The last time we saw Michael Westen, Burn Notice’s fired spy on a mission to clear his name, he’d just driven Sam’s Caddy out of Miami and onto the back of a cargo truck belonging to the deadly agency that “burned” him. Ostensibly, he was close to finally discovery the real deal behind his termination, blacklisting, and quarantining in his hometown: He just needed to go along for a little ride.

So where was the truck headed? Some mysterious high-security outpost in Mexico? A well-hidden Colorado bunker? South Dakota? Hollywood for a “let’s go to L.A.” episode (must every show have one of these?) And who was the smoky-voiced woman (codename: Carla) who called him on the phone and claimed to be his new boss? Was she a goodie or a baddie? A hottie or a nottie?

Well, if you’d been following the behind-the-scenes of the show at all, you already knew that Carla (who appeared at the end of last night’s episode, taunting Sam with a crossword puzzle), would turn out to be Battlestar Galactica’s super-hot (if you love ’em tall and blonde) Tricia Helfer (pictured, left). But if you’re like me, and you’ve been avoiding Burn Notice spoilers like trans fats, then you’re wondering if she’s just here to be Michael’s new handler (à la Charlie’s Angels’ John Bosley, sans lisp) or if she’s a potential love interest for our favorite covert agent.

More ‘Burn Notice‘ after the jump…

addCredit(“Tricia Helfer and Gabrielle Anwar; Dan Littlejohn”)

I, for one, am hoping for the former. I’m a Fiona fan through andthrough. I love Gabrielle Anwar (pictured, right), and I can’t believeMichael wouldn’t want Fi (and that awesome snow globe collection) inhis loft full-time. Sure, she could do to eat a steak or two (does shedisappear when she turns sideways, or is it just me?). But who wouldn’twant a girl so loyal? She jumped off a bridge while on one of theirmissions, for Pete’s sake. I just couldn’t stand to see her get herheart broken (she said last night that she’s through with Mike, but Idon’t buy it): Season 1’s Lucy Lawless episode, when Michael almostfell for the Warrior Princess, almost killed me. I also like thatMichael has no time for nookie. It makes me, and maybe some of you,feel not so pathetic.

Otherwise, I’m game for Mike and Carla to play cat and mouse for afew episodes. And I’m glad that he never really made it out of Florida.This show needs Miami. The truck dropped him off at an airstrip in thenortheastern part of the state, where he met up with a kidnappedcomputer tech Carla wanted him to help hack into a “security company”back home. “Security company” being code for group of mercenaries whohelp warlords torch poor African villages looking for diamonds.Considering how nefarious that sounds, I’m betting that Carla —despite her witchy woman ways — is on our side and that she’s usingMike to make the world a better place, not a worse one. More proof: Ifyou read between the lines of what Bruce Campbell says in this interviewwith my colleague Dalton Ross, you’ll realize that there will be fewer“jobs” this year. So what else could they be doing?That said,I don’t think Carla’s the head honcho of the burn crew either — so makeroom for more guest stars.

My only two beefs with yesterday’s show: I can’t look at PatrickFischler, the actor who played Jimmy, without thinking about his creepyrole in David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive and I missed Mike’sbrother Nate a bit. He added an interesting dynamic to the groupbecause he wanted so badly to be a good sibling, despite resenting Mikeover their various daddy issues. I also started to sense some sort ofromantic thing going on between Fiona and Sam that just made me plainuncomfortable. Sure they’re hot, but get Sam’s lady friend Veronicaback soon. That said, Jeffrey Donovan was tops as always. During Burn Notice’s hiatus, I’d been re-upping on his old USA series Touching Evil(produced by Bruce Willis and one of my Mom’s favorites). I wanted tohate this show for being an unnecessary remake of a Brit TV great — buthe just totally made it. You can start watching it on Youtube here.

Now, what did you guys think? Carla or Fiona? Should Nate come back orstay in Fort Lauderdale? A good start to a great show or a ho-humepisode? And most of all, what plans do you think Carla and co. havefor Mike?