Burn Notice Review: The Truth Is A Lie

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Of all the ways I had thought that Simon might return, his arrival in "Tipping Point" as the leader of the extraction team working for Strong never crossed my mind. 

In my version of events, James was working for Simon and that would be the big reveal at the end of the episode: Simon living a life of luxury in Latin America and James bringing Michael to meet him. I've never been so happy to be wrong about a story plot in my whole life.

Actually, there were a lot of surprises that made me really satisfied. As wrong as it sounds, the top of that list was Michael winning the fight against Simon and assuring that Simon wouldn't hurt anyone again.

James' Team

The scariest part of that fight was that something inside of me cheered when Michael slowly sank the knife into his chest. After all the pain and misery that Simon caused Michael, he really needed to die slowly - oh wait, he did. 

Strong has said all season that he will use whatever assets are at hand to get the job done. So it’s no real surprise that he has been using Simon to do his dirty work (off the books). Is every CIA person Michael going meets breaking the rules? Just last year we had Agent Riley and Tom Card... and now Strong this year.

Earlier, I had predicted that it would be Fiona that would be the deciding factor in Michael joining James or not. I forgot to consider the idea that Strong might be another "whatever it takes to complete the mission" handler and that it would be his attitude of not caring about honesty, truth or justice that finally opened Michael’s eyes to the fantasy the CIA has been selling.

Maybe it was being able to see the CIA in the same light as the "bad guy" James, who has been upholding the very values Michael treasures most, that finally opened his eyes. 

So... what happens when you realize that what you've believed in for so long is a lie? 

The rest of us usually go curl up in the fetal position and cry. Okay, maybe that's just me. Not Michael. He did what he always does: the right thing. He saved someone's life. He came clean and saved Sonya. But he didn't just do it to save her, he did it to release himself. He knew that James would kill him for betraying him and he was ready to die. 

I recognized the point of surrender, the point where you’re tired of getting back up after being knocked down so many times, where you just want it all to stop. I think we've all been there at least once in our lives.

Jeffrey Donovan's performance tonight was simply amazing. I had tears in my eyes as I watched Michael finally lift the burden from his shoulders and tell James everything. You could see the sense of relief he had as he stopped fighting and gave in; for better or worse, all the cards were on the table.

Of course, James was as smart as I've come to expect him to be and he recognized the change in Michael and put it together that Michael had truly switched sides by preventing them from walking into an ambush. 

In the end, while Michael’s beliefs were damaged, James has been offering him something to believe in. This leads me to suspect it’s going to be James who helps give Michael the strength that he is going to need to deal with Strong. If only Fiona was on board, there would be no doubts. 

I honestly have no idea how this season and this series is going to end. At this point all I can do is hope that James is the exception to the rule and doesn't turn out to be a heartless bastard in the season finale (I’m looking at you, True Blood).  

In conclusion, I’m giving this episode 5 tears of joy and sadness for Michael. Win or lose, his eyes have finally been opened and that’s going to change the game for the final two episodes. See you in two weeks!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (75 Votes)

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


When Simon called out Michael, I thought it was going to be James who had setup a trap for Michael. Scared the life out of me until i saw Simon. Even then, I still had a feeling Simon might betray Michael and work with James to get his revenge.


I can't believe what Michael is going through. I can't blame him one bit if he is losing all confidence in what he has been fighting for all this time. I have to say that plunging a knife into Simon's chest may have been more rewarding to Michael than seeing Anson dead. What a show this is! I have never been so rivetted to a tv screen before--the excitement is breathtaking. Cudos to the actors, directors, writers, and producers of this outstanding show. Most of all, the look on Michael's face when he killed Simon will forever be etched in my mind as one of the greatest performances by an actor that I have ever seen.


I've got a problem with James, Sonya and the organization. It already has been stablished that they have principles and truly believe in what they are doing (and that they are ruthless, too)... but what do they stand for? What do they want or truly believe in? Because, as much as James and Sonya keep babbling about their loyalty to each other and their precious principles, I can't see an endgame for them here. They're just a bunch of renegade freelance spies in the eternal search for power and money. I find it hard to believe that Michael would buy that load of crap: the CIA seems to believe that the end justifies the means, but James and his merry band are claiming that their means justify their end.


Re-watched the episode - very powerful - Donovan's performance brought tears to my eyes - wow! I still can't believe James was ready to shoot Sonya. I'm glad Michael saved her, but what is that going to mean for him and Fiona?! Hate to see the end of the series, but I can't wait to find out what happens. Burn Notice Fan Forever!!


I just can't believe there aren't 5 or 10 more episodes to go; there are only 2. With a story-line like this, the fact that Burn Notice is ending is equally as shocking as this last episode was.


The big question now is: What will happen to Sam, Fiona, Madeline & Jesse now that Michael's "gone native". Will Strong have them re-incarcerated because Michael turned on him?


Great episode. I was really surprised to see Simon I think Simon deserved to die but I didn't like the way Michael did it it seemed like after that he lost himself he's to far gone now even if Simon deserved it that's not the kind of guy Michael is anymore. I can't wait till the next episode it looks really good. I can't believe there's only 2 episodes left then the shows over I have know idea how it's going to end.


I did not expect to see Simon back at all. I was thinking of someone else, but when Simon shot that guy for no reason, that is when Michael had enough. Throughout all the seasons, he does not try to kill anyone except if they deserve it. It may be morbid, but I was cheering when he stabbed Simon. That man was a true sociopath
Fiona helping Maddie was very touching. She loves her and Charlie. It was funny when Maddie was talking on the phone with her using code. Maddie has come a long way from the beginning and she will do anything to protect her grandson.
I can't believe the season finale is here. I am hoping that the whole team rides of in the sunset. I think Michal though is going deeper with James, playing along with him I can not see him turning his back on everyone. This was one of the best episodes.


Is every CIA person Michael going meets breaking the rule? The CIA is all about breaking the rules, they are the biggest criminals in our government. The one question I have always had about Michael is why would he want to be back involved with these jokers.


That was the turning point. What will Michael do now? I can't imagine how it all will end. I hope everybody has a happy ending. I hate to see the show end.

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Burn Notice Season 7 Episode 11 Quotes

Michael: Simon? What the hell are you doing here?
Simon: Relax Michael, we're on the same side. You were waiting for Alpha Team. I'm Alpha Team.

Sonya: We're going to Latin America, and that is all that you get. There you've taken blood from a stone, happy?
Michael: Happier.