Burn Notice Review: Loyalties Questioned

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With nothing to lose anymore, Michael’s frank and honest answers to James didn't surprise me as much as James’ total trust in Michael to lie to the CIA on Burn Notice this week.

Then again, Michael’s lied to the CIA before, always when he thought it was the right thing to do, so I really shouldn't have been that surprised by his willingness to do it for James in "Sea Change."

In Over His Head

Of course, my new man-crush James didn’t disappoint: he came to the logical conclusion that sacrificing himself would keep the organization, Michael, and Michael’s friends all safe. A fair trade, really, James going to jail while his work continues... stronger than ever.

It was all a good plan except for Michael’s conscious, which just happens to be located in Fiona Glenanne’s heart. Like Jiminy Cricket, Fiona has been there to help as Michael’s compass for right and wrong. Okay, so Sam contributes, but Fiona is attached directly to his heart. 

That’s not to say that Sam and the gang didn't fumble a little on the plan to "rescue" Michael. Sam, of all people, should have known that Michael would see through a lie and been ready with a Plan B when he did. Getting into a knock-down brawl on the bridge and ending up in the Atlantic didn't seem like it was well thought out. 

Actually, when Michael and Sam began having their fight, I wondered why they didn't send Fiona to talk to Michael (and/or pick him up). She could have gotten close enough to drug him if needed, but as we saw on the rooftop, she didn't need to. If Fiona wants to remind Michael of what is right and wrong, all she has to do is put herself in harm's way, by confronting Sonya, for example.

In fact, the only thing that Sonya could have done to make Michael change his mind about taking over the organization from James was threaten to harm Fiona. There is no way Michael would let Fiona get hurt in the process of finishing the mission. I was surprised that Sonya couldn't see that. 

On the other hand, I wasn't expecting Fiona to burn down Madeline’s house as a distraction to get her and Charlie away from James’ men either.

Actually, add Madeline to that surprising list too; she actually agreed to let Fiona burn down her house that she’s lived in for 45 years. All three of them shocked me this week.  

In the end, I’m betting Michael will have shot Sonya and saved Fiona, but we will have to wait till next week’s final episode to see if I’m right, and if so, how James will take it. 

With only one more week of Burn Notice I find myself looking back at the years I've been reviewing the show and marveling at how far the show has come. In my very first review I mentioned that USA had taken a gamble on the series renewing it for seasons 4, 5 and 6 at the same time, but I expected it to pay off. I’m happy I was right!

Overall, even with a cliffhanger ending, it was a great episode and I’m giving it 4.9 Mojitos for Sam, who will need them to soak his broken pride and busted nose back to health. 

As we go into the final week, what are some of your fondest memories of Burn Notice? Any predictions you made on how the show would go that came true (or didn't)?


Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

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


I t might seem a little late to comment on this eppy but I remembered some of you being critical of how some things were handled in this eppy which of course affected what happened in the finale. First of all we know there was no way mike was going to let Sonya kill Fi no way! I absolutely think Mike should have told Fi and the others about james letting Mike turn him in he could even not told them he was gong to stay with James organization if that was what he was really planning to do I had some doubts. The way Sam and the others tried to "rescue" Mike was handled very clumsily IMO. So the way things were mishandled in this eppy led up to again JMO an unsatisfying finale.


No way that James is just handing the organization over to Michael and turn himself in. Seems too good to be true and you would think super spy Michael westen should see right through it. His only way to not get killed by James was agreeing to get out of there and go talk to the CIA to buy more time. He knows what he's gonna do but nobody else does he's playing both sides of the fence to take James out who I think is coming after mike in the last episode. It'll be a fight to the end we'll see who does.


After watching this episode I have to say I am disappointed in the writers. The reasoning of Micheal's team makes zero sense and their screwing things up isn't making sense either. Sam and Mike's confrontation on the bridge is a perfect example. Mike brings up how the CIA hired Simon to which Sam replies "Well at least the CIA has to answer to somebody".. Really Sam?! In the past 7 years of working with Mike have you ever seen the CIA be answerable to ANYBODY? I mean they were perfectly willing to let all of you rot in a dank, dark hole for the rest of your lives just to get Mike to do what they want. Then earlier in the same conversation when Mike brings up how after he is in charge he can focus on the things that he think matters Sam brings up the fact about what if someone gets in the way, then what. Hello, again isn't that the exact thing you and the rest of Mike's crew have been doing for the past 7 years? I mean you guys have been shooting and blowing up Miami, having gang leader's kill their own or people who get in your way and suddenly you think after 7 years that it is a bad idea? Where was that thinking in all of the past seasons? The logic just does not work. The problem is the ONLY difference between the "organization" and what the Scooby Gang has been doing for 7 years is scope, and that is why the logic doesn't work. Again really disappointed as they have essentially turned Mike into the only person staying true to character and values, and now his whole team are essentially nothing more than hypocrites. "Oh it's all ok as long as we are just doing it in Miami and it is just us, but give us real backing and it's no fun anymore and wrong". Honestly Sam, Fi and Jesse just sounded like whiners throwing a fit because they aren't getting to play.


Imagine the Ultimate Possibility....
Solve this equation (Yeah I know it's not really great math but who cares)
X + Burn + Sam + Fiona + Jessie + Mom = Jack Bauer + Burn + (Michael Weston + (Sonya - James) +Sam +Fiona +Jessie +Mom X = Jack Bauer + (Michael Weston + (Sonya - James) +Sam +Fiona +Jessie +Mom -Burn -Sam -Fiona -Jessie -Mom X = Jack Bauer + (Michael Weston + (Sonya - James)
X = 24 hour Notice Could you imagine the possibility of Michael and Sonya (who's in a class way above Fiona) teaming up or coming across Jack Bauer? Holy Crap that would be AWESOME! Two of the greatest agents in the history of TV getting rid of bad guys without all of the RED TAPE and pinheaded bosses!


JustSpeakingOpinion: It seems they only had 13 episodes to work with, and since they had to fit everything into this episode, there were some problems (such as Fi planting that tracker and Jesse immediately concluding that Mike turned). This entire storyline could have easily been over 20 episodes long. Anyway, whether or not anyone agrees with James, fact is: doesnt everyone want to see Mike leading the organization? And Sonya is more than just beautiful; the way she carries herself, how she speaks with this real sincerity, the fact that she is more hardcore than Fiona (like on the roof when Fi says, "dealt with?" and the look on Sonya's face when she replies, "yes, dealt with"); who doesnt want to see them end up together?


I agree with JoeZ's comment earlier. Why the heck couldn't Michael just tell Sam and Fi that James is giving himself up so Michael and everyone he cares about won't have to go to prison for the rest of their lives. Also...what the heck did Fi, Sam, and Jesse expect to happen after they run off with Michael? They'd be hunted not only by the CIA but also the Organization for the rest of their lives. I don't understand why they can't see that. James is giving a near perfect way for Michael's friends and family a way out, and it seems like they're just trying to screw it up. Seriously, what the heck?


It seems to me that Michael has lost touch with his friends and family. He is clearing not thinking straight anymore and he is showing signs of confusion and weakening almost to the point of breaking. We certainly can't blame Michael considering all he has been through and how hard he has been trying to get his job done. Then, to add to his dilemma, he hears the CIA chief tell him that, if he doesn't complete his mission in 48 hours, Michael will be thrown into the biggest hole they can find. Well, that doesn't sound like the CIA is too intelligent to me! or appreciative for that matter.


One of the stupidest episodes ever....
Just idiotic
very disappointing


This episode was intense. It is everyone just saying goodbye. The house had lot of action from the show. Setting it on fire was an ending for her. Maddie has come a long way from the beginning where she was constantly visiting doctors thinking she had some disease and chain smoking. How she and Michael slowly developed a relationship and he let down his guard to let his mother into his world.
We all know that Fiona did not die. I think that when Sonja shot her, it was with the fake bullet and Fi will live. Michael and Fiona's relationship had its ups and downs. She always tried to move on when they broke up, but there is something that brings them back together. They will always be together.
I think that Michael will not be part of the team. I see the whole team going their separate ways doing their own thing. I think Michael and Fiona will be together and help Maddie raise Charlie.
I am sad that this show is ending. But I feel that it is time. The last two seasons have been dark but it is to bring everything together for a nice wrap up. At least it will not be like in LOST, where they all ended up in purgatory, a disappointing ending.


Michael choosing whether to stay or go is a no brainer. They have a saying in the intelligence community when the lines start to blur and you don't know what side your on. Its time to GET OUT. Michael believes that there is just A and B there is a C. Michael has forgotten that Fiona chose him all those years ago, left her family, her country and her organization for him. He can do the same if he so chose.

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Burn Notice Season 7 Episode 12 Quotes

James: What we do here together, what we stand for. Do you believe in it? And don't give me the answer you think I want. What I want is the truth.
Michael: I have always agreed with your methods, but the jobs I've helped you with, the ones no one else was willing to do, they needed t be done. We protect what is important. You made me part of something that is bigger than you, bigger than me. You made me believe there is something worth fighting for, something to believe in.

Sonya: I wanted you to tell me something. Was any of it real, between us?
Michael: I had a job to do Sonya. To get close to you and close to the people you work with.
Sonya: You didn't answer the question.
Michael: I was under cover for us long I lost track of who I was. Part of me, the part that believe in what we were doing, that part cared for you.