'Burn Notice' - New season, new characters, new mysteriesby jmaloni
Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
"Burn Notice," back for a fourth season on the USA Network, is introducing two new characters. One promises answers for burned CIA agent Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), while the other will directly impact Michael's day-to-day crime fighting.
At the end of season three, Michael was taken captive by "Management," the organization (and sinister old man portrayed by John Mahoney) that blacklisted him and cast him aside. In the season four premiere, Michael starts to learn a little bit more about the circumstances surrounding his past.
"Burn Notice" creator and showrunner Matt Nix says "this represents a new relationship for Michael with the people that burned him. We learn a lot more about who they are and what they do. Michael discovers that they're not just an anonymous organization dedicated to doing abstract evil. They're people with agendas and budgets and specific pressures and that kind of thing. So, he finds himself in a new relationship with them."
There to greet Michael is Vaughn, a more civilized member of "Management."
"The character that we meet early in the season and who runs throughout the season, this character of Vaughn, played by Robert Wisdom who (was) on ‘The Wire' - just terrific - is a more reasonable face than we've seen before where Carla or Victor were very much in Michael's face with guns and that kind of thing, and ‘Management' (the person) is nobody's version of a friendly old man," Nix says. "Vaughn is a reasonable guy who presents Michael with a reasonable proposition. Now, of course, he is - he's not a good guy, but he is a smooth talker and hard to argue with. So, that launches the season. Michael's interactions with him, over the course of the season, and unraveling of his agenda is what the season's about."
Jessie Garcia (Coby Bell) also joins the "Burn Notice" roster for season four. He links up with Team Do-gooder after Michael inadvertently burns him while recovering information for Vaughn.
Michael's team agrees to take Jesse under its wing because, as Nix says, "they ruined his life. They really feel they owe him something. That's a big deal to them. It's a particularly big deal to Michael."
At the same time, Nix says the new character has something to prove, and that's why he agrees to join Michael's band of adventurers.
"One of the things that we had to grapple with is bringing in a new character who's going to participate in cases of the week. We felt it was important not to step over the fact that this is a guy who is going to be putting himself in harm's way on a weekly basis, trusting people with his life, going to extremes in the way that Michael and Fiona and Sam do," Nix says.
"When Jesse comes in, why is he interested in doing this? That has to do with his particular backstory and also the way that he interacts with (Michael's team)," he says. "The second episode - when they have their first time together - Jesse in the second episode is essentially the client. He needs to see these people are worth working with. These people saved my life. These people are something special."
"Burn Notice" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on USA.