LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE Posted June 7, 2010 Share Posted June 7, 2010 (edited) The title of the series refers to the burn notices issued by intelligence agencies to discredit or announce the dismissal of agents or sources who are considered to have become unreliable. When spies are burned, their connection to an espionage organization is terminated, leaving them without access to cash or influence. According to the narration during the opening credits, the burned spy has no prior work history, no money, no support network – in essence, no identity. The television series uses first-person narrative (including frequent voice-overs providing exposition) from the viewpoint of covert-operations agent Michael Westen, played by Jeffrey Donovan. The voice-over commentary is in the form of tips for fledgling agents as if for a training or orientation film. After fleeing a blown operation in Nigeria and being kidnapped and beaten, Westen finds himself in his hometown of Miami, Florida. He is tended to by his ex-girlfriend, Fiona Glenanne, but he has been abandoned by all his normal intelligence contacts and is under continuous surveillance with his personal assets frozen. Extraordinary efforts to reach his U.S. government handler eventually yield only a grudging admission that someone powerful wants him "on ice" in Miami. If he leaves there, he will be hunted down and taken into custody; whereas, if he stays, he can remain relatively free. Consumed by the desire to find out why he has been burned, and by whom, Westen is reluctantly drawn into working as an unlicensed private investigator and problem solver for ordinary citizens to fund his personal investigation into his situation as a blacklisted agent. Westen invites his old friend Sam Axe to assist him, while Fiona invites herself to join them. With the occasional assistance and sometimes hindrance of his mother, Madeline, Westen battles an array of such criminal figures as mobsters, gangs, con artists, murderers, thieves, arms traffickers, kidnappers, money launderers, and drug traffickers. At the same time, Michael must follow the trail that leads him to the people responsible for his being burned, and later finding out why. The series juggles these two narratives; the overall series dealing with why Michael was burned, and individual episodes focusing on the cases he works for clients. Characters The cast of Burn Notice. left to right: Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen, Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe, Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen, Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen: A covert operative who has been burned (identified as an unreliable or dangerous agent) who now finds himself in his hometown of Miami, unable to leave. With his assets frozen, he is forced to live off his wits and any small investigative jobs he can find while he searches for answers about who burned him and why. Highly skilled and extremely clever, he displays his abilities by quickly thinking on his feet, improvising electronic devices from commonly available commercial equipment such as radios and cellphones, and by using ordinary items ranging from duct tape or cake frosting in highly unorthodox ways in order to complete a job. He has two black belts (or as he put it in one episode "thirty years of karate") and is "rated with anything that fires a bullet or holds an edge." He has an uncanny ability to assume cover identities, working in numerous regional dialects and international accents. He believes that his unhappy childhood, largely at the hands of an abusive father, helped make him into a natural covert operative, but made relationships difficult for him. He has a younger brother, Nate (Seth Peterson), who appears in several episodes. He presents himself as a cynic hardened by experience, but soon reveals a soft, and sometimes vulnerable, side. His favorite food is yogurt. It is featured or eaten by at least one of the characters in every episode. Michael Westen drives a black 1973 Dodge Charger Rally Edition; the car, which had belonged to his father, was given to him by his mother, Madeline. Gabrielle Anwar as Fiona Glenanne: A former IRA operative and Westen's ex-girlfriend. Fiona re-enters Michael's life when he is dumped, half-dead, in Miami, and she decides to stay, quickly making herself valuable to him. Aside from serving as his explosives expert, she provides support to him on his investigations and at times, assists him in missions to find out who burned him. In the pilot episode, she speaks with an Irish accent. In the second episode, she changes to an American accent, along with a change in her style of dress, in an effort to distance herself from her past and blend in, showing her own ability to adapt. She is both a complement to Michael and his match in many ways, both intellectually and tactically. Series creator Matt Nix has said about Michael and Fiona's relationship. “The thing about the relationship with Fiona is...They are two people who really don't have anybody else they can be with. Anybody else is going to be afraid of what Michael does, and it sort of turns her on, and anybody else for Michael is going to be uninteresting. He is attracted to her, but part of what we explore over the first season is they really are attracted with each other, and yet there is a reason they broke up. She is an incredibly chaotic person who just thrives on disorder...Violence is foreplay for her.”Where Michael is concerned, Fiona is not entirely willing to let go of their past relationship, which continues to simmer. Fiona drives a 2008 Saab 9-3 Convertible (acquired from a client of Michael's who left it to him when the client left the country, sold in the midseason finale to Season Three). In the latter half of season three, it is shown that the two of them are close to reigniting their relationship. Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe: An aging semi-retired intelligence operative and former Navy SEAL. With a low amount of cash-on-hand to his name, Axe spends most of his time sleeping with rich, older Miami women in exchange for food and shelter. He and Westen are old buddies; Sam is also Westen's last, tenuous contact in the official spy community. Sam presents himself as "the guy who knows a guy." He also uses the alias "Charles (or Chuck) Finley" frequently during jobs. It is revealed in the pilot that he is also an FBI informant, reporting on Westen under duress. Knowing this, Westen is able to pass false information to the FBI through Sam, who is glad to become his double agent. Sam drives a red 1960 Buick LeSabre (wrecked in the Season Three midseason finale). At some point in the past Sam foiled Fiona's attempt to sell a large shipment of weapons to a Libyan arms dealer, costing her a good deal of money. Fiona was initially very hostile towards him, but the two have since become very antagonistic friends. Sam will occasionally ask her for advice concerning his relationships with women, and Michael has said that the two of them make a good team. Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen: Michael's mother, "Maddie" is a chain-smoking retiree. Although attempting to keep a sense of gravitas and self-importance, she is family-oriented and fully supports both her sons in times of need, as well as helping Michael with his clients. She considered leaving Miami in the midseason finale of third season, but realized her significance to his business. Until recently, she has had only infrequent communication with Michael, something she remembers, noting in the pilot that Michael had missed his father's funeral "by nine years". Michael does not relish her company. Despite this, her appeals for help are Michael's one great weakness, and she has the ability to persuade him to do as she wishes. Coby Bell as Jesse Porter (season 4–present): A counterintelligence expert whom Michael unwittingly burns when Michael went looking for some classified files on a terrorist about whom Jesse had information. He comes to Michael for help, hoping to find and kill the people responsible for burning him, and gradually becomes part of Michael's team. He briefly considers killing Michael after discovering it was Michael who burned him, but instead grudgingly continues to work with the team, as he and Michael slowly reconcile. He is eventually reinstated, but soon finds he can no longer tolerate the "red tape" to do government work, and takes a job with a private security firm while remaining a vital component of Michael's team. Source: Wikipedia Edited October 22, 2012 by PinkCouture Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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