Published on June 14th, 2013 | by Ernie Estrella2
‘Burn Notice’ 100th Episode Review: Playing Hard to For-Get
For its 100th story, “Forget Me Not,” Burn Notice needed to tell the story of how Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) met, before it rides off into the sunset. But how did we come to that meeting when last we saw Michael, he was in the Dominican Republic trying to keep his deep cover from being blown? And what was the meaning of this line:
Michael: That’s the kiss you give when it’s over.
It meant that Michael blew his chance for eternal happiness with Fiona, even after saving her from Dexter Gambler, (Nick Tarabay, Spartacus: War of the Damned) the spy Randall Burke’s henchman sent stateside to confirm Michael’s mission. She wouldn’t have been caught to begin with, if her, Sam (Bruce Campbell) and Jesse (Coby Bell) weren’t trying to deal with the fallout of Michael’s deal with the CIA.
Michael was just following orders, but hasn’t he dealt with enough crooked CIA brass to know that this was going to go south? Unfortunately, he put his friends in greater danger, along with Madeline (Sharon Gless), who seemingly forgot everything she has been through in the first six seasons to know that anytime someone asks about Michael to keep her trap shut. Maybe if Madeline told him about Charlie, that would have forced Michael’s hand to walk away. Something tells me Charlie is a storyline that will come up later. Agent Strong (Jack Coleman, Heroes) was counting on Sam and Jesse (and reluctantly Fiona) to track Gambler down and was willing to risk their lives if it meant getting closer to catching Burke. Conspiracy theorists will probably think Strong is looking to eliminate Michael’s crew, just to get Michael to go over the edge. There’s certainly enough evidence of that in the past.
One of the frustrating elements of Michael is that he’s so gung-ho to work with the CIA but they’ve never had his friends or his back. The only one to really cared for Michael and his crew was Agent Pearce (Lauren Stamile) and she was sent away for helping them. This temporary job for Strong doesn’t feel like it’s going to help Michael’s dilemma, since he’s still needing to break protocol. So it is painful to watch Michael choose the anguish of working with people who don’t care about his circle over his own friends but that didn’t stop this from being a classic.
The most memorable Burn Notice episodes are when they change up the formula and Michael spying in on his friends and being their guardian angel whenever they got in trouble was a nice twist. We got to see Michael’s wicked skill with a sniper rifle and we also found out that he likes to daydream when surveillance goes long. But if he’s missing Fi, maybe he’s second-guessing his decision to make the deal with Strong. It’s certainly affecting his abilities as a spy and the emotions he has for his friends are making this partnership difficult.
That was the opportunity to see how Michael and Fiona met and we got to hear Fi speak in the Irish accent again, a treat we haven’t had the pleasure of hearing since the pilot. Of all of the exotic places they’ve traveled to together, an underground Irish pub seemed the most unlikely spot but Burn Notice has never been one to dress up the show’s most burning questions (like the origin of the Chuck Finley alias). The flashback itself was a nice contrast to play out as Michael actually looked at Fiona with passion, admiration and infatuation compared to him taking her for granted in the last two seasons and it tied to a solution for the Gambler situation. After emptying four automatic rifles into Gambler, consider that problem dealt with.
The story about Fi’s father willing to die for his beliefs and family also showed why Fiona acts how she does, and why she would have rather died fighting for what they wanted, than give up to the CIA and plea bargain. It gave significance to her actions, and stayed true to her mold. In the end, Michael’s deal with Strong didn’t keep Sam, Fi, Madeline, and Jesse any safer, so really, what does Michael have to gain working with Strong, or any other CIA member for that matter?
As for that goodbye kiss, Michael now knows Fi has moved on and that’s never an easy pill to swallow–as a character and for fans of both. She has a man that’s willing to fight for her, protect her and that peck on Michael’s cheek, well that said it all. The death of their relationship should be official (even though there are still 11 eps left). He had his chance and he obsessed over the burn list, and felt the need to dig further until he got to Anson and Card. This show needs to continue to have real consequence to the main characters, so while it was difficult to watch Fiona go her separate way, kudos for Matt Nix and the writers for not bringing our lovebirds back together. Let’s just hope it stays that way all season. One has to put themselves in Fiona’s place to see that for her to have the life she wants, it can’t be with Michael and that’s going to be tough for a lot of fans to accept. This one was a heart-breaker.
• Madeline’s elevator ride was a phenomenal way to start off the episode and lead into the first commercial break, taken straight out of some horror film when the ride down suddenly switched direction. Once the door opened, Madeline had her gun loaded and pointed. What a way to open the 100th episode, “Hi, Mom.” More and more of Michael and Madeline’s conversations build into arguments and breakdowns. “You can’t call! You can’t write! You just have to wait!” Mind your manners, Michael, that’s your mom.
• Sam didn’t like being spied on, especially in the morning at his girlfriend’s penthouse. We’ve never seen Sam Axe so violated.
We’d like to hear what your most creative scenario as to what Sam and Esla did that Sam was embarrassed about.