Burn Notice: Long Way Back (summer finale)
by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 7th 2009 1:43AM
(S03E09) Wow! Talk about a powerful finale. There were a lot of plot points and emotional issues addressed, and if you had any question about Michael's true loyalty, this show answered it. Burn Notice goes on hiatus -- is that what they call it? -- till the winter, and it's going to be a long rest of the summer and fall waiting for the story to resume. There was change in the air, what with Michael inching closer to a return to the CIA -- or so it seemed. More on all that and the blistering finale after the jump.
I never liked Tom Strickler. He was too irksome for his own good, too full of himself and his estimation of Michael. That, it turns out, was his undoing. Strickler's advice to Michael for acing an interview with the CIA was to tell the truth, but Strickler's version of it. But what was really irritating about Strickler was his insinuating that he was Michael's "partner" and that Strickler was doing what he did -- bringing in Thomas O'Neill to Miami and setting up Fiona for a deadly return to Ireland as O'Neill's prisoner -- was for Strickler and Michael's future together.
Watching Strickler get two shots from Michael -- using his favorite Fiona firearm -- was a turning point. Michael had to make a choice, a future with Strickler or one with Fiona. As Michael said before pulling the trigger, "Fiona is not my past."
There was a bunch of good stuff in this episode, including three great set pieces. To save Fiona from a full-out assault by O'Neill's crew, Michael had to use Mrs. Reynold's vintage Buick as a distraction. You think the producers knew from the start that the cherry red beauty was going to be trashed at some point by Michael? Another other terrific scene was Michael's meet with O'Neill with Sam, Fiona and Sean (her brother) providing back up. When Sean didn't want to turn off the laser sight, you could see how he was more impulsive than his sister. Finally, the boat dock rescue was a true team effort, with Sam and Michael packing heat and Fiona saving herself but nearly drowning in the process.
So Fiona cannot go back to Ireland. She can still leave Miami, but it doesn't seem to be where they're going with this. Fiona had as much trouble thanking Michael as he did trying to say goodbye. They both agreed on one thing: "It's okay. We're no good at this."
Amid the heavy duty emotions of the episode were some lighter ones. Madeline shook Michael to the core by simply hiring a realtor. Even if Michael has horrible memories from that house, it's home. Madeline realized that and removed the listing.
Finally, there was the issue of the burn notice. Diego died -- suicide or homicide, we don't know -- before being able to tell Michael what he knew. People higher up on the ladder were out to get Michael, and they still are. That's the resolution. Michael doesn't know who's after him and that not knowing is a very scary proposition ... How many months till the winter premiere?