With season four of Burn Notice being released next week – and season five only a couple of weeks away – I thought it would be fun to look back at the fourth season’s best moments [and episodes].
It was an eventful season for burnt spy Michael Westen [Jeffrey Donovan]: he found himself semi-willingly working with the people who burned him – and their slick, politely nasty representative, Vaughn [Robert Wisdom] – to take care of some problems that could have caused the country a great deal of bother. Along the way, he, his friends – ex-IRA demolitions/weapons expert Fiona [Gabrielle Anwar], former Navy SEAL, Sam Axe [Bruce Campbell] and Jesse [Coby Bell], a counterintelligence agent Westen accidentally burned – and, on occasion, his feisty, manipulative mom, Madeline [Sharon Gless – who deserved her Emmy nomination] took on lesser [bit no less dangerous] opponents like: a motorcycle gang, a drug syndicate, a flirty assassin and many more.
Following the jump, my five favorite episodes and fifteen moments/reasons that season four was so much fun. Tomorrow: Fifteen Reasons To enjoy White Collar Season Two.
Top Five Episodes:
5. Past & Future Tense: Michael gets a glimpse of his future when a Russian wetwork team hits Miami targeting a retired CIA agent named Paul Anderson [Burt Reynolds]; Jesse tries to get his former handler, Marv [Richard Kind], to give him access to some sensitive intel.
4. Hard Time: Simon Escher [Garrett Dillahunt], the psycho who actually did the stuff that got Michael burned, returns; Sam’s friend Juan [John Verea] finds his life in danger with a week to go before his prison sentence is up.
3. Eyes Open: A vengeful former client of Michael’s sics a mad bomber on the thugs who kidnapped his little girl; Michael and Jesse begin their efforts to procure the list of the names of the people who burned him.
2. Dead or Alive: Michael meets Marv; the gang has to clear the name of Sam’s murdered police detective friend.
1. Last Stand: Burn Notice’s equivalent of the Battle of Thermopylae – Sam, Jesse and Fiona are holed up in an uncompleted hotel while Vaughn’s entire forces rain hell down upon them, leaving Sam and Madeline to bail them out by appealing to a stuffed shirt senator they blackmailed earlier in the season.
Biggest Blip in the Season:
Brotherly Love: Michael gets roped into helping his brother Nate [Seth Peterson] finds three cars stolen from his friends’ [another pair of brothers] auto repair shop. The bigger problem? The cars belong to a drug dealer and $2 million in heroin was stashed in one of the cars. Meanwhile, Jesse and Sam have gone to the Dominican Republic to retrieve the stolen list – which is about to be auctioned.
Why is Brotherly Love the big blip on the season’s radar? Because of the forced symmetry between the Westen brothers and the brothers who are their clients; because the A plot arc should be the list retrieval and the cars should be the B arc; because, despite how much Nate can make an episode, the timing is off on the comic relief ep.
Fifteen Reasons Burn Notice Season Four Rocks:
15. Jesse informs Michael that will find the person who burned him – and kill the sonuvabitch! [Fast Friends]
14. “Sounds dangerous. Before you sign us up for this mission, I want to ask our friend here a very important question. What kind of snacks do you like.” Sam Axe [Made Man]
13. Navi Rawat’s three-ep run as flirtatious assassin “Kendra.” [Breach of Faith, Neighborhood Watch, Entry Point]
12. “Even a day at the beach isn’t a day at the beach with you guys!” Jesse to Michael and Fiona [[Past & future Tense]
11. Michael’s continuing narrations detailing spycraft and how to MacGyver nifty devices from whatever’s handy [detailing Russian tactics in Past & future Tense, for example].
10. Madeline’s ingenuity in avoiding arrest after lighting up in a bank vault as research for Michael and Jesse. [Where’s There’s Smoke]
9. Jesse learns who burned him. [Blind Spot]
8. Michael gets taken hostage by a bomber/would-be assassin. [Center of the Storm]
7. “Insane is one of our specialites!” Fiona to a client whose life savings were stolen by a con man lothario. [Blind Spot]
6. Sam’s seemingly endless array of Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts.
5. When Fiona notes that the gang’s lives are all in danger, Madeline dryly retorts, “So, what else is new?” [Out of the Fire]
4. “You can apologize if we live.” Fiona to Michael [Last Stand]
3. Jesse: “We’re fighting them with breakfast equipment?”
Fiona: “It’s the most important meal of the day.” [Last Stand]
2. Vaughn spluttering, “You have no authority here!” [Last Stand]
1. Dylan Baker’s appearance – and the ensuing pan… [Last Stand]
Photos by Glenn Watson/courtesy of USA Network