We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Burn Notice

Season 7 Episode 11

Tipping Point

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Aug 22, 2013 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
65 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Michael and Sonya travel to Mexico to help James with an important mission. Meanwhile Strong sends a team of freelancers to capture James and Sonya. Michael finds out that the capture mission is being led by his old enemy and he becomes ever more conflicted with his alliances.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Tipping Point

    Michael and Sonya have great chemistry, and I wish they could have paired these two together sooner. The battle with Simon was fun, and the ending shockingly brutal as we are seeing an edgier Michael than ever before in the waning days of this show. Nice evolution.
  • Heros - my fantasy about how this will end

    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.moreless
  • everything changes

    Wow. Now, everything is more complicated than I can imagine. I can't wait for the finale. With this story arc, season 7 becomes one of my favorites.

    This episode brought back some of my faith in the writers. I knew when Michael went on the first job with James that Michael would be at risk of joining his cause because he had one. It has become increasingly obvious that exactly what Michael said to James is true ... he is fighting for nothing. But James has a passion and Michael gets that. I was happy to see he drew the line at danger to Sonya. I am intrigued by the preview for next weeks obvious set up of his choice between Sonya and Fiona. I was a bit afraid he was going to have to harm Sam and/or Jesse to keep his cover. Somehow I was glad that he offed Simon. It seems he has finally learned what we wished he would have when he had opportunities to end Anson, Dead Larry and Simon in previous seasons. I sensed that when the CIA guy told him to go ahead and assassinate his old friend last week that Michael was beginning to question his role in this guy's scheme. I wonder now if James will tell Michael his actual mission/cause and if it will be more compelling to him than working for the CIA. And if so, what will he do about everyone he love(d?) going to prison if he doesn't take James down. It's like Madeline alluded to in a past season when she told Michael that he was just like his father, always wanting to have it both ways. This time he can't. The only option would be to find out James' cause, believe in it, sell it to the CIA and somehow make them back off of James or help him complete his cause. But I don't see Jesse, Sam, Fiona, Sonya and James all joining together as one happy family. I am increasingly believing that Madeline and/or the little boy will be killed which will send Michael into a death spiral of revenge. In the end I think Fi and Michael will die together in some grand explosion while trying to avenge his mother/nephew's demise.

    There are three things that are spoiling this season because they are missing. They're the things that made me love this show in the first place and they're all gone: 1) the genuine affection and love between Michael and Fi that was sometimes so subtle, it was almost cute; 2) the altruism of helping an ordinary person to get free of some really bad person/s forever; and 3) the sense of humor in the characters. At times there is a small quip of comic relief from Jesse or Sam. But it was what made the show so clever and refreshing. THAT is what I miss the most this season. Without it, the specialness is gone. Without the acts of altruism, the fun is gone. And without the subtle affection between Michael and Fi and replacing it with her obvious contempt for him, the "nice" is gone from the show which was the essence of Michael that coming home to Miami brought out in him. This season is just a HUGE disappointment for me. It's not supposed to be REALITY; it's supposed to be ENTERTAINMENT. The entertainment is gone. The explosions are still there, but the purpose is gone.moreless
Garret Dillahunt

Garret Dillahunt

Simon Escher

Guest Star

Kevin A. Walton

Kevin A. Walton


Guest Star

Mike Sanders

Mike Sanders


Guest Star

John Pyper-Ferguson

John Pyper-Ferguson

James Kendrick

Recurring Role

Jack Coleman

Jack Coleman

Andrew Strong

Recurring Role

Alona Tal

Alona Tal


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • James: The CIA was waiting outside the boathouse today, weren't they?
      Michael: Yeah.
      James: You could have completed your mission. You could have got your friends off the hook. And all you had to do was let us walk out the door. But you didn't. Why?
      Michael: Can we just end this, please?
      James: Not until... you tell me the truth for the first goddamn time in your life. Why didn't you complete your mission?
      Michael: Because the man they sent after you, Simon. Because if they worked with him, they believe in nothing. And I believed. I believed from the first day of my training at the CIA. I thought all they stood for was right. Even after they burned me! I gave up everything! And I wasted my life for a lie.

    • Michael: (voiceover) The thing that keeps you going in a deep-cover mission is knowing that you're fighting for something you believe in, that the people you work for have your back. But when your own side betrays what they claim to stand for, when they're willing to do things even your enemies wouldn't dream of, everything starts to fall apart. And when it comes down to that final moment, sometimes you can surprise even yourself.

    • Michael: (voiceover) When you're trying to save someone from an enemy with superior numbers, the challenge is being in two places at the same time. A well-placed directional charge will take out windows, walls, and anyone standing near them. Timed precisely, it can give you the chance to attack both sides of a structure at once. If it works, you take out all the hostiles inside before they can hurt the people you're trying to save. If it doesn't, you create one hell of a death trap.

    • Michael: (voiceover) As a spy, you're supposed to accomplish your mission no matter what it costs. There comes a point, though, where that's not possible anymore, when you're pushed to the breaking point and beyond.

    • Michael: There's no way they'd let you out of prison after everything you've done.
      Simon: Wake up, Michael. Guys like us, we're weapons. As long as we're useful, somebody's always gonna want to take us out to play.

    • Michael: (voiceover) There's a reason helicopters are the search vehicles of choice for every law enforcement agency in the world. When you can travel 150 miles per hour on any axis, with 60 miles of visibility, there's virtually nowhere for your target to hide. The downside of using a helicopter is that when you're surrounded by nothing but sky, there's nowhere for you to hide either.

    • Michael: (voiceover) With little government oversight and a booming private sector, Mexico has one of the most unregulated airspaces in Latin America. Bad news for safety and air pollution, but good news if you need to conduct a manhunt without the local authorities finding out.

    • Fiona: You think they know Michael betrayed them?
      Sam: Yeah, look, that's just the thing, though. We don't know if Mike's cover's been blown or not.
      Fiona: Well, we gotta make a call. 'Cause if it has, Madeline's dead.
      Sam: And if it hasn't, you shooting a couple of James' guys is just gonna tip 'em off, and then Mike is dead.

    • Michael: (voiceover) When you're undercover and running from your own capture team, you have to make it look like you're trying to escape. But at the same time, you have to create a trail for your friends to find. Cell phones can be tracked, which means if you can keep one close by, it gives your team a shot at finding you.

    • Michael: (voiceover) No matter how much you've trained, no matter how much you've planned, there's always anxiety in the moments before you capture a target. Most things are simply out of your control. Your operations team may be monitoring the situation, but they're usually too far away to do much but watch. Your extraction team is there to do one job, and one job only acquire the targets, which effectively leaves you alone. At the end of the day all you can do is smile, play along, and try not to get killed when the shooting starts.

    • Michael: (voiceover) As a spy, you get used to the idea that every successful operation comes at a price. Sometimes it's lives lost, other times it's cities destroyed or livelihoods ruined. Then there are other costs that are more personal. Less obvious, but the pain is just as real.

    • Michael: (voiceover) Sometimes it's not enough to be a target's friend, however. Sometimes to accomplish a mission, you have to go further. When you share a target's bed, when they trust you enough to sleep beside you, it's a simple thing to get whatever information you need. That information comes with a price, though. Often the only way to convince someone that you care about them is to actually start caring about them. And no matter how important the mission is, no matter how much you believe in your cause, it feels like what it is a complete betrayal of someone's trust.

    • Michael: (voiceover) Once you've developed a relationship with the target, you can start to use that relationship to get the information you need. If you're close enough, you can make an interrogation feel like nothing more than innocent questions from a trusted friend.

    • Michael: (voiceover) On an undercover assignment, there's no substitute for building trust. It's not just a matter of getting to know someone superficially. To be really effective, you need to get as close to the target as you can, both personally and professionally. It's never easy. No matter how much training you have, it's difficult to become someone's closest friend knowing that you're only doing it to steal their deepest secrets.

  • NOTES (0)