Nate Westen was a recurring character in the television series Burn Notice. As Michael Westen's younger brother, he is played by Seth Peterson.
Nate was the younger brother of Michael, and Madeline's youngest son, who's first word was "juice". Growing up, Nate felt like he in lived Michael's shadow, but notably admired his older brother, who was always there to look after him. However, after Michael left for the Army, Nate began to get himself into trouble. He became a compulsive gambler and a con artist, having used 10 of Michael's credit cards and maxed them out to pay debts, invest in many schemes, and even bet on the horses. He eventually got in trouble with loan sharks due to his constant debts.
Nate was recovering from his gambling problems. He owed money to loan sharks in Miami, so he asked Michael to help him on a job to locate an old family friend's daughter. When Nate tried to break into Michael's loft, Michael raced to stop Nate from tripping the booby trapped door, only to be shot by Czech assassin Jan Haseck. After scaring away Jan long enough for Michael to recover from his wounds, Nate patched him up and Michael gave him half of the payment from the job. After locating the family friend's daughter, Nate assured Michael the loan sharks wouldn't harass their mom any further. Nate's attempts to get into the same business of "helping the desperate ones" backfired on him, causing him to ask Michael for help again. Later on, he made a questionable investment into a client's scheme into recycled titanium but dropped it after realizing how stupid it was. In the season finale, Nate saved Michael's and Fiona's life from some drug dealers by using his truck as a distraction to keep them away. After hiding out at Nate's house for a while, Michael asked Nate to take the Charger to Fort Lauderdale with their mom away from Michael's eventual captors.
Nate returned to Miami to ask Michael to help a coworker at a limo company he recently was employed at, helping her save her sister and several other women from Russian mobsters. It's at this point Nate revealed to Katya, the client, that sometimes he can't stand Michael, but never has questioned his actions and has faith in him, which left his mother proud of Nate's actions and told Michael to give Nate a chance. Afterwards, he reveals that since Michael helped him clear his old debts, Nate has been trying to get his act together and stay clean. Towards the end of the first half of the season, Nate announced to Michael that he's opened a new limo company in Miami using Madeline's house as collateral to start it up, something that made Michael believe he'd screw it up, which left Nate storming out after he made that point. When their mother pointed out Nate worked very hard on this, Michael didn't believe it would work, only to be ashamed after hearing from his mother that Nate's business is actually doing very well since he opened. He then got arrested for fraudulent charges originated by Carla's organization due to Michael's meddling into their operations. When it was later revealed to the organization that Michael was also marked for death, the organization agreed to have Nate released with his record wiped clean.
Nate was working on closing some important business deals with some big players for expanding his limo company. However, the deals were facilitated by Tyler Brennen as a trap in order to leverage Michael's skills for a job. He took a shot in the arm from Brennan, but was saved by a bluff created by Michael. Later, he got married to Ruth, a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas, which Michael and his mom were not very thrilled about since he didn't think it through all the way. Michael had Nate stay over to keep an eye on there mom since Larry was in town. Nate also tried to convince his mother to move with him to Vegas for protection away from Michael's enemies, prompting Madeline to be angered and stating she can take care of herself. Later, Nate visits Michael after Michael got in trouble with his friends and helped discover a bug in his phone Larry left, prompting Nate to point out he's back home and can rely on people who he can trust.
Nate has made a living in Las Vegas. He is currently expecting a child with his wife, Ruth which was revealed in the episode, "Brotherly Love". In the same episode, he also took a job involving the Taylor brothers who ran a garage and had gotten involved with a drug kingpin, Hector Rivera and with Michael's help, was able to prove that Rivera's second-in-command, Caleb was responsible for the theft of one of his cars and had framed the Taylors for the crime while also selling Rivera's drugs.
Nate returns with his newborn son, Charlie Westen, to his mother's home after having moved back to Miami for their sake, stating he doesn't want to live in Vegas anymore so he can stay clean away from his gambling problems and set a good example to his son. He also had gone to gambling meetings to help, which Michael was proud of. After having Michael help out a friend in trouble, Nate later revealed the main reason over moving back to Miami with his family was cause when his son was born, he was getting high on a crafts table when he was all in, stating he hit rock bottom with what he did and felt so ashamed he had to get out of there less he'd do something he'd regret. When Michael was having trouble letting go of his desire to find out who burned him, Nate told him if it's worth pursuing, then keep after it.
Nate returns home after having heard about Fi and decides to help Michael get her out. In "Mixed Messages", Nate reveals to Michael he didn't just return home to help Michael, but because Ruth left him and took the baby. A tearful Nate reveals he tried so hard to be a good father and husband with giving up gambling and working on his business, but she couldn't do it anymore and left, which Michael let Nate stay to talk about it. In "Last Rites", Nate helps Pierce track down the man who murdered her fiance with Sam and find the evidence to send him to prison. In "Shock Wave", Nate went with Michael and the CIA to track down Anson in Atlantic City due to having gone there before and an expert in knowing the city. When some college students were having a party at the hotel they were at, Nate managed to get rid of them with a lie about bed bugs, but Michael was angry that Nate did it without running it by him and how Anson could have heard about it, which left Nate upset over his brother's lack of gratitude. Later, Nate orders four pizzas to their room, leaving Michael even more angered while Nate tries to point out ordering food wouldn't blow their cover prompting Michael to snap stating he can't keep cleaning up after him and tells Nate to leave Atlantic City so he would no longer be a distraction from the team, which an angry Nate does. Now separated from the group, Nate sadly prepared to leave Atlantic City when he received a call from Michael saying that Nate was closer (in distance) from Anson as the rest of the team. Nate in response, located Anson, confronted him, and incapacitated him. Nate then proceeded to hold Anson at gun point (while standing behind Anson) and took him outside. Michael, Jesse, Pearce, and the rest of their team then showed up on the scene and prepared to arrest Anson. Michael, Jesse, and Pearce began to walk towards Anson and Nate when an unknown assailant fired one bullet from a sniper rifle at Anson's chest. The bullet penetrated Anson's chest and went straight into Nate's body. He was killed by an unknown sniper who shot Anson as the FBI arrived. The bullet, a .950 caliber, passed through a metal sign after killing Anson and Nate. His final line after being shot was to his brother Michael when he told him, "I'm scared."
At Nate's funeral, all his friends and family stare down at his dead body all angered and determined to avenge their friend. Eventually, Michael found the man who murdered him: Tyler Gray. He tracked him to Panama to capture him and when he did, he was left enraged to discover that Tom Card, his CIA mentor, ordered Gray to kill Anson less he'd reveal all his illegal activities all over the globe and Nate was collateral damage. Working together with Gray, Michael attempts to take down Card and avenges his brother's death (and even Gray's sacrifice) by shooting Card through the head, avenging his brother.
His mother was the most grief stricken over Nate's death, blaming Michael over it and pointing out he had no right being out with Michael in a dangerous environment, especially since Nate had no training and just lost his family. Eventually, after a talk with Card about how Nate helped save lives with Michael and how Madeline raised them both, making her the mother that raised two heroes, leaving her moved by this talk helped Madeline eventually forgive Michael noting if she doesn't she'll regret it should something happen to him like Nate.
In Season 7, his wife Ruth lost custody over their son Charlie, having been put in rehab possibly over grief over Nate's death (if not anything drug-related) and custody over his son was put into Madeline's care as she attempted to gain custody, stating she's the only family he has left and doesn't want him to lose anymore family.
Unlike the serious and strict Michael, Nate was more light-hearted and friendly, usually seen with a smile and a sense of humor along with it. He is also shown to be immature at times and does things on impulse without thinking them through. Like in one episode he tries to “help” a man who is being manipulated by arms dealers from Israel just by “talking to” the father. However, early on Nate showed to have been a compulsive gambler and a con man, using his own brother to help get rid of loan sharks to help pay off debts and even swindle money out of people more than Michael charges. However, after paying off his old debts, Nate, in an effort to clean up his act, attempts to change his ways and help people like his brother, which backfires due to his lack of skills.
Due to his gambling problems, Nate had a love for money, often asking for money when he needed it (which Michael noted was his attempts to bet on horses to get more than he has). However, by Season 2, Nate now no longer swindles money out of people for himself, but rather only to help them when they needed help, at times had to resort to asking his brother when it was too much to handle. When his gambling problems got out of hand, Nate knew living in Las Vegas was a bad idea so he decided to move home to set an example to his son and keep himself clean for his family.
Nate had a love for cars, which became a skill for him when hotwiring them, stating himself in that particular skill was something (if not the only) he could do better than his brother. He opened his own limo company after trying to get his life together, which left him happy due to how successful his business had become. But unfortunately, Tyler Brennan (an enemy of Michael’s) runs the limo company ultimately crushing his dreams and ambition. When Nate was married, his mother noted he tried to settle down and have a normal life as a father, which Nate was happy to have a normal life of his own. However, after Ruth left him and took the baby, Nate was heartbroken and distressed.
Above all, Nate was a loyal and brave man, willing to risk his life for his brother and loved ones without a second thought, which in fact had Michael not let Nate help him in some jobs, several people, including Michael himself would be dead had Nate not helped out. However, as his mother noted, Nate aspired to be like Michael, which was his downfall, having apprehended Anson for Michael in an effort to make him proud, only to die by an unseen sniper in the end.
- When scaring Jan, he uses a Smith And Wesson 586 snubnose. He also used a stainless steel Smith And Wesson 4006.40SW in the episode Loose Ends.
- Seth Peterson's portrayal of the younger brother of the protagonist, with a gambling problem and debts to various unsavory people, is very similar to his portrayal of Robbie Hansen in Providence.