Burn Notice Review: Deals With The Devil

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Earning a rare perfect rating, "Depth Perception" took everything we knew about Michael and his relationship with his father and scrambled it like an egg being thrown into a blender.

Anson has to be the most sadistic, devious, malicious, manipulative bastard Michael has every faced - and I have never enjoyed a Burn Notice bad guy more. If Sam and Michael had made a deal with the Devil himself, they would have been less screwed over.

I couldn't see anything good coming out of Sam and Michael going to Anson for help. But then the emotions and responses Anson was able to pull out of Michael when he was asking him if you were Oscar what would you want? changed my mind. I began to think that Anson might not be entirely evil. Maybe Michael and Anson could find a middle ground. 

A Trip to the Cayman Islands

Then Anson dropped the bombshell: That he not only knew Michael’s father, but he arranged for his death! 

The look of pure hatred in Michael’s eyes after that told me two things: One, Michael will never find a middle ground with Anson. Two, when Anson and Michael’s relationship ends it will not be quiet, pretty... or peaceful. 

Of course, Anson wasn’t done at that point, either. Thinking three steps ahead, he had used the opening created when Michael went to Ivan of the FSB and stopped Oscar to burn Sam with the FBI, neutralizing any help he might have been. Well done, Mr. Fullerton, well done. 

Michael and Sam, I just want to remind you that it’s not the grenade's fault when it goes off because you pull the pin out of it while it’s laying in your lap. You knew the devil you were dealing with going into this. 

On the flip side, I want to acknowledge Jere Burns for his portrayal of Anson Fullerton. I have never despised and loved a villain more and I’m not sure anyone else could have pulled the part off as well.  

Speaking of Sam, when TV Fanatic was invited to interview Bruce Campbell at the beginning of the season, one of the questions that I wanted to ask was if we would see Beatriz (Ilza Rosario) from The Fall of Sam Axe turn up in Miami. This episode gave me the answer I wanted and I was thrilled to see her make an appearance. 

Beatriz brings out a protective, almost fatherly side to Sam. I think he sees a lot of himself in her at that age and wants to try and steer her away from the land mines he hit. I’m sure it’s a pipe dream, but I would love to see Sam taking her under his wing as an apprentice. Hey, they are both suspected of being Russian spies, right? There you go; a great reason for her to stick around. 

Any notion I had of Madeline not smoking anymore were laid to rest with Benny. While I can understand her anger and the slap she gave Michael, she should know by now that Michael is going to do whatever he can to keep her safe, and as far from Anson as he can. 

Michael was talking about himself as much as Oscar when he said that Oscar needs to know that the things he has done helps others. Michael needs to be the hero, that's why he would put himself in harm's way for Beatriz, who he met the first time the day before. 

Moreover, the answer to the question I asked previously - about wrapping up the story with Anson before the end of the season - was hinted at when Anson told Michael he'd be done by the end of the month. Could we really be finished with Anson at that point? Would you want to be?

Either way, with only two episodes remaining this season, it's very clear that Matt Nix and his team have their foot on the gas pedal. Though I'm not sure I can handle many episodes this emotionally packed. I loved it, but, man, I'm tired.

Check out the official promo for next week's outing NOW.


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


@MrWriteSF Since when was Carla a Sympathetic character? She was probably the biggest jerkass of the series, I was overjoyed when Fiona killed her. I think you have her confused with Michael Shanks' character, Victor, who Carla shot at the end of season 2


Has anyone considered tha Anson is actually Weston's father? I know its a BIG stretch...but really think about..everything we know from past seasons. Hes kind of acting like a proud father.


Sadly I am now bored with this show [Burn Notice] -- its the same plot every episode with the same characters and the same problems. Give me Breaking Bad where the characters actually change and face new problems and become new people.


I'm confused about when exactly Michael found out that Madeline's boyfriend was a spy for Anson. I thought it was only very recently. Why did he tell his mother that he'd known the whole time she was seeing him? It was my understanding Michael told her about it the very day or the day after he found out. Am I missing something? Why would he tell her he withheld that kind of information from her if it wasn't true? Of course she'd be really pissed off about being kept in the dark for so long. Great episode!!!


Love this show and the characters, Michael, (especially SAM), Fiona, and Madeline. Hope they never canel it.


The good: nobody twists Mike's noodle like Anson. The scene in the hospital was the high octane type that is normally saved for premiers and finales. And Mike being completely unguarded and spitting the truth in order to save Sam was refreshing in a way I never thought I would see. Always good to see Beatriz again. Wink wink The bad: Does Mike have to keep forming fatherly bonds with psychos? First DL and now Anson. I know its probably very Freudian with the way Frank was, but even Mike cannot be that vulnerable with that big a blind spot. The ugly: Anson knows Mike better than Mike knows himself, but for some reason Anson needs to ride along with Mike so he can ask questions presumably to learn more. Weak. Overall the best episode for season 5.5 so far, and did I mention it was good seeing Beatriz again?


This season seems more like the writers are searching for a direction than any real direction. Anson is a great creepy villan but I am not sure I could take more than a few episodes with him. Where I totally disagree with Jim G. is bringing in Beatriz-she cannot act her way into getting a good table at McDonalds-the whole Sam/Beatriz relationship seemed forced, phoney and unbelievable.


Sorry Michael, but I disagree. With the exception of the first season, Weston's always working for some shady individual and asked to do shady things, all with the promise that he gets to know more of the story behind his burn notice and/or have it lifted, only to have things (quite literally) blow up. He's worked for "management", Strickler, Vaughn, and now Anson; meanwhile, Carla, Garza, and Max, all sympathetic characters who help Weston, get killed--all in different seasons. That's not adding--it's just more of the same. I'm not saying it's not entertaining, but how much longer can it go on, realistically?




Good show very interesting good cast good writers keep you glued to the TV the whole show

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Burn Notice Season 5 Episode 16 Quotes

First we have to get you someplace safe, hopefully someplace that doesn't smell like wet socks.


Michael: I won't be told what to do forever, I need to know this ends.
Anson: You're done by the end of the month Michael, I promise.