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
• 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.
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.
• 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?
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!