I mentioned a little while ago that that I was looking forward to watching the new USA series Burn Notice. Well, the premier was last night, and I did indeed tune in to see if the show would live up to the generally good reviews it has received in the early going. Here’s a quick recap and my reaction to the Burn Notice pilot, episode 1×01.
Plot Summary (with possible spoilers): The main character of the show is an ex-CIA operative named Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan). Actually, at the very beginning of the ep, Michael is still part of the CIA team, but then, when he tries calling in for a wire transfer right in the middle of an operation in Nigeria, he finds out that he’s been “burned,” that is to say, he’s been blacklisted, so he no longer has access to any of the government’s resources and no one’s going to do business with him anymore.
After that, Michael makes it onto a plane and ends up back in Miami, where he has passed out at an ex-girlfriend’s house. Her name is Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), and apparently she’s ex-IRA and is familiar with the whole spy game as well. Michael convinces Fiona to help him try to discover who was behind the burn notice. But first, he takes on a side job in order to get a bit of cash since his assets have been frozen and his credit cards deactivated.
So then the show takes a detour as Michael focuses his attention on clearing the name of a caretaker who has been accused of stealing millions of dollars worth of art and jewelry from his wealthy employer. Michael puts his spy skills to good use, and solves the crime pretty quickly (as did all the viewers, I’m sure).
Add to this mix a few scenes involving Michael’s mother Madeline (Sharon Gless) laying guilt trips on him for never calling or visiting, and you’ve got one very packed pilot episode.
My Reaction: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the pilot, and now I have very high hopes for this series! I thought there was a great mix of action and comedy throughout the hour-long episode, and although it was a bit slow at the beginning, I pretty much expect that out of a pilot since we have to go through a bunch of character introductions and background stuff.
I have never seen Jeffrey Donovan in anything before, but I already love him as Michael Westen. He’s good-looking, charming, and intelligent, and he’s not above fighting dirty to give himself an advantage. Plus, he can rig all kinds of cool MacGyver-like inventions to help accomplish whatever he needs to do.
I don’t have much of a handle on the ex-girlfriend or Michael’s buddy Sam (Bruce Campbell), but they seem alright in the early going. Let’s hope Michael and Fiona stay exes because they didn’t have any chemistry at all in their scenes together!
I’ll definitely be tuning in next week, and hope that Burn Notice gets picked up for a full season!