Warning: the following story contains major spoilers from the Burn Notice series finale – continue reading at your own discretion.
Burn Notice creator Matt Nix has weighed in on last night’s tragic-yet-triumphant series finale and the possibility of a movie continuation. Quotables from his chat with EW follow.
On the decision to have Madeline be the one to sacrifice herself – and why it represents a moment of resolution for the character:
It certainly wasn’t “let’s kill a character” [laughs]. It was really more in thinking what has this season been about? What has this series been about? This question of Michael’s relationship to his family — why has he been disconnected from his family? Why has he been a guy who doesn’t have a lot of fiends? What is that about? What does that mean? A big part of it has been he’s always been aware the closer you are to people the more that can be used against you and the less freedom you have as a spy. It’s something he’s said explicitly to Fiona, and that’s a price he’s paid before when his brother died. Having these connections and bringing these people into this world has had great consequences. He’s reconnected with them, he’s resolved some family issues, all of those things, but it’s also put all of them at risk. And so the question has been, can he have both? And I think it was important to me that that not be a question that’s answered trivially — that we don’t just go, “Oh yeah it turns out he can have both, ha-ha great!’
When it comes down to it, if you have these relationships, they can be used against you, and in the face of that, is it worth caring for people? Is it worth loving people? Is it worth having a family? And I think the answer that the episode gives is definitively yes. And that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have consequences, so Madeline sacrificing herself is basically saying, “I can save you. You can be this guy, you can do what you want to do, you can be who you want to be, and it will come at a price and I’m willing to pay that price.” And I think it also resolves some things for Madeline. This season we’ve gotten into her character a lot, and her own guilt for being unwilling to stand up for her own family when her children were little, dealing with the fact that she didn’t really stop her abusive husband from going after Michael and Nate. And the question in her mind being, is she a coward? Is she somebody who can’t take care of her family? So I think that last moment is somewhat a triumphant moment for her.
On the chances of Burn Notice continuing on the big screen:
I would love to do that. I totally think it could. It’s sort of a question for the brass at USA and Fox TV studios as to whether they want to do that. The standalone movie model is not something we do a whole lot, but we did it for the Sam Axe movie and it seemed to go well, and I have a general sense that that’s be something the actors would be up for. So yeah, if we could get something like that going, I would love to do it. It would have to be something that made sense dramatically. I don’t think we would want to do something trivial after we brought the series to a close in a particular way, but I think there are ways around that so, at the same time, no matter what you do, it’s never the same experience as making the series itself.
Read more at EW.