Our favorite disavowed CIA agent is back for a seventh (and final) season. Although, ‘disavowed’ is no longer the correct term; during the previous season finale, Michael Westen had reconciled with his former employers.
Or so it would seem.
The episode opens with Michael beaten and lying in the dirt. Or so it would seem. He stands to show the arena, an underground fight club in the Dominican Republic. He stands, faces his opponent, takes a quick shot of tequila, and then proceeds to take the guy apart. Michael has become a loner, drunken and unkempt. Or so it would seem. What we’re actually seeing is the birth of a new cover and, hopefully, the most exciting season of Burn Notice.
Michael’s new boss, Andrew Strong (Jack Coleman), has given everything up for this case. He’s lost his family, his friends, and his youth in pursuit of Randall Burke (Adrian Pasdar), an old military buddy of Michael’s. We see very little of him, but they leave us with mixed feelings towards the man. His devotion to his duty is attractive, but his desperation is not.
Oh, and Michael can speak Spanish now. That was shocking.
In the nine months since the team has split up, much has changed. Fi has a new boyfriend, Carlos Cruze (Stephen Martines), Sam is almost totally dependent on his lady friend, and Jesse is a top dog in his private security firm. Even Maddie has adapted to her son’s absence by becoming a parent to her only grandchild, Charlie. Everyone seems to be fine without Michael. They are all safe and happy and out of harm’s way — except for the Mystery Agent (Nick E. Tarabay) with multiple identities who has been siphoning information about Michael from them.
As we’ve seen before, there is a line of succession for the villain. The Mystery Agent is the first, threatening Sam’s life and Maddie’s custody of Charlie all to discover where Michael’s loyalties lie. Currently, the big baddie is Burke. He might have a boss, though. I would keep my eye on Strong: a desperate man who has lost everything might make for an interesting villain. I doubt we would see that same idea two seasons in a row, but with enough twists and turns, it could feel fresh enough to use again. Besides, it conveys the theme of the show: don’t trust your superiors.
This episode was wonderfully paced, providing action and background at all the necessary moments. I am left confused about Fi and the new boyfriend. Is he nothing more than an obstacle for Michael to overcome or a permanent fixture in Fi’s life to fill the gap left by Michael? Carlos seems likable enough for me to be upset if he is tossed aside upon Michael and Fi’s reunion.
Depending on when that reunion is. While I’m confident there will be one, how far down the line is it? Will they be apart for the majority of the season or is this a temporary state, only for an episode or two? Miami has been the home of the show for the entirety of the series, almost a character in its own right. It feels out of place beginning the season with Michael so far from home. Hopefully we will witness Michael’s homecoming soon enough. For now, Michael works for the CIA, and he’s happy to be doing it.
Or so it would seem.