Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“Why are you asking questions about Mike?” yells Sam Ax (Bruce Campbell) to a man posing as a French intelligence agent but whose cover has been blown by the clever Ax in the seventh and final season opener of the action/drama TV series Burn Notice.
It’s been nine months since Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) made a deal with the CIA that cleared his friends and his mother from any and all illegal charges for helping Mike catch the corrupt CIA officer Riley. He’s deep undercover and miserable in hot and humid Central America working for CIA officer Andrew Strong (Jack Coleman) who wants him to get close to an old associate of his who’s become a mercenary…and perhaps much worse.
Meanwhile, back home in Miami, Florida a mystery man has already approached both Jesse (Coby Bell) and Sam trying to find out anything he can about Michael Westen, especially if he’s back with the CIA. Concerned about Mike’s mom becoming the target of the mystery man, the guys reach out to Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), who’s now involved with a bounty hunter – both professionally and personally – and ask her to watch Madeline (Sharon Gless) until they can track down and capture the man. Fiona reluctantly agrees, still furious with Michael for making the deal and disappearing from her life. When Jesse and Sam track the mystery man to a small house, Sam accidentally triggers a claymore mine trying to get the front door opened and is trapped, leaving it up to Jesse to find a way to keep him from blowing them to kingdom come.
Back in the Dominican Republic, Michael is finally approached by his old associate who wants him and his old talents on a job that he’s planning but unwilling to give many details about. Seeing this as the opportunity he’s been working towards, Mike agrees to be part of his team.
Suspenseful and engaging, Burn Notice Season Seven’s opener, “New Deal,” brings the dramatic series back with a much darker and serious tone than any of the earlier seasons. Jeffrey Donovan’s performance as Michael Westen, the spy wrongfully blacklisted for crimes he never committed, is much tougher and meaner in this episode, capturing perfectly what being cut off from his family and friends and working solo in Central America with no one he can trust has done to him. This is a ruthless, cunning Westen who’s determined to do whatever it takes to bring down the mercenary at all costs. Gabrielle Anwar is wonderful as Fiona, the trigger-happy girlfriend of Mike’s who’s still fuming over the deal that took Michael away from her and is trying to move on with her life. Bruce Campbell is, as always, perfect as Sam, Michael’s best friend and ex-Navy Seal who seems to always be the one putting himself in harm’s way to help or protect his friends.
With two explosions, two shoot-outs, and a border chase, the spy drama Burn Notice has begun its seventh and final season with an explosive and exciting start which promises to be the best season yet.
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