Burn Notice Season 7 Review “Bitter Pill”

Burn Notice Season 7 Episode 9 Bitter Pill (1)

This week’s Burn Notice shifted pace a bit from the last few episodes primarily because we stepped away from Michael. Thus far this season, we have for the most part dealt with Michael’s demons and Michael’s mindset. This episode took some time to show us more about James. The more I learn about James, the more concerned I become for Michael and his team.

James rounded up Michael and Co. by sending some very large men with guns to bring them all to a shady-looking warehouse in the middle of nowhere. After he got them there, he told them that they needed to protect a Middle Eastern diplomat who was trying to achieve peace in that region. James brought in one of his top guys, Snyder, to work with Team Westen on the job. Unfortunately, some Libyans poisoned the diplomat and the Team had to figure out how to acquire the antidote. Team Westen worked their magic, the diplomat’s life was saved, and everyone got to live to fight another day. Well, almost everyone.

Things didn’t turn out so well for Snyder. When he, Jesse, and Fi got pinned down in the drug lab, he took off and left Fiona to die. He didn’t even think twice about it. It seems that he should have though. When James got word that Snyder had abandoned Fiona, he calmly explained the importance of keeping your word and not leaving people behind. Then he just as calmly gunned down Snyder in front of everyone. While I agree that you can’t have agents working in the field who abandon their team members in times of crisis, I think murdering them over it is a bit extreme.

James continues to intrigue me. You know, in a cold, calculating, manipulative, creepy sort of way. James seems to view himself not just as a savior but as a priest and protector too. He’s had people watching Michael and his team, including Maddie. He’s manipulated circumstances to make sure that they are in the place he wants them to be and he doesn’t see a problem with anything that he’s doing. The conversation he had with Maddie creeped me out in ways that I can’t even figure out how to verbalize. The warmth and compassion in his voice and his eyes is in stark contrast with the coldness and brutality of his actions. When James was talking to Maddie he seemed to really, earnestly want her to believe that he is simply trying to protect her because he knows how much she and Charlie mean to Michael. I don’t believe that to be the case at all though. I’m not entirely sure that James actually trusts Michael, and I see him making sure that he’s got some leverage for if/when Michael betrays him. He told Maddie that he is a man who is willing to go to extremes, and he wins the prize for understatement of the year. James is a man who has established his own order and his own set of rules. He has crafted a universe in which he is the king (his call sign is Midas for crying out loud) and as long as those in his kingdom play by his rules, everything is good. The penalty for failure and/or disobedience is death. I think Michael finally realizes just how precarious his position is. Even more than that, he realizes that in his efforts to protect his family, he has now pulled them deep into this mess too. This is either going to end bloody or it’s going to end sad, but I don’t see an easy way out for any of our heroes.

Maddie has kind of been on the back burner while we chipped away at Michael, but we saw what a profound effect Michael’s job is having on her. She now knows that she’s being watched. She’s carrying a gun all the time. She’s contemplating starting to smoke again because she’s under so much stress. She’s having a really rough go of it, and unlike Michael and Co., she was never a spy. She was never trained in how to handle this kind of stress. She’s just a grandmother trying to raise her grandson now that he’s lost his parents. But that doesn’t mean that she’s gonna sit back and just wring her hands. She may be outmatched but if she’s going down, it’s not going to be without a fight.

Michael and Fiona have one of the most complicated, twisted, tragic, and utterly romantic relationships I’ve ever seen. After Snyder abandoned Fi, Michael ran into the burning building to get her out. He burned his hand pretty good in the process of saving her, but when she asked him about it, he said it was nothing. And to him, it really was nothing because when it comes to Fi, nothing is too much. These two need to quit denying it. They’re soulmates.

It’s hard to believe that we’re down to the last four episodes of Burn Notice. This season has really reminded me why I fell in love with this show in the first place, and I’m monumentally bummed that this is the end. The powers that be have a lot of ground to cover in four episodes if they’re going to give us the “satisfying ending” Matt Nix promised, but they’ve done a great job thus far. So I have faith they’re going to deliver. So what did y’all think of this week’s Burn Notice?

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