Last night marked the final episode of Burn Notice which had been airing on the USA Network since the summer of 2007.
For those of you unfamiiar with the show, Burn Notice followed the travails of a burned CIA agent Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) and his motley crue – on again, off again, girlfriend Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), wisecracking, mojito loving ex-Navy SEAL Sam Ax, a.k.a. Chuck Finley (Bruce Campbell), counterintelligence expert Jesse Porter (Coby Bell) and Michael Westen’s mother Madeline (Sharon Gless).
There were two things I most enjoyed about Burn Notice. The first was were Michael Westen’s frequent voice overs describing situations spies get in and out of and try to avoid, but often can’t. Donovan’s monotone caught the right balance between emotional detachment and seeing some humor in the absurdity he all too often encountered.
The other thing I most enjoyed was the presence of Gless (who is best known for co-starring in the ’80s TV series Cagney & Lacey). With few exceptions, Hollywood is not kind to actresses over 50 and especially those opt not to go under the knife. Gless played the part with such grit that I am convinced we should hire grandmothers to conduct interrogations at Gitmo – if we are not already doing so.
Alas, Madeline makes the ultimate sacrifice. Which is a shame because I would have loved to see her in the inevitable TV movie reunion (although she could appear in a cameo flashback scene). Sooner or later, when the USA Network’s ratings descend to the toilet they will call on Donovan and company to bail them out of a fiery mess. The world presumes Michael and Fiona are dead, but Sam and Jesse know otherwise and also know it is only a matter of time before they will make themselves known. Burn Notice might be off the air, but it isn’t going anywhere.
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