Burn Notice "Forget Me Not" Review: Time to Be Brave, Little Angel

Burn Notice S07E02: "Forget Me Not"

The past couple weeks’ headlines have been all abuzz with news of the NSA collecting call and email data on normal citizens from major communications providers. The eerie revelation has sparked debates over privacy and security, two topics coincidentally explored in "Forget Me Not," an episode that also gave us all a flashback look-see at the origins of Miami’s favorite spy couple (sorry Carlos, we don’t know you yet). Now, I normally watch Burn Notice more for the boom-boom-shoot-shoot, and less for topical discussions on civil liberties, and because it’s a spy show, nearly EVERY adventure involves some level of espionage, subterfuge, and the government dancing around public truth in order to bring about a greater good for an unknowing society. However, as Michael Westen found himself increasingly conflicted about whether to continue spying on his own friends in order to aid the CIA, I found MYSELF wondering about the appropriate level of transparency in protecting those outside of the "need to know" circle. ALSO: HAPPY 100th EPISODE!!! Great directing job, Jeffrey Donovan! Let the syndication dollars roll in!

Beyond the aforementioned and probably-not-prescient heady themes, this week’s adventure was mainly concerned with reuniting Westen and his crew, as well as sticking our noses right in the sour roses of Michael and Fi’s spoiled relationship, all while uncovering the true identity of last week’s dastardly Mystery Man. We seem to get episodes like this every season, where Michael is sidelined in the role of protecting his team; the only difference this time was that no one had seen or heard from him in over nine months. Of course, any time you've got an ensemble as strong as Fi, Sam, and Jesse, separating them from the leader isn’t nearly as fun as having all four personalities bouncing off one another. But reconnecting after a nine-month absence is a necessary plot point, and I’m happy it was addressed nice and early in the season.  

Still, whenever the two story threads are essentially the Westenless team executing a mission—in this case, investigating an address associated with Mystery Man/Dexter Gamble (hey that was easy)—and Westen watching them execute that mission, the plot risks redundancy. There was a little fun to be had with Westen playing guardian angel, but the dramatic impact amounted to Sam and Fi looking around quizzically, as if they smelled yogurt in the air. Thankfully a cozy Irish pub circa 2001 offered a blank-filling diversion into some nascent moments involving Miona (Fichael?). Does rowdy, drunken gun-assembly really happen in the Emerald Isle? What I liked most about "Michael McBride’s" visualized memories wasn’t so much the playing out of the event (the "First Contact" graphic novels already touched on the Belfast days), but rather the emotional punch they delivered.

Anyone who’s ever encountered an ex in a public setting where that person is unaware that they’re being watched can attest to how surreal the one-sided sighting can be. You’ve imagined him/her in a mental vacuum, and seeing that person function autonomously outside of any association with yourself can do a number on the old ticker. Factor in how Westen hadn’t had any contact with Fi for nearly a year, plus how he discovered his romantic replacement (Carlos) while saving the new couple’s life, and plus how ultimately reliving the past resulted in concrete evidence (the cheek-kiss) that things were finally over, and it’s a wonder that Michael didn’t break down into fat Irish sobs from his vantage point before mission’s end. 

So we’ll count the death of Dexter Gamble as a curve ball, because I honestly thought he’d be around a little longer as a mini-boss, and instead he ended his two-episode stay holier than a thing with a lot of holes in it. I know this man did bad, terrible, unspeakable things, but to discover that his main crime was figuring out who Michael Westen actually was at the behest of Pablo kind of made his murder seem like overkill. Yes, him knowing Westen’s CIA association jeopardized the mission down in the Dominican Republic, but dude got cut down by like four machine-gunners (or whatever kind of guns those were). I know it was either Fi or him pretty much, but Strong’s earlier willingness to put the team in jeopardy for the sake of his eight-year, marriage-ending mission makes me suspect that he’ll become a dangerous force to contend with later on (as usual?).        

Anyway, as predestined as the reunion was, I still enjoyed seeing the boys back together, and it led to my favorite Sam joke of the episode ("Please tell me you were not listening this morning"). Though Michael's zipping back down to the D.R. solo with his sights set on Randall Burke, I hope that it won't take too long to get everyone all on the same page. It's the last season, so let's not beat around the bush keeping these badasses apart any longer than necessary! 

BURNING QUESTIONS:

– Was there any other option for Dexter besides kidnapping Fiona?

– Can Andrew Strong be trusted?

– What does Carlos bring to the team?

– Was Carlos right to chin-check Michael in the middle of the road?

– Will Carlos die, leave, or double-cross?

– How will Charlie fit into the rest of the season?

– How will the team come back together?

– Was the "Lone Ranger" exchange a sneaky advertisement for that a certain "big mouse" studio’s cowboy movie? 

– Was Maddie’s patting on the elevator glass an effective way to call for help?

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I just hope Michael and Fiona end up together. I have nothing against Carlos except that he is with Fi so I want him gone.
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After being prepared to hate Carlos and seing him as just a stand-in or placeholder for Michael, I'm surprisingly happy with him and Fi. They actually seem to work quite well together - she's finally found someone who is more or less on her level, who she doesn't have to hide who she is with (hello, Mr. EMT). He seems competent, kind of cool and honestly devoted to her.

When that is said, the show ending WITHOUT Michael and Fi getting back together is likely to leave me unhappy and unsatisfied; I just can't see how they could pull it off, what sort of "happily ever after" they could give Mike that wouldn't involve her.
And if they end the show without a "happily ever after", I'm likely to get depressed.
Just sayin'.
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I'm finding this sub-story of Fiona not only turning away from Michael, but in this episode now, presumably, giving him a "goodbye forever" kiss, REALLY hard to swallow. I mean, everything they lived and went through TOGETHER and him going back to work for the government TO SAVE THEIR LIVES is what breaks that camel's back? Fi is much, MUCH stronger than this and she truly loved him, to the core of her being loved him. Replacing him with anyone OR "getting over him" is not something that seems plausible to me and it screws with my enjoyment of the show.
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I actually disliked this episode, and I usually like them all. My big problem was - Why did the Dexter guy want to know where Michael Weston is? One would assume he was in the place where the guy who asked you to check him out was killed...

Also, where does the main bad guy (I forget his name so I will just call him) Nathan Petrelli, think that Michael is? Is it a little bit wierd that a drunk ex-spy would drop off the map as soon as the guy he was working with for 1 day is killed?
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At the end of the last episode they agreed to meet back up in 2 weeks. So Michael used this time to come to Miami.
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It's almost as if Jeffrey Donovan's acting has actually gotten worse over the years. He seems to just have one mode: "intense anger". I also realized that Fiona's kidnapping sort of lacked the dramatic element they were going for given that this has happened roughly 1-2 dozen times before. Fun show to watch, sure, but it's become more of a guilty pleasure than it used to be.
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this episode reminded me why i love burn notice
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Time to be brave, little angel and guy gets lit up by 5 saws and Lsats, jesus
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This was a pretty fun episode. But given the amount of times the team has been mad at michael because michael started a mission they didn't like and/or without telling them and then he finally told them and they were like 'why didnt we just do it as a team to start' and hes like 'i had orders and couldnt' and theyre like 'well i don't care', the impact of the group dissent was minimal. Carlos having a stronger relationship with Fi than we expected is a good thing. I'm glad he wasn't just a plug in play character for emotional response. It'll take more than saving Fi's life once to get back in her good graces. That said, we need to learn more about him before we feel he does/doesn't deserve her affection.

Though this season continues to feel like repetitive in its storyline and storytelling, the flow so far is a little more fresh. Hopefully that continues. I'm glad the show is ending this season; seems like it should go out on a high note.
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I am going to be supremely pissed if after all these years Michael and Fi don't end up together. It's clear they both love each other and unconditional love is doing anything for that person, right, including being separated and having to do extreme things to keep that person safe (for instance when one of those people is a spy)? All I can say is they better end up together, as bringing in some random dude (Carlos) for the final season as her love with Michael tossed aside with a simple kiss seems stupid and irks me. I'm just sayin'. It'd be fun if Carlos was actually a mole for the bad guy in DR that embedded himself into the group as a way to try to get info on Michael or something. ;)
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I don't know about this episode. I was hoping for a least a couple episodes of Michael on his own, get dark. Being the badass agent that he is supposed to be. But no. We need to bring in the rest of the gang and need to make them stupid in order for Mike to have to help them out. They all rush the front, none of them bring anything but pistols to try to take the bad guy. Is this day one? No. Aside from Fi's moron of a boyfriend they are all experienced, and they should have known better. Then you waste, I don't know how many minutes of them chatting behind a car and none of them doing anything in order for Mike to save them. That was sloppy.

The interaction with Mike and his mom was way better. "Hi mom, Stop telling random people I work for the CIA, now let's hug". Short, sweet, to the point and fives something for Maddie to do.

But Fi being dumb and getting taken, setting up for more emo MIke reminiscing about how they met was just off. Fi has been on an ever downward spiral to give Mike more emotion. When in the first few seasons she was a badass. Sorry, I don't buy it or like it.

Also, is Charlie too old for the timeline?

At lest Mike's going back to DR.

?'s

He could have surrendered to the CIA and made a deal for what he knew.

Probably not.

Pretty much nothing. Carlos brings nothing to the table.

Sure, however. Mike should have expected it and it shouldn't have landed.

I honestly don't care about Carlos, he is just the thing right now that is between Mike and Fi. Unless he kills Fi, that would be cool and different.

I am hoping that the team doesn't actually come back together. Especially after this episode. But alas it is inevitable.

Probably an advertisement.

No, but she is kind of stupid this season.
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Pfff of course Andrew Strong can be trusted: He is played by Jack Coleman.
...or maybe not.

I reallly don't think he'd turn out to be the big baddie of the season because that would be too predictable. I'm sure he's just morally gray as always. ;)

*is still waiting for scenes of a proper Heroes reunion*
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While I liked most of this episode, the flashbacks felt misused, just awkward and small in how they were used, and I'll chalk that up to the writing because there just wasn't enough impact, Ireland felt like a small set, not a world of intrigue and undercover ops that would ultimately tie these characters together. And then to have that just smashed into the episode with a hammer, little stutter entries and thoughts, it stood out for me.

That said, it was all interesting stuff, and Dexter Gamble's death worked fine for me, this character being disconnected from the big boss in The DR meant a real opportunity to tie up a loose thread, and there's no time to draw it out too long, nor is Gamble high up enough to justify sticking around longer, not in this final season. Busting down the windows Michael Jackson style with one word was great, then out come the machine guns (M249s, I think) and the gunner teams turn the baddie into swiss cheese, that was a very big change from Westen of the past. My only issue was that the target's building should have been even more swiss cheesed by that barrage.

- Dexter's best option in this case was to run, or do a leverage play with his evidence on Westen being the hostage, Fi was a pretty sloppy move, a kidnapper alone is going to be considerably slowed down by the victim, making a stand with just a handgun wasn't a smart play, but why should Dexter Gamble be that smart anyway? He's good at one thing, this wasn't it, and he died for knowing he needed an out but not taking the right one.

- Andrew Strong seems like the kind of cat who would easily be a bad guy betrayer, but we've had a MOUNTAIN of those in this series so it's time to set that crap aside, it's too late to create yet another two-faced villain, especially with this casting.

- I couldn't figure out what Carlos brought to the team.

- No he wasn't right to clock Michael like that, that justification was pretty thin.

- Fi's last boyfriend got used and thrown away, and he knew that was for the best. Carlos probably will die instead, nobly because Fi doesn't choose any ol' idjut as her boy toy.

- Charlie's future for the season will be to look at the camera sweetly and react as grandma and other characters talk about him.

- The team will come back together when Michael cannot finish the mission in The DR alone, a "do or die" need for them.

- Advertising for Disney's The Loan Ranger is like advertising for crabgrass, it's there but it looks bad and nobody really wants it.

- Maddie should have tried shooting out the glass, or hitting the stop button, or the alarm button, or anything before pounding on a window. Miming for help is more effective than pounding on a window, at least someone might see it; nobody is going to hear it though.
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Oh man, I typed "Loan Ranger" like he works at a bank.
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THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!
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Good episode. I liked the flashbacks of Fi and Michael, nice to see how they met. I wish they could have kept Dexter Gamble (Ashur!) around longer he plays a wonderful bad guy. Not sure if Strong can be trusted but it would be nice if for once we didn't have the big bad end up being the man in charge. Carlos doesn't bring anything to the table, but he serves a purpose for now. He's Fi's rebound guy - the one who she will try to convince herself she has feelings for when reality is she is still in love with Michael. I would like if they just had him leave rather than be killed or be a bad guy. I can understand why Carlos hit Michael, Fi was taken because Gamble wanted Michael. Wouldn't you be mad if your girlfriend/boyfriend was kidnapped? Carlos also chin-checked Michael because he knows he's the rebound guy - he feels inferior to the guy Fiona is REALLY in love with. Nine months is not a long time apart, and although it is long enough to move on to someone, else it is definitely not long enough to get a former love out of your system, especially if the love between the two is as strong as it is between Michael and Fi. I honestly wish Fi would get over it. Michael didn't do anything so dasterdly that he couldn't be forgiven. He went back to the CIA to protect HER and the others. Seems like she should be grateful. The team needs to get back together soon, and I don't care how, just get them back together.

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Good points. I think Fi is allowed to be mad at Michael for getting back in bed with the CIA though, her viewpoint is that he was ready to choose a life with her OVER the CIA, and that their lives weren't worth the sacrifice. She is impetuous like that.
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Had he not made the choice to go back, Fi would be in a hole somewhere for these nine months. She already spent time in prison, she should be grateful.....Michael's in a damned if do/don't situation, because if he didn't take the agencies offer, then he would've broken his promise to Sam and everyone would call him selfish because they would still be locked up....He sacrificed himself to save what matters to him most......That's what the best leaders do. Its not always easy.
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Most likely true that she'd be in a hole somewhere, but I guess her opinion is that Michael Westen's soul is more important than their freedom. Fi wasn't willing to let him break her out of prison last time, so it's the same thing: she's not going to be grateful when the price is too high, that's how she is.
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That's true. I do understand why she is mad - he promised her he was done with them and he went back on his word. I guess in a way she is over it, she moved on to someone else - nothing says "I'm over you" more than sleeping with/being in a relationship with someone new. I know she still loves Michael, and he loves her, so I don't see them being separated too long. Sometimes people need to spend time apart to really assess the relationship - where is it going? do we want the same things? Michael and Fi are alot alike, but I think Carlos is something that has the potential (at least to her) to be something good and normal (the opposite of what her and Michael have). They have a chance to have a regular life - which I think is something that Fi wants and she can't get it with Michael because he always gets pulled back in by the government. I still think her and Michael will end up together in the end, but I could also see the show having her go off one way, and Michael another.
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I hope michael and fi get back together because ik he isnt done with her even though she said she was with him. Its clear that the rebuilding of their relationship is a major theme in this final season
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I didn't really get Fi's freak-out the previous episode (season finale). He obviously went back to free his friends and get them off the hook for all the illegal stuff they did. ANYONE could see that.

But she didn't take it well, and assumed he just wanted-in because he missed the spie game.

I could understand her getting tired of him for any number of reasons, but getting ticked at THAT just seemed silly.
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Ok, that's it. I've had it with Maddie. I'm not putting up with any more of the whining, self-pity or stupid decisions from her.Talk about the weakest link! Has there been one single episode where she was happy?
Oh well. I feel better now. Bring on the rest of the season, 'cause other than the mother from Hell, this is shaping up to be the best yet!
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Great episode.

I'm thinking that the finale will be the death of Maddie, literally and Michael will end up adopting his nephew.

Or

Michael will die and the team will be there to support Maddie and the kid. (more likely this scenario because everything about this season points to a finale where the hero dies a hero for the eyes of the few).

I think that Fiona and Micheal are over as Fiona gave Michael the kiss of death so to speak.

If they keep Sam and Jesse alive, who knows, maybe there could be a spin-off.. Never know.
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He got friend-zoned. lol
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100th episode falls flat..

why ? you ask ?

cos fi friendzoned micheal...after saving her ass...and she's all over carlos.. the stereotypical hispanic guy...

oh yeah she's happy to be alive n stuff and carlos was really glad n all..

but yeah 9 months apart moving on...or is she...i hope n predict carlos is a gonna turn out to be bad....we need a mole plot line..

other wise was good...not as awesome as some make out to be imo.
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Lol Maddie was hilarious in that elevator I was laughing so hard at the stupidity. I think Carlos will definitely leave, he's as pointless as a white crayon right now on the team I don't think he'll last long especially since he hangin' around some seriously dangerous people. I loved the 100th episode, way to go Jeffery
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Strong is definitely trouble. He's got that "I'm about to crack" look all over his face. Sam and Jesse are having hilarious chemistry this season. I want Michael and Fi together, but I just can't blame her for moving on. Love this episode, can't wait for more.
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Can we not have the whole season be about Michael pining after a taken Fiona? This is the final season, and the show's already gone there and explored all that.

Carlos brings nothing to the team, except a romantic obstacle for Michael and Fiona. There's already three skilled, tough guys with guns on the show. Do we need another one? I'm thinking not.

Will Carlos die, or double-cross?
Probably double-cross. Anyone looking for Michael would have a good reason to insert someone into his circle of friends. Fiona would be the most ideal place to put him (no pun intended), as it is only a matter of time 'fore Michael and Fi cross paths.
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Absolute Kudos to Jeffrey Donovan for an amazing episode. I have followed Burn Notice since the first season and I will admit there have been times that I have thought of leaving. I love a good action flick, but I need a little more meat and it seems to me that Burn Notice really started adding more meat around season four. It isn't to say they still haven't had their problems, but this season (only being two episodes in) is fantastic. I still get my guns and way too big for any kind of realism explosions, but I also get the emotional gut punch that has me yelling at the TV. And yes I am a Michael and Fiona shipper, (gotta have a little romance) but I am not sure where they can go from here and as said in last weeks review, they could end the show with Michael alone, not just without Fi, but without anyone which would be very apropos to someone in the spy world, but (beautiful and poignant endings aside) I hope it doesn't end that way.
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I must also give kudos to Jeffrey Donovan for a very well-directed episode, which was more dramatic than action-oriented unlike other episodes, but was well made to me. I have a better understanding of Michael and Fiona's history now. See, its episodes like this that make Burn Notice such a great show. Seeing the looks on Michael's face when he was talking to his mother, his friends, and Fiona was very telling. When he revealed he was spying on them, and actually watching him spy on them, WOW, was quite shocking. I definitely felt his pain, especially at the end with Fiona embracing Carlos. I know he know's that comes with the job, but that was still hard to take. She hardly looked at him, let alone acknowledge him. For now, Fiona has DEFINITELY moved on, but will it stay this way, I have no idea. This unpredictability is one of the things I've always loved about this show. She has every right to move on cause I love the guy, but being Michael Westen's girlfriend is one hell of a chore lol!!!

I also loved that same Sam Axe line you mentioned!! Hilarious!!!

Carlos, in my opinion, will stick around for a while, maybe three or four more episodes, then leave, not betray or die. Seems like a good guy to me, but don't they all at first lol!!! Carlos's chin check on Michael was pretty on point to me. He was genuinely angry and let Westen know it. End of story.

I would like to trust Strong (a trusting upper level CIA asset would be a nice turn), but given this show's history, and worse yet, Michael's luck with authority figures, I think he's gonna be a bigger thorn in Michael's side than he is already.

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Why do women in flashbacks always have bangs?
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Thank you! This has always driven me insane. So they take a woman and show her in a flashback and the only thing they do is give her straight hair and bangs. So, instead of actually looking younger, she looks the same age, but with "younger" hair.
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Because the best memories always feature women having sex.

Oh. You meant hair.
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I believe because it frames the face and covers wrinkles in the forehead in order for them to look younger.
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