It’s already been established that the sixth season of Burn Notice is going to be explosive. More importantly, it sees Michael facing his most personal challenge yet: getting Fiona out of prison. In “Mixed Messages,” he’s willing to do anything, including take on a risky mission from his old mentor.

The Players:

  • Director: Jeffrey Donovan
  • Writer: Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
  • Cast: Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless, Coby Bell

Episode Title: “Mixed Messages”

Desperate to earn a visit with Fi, Michael takes a dangerous job from his mentor, Agent Tom Card (guest star John C. McGinley). Naturally, he brings Sam and Jesse on board, but when he realizes his cover will be blown, Jesse volunteers to fly solo.

The Good:

  • Jesse in Action: Michael may be out of the op, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. After helping him and his crew for a couple seasons, Jesse stepped up. It really showed that he can truly be Michael’s equal.
  • Fiona’s Prison Fight: In jail, Fiona makes an early enemy when she refuses to be the cell block queen’s bitch. To avoid becoming a casualty, Fi constructs a few makeshift weapons (clubs made out of magazine pages and a light made from a battery) and lays the beat down on her feisty inmates.
  • Montero: This week’s villain, a drug leader named Montero, is delightful – for a killer. He’s flamboyant and funny and smart (just not smart enough out-wit Jesse).

The So-So:

  • Taryn Manning: Fiona’s prison cohort Nicole starts off as an ally, but eventually tries to kill her. The most surprising thing about the character is that she didn’t turn sooner. Still, it allowed Fi to start a fire and a mini-riot, so it’s not all bad.

The Bad:

  • Fiona’s Letter: The episode opens with a letter from Fi to Michael, explaining her situation and letting him know she’s about to crack. For the ever-strong Fi, such a letter after a profoundly short stint was a little disappointing.
  • Nate’s Return: Michael’s baby brother is back, but for no apparent reason. He’s never particularly useful, but he did come with a contrived sob story about the sudden and unexpected failure of his marriage.


This episode definitely had its ups and downs. The mission itself was fun and it was great seeing Jesse take the lead. Fiona’s prison exploits were entertaining to say the least, but something felt off with the story. The pieces were there, they just didn’t fit together.

Rating: 6/10

Burn Notice airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on USA.

What did you think of this week’s episode?