'Burn Notice' series finale: Creator Matt Nix talks about the death of [SPOILER]

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Image Credit: Glenn Watson/USA

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EW: You mentioned that in the finale we see Michael and Fiona and Charlie off somewhere at the very end. We see them living off the grid in what I’m assuming is Ireland, right?
NIX: It is certainly like Ireland. It is probably Ireland, yes. It’s not something I want to answer definitively, but Ireland is something that felt right. It was where they met, it was where they got together first, it’s somewhere that Fiona has connections. It’s a base, so it could be anywhere in the world that has snow, so there’s certainly a reason that we get into that scene with Irish music, so…

EW: Did you ever consider having Fiona going back to her Irish accent that we saw her with at the start of the series, or would that have been too jarring for the audience?
NIX: We never really discussed it because the idea was it wasn’t necessarily Ireland. I didn’t want to definitively say  now they’re back in Ireland doing Irish things. It’s more they’re someplace in the world living as a family and I also think that to the extent that I even thought about if she’s talking in a accent then he’s talking in an accent, and it sends the wrong message. The idea is they to some extent have left that behind. They’re not living as spies now. Michael’s not undercover in Ireland as Michael McBride, so that felt wrong to me.

EW: One of my favorite moments involved Bruce Campbell, who plays Sam, repeating his “You know spies, a bunch of bitchy little girls” line from the first episode. Was it your idea to come full circle and give that little nod?
NIX: If you go through the episode, everybody gets a nod like that, with saying their little lines from the intro at the top of the episode. If you’re a fan, you’ve seen that a lot of times, you know the lines, so in some ways in an otherwise pretty heavy episode I wanted to throw some things in there that have a little bit of lightness to them — a little wink to the fans who have been with us for seven years. So if you look closely, Madeline has her moments where she echoes her lines, Michael has his, Jesse has his, Fiona has hers. So we have Fiona saying “shall we shoot them?” in the middle of the episode, so we’re clearly doing that. And there’s also a nod to the pilot where Michael talks about the virtues of duct tape, and over the course of the episode, everybody manages to use duct tape for a different purpose, so I wanted to throw in some easter eggs for people that care.

EW: Tell me what it was like personally filming this final installment. Seven seasons is a long time.
NIX: It’s funny, the weirdest thing about doing a final episode of television is there are so many lasts. When it hit me really was when I was alone in my office and I wrote “End of series” on the outline. It was the last day in the writers’ room that I was like oh well we just finished breaking the finale so I guess that’s the last writers’ room, and that’s the last time I wrote an outline and that’s the last time I wrote a script. And you just keep going through, and where it really hits you is when you wrap an actor on an episode one of the ADs will say, “That’s an episode wrap on such and such a guest actor” or whatever. But when you start doing that for series regulars, you say, “And that’s a series wrap on Mr. Jeffrey Donovan,” or “It’s a series wrap on Coby Bell,” that’s a very weird thing, because I was directing the episode and we don’t shoot these things in order so there might be a couple days after we wrap a particular actor and we’re still shooting, and it’s very odd. One nice thing about ending a series is it takes so long to make an episode that you do have a lot of opportunities to say goodbye and people give a lot of speeches. We’re actually still not done, we still have the postproduction wrap party, where we sort of give yet another series of speeches.

EW: Is Burn Notice really gone? To me, this feels like a franchise that could pump out a TV movie from time to time, like The Fall of Sam Axe one that you already did.
NIX: 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. The Sam Axe movie was a blast to do, but it was made mostly with an entirely different crew in Bogota, Colombia, so maybe there will be an opportunity to revisit these characters, but it’s not going to be with the same crew, it certainly wouldn’t be with all of the same cast, so some elements may continue in a certain scenario, but many elements are certainly done.


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