“Spies don’t get fired. They get burned.”
On June 28, 2007, USA Network brought us “the hottest show” with “Burn Notice” starring Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen, a covert operative who uses his skills to help desperate people with their problems while trying to find out who burned him and why. Blacklisted by the entire intelligence community, Michael Westen “got nothing”: no cash, no credit cards. He is stuck in the last place he ever wanted to be: his hometown Miami.
But Miami is where Michael Westen became “the coolest spy” with the help of his team: his trigger-happy, on/off girlfriend Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar) with a penchant for guns and bombs due to her years with the IRA; his “old friend” Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), the beer-chasing, womanizing ex-Navy SEAL who used to spied on Michael for the FBI; his mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) whenever Michael’s desperate and counter-intelligence agent Jesse Porter (Coby Bell), “a down-and-out spy” Michael met along the way.
Created by Matt Nix (Marvel’s “The Gifted”), Burn Notice was a Thursday night favorite throughout its seven seasons on USA with its mixture of action-comedy, espionage and drama. A combination of “Man in a Suitcase”, “The Equalizer”, “MacGyver” and “The A-Team”, the series is also somewhat of a successor to “Counterstrike”, which aired on USA Network back in the early 1990s with Christopher Plummer as a billionaire who, after the death of his wife, assembles a private task force to fight crime, corruption and injustice worldwide.
Six years after Kiefer Sutherland’s renegade counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer on FOX’s “24”, the character Michael Westen on “Burn Notice” represents the second stage of becoming “The Equalizer”: preceding Jim Caviezel’s “Man in a Suit” John Reese on CBS’ “Person of Interest”.
Whether he likes it or not (but we do), Michael Westen is indeed a sucker for the little guy.