The final mission is now complete and Burn Notice is no more.
The beloved USA Network hit went off the air on September 12th with "Reckoning," an emotional farewell to Michael, Fiona and, especially, to Madeline.
But let's bring these characters back for one final Round Table, as panelists Jim Garner, Christine Orlando, Carla Day, Steven (from Burn Notice Fanatic) and Michelle Carlbert gather around to discuss and debate a moving series finale...
What was you favorite scene from the finale?
Jim: Hands down, Michael and Madeline's conversation on the phone. When she said she was proud of him, I was lost in tears. First, for Michael who has always wanted to make her proud, and then for myself, wondering if my mom would be proud of me in the few years since she passed.
Christine: The phone call was amazing and had me in tears but I'm going to go with the scene before that when Michael visits Madeline. When she started talking about Charlie's upcoming birthday and how he wanted Uncle Mike there, it was just heartbreaking. It's as though she was begging Michael not to say goodbye. To come back. Little did she know she'd be the one making the ultimate sacrifice for her boys.
Steven: I'll go with the evasive jump into the water by Mike and Fi at the end. It was a very close call and given that the funeral was shown first before they jumped, I almost couldn't believe they were gone. They successfully pulled a "Larry Sizemore."
Michelle: I'd have to go with the finale scene. Michael and Fi together with Charlie, lying on the couch was already perfect, but when they added in that final line - when she told him to tell his story by starting with the beginning - and she said that phrase we've all come to know and love from the opening credits, I lost it.
Carla: When I imagined the end of the series, I pictured Michael and Fi sitting at home taking care of Charlie. The final scene exceeded my expectations. I loved the last line. The perfect ending to the series. Michael's last two interactions with his mother were both highlights as well as heartbreaking.
How would you grade Burn Notice Season 7 and why?
Jim: A-. While it was a very powerful and well-paced season, I would have liked to have gotten the last 9 episodes for a full season of 22. This would have given the show a chance to revisit more old enemies and friends; i.e. an episode with Vaughn or Carla (Tricia Helfer) flashbacks would have been cool.
Christine: A-. Only because Michael spent so much time on his own, away from the core group. I would have loved more interaction between he and Fiona, Madeline, Sam, and Jesse.
Steven: A-. I'm with Christine, every season before this one allowed for more interaction between the gang. The action certainly improved in this season, but the group interaction would've made it even better.
Michelle: A. From the beginning of this season, I was excited to see how they took the show into a place it had never gone before. Yes, it did take some getting used to, but in the end I was extremely happy with the overall feel. I thought it was completely appropriate to go into a heavily serialized story with such dark overtones as a way to send it off. If they had tried to do something like that in an earlier season, I probably wouldn't have liked it.
Carla: A. While I did miss seeing the gang all together, this was always about Michael's journey. He went from a loner spy, to a burned spy, to someone who grew to appreciate and love his family by blood and through friendship. He decided to sacrifice his happiness in order to protect them. He went dark, but in the end he chose love and family.
Where you happy with how the story ended?
Jim: Most poetic ending ever; the last line spoken was the first line of every episode since the pilot. Overall, yes, I was very happy with how it ended, no cliff-hanger wondering if they survived, no "maybe" or "possibly." Just the two of them and Charlie happy.
Christine: You know, in the moments I thought Michael and Fiona might be dead I was almost OK with it. At least they were together...but what they did was so much better. How can you go wrong with a happy ending after so much torturous angst. And ending with Fiona telling Michael to tell Charlie, "I'm Michael Weston and I used to be a spy" was absolutely perfect.
Steven: I was really hoping for a happy ending, for everyone. All but Madeline were able to triumph. The story was written successfully, but I think it could have been a happy ending for all if Michael hadn't killed Simon out of anger.
Michelle: Yes! I truly don't think I could have come up with a better ending than what they did. It was a bit predictable, but I don't see that as a bad thing when you're wrapping up seven seasons of a TV show and looking to end the story in such a way that gives fans the closure they want.
Carla: Yes. As I mentioned above, it ended just as I imagined. Madeline's sacrifice was devastating, but it felt realistic and authentic to their lives. Michael existed in a dangerous world and the price was his mother's life. It was sad to see her die, but when it came down to it she was a loving mother and grandmother. Her sacrifice was noble.
Where there any recurring characters you had hoped to see again this season?
Jim: I saw Barry in the funeral scene, but I can't remember if we saw Sugar this season. I was hoping we would see Beatriz (Ilza Rosario) from Sam's past. Speaking of Sam, why didn't we see Elsa again?
Christine: Plenty. But the one I was hoping to see return the most was Agent Pearce because she had some nice chemistry with Jesse and the poor guy deserves a little love.
Steven: Whatever happened to Lucy (from Season 1)? I think it would've been great to see some characters from the first two seasons appear somewhere in Season 7, maybe even a client or two that Michael helped.
Michelle: You know, I honestly can't think of any. I was pretty happy with everyone that they brought back for season 7 and there's no one that jumps to mind that I thought to myself "oh darn, how come they didn't come back for one more episode?".
Carla: None in particular. There were some great ones this season and it wasn't overdone. Too many more and it would have felt forced.
Would you like to see a Sam/Jesse spinoff?
Jim: Very much so! They would need to introduce a couple of new characters to round out the team, maybe a hacker or a grifter (or both) and would need a female character in there someplace. But I think it could work very nicely. Maybe they could bring back Agent Pearce, would be good hook to CIA and a love interest as Christine mentioned above.
Christine: Definitely. I'd love to get to know both characters better. Plus there's the added bonus that at some point Michael, Fiona, and Charlie could drop in for a visit.
Steven: Of course! But Jim's right, there certainly needs to be more characters to spread out the action. What would the name be??
Michelle: Absolutely, if it were done right. Granted, I'm not positive I know what "right" is at this moment, but I do know that if I saw them in a series together, but the writing was off or something about it didn't work, I definitely wouldn't watch. But I also think that those two have enough chemistry together that they could probably pull off just about anything.
Carla: Absolutely, but it would be a much different show. I would love to see them partner up to help people in a similar, but more buddy partner kind of way from what they did in Burn Notice. A dramedy!
Which season would you consider your favorite and why?
Jim: I'm partial to Season 4 as that is when Jesse was added to the show and right from the beginning he was a great addition to the team. It was the point where Michael went from student to master about being burned. He helped Jesse in a lot of way that he didn't have. Of course he also was the one who burned Jesse, so that got awkward at the end of the season, as you would expect.
Christine: I've got to go with Season 4 as well. The whole gang was working together. Nate made an appearance. Crazy Larry had his turn and Michael and Fiona ended the season on a high note.
Steven: Late Season 4 and early Season 5 for me. Jesse was a great addition to the team, plus at the time it was nice seeing Mike back in the CIA on the hunt for who burned him, even though he probably should have
let it go.
Michelle: I know I sound like a broken record here, but I'm going to have to go with the final season. For me, there were more favorite episodes in the seventh season, than there were in any other season.
Carla: I enjoyed all of the seasons, but I would say my favorite was this final season. Knowing that it was the last season allowed for a nice season long arc. It was difficult to watch Michael and his friends go through the turmoil of the season, but it also provided many unexpected and shocking moments.
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