The final season of Burn Notice is now two episodes in and Season 7 is turning out to be as exciting and fresh as the early seasons that got us hooked on the series in the first place. The series seems to benefitting from that shot of adrenaline that takes you into the home stretch, or maybe some kind of second wind. The writers have stepped up their game compared to last season and even the actors seem to be better than ever before. Directed by series star Jeffrey Donovan, Thursday’s episode “Forget Me Not,” was the celebrated 100th episode of the series and it will easily go down as one of the best. With only 13 episodes bought by USA Network this year compared to a typical 18-episode season, it’s time to soak up all the Burn Notice you can. Can series creator Matt Nix and the show writers keep up the momentum until the final episode?
When Burn Notice left us last season, Sam (Bruce Campbell), Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), Jesse (Coby Bell) and Madeline (Sharon Gless) had spent a month locked up, and once released they learned that Michael (Donovan) made a deal yet again in return for his family and friends being freed from imprisonment. This was the last straw for Fiona, tired of Michael’s multiple year obsession with clearing his name from the original Burn Notice, and seeming to always have an excuse for not sealing the deal with Fiona.
When we catch up with the gang in last week’s season opener “New Deal, ” Michael is now separated from his friends and the woman he loves; he has sank too deep into his undercover role to take out the new series villain. Gabrielle Anwar’s Fiona has a new beau. Sam and Jesse have become the sleuthing buddies that used to be reflected in the partnership of Sam and Michael. Michael’s mom Maddie is now taking care of her grandson Charlie, left orphaned by both Michael’s brother Nate, who was killed last season, and his unfit wife.
Genre fans will love the Heroes reunion we have with Season 7. Michael’s handler is the Horn-rimmed Glasses Guy himself, played by the awesome Jack Coleman. Coleman is perfectly cast and in the first two episodes he dances circles around the previous characters that have filled similar roles over the past six seasons. His character is layered and comes off as a good guy opposite Michael’s often conflicted and flat-out wrong motivations. Coleman has Michael working a case in the Dominican Republic, to take out Randall Burke, played by Heroes’ Nathan Petrelli, Adrian Pasdar–our Season 7 villain. And so far Pasdar makes a solid choice as baddie, especially considering his leading man, good guy looks.
In this week’s episode two, “Forget Me Not,” Maddie has screwed up, revealing to Burke’s lieutenant’s informant that Michael is actually working for the CIA. Michael returns to Miami, unable to make contact with his mom or friends, and ends up using them all over again. If Michael is one thing, it’s consistent. And he makes one last effort to get Fiona back, and in this 100th episode we get to see in flashback the original meeting of Michael and Fiona, the memory of which helps Michael save Fiona’s life. It’s a great look at these characters.
Creator Matt Nix sums up his plan for the final season: “In laying out the season a lot of it was what have we not done before? How do we build the season to an exciting climax?”
Let’s hope Nix & Co. helps Burn Notice keep up the effort for the eleven remaining episodes. It’s episodes like “New Deal” and “Forget Me Not” that should make networks rethink ending a series. Check out Burn Notice Thursdays on USA Network.