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Old 09-05-2013, 09:53 PM   #1
Rob Helmerichs
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Burn Notice 9/5/13 "Sea Change"

While I have been enjoying this (final) season much more than recent years, I was truly blown away by the sheer, plot-driven stupidity of this episode.

"Well, Sam & Fi, you see, I'm plotting with the CIA and we're going to take down James today. Then, this will all be over."

"Oh, OK, that sounds great. We'll just hang out here until you're done."

There was absolutely no reason, aside from artificially-manufactured drama and horribly lazy writing, for the boathouse scheme or the rooftop showdown ever to take place. What a MASSIVELY disappointing way to set up the finalé.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
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Agreed. Very disappointing.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:04 AM   #3
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While I have been enjoying this (final) season much more than recent years, I was truly blown away by the sheer, plot-driven stupidity of this episode.
Despite routinely trying to turn off my brain during this show, I was also disturbed by that absurdity.

What are the chances James is really planning to let himself be taken in (and not escape)? I'd put it at no better than 50/50. At best (for Michael), James is planning to let himself be taken in long enough that Michael can say he fulfilled his mission, and then James will somehow escape. Or James may have some other devious plan that would not turn out so well for Michael.

The reason I bring this up is that if, in the writers' minds, James was not really going to be out of play for long, then maybe they think it less of a stupid move for Michael not to say the obvious thing to his friends about his activities. In the writers' minds. It is still bad writing, since even if the writers can "see the future", Michael obviously cannot.

By the way, I was actually rooting for Sonya to beat Fiona up while Michael watched. I have not liked her character at all since she walked out on Michael for that other guy. And Fiona and Sam were sounding way too self-righteous this episode, calling Michael a traitor and staging a ridiculous kind of intervention. Actually, Fiona has been too self-righteous with Michael this entire season, objecting to the violent methods Michael was employing, which is incredibly hypocritical coming from Fiona.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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While I have been enjoying this (final) season much more than recent years, I was truly blown away by the sheer, plot-driven stupidity of this episode.

"Well, Sam & Fi, you see, I'm plotting with the CIA and we're going to take down James today. Then, this will all be over."

"Oh, OK, that sounds great. We'll just hang out here until you're done."

There was absolutely no reason, aside from artificially-manufactured drama and horribly lazy writing, for the boathouse scheme or the rooftop showdown ever to take place. What a MASSIVELY disappointing way to set up the finalé.
Agreed. I kept (in my head) shouting at the tv: "You idiot, just tell them what's up and they will stay out of your way til it's over!!!"
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:25 PM   #5
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Agreed. I kept (in my head) shouting at the tv: "You idiot, just tell them what's up and they will stay out of your way til it's over!!!"
Or don't even tell them what's up! Tell them the carefully-concocted cover story that was concocted for THIS VERY REASON!!
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:45 AM   #6
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Despite routinely trying to turn off my brain during this show, I was also disturbed by that absurdity.

What are the chances James is really planning to let himself be taken in (and not escape)? I'd put it at no better than 50/50. At best (for Michael), James is planning to let himself be taken in long enough that Michael can say he fulfilled his mission, and then James will somehow escape. Or James may have some other devious plan that would not turn out so well for Michael.

The reason I bring this up is that if, in the writers' minds, James was not really going to be out of play for long, then maybe they think it less of a stupid move for Michael not to say the obvious thing to his friends about his activities. In the writers' minds. It is still bad writing, since even if the writers can "see the future", Michael obviously cannot.

By the way, I was actually rooting for Sonya to beat Fiona up while Michael watched. I have not liked her character at all since she walked out on Michael for that other guy. And Fiona and Sam were sounding way too self-righteous this episode, calling Michael a traitor and staging a ridiculous kind of intervention. Actually, Fiona has been too self-righteous with Michael this entire season, objecting to the violent methods Michael was employing, which is incredibly hypocritical coming from Fiona.
I thought/think that the building has been packed with explosives, and when the chopper lands (without James) the whole thing will go up, killing Michael (the traitor) and Sonya (collateral damage) along with the entire CIA team, leaving him to continue in his evil ways(TM), and the CIA thinking he had been killed along with the rest of them. Oh wait, this was part of the plot of Die Hard. But that IS what went through my mind. There is NO WAY James is just turning himself in--not a chance!
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:57 AM   #7
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There is NO WAY James is just turning himself in--not a chance!
Normally I would agree with you...but with only one episode left, I have to say there IS a chance!

Maybe not the most likely scenario, but definitely a possibility. Something will clearly go wrong, but the question is, will something go wrong with James's plan, or will something go wrong because of James's REAL plan? At this point, I think it could go either way. And since they've gone to such insane lengths to make something go wrong ("A SHOT RANG OUT!") that has nothing to do with James, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he was planning on going through with it but changes his mind as a result of, well, a shot ringing out...

We'll see!
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:58 AM   #8
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LOL. I thought this episode was awesome.

There was nothing more or less absurd than any other episode in any other season. Michael has in the past tried to keep them in the dark about a mission. And they always try to butt in. Maybe that means he should know better, but there's no fun in that.

I think Fi, Sam and Jesse have been right all season, and clearly since Mike is betraying his country they are right. I'm on their side.

I want to see Fi beat up Sonya.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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There was nothing more or less absurd than any other episode in any other season. Michael has in the past tried to keep them in the dark about a mission. And they always try to butt in. Maybe that means he should know better, but there's no fun in that.
But in this case, he (and James) specifically came up with a plan to deal with that problem. But if he'd followed his own plan, then the series would have ended a week early.

This was not a Michael problem. This was a writer problem. And far more egregious than the examples you refer to, where they just couldn't be bothered to figure out a logical course of action. They DID figure out a logical course of action. But, for the sole and exclusive purpose of dragging things out, they didn't use it.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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I think Fi, Sam and Jesse have been right all season, and clearly since Mike is betraying his country they are right.
Mike is hardly "betraying his country". At most, he is going against the plans of a few ambitious jerks running some CIA missions. There has been no indication that the people running these missions have the best interest of "the country" at heart.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:42 PM   #11
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Mike is hardly "betraying his country". At most, he is going against the plans of a few ambitious jerks running some CIA missions. There has been no indication that the people running these missions have the best interest of "the country" at heart.
Plus after James is captured, Michael will putatively be in charge of his organization. Which means it will be exactly as traitorous or patriotic as Michael wants it to be.

Not that the CIA would see it that way, but...
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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But that's exactly what he's been fighting against all these years - people who answer to no one and do what they want. They've all thought they were acting in the best interests of someone. If Michael does that, he's no better than any of them.

The CIA is hardly perfect, but better than vigilantes who answer to no one with their own agenda and cause collateral damage.

There's a big difference between the help the helpless stuff they do in Miami and running a multi national shady group that assassinates, murders and has an agenda.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:57 PM   #13
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The CIA is hardly perfect, but better than vigilantes who answer to no one with their own agenda and cause collateral damage.
Keeping in mind that we are discussing the CIA as portrayed in the show, I am not convinced that you are correct. I think "vigilantes" are probably better than the CIA, which has consistently betrayed its own people and put people in power who are murderers of innocent people (Simon, Michael's former handler, several others I cannot remember in detail). And there is very little indication that the people running the CIA missions are actually answering to anyone in any meaningful way.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
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But that's exactly what he's been fighting against all these years - people who answer to no one and do what they want. They've all thought they were acting in the best interests of someone. If Michael does that, he's no better than any of them.
Well, that's the irony, because that's exactly what he's doing.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:21 AM   #15
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I thought/think that the building has been packed with explosives, and when the chopper lands (without James) the whole thing will go up, killing Michael (the traitor) and Sonya (collateral damage) along with the entire CIA team, leaving him to continue in his evil ways(TM), and the CIA thinking he had been killed along with the rest of them. Oh wait, this was part of the plot of Die Hard. But that IS what went through my mind. There is NO WAY James is just turning himself in--not a chance!
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Normally I would agree with you...but with only one episode left, I have to say there IS a chance!

Maybe not the most likely scenario, but definitely a possibility. Something will clearly go wrong, but the question is, will something go wrong with James's plan, or will something go wrong because of James's REAL plan? At this point, I think it could go either way. And since they've gone to such insane lengths to make something go wrong ("A SHOT RANG OUT!") that has nothing to do with James, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he was planning on going through with it but changes his mind as a result of, well, a shot ringing out...

We'll see!
Well I see your point. I still think that to just turn himself in would be SO out of character for someone in James position it would defy even the twisted logic of this show.

...still, just one episode left, as you say.

In any case, I think it still makes more sense than Under the Dome.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:52 AM   #16
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Well I see your point. I still think that to just turn himself in would be SO out of character for someone in James position it would defy even the twisted logic of this show.
To be fair (one way or the other), the whole James thing has never really made sense. He is both a ruthless terrorist who will do anything to get his way, and a noble warrior who will make any personal sacrifice to do what governments can't or won't. They've never managed, or even really bothered trying, to reconcile those two aspects of his "nature," and with one episode left I have little doubt they will do it now. So I guess it just depends on which side they decide in the end is his "true" self.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #17
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...By the way, I was actually rooting for Sonya to beat Fiona up while Michael watched. I have not liked her character at all since she walked out on Michael for that other guy. And Fiona and Sam were sounding way too self-righteous this episode, calling Michael a traitor and staging a ridiculous kind of intervention. Actually, Fiona has been too self-righteous with Michael this entire season, objecting to the violent methods Michael was employing, which is incredibly hypocritical coming from Fiona.
Yeah, I was in the same boat. I have a feeling we're all gonna be massively disappointed with the way this all ends. I truly believe if James' plan would come to fruition (Michael and Sonya taking over), it would be a great way to end...and allow the possibility of a spinoff. But we all know that won't happen...
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:45 AM   #18
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Mike is hardly "betraying his country". At most, he is going against the plans of a few ambitious jerks running some CIA missions. There has been no indication that the people running these missions have the best interest of "the country" at heart.
This. I'm pulling for Michael, James and Sonya all the way...screw the rest of the gang (excluding Sam Axe)....
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #19
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Yeah, I was in the same boat. I have a feeling we're all gonna be massively disappointed with the way this all ends. I truly believe if James' plan would come to fruition (Michael and Sonya taking over), it would be a great way to end...and allow the possibility of a spinoff. But we all know that won't happen...
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This. I'm pulling for Michael, James and Sonya all the way...screw the rest of the gang (excluding Sam Axe)....
I'm not so sure it won't happen...but if it does, I suspect it will be more in line with Zevida's thoughts; the irony of Michael becoming what he's been fighting all these years, or at least having gone well down that road.

So a bittersweet ending, where Michael gets what he wants but what he wants isn't necessarily a good thing. I can see the last shot being a vaguely sinister one of Michael in his sunglasses gazing out at his new empire, with a hint of a nasty smile at the thought of all the "good" he can do.

The only question is, do the old gang go with him? Or are they now the ones who might end up taking him down?

So that's one way I can see it going. I hope they don't go the sappy, sentimental route, where Michael sees the error of his ways and retires with Fiona to an estate on an island somewhere, with Sam as their cabana boy.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:57 AM   #20
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... I hope they don't go the sappy, sentimental route, where Michael sees the error of his ways and retires with Fiona to an estate on an island somewhere, with Sam as their cabana boy.
That's what I fear the most, and it would be a massive insult the entire series.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:25 AM   #21
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I'm not so sure it won't happen...but if it does, I suspect it will be more in line with Zevida's thoughts; the irony of Michael becoming what he's been fighting all these years, or at least having gone well down that road.

So a bittersweet ending, where Michael gets what he wants but what he wants isn't necessarily a good thing. I can see the last shot being a vaguely sinister one of Michael in his sunglasses gazing out at his new empire, with a hint of a nasty smile at the thought of all the "good" he can do.

The only question is, do the old gang go with him? Or are they now the ones who might end up taking him down?

So that's one way I can see it going. I hope they don't go the sappy, sentimental route, where Michael sees the error of his ways and retires with Fiona to an estate on an island somewhere, with Sam as their cabana boy.
I would be much happier with sappy, sentimental ending that than with evil Michael.

Actually my preferred ending is still that Michael sees the error of his ways and dies to save his friends. He finally gets peace and they get to live happily ever after.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #22
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Y'all realize that we've seen this helicopter-takes-forever-to-approach-while-Michael-and-the-villain-girl-and-Fi-watch scene before? Like when "management" was coming to meet Michael and Fi shot whats-er-name "Finally."

Think how they want the series to end, leaving it open for Sam and Jesse to have a spin-off.

My prediction: Michael does move to get into good graces at the CIA while going on heading James's Robin Hood organization and tries to talk his crew into joining. After all, it's just more of what they've been doing all along with better funding.

Fi joins or heads back to Ireland on her own.

Sam and Jesse walk. Get on the plane. (Who's the pilot anyway?)

Roll credits.

This leaves it open for Michael and Fi to make guest appearances in the Sam Axe spin-off or more Burn Notice TV movies.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #23
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I would be much happier with sappy, sentimental ending that than with evil Michael...
I would argue that it would NOT be an "evil" Michael if he became co-leader with Sonya. I don't see what James' group is doing as pure evil; as Michael said, I may not agree with all their methods, but I agree with their principles...
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:06 PM   #24
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It is Michael betraying everything he has worked for in the last 7 seasons.

24 parallel and spoiler:

Spoiler:
Michael can choose to be Jack, who fights for what is right, but doesn't help terrorists along the way, or he can become Tony who helps terrorists in the name of what's right to get what he wants.

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Old 09-08-2013, 03:11 PM   #25
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Here is how I would have liked that last scene on the roof to go:

Sonya looks at Fiona and draws her gun, pointing it at Fi, and says "Shall we shoot her?"

Michael instantly shouts "No!" and then pauses, gazing into Fiona's eyes. Camera zooms in on Fiona's defiant gaze, and then Sonya's fist comes out of nowhere, hitting Fiona on the side of the head and knocking her out.

Michael bends down and checks Fiona's pulse, then tells Sonya to tie her up. Michael goes back to watching the helicopter.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #26
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Here is how I would have liked that last scene on the roof to go:

Sonya looks at Fiona and draws her gun, pointing it at Fi, and says "Shall we shoot her?"

Michael instantly shouts "No!" and then pauses, gazing into Fiona's eyes. Camera zooms in on Fiona's defiant gaze, and then Sonya's fist comes out of nowhere, hitting Fiona on the side of the head and knocking her out.

Michael bends down and checks Fiona's pulse, then tells Sonya to tie her up. Michael goes back to watching the helicopter.
Fiona would never allow Sonya to get close enough to punch her.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:54 AM   #27
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Navy SEAL or not, I chuckled at a massively out of shape Sam fighting Michael underwater.

Who funds James' operation? It's got to be incredibly expensive.

One of the most over used tv show sayings is "I did it to protect you."
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:05 AM   #28
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Navy SEAL or not, I chuckled at a massively out of shape Sam fighting Michael underwater.
Yeah, I don't know if Bruce Campbell was ever athletic, but if he was those days are long past him...and their heroic efforts to use camera tricks to make him look like a match for Donovan failed pretty spectacularly.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:08 AM   #29
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Fiona hasn't been my favorite person this season but I'll be pissed if Sonya shoots her.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:17 AM   #30
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LOL. I thought this episode was awesome.

There was nothing more or less absurd than any other episode in any other season. Michael has in the past tried to keep them in the dark about a mission. And they always try to butt in. Maybe that means he should know better, but there's no fun in that.

I think Fi, Sam and Jesse have been right all season, and clearly since Mike is betraying his country they are right. I'm on their side.

I want to see Fi beat up Sonya.
This is kind of how I felt. Although I'm not sure Mike believes he's betraying his country, only that the CIA is dirtier than James (btw...seems weird they have been calling him James and not by his last name....but whatever). On one hand I wanted Fi to beat up Sonia, but ummmm...Sonia is so cute, so I don't want her face getting messed up LOL.

The plots on this show have always been really absurd. I don't mind. It's a mindless show, kind of like James Bond (old school), in that the plots are always unrealistic, but the action and banter are always fun.
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