Burn Notice Review: Working Without A Net

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When we left Michael and his friends on the Burn Notice Season 6 finale, we knew he had made a pact to keep them all safe.

As the name implies, "New Deal" offered our first look at what Michael actually agreed to in order to protect his friends and family. 

In the years I've been watching Burn Notice I've seen Michael slip into many, many, many different personas as he’s gone under cover for various jobs; from a slick mafia type all the way down to playing a lowly errand boy for a mob boss. He’s run the gambit of accents, hair styles, clothes and attitudes. 

But they all seem a bit pale in comparison to the newest persona: drunken-brawler Michael. 

Michael's New Life

The episode opened with a slow-motion scene of Michael washing his hands and then did a slow pan up across his sweaty well-muscled chest, ending on the scruffy beard over a hardened and angled face. If it seems like I've got a man-crush on drunken-brawler Michael, your probably reading it correctly. 

It was clear this persona/cover was different from previous ones for a couple of reasons:

  1. He’s playing Michael Westen, not a made up personality. He has to really become the role of down and out drunk he’s supposed to be.
  2. He’s alone. He traded his friends' freedom for the hell his life has become and that resulted in him not having them as backup. 

Speaking of his friends, what have they been up to for the last nine months? Well... Sam and Elsa are back together. That made me pretty happy; I was upset he almost lost her last year. Jesse apparently went back to work finally and I wonder if he had enough vacation time to cover his adventures or if he got a new job. 

I was mildly surprised that Madeline was trying to become the legal guardian of Charlie, her grandson. But Fiona’s comment about Nate’s widow falling off the wagon and being in rehab cleared that up. 

The real shock came from Fiona. Not only did she find work, she apparently replaced the love of her life in less than a year. Now, before you start posting flaming comments, I know she’s rebelling and trying to prove to herself she doesn't need Michael, blah, blah, blah. 

But come on! This is Fiona Glenanne for Pete’s sake! She’s loved Michael for years; there is no way short of amnesia that she would replace him that quickly! I would have had a better chance of believing she was in love with Harry Potter than Carlos.

Meanwhile, Michael is under the thumb of his new handler, played by the amazing Jack Coleman (Heroes, The Office, Castle... pretty much everything), trying to get close to a man he use to work with, Adrian Pasdar (also a Heroes alum). The choice of Coleman as the “good guy” handler and Pasdar as the “bad guy” seemed a little off at first. I’m going to attribute that to having watched these two in the reverse roles on Heroes for a few seasons. 

In the end, they both worked:  Pasdar’s offer of “the best rehab program ever” was completely believable and Coleman’s insistence that he needed “pre-burned Michael” had me rooting for him not to be another boss trying to kill him. 

Overall, it was a gritty, sweaty, man-crush inducing, enjoyable hour. I’m giving the episode 4.5 shots of whiskey in salute to Michael and company getting started on their seventh and final season.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (139 Votes)

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


Awful - acting, writing, plot. You can keep this season if it is going to be this bad.


will u be doing round tables of the show this season


Season 6, episode 10... disappointing! The "desk jockey" looked like a former nfl star trying to live out retirement on tv. Tyler Grey was way too easy to find. The episode felt like it was written 1/2 ass'd! Brady's sacrifice & the van exploding at the end almost made up for the 45 min of time I'll never get back... C'mon Burn notice!!! Get it together like the magic that was season 5!!!


It sounds like loyal fans are suffering from some Burn Notice fatigue. I know I am. It's a good thing they shook things up a bit after the too-long game of cat and mouse with Riley. I don't buy Pasdar as a terrorist, and if I were Pasdar's character, I wouldn't buy Michael throwing out his convictions and joining the bad guys, at least not based on the evidence at hand. But that's the way it goes. Of course, it may still turn out that Pasdar isn't the bad guy here ... which would make things too complicated. Bah! In any event, sparks are sure to fly when Michael returns to Miami and finds out that his friends are already sitting on Pablo's spy.


★★★☆☆TV Little average for a premiere. Still the anticipation is there considering it's on the last turn.. The Spanish thing was so casual that it got by me too. NICE!! @Tyler completely agree. �


I'm tired of this series but it's the last season and Coleman and pasdar are good. Michael finally knows Spanish!


Since this is the last season i hope they go for a more serial type season instead of episodic.


Great first episode. It was amazing. I'm not suprized that Fiona moved on she has always moved on pretty quickly whether it was to make Mike jealous or not. It's about time Mike learned Spanish its been forever he knows like every other language there is. I can't wait till the next episode it looks really good and it should be because its there 100th episode and those are always amazing.


pablo was an undercover agent...and michael killed him....


@osumarko, OMG! I didn't even catch he had learned spanish, he did it so naturally.

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Burn Notice Season 7 Episode 1 Quotes

Burk: You know Michael I almost didn't come tonight. Pablo made a pretty good case finding an operative like you cooling his heels in the DR sounded almost too good to be true.
Michael: Glad to know I have a fan.

Burk: I'm not just offering you a new job, I'm offering you a new life Michael. In life there is no second chance. Do you understand?
Michael: Yeah, I understand.