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August 22, 2014

Burn Notice: Good Soldier (summer finale)

by Paul Goebel, posted Sep 19th 2008 8:01AM

Tricia Helfer & Jeffrey Donovan(S02E09) "What do you see up there? A mastermind petting a Persian cat?" - Sam Axe

So , as you might expect from the finale, Michael is very close to solving one of this season's mysteries. It seems the only missing pieces of the puzzle are who is the sniper's target and does Michael want to save them?

I can only imagine that the target would have to be a really bad person in order for Michael to overcome his inflated savior complex. If Osama Bin Laden ends up as a passenger on the ferry, he'll probably let the hit go down. Anyone else, however, is going to have to be a game day call.

You really have to admire Fiona's powers of persuasion. It's not enough that she's smart and beautiful but she is also a master at the art of manipulation. She knows the exact buttons to push to make Michael do her bidding and the best part is that Michael knows exactly what's going on.

Quite frankly, I was surprised that there was a B story in this episode considering how much Michael had on his plate. Generally, season finales are pretty focused on the climax we've all been looking forward to. Unless, of course, it's all tied together.

Among Michael's considerable talents, it's clear that he also is an expert buzzkill. I'm as cynical as the next guy but even I thought it was out of line for Michael to start forecasting failure before being home for two minutes. I know we haven't seen much of Nate this season but by all appearances he's really trying to get his life together and that should count for something. The fact that he thinks asking Nate for help on a job counts as being supportive is a big clue just how self absorbed Michael really is. When a guy spends his days risking his life for total strangers without charging a penny and can't even pretend to be supportive of his brother, he really needs to check himself.

I've always wondered about that image recognition thing. Could it really be that easy to fool the program? Anyone out there with experience in that sort of thing, clue me in.

Sometimes, when I'm watching Burn Notice, I get the feeling that Michael is just giving us his technical spy intel to fill time. However, seeing that Carla had a "slit" of her own was a pretty clever way to tie it in. Although, it seemed that Carla's hiding place was more accessible than Michael's since he needs an electric screwdriver to get at his, or did I read that wrong?

I loved seeing Michael act drunk. In my opinion, it was his most believable performance all season. The tips on how to actually stay sober were pretty clever too. I'll definitely use them the next time I don't really want to get drunk, if that ever happens.

I was worried that John Allen Nelson wouldn't be very convincing as a bad ass. After his work on Vanished and 24 I was convinced he could only be weaselly or worried. Although, I'm curious just why "the muscle" was there since Nelson was happy to do the heavy lifting.

The fact that Michael couldn't get Lesher to walk away from the kidnapping really wasn't a surprise. This show didn't build up a loyal following by spending an hour showing how to make sure nothing happens.

I figured that everything in this episode would come together at the end but I didn't expect the explosion and while I'm sure Michael survived, it will be interesting how this particular message from Carla is received.

Which character would you most like to be?
Michael245 (39.5%)
Fiona165 (26.6%)
Sam210 (33.9%)

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27 Comments

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harbourcay

I think i cheapens the the Michael/Fiona relationship to have a third party sleeping with Fiona- (especailly if it isn't me)-- let's get back to the interplay between just Michael and Fiona-- ala Mr/Mrs Smith. If Gabrielle Anwar isn't the most beautiful woman on the planet- I'd sure like t know who is

September 24 2008 at 4:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
La-Di-Dah

1) They tracked the sniper "Bill Johnson" down in the penultimate episode.
2) Fiona does not need Michael to protect her physically, though she is a 100 lbs. (That's why I voted that I want to be most like Fiona). She can kick ass - remember when she stun gunned a perp who was holding on to her, so she got shocked too? But I do still love Fiona and Michael together.
3) I hadn't considered Campbell as some kind of mole, but it would be intriguing/genius.
4) The telephone conversation was great!
5) The only things that were obvious for this summer finale were the stunts. I spotted JD ducking as bad dude went in to hit him; I spotted a different hair and skull under the helmet of the dude that went under the semi; etc.
6) Just like Michael and his mother have mistrust issues and they are working it out, Nate and Michael do too. It doesn't make any one of them self-absorbed, just flawed, dysfunctional family who love each other underneath it all.

September 21 2008 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michael

You guys have some good imaginations. Third party? The paramedic is the third party? Carla set up Nate?

Wow.

How did Sam know where the sniper live? He knew about the explosion that killed the sniper. How does he have this information? Was he there as it happened? Why not watch the sniper instead of Carla?

I am sure I am overlooking some detail.

September 20 2008 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joan

I watched the finale again this morning and it occurred to me that Bill, the paramedic and Fi's supposed boy friend, might be someone we have overlooked in the grand scheme. He brought in the customer for Fi and Michael, and he did a good turn for them in the previous episode. Could he be Carla's Mole? Just something else for us to chew on until they come back in January.

September 20 2008 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eric f

The dorky big horse teeth smile Michael gave Carla after he slid under the truck with his motorcycle was alone worth watching this episode for.

September 20 2008 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Boomfoxx

I haven't seen anyone else mention this, but I was pissed about the end of this episode, but not because of the show. USA ran a commercial for the next season just before the start of the last act which showed Michael getting blown up outside his apartment. They completely ruined the surprise! The worst part is that I was watching it on Tivo and I still saw it!

September 20 2008 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Boomfoxx

I haven't seen anyone else mention it, but I was pissed about the ending. Not because I didn't like it, but because USA ran a commercial for the next season before the last act that showed the explosion! Their commercial ruined the surprise for me!

September 20 2008 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Moncur

Some mention should have been made of Jeffrey Donovan's acting as his "alcoholic security guard" character finds religion and goes crazy.

His phone conversation when he talks about the "bible show" was perfect, and then when he smashes into their car and comes at them screaming and shooting - still in character - it's very well done, and it makes you wonder how much of that craziness is really a buried part of Michael Weston's personality.

September 20 2008 at 3:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael Moncur's comment
Anita

I actually agree with you on that. With all of Michael's characters I could totally see where he got his inspiration, but the religious conversion seemed so totally out of left field. I don't think Michael's that crazy, but the monologue about angels from heaven was so imaginative that I couldn't see a typical operative using that to take down an op.

Overall, good ep. I enjoy TH so much more in BN than in BSG. While I hate how Fi plays Michael, I love that the show and she recognize her weaknesses i.e. she's a 100 lb person with violent tendencies. Clearly, she needs Michael to protect her physically and keep her in check; however, I like that she doesn't see that as a weakness upon herself -

September 20 2008 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patrick

I'm actually tired of TV Squad's pessimism towards good TV. You'll review Reality TV till the cows come home, but an honestly good show like Burn Notice gets a a half assed review. I'm sure there is a reality skank that needs their own article. What a waste of time and oppurtunity

September 20 2008 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Picviewer

Talk about scripting the ending, a blind person could see that coming as he opened the door before even being told. His slick was at the back of his place not the front door so if it was a small blast that area is fine.
Nate was setup by Carla through a phony setup. She probably was running the whole kidnapping thing as a part of the overall op.

September 20 2008 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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