I want you people out of my life! yelled Jeffrey Donovan's Michael in last night's season finale of Burn Notice. Isn't that what he's been saying pretty much all season? In previous episodes, it was sometimes tempting to think he was saying the same thing to the show's writers. But last night, all was redeemed, as far as I was concerned. If you don't want to know the finale details yet, consider this your SPOILER WARNING and scram now.
In an earlier post I'd complained about how the Carla/Victor stuff was getting in the way of Burn Notice's momentum -- snipping the satisfying snap of Michael's voiceovers, as he described tricks of the spy trade while we watch him craft weapons or execute bone-snapping punches and kicks. But last night, everything clicked into place. In an hour written by creator Matt Nix and directed by Tim Matheson (yes, the actor who must be weary of being credited as Animal House's Otter, and a darn good TV director), Michael united with his nemesis Victor (Michael Shanks) against his handler-against-his-will Carla (Tricia Helfer). We got some backstory -- Carla killed Victor's family, which is why he hates Carla -- but most of the time, we got the action we craved.
Not only did Michael do a lot of shooting, car-crashing, and fighting, but Bruce Campbell's Sam, tasked with guarding Sharon Gless' Madeline, also dropped the jokes and did their own share of shooting and blowing things up. We were told by Michael how to make a "pepper [spray] grenade" and that one of the best ways to shoot at a car you're chasing is to aim the bullets at the under-carriage, so the bullets come up through the enemy's floorboards. This is the kind of stuff we Burn fans eat up, isn't it?
And how sweet the moment was when Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) shot Carla; Fi's muttered, "Finally!" was echoed among TV-watchers all across America. More jolting was Michael's mercy-killing of Victor. The final scene, with Michael meeting with John Mahoney as "Management," sets up a great next season, I think. Bravo.
So what did you think of the finale? Satisfied? Not?