In this week’s edition of this article, I am going to tell you a bit about a popular action/spy drama on USA Network, Burn Notice. The show aired from 2007-2013 and had 111 total episodes, generally 44 minutes in length.
This show was one of the more popular cable series on television when it was originally aired, largely due to its unique storyline and the constant action from episode-to-episode. Burn Notice was not a run in the mill superspy show.
The star of the show, Michael Westen starts the show as a top field agent for the CIA. He is elite at blending in and infiltrating various organizations, taking them down from the inside after he gains the trust of the people in charge.
In the pilot of the episode, he is in the middle of a mission when he receives his burn notice. A burn notice is when an agency cuts all ties with an agent because they believe he or she can no longer be trusted. This leads to Michael ending up in his hometown of Miami, Florida with no money, no job, no CIA contacts, and no idea why he was burned.
Michael now makes it his life mission to figure out who burned him and why. To make money along the way he teams up with his ex-girlfriend Fiona Glennane, who was part of the Irish Republican Army, a former Navy Seal friend in Sam Axe, and his mother, Madeline, who he has barely seen since he left home when he was 18.
While Michael generally tries to spend all of his time trying to get back into the CIA to be a field agent once again, Fiona, Sam, and his mom generally bring private investigation cases to his attention and guilt him into helping out people in need.
Without the resources of the CIA at his disposal, Michael improvises, using old-school spy tricks he learned along the way to work the cases that his friends bring to his attention. The cases vary as they deal with mobsters, gangs, con artists, kidnappers, rapists, and much more.
When people come to Michael they generally have exhausted all other options and he is their last hope. Sometimes Michael tries to avoid doing these cases as he truly wants to find out who burned him, but some way or another he always gets roped in and finds a way to help out.
This show is truly different from other cop/spy shows on television. The writers do a very good job of keeping the big picture, which is Michael finding his way back into the CIA, prevalent throughout the show while also thinking up unique cases for him and his friends to work on the side.
The coolest part of this show for me is seeing how Michael and his friends make use of normal supplies to make tracking devices, bombs, fake blood from gunshots, and other things to help trick the people they are trying to scare off when they are outmanned.
The video below gives you insight into various spy tricks the show touches on throughout the first season.
There is action in every episode and the storyline keeps you on the edge of your seat from episode to episode and from season to season.
My personal rating for Burn Notice is an A. Unique storylines, strong acting, action-packed scenes, and cool spy innovations are hard not to love. If the show was on a bigger network like CBS or NBC I’m sure it would be more highly-regarded.
However, luckily for you, if you hadn’t heard of this show before this article then you have seven seasons of unspoiled television to binge-watch. To stream it you can find it on Amazon Prime and Hulu. You won’t be disappointed in this show, I promise.