TV Recap: Burn Notice Season 7 - Episode 4 - ‘Brothers In Arms’

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After training a gun to a child’s head to help Burke extract information from the previous episode’s quarry, Strong encourages Michael to invite Sam and Jesse up from Venezuela and follow Burke to Cuba, where he has plans to infiltrate a Russian black zone to retrieve Sonya, a burned Russian spy whom Burke describes as “the key to Michael’s future”.  This requires Michael to submit himself to torture at the hands of the Russians while Sam and Burke battle for control of the operation on the outside.   Meanwhile, Fiona abandons a romantic dinner with Carlos at Michael’s request, taking Madeline on a mission to kidnap and frame a runaway Russian diplomat with a crime, but when they discover their quarry has a sympathetic story their convictions waver.

A step up from last week’s episode, “Brothers in Arms” manages to eke some tension out of Michael’s capture even though we’re certain that he’s going to survive; full credit to Adrian Passdar for using his time to give Burke a sense of personality and character, though his sudden. change to steadfast military man from wild loose cannon is a confusing one.   There’s some nice stunt work as well, especially a moment where Jesse and Sam jump to safety from a balcony.


There’s no further build on Sam’s mixed emotions from last week’s episode, perhaps because he doesn’t know Michael’s held a gun to a child’s head and will likely shoot the child if he has to do it again, and large portion of the episode is focused upon Michael’s following Strong’s orders, but after making those orders sound quite urgent and death-defying the plot takes a sudden left-turn, seemingly forgetting Strong’s part in the plot.

Unfortunately, the b-plot is woefully underdeveloped.  The sad thing about Fiona and Madeline’s storyline is that it’s utterly pointless; the conclusion is sweet but it doesn’t help out Michael nor does it make any waves in the plotline.  It was nice to see Madeline snap out of the simpering personality she’s been forced to inhabit for the past few episodes, and the gentle redirection of Michael and Fiona’s relationship toward the romantic once more is being handled with verve, maturity and surprising subtlety.

“Brothers in Arms” isn’t a bad episode of Burn Notice, but it doesn’t stand out as memorable.

  • * This episode introduces Sonya, who is set to be with the show for a multi-episode arc.
  • * So: after all of the hullabaloo of the past couple of episodes, I have to ask: where’s Charlie?
  • * We’re reminded that Michael doesn’t really get along with the Russians.
  • * Burn Notice is off next week for the Fourth of July Holiday, so see everybody in two weeks!

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Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.
  • Bryan Murray

    Still one of the best shows on tv