A Burn Notice Community
USA (ended 2013)

Burn Notice S07E06: "All or Nothing"


"Steamy is as steamy does" was the phrase ricocheting through my brain-piece like a heart-shaped swarm of uzi bullets sprayed by cupid himself after this week’s venture into Romance Town, U.S.A. population: Michael Westen. "All or Nothing" combined the awkwardness of ex-lover reunions and the pain of a socially isolating career while still maintaining a fun tone on the way to a sexy, devastating breakdown for our hero. Drama notwithstanding, it was the most normal installment we’ve seen this season—returning the gang to Miami, snow globes, yogurt, beer, gray suits, and the loft, as well as giving Fi and Michael a chance to escape their shared past in a bit of (mostly) frothy role-playing. Guns were pointed, asses were smacked, flashbacks were had, and Westen finally cracked a smile, leaving us all to wonder whether this master of subterfuge was on his way to inner peace, or on a collision course for implosive loneliness.  Whatcha' think Axe?     

So after vowing to destroy the no-good hackers who outed her, Sonya enlisted Westen and Co. to infiltrate a ring of keyboard jockeys known as the Collective (a seeming reference to real-life mischief makers Anonymous that began and ended in name only). The mission: Find out what dirt this group of stylish eggheads had on Sonya and plant a nasty virus stolen from a software developer that was originally intended for the Department of Defense. Baby, this virus was so strong, it made the FULL version of McAfee look the FREE trial version of McAfee. Yeah, that strong. 

While Michael was used to knowing all the tiny details of a mission, like what color rubber-bands his operational targets had on their braces (i.e. glow-in-the-dark or Halloween-themed), Sonya continued with the vague soothsayer-speak by pointing out that there’s "a difference between being in the dark and acting on faith." Instead, she was like, "Just pretend to be a doctor and stab this guy because it'd take too long to explain why some stranger got sick for us." Fingers crossed that whatever community she belongs to is some sort of doomsday spy cult that believes Michael Westen is the one true messiah who will lead his righteous followers to Burnhalla, the heaven of espionage (a.k.a. "Heavenspionage").    


Maddie didn't appear in this episode, but we all know she spent the day teaching Charlie useful things like the dangers of alcohol, and how to make Hobo Stew. Elsewhere, love was in the air, as Jesse and Sam made good on a deal to reunite stylish fool Barry Burkowski with his estranged girlfriend, in exchange for some hacker software and falsified evidence of fake computer hackery. Barry's fun, but any time this thread strayed too far from the Sonya/Collective story the episode fell limp, because Jesse and Sam scored the important tech stuff right up front, so the remainder of their time with Barry was just fooling around all low-stakes-like, with peripheral characters like Barry’s pistol-whipped replacement and that manic shady car salesmen fighting for that reel footage—AND WINNING. 


Things heated up early on for Westen and Fi, but not in the good way, starting the episode off with a tense "oh so this is your new lady friend" encounter outside the loft (the Loft!), and ending with an unsent text to Ol’ Thunderstorm Boot-Knocker himself. Fiona’s near-death experience caused all this sentimentality, with the threat of losing each other forever clarifying the depth of emotion at play between the two. More touching, though, was Sonya’s innocent inquiry into what it’s like to have a personal life, and her counterpart’s spatially intimate response, which in body language roughly translated to "let's swap Essence, girl." Michael and Fi ending up together seems inevitable, but it's moments like this one that will help keep the journey to that point mysterious. We're seeing the ultimate troubled relationship question: Do the bad times and betrayals bond, or are they a trail of red flags telling each party to move the hell on?


At the surface of all this Jane Austen Presents Burn Notice and Noticeability mush-fest, Fi and Mike’s fake personas, and their adventures into a workplace where all the nerds had submachine guns (just like Google), provided an excellent counterbalance. Charles Mesure and Jordan Belfi played the Collective’s two slimeballs-in-charge pretty much as stock bad guys, but their mugging new hires kept them from appearing too cartoonish. Last season Mike and Fi similarly teamed up as mafia, and it's usually these character-heavy excursions that get Donovan and Anwar one-upping each other with goofy expressions and silly line deliveries in the most charming way possible. You can almost hear the crew cracking up after Westen’s "Blueberry..." line, and who didn’t love Fiona’s nose-ring?  


The general lighthearted tone throughout helped disguise Westen’s sucker punch of a confession about being left behind and pitied by his friends, as well as blamed for his brother’s death. These are all things the audience thought had been resolved, what with Maddie forgiving him, and Sam and Jesse hopping the first flight out to Cuba in order to help him out. But maybe this is how he really feels. Sure, it’s likely he’s slept with Sonya just to get closer to her superiors, but who knows: Maybe Michael really is losing it. Maybe this stuff is catching up with him and maybe he can’t ever have a normal life. He’s never been one to use a woman for personal gain and, honestly, given how many times Westen has succeeded and failed, succeeded and failed—this latest gesture, if done in the spirit of panicked selfishness, would feel like a moral failure on his part. Not like he shouldn’t get a little trim on the side—as long as both parties are honest and consenting, but the hero we know doesn’t need to trick his way into bed, and that’s skeezy as hell to lie to someone as vulnerable as Sonya between the sheets. Here's hoping for the best!


BURNING QUESTIONS:

– Has Westen done something irretrievably wrong by sleeping with Sonya?

– Will Fi ever forgive him for this?

– Do you wish more character stuff was going on with Sam and Jesse?

– Did you miss Maddie?

– Will Charlie be 17 when we see him again?

– Who does Sonya work for?

– Was this a good episode?

– Was this "one for the fans"?

– Were you happy to see Barry return?

– Is Barry wise in the ways of love?

– Will Michael propose to Fi?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/12/2013

Season 7 : Episode 13

39 Comments
Comments (39)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Hack into a SCADA system? Those things are so notoriously unsecure that using them as proof of your l33t h@x00r skills would get you laughed out of the club.
Reply
Flag
I've watched Burn Notice since the first season. For the majority of its run on USA, it's been a relatively straight forward and at times even predictable show. There was always the plot arc of Michael trying to get his old job back, interspersed with the episode to episode helpless person who needed the team's help. Seasons 5 and 6 saw a change to all that, and Season 7 has taken that old routine and set fire to it like Michael's old loft. Almost nothing about this show is the same, and episodes that are reminiscent of how the show used to be seem more nostalgic than a serious return to the previous pattern. As a fan I feel connected to all of these characters (as I think would be unavoidable when you get a look into a fictional person's life for so long), and it's tough to see Michael appearing to continue down a path that destroys every vestige of the character that he has been since he came to Miami. We knew he was different and did some pretty terrible and questionable things when he was a spy, but the Michael of Miami seemed able to control that side of himself, with Maddie and Sam and Jesse and Fiona to help. Now, the gloves are off and one kind of wonders if Michael has really been this way all along, if this is really who he is (borderline sociopath-ish), or if he's been driven to this point, looking over the ledge with nothing to hold onto anymore to keep him from falling. Could Michael ever really move on from his job, or is this life really all he is ever going to have until he dies? In the end, it'll probably all be nicely resolved and everyone will be happy (maybe, who knows). But the fact that for the first time Burn Notice is even allowing us to question whether or not a happy ending is even an option proves that this show is determined to go out in a way that only Burn Notice truly could: with an unforgettable bang.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
I just loved Michael's meltdown confession at the end. I think it was real. His playing a part gives him to freedom to place te truth out there in a way that he probably never would otherwise... Along that same line, I think that's what led him to get close to Sonya. I think it's not just business, and he's gonna feel bad when the time comes to betray her. I'm still hoping for some sort of twist there regarding her boss...
Love Alona Tal, btw. :)
3
Reply
Flag
I am so going to miss this show.
3
Reply
Flag
I think his blow up at the end was a mix of trying to get into a more informed position within the group Sonya belongs to but at the same time he dug into his true feelings. If you remember back in the season premiere he talked about that fine line between your cover and reality and how hard it is to tell the difference sometimes. I think that he does feel responsible for his brother's death regardless of how anyone else feels about it. I think the rejection by Fi has really hit him hard and I think that he is really confused about what the right thing is. Did he make the right call in working with the CIA again, was shooting Card the best choice? All these things he THOUGHT were the right call but I think deep down he wonders if he has simply been justifying his actions when in reality it is all about him and what he wants not about what is right. I would not be surprised to see him meet this group he is infiltrating and truly struggle with whether or not he wants to bring them down or join them.
5
Reply
Flag
I can laugh at that finger-blowing scene when I see it as a GIF here, but when I saw it during the episode, I probably had a look of disgust on my face. I think it was because I just could not see Michael (or Fi) as hackers. Not just because they weren't nerdy enough -- I could picture tough hackers -- but because of the way they spoke with each other and mimed actual hacking. Groan.

LOL @ the flashbacks when Fi's line broke or whatever. That made me roll my eyes. Michael and Sonya meeting in slow motion in the restaurant made me want to laugh and throw up at the same time. There are moments where I just can't believe how corny this show has become, and I honestly can't tell if I'm supposed to enjoy the corniness or not.

Anyway, all in all, that was a decent episode. I kinda hope Michael sticks with Sonya and they don't have this whole storyline of Fi 'choosing' Michael again only to find he had been with Sonya, then Michael says it was nothing and tries to be with Fi again and Fi feels hurt and says no and pushes away again. Please, writers, I DO NOT want that.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
I just don't get how a show could make you want to throw up and be decent at the same time. Maybe it's because of Sonya, I have to agree she pulls the show up a little

This episode was so bad, like much worse than CSI Miami at its lowest. The script was terrible (switching the power off? Oh! you must be god!) and the main actor guy has the right look but delivers his lines like an elephant in a ballet class.

Anyways good night
Reply
Flag
Editor's note: i.e. stands for "id est", generally understood as "that is", and is used for a clarification statement such as "the operation without a hitch, i.e. according to plan", while e.g. stands for exempli gratia, generally understood as "for example", and is used thus in a less determinate statement such as "Michael likes the fruity yogurts, e.g. blueberry or strawberry".
1
Reply
Flag
Very good episode. I pretty much agreed with everything Michael said in his blow-up at the end.
1. Maddie still blames him for Nate's death. Unjust blame to me. Woman needs to get off Michael's back to me.
2. Sam and Jesse, who are still Michael's friends, definitely pity him. Hell, I support Michael 100% and I given his situation, I pity him too.
3. Fiona is clearly over Michael. While I truly believe they'll find their way back to each other before it all ends, she's still justifiably angry and has clearly moved on to Carlos, despite knowing the whole truth. Now I'm not saying Michael is to blame, but that all the baggage that comes with being his girlfriend (which is a lot!!) has finally taken its toll on their relationship. So, Michael finding solace with Sonya, whether it's for the mission or because he's lonely, is just fine with me. I just want him to survive this final season with his sanity intact. Living in that burned-up bunker he calls his loft or home looks so freaking depressing.

While Barry's B storyline didn't add anything to the big storyline, it was still good seeing him again. The guy makes me laugh LOL!!

I'm not sure who Sonya works for, but at this point, I'm very intrigued to find out. Whatever this "organization" is, it has taken most of her life and has pulled Michael down a tunnel of darkness farther than I've ever seen him go down on this show. I want the best for him in the end, but given everything that's happened to him, I just don't know what to think about his future anymore.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
Michael was ready to potentially become an alcoholic, something that he probably swore he would never do. And let's not forget that he was closer than anyone would ever want to be to killing a child for this mission...I don't think sleeping with Sonya is too much of a stretch to get to the needed end result.
After 6 plus years of doing the dance with Fi in MIami, I for one would find it a real departure to now find out that the inevitable is not ...well ..so inevitable after all.
When all is said and done, Mike and Fi were meant for each other and this latest twist is Michael's way of speeding up the game.
And frankly lest we forget Fi has been no wallflower when it comes to finding men to fill in for Michael....so thinking that there is anything for her to forgive is a bit of a double standard if you will. I Believe that as dysfunctional as their relationship is and has always been, they are truly made for each other.
What a story- go Jeffrey and Gabrielle- you have made a believer out of me. I have watched every season at least 4x and never get sick of it. I will be sad to see the end of it, so sincerely hope that it ends on an emotional high note.
More+
3
Reply
Flag
Barry and Yogurt. just like old times! sweet :)

maybe Maddie, Sam and Jesse forgave Michael but it doesn't matter as long as he doesn't forgive himself - which is the hardest thing to do - and he's not there yet.

"...In prison you're the pretty girl." LOL! love Sam! :)
Reply
Flag
Anyone know what the name of the track at the end of this episode is, the one right before the credits? Thanks in advance.
Reply
Flag
Someone already said it down there, but it was Angel, by Massive Attack. That was on my La femme Nikita playlist years ago, haha.
Reply
Flag
Also wanted to add that I love Alona Tal (Sonya) and the chemistry between her and Michael is great! So I would be okay if they had Michael get with her.
5
Reply
Flag
1. He wasn't wrong to sleep with Sonya - he is in a situation where he feels alone with all of his friends off living their lives. I doubt he thought their lives would stop moving forward without him, but its also tough to watch. As for his guilt for Nate, his mother may have forgiven him but I doubt he forgives himself. Nate was his little brother, and he feels like he let him down.

2. Fi has no reason to forgive him, he did nothing wrong. Michael is free to do what he wants. Its pretty obvious his heart still belongs to Fi, but she has told him numerous times that it is over. How long is he supposed to wait? Besides she is banging the bounty hunter.

3. I like when Michael and the crew work together, so I hope we get back to that soon.

4. No, I like her but I feel like she doesn't have a place on the show now. I would be fine if they had her move away with Charlie.

5. Probably

6. Don't know - but I think they may actually be good.

7. It was ok.

8. Didn't feel like it.

9. Yeah I like Barry.

10. In his mind.

11. Maybe, the end game has probably always been Michael and Fi, but if they didn't end up together I would be okay with that.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
Michael is with Sonya because of a human and very sad reason, he feels lonely. Hs friends will always be faithful to him but he still feels distanced from them and the woman he loves left him, not only because she's mad at him but cause she doesn't want to live the CIA-girlfriend life anymore and in the middle of this dispair a beautiful woman shows up who does want not only to be with him but also live the life he chose. He might betray Sonya in the future or even get her killed, who knows, but I think the reason he's with her is not about the job.
5
Reply
Flag
I am going to start with saying I love every seen with Sonya and Michael, they have great chemistry.

1. Hell no she's hot and he's doing his job and I really like her character
2. Who cares, she's got bounty hunter guy, also has Michael ever been with a women other then Fi(I can't remember) & she's had multiple guy friends
3. No, I think it just the right amount
4. No, especially since they've made her more of a liability this season
5. Don't care about seeing Charlie
6. Don't care hope her and Michael end up together
7. Yes, I've enjoyed this entire season so far
8. Not sure what that means
9. Yes, but only because I wanted to know what happened after he was arrested, he can not return the rest of the season
10. Hell No
11. I hope not, originally wanted them together in the end, but now not so much
2
Reply
Flag
You missed a burning question, is Massive Attack's Angel the most versatile song ever? Or do TV music editors just have a REALLY limited MP3 collection?
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
10 points for identifying that sultry, sensual track.
2
Reply
Flag
This was again a pretty decent episode. Alona Tal's presence is welcomed, she should have been there the past couple of seasons.

The case of the week, was a little silly. If anyone should have played the hacker I think it should have been Jesse. Michael can be a lot of people, but anyone around computers that much and computer people would have known he wasn't a hacker.

Fi and Michael, eh. It was kind of ridiculous, no where two experienced climbers are going to choose that as their anchor point.

Questions.

!. Nope. Better than him being emo about Fi.
2. I just don't care about Fi and Michael anymore. Mostly due to the ridiculousness of last season. But also, because Fi is kind of annoying this week.
3.Nope. The beginning of this season kind of did me in with them.
4.Not even a little bit.
5. Nah, Maddie has to die and FI and Michael have to raise him. Because I get the feeling they are going to go for the happily ever after ending. When it really should be all dead but Michael.
6. I think this is going to harken back to the CIA again.
7. It was better than the first few. But really it can only be laid at Alona's feet.
8. Nope..
9. Yes. He reminds me that the show used to be better.
10. Not even a little.
11. Ugh, probably.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
I totally agree with you about Michael playing a hacker. I could not for the life of me believe anybody who's any sort of computer nerd would see Michael as a hacker (let alone a good one).
1
Reply
Flag
1. No
2. Probably not but she should.
3. Yes
4. No
5. Maybe, it doesn't matter
6. I don't know but I'm hoping for someone interesting but I'm not expecting any Anson
7. Fairly good
8. Not sure
9. Yes, he's awesome. More money laundering and less flashy clothes from his part is welcome though
10. No, he was completely clueless
11. Maybe, I hope not. I hope they finish the show as a spy show, not something with romance.

I thought it was a decent episode. I like the whole hacker syndicate, that was interesting but is it over? Was that all? I don't know, at least it led up to the point of Sonya's (and Burke) boss(es) so next episode will reveal something interesting for this season.
Reply
Flag
Sonya looks like she just graduated from college.

I really liked that this was one show where the hot leading man was with one woman, and one woman only. Not to mention, he even fought long and hard against that intimacy for work reasons! I really dislike how they are playing with one of the fundamental tenants of the show - that Michael really only has eyes for Fiona - in the final season. Can we get back to the fun stuff, and the crew we know and love, already? Alona Tal is fine and all but this storyline is already dragging and it's only been two episodes.
4
Reply
Flag
"– Will Fi ever forgive him for this?"

You mean the Fi who's been living with her bounty hunter boyfriend for the past several months?
7
Reply
Flag
Staff
Sure, I get what you're saying, but from Fi's POV it's still Michael that's in the wrong insofar as lying to her about "getting out." Yes you can say she should forgive him because he's "saving" her, and she is in a relationship herself, but she seems to care more about trust. It won't look good for Michael if he's all "I miss you so hard but I slept with someone else so trust me again." If Fi is jealous and hurt, Michael won't be able to logic-away her damaged ego by citing Carlos.
Reply
Flag
Staff
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
Does anyone else think the series is going to end with Michael joining the other side? Im kind of expecting the organization that Sonya works for is kind of like the good version of the organization that burned Michael to begin with. They kind of watch the watchers because governments have become super corrupt.

Also, it could be just because I <3 Alona Tal but I personally like Michael and Sonya.
10
Reply
Flag
Michael is just going undercover.
1
Reply
Flag
+1

All the "leave no man behind" talk points in this direction
Reply
Flag
Sonya's confession was the key to Michael's foray, certainly coupled with Fi's rejection of him. I just think he's pushing the action so he can finish the assignment, get his friends out of trouble and take off. At this point, a successful mission and then a bullet in the head would be a relief. All of Michael's revelations (his guilt, his friends pity, lost of "everything") was probably documented somewhere or easily inferred by someone as sharp as Sonya so he wasn't really giving anything away.
Reply
Flag
I did miss Maddie. I miss her in general during this entire season. Charlie will for sure be of legal drinking age by the time we see him again, or we will not see him at all.

The end of the episode surprised me in a good way. The Michael Weston breakdown, NOT the coidice. I didn't see that coming and I think he really does feel that way about the people in his life since Fi now has made it clear on several occasions that it "is" over (we obviously know it is not, but he may be convinced by now). I also think that even though Maddie may have forgiven him for Nate's death, he likely has not forgiven himself and that is contributing to his alienation. I thought that end brought the episode to an OK/good level. Because other than that it was mehh for me as there was NO progress on the Sonya-organization or other storylines on the show. In fact, we didn't even see Sonya in action which I had at least expected. Both she and Burke lack scenes with events that would prove that they are in fact as great of spies as they are supposed to be.
More+
Reply
Flag
Loved the flash video of michael blowing on his fingers. That and his facial expression when slimeball minion was flirting with Fiona were the comic highlights of the episode while his sorta cnfession at the end of the episode provided the emotional contrast....
Really loved this episode although the B-plot was a little pointless.
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
1,893