When "Burn Notice" returns on USA on Thursday, June 14, the situation truly does strike close to home for Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), the ex-spy who has gradually come in from the cold during the past few seasons.
He's managed to clear his own name with the CIA and he's even getting assignments from his contacts at the Agency, but things have gone terribly wrong in another arena. At the end of the previous season, his girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) turned herself in to the authorities in the wake of a bombing meant to take out one of their enemies.
The audience knows that Fi was only trying to deal with Michael's dangerous nemesis Larry (Tim Matheson), who had forced Michael into a life-threatening situation during a mission at the British consulate, but she was set up to take the fall for the deaths of two other men who lost their lives in the bombing of that building. Fi was framed for the latter crimes by a dangerous enemy who makes Larry look like a tame pet: Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns), the shadowy operative who has been pulling Michael's strings of late. In the exclusive clip above, Michael is hunting for Anson on the outskirts of Miami.
What drives the strong season premiere of "Burn Notice" is not just the cat-and-mouse game that Michael and Anson play (and Jere Burns is one of the best recurring characters the show has ever had; his Anson is every bit as wily and believably smart as Michael, which makes for a wonderfully antagonistic dynamic). There's also the fact that Michael is incredibly desperate to clear Fiona's name. We know Jeffrey Donovan can play intense well, and his controlled fury is contrasted nicely by Burns' icy condescension.
There are explosions, there are car chases, there are Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) quips (we'd expect no less from a "Burn Notice" season premiere), but the things that make the season opener truly satisfying are the driving energy of Michael's obsessive need to help Fiona and a series of spiky interrogation scenes featuring her and another returning enemy.