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USA (ended 2013)

Burn Notice S07E11: "Tipping Point"


Michael Westen has always had a love-hate relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency, dating all the way back to his early days of being burned. Since then, he’s made and broken deals with the government group for one reason or another, but he's never lost faith in its overall ideals: bring bad guys to justice. In the action-packed "Tipping Point," Westen found himself smack dab in the middle of surprise in an hour that succeeded by having our hero once again question the true nature of the CIA alongside his own. Were this just another end to another season—and not the whole series—his decisions might be seen as a routine lead-up to another cliffhanger. But with only two more episodes left, Michael Westen’s endgame is as mysterious as ever, even to himself, and Burn Notice is reaping all the benefits. 


So let’s just talk about the main thing that was cool here: Simon Escher was the leader of the Alpha Team! Simon "crazy man with the Family Bible who committed the crimes that helped frame Westen" Escher. That Simon Escher. Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you knew Garret Dillahunt was scheduled to appear this season, but the question was how he’d come into play. His talk with Westen about guys like them essentially being "weapons" at the mercy of the CIA ended up being a real eye-opener for Westen. Ostensibly, the CIA Westen joined way back when was one that supported his moral goals, but if there's one realization that keeps bonking Westen over the head like a Whac-A-Mole mallet, it’s that the spy business thrives on gray areas. He and his team seem to be the only trustworthy hearts involved with espionage, and that responsibility has taken its toll. 


One cool-ass fight sequence later (honestly, it was very rad), we were treated to another shocker as Westen slowly sank a knife into Simon’s chest. A real "hi/bye" situation. On paper, the deal to bring down James and save Fiona, Sam, Jesse, and Maddie looked good, but up close, the kind of cavalier brutality demonstrated by Simon and supported by the CIA really rubbed Westen the wrong way. As Westen discovered long ago, and illustrated in James' mind meld, hapless murder as a means to an end is something he cannot abide by. It’s a shame and a blessing that Burn Notice is so close to an end just as all this is coming into focus, because as a result Westen, is compelling in way he’s never been before. Part of the reason is that he’s on his way out, so the writers are of course going for broke in the motivation department, but still it's the kind of introspective sendoff a one-man force like Westen deserves.  


Elsewhere, Maddie and Fi back home got just enough of a story to remind us what’s ultimately at stake for Westen, representing his threatened loved ones (though I’m still trying to picture how you stash a knife in your shirt). The question now is whether or not James and Sonya have found their way into Westen’s heart as well. With Westen finally confessing his CIA arrangement with Kendrick, and then shutting his eyes tight and preparing for death, he seemed like a real goner, and someone right out of ideas. Or was he? It was this very honesty that compelled James to let him live on into the next episode. Why had he gone through so much trouble to preserve James this close to victory? Because Westen can't help but think for himself, especially when forced into a position where that's barely an option. It's how he's built.  


A "confused" Michael Westen is the most entertaining kind of Michael Western there is, because it's thrilling to witness him get his head together and kick butt. Thinking on the fly with little resources is Westen’s bread and butter. Even though we know he'll come out on top, it’s commendable of Burn Notice to call into question what "on top" would even be at this point. James is a monster to some, but a hero to others. Same goes for the CIA. Both happen to stand in the way of Westen’s friends living (period, but also) peaceful lives, and both have the power to kill Westen’s world.    


BURNING QUESTIONS:

– Why did James let Michael live?

– Will Sonya forgive Michael?

– Will Sonya rescue Michael by killing James?

– Were you satisfied with Simon vs. Michael fight? 

– How will Michael get out of this sticky situation?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/12/2013

Season 7 : Episode 13

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What I find interesting is that Ansons never mentioned James and James never mentioned Anson to Michael which I believe is mostly because the creators don't care about that connection but it's possible neither of them knew about each other or they did but stayed away from them. While Ansons was more of the typical stay in the shadow, pull the strings kind of Big Bad James seem to be a much more sophisticated Dragon (tvtrope) that has a lot of money and likely know a lot of people.

1) Because he wants to believe that Michael is a believer, that Michael actually want to try and do some good in the world without resorting to working with bad guys like Simon. How James excludes himself from this I don't know but I suppose he thinks the means justifies the end just like the CIA. I suppose James, since he's a private worker, can do more than what the CIA can but they employ off-the-books agents as well so I don't know. It's probably about belief in this stage.

2) She'll in time but it will take time. It would suck if she just snaps and runs away or do something drastic.

3) I don't know, I hope not. I hope they all survive or Michael kills James and takes over his organization. :P

4) By taking over James organization. There's no normal life with Jessie, Sam, Fiona or Madeline or any CIA option anymore. He should evolve. Take over James's organization or join him and use him to do better than what the CIA did.
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The promo last week said Michael sees the last person he expected to see alive...not sure why that would be Simon, since he's actually one of the few enemies Mike didn't kill. Mike should always assume that if he didn't kill somebody or otherwise see them expire, they're not dead.
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Maybe I missed it but why exactly does the CIA want James? Is it just because he is operating his own private spy group and competing with the CIA or did he actually do something bad? With the exception of the guy he kept locked up in a mental hospital for 15 years he seems like the good guy doing the jobs the CIA should be doing.

Also consider the CIA has lied to Michael in order to use him several times so even what they told him might not be true.
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He killed his entire team for not obeying orders to kill a village full of people where they actually thought they were enemy combatants. I suspect that to prove this the CIA will have to pay for more than it cant though but Michael's current boss (or former..) said he had been chasing this guy for 10 years so it's possible James have been running his organization for a while.
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I get the impression that the show could end with the death of Weston. It's sort of like the "Death of the Hulk" ending. He can only be free when he dies.

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Nix is a master mind. The only way that he could really resolve the issue between Michael and Fiona was to 1) make Fiona stand in Michael's shoes for a moment so she can see why he has felt he had to work for the CIA and 2) have Michael see that Fiona was always right about the CIA being bad guys. In the first instance Fiona experiences new empathy for Michael when Carlos is tortured and rescued. She realizes that she had to do something she didn't want to do to save Carlos, just like Michael has been doing all along in trying to save his family by working for the CIA. Now for Michael's realization. Michael eventually had to see that the CIA were bad guys and didn't deserve his loyalty.
Here's how I imagine the next two episodes wrapping things up.
James has a monumental mission coming up to stop a terrorist group that is planning to kill thousands. Michael will agree to help him but not agree to accept his brutal methods or join forces with him permanently. He makes a deal with James to save his family. Jesse, Sam and Fiona just think Michael is 'lost' and step in to confront him. Fiona risks Sonya shooting her. Sam will then fight with Michael and they fall into the ocean together and almost drown. In my fantasy of how this will end - James respects Michael's virtue and sense of honor and tells him that he will save Michael's family if he will help him do this last mission. Michael is still trying to do both, the good thing (ie. the mission) and save his family. The gang gets on board with Michael and James to stop a deadly terrorist attack.
James sets up a ploy so that the CIA will think that Michael and his whole family have been killed so they can leave the country. However we find out that Maddie has inoperable cancer and can't go with them. She and Michael are completely reconciled and she gives Charlie into his care. We already know by the end of episode 12 that Fiona is with Michael. In Episode 13 the whole family fights their last big battle against evil together and share an intimate moment with Maddie before they are freed from both James and the CIA forever.
I have loved Burn Notice and am going to be sad to see it end. I haven't minded the intensity of Season 7. Yes, it has become more of a drama then a light hearted feel good show, but the core of the show has always been about Michael being a man of strength, truth and integrity who had a family who stood by his side no matter what. The show has raised moral and ethical questions that has shaken all of its viewers. It is also an epic romance. I have never seen the kind of chemistry that Michael and Fiona have on screen. They are both amazing actors. He is a true Hero and she is his perfect match.
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That would be great if that was the ending!
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Well put. You should be a writer.
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You know what? I forgot how annoyed I was with a few little things in this ep. People reading ambushes that shouldn't have been readable, CGI flames, James' crew buying weak sauce red herrings, that sort of thing. The ep was good enough to get past them, but they were still there.
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Yes, but there's stuff like that in all the episodes. Last week was much worse for example.
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I think what bothered me about this episode was that it telegraphed the change a little too early, that Westen wore these feelings on his sleeve for a while now. But it's probably a bluff because the CIA didn't swoop up Maddie and CHARLIE (holy crap am I sick of this kid despite him doing nothing wrong on his own, it's all the writers' fault kid, I promise) and Sam and Fi and Jesse, and that's the thing weighing on Michael's mind most, so there's simply no excuse for him leaving that all open to chance with James, a man he KNOWS FOR A FACT is a cold-blooded murderer at least as bad as the agency holding him hostage. IMO, if that's not part of Michael's endgame, then it's a goddamned plot hole, a very specific character arc that gets flushed down the crapper to serve a pointless plot twist.

You stash a knife in your shirt down your side, Maddie screwed that up and slid it down her front, then had to play Twister with her own body, but it was forgivable given the circumstances. The fact that Maddie can spot Fi's sniper rifle while James' guys can't is less so.

Not entirely satisfied with Simon/Michael, not enough talk of reflection despite them dressed the same in different shades, not enough all-out throwdown to the death about it.
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I don't think Michael is bluffing. He thinks the CIA is no better than James's crew, and he had to think that there was a good chance that James would kill him there. He was willing to put himself in a 60% chance of dying situation to ensure that Sonya wouldn't be executed because of him.

How do we know for a fact that James is far worse than the CIA? That's not at all how I have interpreted the situation. I think the CIA is at least as bad. Unfortunately for Mike, James and Sonya are also far too willing to kill everyone around the bad guy just to get the bad guy, so it's not just a simple matter of choosing the "right" side. There is no right side here. That's what makes it so interesting. I have no idea what he's going to do.

I can't imagine that Michael takes down James and Sonya now. Maybe the show ends with him finally denouncing the CIA and taking over James' operation. Maybe it ends with a drone strike that kills James and Sonya, giving Mike a chance to slip away and let everyone think he's dead. Maybe Sam, Fiona and Jesse will take down James and Sonya, making it look like Mike did it, and then Mike finally quits the CIA. This seems to be the only way everyone can live sort of happily ever after in Miami.

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James is worse than the CIA because we know of his brutal methods and we know he answers to no one. We don't like the CIA on the show because of their choices, but that they have limits and goals that answer to someone, and that's a big difference. Considering how clear Michael has been on where things stand in his spy world in the past, I think it's clear that this shift is unreasonable in any other way than a trick to take down James' whole operation.

The idea that he could be playing both is interesting, but asking a lot of strategizing in a situation that is clearly beyond Michael's control, the CIA is not being terribly predictable or careful, you can't plan around a wild card that easily.

The idea that he's really turned, that doesn't fit the bill.
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It does fit the bill. Michael has had to give up a lot for the CIA. He had to kill his friend for the CIA. Sure, James asked him to, but so did the CIA. The CIA has a lot of bad people in charge. Management, Anson, Tom Card, Riley. Who else is bad? Is Strong? And what had James actually done? Other than what that guy said he did, but at the same time we don't have James side of the story. Maybe James has his reasons. He is an extremist. He doesn't always do things the Michael way. But he knows Michael and knows he doesn't want to be a monster.

So yes, in a world where killing an innocent for the greater good, I can see Michael loosing his way. I've actually seen this day coming. I didn't see him giving up his cover though.
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James killed 7 innocents on a whim, James killed his whole platoon, James is a monster whose claim of doing the right thing so far haven't amounted to anything of the sort, and James answers to no one.
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The only thing that wouldn't fit the bill is if he starts using James's methods. But maybe he can convince James to do things his way. Maybe James will die and he can take over the operation after James.

I strongly disagree about this being a trick. I think it can't be a trick. I I would be very disappointed if it turns out that it is.
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I don't think there's an avenue they can take where there won't be some disappointment, but the signs fit and the character arc really wouldn't make sense this late in the game if Michael were to make such a drastic change of heart - especially sacrificing his friends to the CIA - for a relatively small thing that he was already well aware of.
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There is no way they will make CIA a baddie at the end of the show. I feel like Strong will be shown as the sole reason why CIA did questionable things and I believe that would be a cheap solution, eh.
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I don't know. I feel like they have never made the CIA look good, so it wouldn't be that much of a change. It would be more of a clarification. But you may be right. If you are, then I'm really curious about what will happen to James and Sonya, and what Mike's part in it will be.
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It's always easier to put the blame on individuals rather than an institution and if I'm right, Sonia and James might get redeemed, well, at least we are wondering about the ending and this is a good sign for a show. :P
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sorry no sale:

Mike doesn't turn or waver under duress and mind bending drugs, friends and family under threat from two sides, has to to questionable stuff for months nope he still the cia agent, but as soon as strong gets simon out of jail and a new job mike owns up and gives in...begging for death..

seriously...that's some bullshit.
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It's a combination of it all. Michael has had to do a lot for the CIA. He gave everything up for them. They burned him. They killed his brother. They made him public enemy number one. They sent the cartel after him and his family. They made him choose all his friends and family go to jail or him giving up Fi. They made him kill his friend. His friend who was seriously worried for Michaels life. And so far, the only questionable thing James asked Michael do is kill a friend. And, we don't know what the plan is. If the plan James has is to save millions of lives, and Michaels friend looking into Michael and finding James, that could be a bad thing. There are other ways to solve the problem, but James isn't that type of person. If Michael wasn't working for the CIA and thought James was a monster, maybe Michael would have suggested another way. Maybe James would have accepted it.

And yet, the CIA is using people like Simon, while James is using people like Burke and Michael. People who have values. So really, who is more of a bad guy?
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Idk why but I replied to you and it isn't showing up so I will try again... He realized he dedicated his whole life to a lie. That is a big shot to his pride. That is enough to make most men commit suicide. Without pride you have nothing. So quit trolling and trying to find something wrong with every little thing so you complain about and then you might enjoy watching it and be happy for once. Otherwise don't watch if you do not like it.
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The fundamental problem I see is that Michael has been doing this for his friends (and of course, that his own inner demons love the life, true, but his key trait getting him through all has been loyalty). Sure, he hates the CIA, perhaps even more now, but to give up on his friends just because the CIA throws Simon is ... bizarre. Granted, we may find out it's another Michael trick, a way he can get away from the CIA AND James...but I really have given up caring now.
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I don't see him giving up on his friends. In that last moment, I believe part of him wanted to die. It would protect his friends - the CIA doesn't know what he has done. At the same time, part of him wanted to live but he knows if he does, it will endanger his family and friends.

But he hasn't given up yet. In the end, he will choose his friends. He killed for Fi. He killed the guy who ordered the kill of his brother. His family and friends are everything to him.

But everyone has times when they feel the way Michael did. Just shoot me now.
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i loved this show prior to the last season and this one..

so much treading over old ground with the added cliche of closure.

but they killed nate off just to add some shock value give mike some grief and then introduce yet another big bad for an even bigger bad person who then is teased and kept out of the entire season but they have to deal with yet another 'dirty agent' the show is stale now.... nothing can redeem it for me i fore see mike and fi dying 'heroically' to save jesse and sam.. or some other massive cliche let down..

now if the writers had of just made card the bad guy and no one else and had him be bit more of a elusive mark instead of just being in his office and mike shoots him... he leaves the building picks up fi kisses her and they disapear behind a passing vehicle show ends. i'd be happy but no they returned to another 'anson' guy yet again, but no it's not him, wtf ? another guy is behind these ops... but wait he ain't the boss man either !! now we FINALLY GET the bad ass dude responicible and he's kinda moral and just and fair and actually gives a shit but the cia want him dead ???

oh not to mention the old tired stupid 'love triangle bullshit... of a lame one dimensional 'carlos' who was a random 'bounty hunter' who should of been a mole.. but no they just make him a total pussy whipped fool in love with a woman who is clearly not his type...and he gets a bit messed up from his own past suddenly saving his life is a problem when it involves drug king pins losing family ??

but what ever... just my opinion, no need to get personal if you don't agree.
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Ok I do see some of your points and I can respectfully debate. I too was losing interest but these last few episodes IMO have been great. You said Carlos should have been a mole I disagree because to me that would have been cliche. Nowadays there isn't anything in entertainment that hasn't been done in someway shape or form. So I think they are doing the best they can to be "original". Now I think that is impossible but they do need to have closure to westons character so they ate trying the beat they can. I personally liked it better when they were just helping people and less of the main story going on.
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i was fine with the clients each week, but it got stale after a while but it was worth watching they tried to go too big too fast and any big bad just ends up being dealt with in a such a lame way untill now where they are actually doing something with them even if it is a bit convaluted and contradicts previous episodes.
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I don't agree. Michael wants to be one of the good guys, and he finally understands that the CIA aren't the good guys. He's been totally dedicated to them his whole life, even after it cost him his brother. So to finally realize that they're worse than the people they're after, is precisely the sort of thing that could make him do what he did in this episode.

He didn't want to die. He just decided that he would rather put himself in a situation where it's likely that he will die, than let Sonya get executed because of how he used her. Then he thought that if they're going to kill him, it's better for him if they do it quickly.
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I completely agree. I understood why that made Michael change his mind about the CIA.
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I believe! Simon is the guy who got micheal burned, who tossed Miami into chaos. Simon told micheal that since micheal put him away they have been using him so its not just his handler that used simon but the CIA. The ends does justify the means anymore and when simom said that the cia is using him the same way that why he help james escaped. And the reaseon he told the true was bc if he let Sonia die for his cover then he wouldn't be the man he thought he was.
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Who ISN'T responsible for Michael getting burned? Simon, Cowan, Tom Card, Carla, "Management", Vaughn, etc.. It's stale, and Michael already put a bullet in nearly everybody already, there has to be some level of closure. Is this all daddy issues?
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Exactly.

BTW, i wouldn't mind seeing Management again, if I'm paying attention before the end.
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It was a really fun episode and it's been a fun season and I really needed my weekly Jack Coleman fix. But I can't stop asking: Is this really the first time Michael saw CIA do very questionable things? Or any other intellgince agency? Really?
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It is tho if u think about it all those other times it was not the cia it was some rouge agent or organization acting outside of the cia like micheal's old mentor. This is the first time thet have done something questionable and wrong by use a monster like Simon. Simon is the first bad guy mike took down for the cia to clear his name and this whole time the cia was using him like they are and have been using michael.
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No, of course not. It's not even the first time that he's had to do some questionable things. However, he could justify those things. They were for the better good. Freeing Simon could not be justified though. Uh uh. No way. No how.
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This is a dealbreaker, but holding hostage everyone Michael held dear to track down a rogue agent that was actually a much bigger issue somehow wasn't telling of their true character? No.
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And that's what makes Michael's flip unbelievable; he was doing this whole gig for his friends (and, yes, the thrill he can't escape), not the CIA. Of course, we may find this is another Michael trick, yada yada, boring now...
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And I'll also ask this: So suddenly his friends aren't that important anymore? What he did was basically betraying them. Yes, I say boring or not, this must be another trick or his actions will make zero sense.
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Where does Michael's obsession with justice come from? Is it just compensation for growing up with a brutal father and with a mother who tried to smooth things over by being economical with the truth? Or is it innate, like a plant in a forsaken garden that suddenly finds the sun?
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I have a feeling Michael grew up without purpose. That led him to join the army, and at some point be asked to join the CIA. He found a purpose working for his country. That's who he is. But now his country, in his eyes, are wrong.
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That is a good question and great descriptions. But I think both are very good possibilities
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I think its bc He was fragile when he left home. the military and the cia gave him something to believe in, made him feel like he was worth something. And then larry unleashed his dark side
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I'm sure an argument could be made for both.
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Great Episode! Action, betrayal, threat of death...this two week hiatus is gonna be torture! They have really stepped their game up this season, and it looks like this show will definitely be going out with a bang. And with the way things are going I don't think there is a clear cut path as to what direction we will be going, and I love it. Tonights episode just proved once again that the CIA cannot be trusted, and now Michael is stuck, not knowing which way to go. I understand why he helped James and Sonya, finding out that Strong was using Simon, MURDERING PSYCHOPATH SIMON, for missions was a slap in the face to Michael and all that he has done for them. He had every right to help Sonya and James out, especially since it has been shown for quite some time now that James may not ultimately be as bad as the CIA is making him out to be. James came back specifically to help Michael, it showed he had some form of loyalty, something that Strong is seriously lacking. Michael is conflicted right now but he will have to make a choice, his friends or James and his mission. I have no idea how this series will end, but I will be watching the next two episodes to find out.
Questions:
–Why did James let Michael live?
Michael could have turned both James and Sonya in but he didn't. As James said, the mission would be over and Michael would be free, but he still chose to help them escape the CIA. Also, when James was going to kill Sonya, Michael stepped up and admitted it was him who betrayed them.
– Will Sonya forgive Michael?
Maybe, but I doubt she will trust him. He lied to her, and has basically been playing her from day 1. He did save her life by admitting to James that he was the mole though.
– Will Sonya rescue Michael by killing James?
No, she truly believes in what James is doing. She would be willing to die for him, so for her to rescue Michael, James would have to do something major.
– Were you satisfied with Simon vs. Michael fight?
Yes, it was awesome.
– How will Michael get out of this sticky situation?
Sam, Fi and Jesse will help him in some way. Ultimately it will come down to what Michael wants - does he stay with James, go back to the CIA, or go off to oblivion.
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I agree to the extent that the co-stars are given very little to do in this episode and, really, this whole season, Campbell definitely included. At times he just phones in his performance. Fortunately for us, Donovan & Dillahunt come through splendidly. A side note: if you set the scene in Veracruz, Mexico, at least do us the courtesy of using photos of Veracruz, not Cabo San Lucas, Baja. Oh, and cut out the shot of the overpass with the clearance in feet and inches and the green street sign "nw12av." This production was rushed and it shows.
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VERY COOL EPISODE!
It was awesome to see Garret Dillahunt again (seriously, this guy should get his own show) even though Simon's a dirtbag. He was also really good as The Terminator on "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles".

the way Michael killed him was very Saving Private Ryan-y with the knife and all. at least this time it was the bad guy who got knifed.
that similar scene on Private Ryan gets me every time... *sniff sniff*

So is Strong the villain now or what? seems so in Westen's eyes, but I don't think he will replace James as the bad guy for the remaining 2 episodes, more like it that he'll be added to the baddies list along side James and somehow Michael will take them both down.

prediction for Sonya: she'll probably redeem herself to save Michael and lose her life in the process.
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He as hs own show... Raising Hope.
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Wow, it got very good during this episode!!!! I was not really impressed with the idea of bringing Simon back, but the way they did it worked much better than I ever could have anticipated. That fight was grand.

I've been worried now for the past few episodes that the ending won't be good, but I am not worried about that anymore. James' zen like demeanor coupled with not that clear villainism is proving to be a good contrast to Michael's previous foes, who have all more or less turned out to be conspiracy opportunists or CIA bosses or both. I was not impressed by James at first, but now I feel like the writers knew what they've been doing for all along. The addition of Sonya has also been good.

The preview for the next episode looked amazing. I don't want to wait two weeks!

I have no idea how it will end now, and I love that! I still hope for Michael and Fiona though. (I can't be the only one??)
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That's cool, I'm super happy that you and, I'm sure given you mention it, some others have gone from doubt to joy and are looking forward to the rest, enjoying this season. I have the 180 degree impression, but I'm just using this opportunity to say I don't begrudge or naysay others' seeing it quite differently.
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Sorry for a late reply. I only just saw this now.

I'm not sure why you felt the need to single me out to make your comment, as I was not begrudging you or anyone else the freedom to feel differently than I do. As a Dexter watcher (ugh) I know ALL about not feeling good about a show as it comes to a close.... I have felt that was about Burn Notice too for a few seasons now, but am finding myself enojying these last few episodes - much to my own surprise as well. Anyway.
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Not going to lie, this season has been mostly mehish for me. The only stand out episode so far was Psychological Warfare. Don't get me wrong, there have been some good moments but most of those have been Sam and Jesse getting into hilarious situations. That being said, this episode was fantastic. One of the best probably in the entire series. It was truly a Tipping Point and everything just seemed to click into place. It's kind of like the last little bit of Children of Dune when everything gets solved in just a few pages (8 minutes in the mini-series).

I made the prediction that Burn Notice will end with Michael starting his own organization and that really does seem like the direction they are taking it. I think James will get killed and Michael will take his place.
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I agree with all this. The season's first episode got me very excited, but then with the Burke stuff and then Sonya it didn't really seem like there was an overall direction the show would take towards the end, and it was rather mehh for me as well (though not BAD) and I was expecting a high quality since they knew it would be the last season and because of the relatively small amount of episodes, but this episode really brought it and I cannot wait to see the final two! Amazing!
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This was very likely my favorite episode in the last 4 or 5 seasons. I agree with you, Ryan, that seeing Michael turn this way at this stage is both a blessing and a shame. A shame that it took the last 3 episodes of the series to go this route... but a blessing because it is a cool way to go out (assuming they don't completely chicken out somehow in the final two).

James let Michael live because he realized that Michael NOW fully sided with James. Obviously James would have preferred less casualty in his army and not being betrayed in the first place, but he's the kind of guy that could still use and value a guy like Michael. Ultimately, in that final moment, Michael was willing to let himself get killed with the truth, and he did "technically" save James and Sonya at the marina and Sonya at their house (despite the fact that Michael put them in those positions in the first place).

I think Sonya can forgive Michael as partners in James' cause, but not in their personal relationship. No more hanky-panky between the two.

Ultimately, this may have been my favorite episode since the first few seasons because it's the first time in a long time that I'm not entirely confident with what's coming next. Burn Notice has been so predictable and formulaic the last 5 seasons that this feeling of the unknown is quite refreshing.

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well seems like gonna have the big ending we were praying for.
Wish that james would have been a bad guy for more seasons
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Why do people post 'earning money online', etc...??? All I want to read about is this absolutely amazing show!!! I agree with Brad Chambers too, this was the best! I can't even begin to imagine what will take place in the next two episodes! I am very worried about which major character will die. Also, I had always hoped that no matter what Fi and Michael would end up together...but that doesn't seem to be where the show is leading, does it?
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Thanks.
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1. Because James sees in Michael the new James in embryonic form.
2. She will be Michael's frontwoman in the spinoff, wherein Michael is the shadowy figure behind a clandestine organization set on dismantling the CIA.
3. James will be killed by the "good guys", and Michael will rain vengeance upon them.
4. No, because I've seen two stuntwomen in an epic chicken fight.
5. By taking over James' organization, obvs. In the process, Sam will die, because Bruce Campbell would totally specify his death scene in his contract.
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Not sure about Sam dying because I saw an interview with Coby Bell who said that USA is talking with him and Bruce Campbell about a spin-off. They couldn't do that if Sam dies.
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Thanks! I've been looking at cast member interviews but somehow missed this, that could be, and I hope it is, excellent!
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Yeah, he has pretty much confirmed he's in a spinoff, in his way. Bruce Campbell answered if he has any post Burn Notice plans with a picture from the USA upfronts.
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so that would kinda imply mike and fi die or some how live a happy ever after..the deaths being more likely.
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Since you're in a thread with some spoiling, by way of talking of the characters post-show, I saw a recent article done on the last episode set, and they made it pretty clear the major characters all survive, though one suffers something sad. They imply, but weren't 100% clear, that Mike and Fiona do get together (I believe it's Jeffrey Donovan in it who says "there'd be a revolution" if that didn't happen).
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That was a pretty good episode.

?


Because now he is seeing that Michael is getting on his side. Now he really has him.

Probably not for a while.

Ehh doubtful.

Yea it was pretty good.

Honestly I kind of hope that he starts working form James. Michael has been largely blind to the moral ambiguity that the shows version f the CIA is all about. And they let out one of he worst people in their universe o do heir bidding. Right now he is having a life altering moment when he kind of realizes that he might have been playing for the went team. Which to be honest, I kind of like.
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I've gotta agree with bradchambers - this was the best episode of Burn Notice ever. Like I said last week - so glad to see it going out strong - really strong! Come on do a Season 8. Or how about a Sam/Jessie spin-off? Give us something here - these characters are too good to let go!
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I have heard that they are discussing a spin-off and I would hope and think it would be Sam and Jessie. Oh, and thanks I am a long time fan and I have never been on the edge of my seat like I was tonight.
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Same here - edge of seat big time. I've seen every ep and this is the strongest the show has been since the awesome Season 2 - probably even better. Yeah I had planned to just watch the pre-credits and go to bed but as a final three ep of Burn Notice I should have known it was going to be WAY too good for me to be able to do that. Now i'm wired from watching it and can't sleep! Might as well watch an old ep with Simon in it before bed at this point. Heheh.
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Haha exactly I recorded it watched it when I got home from work. Now I got to be up in a few hours and I am hyped up. Now I am looking at old episodes that came on today I got recorded hopefully season 2!
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Well I am not going to tell my thoughts and opinions on the future episodes because there are so many possibilities that I can not wait to see the end. This episode was the best episode burn notice ever had. That is saying something since I am a die hard fan. The acting and right was superb. I mean a little over the top with how close they cut it on several occasions in this episode but because of how well this flowed together I will forgive it. Answers: 1. He let him live because he realized that Michael has been lying but now can be truly trusted. 2. I don't know part me says no because she is too loyal to James but part of me says since he almost died to let her live she may truly fall for him more. 3. Hopefully he does not need rescuing but I wouldn't be surprised either way whether she would killed James or Michael. 4. Yes that fight was amazing. 5. I honestly don't know but I'm dying to find out.
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Man was this episode was so good!!! The last five minutes literally had me on the edge of my seat. I was yelling at the tv like "Michael what are you doing!!". Now this is great drama television for you!!!

At this point, given how the episode ended, I'm not just scared for Michael, I'm nearly terrified for him. James and Sonya could've ended him three times in that ending, but surprisingly didn't. While I'm glad Michael lives, I'm afraid and intrigued at what James has planned for him now. I for one have no problem with Michael killing Simon. Honestly, the only complaint I would have, if any, is that Simon didn't die slowly enough. That mass-murdering P.O.S. deserved worse than what Michael did to him!! I mean Simon Escher as the man to back up Westen?!!! Strong is insane!! Good riddance to bad rubbish!! If I were in Michael's shoes, I would've thought and probably done the same things he did, crazy as they were. Like you said, he's always had a soft spot for the CIA no matter how many times they've screwed him, but sending Simon as backup was the breaking point. I don't know what Michael will, or can, do now, but I'm itching to find out.
I also like how you mentioned that a "confused" Michael Westen is the best one, cause given what happened, even I'm confused but still very much intrigued at the same time as to what his agenda is now, especially with his friend's livelihoods on the line.

James the terrorist simply doesn't exist to me. I'm done; and if that's the case, then to me, that means this is Strong pulling strings that shouldn't be pulled, and turning this into some twisted personal crusade. Well Strong, forget you!! I'm officially done trying to work out his "terrorist" angle with James. It's just not there.

The Maddie/Fiona part had me on the edge too lol!!! Man did Fiona cut it close with that explosive!!! By the way, she hid the knife specifically in her bra, not just underneath her shirt, which was a pretty cool trick.

Questions
1. I think he still sees Michael as an ally despite all the betrayal, especially given all Michael had to do was let him walk out that door for it to be over. He'll probably truly test his loyalty now. Don't know how, but it should be very intriguing.

2. Nope. Sonya is 100% loyal and caring to James, and she'll hate him forever. I could see it in her eyes how much she wanted to pull that trigger at the end.

3. Heck no!! In fact, she just may kill Michael to protect James.

4. I freaking loved that fight. Very well done to me. Neither guy held back.

5. If he does, it will be a true miracle, cause James has him dead-to-rights right now.
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I have watched this show since DAY 1. Given that I've watched every episode as they have aired (and watched them over and over again -- over the years) this episode really had me going with what Michael's play was going to be. This season has the common theme of being the "darkest" of them all. Seriously showing us the torturing and the way Michael has become. It seemed like Michael FINALLY saw a light at the end of the tunnel. When he told James it was him and not Sonya that betrayed him and then told him why he didn't give him up to the CIA, Michael finally knew he couldn't work for the CIA ever again. I don't think it clicked in his mind until Simon appeared and during this episode that Michael no longer wanted back into the CIA. I think he wants to get as far away as possible now but with only 2 episodes left, that's 88 minutes of real airtime. The cast said a major character would die at the end of the series and the "family" has their tears, etc. The only main characters are Sam, Fiona, Michael, Jesse and Madeleine. I think Michael becomes the father he always wanted to be with Charlie. I don't think Madeline will die from any outside source. I think it will be natural causes. It can't be Michael. Jesse could be the only other possibility. Sam is too fun a character (Bruce Campbell was wasted in this show with his talents...but it's what it makes it awesome too). Fiona will be with Michael. She doesn't need a reason to be alive at the end. She JUST will be. I really do not know what they're going to do for the last 2 episodes. I usually can predict these things but it'll be fun to watch!
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Perfect yellowjacket007. I was thinking along similar lines: Madeline may be the major character to die, Michael and Fi can raise Charlie as a family, and Sam and Jessie are available for the spinoff.

I've actually been thinking for several episodes that I'm not fond of Strong and the CIA - something just doesn't "feel" right to me about Strong. James may actually be the one Michael and Fi really want to team up with . . .
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This was the first episode this season that kept my attention all the way through even though I was more anxious to watch Graceland (which was a little slow mainly because Mike could barely move and then they still kicked us with a Johnny speech where I felt like saying Mike has a monkey off his back now dude he'll be your buddy). Anyway...to answer a question you asked but didn't specifically list...well clearly you're a guy...your bra can hold things but with difficulty as Maddie was having.
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Burn Notice is an insult to anyone/everyone's intelligence. It should be labeled The Burned-Out Unnoticed. Acting is not the forte of its cast, and creativity is not a characteristic of its writers. Bruce Campbell is wasted here. The concept of awarding prizes to high school kids for answering espionage questions is an abomination. Maybe the writers might ask the H.S. kids how to dress up and invade movie theaters with weapons....The show is poorly constructed, ill-conceived, contrived, unentertaining, monstrous in its intent !!!
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Um.. then don't watch it? Wow - problem solved! (Duh we know Burn Notice isn't Breaking Bad or The Wire - but damn if tonight's ep sure didn't feel like it! Tonight's ep was a 10/10 for me).
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Ok then will you please tell us what show you find "intelligent" and had "good acting". I would just like to know what I'm debating with before I destroy you.
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I actually hid my eyes twice during the Michael vs Simon fight. I don't know if I've ever seen Michael like that. BTW, women of a certain age wear big bras and loose tops. You have no idea what we're hiding.
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Ditto, Ryan. And BTW, she hid the knife in her bra, not her shirt. ;)


Ish just got Real!! Every episode from now on will be pure fire! I was on the edge of my seat watching the fight of the century between Simon and Michael!! I can’t ever remember seeing that look in Michael’s eyes before. Definitely getting the impression that this show will NOT end on a happy note.
Also worth noting: (1) When Strong was checking in the Alpha team he asked Simon about James and Sonya but not Michael. Hmmmm… (2) Now that Michael knows that the CIA freed Simon specifically for the crazy-as-heck missions, I’m sure the agency has lost what little credibility that it had with Michael. I can’t imagine he would ever go back after this mission is over. He’s going to have to fake his death or something to ever be free of this world.


James saved Michael because he values loyalty and also sees him as a 'weapon.' I seriously doubt that Sonya will forgive Michael, much less rescue him in the end. She will have to die just like James. Yes, I feel a certain level of satisfaction after Simon and Michael's fight. This should have been the original end to their story, instead of prison for Simon. Are we sure Michael wants to get out of this situation. If he does, the only way out is to cut off the head of the snake.
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That's actually a very good observation about Michael having to fake his death. It could be very similar to how Sherlock had to fake his death to prevent Moriarty's assassins from killing his friends....now that I think about it, I think it will be very much like that. Can't wait for the last two episodes!
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Staff
The A-Team had to fake their deaths too!
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