'Burn Notice' Exclusive Interview: Executive Producer Matt Nix on Michael's Heartbreaking Reunions
'Burn Notice' Exclusive Interview: Executive Producer Matt Nix on Michael's Heartbreaking Reunions
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Have your tear ducts stopped releasing wetness yet from Burn Notice's 100th episode, "Forget Me Not"? In what was the most heartbreaking episode in the series, Michael was forced to insert himself into the lives of his friends and family. While he successfully saved Fiona, it came at a devastating personal cost.

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BuddyTV connected with Burn Notice Executive Producer Matt Nix get the scoop on season 7 and he discussed the challenging reunions faced by Michael when he returned to Miami.

Check out the first part of our interview with Matt Nix in which he discussed Michael's sacrifice, the flashbacks to Michael and Fiona's first meeting, and Fiona's relationship with Carlos.

Below is the second part of our edited interview.

There were two really heartbreaking moments in "Never Forget Me." First, when Michael is reunited with his mother and he lovingly chastises her and then when Fiona brushes Michael off after he proved how well he knows her. What went into those two really emotional moments?

Michael and His Mother 

Nix: What is really front and center for Michael there is that all of the things that are demanded of him in that moment as a son. He sees his mother after nine months, he's been in danger, the things that are demanded of him as a son are to go to her, to engage with her, to hug her, to be a human being with her, to forgive her. All of those things are -- that's what's demanded of Michael, the human being.

And, what's demanded of Michael, the spy, is to stop this loose-lip woman from saying another word. And, so those two things are completely at odds in that moment. And, Michael is struggling with who he is. Like, who does he get to be in that moment. 

Over the course of six seasons, he's had this more and more human relationship with his mother. She's gone from being someone that he argued with and didn't really engage with at the beginning of the series to being someone -- they have been through really hard times together, they've come together as mother and son and come apart and come back together again. And, all of those things.

In that moment, who's he supposed to be? Is he supposed to be a spy? Or, is he supposed to be a son? And, he doesn't get to do both at the same time. He kinda does his best, but it's not easy on her and it's not easy on him.


Michael and Fiona  

Nix: In that last moment, so many things went into that. I think part of it was this idea that his past with Fiona is sort of functioning in two ways in the episode. There's he's emotional connection to his past and then there's his sorta spy connection to his past. 

It's sorta similar to the situation with Michael and his mom. In that moment, Michael is a guy who shared an emotional moment with Fiona Glenanne wherein she told him basically a family secret -- a cherished memory from her childhood that formed part of the foundation of their romantic relationship. 

One of the reasons that he loves Fiona is that Michael -- that comes from this troubled past and very difficult upbringing and had this very challenging relationship with his father -- meets Fiona who also comes from a very troubled past. [She] lost her sister, but had this very loving relationship with her father who taught her how to deal with danger in a completely different way. 

Michael's interactions with his father kinda -- his father was a dangerous guy and a bad guy and so Michael kinda learned to deal with danger from his father in one way. And, Fiona had a very loving relationship with her father who taught her a completely different thing. And, so that's kinda the foundation of their relationship. 

But, at the same time, that same memory has this tactical significance for a spy. Michael the spy knows that if he can manage to tell Fiona this key phrase from her past, she will know that means get down on the floor and keep your head down until the shooting stops. This same memory has this enormous tactical significance.

In that moment, again those two sides of Michael are in direct conflict. This memory, he used it effectively as a spy. Does it carry the same weight in their relationship? Does it reconnect them? What does it mean? In that moment, he had to re-engage for the sake of saving her life, but it's incredibly painful to re-engage in that moment and realize that you just saved the life of a person who's moved on. So, that's what he's dealing with in that moment. Again, those two sides of Michael coming into direct conflict.


Anything you'd like to tease about the rest of the season. Is a happy ending possible?

Nix: I'd say for fans of Burn Notice, this is certainly not a season about punishing the audience. I think we are heading towards a satisfying ending for the characters. They go through a lot this season. There are a lot of painful moments, but I think it is satisfying, painful and appropriate. 

I'd also say to people who like episode 2, like the exploration of Michael's past, that this is an
unusual season for us. We broke a lot of our own rules this year. We're doing a lot of really interesting things and there are more interesting and unusual episodes coming up. That's where we'll get to explore Michael's past, Fiona's past and everybody's past in other ways. 

And, I think for longtime fans of the season a lot of things happen that will be satisfying.

Burn Notice airs Thursdays at 9 pm ET on USA.

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(Image courtesy of USA.)

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