Burn Notice: Hope Springs

Burn Notice S6E08: "Unchained"

I'm torn when it comes to the "go undercover and manipulate someone" Burn Notice adventures. On the one hand it's fun to watch our heroes use funny accents and dress abnormally, but the danger of these situations relies on hypothetical conflict. The more successful Michael is at playing a mark, the more the viewer is left to imagine what would happen if he fell off the tightrope, rather than seeing some outright explosions and neck kills. Luckily in last night's "Unchained," there was a second layer to Michael and Fiona's outing as Boston mobsters, with Westen's main squeeze covertly proving a point about relationships (while also wearing self-tanner).

But for many viewers that's neither here nor there, as the true rising star of this show is Fiona's eyebrows. These liney-ladies have been getting some attention this season, so for those of you who are too distracted by Fi's hair up there, here's a quick Brow-Cap.

Last night, Fiona's eyebrows started off inquisitive, yet calm…

Then they raised a little bit, but not that much.

Next they chilled, but still seemed to call everyone in the room "little S.O.B.'s"

After that they turned a shade darker.

Then they swelled like the Irish Sea, but still couldn't care less.

Finally they were all, "Seriously eff the eff off, I'm just eyebrows."

Relationships are tricky things, y'all (#realtalk). Sometimes individuals get attracted to another person's "whole deal" but then freak out when that same person exercises unpredictable autonomy (—Dr. Oz). Such was the subtext of Michael and Fiona's post-coital argument at Westen's rusty home/the stage of Universal Studios' WaterWorld Show.

Like a down-ass girlfriend, Fiona wanted to help Michael investigate Nate's death, but he was too worried she'd be put in danger (gilded cage, much?). Michael's solo effort at intimidating an agent on a lunch break proved ineffective ("I didn't threaten him. I asked him questions with a gun in my hand"), so Sam scored a deal with the FBI: Bring down some mob dude and the department would hand over the file on Nate's death. Fiona jumped at the opportunity to get all Bean Town chic:

Man that was good times when the two had a serious argument about responsibility and Nate's bravery while dressed up like they were headed to a Halloween party. P.S., Michael didn't so much as bat an eye at the atrocity that was Fi's exterior leather bustier and stretchy body suit. "Nothing new here." He did however do what he always does during serious conversations and RAISED HIS VOICE AT THE END. Still Fi was like, "I'm going to do this because it's who I am, it's who we are. And you can't change that." Tell him, girl. Like she'd go through all the trouble of putting on four tubes of Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanner for nothing. As if.

Meanwhile, Pearce and Jesse went undercover to a weapons trade show to blackmail the gun supplier of the sniper connected to Nate's death. The REAL mission though, was just swaggin' out in the club.

Aw yeah. As Jesse lavished his mark with a player's ransom in bodissy, Bostonians Michael and Fiona earned the mobster's trust in the simplest way possible: by causing a car accident. I know this is Burn Notice, but seriously how could they know the FBI car would flip safely? I think Fi was too focused on how bangin' she'd look stepping out of her whip.

"And you wanted me to stay home and do nothing," said Fiona, in her best impression of Melissa Leo from The Fighter. Thus began her subtle criticisms of Michael's trying to leave her out of the mission. There wasn't too much of a place to go with these jabs of hers—it's not like she was going to drop cover for the sake of an honest lover's quarrel, but I appreciated them nonetheless. If anything, I wish Michael would've answered back though in kind, all like "true baby, but remember when you almost got killed in the slamma?"

Doubtless, Fiona still would've retorted with some kind of great comeback. She really was my favorite this episode. I loved when the mob guy said they'd have to steal a car, and she was like "Grand Theft Auto is my middle name, right Robbie?" after doing a raspberry.

Then we got a patented Westenism about how if you want to steal a car it should be a neutral color, by which he meant "champagne." Readers, if your automobile is this color, take it to Earl Scheib immediately. Otherwise spies will steal it while you are at the office. Anyway, speaking of luxury, Jesse successfully staged erotic photos.

Hmm. So he was alone in a hotel room with an unconscious person and a stripper basically faking sex scenes? Kind of creepy. Was this even his first time doing this kind of thing? Is this a hobby? "For the last time, please stop looking into the camera Trixie."

Then the unofficial sixth cast member of Burn Notice, "fire," made an appearance as Fi' ignited the getaway vehicle using only hand sanitizer and her wits, ruining a perfectly good Ford Taurus. Even more impressive though, she landed a seven-foot drop in heels.

If you watched like I did (with your face one inch away from the screen), you might've seen she was wearing some dope Air Jordans:

Poor Sam this episode, stuck with that snooze of an FBI guy. Seriously why did that guy get so much screen time? Did he win a sweepstakes? All he did was complain and almost mess up his own investigation. Boo that guy. But yay that scene where Michael and Fiona coordinated attacks via the telephone. Oopsy daisy!

If this were 1981 (i.e. 300 years ago in internet time), I'd figure out a way to work in the slogan "reach out and touch someone." Alas, it is not 1981. If it were, then this 72-year-old blonde mob boss Quinn would've been 41, and it wouldn't have been so off-putting when we accidentally got to see his old man tongue. Blalalala…

Gross. When Michael finally dropped his Boston accent and declared, "I am just a guy who enjoys a nice bottle of Scotch" it was simultaneously cool and evocative of the potential for a Westen-narrated audio book on mixology. "The key to appletinis..." Yeah okay, maybe not. Anyway, after the crew won the day, did anyone else find it kind of cheesy when Fi said, "I would like to show you something else that you can't do without me"? I like that they're not totally sexless, but that was one moonlit saxophone solo away from a Red Shoe Diaries transition.

Finally, after the episode was pretty much over, Pearce came storming in out of nowhere to announce she'd been transferred to Mumbai. Seriously? I think they were going for another Burn Notice last-minute twist, but that felt so tacked-on I wondered if her character was being written out Poochie style.

As the old adage goes, "relationships are tricky and stuff, or whatever." Michael learned that he can't boss Fiona around and still have her be the same hot-headed firebrand he's come to know and love. There wasn't anything too special about this episode—pretty much just a cruise control-type outing, though the scenery was just fine. It's kind of like the Olympics: Sometimes you tune in to see records made in glory, and sometimes to see the muscles of a master at work. I'm a fan of Fi and Michael's relationship bleeding into the missions, but can't imagine the two planning a marriage while also exploding bad guys, so we'll see how much a presence this intimacy business has in the future.


– Will Michael break things off to "protect" Fi?

– Have we seen the last of Pearce?

– Is this a fake transfer?

– Who's involved with the Pryon Group?

Comments (15)
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Dude, good call on the "HE RAISES HIS VOICE AT THE END" thing. I've noticed it of course, but until reading your review (always a blast, keep 'em coming) it never clicked with me that he does that. So now whenever he does it I'll see it for what it is. It's like once you've seen both the old lady and young lady in that old lady / young lady picture thing you can never not see them both again. This may sound weird, but I kinda wish I didn't now see what you pointed out! Thanks a lot for that! :-)

That pic of Jesse is hilariously CREEPY.
Meh. Another predictable and standard episode of Burn Notice. There wasn't anything particularly interesting -- excluding Fi's atrocious Bahston bad-girl appearance -- but it wasn't completely boring either.

Michael won't break things off with Fi, at least not soon. I do think this was the last of Pearce. I have no idea about the Pryon Group.

"He did however do what he always does during serious conversations and RAISED HIS VOICE AT THE END."

- Hehe, I TOTALLY read this in Michael Weston's voice.
Very good episdoe to me. I just loved Michael and Fi's accents, and the part where they went "FFFt!!" together had me laughing my butt off!! Like they don't know how to steal cars?!!! LMAO!!! I think everyone had shining moments here, including Jesse playing the "salesman". I did feel bad for Sam having to babysit that whiny FBI agent like you said.

Michael will most definitely NOT break things off cause a) he's not an idiot and b) she wouldn't let him.

I think we have seen the last of Pearce, which is unfortunate since she really came through for Michael. Could've used her more.

I hope the transfer is fake, cause I like her.

Pryon Group is totally new, so right now, I don't know what to think.
Gotta love Fi.
I think I'm burned out (no pun intended) on this show now. I've been watching since the premiere, but I think if I wasn't such a completionist I would probably stop. I'm really pretty bored by the formula anymore, the excitement and the "what will happen next" is gone.
I totally agree with you. I haven't enjoyed a Burn Notice episode in the last two seasons nearly as much as I liked almost all of the episodes they had in their first three seasons. I'll probably keep watching though. I'm not really a completionist anywhere else in life, but I seem to be one for watching TV.
I am a completionist for TV, book, and movie series. As a compromise I am learning to bail when a season has completed. I successfully bailed on Melissa and Joey between seasons (don't ask how I started). I will not be coming back for Person of Interest's second season. I failed to abandon Falling Skies, but I should have been stronger. There should be a support group. I feel like learning to abandon entertainment that isn't entertaining anymore is going to make me a better person.
Wanna be support group buddies? After this season, I really need to be done with True Blood, and (at the risk of getting abjured arond here) Community.
Oh, and Hell on Wheels. I will totally not be watching the second season of that, no matter how much I like tattooed whores.
A) I agree with pretty much everything you said. B) I love the term completionist and am going to steal it. "Completionist" is my new excuse for pretty much half of what I watch. (Case in point, True Blood.)
2 episodes left before the mid-season finale. Might as well hang in there.

So far, Season 6 has been my favorite.
Wow, I've never noticed the eyebrows. I'm usually just frightened by the hair.
This was an okay episode. I am glad that I am not the only one that noticed the differing shades of Fiona's eyebrows. They are really leading the show right now. Which I must reemphasize USA possibly making a spinoff for them.

As for the rest, it was pretty standard. Good but not great. But still watchable.


I doubt he will. I see wedding bells in their future.

I think Pearce has gone bye bye. She isn't a strong enough character for a repeat.

Not a fake transfer. She is gone, she might end up dead somewhere along the line and mike will investigate it to help find Nate's killer or more evidence on the pryon group.

I still think the MI6 guy. But this could all be just for corporate greed. Which would be lame.
Fi wasn't wearing a bustier, a bustier goes up to the... bust, obviously. She was wearing a wide belt, basically.

Anyway, this was a cute episode but the last act felt a tad thin, I think the pacing was off or something because Michael A) let his bostonian accent slip early in the act a few times before getting discovered; and B) never felt all that much in danger despite the situation. However, Michael and Fi both undercover as a couple was awesome, especially their simultaneous responses, that alone should have solved any questions for the gangsters.

Pearce getting tossed like an old shoe felt realistic to me, she's been putting herself on a limb for Michael a lot lately and there seems like repercussions required when she took that big step into the limelight. Poochie didn't go back to her planet in Troy McClure's voice, is all I'm saying.

Fi's eyebrows are overly sculpted and dyed, that seems to be the real problem behind this season's They're not technically bigger than before, just more phony-looking. Glad someone is looking out for us on this matter though.

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