Burn Notice Season 7 Review “New Deal”

Burn Notice Season 7 Episode 1 New Deal (7)

The final season of Burn Notice kicked off by showing us a very different, darker Michael Westen than we’ve seen in the whole series. This episode, “New Deal,” opened about nine months after the events of the season six finale. It is at this point we get to see exactly what it cost Michael to save Maddie, Fiona, Jesse, and Sam. He’s working deep undercover in the Dominican Republic under the thumb of his new CIA handler Andrew Strong. Michael’s mission is to infiltrate the operation of a former CIA operative named Burke who has now become a terrorist.

There were a number of things that were different about this assignment. First, Michael hasn’t taken on a fake persona. Not really. He is still Michael Westen. He’s just a more defeated, down-and-out version of himself. He’s lost the woman he loves, he’s been branded a terrorist by all the alphabets in Washington DC, and he’s lost his family. Michael literally has nothing left at this point. He is broken. Much more broken than we’ve ever seen him. In times past, he’s had the love and support of his team, even when he didn’t really want it or think he deserved it. Now, he’s just going through the motions. He’s doing this because he knows he has to.

Second, Michael is truly on his own. Strong wants to take down Burke. I don’t doubt that, but Strong isn’t watching Michael’s back. Michael coming out of this mission alive isn’t anywhere near the top of Strong’s list. Strong wants Burke to pay for all the years he’s taken from him, and if Michael goes down in the crossfire, then so be it. Even when Michael was at his worst, he still had Sam, Jesse, and Fi watching his back. Even when Michael first got burned he wasn’t really on his own. This is the first time he’s got to not only go at it alone, but go at it with someone who is as ruthless as Burke appears to be.

Finally, Michael isn’t the same Michael that he was before he got burned. Strong says that he needs that Westen, but I don’t know how much of him is still in there. Pre-burned Michael Westen seems like he was much more like Burke than he’d probably care to admit. He was a loner and a blunt instrument. But after getting burned, Michael got a taste of what it means to have true friends that will (and have) give all for you. He knows what it means to have people that you care about. Basically, he knows what it feels like to have connections and family because that’s really what the team is. Family. Now that Michael has had a taste of that, can he go back? More importantly, does he really want to?

It’ll be interesting to see just how long Michael allows himself to be at the mercy of the CIA. He should see by now that they don’t have his best interests at heart. He should also see that he was able to do much more good as a burned agent working with his team than he’s been able to do working for the CIA. All any of the CIA operatives do is lie to him and use him for their own purposes. I don’t understand why Michael would even want back into that agency. He had a good thing going with Sam, Fi, and Jesse. Only time will tell if Burke suspects Michael killed his lieutenant, but if he does, Michael is in deep trouble.

While Michael was working in the Dominican Republic, the rest of the team seems to have moved on with their lives. Sam was planning a big surprise birthday bash for Elsa. Jesse went back to his job in the private security firm. Fiona was working with a partner as a bail bondswoman. And Maddie gave up smoking because she was attempting to get custody of her grandson Charlie. All of that kind of went out the window when some strange guy showed up to each of them trying to get information on Michael. Jesse and Sam were able to spot the guy almost immediately and they dropped what they were doing to try and protect Michael. Fiona, on the other hand, took a bit more convincing.

Fiona decided to help find out who the Mystery Man was for Maddie. Or so she said. She claimed that if she’d known they were helping Michael, she wouldn’t have agreed. Apparently, not only is Fiona’s new partner Carlos a business partner, he’s her new boyfriend. He didn’t get all that much screen time, but he seemed like a decent enough guy. The bad news for him is that I don’t think Fiona has really moved on so quickly. I know it’s been almost a year and I know that she was furious with Michael. But for two people who have been through as much as Fiona and Michael have and who love each other as fiercely as they do, it just doesn’t seem like she would’ve given up on him and moved on to someone else just like that. I mean, eventually, yeah. But she hasn’t even talked to Michael in nine months, so there’s no way that she’s actually over him. It’s gonna suck for Carlos when Michael does come back into the picture though because, as much as she may deny it, Fiona still loves Michael.

It really kind of bothers me how dumb they wrote Maddie in this episode. Fiona told her that some strange guy was asking questions about Michael, and she and guys were going to handle it. But Maddie doesn’t find it strange that she’s suddenly got a meeting with some random, new caseworker? And not only does she have a new caseworker, but he’s primarily interested in talking about Michael’s whereabouts as opposed to the kind of home she would provide for Charlie. After all that she’s been through with Michael and the Gang, I don’t see how she didn’t see any red flags. It’s kind of disappointing because Maddie was starting to become a pretty awesome chick. She’s helped Michael get information numerous times. She’s learned a few things about the spy game from Michael, and she didn’t think any of what happened was odd? I guess perhaps she was so desperate to get custody of Charlie that everything she learned went out the window. But even so. It doesn’t make any sense that she would be so stupid and loose-lipped.

This is a much different Michael Westen than we’ve seen before, thus making this a much different Burn Notice than we’ve seen before. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The show seemed to lose some of its focus during the 5th and 6th seasons, and I was kind of worried before this season premiere. However, this new direction that the powers that be seem to be steering Michael toward could be interesting for him and for us. Is Michael really a changed man? What is Michael’s endgame? Does he want back in? How is he going to fix things with his family? There are so many different ways this could go, and I’m cautiously optimistic about this season. So what did y’all think of this episode of Burn Notice?

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