Burn Notice (season 1)

Burn Notice (season 1)
Burn Notice season 1
Burn Notice Season 1.jpg
Cover Art for the DVD Release
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 12
Original channel USA Network
Original run June 28, 2007 – September 20, 2007
Home video release
DVD release date June 17, 2008
Season chronology
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Season 2

Season one of the American television series Burn Notice originally aired from June 28, 2007 to September 20, 2007.


Season overview

The first season of Burn Notice introduces Michael Westen. He is burned while on a covert op in Nigeria. After fleeing, he soon finds himself in Miami, where he is reunited with his ex-girlfriend, Fiona Glenanne, and another old friend, Sam Axe. For several episodes, Michael is tailed by Harris (Marc Macaulay) and Lane (Brandon Morris), two FBI agents who are sent to keep tabs on Michael. Sam reports to them, mildly straining his relationship with Michael. Eventually, Harris and Lane are pulled from the case and replaced by a CSS agent, Jason Bly (Alex Carter). Bly makes Michael's life miserable, even going so far as to have his loft raided. Finally, Michael discovers the identity of the man who burned him: Phillip Cowan (Richard Schiff). He gets in touch with Cowan, and they eventually meet. However, Cowan is shot by a sniper after saying "This is much, much bigger than us, my friend." Michael is later contacted by a mysterious woman (later identified as Carla), who tells him that they should meet. Michael suspects that she is part of the organization that burned him, and he makes a long journey to meet her. The season ends with Michael driving onto a truck to be taken to his new "handler."

In addition to hunting for the people who burned him, Michael works as a freelance spy, helping people with cases involving kidnapping, arms dealers, con artists, and drug traffickers.


Jeffrey Donovan was cast as burned spy Michael Westen. Gabrielle Anwar was given the role of ex-IRA operative Fiona Glenanne. The character of Sam Axe, an ex-Navy SEAL, was given to long-time action star Bruce Campbell, while Sharon Gless was given the part of Michael's hypochondriac mother, Madeline Westen.

Various recurring characters made appearances throughout the season. Paul Tei portrayed Barry Burkowski, a money-launderer. Seth Peterson was cast as Michael's brother, Nate Westen. Two FBI agents in charge of Michael's case at the beginning of the season, Agents Harris and Lane, were played by Marc Macaulay and Brandon Morris, respectively. Audrey Landers made various appearances as Sam's "lady-friend", Veronica. Alex Carter portrayed the difficult Agent Jason Bly. Phillip Cowan, the man who wrote Michael's burn notice, was portrayed by Richard Schiff. A former associate of Michael's, Lucy Chen, was played by China Chow. Characters that would return in later episodes, the drug-dealing Sugar, client Virgil Watkins, and heroin dealer Carmelo, were played by Arturo Fernandez, Chris Ellis, and Todd Stashwick, respectively. Other prominent guests included Lucy Lawless, Mark Pellegrino, Dedee Pfeiffer, and Ray Wise.


In the following table, "U.S. viewers in millions" refers to the number of Americans who viewed the episode on the day of original broadcast.

Title Directed by Written by U.S. Viewers
(in millions)
Original air date Production
1 1 "Pilot" Jace Alexander Matt Nix 4.0[2] June 28, 2007 (2007-06-28) BN100

Michael Westen, a covert-operations agent in the employ of the U.S. Government, is on an assignment in Nigeria when he suddenly and unexpectedly gets "burned". He barely escapes with his life and takes the first flight he can out of the country, which dumps him in Miami, Florida, his home town. Michael, after reuniting with his ex-girlfriend Fiona Glenanne, finds his accounts are frozen by a government code and his contacts are cut off but nevertheless tries to reach Dan Siebels, his now-former case officer and handler and friend. Needing to put money together to sort out what is happening, Michael also re-connects with Sam Axe, his best friend, and reluctantly gets in touch with his mother, Madeline Westen, who was unaware of his career, and also evades FBI surveillance as best as he can. Michael takes a job from a former colleague to help an estate caretaker clear his name in a high-priced art theft. Eventually, after mailing a non-functioning bomb to Siebels' office, Michael finally succeeds in reaching him and is told the burn notice is to "put him on ice" in preparation for a job offer and he is not to leave Miami or risk being killed. This is demonstrated when he returns home to find pictures of himself scattered about, with a message saying "Welcome to Miami," the show's tagline.

The teleplay by Matt Nix won a 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award, honoring the best in mystery, in the category Best Television Episode Teleplay.[1] 
2 2 "Identity" Rod Hardy Matt Nix 4.0[3] July 5, 2007 (2007-07-05) BN101
Michael helps his mother's friend, Laura (Elayne Wilks), a retiree who was scammed out of her life savings by a group of con artists. Michael tracks down, and then works his way into the con artist group, causing dissension among the ranks. He is able to convince head con artist Quinten (Mark Pellegrino) to give him the information to access the stolen accounts, and Michael returns all of the money. By successfully helping Laura, Madeline gives Michael a number that FBI agents had left her. The episode concludes with an anonymous voice congratulating Michael over the telephone. 
3 3 "Fight or Flight"Note1 Colin Bucksey Craig O'Neill & Jason Tracey N/A July 12, 2007 (2007-07-12) BN103
While attempting to gather more information about the people who burned him, Michael sneaks into a conference at a hotel for operatives. He finds the name of Akhom Thabet (Robert Younis), an Egyptian spy who he helped rescue years ago. Thabet gives Michael a copy of his burn notice. Meanwhile, Michael helps Cara Stagner (Dedee Pfeiffer), a waitress who is being harassed by a drug cartel because she is a witness to a brutal beating committed by Alvaro Desantos (Ivo Lopez). Michael is able to convince the cartel that Desantos is a cooperating informant. Desantos is killed by his own people, leaving the cartel no reason to kill Cara. 
4 4 "Old Friends"Note1 David Solomon Alfredo Barrios, Jr. N/A July 19, 2007 (2007-07-19) BN102
Michael is reunited with his brother Nate, who offers Michael a job of helping his friend Bill Reese (Eric Lange) track down his estranged daughter Jenna (Susie Abromeit), who was caught up in a fake modeling agency; which in reality is a prostitution ring that is run and overseen by the Wilhelm brothers, who are responsible for recruiting potential models. Michael kidnaps one of the Wilhelm brothers and trades him for the safe return of Jenna, who tearfully reunites with her father after learning of what fate would have awaited her had not Michael intervened on her father's behalf. Meanwhile, Michael avoids assassination attempts by a Czech assassin and old enemy of Michael; Jan Haseck (Ilia Volok), who has come to kill him after hearing of Michael being burned. In the end, after poisoning and extracting what little information Jan has on Michael's burning, Michael turns Jan over to the FBI to get them to back off from Sam. Sam later learns Jan was murdered by unknown government agents loyal to those who burned Michael. 
5 5 "Family Business" Sandy Bookstaver Matt Nix N/A July 26, 2007 (2007-07-26) BN104
Michael helps airport security guard Jake Miller (Scott Michael Campbell) whose family is being threatened by the Zamars, an arms dealer family with connections to the Mossad. Michael poses as an arms trafficker and learns the secret location of the Zamar's arms storage house to gain leverage, forcing the Zamars to leave Miami. Sam places a bug in Michael's car as the FBI agents turn up the heat, threatening to leave Sam without any pension. Michael and his brother Nate discover the true owner of their father's car. 
6 6 "Unpaid Debts" Paul Holahan Nick Thiel 4.41[4] August 2, 2007 (2007-08-02) BN105
Madeline Westen is attacked by a government agent who urges Michael to stop his investigation. Meanwhile, Michael retrieves a boat from Jamaican gangsters for a client, Virgil. When Michael tries to deliver the boat to Virgil's client, they demand to know where Virgil is and attack Michael. Michael flees with the boat and later discovers $10 million hidden on board, who Virgil's client had wanted delivered. Sam dumps the boat without for the Jamaicans and Virgil's client to find. However, Virgil is later kidnapped by his client, who offers to Michael a trade: Virgil's life for the $10 million. Michael sets up the trade, but tells the Jamaicans about it as well, and Virgil's client and the Jamaicans get into a shoot-out while Michael escapes with part of the money. Meanwhile, Michael and Fiona discuss their breakup, and Michael manages to learn the name of the government agent who attacked his mother. 
7 7 "Broken Rules" Tim Matheson Mere Smith N/A August 9, 2007 (2007-08-09) BN106
A merchant based in Little Havana requests Michael's help. A crime gang has been terrorizing merchants in the neighborhood, with the aim of driving them out of the area. Michael poses as a crazed thief competing for their territory. A member of the gang captures Michael, but the gang's leader is impressed by him and enlists him in her gang. Meanwhile, Michael uses the services of a money launderer in order to blackmail Agent Bly to reveal information about his burn notice
8 8 "Wanted Man" Ken Girotti Craig O'Neill & Jason Tracey N/A August 16, 2007 (2007-08-16) BN107
Fiona, working as a bail bondsman, enlists Michael's help in tracking down a man who jumped bail. He pleads his case to Michael and Fiona, claiming himself to be innocent. The fugitive offers Michael and Fiona a sum of money to help clear his name. With the help of Max, Michael locates the jewel thief. Michael, Sam, and Fiona hatch a complicated plot in order to bring the thief to justice and clear the accused man's name. Elsewhere, Michael finds out the name of the man who had him burned. 
9 9 "Hard Bargain" John Kretchmer Alfredo Barrios, Jr. 4.08[5] August 23, 2007 (2007-08-23) BN108
The fiance of Nick Lam, Dawn, is kidnapped. The kidnappers ask for $5,000,000, a figure far beyond the reach of Nick Lam. During a surveillance operation, Nick gives away Michael's position and Michael is forced to kidnap a kidnapper, Lucio, who he blackmails into helping him. Sam and Fiona develop a new plan to have Fiona be "kidnapped." Sam learns from the kidnapper the location of the warehouse where Dawn is being held, so he and Fiona attack the guards and free her. Michael, who is acting as a hostage negotiator, leads the kidnapper to the warehouse just as the police come and arrest the kidnapper. Afterward, Michael meets with a supposed CSS bureaucrat assigned to review his case. When the bureaucrat attempts to kill him, the three theorize that Michael's would-be killer was not the real bureaucrat after all, but merely an impersonator. 
10 10 "False Flag" Paul Shapiro Matt Nix & Ben Watkins 4.0[6] September 13, 2007 (2007-09-13) BN109
Michael goes looking for a fake ID, but is almost arrested. Michael then agrees to help Sam's friend Lucy if she will give him a fake ID. Evelyn (Lucy Lawless), Lucy's client, says that her son was kidnapped by her estranged husband Doug. Michael becomes emotionally vested in the case. However, when he takes Evelyn to Doug, she tries to kill him. Michael puts Doug and his son into Witness Protection, and confronts Evelyn, who chooses to jump to her death rather than be brought in. Sam also discovers that the man who put the burn notice on Michael intends to visit him in Miami. 
11 11 "Dead Drop"Note2 Jeremiah Chechik Craig O'Neill & Jason Tracey 4.8[7] September 20, 2007 (2007-09-20) BN110
Season Finale, Part I: Sam accepts a job from a client who is being blackmailed by drug smugglers; Meanwhile, Michael is busy trying to set up a meeting with Phillip Cowan (Richard Schiff), the man who burned him. 
12 12 "Loose Ends"Note2 Stephen Surjik Matt Nix & Alfredo Barrios, Jr. 4.8[7] September 20, 2007 (2007-09-20) BN111
Season Finale, Part II. Sam is held hostage by heroin smugglers who also happen to be former Special Forces operatives. Michael must use his underworld connections to rescue his friend as he tries to dodge agents out to get him. 
  1. ^ "Fight or Flight" was originally intended for broadcast after episode "Old Friends", however these episodes were slightly re-edited and shown in reverse order.
  2. ^ "Dead Drop" and "Loose Ends" were shown as one continuous two-hour finale, but originally produced to be aired as two separate episodes. "Dead Drop" is sometimes referred to as "Loose Ends", Part I.[citation needed]
  3. ^ Season One was originally broadcast in 1.33:1 (full screen) format. Beginning with the June 5, 2008 rebroadcast of "Wanted Man", the show began airing in 1.78:1 (widescreen) format.


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