'Burn Notice' Series Finale: A Fond Farewell to a Fan Favorite (And to a Great Show)
Well, here we are. After seven seasons, it's time for Burn Notice to come to an end. We last left Mike in the throes of indecision, prepared to betray both his friends and the CIA to join James Kendrick's shadowy network of spies. It takes Sonya threatening Fionna at gunpoint to make him snap out of it—he shoots Sonya, within sight of Kendrick in an approaching helicopter. James orders his operatives to kill Mike and Fi on sight. They narrowly escape the hail of gunfire in Sam and Jesse's Humvee.
Out of immediate danger—but far from safe yet—Mike is mopey, racked with guilt for hesitating before rescuing Fi. Why did she risk her life trying to save him, anyway? She explains: "I knew that, if I was wrong about you, it didn't matter if I got out of there alive." (Noooooow kiss.)
Sam and Jesse make an emergency supply run to a convenience store for burner phones, duct tape, and... beer? Oh, you. But the clerk pulls out a shotgun when he recognizes them from their photos on TV ("the bald-headed one and the one with the chin"). The cops are after them, and this guy's after the reward.
Mike and Fi are hot-wiring a car in the parking lot when they catch sight of the ish going down inside. In full over-the-edge mode, Michael drives straight into the store, incapacitating the employees, and even taking a bullet to the arm. But NBD, because he's Super Westen now. Or at least Super Self-Destructive Westen.
Mike phones Strong, who isn't exactly his biggest fan at the moment. The botched operation has ruined his career, and he intends to ruin Michael's life: "You think it was tough being burned? You haven't seen anything yet."
Oookay, new plan: Go after James directly in the hopes of appeasing the CIA. But first, Westen goes to see his mom, who frets over Mike missing Charlie's birthday party. They'll be serving strawberry ice cream, Nate's favorite. Hashtag feelings. Mike asks Jesse to stand down from the impending action and watch over his family. (By the way, should Mike be getting his arm medically examined at some point, or are we shooting for a True Grit-style epilogue here?)
The team tracks down Max Lister, an NSA contractor who helped establish satellite communications for Kendrick in Miami. He is also Alan Ruck, which is awesome. When tire spikes and close-range buckshot prove no match for Lister's armored car, Michael climbs out of his moving vehicle and onto the roof of his target's, overturning it with a small explosive device.
Lister leads them to Kendrick's communication center in the condemned Miami Chronicle building, where they hope to steal the network's hard drives and turn over the evidence to the government. Inside the control room, their burners all ring simultaneously, despite the fact that only Madeline should have their numbers. Dammit, shady convenience store guy! It's James calling. He (and his reinforcements) are right outside—with another detail approaching Maddie's house. There is no way out.
Michael asks for two minutes to call his mother before he'll surrender quietly. But Maddie won't hear any of that talk. She has a plan of her own, a plan that'll allow Jesse and Charlie to escape. Equipped with an explosive device without a remote detonator, Mama Westen's prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for her family.
"If saving you means I don't get out of here, it's fine with me," she tells her son. "Give me this. Please." Oh my god, you guys. With tears streaming down his face, Michael resolves not to waste this second chance. He's going to go down fighting.
Kendrick's men storm Madeline's house to find her sitting comfortably, smoking a cigarette. "This one's for my boys," she says, and detonates the bomb.
Mike realizes that their own only chance for survival is if he, unarmed, runs towards Kendrick, luring his henchmen out from their hiding places. Is this just his death wish talking? No. He wants to live. "Maybe more than ever," he whispers, stroking Fi's face affectionately. (Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss).
After she deals with the underlings, Fi tosses her gun to Mike. He takes out James with a shot to the chest, only to discover that Kendrick has a dead man's switch connected to explosives throughout the building. Boom. As everything goes up in flames, Sam leaps to safety outside. But what about Mionna?! (?!?!?!)
Newly released from a CIA detention center—where they learn Strong's tracked down more than a hundred operatives from James' network—Sam and Jesse attend a double funeral for Mike and Fionna. But in flashbacks throughout the memorial service, we see the couple run through the burning hallways of the communication center, shooting through a window and jumping into the water below. Awww yis.
"Well, they missed a good funeral. Where do you think they are?" Jesse asks. "We'll hear from them when the time is right," Sam responds.
Mike, Charlie, and Fionna are curled up before a fireplace in a beautiful cottage somewhere in the Irish countryside. It is, to put it simply, idyllic as balls. Mike asks Fi how he should explain himself to Charlie when the boy's older. She advises him to tell the truth: "Start from the beginning. Start with, 'My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy.'"
Ladies and gentlemen, we just got reverse-How I Met Your Mother-ed.
Burn Notice, you've given us 111 great episodes (and a movie!). You will be sorely missed. Now, to Carlito's!
Image via USA