Ken Tucker
August 07, 2009 AT 05:18 AM EDT

Burn Notice finished out its summer run in a way that fans could appreciate: By finally putting the relationship between Michael and Fiona front and center and in danger. (What follows: Spoiler Alert.) While I found it hard to believe that we were actually supposed to buy the idea that Fiona was going to move back to Ireland forever and thereby leave the series, she was placed in just enough danger (she was, after all, this week’s designated “Client”), that the hour increased her importance in Michael’s life and as an agent for action in a series that has occasionally ignored Fiona. (Do you suspect that Gabrielle Anwar is pretty glad that Moon Bloodgood and Tricia Helfer have been taken out of the running for Michael’s attention when it comes to strong female characters? I know I am.)

Having Fiona’s brother show up to warn her that someone’s coming to kill her, when she already had one sandal-clad foot out the door, was a smart way to get the action revved up. (And avoid a “mere” does-Michael-love-Fiona-enough plotline; Burn Notice thrives on keeping  things moving, not getting bogged down in dialogue, and expressing emotion through behavior and action.)

But equally good was the conclusion of the Strickler storyline. I think Ben Shenkman has been extremely good in this role, but that his arc ended just as it should have: this guy could not have stayed in Michael’s life.

There’s also been a notable increase in action for Sam; he’s not just a wisecracking layabout this season. Seeing him do a lot of shooting and engaging in the action scenes made me remember how good Bruce Campbell is even when he’s not being funny.

All in all, a pretty satisfying ending to Burn Notice‘s summer run, wouldn’t you say? Or do you disagree?

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