This Thursday on USA Network’s Burn Notice, Michael will get a blast from the past when he learns that his onetime CIA mentor — played by Scrubs‘ John C. McGinley — can help him finagle visitation rights with Fiona, in trade for Michael’s assistance in taking down a drug cartel.
“He is the guy who brought Michael into the intelligence community and trained him,” series creator Matt Nix says of McGinley’s character, Tom Card. “You see in him a bit of a surrogate father for Michael, or Michael’s ‘second’ father.”
In turn, you’ll also see that the apple did not fall far from the surrogate tree.
“He’s [played by] John C. McGinley! So if Michael is snarky, Tom Card is extra-snarky,” Nix shares with a laugh. “He’s a real operator, but he’s also got a complex relationship with Michael.”
After all, it doesn’t take a super-spy to glean that amidst everything Michael has been through over the years, all the trials and tribulations, Tom Card never before resurfaced. Yeah, what’s up with that?
“When they meet back up, Tom makes the point that essentially there wasn’t a whole lot he could do,” Nix explains. “It doesn’t look good when a star pupil gets burned, so he was fighting for himself — ‘Sorry, kid’ and all that. So as close as they are and as much of a history as they’ve had, [their relationship] is also kind of fraught with that intense feeling.”
Just as entertaining promises to be Card’s dynamic with Sam, who just might feel a bit of bromantic jealousy when the man who taught Michael everything he knows reenters the mix.
“Sam is really disliked by the CIA because of the things that went on in the Fall of Sam Axe [prequel] movie,” Nix reminds, “So yeah, Tom Card tends to intentionally forget Sam’s name, or refer to him in snide way — ‘The one with the chin’ and things like that.”