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 think Michael made the decision to shot Fiona, but he did not know that he had a "fake" (tracking device) bullet in his gun. So next week, Fiona will be in shock that Michael did "try to shot her", Sonya will see that he was keeping his words. And in the end I do not think that Michael will survive.


One of my very favorite shows and I hate the thought of it ending. I'd love to see a book of Michael's quotes & hints for being a spy. Every week he gives little insights into how to handle situations - there must have been hundreds of them over the years. I'd buy a copy for sure. I hope the show ends well - Michael and the team all deserve to walk away free and clear.


This episode required an inordinate amount of the "willing suspension of disbelief". After Mike learns that Jesse and Sam followed him to the marina, he couldn't figure out there was a tracker on him? Mike couldn't take 30 seconds, after the fight, to tell Sam that James was willing to sacrifice himself so Mike could complete his mission and save them all and to just leave it alone? Since we've known a at least a few weeks that someone is going to die, it now looks like tat will be the result of the well intentioned but clumsy attempts of Sam, Fi, Jesse and Maddie. And it has to be Mike who dies, since he couldn't live with the death of one of his close friends or family. And is Sam that bad a liar? Sure Mike is intuitive and sharp but have you ever seen Sam be so transparent? You can argue it away because of the stakes but it's thin.


Not a fan of James here. He is not a good guy - this is the man who executed his entire unit, left his best friend locked up in a drugged out stupor for 15 years, and asked Michael to kill a friend. He is no better than the CIA. As for Fi, I haven't liked the storyline either - she was willing to die with him in Season 4, go to prison for him in Season 5, now she has an issue with Michael's attempts to save them all? And she moved on that quickly? I think they made her unlikeable on purpose, so we, the audience, woukd feel the same pull and conflict from Sonya as Michael does. Sonya is not perfect for Michael, she is way too ready to kill innocent people to get her way. Fi always wanted to hurt the bad guys, she always was careful not to cause collateral damage to innocents, Sonya shows no such restraint. Does anyone ekse find the addition of Charlie wierd? I am thinking he maight be the one to die next week, the major tragedy the cast has referred to in interviews. I hope not,but I ddon't see much reason for him to be here, he hasn't added to the plot, but he would provide the perfect catalyst to get Michael's head back on straight, while giving the viewers a dramatic ending without sacrificing any of the main characters.... just a thought, hope I'm wrong though. This season has been great, action packed and suspenseful, but overall just too dark for me. We have been watching Mike & the team be resourceful, be on the winning side for years, always managing to find a solution without compromising their values or the mission. To see them fail so badly is a major downer and not believable after 6 years of awesomeness. Oh well.


I really think its wrong to assume Michael shot Sonya; it would be incredibly unrealistic since Michael froze up in the last scene. He was speaking incoherently, had no clue what to do, there is no way he could've realistically pulled a gun out of nowhere. It was probably Sam or Jesse with a sniper rifle, but I honestly hope Sonya shot Fi (as opposed to Sonya getting shot) because Sonya is so gorgeous; she makes the perfect match for Mike. If Mike doesn't end up controlling that organization with Sonya, then it's going to really suck. James' organization is just a larger version of what Mike was doing in the beginning (helping people). But if Sam killed Sonya, Mike would have to choose between James and his friends, so unfortunately, I'm guessing that's what happened. Ugh, I can't shake this feeling that the end is going to suck.


Great episode this has been a great season, I actually want James to win he charmed me as well as Michael. I love Fiona but I wouldn't be that upset if she dies and Michael continues as the new co-leader of James organisation that would be a great and unexpected ending. We know that one of the main characters is going to die in the next episode so it could just be Fiona, cannot wait for the finale to find out.


You know its going to be a good ending when there are Cliffhangers I can not believe Fino burnt Michael House down what a horrible girlfirend I mean really


I can already tell I'm going to hate the way this series ends. To be honest, I'm a huge fan of James. The CIA is a dirty organization and has shown that loyalty means nothing to them James is ridding the world of really bad people. This would have been a great move and perhaps, a series spin off with Michael and Sonya carrying the torch. The CIA assassinates people, topples leaders, only it is "sanctioned" by the Government. That doesn't make it RIGHT! So, anything that doesn't go along with what James and Mike have planned will not be the end I would have wanted.


Terrible pacing this season. Cliffhangers are terrible.


Was anyone else holding their breath while Mike and Sam were under water? I'd originally thought that the fight between Mike and Simon was the fight of the century, but Sam battling Mike had me freaking out.

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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.