I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Burn Notice. It was somewhere in the middle of some season, and it was just kitschy and “things blowing up” enough to keep my interest. I told my brother I was watching Burn Notice, and he complained that the main guy (Jeffrey Donovan) was too dorky to play a spy, and I realized that was part of the reason why I liked the show.
There are plenty of cheesy things about Burn Notice; Michael’s (Jeffrey Donovan) fake accents, Gabriel Anwar (Fiona Glenanne) as Irish, but these things are usually played tongue-in-cheek. And the explosions! Seriously, no one does TV explosions like Burn Notice. Okay, no one on TV does action sequences like Burn Notice. Michael and co. never use the same trick twice, and we’re never sure what is going to work the way they planned.
I got bored, really bored with Burn Notice somewhere mid-season six. Michael had thought he had discovered who had burned him, but they kept adding complications until even I, the Soap Opera lover, was fatiqued. Hadn’t planned on watching the final season, but had forgot to tell my Hulu.com account that.
And Burn Notice popped up in my queue. I assume I was looking for something to “wind down to” so I watched the first episode of the finale season. And then the next one. And the next one. I ran out of episodes at that point, but I was invigorated; Burn Notice had done something few shows managed to do. . . it had made the finale season as exciting as the best season, by focusing on what worked best (in this case, Michael and co. and their sense of family). There was no more case of the week: just the finale case. Jeffrey Donovan, who was normally given moments of levity, played the finale season like a man walking the plank (and rightfully so). Sharon Gless, as his mother Madeline, topped her previous award- winning performances in this role as a grandmother whose sole goal is the protection of her orphaned grandson. Seriously, every time Gless comes on the screen, I want to bow to her.
The series finale did not disappoint. First, they actually wrapped in a way that gave fans closure. Second, Michael at his craziest/most desperate ever. And the heartbreak. I can still feel the tear-tracks. I’m suspecting most of you have are reading this (the 2 of you) haven’t seen the finale, so I’m not going to spoil it. I will end with, that one hour was better than most action movies I have seen: better action, better explosions, better character. . . oh, and better dialogue. The writers had fun. Main characters reiterated lines we have heard repeatedly for years in the opening montage: “My name is Michael Weston; I used to be a spy. . .”.