I always enjoy Burn Notice but getting round to watching and writing about it never seems all that urgent; two weeks on and I’ve only just caught up with the season finale. It’s another good’un too: in addition to the Riley menace, Sam’s life is in the balance and no sooner is it – SPOILER – saved, than a group of highly-trained assassins is trying to end it and everyone else’s again.
Obviously, Michael is not having this, and when it turns out Riley has – very conveniently for our heroes – gone crazy-rogue, it’s finally time to end her and her arc. Or, as Sam defiantly puts it: “You don’t have to worry about finding Michael Westen, ’cause he is going to find YOU.”
It’s all super-fast and exciting and very high-stakes – which is just as well because it keeps the audience from thinking too much about the plausibilities of some of it – and it’s a decent way to end the season, but for two things. One: what the hell kind of deal could Michael negotiate? Riley or not, seems like the CIA hold all the cards here. Is Michael really so important to them that they’d let him skate on the Card killing, even if Card was a bad lot? And two: since Michael has, however, negotiated a deal which keeps him and everyone else out of jail, Fi could stand to be a bit less Fi about it. Yet again. Girl, I know you don’t want him to live the spy life any longer but if it’s that or all of you – Sam, Jesse, Madeleine, ALL OF YOU – go to jail forever? Whether you believe he wanted to do it or not, the choice itself seems entirely clear-cut to me.
In general, though, it’s been a solid, entertaining and surprisingly reflective season: there have been quite a few great eps and even the lesser ones have been more than watchable, which is impressive going six years in. The fact that the characters and performances are immensely likeable helps a lot. But the themes and scams are getting somewhat samey and Michael can’t really push the envelope too much further and still retain our sympathy, so I think the decision to end it after the seventh season is the right one. We’ll find out how that one goes next year.