Burn Notice: Season 5, Episode 18

Fail Safe (15 Dec. 2011)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 222 users  
Reviews: 2 user

When Anson demands that Michael burn the CIA team he's working with, Fi decides she's had enough and takes a drastic step to settle Michael's debt to Anson once and for all.



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Title: Fail Safe (15 Dec 2011)

Fail Safe (15 Dec 2011) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Madeline Westen (credit only)
Ryan Pewterbaugh
Reed Perkins
Nick Carnahan
Detective Tom Kendrick
Security Consultant
Tolga Kavut ...
Security Guy


To Michael's delight, he's given official charge of a CIA operation, albeit one nobody else wanted, with a young crack team, including hotshot agent Ryan Pewterbaugh, his cocky rival Nick Carnahan and shady Rebecca Lang, to stop slick spies recruiter Reed Perkins. Jesse goes undercover to be recruited in Miami as ex-spy security consultant. Meanwhile the team secretly acts on Vaughn's warning that Anson, who admitted having murdered father Weston, is rebuilding the mighty network that burnt Mike. However the task is so hard and Anson so well-prepared that the team's disagreements worsen until Fiona decides to give herself up to the FBI. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Release Date:

15 December 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Everyone is wearing the body armor backwards. This is evident by the drag handle clearly visible under all of the actors' chins. See more »


Michael Westen: [voiceover] The key to breaching a building is getting inside quickly and dealing with the occupants before they have time to respond. When you can't use explosives, sometimes you have to get creative.
See more »


Flames V3
Performed by Joseph Trapanese
Written by Joseph Trapanese
Published by Blue Bonsai Music
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User Reviews

Season 5: Another glossy and fun piece of light entertainment
24 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Michael Weston has got his goal – the lifting of his burn notice and return to work as an asset for the CIA, with the organisation that burned him in pieces behind him. With his handler Max he begins working on getting fully back on board, but his plans are scuppered when Max is murdered by an unknown assailant, leaving Michael with no alibi and a whole chain of evidence suggesting he did the deed. With the CIA closing in on the evidence that will point to Michael, the race is on to both discover more but also to uncover who was behind the framing before the CIA get who they think is "their man".

I must try not to repeat myself too much here but it is difficult because whenever I commented on the last few seasons of this show I noticed that was always saying roughly the same thing each time. This is partly because I am an amateur writer with a limited ability to express myself but also the fact that the show has set out its stall and has continued to deliver on its successful formula in pretty much every episode and every season – and the fifth is no exception. It isn't perfect by any means but with a good budget, steady audience share and a simple agenda this season produces solid weekly entertainment that is high in gloss and as easy to watch as it is easy to enjoy. The overall plot this season was pretty good because I thought the nature of it lended itself to be used in the way it is – as a small part of each episode, ticking over, progressing the bigger picture and keeping the viewer interested in it while also entertaining with the case per week story lines.

The bigger picture has urgency to it and I thought it progressed well – and I appreciated that the main villain was left "in play" for the next season. The weekly story lines were also better. If you ignore the way that every single week is life-threatening and involves big "newsworthy" action, they do play well and they avoid some of the sentimental devices hat previous seasons used to generate weekly cases for Michael. This time round we have a lot of work from Jessie which gives plenty of "higher stakes" work which generally allows for plenty of action and plenty of danger. It is "easy" television for sure but as light entertainment goes you do have to admit that it is very easy to consume and enjoy. It spends its budget freely, it looks glossy and it carries itself with such confidence that it seems to be able to pull off whatever it tries. I continue to love the knowing humour and sense of fun within the show – jokes about Sam's chin are always appreciated by this Bruce Campbell fan.

Burn Notice is what it is – glossy light entertainment, and it should be watched as such. I love my "grown-up" shows from channels like HBO, but sometimes you do just want to relax and Burn Notice is perfect for that. The action and drama part of it works on that level but the overall show is slick, fun and just plain entertaining. It is ultimately disposable and forgettable perhaps, but it works for what it is and I find it easily enjoyable.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Three things about Fiona that I had a hard time with centrd
Giving up midway through last season pithpower
Burning Jesse Porter Progeekzy
So, like, what was James's cause? jcorelis
No Emmy for Jeffrey Donovan? Seriously? centrd
Anybody else think that Mike and Fi should have actually died together George53092
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