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Burn Notice: A Thrilling Spy Story Made For TV

May 24, 2009 By Mike V in


Burn notice:  What happens to a covert agent that is deemed unreliable or dangerous, they get BURNED!  When a spy is burned, they are wiped off the “grid.”  They have no prior work history, no money; basically no identity.  Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is an agent burned who finds himself in his hometown of Miami unable to leave.

The story is told in a dry, witty first person narrative by Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) a resourceful covert operative with a heart of gold.  Filled with relentless action, exciting story lines, great Bourne-identity-like fight scenes and of course the “how-to-guide” to spying gives this series a refreshing flair.  A must see for all secret agent story fanatics.  Furthermore, being a big MacGyver enthusiast, Westen brings back great memories with his ability to improvise electronic devices from common commercial equipment such as radios and cell phones.  His engineering skills are even more baffling when he uses ordinary items such as duck tape or cake frosting in highly unusual ways in order to complete a job.

Burn notice sets off right in the middle of a covert mission in Nigeria which turns sour for our hero Westen who finds himself burned by his agency, battered by enemies and sent off to his hometown of Miami Florida.

Injured and cut off by his intelligence contacts, Westen seeks help from the few people left that will still talk to him.  His new crew is made up of none other than his ex-girlfriend Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), a trigger happy, explosives expert, ex IRA-agent and his old pal Sam (Bruce Campbell), a semi-retired intelligence officer who enjoys drinking and ogling women.  He is also unexpectedly contacted by his neurotic mother (Sharon Gless) who finds out he’s in town.

With his assets frozen and without a clue why he was cut off, he is forced to live off his wits, the help of his crew and any small investigative jobs he can find while he pursues the reason and person(s) who burned him.

As a man of interesting talents, Westen’s services are sought after by many individuals from different walks of life who can’t seek help from the police or from high priced investigative firms.  Many of these jobs arise from situations, such as a young man being hunted by a gang for defending his younger sister from harassment.  Another episode illustrates an employee being coerced by villains to steal information from his employer.  A different story depicts a devastated father seeking justice for the murder of his daughter back in Haiti by a criminal seeking refuge in Miami.  As you can see, the stories are very diverse making this series quite thrilling throughout both seasons.  All the while helping out people, Westen gets closer to solving his “Burn Notice”.

Miami Setting

Unarguably, being a Miami Beach local enticed me to watch this series.  The familiarity brought upon by the great depiction of the city of Miami gave me a sense that it was all happening in my own backyard.  Shots of our beautiful beaches, landmark hotels, beachfront terraces, beautiful high rise buildings and downtown neighborhoods would make anyone want to live here and making me appreciate it all even more.  Moreover, Burn notice did a great job capturing the essence of the people in Miami, from tourists drawn from all over the world and most of all the melting pot of different cultures that makes up our local community.  I give Burn Notice two thumbs up on putting Miami on the map and showing off how we live.

Related Categories: Movie Reviews

Mike Vietz

See more articles by Mike V.

See more articles by Mike V

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