What does a brand new TV series need more than anything? A great opening sequence. It needs an introduction to what the ensuing episodes will be about. Now Burn Notice is in fact approximately 8 years old now and I felt the series lost a lot of viewers due to lack of interest around the third series. And it was a fair loss, however half way through the 4th series, the show reaches a high point and it certainly doesn't back down.
But how do you get to this high point? You have to start at the beginning. And this is certainly a story.
The episode begins with a monologue from Michael Western (Jefferey Donovan) informing the viewer of what it is really like to be a spy, stuck in Nigeria. With slightly humorous overtones and sequences, while being able to keep it a very serious affair, our protagonist finds his way to Miami.
Here you meet the "crazy ex-girlfriend" Fiona "Fi", (Gabriella Anwar) and FBI informant/old friend Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell).
Michael needs help, and he must rely on the people around him to give it to him. But that comes at a cost. His mother, (Sharon Gless) becomes involved and asks for a few favours.
After comically dealing with his mother's friends and solving a drug dealer problem, Michael discovers that he has been 'Burned' - which is basically 'fired' from the CIA. By the end of the episode he has realised that he must track down whoever issued the Burn Notice so that he can have his bank accounts and identity 'unfrozen.'
Throughout his various activities in helping citizens, Michael gives helpful hints on how to turn your average calculator into a bomb, tap a car and even how to escape a compromised drug deal in Nigeria. (Do not try any of these at home)
Having seen the entire series a few times now, I can safely say it is one of the best out there, however, you must start from the beginning and stay strong throughout some of the strenuous episodes. But I assure you, come the 5th season, you won't be able to put it down and more than likely want to import the rest of the series so you can finish it. And boy-o-boy is the ending brilliant. The feeling of the pilot is kept throughout the entire series, never straining from the original idea and while plots may thicken, at the heart of it, his "Name is Michael Western, and [he] used to be a spy until..."