Finalewatch '07: 'Burn Notice'

Burnnotice_240 Burn Notice! Two-hour season finale! Now! On USA! (Yeah, I'm a little pumped. Wanna fight about it?) We open with an artful shot of Michael working out shirtless. Did I mention I love this show? Oh, and the Charger (for those who, like me, were saddened by its brush with explosives last week) is back in prime condition, incredibly enough. And then, as if it couldn't get any better, Michael heads out to meet Cowan, the man who burned him. And, as we all know by now, he's played by Richard. Freaking. Schiff! Toby!!! This show has the greatest casting ever, you guys. (Gabrielle Anwar and her cruddy American accent and skeletal figure excepted, of course.)

Fiona brings up a valid point, though, while Michael is trying so hard to talk to Toby. Why does he want so badly to get back in to the CIA? He's helping people in Miami, he has Fiona (not so great according to me, but still), they keep trying to kill him... He says he wants to clear his name and find out why he was burned, but I can't help but agree with Fiona on this one, at least a little.

Once he finally does make contact with Toby he only gets a wave and a coded message. Oh, Toby. So cryptic. So mysterious. So missed by me. Michael cracks Toby's code and is rewarded with a meeting time and another message. In the meantime, Nate (Michael's ne'er-do-well brother) is back in town to watch out for their mom, and Sam heads out to take a case on his own. About dang time! Goooo Sam! A security employee is being blackmailed into smuggling drugs, and wants out. Sam, clever fellow that he is, recruits Fiona to help. Fiona agrees, for a price. They manage to track down the bad guy, but it turns out he's not the bad guy after all, and the employee is being set up by a friend whom she thought was also being blackmailed. Ouch. They recruit Michael to help turn the double blackmail until a triple blackmail. Unfortunately, the Charger's windshield gets a bit shot up in the process. Oh, and the client (and Michael) almost get blown up. And, Michael's shirt gets dirty! It's hard out there for an (ex-)spy. Plus, while helping Sam and Fiona, Michael has managed to miss his meeting with Toby.

Richardschiff_nbc2004allstarparty_2 He and Toby finally meet up, though, and my heart fills with joy at seeing Richard Schiff on TV again. Toby claims that he didn't burn Michael after all--that it was a much larger conspiracy. Though he does cop to trying to have Michael killed, so there's that. Apparently, the "powerful, dangerous people" that Toby works for have big plans for Michael. And in the injustice to end all injustices, they snipe Toby in the chest right as he's explaining everything. Well, cryptically hinting at everything, anyway. But more importantly: NOOOOOO!!!! TOOOOBBBYYYYY!!! Just as my heart was swelling with joy! With joy!!! There aren't enough exclamation points in the world to express my sorrow. Oh, and in the meantime, things only go downhill for Sam and Fiona as the lower-level smugglers get themselves exploded, and Sam gets himself kidnapped by the higher-level smugglers, so...super. Sam: kidnapped. Toby: dead. Thank God it's a two-hour finale, and not a cliffhanger! You'd better make it up to me in the second hour, Burn Notice. Consider yourself on notice.

We return to find Michael's place surrounded by the folks who killed Toby and had him burned. Fiona calls him in a panic, and he and Nate, who is helpfully playing chauffer, head off to her rescue. And, hopefully, Sam's rescue (if not, USA Network is getting a strongly-worded letter from yours truly). Sweet shoot-em-up-ness and homemade truck/bomb-ness ensues. I really, really love this show. They make it out okay, but emerge Sam-less. Michael gets Nate to bring their mom to Nate's place (their new hideout) for safety, while Sam gets the tar beat out of him by his heroin-dealing captors for refusing to talk. It's really tough to watch, but at least he has some pretty good post-punch comebacks. Alias-worthy, even. Michael tries to negotiate Sam's return while Fiona gathers weaponry. You know, just in case. Sam, for his part, discreetly tries to discourage Michael and Fiona from even bothering a rescue. Don't give up, Sam! My viewership next season is partially dependent on your survival!

The government-types who shot Toby clearly want to bring Michael in, and when Michael and Fiona head over to check them out, they barely make it out safely. A mysterious woman, one of the burners, calls and wants to talk about Michael's burn notice and his past, but Michael's more worried about Sam at this point. Barry the money launderer helpfully and semi-unwillingly steers Michael toward some other heroin dealers who might know who has Sam. A few explosives and threats later (I feel like I say that a lot, recapping this show), Michael gets the heroin boss's name, and heads out with Fiona to check out the operation and set a meeting with the boss. Sam tries valiantly to get himself killed, so that Michael won't step into a trap trying to rescue him. Aw, Sam! He's such a loyal BFF. But seriously, dude, cut it OUT.

It takes some doing, but Michael convinces his mom to leave town with Nate. Of course, they get themselves a little bit followed. She would be the worst spy ever, yo. Michael saves the day, as usual, allowing Nate and his mom to get out of town, but only by agreeing to come in alive after the burners give him 12 hours to save Sam. Otherwise, he threatens suicide. Um, there are only ten minutes left in the episode at this point. I smell an unsatisfying ending!

Michael and Fiona share a goodbye kiss before riding off into the sunset to save Sam. (Fiona's there too, of course, but up on a building playing sniper.) When most of the bad guys leave their hideout (a boat) to supposedly meet Michael and Fiona, Michael scubas over to the boat, SEAL-style, and stages a crazy rescue. Complete, as always, with homemade explosives and plenty o' shooting. (Best moment: When the bad guy calls Michael to finish the deal, only to hear a phone ringing outside the door. Oh, and the obligatory "running away in slo-mo as the boat explodes" shot. AWESOME!)

Burn_02 In the ultimate act of gratitude, Sam lets Michael borrow the Cadillac to drive off to find his destiny. And also the reason he was burned. And who burned him. And what they want from him now. The mysterious woman is very much looking forward to meeting him, and Michael tells himself that some information is worth risking everything for, as he drives the Cadillac into a giant truck parked on a bridge. And...that's all she wrote, unfortunately. As USA unhelpfully reminds us, Burn Notice returns with all-new episodes NEXT SUMMER. So until then, I'd suggest re-watching this season, checking out Chuck for your spy fix, and maybe getting a screen grab of Michael's shirtless workout. You know, for the memories. It's been fun, y'all!

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