Burn Notice Season 7 Review “Things Unseen”

Burn Notice Season 7 Episode 10 Things Unseen (1)

This week’s Burn Notice asked some hard questions and provided no real answers. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this episode, and I think that was kind of the point. There were a lot of hard questions and a lot of difficult decisions that had to be made. By asking the questions and allowing each of the characters to make a choice and live with the consequences, it revealed more about the characters and more about the nature of friendship and family.

Michael was, once again, forced to do something he found immensely disagreeable. Sonya had orders from James that they were to kill an old friend of Michael’s named Steele. Steele was some sort of spy broker, and he’d been asking questions and poking around looking for information on Michael. Apparently, James didn’t like that, so he sent Sonya and Michael to take Steele out. Their first plan failed, so Sonya was ready to level Steele’s whole compound killing everyone inside. Michael came up with a plan to get Steele out in the open and take him out with a sniper rifle. That way the only person who would die was Steele. The mission was accomplished, but not without a lot of inner conflict for Michael. He desperately wanted to avoid killing the man, but he knew if he didn’t, others would die. Michael already doesn’t like killing people if it can be avoided, but to have to kill someone he considered a friend was infinitely harder.

Over the last several years, Michael has been forced to do things which he finds distasteful. He’s been under the thumb of people like Brennan, Vaughn, and Anson. He’s been trying to hold it together in impossible situations and doing what he felt needed to be done to protect those that he loves. But at what point is that justification no longer enough? Every dictator, warlord, and mobster in history has justified his actions by saying he’s just protecting his family. Admittedly, there are very few bonds greater than those of family. But how many people have to die for your family? At what point does Michael’s protection of his family turn him into the very kind of monster he’s working to take down? How much is too much? Where is the line? These are all questions that Michael is asking himself and I don’t know that he’s found any answers yet. Michael is losing his way and he’s walking a path that looks like it’s leading to destruction. The farther down this road Michael walks, the less he seems like the Michael Westen we’ve known for the last 7 years. At the end of season 3, Simon (the sociopath lunatic that actually did all of the horrible things Michael was falsely accused of doing that got him burned) laughed and told Michael that it was only a matter of time before Michael ended up just like him. At the time, that scared Michael. He didn’t want to end up like Simon, but unfortunately, it’s beginning to look like Simon wasn’t too far off the mark.

Carlos and Fiona are done. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the ending of this relationship though. One the one hand, Michael and Fiona are soulmates and they are only right for each other. But on the other hand, Carlos and Fiona never really had a chance. Fiona wasn’t over Michael when she started dating Carlos. And apparently Carlos hasn’t been entirely forthcoming about his past. But mostly I’m indifferent about Carlos leaving because I never really had an opportunity to connect with the character. It’s not as if we’ve spent a whole lot of time getting to know Carlos. He’s only been in a few episodes and even in those he was mostly background. It’s also not as if we’ve really spent any time getting to see very much of Carlos and Fi as a couple. Honestly, it feels like this episode was just a way to get rid of the Fiona/Carlos relationship quickly. It just feels kind of rushed. I understand that we have a LOT of ground to cover before the series finale, but I would have liked to spend more time getting to know Carlos so that I could feel more deeply about him leaving. Fiona’s dramatic reaction when he left just didn’t ring true for me because I don’t know Fiona and Carlos as a couple. I got the sense that Fiona was crying more for herself than she was for Carlos.

At the beginning of the episode, Fiona confronted Michael about allowing James to kill Snyder. Fiona was concerned that Michael no longer knows where the line is and she told him she can see that he’s losing himself in this mission. She lambasted him for standing by and doing nothing when James killed Snyder and she couldn’t seem to accept Michael’s reasoning. However, by the end of the episode, she was confronted with almost the same situation. The drug dealer that was hunting down Carlos and the other murder witness was given a pink slip by his employer. Fiona stood by while the drug dealer’s lieutenant gunned him down. Not only that, but Carlos discovered that 7 people had died in a missile attack in El Salvador just prior to the head honcho drug dealer deciding to rearrange his management structure. Basically, Michael made a call for Fiona and 7 people died so that she, Carlos, and Michael could live. Fiona’s justification was pretty much the same as Michael’s, but I don’t think she realized it until Carlos walked out. Just as an aside, Michael didn’t actually allow James to do kill Snyder. James was going to do it either way. Michael’s choice to remain silent while James carried out Snyder’s execution was to protect his team and his cover. Although I don’t agree with James’s actions, I do understand why Michael chose not to confront James more forcefully and I don’t think there’s anything he could’ve done.

This wasn’t an easy episode to watch. I had to ask myself what would I do if I were put in Michael’s situation? What would I do if I were put in Fiona’s situation? Did Fiona do the right thing by calling Michael for help? Did Michael do the right thing by killing Steele? I can see logical arguments on both sides of those discussions, but what it ultimately boils down to is can you live with it? Can you live with the consequences of the choices you’ve made? What about the consequences of choices that were made for you? Tough questions. No easy answers. So what did y’all think of this week’s Burn Notice?