Series finale review: ‘Burn Notice’ – ‘Reckoning’

“Burn Notice” has come to an end. I wrote about the series as a whole earlier, and I have a few  thoughts on the finale coming up just as soon as I smoke one more cigarette…    

And so we conclude with Michael and Fi enjoying retirement across the sea(*) and taking care of Nate’s son (who, it’s implied by the final lines, will eventually be on the receiving end of all of Michael’s lectures about spycraft), while Sam and Jesse will carry on the freelance vigilante act on their own, though they’ll have to do it without Fi’s demolitions expertise and Michael’s facility with accents. Madeline sacrifices herself – in the finale’s most effective emotional moment, because Sharon Gless is Sharon Gless, y’know? – to ensure that Jesse and her grandson can get away, and James’ terror network gets taken down with a bit of help from final guest star Alan Ruck. 

(*) I’m assuming, based on the final scene’s music, that they’re back in Ireland, but Fi’s still using her “fake” American accent (an artifact of the realization that Gabrielle Anwar’s Irish accent in the pilot was terrible). And the episode glosses over how they got the kid out of the country.  

As I said in the earlier piece, this final season was probably heavier than “Burn Notice” could bear, but the finale had some nice moments beyond Madeline’s death, including the quotes from the pilot/intro sequence (“Should we shoot them?” and “buncha bitchy little girls”) and Michael jumping onto Ruck’s indestructible car to shove an improvised explosive under the hood. “Burn Notice” + cars + bombs tended to be a good combination over the years. On the other hand, the explosions at James’ secret facility being timed in just the right way for Michael and Fi to jump out a window and into the water was fairly silly.

I’d have been fine if the show had ended a couple of years ago, and I had no investment in the James arc even before I decided to start skipping episodes. But given the point the series was at in terms of story and tone, this was a decent way to end things.

What did everybody else think? Are you upset Madeline died? Are you happy Mike and Fi got their happy ending, or had you lost interest in their romance? And if USA suddenly decided they wanted a spin-off with Bruce Campbell and Coby Bell as the new leads and no spy mythology, would you watch?