Burn Notice Series Finale Recap: Why Spied a Happy Ending? And Who Sacrificed Their Life?

Burn Notice Series Finale RecapWarning: The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains top-secret spoilers from the Burn Notice series finale.

Once a burned spy who as such famously had nothing, Michael Westen now has (mostly) everything.

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As USA Network’s Burn Notice wrapped its seven-season run, sacrifices were made, rights were wronged, things blowed up good and we even got a couple of wonderful winks to the show’s ingrained-in-all-our-brains opening credits.

Here is how the venerable spy drama unspooled its final mission.

THE BURNED IDENTITY | As it is revealed that Sonya was shot during the face-off with Fiona — by an unclouded Michael (is Fi his clarity?) — James in the nearing helicopter declares war. Michael and Fi hurry down and out of the building, firing off many shots/kills along the way, and are picked up by Sam. The group, with Jesse, gathers their bearings, but Michael tries to send them off without him. “Why did you come back?” he later asks Fi, feeling undeserving of any loyalty. She answers, “I knew that if I was wrong about you, it didn’t matter if I got out of there alive.”

Alas, getting out of Miami alive, for any of them, will be even harder than imagined, when Strong declares the CIA “fresh out of deals” in the wake of Michael screwing up their plan to take James. (“If you thought it was tough being burned,” HRG/Senator Bracken taunts, “you ain’t seen anything yet.”)

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THE FINAL MISSION? | Before embarking on their only next course of action — attacking James’ operation themselves — Michael meets up with Ma, to ask her to stay in hiding with Charlie a bit longer. Well aware of the formidable foe he’s taking on, Maddie frets, “I don’t want to lose another son,” to which Michael says, “Mom, sometimes sacrifices have to be made.” And as they hugged at the close of this somewhat conspicuous in-person encounter, and with those words exchanged, we got our first hint of whose life would soon be lost.

After a pal of Jesse’s puts them team on the trail of the techy guy James enlisted to hack satellites, Michael asks his fellow burned spy to watch over his mom and nephew during this final phase of their op. Michael, Fi and Sam then intercept (with some difficulty) the sat guy and force him to reveal the location of the relay station he set up — in an abandoned newspaper HQ. The plan: to pinch the hard drive that collects James’ data and deliver it to the CIA.

Alas, though the three friends have little trouble getting to their target, James has used the burner phones Sam and Jesse bought earlier in the day to track everyone’s location — including Maddie’s. Back at that safe house, meanwhile, Maddie asks Jesse about his admirable loyalty all these years, and he explains how they all have formed the family has hadn’t had since his mom died — and now we’re thinking Jesse will buy it!

FOR THE BOYS | At the newspaper building, James assures Michael, “I will not hesitate to shoot you down like dogs — like you did with my Sonya.” Nor will he show Ma and young Charlie any mercy either. When Michael calls Maddie to warn her of an imminent assault, she informs him: “I found a way to buy Jesse and Charlie a chance to get out of here.” As Michael realizes what she is (and isn’t) saying, she explains, bravely, “Like you said, sacrifices have to be made” — so she is going to manually explode some C-4 as the baddies broach the house, since no remote trigger is available. “God knows I’ve failed you enough times in the past,” she says to Michael. “Give me this, please.”

Before laying in wait with her finger on the button, Maddie says to her son, “We all made mistakes, but I’m so proud of the man you are. I love you, Michael.” Moments later, as James’ team storms in, Maddie declares after one last drag of a cigarette, “This one’s for my boys” and blows the room sky-high, while Jesse pops a few stragglers in the back yard and gets away with Charlie.

Cornered by James, Michael says to Fi, “I wanna fight. My mom bought me a second chance, I owe her to use it.” A shootout commences, while Sam runs for the exit with the hard drive in hand, craftily using a roll of duct tape to eventually gun down his pursuer. When Michael runs out of ammo, he suggests he charge James, drawing out the last goons so that Fi can take them out. Fi questions if this is Michael’s latest bid to get himself killed, to fulfill some “death wish.” But that is not so. “I want to live, maybe more than I ever have,” he attests. Fi responds, “When you put it that way…,” and the plan unfolds successfully, until a wounded James reveals he’s holding a Dead Man’s Switch. (Aren’t they always?!) He releases the button and explosions begin shaking the building, up and down every hallway, and Michael and Fi try to flee….

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FINAL NOTICE | Flash-forward to the CIA HQ in Langley, where Strong receives in his office Sam and Jesse, who’ve obviously been detained. He explains that “some” at the Agency want Sam and Jesse to stay locked up (to which Sam snarks, “You know spies — buncha bitchy little girls”). But Strong fancies them heroes, and announces they are free to go — and that Michael will get a star on the memorial wall.

As Sam presides over a military funeral for his friends, Michael narrates, “A spy is truly never done being a spy until you’re dead. As long as you are useful to someone, it is your fate to be a spy. But if there’s one thing spies are bad at, it’s accepting fate.” (Cue a flashback revealing that as James triggered the building to explode, Michael shot out a window through which he and Fi jumped, into water below.) “Where do you think they are?” Jesse asks Sam at the grave site. “Hard to say — a lot of places in the world with C-4 and yogurt.” Sam then invites Jesse to help him with a friend of a friend who has “some kind of problem” and “sounded pretty desperate on the phone,” indicating that the two of them will carry the baton for the team moving forward. (For the record, series creator Matt Nix says of the spin-off prospect, “There’s nothing specifically in the works, other than that we all think it would be fun to do if the opportunity ever arose.”)

In closing, we observe Michael, Fi and an asleep Charlie, cuddled on a couch in a cozy home in a far off place. Looking down at his nephew, Michael wonders, “What will I tell him when he’s older…? Where would I start?” Fi answers, “From the beginning. Start with, ‘My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy….'”

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  1. ange says:

    This was the best series finale I’ve ever seen. Very well written. This season was also the best.

    • Jim Applebee says:

      I couldn’t agree more!

      • kaleb says:

        The series finale that wasn’t a series finale still beats this. Don’t get me wrong, this was a perfect end for this show, but Swan Song (the originally intended finale of Supernatural) is still by far the best in my humble opinion. Loved this one though. Loved the “Should we shoot them” and “bitchy little girls” throwbacks to the early days. Bring on the spin off!

        • ajintexas says:

          The end of The Shield and Supernatural season 5 are two of the best ever. I will put this one in the top 10 for sure. I am glad I could come here and give it an A and have 75% of the other voters agree with me. This was a great show and the ending was well written. Would love to see the Sam/Jesse spinoff, but then again sometimes it’s best to just leave things the way they are. And I have thought for the longest time the last line of the show would be “My name is Michael Westen, and I used to be a spy…” but didn’t get it right that it would be Fi saying it. And FWIW, I hope the Breaking Bad finale will be my new #1. I am now wondering if the Nazi guys take Jesse hostage to cook for them, not Walt, and the last good thing Walt does before he dies is saves him. Think that would make for an epic finale.

          • Tony Baker says:

            Still haven’t watched The Shield (damn it), but I love the Supernatural Season 5 finale – which I absolutely feel would have made a great coda for the show – as well as the final episodes of Angel, Quantum Leap, and Star Trek: DS9. Plenty of other finales are serviceable, but these are the ones that have stuck in my mind, and the ones I would pattern the finale of my own show on, if I was ever so lucky as to get to produce one. :)

            The last few minutes of the Six Feet Under and Big Love finales are great, as well.

        • Barb says:

          Also, Jesse gets to rework his phrase “that’s how we do it.” The duck tape was fun. Did they forget about Max Lister, the tech expert, still locked in the trunk of the car !!! I thought of him later and laughed. And, the more I think about it, the more I feel Michael, Fi, and Charlie are starting a new life in the French Alps !!!! (not Ireland). Fi always wanted to go to Paris. The snow in the last scene could mean higher altitudes. I think they both had to give up their native countries to make a fresh start. Loved the finale, the series, the concept.

    • Kingsmartin says:

      Absolutely. Well scripted. Season 7 was my best.

  2. Elyse says:

    so sad it’s over! hoping they get serious about a Sam/Jessie spinoff!

    • Pennagirl says:

      Amen to that proposal. Sam and Jesse spin off and KEEP to the “helping others” storyline that made Burn Notice, as it was in the beginning.

      • will says:

        Yes I miss the episode to episode mini stories about helping people. That’s why the first 4-5 seasons you can watch out of order since they weren’t all about the series long story

  3. Betsy says:

    Still sobbing.

  4. Dj says:

    I hope the Spinoff happens.

    • HAP says:

      They certainly left the door wide open. It wasn’t just that Sam and Jesse survived and went off into the sunset. Sam told Jesse he had a job and wanted Jesse to join him.

  5. AN says:

    Amazing. Simply amazing. What a great tribute to the show and a great tribute to the fans.

  6. strachpa says:

    Loved the finale!!! When the building was exploding, had a feeling they would escape somehow and do a Dark Knight Rises ending. One of the best series finales!!!

  7. Gaia says:

    That was amazing. I was bawling when Maddie was on the phone with MIchael. The best series finale I have ever watched in my life.

    • eddie says:

      my favorite is still the angel series finale, awesome ending.

    • Jim Applebee says:

      The expression on Jeffrey’s face was what sold it. That’s what made me lose it.

    • CS says:

      I was right there with you. Such great acting, and then when Jesse’s face struggled to hold back tears set me over the edge and I lost it. What a great show, and it will be dearly missed. I feel like they were my second family I knew them so well. A true fan from day 1.. The thought of life outside of Burn Notice on Thursday nights is still a perplexing thought for me. RIP Burn Notice

  8. Pat D. says:

    My God, that episode played out EXACTLY as I expected it to. Usually I’m at least wrong about one thing, but there was zero tension for me as you could see every plot element coming a mile away.

    It wasnt a BAD episode per se, but boy, talk about taking zero risks and riding every action movie cliche to the bitter end.

    Still, I hope Sam and Jesse get their spinoff. Their chemistry the past few years has made the sometime pedestrian plots enjoyable.

    • Quinn Mallory says:

      Yeah, this finale was hardly surprising, but I don’t think anyone watches Burn Notice wondering whether the gang would succeed on a weekly basis.

    • KevyB says:

      I’m pretty much with you, Pat. It was fine, but the final shootout little was different than almost every other episode this season. Except for his mother’s finale, which was really just lame. Someone HAD to die, so let’s make it her for some stupid reason. And NOBODY could come up with an alternate plan? How about trying to shoot them all and save the bombing for if that DOESN’T work? And why exactly did Michael and Fiona run past so many windows before picking the one at the end of the hall? That one surely wasn’t the only one overlooking the water. This all seemed a bit lazy. “Let’s just his the emotional notes that will resonate with the long-time fans and throw logic out the window!” Here’s hoping for the Sam/Jesse spinoff that will return us to the original fun version of this show.

      • Pennagirl says:

        Maddie finally did something for her boys. The character ended correctly, though I didn’t want to see anyone major die.

  9. david says:

    called it but it was very well done. ended on a high note in my opinion and great final scene

  10. Eliza says:

    *crying* (the convo b/w Maddie and Jesse about family really got the tears rolling).
    Loved the ending though. I think it was very well done. Happy for Michael and Fiona.
    And I’m glad that Sam and Jesse are still together — doing their thing!
    I’ll miss the BN gang very, very much!!!

    • pam says:

      Thought it was a great ending Happy to see Michael and Fiona back together and if I am not mistaken it ended where it started in Ireland. I am gonna miss this show .Opened ended so maybe we see more down the rode sometime

  11. Lyn says:

    Certainly did not match the best crime show finale ever — “The Shield” — but then, “Burn Notice” was a different kind of show. The shooting & explosions always had a counterpart of sentiment (sometimes sappy). So we had to suspend disbelief one more time and try not to think about what Michael and Fiona will possibly DO for the next 40 years. I guess I’m OK with it … and will miss the Thursday night mojitos and a show that’s NOT set in New York or LA!

    • Pat D. says:

      Agreed…not even in the same zip code as “The Shield”—it was an OK watch—could have been more if they had not played it safe for the entire ep.

      But, oh well—at least it wasn’t one of those finales that pissed everyone off with its awfulness. And they can make it up to me (high on their priority list, i know!) by making the Sam/Jesse spinoff.

    • Bob Jones says:

      I have watched every episode of USA’s Burn Notice – great show; However, please do not ever bring up FX’s The Shield – That’s a Beast. The Commish in an Alternate Timeline merged w/ Keifer Sutherland

  12. Aleksa says:

    Sounds like they did the show proud.

  13. Bennington says:

    It was the best season…I am so glad they went out with a Bang!!! Pun intended.
    I just wish Maddie was around in the end. Sharon Gless as Maddie was consummate. I will miss her most.

  14. Marc says:

    You forgot to mention Fi’s comment that mirrored the first episode when she said “shall we shoot them?” referring to James and his crew.
    Also like that Jesse’s speech really ended up being a tribute to Maddie and how she made that team her family. Just an overall fantastic finale

  15. Justin Burnell says:

    Reblogged this on thehiltonburnellfiles and commented:
    That was the best intensive series finale ever since every other show. Buildings exploded and everything. Michael and Fi are BAMF. Burn Notice will always be my favorite.

  16. Anon says:

    This was really fantastic. True to BN form; an all around successful finale. I will miss this show.
    My one question: How did Michael and Fi get Charlie? They’re supposed to be dead, and his legal guardian blew herself up. Isn’t Child Services looking for him?

    • Pat D. says:

      Ha! I was wondering the same thing…wouldnt the CIA notice that the nephew mysteriously disappeared, to go with the lack of Mike/Fi bodies in the explosion, start to get a little suspicious?

      • Annie says:

        James essentially demolished a very large building by implosion. Any bodies (or remains) would have been buried under a very large debris pile. Searching for bodies/remains would be difficult, if not impossible. And who would finance such a large and futile task.

        • Pat D. says:

          Yeah, taken alone I would agree—but you would think that

          A. No Bodies
          B. Missing Mike’s nephew

          Somebody might get suspicious…I mean it is the CIA after all—isnt it their jobs to be suspicious? =)

          It doesnt really matter either way, I mean, realistically, nobody can outrun explosions, so I guess its just one of those “suspension of disbelief” things.

          • LS says:

            I have a feeling Strong knew they were still alive. There’s a second or two when he mentions Mike getting the star on the wall where he looks more .. contemplative? I guess? I think he knew. But that’s just my interpretation.

          • Pennagirl says:

            I think the CIA knows that Michael and Fi aren’t dead. But the CIA is putting his name on the wall as a deterrent to others that Michael Weston the spy is DEAD. Finally Michael has been paid back by those that burned him.

      • ange says:

        Maybe the CIA arranged for Michael and Fi to be with Charlie and presumed dead

      • Barb says:

        I agree. Family Services would want to know what ever happened to Charlie. That’s why I think Charlie must have gotten a new identity, too. And Jesse must have told a story about how he was the only one who survived. Loved the show !!!!

    • Annie says:

      The authorities probably thought he was killed in the explosion. With all of the destruction (and numerous body parts) a small child might not leave any recognizable remains.

      • Pat D. says:

        But, Jesse survives? Leaves the kid to die and saves himself? =)

        • Alex says:

          How would the police know Jesse was even in the house?

          • Sammy Carson says:

            I agree that child services would be looking into this, but with the mess that was left and the number of dead to be tallied, for a small person; with the help of the powers that be; could end up being unaccounted for. Then again like Jesse, who is to say he was in the building either? Arrangements could have been made by Michael and Fi to get the boy out and with them ah, dead … who is there to talk to? Child protection agencies have their hands full with living youngsters, so if a government agency says no survivors, I doubt they would have the man power or even the desire to launch an investigation. This brings me back to the powers that be. If the CIA said Michael and Fi are dead, they made the announcement and had a public send off, then they are dead!! If Michael and Fi were to do covert work, the CIA would have to look the other way or end up looking very inept if they attempted to bring Mike back or place him front and center in anything.

    • Alichat says:

      That was one of the questions a friend of mine texted right after the ep ended. The ep isn’t perfect…..there were quite a few holes or things that could have been done differently. They could have rigged the C4 so Maddie didn’t have to die…..you know Jesse wouldn’t have C4 without a remote detonator. They could have deactivated the bombs in the building….grabbed a machine gun from a guy after taking them out……worn a disguise…..arranged for someone to take Maddie and Charlie out of town (like Barry or Elsa)….so you just have to suspend disbelief on that one. Annie has a potential explanation, but then why wasn’t there a headstone for Charlie as there was for Maddie and Nate?

      • Pennagirl says:

        If you want realism, the whole premise of the show is called into question. First all the deaths, shootings and explosions, each and every episode and NOT one police car shows up or a manhunt for those responsible. Please, car explosions, buildings being bombed and shooting all the time in Miami and no one seems to notice? It is good, scripted, plausible writing.

      • Rin-acres says:

        No one actually knew that Jesse was with Maddie – as far as the authorities knew, she could have died with Charlie when they blew up her home. That was the plan – to get everyone to quit looking for them. At the new hideout, only Michael and gang and James’ gang knew Maddie was there with Charlie. As they all died, there was no one left to ask why Jesse saved himself and not the kid.

    • shutuprob says:

      Charlie is the nephew of one of the most notorious, legendary super-spies in the BN universe’s history. Given the danger that that fact presents for Charlie, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that Sam and Jesse pulled in some favors — perhaps even from Strong (without even hinting to him that Michael & Fi survived) — to scrub Charlie from all the usual databases. After that, Sam & Jesse compartmentalize the rest of what they need to do to smuggle Charlie out of the country to or with Michael & Fi (including getting fake documents) and voila! Charlie’s out of there.
      Also, I given the world of smuggling, I don’t think there’s a chance that word wouldn’t get back to Strong of at least a *hint* that Michael & Fi survived. Strong seems to be an up-and-up guy (for a CIA agent) whose main flaw isn’t corruption, it’s that he was too close to the case, so I would have to hazard a guess that we’ll find out in any spin-off or follow-up movie that Strong remains among Team!SamandJesse’s allies/contacts who are also friends. And thus, that while he knows that Michael & Fi are still alive, he’ll be content to leave the Mike & Fi Card for Sam and Jesse to play when they need them.

    • anita says:

      My theory is the feds though Charlie died in the blast with his grandmother.

  17. Annie says:

    Did anyone else notice the similarity of Michael & Fi’s cottage to the home of Kate Winslet’s character in the movie “The Holiday”?

  18. Jackie says:

    Perfect ending. Loved it!

  19. Rusty says:

    Finally, writers got it right. Best series ending ever. Can’t wait for the spinoff with Jess and Sam. Now everybody can relax and collect their residual checks.

  20. MK Dean says:

    Great finale. Never like to see main character die; but Maddie was a class act. So glad they saved everyone else. IMO when main character dies in finale (if Michael & Fi had really died) it kills “reruns”. Medium killed its “rerun” potential by killing off Joe. Sad to watch the show now, knowing Joe dies. Sometimes directors and writers get too cute for their own good. Glad to know I’ll still enjoy BN reruns.

    • Donna Tarver says:

      Maddie was awesome. I could really see how she would make the sacrifice to save Michael and Charlie, and full of attitude to the end! If they felt the need for a character death to show how important family had become to Michael, that was the way to do it. If Fi had died he would not have cared what happened, and would have give up. This showed how much the relationship between mother and son had grown, and affected them both. I am so glad to hear someone else put my thoughts on Medium into words. I loved that show, and then the finale, now I can’t even watch reruns. My other problem with that is that show was based on real people and they had to put a disclaimer at the end that the real Joe Dubois was alive and well. Couldn’t they just give us that much of a happy ending. That one just bugs me. Sorry about the rant, been waiting for someone else to see that my way.

  21. Marci says:

    I’m just glad it’s over. I used to love this series, but I haven’t enjoyed the new direction Nix decided to take with the series. I hated last season and lost my patience with this season. In fact, I watched only about the last 10 minutes of last week’s episode, and was going to do the same this week. Thanks for the great write-up–now I know how the series ended without having to watch the finale. Okay, I will watch the last 15 minutes or so just to see Michael and Fi’s happy ending.

    • Moonbeam says:

      I feel the same, Marci. I gave up on it about a year ago. It just started dragging too much after Nate died, although I was extremely fond of the characters. But his death, and taking so long to avenge it, took some of the heart out of the show for me. I may watch the re-run of this finale, now that I know what happens (makes it feel “safer” to watch), and also mostly want to watch the last segment of the finale to see Michael and Fi together, to get “closure.

      • Marci says:

        I watched the last 15 minutes. I tuned in just when Maddie hit the button to blow up herself and James’ goons. It was satisfying to watch just that part of the finale. Very sweet last scene between Michael, Fi and Charlie.

    • Pat D. says:

      For me, the series really hadn’t been “GREAT” since the amazing season 1. It never really stopped being good popcorn entertainment since (for me) though.

      Still, one wonders what might have been had they done the next 6 seasons in the style of 1.

      I guess that is one of the perils of modern serial TV—writers/producers never know if the execs will even let there BE a season 2, so you often have to condense your ideas into 1 season. And then, figure out something else for the future.

    • MSLADY says:

      I agree, kinda lost interest this last season. How did Jessie get Charlie to Michael & Fi? Was that part of the plan, would like to have seen more of Michael &Fi together, maybe him giving her a ring. Maybe in the spin off they can be neighbors.

  22. Moonbeam says:

    Sad to lose Maddie, but how long would she have lived anyway, the way she smoked? LOL. Seriously, I would have been disappointed and felt cheated if Michael and Fi didn’t end up together, and so glad Sam and Jesse survived for a possible spin-off. Sharon Gless was phenomenal in this series, and it was great to see such an accomplished older actress get a shot at another meaty role after her Cagney & Lacey days. She played Maddie with such believability and heart. Hope to see her in future productions.

  23. Brian says:

    I am very upset they went with the happy ending. I actually liked the Michael/Sonya pairing and think that could have led to some interesting storylines with the proposed spinoff. Just seemed like a copout ending.

    • Marty says:

      Better yet, Michael could have told his friends he was turning James in, been the hero to the CIA, and taken advantage of the insane resources that come with leading James’ organization. If anyone (Sonya) tried to make him do something he didn’t want, he could take care of it. Then he could have done exactly what he did the whole series, help people in need like the A-Team, but on a much larger scale.

      Ending isn’t a huge copout to me, but I hate that they made the CIA seem like the good guys after everything that happened, and made it sound like Mike had joined a cult, and needed to be “saved”. That was stupid.

      • EdJawski says:

        Agreed that the “Michael going rogue” or being brainwashed into a cult-like group would have been an unbelievable idea after 7 yrs. But my biggest issue was that his team didn’t trust him. If Fiona hadn’t shown up on that roof to “save Michael from himself” all would have been fine. James & Sonya would have been picked up by the CIA, Michael & Team would have completed their mission and been free from further detainment, and Maddie would have raised Charlie (maybe with Mike & Fi). Even if Michael had gone “to the dark side” Fi & Sonya could have had their face-off after James was picked up. The finale all happened because of the team’s timing having them show up 5-10 minutes too early.

        All that said, still it was an excellent finale to a very enjoyable series! A spin-off, after some cooling down time, would definitely be nice to see. Sam & Jesse running a PI businesses named “Burned.”

  24. Nichole says:

    As sad as I am to see the show finish, the final lived up to the show and closed it off with perfection. Congrats to the BN team for giving fans a final worthy of their loyalty. Side note on JD’s performance on the phone to mum, he’s acting the last 5-6 ep’s has been fantastic, really hope he and the rest gone on to bigger and better things :)

  25. Mark Pompeo says:

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I think Michael and Fi are somewhere in the Irish countryside. Makes sense to me and seems to be hinted at by that shot of the camera panning over the ocean changing from Miami’s clearer blue water to a darker north Atlantic water.

  26. Yerch says:

    A little frustrating overall. To me, all a good finale needs is to indicate that the world you have invested yourself in and the characters that you have enjoyed are going to continue on even when you are not watching. But at the end of this episode one of the “family” members is dead and the rest of the family is split in two. The central theme of the show for seven years was that Michael was torn between being a spy and having relationships. It feels unsatisfactory that he stops being a spy AND loses three of the four relationships that are important to him. I want to leave the show feeling like Sam and Michael are still going to grab a mojito now and then, you know? Instead I leave it feeling like Sam and Jesse have lost their two best friends who are living out their lives in hiding while raising someone else’s kid and mourning Michael’s dead mother. Really? It sort of casts a pall over all their fun adventures that used to actually be fun. Disappointed.

  27. wordsmith says:

    So many great things about this episode, but I really loved the fact that they ended up using duct tape in pretty much every action sequence. A cute homage to those early seasons of DIY MacGuyver-style spycraft.

  28. Clarence says:

    A very good ending to, what has been, a great series.
    And Mr. Mitovich, just for future reference, when the article link starts off

    “‘Burn Notice’ Series Finale Recap — Maddie Dies, Michael and Fi …”,

    the spoiler warning inside the article is pretty much of a waste.

  29. Nader says:

    Thinking from my point of view, The Finale was amazing 100% . Couldn’t of asked more. Charlie being raised by them is perfect because it’s not like we could picture fiona having a child anyways? Perfect finale, Madie’s death was crux. She showed a strong side of her for once, a fearless side.

    Go BN

    P.S – Bring on the spin off!

  30. Alan Stanwyck says:

    What a crappy finale. Did the technical advisors get laid off after the last episode and the director go it alone? One thing this show had going for it was that most episodes were somewhat plausible and believable. The writers (or the director) threw out “suspension of disbelief” in this episode. You can’t walk out with your hands up with 3 trained killers with automatic weapons pointed out you and reach behind your back, grab a gun, and then shoot the bad guys from 10 feet away. Just not gonna happen. Plus, Sam would have gotten killed running out of the warehouse when the shooter is literally 10 feet behind him with an automatic weapon. The real CIA is far more advanced than what this show portrayed them to be. They are not a bunch a buffoons. With a wanted target like James, the real CIA would have had special forces teams around the entire area and tracked Jame’s helicopter with air support. And out of all the endings they could have come up with, this is the one that rose to the top of the ideas list? Creative writing in hollywood has turned to poop. Message to hollywood: please keep it real….remember: James Bond movies got out of control in realism and their brand was busted until Casino Royale.

    • Pat D. says:

      “You can’t walk out with your hands up with 3 trained killers with automatic weapons pointed out you and reach behind your back, grab a gun, and then shoot the bad guys from 10 feet away. ”

      I understand what you are saying, but to be honest, nothing this show has ever done has been remotely realistic. I mean, all of these gangs, bullies, mobs, spies taken out by one team, and specifically one unmasked agent, and nobody ever can put a finger on him? LOL.

      Or, for example, buildings/cars/whatever exploding all over Miami, and Homeland Security never shows up and arrests Michael the next day?

      Thats why the “80 bad guy bullets per minute machinegun” failing to even nick the good guy target once, and the single revolver bullet from the good guys (sam) takes out the bad guy with one shot doesnt really bother me all that much. That part of the series has always been consistent.

  31. Sally says:

    Incredible finale! Still crying this morning, so sad the show is gone but completely satisfied with the fantastic ending. Thank you, writers, for not leaving us unhappy at the end… awesome acting by the 5 main characters last night… love all the actors and will miss this show and the characters they brought to life SO MUCH!!!

  32. stephen kent says:

    Why didn’t Madeline call 911 and tell the cops there’s armed men outside? Michael could have done the same from his location. The plot holes, over the top special effects and inaccuracies like automatic weapons with a bazillion rounds that never find their target and pistols that offer a hammer click when the slide has locked open left me totally disappointed. I can suspend reality only so far. The A-Team, Mr. T style silliness was a sad ending to what was once a good series.

  33. H.Houston says:

    I loved the bits they dropped in that we have all heard from the beginning – Sam’s famous line, the opening of the show, Sam and Jessie taking off and being how Michael wanted to be. I sobbed watching Madie’s scene. I believe it to be one of the best death scenes I have ever watched on television. The sign of a true mother – always protecting her babies. I loved the finale. I thought it was just amazing. I was very satisfied and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

  34. “Shall we shoot them?” Best line of a great series finale.

  35. T.P.L.S. says:

    And… did you forget about “The Sopranos” series finale!?!?!

    That was like… just amazing.

  36. Mima X says:

    Perfection! =)

  37. Is it just me or did the chemistry between Michael and Fi just kind of evaporate over the past few seasons? Even when they ended up together it didn’t seem like a passionate relationship but just two fiends keeping each other company.

  38. monieet says:

    Thanks for giving Fi and Michael their happy ever after. This was the only way it could have ended. You should be proud. My son got me hooked on this show when he was in middle school and now he is off to college. We watched all these years and are still fans. If there is a spin off, I will watch.

  39. Wonderful – thanks for letting Fi & Michael be together in Ireland . . what a great series – – -I always made sure I was home on Thursday nights to watch this.

  40. Jerry says:

    At least The Walking Dead will be on soon. BN lost me years ago. N.C.I.S. got old about 3 years ago. Not much worth watching on tv these days. Duck Dynasty is a bit funny.

  41. Betty says:

    Great finale, will miss the series, certainly wanted Maddie to see her only grandson grow up though! They shouldn’t have killed her off.

  42. GTS says:

    I loved this finale. I appreciated the references to earlier seasons (Shall we shot them? You know spies, just a bunch of b—– little girls, buying mojitos on a job, My name in Michael Weston, I used to be a spy). And I totally called the show ending with a job (I know if was predictable, but I’m still proud!)

  43. LM says:

    I thought the series ended extremely well… and, I may be alone, but I think the show ran it’s course and it was time to end.

    Actually, I think it went a season too long for this recent storyline just didn’t sit well with me (Michael MUST complete a mission or they all spend their lives in cells because he shot a severely corrupt CIA officer?! Very weak.).

    What’s unfortunate is the need for these dramatic story arcs each season, bringing Michael closer, only to have another locked door behind each door he opened! Why couldn’t he have left the CIA and ended the whole burn issue, and done private with this his friends? With that cast, the series could’ve run for a few more seasons at least. Oh well.

  44. Sammy Carson says:

    “Burn Notice” was my go to show after Jack Bauer vanished into the general populace to “Live Another Day”. Having missed three seasons I had some catching up to do, and though lighter and with less tension to deal with, I was usually not disappointed. The humor and camaraderie between the principals was a refreshing change.

    Not being a fan of the CIA dating back to the 60’s, never the less I could understand Michael going to such lengths to learn why he had been burned. That was an entertaining side bar to what I thought was the true heart of the show, using his skills to help others. But once he had some issues dealt with, I had to wonder why he would still wish to lend his services to such a despicable and unworthy gaggle of contemptible individuals. If Olivia Riley ‘wrote the book on counterintelligence’, than I would have to guess that one of the chapters was on how to blow up a marina in Miami and still be able to explain to the powers that be she isn’t involved with domestic issues.

    Still I remained a steadfast fan, but I noticed that when most of the CIA problems were front and center, I tended to mentally tune out and wait for the everyday concerns to be the major focal point. The wack-a-doo CIA roster has enough crazies to call on, why not let Michael just do what he does best; and help those in jeopardy; as apposed to working for a questionable fraction? I would have had no difficulty tuning in for a full helping of Michael and Team pulling off noble and heroic escapades for those in need.

    I admit that I am sorry to close the book on “Burn Notice”. I will miss this close knit dysfunctional family because through all the ups and downs, fights and disagreements followed by the hugs and kisses, it felt a bit real to me. In fact I will admit that when Madeleine when out with a bang, I shed tears that never came when Jack walked away. I realized that with him except for death, there was no other avenue to travel; with this group it was the loss of a family member and the splintering of those who could, with little to no effort finish each others sentences. I would like to think that most of us who have experienced living with the chain smoker, the happy hour regular, the out spoken, the freedom fighter, the road warrior, the clever and the kooky, the gambler, the dreamer and speaking for myself, the one that vanishes for years and shows up like the strange but interesting penny, have managed to see themselves or one they loved, lost and will never forget in a Burn Notice episode. Thanks for the bitter sweet memories.

  45. Chris says:

    Meh. It was okay, I guess. I was really hoping that Michael would completely and permanently fall to the dark side. That definitely would’ve been better. Fiona… dead. Sam and Jessie… pissed off and after him. His mother… who cares. CIA… Putting his picture on most wanted list. THAT would’ve been cool. :)

  46. gazebo says:

    Very satisfying ending! Michael finally realizes that being spy isn’t all that, anyway. Jesse and Sam ride off to the sunset together (or rather their next job). I’m broken hearted over Maddie’s death but she made her peace and gladly sacrificed herself. Fiona finally gets her man and goes back home to Ireland. Charlie is safe. And best of all, the CIA is going to leave our heroes in peace. I believe Strong knows that Michael and Fiona are still alive but he let them go because Michael did take down James and Strong is very grateful. I like the way how the show ended with Michael, Fiona, Charlie having a quiet, lovely moment in that cottage in front of a cozy fireplace. I couldn’t hope for a better ending. Thanks Burn Notice for keeping me entertained so many years. God bless!

  47. G Money says:

    so my question…… what was fi’s problem when she went on the roof to “save” michael? wouldn’t it have been much better if michael turned james in to the CIA willingly and then been the head of that organization or at least a leader and just taken it down that way?

  48. Skippy says:

    OK, let me see if I have it straight. After all the times Maddie tried to talk Michael out of the secret agent life, she first has to burn down her house, then has to blow herself up to save Charlie, with no way of knowing if that would save Michael. His violent lifestyle ends up getting his brother killed and his mother killed, so he runs away with Fiona, gives up spying, and lives happily ever after.
    This show used to be funny when it started. I’ve enjoyed this show for years but when they killed off his brother it got too serious. Michael is supposedly the hero, is there any way this could have resolved without him becoming a betrayer, a cheater, and a murderer? Couldn’t he have just conked Sonya on the head and turned her in, instead of shooting her? She was so hot!!! Did Sonya not know Michael would draw on her? He’d already betrayed her before. She would have been ready and filled him full of lead.
    Why was that bomb at Madeline’s house a suicide bomb? After all the bombs they’ve built, all the things they’ve blown up, why would they ever build a bomb without a detonator? Couldn’t they have rigged it to explode when the door was opened?
    I know it’s hard to resolve a long, complicated plot like this series had, but I’m just not buying it. The writers could have had the CIA boss implicated in the death of James, and the team using that as leverage to get their lives back.
    They could have had Sonya turn on James, and die fighting him, out of her love for Michael.
    They could have had an all-out war, with James and the CIA boss dying, and Michael becomes the head of the CIA and runs it the way he wants- helping people who need help.
    The whole team could have been presumed dead in the fire, and escape to start over again.
    Did Michael do something heroic to redeem himself at the end? To win back his good name, and prove that he never should have been burned? NO!
    The way they ended the series was to have his mother, the housewife, selflessly sacrifice herself, and show her self-centered, traitorous, violent son what it means to be a hero.

  49. Melody Paris says:

    It had its issues, but it made me cry so it gets an A.

  50. Skippy says:

    I suppose my mistake is in looking for a moral resolution in modern television. A sense that the good guys won in the end. A feeling that all my rooting for Michael through the years was rewarded. Instead the writers go for shock value these days.

    ‘He could have let Sonya shoot Fiona. but he didn’t.’ Is the depth of Michael’s moral character at the show’s conclusion. Why does he deserve to live happily ever after?