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Published on December 20th, 2012 | by Ernie Estrella


Burn Notice Season 6 Finale Lead In: Reflections and Expectations

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burn notice s6 finale lead in

The Burn Notice Season 6 Finale has arrived. Tonight we’ll find out what happens to Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), Jesse (Coby Bell) and Madeline (Sharon Gless). But first, let’s take a look back at the season and reflect what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and our expectations on tonight’s two-hour finale, “You Can Run….”

EDITOR’S PICK: Burn Notice Finale Review – The damage is done

What’s worked

• Burn Notice broke out of its safety zone this season by taking Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) away and for a few episodes we got to see Fi in solo action. She still used her wits, creating makeshift weapons, charming the guards and fellow inmates but she didn’t quite have the backup, the car, nor the right pumps to match those orange jumpers.

• The hunt for Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns) took on a more serious tone, with less jokes from Sam and Jesse. You felt like Michael was near the end because he was risking everyone, and knew Fi was in jail for him. To this point, Anson was intellectually superior to Michael and always two steps ahead. Michael was noticeably pissed and wasn’t afraid to throw Jesse or Sam under the bus to save Fiona.

• I enjoyed seeing the animosity towards Michael simmering on the surface of the group. Fiona repeatedly reminds Michael that he’s putting his friends and family at risk for whatever it is he’s searching for. That maybe he should be doing this on his own. Madeline is confused by his relentless pursuit as well and will never forgive Michael for putting his younger brother Nate (Seth Peterson) in harm’s way.

burn notice s6 finale lead in trapped by michael

What did not work

• Great guest stars like Zabryna Guevara (Ayn), Kenny Johnson (Tyler Gray) and Chad Coleman (Brady) have been overshadowed by bad appearances by John C. McGinley (Tom Card), Sonja Sohn (Agent Riley) and Patton Oswalt (Colin Schmidt).

• Nate’s failed marriage – did anyone not see that coming? I was hoping with Fiona locked up that there would be more trio missions or two and ones. But Nate’s sudden return in “Mixed Messages” got the show back into its formula of two and two.

• Agent Pearce (Lauren Stamile) was reassigned to Mumbai after circumventing CIA procedures ant that seemed to be the writing on the wall that things were going to go south fast for Michael. Pearce understood Michael’s plight but knew she had to play by the rules at her end. She offered a different female voice to the group, one with some sense and emotion but wasn’t a loose cannon or an enabler to Michael’s causes. Taking her away was logical for where the story wound up but she was also one of the best things about Season 6 since she was one of the few voices of reason that was able to identify with losing a loved one to her work.

burn notice sonja sohn s6 finale lead in

• Card assassinating Anson threw the season into a tailspin. Not only was Nate collateral damage, but I don’t think I was alone in looking for a big confrontation between Michael and Anson. We never found out Anson’s motivation or if someone was above him pulling the strings. We can certainly assume that, but it’s anticlimactic when the entire show is about finding out who burned Michael and instead it’s become about getting vengeance for Nate. As for Anson, he’s since become an afterthought.

• Killing Card may have been a result of all of the pressure around Michael, but mostly it was revenge and we’re starting to see a glimpse of the Michael Westen that’s hinted at. His lack of judgement was out of character (even Sam knew it was wrong) as he only put himself and his support in more danger, which was hard to imagine. It’s another one of his poor decisions, leading to a trend where he doesn’t do enough or does too much. Either way it’s never the right course of action in the right situation.

• The danger he’s put himself in is silly. The CIA is going after Michael and his gang without checking into Michael’s story. There’s no one thinking that maybe Michael is speaking the truth, it’s all just been one manhunt. With Michael and his gang burning nearly every bridge and friend they have left, they turn to a smuggler Colin Schmidt who is anything but helpful. Remind me again why Michael wants back in?

burn notice s6 finale lead in pearce


In short, after a nice game-changing first half, Burn Notice is limping along towards its Season 6 finale, with everyone getting new identities, including Madeline, as they continue to be on the run. Leading us to wonder what comes next? You probably saw scenes for the two-hour finale at the end of last week’s penultimate episode and there’s a sinking feeling I get from watching it.

• The entire season seems to be building a case against Michael and his pursuit to clear his name. All of his friends and family has had to make hard sacrifices, some with their life and it hasn’t slowed Michael down. He’s done the one thing he never wanted to do and that’s rope his mother into it. But there’s also been a few too many winks and looks at Sam this season as if they’re trying to tell us that his time is up. Could the finale really take him away?

• The promos lack a presence of Sam and that’s really disconcerting. One might think that Nate isn’t the only one to bite the dust. He is seen with his eyes closed lying horizontal, oh and another shot of him screaming–that ain’t good. Sam doesn’t leave anyone but a few disappointed sugar mamas behind, it’s sad when you consider he’s tried to achieve happiness for himself but Michael keeps dragging him into his business.

• Fiona’s voice over previews it too, referring specifically to Agent Riley, “She’s gone from capturing us to killing us.” And Michael later says while wearing a dark suit, “I promised Sam to make this right.” At the very least, Sam is injured badly, maybe a coma. If Sam is injured badly he’d need medical attention and would be arrested if he recovers.

• If Sam serves as a sacrificial lamb that would take away Michael’s most loyal friend, a connection to his covert operative buddies, and take away a great deal of the charm away from the cast. The chemistry of the group would change severely and taking one of the fan favorite characters out would be a ballsy move. Those promos can be so misleading though so I don’t want to be a sucker and get hooked into thinking a tragedy like that is certain.

• The one thing that could really make Michael go over the edge is if either Sam, Fiona, or Madeline gets killed. No offense to Jesse but Michael has long history with everyone else. So if Riley takes Sam or someone else out, then I’d look out if I were Riley. Michael’s already shot Card in the head, and we could see more of the Michael Westen that’s described in passing by Larry (Tim Matheson)

• We get a big shootout between Michael, Jesse, and Fiona against Agent Riley and the entire CIA and the US Coast Guard. That doesn’t seem fair but that’s what Michael has cooked up for himself. There doesn’t seem like much that would make Riley back off, especially if Sam is hurt. She’s already refused to even look to see if Michael’s story checks out.

• Michael gets help from someone, with the phone number left at Nate’s grave and that could be everyone from Michelle Paxson (Moon Bloodgood) to Agent Pearce to Agent Bly (Alex Carter) to Raines to well any of the other subpar agents who Michael has helped on occasion.  Pearce seems like the one person in Michael’s corner but if she’s in Mumbai, how can she get intel on Card to clear Michael’s name?

• That paints Michael in a corner with no choice but to shoot himself out of this situation. I’d also expect some major stuff to go down with Maddie since she’s already lost Nate, and possibly someone else close to the group. She’s been on emotional eggshells since Nate’s passing and one more would push her over the edge too to do something out of character?

• Finally, something has to propel us into Season 7 and hook us for another season. Do we finally meet who’s behind this relentless threat to Michael’s life? Or are we faced with more tragedy to carry us into the next year?

What are your expectations and thoughts on Burn Notice Season 6?
Who do you want to see come back?
What do you think is going to carry viewers into Season 7?
Share your thoughts below!

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About the Author

  • Carey Kelley

    As someone who has followed the show religiously since season 1, I have to say the show has changed to much. Like you said it went from finding who burned him, to finding who killed his brother. It was a huge story changer and I really wished they would have gone a little more in depth with Anson, or at least made a more clearer connection between him and Card. Once the team was left in Panama, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. One moment we think Anson is in charge, okay he is dead. Wait? What Is this? Card was behind it all? It just doesn’t make any sense. Either Card was behind it all and the writers screwed up the storyline, or He wasn’t and the writers screwed up explaining it. Either way still an amazing show.

    • Richard Hitt

      But, see, you don’t know. Michael doesn’t know. All he knows is that Anson was in charge of the organization of burned spies. Card was also somehow involved, since he wanted to kill Anson to hide his involvement, but that’s all Michael knows. Maybe Card was really the puppet master, maybe he was just another puppet. Michael wasn’t worried about it at that point, all he knew was Card ordered the trigger pulled that killed his brother. Now, I’m thinking there is probably some of the organization left, and since Michael was such a big shot in the finale, he probably was ordered by Congress to head up a task force to hunt down what is left of any corruption in the CIA/the organization that burned him

  • JSnake

    Seeing Michael at the end in the suit with minions milling about, could it be possible that not only is he back in, but he’s now in charge?

    • Richard Hitt

      That’s what I’m thinking. Probably not the head honcho, but maybe Deputy Director?

  • me

    could he be propsing maybe,….thats my guess

    • jack

      No offense, but are you stupid? why the hell would fiona be crying, and how would him proposing help the team get out of the situation?

  • tech33

    If they found out who the puppetmaster is, then the series would be over, wouldn’t it??

  • http://twitter.com/0mair4 Omair Haque

    My biggest dissapointment with Burn Notice has always been the villains. Carla was always fine to me, she was devious, smart, evil, good at her job. It was always nice to see Michael walk away with fooling or tricking her into the slightest bit of error of giving him intel, showing that while she was good Michael was better. Even better was the idea that in the end she was still just an underling. The first, and perhaps biggest villain they spoiled was Simon. I fully expected Simon to be Not just as good as Michael, but better. The Moriarty to Michaels Sherlock. The creators seemed to get a second chance with Ansom, but they completely botched it by killing him off.

    Worst part was that things got interesting with Ansem talking to Michaels Dad in the past, suggesting there was some weird connection there.

    A cousin of mine watched the first season recently, he then called me and said Michaels dad is who burned Michael. I thought the idea was interesting, but 6 seasons in they have all but ruined that idea by constantly calling Mikes dad a drunk angry bitter wife beater. Its possible they could still tie it in, but at this point it might be more of a nuisiance than a cool concept.

    I just want a sort of finality to burn notice, it seems season after season its always back to the old formula, returning all characters to status-quo.

  • DC


  • Mcp

    Well the entire purpose of Burn Notice is to get Michael back in. Yes, he promised fi he would stop but it’s the point of he show. He could propose to Fi. That would solve his status of his promise to Fi. The new issue being that he would be in and married so Fi would b alone. NOT AN OPITION. SO Mike wouldn’t be ba in or he wot propose. It looks like mikes in but I bet he has one more trust test mission for the USA. Which will go wrong to propel us into season7!

  • http://twitter.com/0mair4 Omair Haque

    Oh man, the finale did not let me down. It changed up the status quo and im liked how they teased us with all sorts of potential enders (jessie being captured, sam being dead, fiona sacrifice, mike sacrifice) we got some very missed memes back (mojito) return of some old characters, and i thought riley was a very good villain driven to insanity because of good mike is at espionage chess. The final scene though was a huge payoff, it changed the status quo.

    After season 3 I thought this is where the story would have gone, that mike takes over the “company” and sam and fiona would be his agents and they would try to right the bad ship from there. I figure nix always sorta wanted that ending, but with a lot of the emotional aspects added to the characters he ended up changing it a bit. This version of it is something great, especially knowing there is another season left.

    I actually always hoped that when Jesse was introduced and mike went into the cia (pre-ansen) that for a while mike would chase the new trio (jesse sam and fiona). Maybe we get that in this season with mike being sort of the villain.

    At any rate, so long as they dont make it like season 5 again ill be happy. i hated mike as a cia agent but part time…

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