Saturday, October 27, 2012

Burn Notice Timeline

Okay, so when I write, I like to get my details all in order. When I'm doing my own stuff, I usually end up making one of these so my chronology is correct. With original fiction it's a bit easier because there's generally not so much research to do, and well, I'm the only one writing my fiction so I don't have to worry about someone adding cute details that mess with the cannon.

Anyway, here is, best as I can construct it, the Burn Notice Timeline. One major note on this, I'm using only the TV show for cannon here. I know, for example, that the First Contact graphic novel shows Fi and Mike getting together in 2003. But I also know the show tells us that Mike left Samantha because he was in love with Fi, and that the child that could have been his was supposed to be 9 in 2007. So, ummm... yeah. I'm not a math wizard, but I know that doesn't work.

December 2006 Michael Westen Burned (Show begins)

2006 Anson Fullerton subs in for Maddie's regular therapist.

2005 Mike in Colombia
2005 Sam Axe comes to Miami
2005 Sam Axe in Colombia (Fall of Sam Axe)

2001-2005 We know Mike was in Afghanistan, so this is probably the time he was there. He was probably doing other things as well, but no one knows what they were.

2002 Michael in Lybia?  We know he has information on an attack that happened there at that time.

2000-04 Fi leaves Ireland for New York.

2000-1997 Mike in Ireland? We know things with Samantha had to end in '97. Mike tells Card he successfully survived for six years in the field on his own, and we know Card pulled him out of Ireland, so 2000 is the latest he was there. We don't know if he left Ireland before his other 1999/1998 jobs or bounced between Ireland and other jobs.

1999 Michael and Sam in Moscow.

1998-1999? Michael in Bosnia. When tracking down Gilroy, one of the clues is a soccer stadium shooting in '98. Sam mentions that Mike missed the follow up on that because he was in Bosnia. So, depending on how long the "follow-up" took, we've got Mike in Bosnia around now.

1998 Frank Westen dies.

1997 Michael in St. Petersburg with Samantha

1995 Sam in Colombia.

1991-1992 Michael in the Balkans with Larry. Sam appears to have been around for at least some of this as well.

1988-1997? Michael has quite a reputation with the Russians. This is the period where Russia was red hot and the Iron Curtain fell to rust and then everyone had to deal with the clean up. So, I'm guessing at least some of this time was spent in Russia.

My guess is that sometime during this stint Michael and Larry were working together, and maybe it is the Chechnya massacre, but something got Anson's attention and put this whole thing in motion.

1984 Sam in East Germany with Virgil.

1983-88 Seventeen year old Mike joins the Army.

1974 Nate Westen born.

1967-1971 Michael Westen in born. Wikipedia had his birthday in 1967, and a bit from the Burn Notice outtakes, Michael reading for the audition, lists Westen as in Afghanistan in the '80s, which goes well with a '67 birthday and being 17 when he enlisted. Donovan was born in '66, which also goes well with the '67 birth date. However, at one point Madeline mentioned Mike sneaking out of the house at the age of six to see Star Wars, putting his birthday before May of '71. His fake ID had his birthday listed as 1970.

1953 Madeline Westen born. This explains a whole lot about Frank and Madeline Westen. If Mike was born in '71, that puts her at 18 when she got pregnant, and probably not much younger than that when she got married. If seventeen-year-old Maddie got swept off her feet by a much older man, got pregnant, and quickly married, that would explain how she ended up with someone who treated her and her children so badly.

1939 Frank Westen born.

I'll add more dates as I get them/figure them out.


  1. I love your timeline!! I'm writing a fanfic and need some info on BN for the fanfic (timeline wise) and this came up in the search results. The only thing I'm a little confused on is his burn notice ...the show begins in June 2007 (original show air date, the pilot episode) so going by the TV show ...wouldn't his burn be in 2007?

  2. I thought that when I was getting ready for this, and luckily I re-watched the first episode again just before this went live and saw that it's set right before Christmas. So, either it's Dec '06 or '07, and I figured the recent past made more sense than the recent future.