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I've been a fan of Burn Notice ever since Season 1, and I have to say I think this season has so far been one of the best yet.  I was absolutely thrilled to have the chance to watch the 2 hour season premiere of the winter half of the season, and it definitely does not disappoint.  To quickly recap, the summer finale left the team (Michael, Jesse, Sam, and Fiona) stranded in Central America with a determined CIA official trying to hunt them down and kill them.  The premiere picks up there, with the team scrambling to find a way to survive and return home--and take out the man trying to kill them.  It's a fantastic set of episodes, and a great addition to this excellent season.  So without further ado, here are my 12 non-spoilerish takeaways for those wanting to know more:

1.  Madeline is awesome!  Fans of Michael's mother (played by the peerless Sharon Gless) will be cheering all the way over the big role Madeline plays in helping to get the team back home to Miami.

2.  However, things are still not great between her and Michael, due to the death of Michael's brother Nate earlier in the season.  The acting is fantastic, but the scenes between them are absolutely heart-wrenching.

3.  Michael spares someone's life.  At at least one point, you will wish he hadn't.

4.  There are torture scenes.  Not saying who gets tortured, but it's definitely hard to watch.  

5.  Fiona is in true Fiona-ish take-no-prisoners mode, and saves Michael at least once.

6.  In the second hour, someone from Fiona's time in prison returns, now in need of the team's help.

7.  This leads to some of my favorite--and funniest--Jesse-centric scenes since his character was introduced.

8.  Michael and Fiona have to make a sacrifice in order to go on with the plan of taking down the man ultimately responsible for Nate's death.

9.  However, you will later get this exchange that made me smile: 
Fiona:  Big?
Michael:  Bigger!

10.  Cars blow up.  It's Burn Notice.  Of course cars blow up.

11.  All the show's regular main characters are (for now) alive and well.  But at least one other major player in the episode dies.

12.  The final showdown will have you on the edge of your seat.  The way the episode ends, even if you see it coming, will have you jumping out of your seat, saying, "Holy Cr*p!"

All in all, a terrific couple of episodes, and I can't wait to see where the rest of the season goes from here.  

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