Burn Notice: Mama Drama

Burn Notice S06E07: "Reunion"

Bye bye Nate, hello more family members—just not on Michael's side. "Reunion" was the TV-quivalent of when a kid's puppy dies and instead of going too deep into mortality speeches and all that, the parents just buy a replacement. At least, that's what I've heard guardians with disposable income do; mine just gave me more chores and fed me the leftover dog food. So following the stunt-murder of a character we get the equally showy gesture of revealing Sam's oft-talked-about, never-seen girlfriend. Though I was secretly hoping Elsa would turn around and it'd just be Seth Peterson in a wig, batting his eyelashes, the lovely Jennifer Taylor was probably a better choice. Plus, fans of taciturn Michael finally got their wish as his emotional displays were relegated to about 15 seconds of screen time and a couple tense faces.

There are those who believe Westen's sensitive behavior with regard to Fiona's imprisonment, and now Nate's death, discredits his role as a cold-blooded action dude. In movies, his same character might be allowed one arc that involved serious lip quivers and "yearning," but since this is a serialized story I can see how routine vulnerability might call his toughness into question. Personally, I'm all for the guy's bouts of humanity because it adds a relatable context to his missions, regardless of how fleeting. It'll take some effort to reach that perfect balance of heartache meets "stuff-go-boom," but I hope Burn Notice keeps trying. That being said, it seemed like everyone could give a shit about Nate's passing. The only one affected enough to properly mourn his absence was Maddie, and she was barely in this episode. For everyone else it was business as usual. Fiona and Michael even enjoyed a beach day.

I really wanted the camera to pull out and show that Michael and Fiona had erected a sand sculpture in the shape of Nate's face (and used seaweed for his pompadour). Something about the ocean attracts people trying to work stuff out. I swear, go to your local beach during sunset and the shore will be lousy with lost souls, toesies firmly dug into the sand, staring distantly toward the Pacific/Atlantic/Indian but really looking within. If there existed special goggles that allowed a person to see thought bubbles, the salty airspace at dusk would be full of seagulls flying through weighty phrases like, "Just where do I fit into this big blue marble?" and, "My children deserve to be abandoned. It's what's right for both of us..." Hmm, in my America we would zone off sections of the beach for pondering because all that metaphysical seriousness really gets in the way of a good game of paddle ball.

Fiona was raring to help Michael find whoever killed Nate even though her boo was like, "Is this really the life you want?" She was all, "Yes because I just lurves guns!" It was a little overkill how emphatically she stated her affection for artillery this episode. Like a dude who is secretly respectful of women trying to impress his bros by ogling too hard, and then everyone gets kind of weirded out because all of a sudden he is flicking his tongue. Who are you, Sly Stallone from The Expendables 2: Shooty Guys? We already know you like guns, yeesh. After Fiona completed 42 minutes of miming her arm as a bazooka, she and Michael investigated Rebecca's old digs at Elsa's highrise. Unfortunately Anson's raspy-voiced crony flew the coop, but that was neither here nor there to Sam's girlfriend (by the way, Sam: nice work bro!), who was too distracted by a mother's worry for her son Evan.

It was weird there wasn't more of a "Ta-da!" with this character. I mean, this was the first time we'd ever seen her, and she more or less operated as a standard client. Hopefully she'll be around for a few more episodes and only wear white business skirts. Or develop a drinking problem. Something! While Sam and Jesse split to go check on the tyke, Michael and Fiona searched Rebecca's abandoned flat. I was pretty convinced she and Michael were square ever since he helped clear her brother's name, but I guess they were desperate for leads and her departure seemed like an act of guilt. Still, it's pretty obvious that if they want to introduce a larger threat this season, then Rebecca would be a step backward. Across town Jesse and Sam found this little punk about to skip town.

Look at that weasel! I thought it was going to be annoying to have a young kid along for the ride, kind of like when action movies try to reboot franchises by adding teenage sons, but this dude actually fit into the dynamic pretty well. Maybe it was because Jesse and Sam for some reason don't have that unique a dynamic. They are fun to watch in the same scene, but they don't have a Michael-and-Sam/Sam-and-Fi' chemistry where I'm just jonesin' for the two to pair up ("Aw sweet, a Sam-and-Jesse episode!"). They seem like those two friends who belong to the same circle but when they're left alone they're all like, "So... weather?" Anyway, they didn't have much time for working out pal issues, because then Mitt Romney showed up to demand Evan steal some trucks full of champagne.

I hit up Wikipedia, and yes Mitt Romney demanded this once (as a prank in grammar school). Jesse got some good screen time creating a car-induced Fourth of July.

During some quality dad time with Evan, Sam learned that the kid acted out because of all the pressure his mom put on him. Such a rich-kid thing to complain about, but Sam seemed to relate. I wonder if Sam's mom was all hard on him way back in the 1950s—maybe there will be a graphic novel about it (available on iPad). Anyway, they stole the truck but to the surprise of no one it had something besides tax-free champagne in it: an MDMA lab. Thankfully Sam, Jesse, and Evan fought the temptation to just park the vehicle in a forest and roll on molly to Deadmau5, and instead used the supplies to throw bombs at Morris and his dudes. The road-flare bombs were awesome, by the way. While all this happened, Fiona and Michael tracked down Rebecca's phone records to a print shop run by the "oh face" guy from Office Space.

I wonder if he tries to sneak this "oh" expression into each role he does, kind of like how Jack Nicholson has his eyebrows. Using threats and violence (a few of Fiona's fav-o-rite things...) they made him trick Rebecca into picking up her documents early so that Michael could attempt to shoot off her lower back tattoo.

Did Rebecca got this sweet ink done at Miami Ink? What the hell even is it? A spread eagle with a crystal ball for a head? I would respect her more if it was that. Obviously the colorful design enchanted Michael too much for him to aim well, and she got away. He did exactly what I do at the slightest exposure to physical exertion and threw in the towel (also he got shot). Michael was all, "That's that. I wonder what Sam's up to..." then left to impersonate a crooked cop. Why wasn't club owner KC suspicious that two strangers had conversations with him on the front step of his club ("Jeronimo's")? Also, wasn't Rebecca's brother in trouble with another club owner? Wow Florida, you need to clean up your clubs. Yes, that is a threat. Meanwhile Fi' shoved a gun in Oh Face Guy's mouth while he made her free business cards and vanity mugs. Michael convinced KC that Morris was trying to do him wrong and the two factions ended up duking it out.

This was actually a pretty cool stand-off. One of the reasons I like Burn Notice is that all its mini-adventures could function as self-contained action movies. Stay by your phone KC, you'll be receiving a collect call from me soon to talk shop. As the Florida club scene lost an uzi's worth of shady employees, Sam returned Evan home safely and forced Elsa and son to drink tequila while talking out issues.

This was fun. I like how committed Sam is to his booze, and this tiny scene functioned as an example of the kind of father/husband role he'd play in the future, if given the chance. IMDB says these two won't really come back that much, but maybe with enough positive fan response, Sam will be allowed to develop a family unit of his own to one day be taken hostage. One can dream. Back home at headquarters Rebecca swung by to clear her name and Michael let her go. Mostly I think he just didn't want her bleeding all over the place.

I was right—she's clean! I think? I can't imagine another twist involving Rebecca, just let her go be a camp counselor for troubled teens or something. Luckily the crew wrapped up the action in time to make it to Nate's funeral, which his ex-wife did not even attend. Yes, I will be among those who miss Nate, but if it means possibly getting to see Sam's world grow before our very eyes then his death was worth it. Sorry Nathaniel, but Elsa and Evan bring out a new "father/lover" layer in Sam that can take us to some pretty interesting places. In any case, R.I.P. bro.



DEBRIEFING


– Should Michael feel guilty about his brother's death?

– Is Rebecca lying?

– What was her tattoo of?

– Who shot Anson?

– Did Elsa live up to your expectations/fantasies?

– Was Jesse pretty much harmless again?

– Where will Rebecca go?

– Will she be killed by Anson's superiors?

– How should Elsa be included in the future?

Comments (29)
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I'm calling it now. Simon is the shooter. If I'm right, gimme a shout out when it's revealed!



JK, I don't care about a shout out. But I bet I'm right.
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duly noted
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It didn't even occur to me that there was something off about her eyebrows, and I haven't noticed a change in hair color either. I just checked the episode again, and I don't really see what you're talking about. If you're going to complain about women's eyebrows, then I suggest that you complain about the ones who have completely removed them, and PAINTED new eyebrows. That just looks so fake.



If you want to see some eyebrows worth talking about, check out Artie on Warehouse 13, or even better, Bogdan on Breaking Bad (he's only in a few episodes). When I re-watched the first three seasons of Breaking Bad, it cracked me up when Walter quit his job at the car wash with the following line:



F*** you AND your eyebrows!
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Human females have hair on their bodies. That's so unattractive.
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And Fi's eyebrows still exist. Maybe they will get a spinoff. The episode was all right. Now we have angry emo mike instead of just emo mike. So at least that is some type of progression, kind of. This season thus far for me at least has been kind of a wash. I get that they are trying to vary the story a little bit. But it seems weird and the CIA operates in other countries and I doubt that they have a contingent in Miami.



I personally like Rebecca. And think she could be a great character. I would like to see her back in another episode. Also, her tramp stamp and Fiona's eyebrows can do battle for supremacy. (I think the eyebrows would win, they look menacing)





Debrief.



Michael shouldn't, Nate was a big boy. And anyone standing behind Anson was going to catch that bullet.



I doubt Rebecca is lying. If she is, she is a good liar.



Um.... eagles?



My idea is still something to do with MI6 since they are the only new thing this season.



No.



Jesse is kind of a wasted character. But since he has come along he did kind of take place of Mike's brother. So there is that. However, I would like more Jesse centered episodes. Also, I want his job. What other job lets you go out and get shot at around Miami and you can still afford your Porsche.



I think Rebecca went to get some stitches and a new tattoo. Hopefully she will be back.



I doubt it. She is a good plot device to toss in there every so often.



Elsa should help them out with a Ocean's 11 type heist.

More+
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haha USA take note, there is a demographic for shows starring eyebrows and back tats
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Who's the actor who played Evan? He looked sooooo familiar, but I can't place him!
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Yep - I've been meaning to check that out... It's Brando Eaton and he was in Dexter as the son of some big baddie a couple of seasons ago...
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I see the other comments below about this but I had to chime in too.

WHAT THE HECK IS WITH FI'S DARK HAIR AND HAIRY EYEBROWS??? Ugh.

She looks like something Andy Rooney and Elvira would have produced had they (gulp) ever had children. Yikes! Someone sure sold her a bill of goods.

Fi. Snap out of it, girl!
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Pretty good episode, and adding to Sam's world was long overdue. No one can resist the Axe's charm. Ok, maybe Cagney (or Lacey, I forget which one was which) but that's about it. I totally agree with Ryan's recap in that Nate's death played out like an afterthought. They could have done a lot more with that. I've liked Jesse from the start, he brings equal parts humor, cleverness and intensity to his arcs. Fi's eyebrows are indeed weird, they look painted on.
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I don't know I think her eyebrows are proud and vindictive (or maybe she's keeping them as a prison souvenir)
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Like prison tats.
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Yes.

No.

Something with wings (no clue; eagle might fit?).

Don't know.

Yes, except why was she dressed completely in white?

I like Jesse, but I was a little disappointed the writers didn't give him more to do.

Don't know.

Don't think he had any superiors - maybe disgruntled employees and/or business partners?

Just give her some screen time with Sam! (He could borrow and wreck her car or blow up her house after stashing a client there; I'm open for suggestions! :D)
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Fi's eyebrows are still scary. I had convinced myself they were just prison-eyebrows, and she'd fix them once she was free. Sadly I was wrong.



I'm bummed we didn't see Fi's prison buddy.



Mike should feel at least "some" guilt for bringing untrained people into dangerous situations. We've also seen Maddie get into dangerous situations many times already, mostly because she ignores Mike and goes rogue - that's probably where Nate got it from.
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Haha; thank goodness I'm not the only one who thinks her eyebrows look weird ;) Also the dark hair makes her look older (at least to me), but maybe we'll get used to it?



I hope Ayn will be back, too!
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true - Ayn should at least get to say "thank you" to Maddie and Michael for retrieving that keepsake locket and roughing up her deadbeat ex-husband
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That dark hair ages her by at least 20 years! What was she thinking of??? She also looks much harsher / even evil? Send her a barrel of peroxide - and fast!
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I'M SCARED OF FIONA'S EYEBROWS! I thought I was the only one noticing. Girl needs to get those waxed ASAP. I thought she would after she got out of prison too. Regardless, it's getting awkward.
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Haha, I liked your Office Space reference. Not only because I love the movie, but also because I recognized him from that as soon as his face appeared. I was like "Oh face guy!"



The rest of the episode was okay. Nothing about it makes me really like it... nothing about it makes me dislike it.



Michael should feel guilty, then remember he specifically told Nate not to approach Anson. It's not strong enough to relieve guilt like that, but whatever. Just don't get all emo.



I don't think Rebecca was lying, and the tattoo is a hawk eating Abe Lincoln's brains out of his top hat wrapped in a...



Elsa KIND of lived up to my expectations, in that I found her pretty hot on Two & a Half Men, but she didn't look as good in this for me.



And Jesse's always harmless... I've almost always liked him.
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Another great episode. Michael definitely shouldn't feel guilty for Nate's death. Nate was the one whi tried to play braveheart and get Anson for Michael. The shooter is the one to blame. I'll miss Nate too but this wasn't Michael's fault.



Elsa was pretty hot and demonstrative just like i figured in some way lol. Keep her as a guest character.



Jesse was a great asset again so for the love of god back off of him. The constant Jesse hate is total bullcrap to me. I just don't get what some people see wrong with him!



Where Rebecca goes no longer concerns me as long as she stays gone. I wouldn't be surprised if others do go afterher. She was CIA and one thing they're good at is making enemies.



I loved how Fiona handled herself. Sympathetic for Michael but business about finding the SOB who killed Nate. You go girl!!!
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I don't hate Jesse, I think the writers under-use him. He had some mystery-of-the-week stories last season, so maybe he'll get more once they get this season setup.
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I like Jesse the same way a sympathetic coach sees potential in a not-quite-there player. A "Rudy." I think he could be more fun if they drew out more of how different in style a spy he is. Michael's the matter of fact leader, Fiona's wreckless and passionate, & Sam's got heart, wisdom and old school swagger. It's just hard to fit Jesse in there without overlapping - not his fault, as all the others are already so capable
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but I DO want him to succeed as a teammate
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And Nate had the lovable earnest, always a screw up role covered. DID WE FORGET THAT JESSE WANTED FI?
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I've always liked Jesse, myself. Surprised at the hate, if it really is that widespread.
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I like Jesse, too. It kind of sneaked up on me, but I realized I was happy when they included him in Micheal's opening monologue.
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My problem with the show, and I really love Burn Notice, is that the exterior of the building is rusty, but in the fly over footage it's white. For some reason that really bugs me.
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I just never figured it was the same building, duh
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