When you're a spy, you learn a special set of skills that help you do your job and stay alive. But what do you do with those skills when you are fired? That's the dilemma that Michael Westen has been facing ever since being fired from his job at the CIA and dumped in Miami. And it's also the premise of Burn Notice. Season 4 is as hot and exciting as the previous seasons have been.
This season finds a big shake up to the cast. Yes, Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) is still the main character. When he gets in situations that are over his head, he still calls on former girlfriend and gun dealer Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and ex-seal Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell). His mom Madeline (Sharon Gless) is even still around to drive him crazy. So what's the change? They've added Jesse (Coby Bell) to the team. In the season 4 premier, Michael is trying to get some information for the puppet masters that burned him (so he can use it against them) and inadvertently burns Jesse in the process. So Jesse joins their team, all the time vowing to take down the person who burned him, not knowing its Michael.
Even given this extra character, the setup of each episode is pretty much the same. There's a case of the week that Michael is reluctantly drawn in to. They help a lawyer targeted for death by a biker gang. Michael and Sam get taken hostages while trying to help a conned man get his money back. A clinic doctor is harassed by drug dealers. Fiona and a client's wife get kidnapped. Michael even goes to prison to help a man escape before he is murder.
But each episode also continues the overall storyline. This season, Michael is closing in on a list of those who burned him, but he's in a race for that list with some very bad people. Will he get it and clear his name or will he wind up dead?
People seem to be in two camps on the new character of Jesse. Some argue that it messed with the chemistry of the characters and was an unnecessary change to the show. I usually fall into the "If it ain't broke, why are you fixing it" camp myself, and I can certainly see their point. However, I liked Jesse. The fact that he shook up the dynamics on the show is a good thing, in my opinion. They play a bit with a love triangle involving Michael, Jesse, and Fiona, which actually adds something to the will they/won't they tension that Michael and Fiona have had all along. Plus the storyline he gets in the second half of the season adds a depth to the show that it hasn't had before. No, Jesse wasn't a necessary change, but I think he was a good one.
Even without Jesse, this show is still great. The case that the gang works on each week is always very entertaining. I watch the show for that more than anything else. They always manage to throw in some twist I didn't see coming, and I am always wondering how they will get out of the mess they are in. Naturally, they do it with lots of car crashes and explosions. This is the best action show currently on TV. I don't know what their budget is, but I buy just about every moment of their effects and stunts.
The ongoing story is a bit of a mixed bag. Either I'm bad at remembering what is happening from week to week or they throw things in at random that don't necessarily make sense from what happened last week. I've given up trying to keep track of all the twists and turns and just let the story unfold. While it doesn't seem to be as tight as I would like, I still find this aspect of the show fun and entertaining. I will say this, with how they left things in season 4, I don't see how they will move forward in season 5, but I can't wait to find out.
The acting on this show is top notch as well. The main cast knows their characters and does what each scene calls for whether it is action, a bit of humor, or more dramatic emotional stuff. And the guest stars never let us down either.
Season 4 upped the usual episode order to 18, and all those episodes are in this four disc set in widescreen and full surround sound. Extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel, a featurette about the stunts, audio commentaries, and "Sam Axe's Guide to Ladies and Libations." The creators of this show and White Collar are friends and have a lot of fun giving each other a hard time, which explains the pair of features "Burn Notice Roasts White Collar" and "White Collar Roasts Burn Notice," both of which can be found on the season two set of White Collar as well.
Burn Notice has always been a fun, action packed show, and season 4 is no different. You'll soon find yourself caught up in the action and twists of these fun stories.