One of USA's longest-running series is on its way toward the finish line. Burn Notice, which has been on the air longer than anything not called Psych, will start its seventh and final season tonight. Series creator Matt Nix and the show's writers have taken the opportunity to once again shake things up. SPOILER ALERT!
Fans of Burn Notice know that Nix and Company like to do that a lot. They've pulled all sorts of crazy reveals in their various premieres and finales, whether it's killing off long-running recurring characters or having Michael wake up in some strange place worlds away from where he was five minutes ago. With this being the last season, they have nothing to lose, and so we're treated to quite a few opening moves that will cause eyebrows to arch.
The action opens nine months after the season six finale. Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) is still separated from everyone he loves, and his absence has major consequences for his relationship with Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) that will likely have some fans in an uproar. Things aren't so rough for Sam (Bruce Campbell) or Jesse (Coby Bell), but everyone has gone their separate ways without Michael to give them a common goal.
Of course, with six seasons' worth of do-gooding behind them, they've made plenty of enemies, and it's not long before a new one emerges, wanting to know where Michael is and what he's doing, and willing to go through every single one of them to get to him. As is normal for every season of Burn Notice, there are also new players in the game. Adrian Pasdar (Political Animals) is Randall Burke, a figure from Michael's past, while Jack Coleman (Castle) takes over as his new CIA contact.
The premiere episode has a lot of the things we've come to expect from Burn Notice: secrets, gunplay, explosions, and Michael's voice-over narration giving us insight into the mind of TV's most famous former spy. Once we catch up with him, it's not long before pieces fall into place, with Burke being installed as the new bad guy to watch, and there becoming a reason for Michael to make his way back from the latest exotic locale to his native Miami. It's not the most breathtaking start to a season this show has ever seen, but Nix and Company have dangled just enough to say, "This will be the start of something."
But for all the twists and turns they've introduced, there's one surprise we didn't ever see coming: Madeline (the always-great Sharon Gless) has given up smoking. Now that's a shocker.
Burn Notice returns tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on USA.