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Burn Notice Review: Soul-Crushing Decisions

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When Michael agreed to work for Agent Andrew Strong in exchange for his mother and friends' freedom, he never could have imagined the cost. He's been forced to become the agent that he strived to never be. With each undercover mission, he's lost a bit of his soul.

Prior to being burned, Michael was a unique agent who tried to get his job done with a minimal loss of life. Ever since he's been deep undercover, he's been surrounded by death. And in "Things Unseen," Michael was forced to kill a friend. And then saw another man executed due to his interference.

Time To Choose

In the aftermath of "Bitter Pill," Michael left his friends behind to go off alone to deal with James killing Snyder in front of them. Michael kept quiet in order to maintain his cover and protect his pals. Fiona called him out for not stopping the execution, but Michael really didn't have a choice. James was going to kill Snyder regardless of what Michael did or didn't say. And now Michael and Fiona both have more deaths on their hands.

Given what Michael now knows, would he have refused Strong's offer to protect his friends and family? I'm not sure. While he tried to keep them out of his uncover life, he went back to what he knew and pulled them in. There's no going back now that both Andrew and James have them to use as leverage.

That meant that Michael felt he had no way out of killing Steele. Once Strong endorsed the execution, Michael was left without options. Was he wrong to kill Steele? That's such a tough call and it was difficult to watch Michael struggle with the decision. Steele wasn't an innocent, instead he chose his dangerous profession. With all the security at his home and when he traveled, Steele knew that he was a target. In the end, it was a friend that betrayed him.

Michael's day got worse when Fiona called him to help her save Carlos. Since James was introduced, there were times that he appeared to be on the right side. He's been taking out "bad" guys. While it could be argued that he's continued to do that even when saving Carlos, he clearly has no regard for life. Is it wrong for a bad guy to kill other bad guys? Where is the line?

When Michael called for assistance, he probably didn't expect that eight people would die to save Carlos, but that's what happened. The man after Carlos was executed by his lieutenant and the Colombia drug supplier was forced to make the call due to an attack on his compound which lead to seven deaths. A tragedy.

Michael was running away after Snyder's death... how will he handle these additional deaths? How far is he willing to go to maintain his cover and fulfill his deal with Strong? He has to be close to a breaking point. At this point, his only salvation would be for Fiona to stand by him and help him accept what's happened and move on. Though, I'm not sure she'll be able to come to terms with the end of her relationship with Carlos.

Regardless of her feelings for Michael, Fiona does love Carlos. She called Michael for him and couldn't have predicted the massive cost of saving him. At the same time, it made sense for Carlos to walk away from her. She's integrated into Michael's life and isn't able to give herself fully to Carlos even if she wants to be with him.

I never expected to be sad to see Fiona and Carlos break up, but it was a heartbreaking moment. Fiona tried to do the right thing and it ended up breaking her heart. In the long run, it will be for the best, though. Fiona and Michael belong to together. And, after all Michael has lost, they should find happiness together to live out their days away from the CIA.

There's only three more episodes to make that happen. Is it possible? I certainly hope so.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (48 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Jimg

I have to agree with Tiffany. While Steele was *a* friend, he was not a "good" friend. As Strong mentioned, Steele sold secrets stolen from all sides, he could have (and would have) sold out Michael pretty quickly if the money was right. That being said, this did force him to walk in Tyler Gray's shoes a bit. Not that it helps, but maybe Michael will realize he want's out of the spy game all together. maybe..

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I have watched from the beginning and while there was death there was always moments of levity. And Michael never looked someone he himself called a friend and shot them in the heart. He always had a code. Now there is no code. I watched from the beginning so I will see it through but I'm disappointed.

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WTH are you guys talking about "a good friend"? Steele was not "a good friend" and to say Jesse or Sam next is flat out laughable. He wasn't a Larry or a Simon but he wasn't even a Barry! Or a Sugar! I agree that he had to go darker this season, but when faced with the lives of everyone you love being destroyed, one might be surprised by what you have had to do. The only difference is in seasons past when the bad guys died (and they DID. A LOT), it was done after the screen cut and you didn't have to see it. Many of the times Michael and crew set it up so an enemy would take them out but they ended up dead nonetheless. If you thought the show never had darkness or death (um, hello CIA) then you haven't been watching.

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I don't understand the show has always been dark its about the CIA for crying out loud and why should Michael kill himself for killing a man who was about to kill him.

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Glad to see I'm not the only one disappointed in how dark this show has become. I don't even like Michael anymore. IMO he deserves to die for the things he has done or should off himself...it's one thing to kill an enemy but to look at a man who offered you 20k and shoot him in the heart is so cold. He shot him just the same way Nate was killed. He's no better than Tyler Gray or Card.

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I can not believe Michael killed his friend. I want to believe he staged something and had him hide for a while...this show is on self-destruct and your long time fans resent you greatly for this. In the end the writers are going to have to kill Michael to redeem him in the eyes of his fan because now he is nothing but a cold blooded killer. I was hoping for more depth to James and more conflict in Michael regarding his relationship with him, but that can not happen now that he has killed a friend, a good friend. What is next him killing Sam or Jesse?

Chris1215tine

Agree with Allie701 and fortyseven - the show has become way too dark.

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This show has become a death machine with little of the clever con games the team used to employ to help their friends and or clients. I should think Michael & Co. would all be glad to be out of the spy business when the season ends. I know I will be.

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@AgentVee
Yes they have many times

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@Michael: USA never spoiled anything about any special guests on Burn Notice. If they were any spoilers, they were on sites not owned by USA. @fortyseven: I agree with you. This show ran out of new ideas (and locations) a long time ago.

Burn Notice Season 7 Episode 10 Quotes

This is what it takes.

Strong

I'm here and I'm sorry.

Michael
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