July 8, 2012 Rissi JC 10 Comments

Summer-time means a lot of things. It brings more than one thing to mind and is often the start of new beginnings or family vacations, time at the pool or gardening. For me, one of the simple joys the season brings is the return of (one of) my favorite shows, Burn Notice. In its five years on television, it has become so much more than it starts out as. And that is a good thing.

Burn Notice, Season Five (2011) USA TV Show Review

Five years of his life were consumed with finding answers about the people who issued his burn notice and now spy extraordinaire Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is back at Langley, and yet, he isn’t. Unofficially, Michael doesn’t receive a government paycheck which means his burn notice isn’t lifted just yet. Now, the CIA manages to capture a man who could lead them to the man who calls the shots.

Michael heads back to Miami where his reunion with girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) is, well, passionate. His mother, Madeline (Sharon Gless) is just happy to have her son home again. Then his boss calls him back, their prisoner isn’t talking. Michael manages to get a location from the man and the CIA is again ready to finally take down the man behind Michael’s ruined career. Under the watchful supervision of his CIA contact, Max (Grant Shaw), Michael goes along but on one condition only: He wants his team to come.

‘BURN NOTICE,’ SEASON FIVE (2011). Jeffery Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar return in the fifth season of the USA Network TV show. Text © Rissi JC

Michael’s buddy Sam (Bruce Campbell) always has Mike’s back but Max calls the shots differently. When things go wrong, Michael loses his only chance at the answers he wants. Framed for murder, it will take Michael’s entire team – including Jesse (Coby Bell) who is now working for a private security firm, to clear his name… and give him back his life.

Every year I am a little more impressed with Burn Notice. Once a TV serial has reached a certain point, that moment when you think it is at its peak, it seems unlikely that writers will top that. Yet, time and again, they do! This time around, everything was different but we didn’t care because the heart of the show is the same; and this is what viewers love about it. Then episode four goes and changes the stakes, again.

Similarly that is why the characters are so easy to like. All of them have a sullied past in some form. But I do like Michael as a hero. He can become anyone without making us, the viewers question his integrity. That’s just one of the many reasons it’s so easy to be on “his side” (I cannot remember once questioning his loyalty). In an interesting addition we see Maddie participate in one of the cases and she finally learns why Michael never wants her to be a part of their jobs. Unfortunately, Maddie still persists in blaming Michael for taking his friend’s trust for granted. This is the one thing that drives me insane. If the situation were reversed, he would do the same thing for all of his friends.

RELATED TV SHOW REVIEW | ‘MacGyver,’ Season Four Thoughts: An Unusual New Adventure
‘BURN NOTICE,’ SEASON FIVE (2011) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
‘BURN NOTICE,’ SEASON FIVE (2011). Jeffery Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar return in the fifth season of the USA Network TV show. Text © Rissi JC

Every single year I think I say this but this series has reached such a point of superiority that I’m not sure anything else can top it. So many episodes are phenomenal but I miss the origin style of Robin Hood-like scenarios for stories. One of the best episodes ever is “Better Halves.” In addition to the beautiful dancing scene (is Fiona’s dress stunning or what?), there’s totally an a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith moment. If there is one thing about the fifth year it would be how much Michael and Fiona’s relationship grows. It’s a love/hate romance from the very beginning but here it’s healthier. (Since I love them so much together, it’s good.) It’s this that propels us into the finale and for the first time in the history of Burn Notice finales, you may discover that you need a tissue.

Content concerns: The premiere has Fiona with Michael against a wall making out sending things crashing to the floor. Later they are seen lying in bed, sheets covering them [in the typical “post” shot]. During CIA missions men are killed; one man kills himself and another is murdered to frame another person. An explosion kills two innocent men and one villain. There is some mild profanity and alcohol consumption. The show is TV14.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

All posts


  • kinga July 8, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Sounds good! I'll need to check it out sometime.

  • Brooke July 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I don't think I will be watching this anytime soon, but thanks for reviewing it. Your reviews are always so interesting!


  • Rissi July 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Kinga – my family is addicted to this show. It is witty and smart plus the acting/characters are phenomenal. Hope you enjoy if/when you check into it. :-)

    Thank you SO much for dropping by – please do so again sometime.

    Brooke – that is okay… everyone has different standards and levels of what they want from their entertainment.

    Thanks bunches for stopping by – you've been missed around here. :-)

  • Tory July 9, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Huh, my sisters have been watching this and i honestly thought it was just another crude crime show (they aren't too picky about what they watch)… But I may have to give this a try now… ;)

  • Rissi July 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Really!? Crude is not a word I'd use to describe this show, Tory. Sure it has content but most the episodes are surprisingly clean. S5 shows more with Michael and his girlfriend but overall, considering it is a cable show, it's great.

    Hope you enjoy if/when you see it. :-)

  • Ruth July 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    The end of this season of Burn Notice just KILLED me. :)

  • Rissi July 10, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    You're telling me, Ruth!! :-)

    It was so… "powerful." (Love that last scene when they see each other!) I love that Michael and Fi's relationship is at a healthier stage now but it still DRIVES ME CRAZY when she and Madeline get on their 'soap box' and let him have it. He isn't perfect but for goodness sake, he'd do the exact same thing for his friends as they've done for him!

  • Victoria March 14, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    oh man, this is by far one of my all-time favorite shows!! love the friendships,characters and relationships. i am so worried about Michael and Fiona now though :(

    • Rissi March 15, 2013 at 3:49 AM

      Mine too! It's so far removed from what it once was and that is perhaps its "crowning glory."

      Uh-oh! What spoilers are pulling Michael and Fi apart now!? Those two…


  • Leave a Reply

    (Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

    Bonjour and Welcome!

    Welcome | thank you for visiting and reading. if you like, you are invited to join our conversations and follow along – join us.  You’re most welcome.
    Read more about Finding Wonderland

    Finding Wonderland Elsewhere!

    Finding Wonderland in your Inbox!

    Subscribe! Have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here. Please note, this does require a sign-up confirmation via email, and that email may be sent to a junk or spam folder.

    RSS Feed

    Enter your email address:



    Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.

    Rissi JC (RissiWrites.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    All written content (unless noted) is © Copyright Rissi JC and Finding Wonderland (RissiWrites.com).


    %d bloggers like this: