The show is a rare breed, they strive to make each episode both standalone and part of a greater Myth Arc
. It is both it's greatest strength and it's biggest weakness. The individual stories are, on the whole, fun to kick back and watch. The problem is there is a very rigid formula they adhere to, while they show a good deal of creativity in each episode it just rarely diviates from that formula (myth arc opening scene, case of the week introduction, infiltrating the bad guy's inner circle, bad guy does something unexpected, they work out a new plan, bad guy is busted, myth arc closer).
The Myth Arc
was obviously just very loosely defined early on and a lot of it doesn't make sense in light of later developments, such as the bureacrat / assassin sent to kill him mid-season one (The Russian guy was probably a third party, but the bureacrat seemed to be connected to the "Burn Notice Club" and they wanted him alive). Season two was better since we got a face to identify as the bad guy, Carla, but there was a lot of hype towards what changes will happen in Michaels life and nothing really changed. Of course the show is very much locked into Miami so they realistically can't shake things up too much. I also never really understood how exactly Strickler tied in with Gilroy, was Strickler contacted to organize Simon's escape and recruit Michael for fun or was Gilroy a seperate party who didn't like Michael putting a few bullets into Strickler
and was asked to recruit Michael anyway.
But all in all, each Season Finale usually discards all of the formula and that's when Burn Notice
becomes some damn fine entertainment.