Gosh, having a nemesis is the absolute worst. Like life wasn't hard enough—what with pondering all the mysteries of the universe, figuring how one fits into it all, and sobering up in time to pick up the kids from trombone lessons, just to have some mortal enemy bust your chops every step of the way, all for the heck of it? A nemesis basically doubles your to-do list, because every other item is "...and watch out for so-and-so." No. Thanks.
In last night's Season 6 premiere of Burn Notice, "Scorched Earth," the one-man A-Team that is Michael Westen came fist-punchingly close to taking down his own nemesis, Anson Fullerton. The squinty leader and final member of the organization that ruined Michael's spy career many missions ago spent the better half of Season 5 forcing him to burn other spies, so that Anson might recruit them to rebuild his network of secret haters, sidling up to them all like, "So, I hear you're out of work..." Like any good villain, Anson used Mike's one true love Fiona as leverage, while also trying to implicate him in a bombing at the British Consulate that left three people dead, just because he's a huge punk like that. However the good Irish lass that she is, Fi' turned herself in, which broke Mike's heart, but also left him free to pursue Anson...with extreme prejudice.
So while Fiona dealt with the wrong end of the law, Michael was across town, sitting alone in his car under the beautiful Miami sun, brooding over her gun powder-and-White Shoulders-scented letter (probably listening to Sheryl Crow's "The First Cut is the Deepest" on repeat).
Sam rolled up to bro out with Mike by telling him that this is the way it had to be, and that Fiona had to stop him from betraying all his friends and government and what not. Mike wasn't really hearing it, because he was all pissed at Sam for not stopping Fiona when he had the chance, a sentiment best expressed via neck pinch.
Weepy Westen may have a killer's tiny heart, but inside that heart is an even tinier (yet metaphorically bigger) lover's heart, and you just know when there's emotion involved some serious butt-kicking is afoot. It's a strong conflict to imbue in a character—whether he should ruin his professional life for a chance at love, or let that certain someone fade into the past/get the chair for terrorism. Last season ended with the ex-lovers sharing true romantic feelings for each other, so I suspect romance is on the horizon. If nothing else, Michael's landed himself a hell of an audition story for The Bachelor.
En route to check in with the CIA, Sam and Mike got word from Jesse that Anson had been spotted zooming through Magic City on his way to some escape boats, so the two cooked up a plan to stall a major highway and slow up his getaway by—you guessed it: stealing and exploding a semi-truck.
Ka-boom! Sorry, can't give you spy points on this one, Michael, because that is just a no-brainer. Exactly what I would do. Also, is anyone keeping tabs on all the MacGyver tips Westen's been doling out? I like to think somewhere there's a spy-in-the-making with 300 Meads full of this info, just waiting for the credits to roll on the series finale before using some magnet shards, Staples-brand Air Duster, and a jerry-rigged Wet Vac to launch himself out his roof and into the Pentagon.
Speaking of federal buildings, Fiona spent the entire episode having a massive snooze of a sit-in with one Jason Bly (who once blackmailed Michael, but then they made good by surviving a bank robbery together in Season 2). The CSS representative aimed to make Fiona name Michael as a suspect in the bombing, but her Gaelic pride was just not having it. This was the most boring plot thread, just one character literally shackled to a room. I know it was necessary to the story being told but I wish the creators did more to show us the emotional exhaustion Fi' had to endure. She has to pretend that she is not in love with the man she loves in order to protect him—that is super romantic! Yet, all we got were a few scenes with the intensity of a bad job interview. Also, what was the significance of that little girl Fiona made eye contact with during her arrest? A ghost representing her lost innocence? Secret little-person operative? Therapy droid?
On the road, Michael and Sam were able to successfully flush Anson out of his car, but he escaped to a nearby chemical plant before they could get to him. And as if things weren't bad enough, Michael then received a call from Anson bragging about how he also dispatched some psycho Army Ranger to Michael's mom's house, where Madeline was currently enjoying a cigarette and sandwich, in no particular order.
Mommie likes her sammie! Before they could call Jesse the errand boy to go check on Ms. Westen, the crazy army dude smashed through her door... but luckily she was able to hide in a laundry basket or a giant fern or some such. Full disclosure, I do this anytime my landlord comes a-knocking. The point is, I don't know where she went, and neither did the highly trained tactical combat expert. While the skilled trooper lifted up cookie jar lids with his pistol tip and checked the water-heater closet, some more boring stuff happened with Bly trying to lead a stubborn Fiona into fingering Michael and blah, blah, blah. Get to the explosions!
So then at the chemical plant Sam and Michael apprehended some security guards and got them to clear the facilities by using walkie-talkie magic and lying to coworkers. Looks like those five afternoons of team-building exercises paid off, trustworthy chemical plant employees! What kind of chemicals did this plant even manufacture? Mouth wash? Bomb water? Plus I don't know if anyone else noticed the soundtrack during this shootout sequence, but there was some pure dubstep going on. Scrillex? More like Kill-ex!
Back at Mama W's house, Jesse finally arrived just in time to distract the army goon long enough for Madeline to blast through her own ceiling from the attic and connect with a shoulder shot. Great aim, lady! Someone's been playing her PS3. Peek-a-boo!
In the meantime, Ol' Sly Larry Bly got a hold of some photos from Michael's roadside truck explosion, and tried working more lip-voodoo on Fiona to make her think her man was street confetti. Just why on earth did he think this would work? Fiona is so smart, especially when it comes to things blowing up, plus it'd be random for Michael to perish this way. I do not think Fiona even for a second felt Michael was dead. Nice try, Bly! Bly-ar, Bly-ar pants on fire!
Heck, not only was Michael alive and doddering around the facility (always with the "facilities"!), he and Sam set off an alarm causing a mass evacuation and then they totally caught the real Anson...
Psych! It was just a perfectly identical Anson look-alike who Michael whipped around. Poor guy, all he wanted was to go home and sing to his turtles. Hell, at least he got to leave work early. Suffice to say, by now Michael was getting pretty antsy, I guess feeling his spy version of performance anxiety. Don't worry you got this Michael!
Whoops then he pulled a gun on Sam. Was this supposed to be a thing? Was Michael getting closer and closer to the "edge?" I kind of got that impression, but mostly I was a little surprised that he would treat Sam this way. Sam's your buddy! He's trying to look out for you! As punishment, CIA contact Kim "Dani" Pearce (because sometimes people go by "Dani" if their name is not that) made him stay behind and man the security cameras. There was another voiceover implying that Michael was so stressed he may have hallucinated a fence moving on the monitor. It took me a couple of watches to figure out what was even wrong with this fence. Mostly I was just like "yeah, the nut has finally cracked!" But then I was wrong and it turned out to be Anson relieving himself.
No seriously, the bad guy was actually trying to escape, which made Michael get straight punchy on him. Unfortunately, Anson had a detonator wired to blow the facility sky-high, chemicals and all. Shame-faced, Michael let his nemesis escape and warned his friends to get the heck on out of that there building (redeeming himself via the concept of not betraying his friends and government for the sake of personal vendettas). Let this be a lesson to EVERYONE.
In the end all survived, except for probably seven seagulls I bet Michael tagged while firing blindly at Anson's escape boat. Though he failed in catching Handsom' Anson, Mikey W. succeeded in finally getting the CIA to believe that his nemesis was indeed a threat to this beautiful nation and beyond. Sadly, back at the federal building, Fiona perished of boredom.
– Is it good and right and just, what Fiona is doing for the sake of Michael?
– Will he save her?
– Is their love the greatest love of all?
– Where was Anson off to?
– Will Anson get his comeuppance?
– Was Michael way too hard on Sam?
– Will Fiona and Michael "make it"?
– Do you have a nemesis?
– Does it taste good to smoke a cigarette while eating a sandwich?