem equally mindless because they never check the freight for a sabotage device before they decide to move it. Of course once they found the stuff they could have simply brought the feds to them with some time of anonymous emergency call. So many things they all could have done if they weren't suffering from brain drain... Mike telling Anson I'll see you in Hell was hilarious because that was Frank Westin's line to Mike. Time for Anson to go.


@ GA Viewer "Also - Anson is the least entertaining villain ever." Absolutely agree. Is as if Nix still had Dan StarkThe Good Guys running around in his head. When he wrote up this villain. A great injustice as he was hard to watch. As for last night . Fi - " Yeah, I don't do charts." Best line in awhile. The warehouse was ill conceived to me. As they were both warn and still went with removing the merchandise. I believe I'm not alone, in knowing an explosion was coming. Anson forcing Michael to do the right thing was a breath of fresh air. Saving Jesse's life kinda brought back our old burn spy. Direct and full of uncompromising will and know how. Fiona turning herself in was great(for next season). Although (it seemed ?) Anson had already beat her to it. As he will be better off with a distracted Michael Weston. This show had it's flaws this season, but still some great entertainment. B-


This is a two star at best - poorly acted and ill-conceived resolution of problem. Michael,the consummate tough guy, comes across as weak and indecisive - almost paralyzed by the influence of Anson. Also - Anson is the least entertaining villain ever - that whole story line was silly and unbelievable.I feel like I was duped into all those months of watching to get the real answers to the puzzle, only to learn it was a silly, comic-book character.


fortyseven, thanks -- I went back and rewatched the episode and saw the comment.. it only effects my review slightly as we don't know if Jesse was successful or if destroying the laptop worked.


I'll refrain from commenting on the Anson / Michael dynamic since everyone's been doing that already, but I'll make 2 points that others haven't commented on: 1. There was a time gap between when Anson gave Michael the SIM card/chip and when Michael uploaded it; for all we know, he could have altered (off screen, hence a new twist) it to expose Anson instead of burning Pearce. However, perhaps that's unlikely since he did order the team to destroy the laptop--unless he's got something else up his sleeve. This could go either way. 2. Dean Cain's car wreck? Come on....yes, it's good that he survived, but with nary a cut, scratch or bruise on him? A seatbelt or airbag wouldn't leave a driver unblemished with that kind of impact and even if he jettisoned from the car of his own free will, chances are his landing would have injured him.

Tags: ,

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.