Covert intelligence operative Michael Westen has been punched, kicked, choked and shot. Now he's being burned, and someone's going to pay! When Michael receives a "burn notice," blacklisting him from the intelligence community and compromising his very identity, he must track down a faceless nemesis without getting himself killed in the process. Meanwhile, Michael is forced to double as a private investigator on the dangerous streets of Miami in order to survive.
settles into a satisfying groove in its second season. The cast is cool and confident, the writers have mastered the mix of stand-alone stories and the season-long hook, and the blend of retro-70s flavor with 21st century self-awareness is delicious. Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) still hasn.t figured out who .burned. him--i.e., got him blacklisted as a covert agent and left him trapped in Miami. But he has uncovered a lead in the form of Carla (Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica
), a mysterious manipulator who assigns Michael unexplained tasks. But if he resists these tasks, everyone he loves is at risk--including his mom, Madeline (Sharon Gless, Cagney & Lacey
), his sleek and violent ex-girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar, Scent of a Woman
), and his squirrelly best pal, Sam (Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead II
In each episode, while wrestling with Carla.s ongoing schemes, Michael gets drawn into helping some hapless innocent, such as a waitress being stalked by a drug dealer, an accountant to a rap mogul with a gangster background, or a father who.s been scammed out of the money he needs for his sick son. While these smartly-plotted stories unfold, the true pleasure of the show is listening to Michael reveal techniques for forging checks, explain how to make a crude x-ray machine, or describe the active ingredients of pepper spray--all the tricks of the spy trade. Are they genuine? Who knows and who cares! They.re completely entertaining, clever enough to be plausible, and they go hand-in-hand with Michael.s arsenal of cheesy accents and cheerful quips. Burn Notice: Season Two features a good dose of deleted scenes, chatty audio commentaries by cast and crew, a genuinely charming gag reel (featuring Donovan doing a little soft-shoe), and a genuinely illuminating featurette with the show.s creator, Matt Nix, describing the process of preparing to direct an episode. All in all, it.s an excellent package, ready for delivery. --Bret Fetzer
Stills from Burn Notice: Season Two (Click for larger image)