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 having 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."