What’s your Jericho score? Michael Westen


Don’t make me shoot-as-close-as-possible-without-actually-hitting-you again!

For the last few months, we’ve been exploring the thought experiment, “What would happen if we took famous spies from TV and movies and dropped them into a game of Jericho?” We started with Jason Bourne and have explored the best & brightest from the 60’s until now. Last week, we took a bit of a detour and put a pair of non-spies on the examination table and found that they performed remarkably similar to their counterparts of the same era. We’re doing something similar this week but bringing our subject in from the current TV lineup. We’re talking of course about Michael Westen the ex-spy from Burn Notice. Just as was discussed with The Avengers, I think that the only reason that Michael is a spy in most peoples’ minds is because we’re told that he is. I actually think that you could easily rewrite the entire show with him as an ex-military guy turned private eye who, with the help of a couple of old friends, helps to make things right for people who are down on their luck by bringing bad guys to justice. Oh wait, that’s Magnum P.I. See what I mean? Anyway, enough with the pseudo-spy bashing, let’s see how Mike P.I. handles himself in a Jericho game!

Stealth – Michael is a bit of a throwback to our 60’s spies when it comes to stealth. He relies a lot on not being seen by guards or cameras to accomplish his tasks and he often assumes a fake persona to con his way into or out of any place or relationship he needs to without altering his appearance. He doesn’t always disguise himself, but once in a while, he puts on a lab coat or FedEx jacket to bluff his way past a guard. While this may only go so far in a game of Jericho, my guess is that he would at least put a hat on to hide himself.  Mike gets 7 of 10 for Stealth.

Combat – If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Agent Westen worked for NATO before he was burned. The guy has a heck of a lot of cool firepower but he uses it to do everything besides killing bad guys. Seriously, if you are involved in a conflict against Mike, I have good news; you’ll live to tell about it. In a game of Jericho, I’m sure he could lay down suppressive fire, but don’t count on him to shoot the Courier. For Combat, Mr. Westen gets 4 of 10.

Teamwork – Ex-agent Westen rarely works alone. His elaborate schemes usually require at least Sam & Fiona and even Mom or Jesse sometimes to come in on the con. He doesn’t need to be the main character and will happily assume a supporting role to accomplish the mission. These traits are exactly what I’d be looking for in a teammate when considering a partner for a Jericho game. MW gets 10 of 10 for teamwork.

Adaptability – Michael works from what he knows and his plans are rarely executed flawlessly. It’s pretty common to see something go wrong and see Michael pull victory from defeat (after you hear his “When you’re a spy…” speech!). This quick thinking last minute planning is also what could really guide a team to victory if playing Jericho. Michael gets 10 of 10 for adaptability, because he does it so well!

So we can see that you don’t need to be a spy to score 31 of 40. When grading Jericho potential, any decent private investigator with a few friends and some combat background can have a decent showing, maybe even more than a real spy.

Coming up next week, we’re going to finally acknowledge the elephant in the room and then serve it a martini; shaken, not stirred.