Saturday, March 03, 2007
01 BLOWN AWAY
October 1, 2003 (ABC)
Teleplay: Bob Brush
Story: Elmore Leonard (short story: Karen Makes Out)
Director: Michael Dinner
In KAREN SISCO's pilot episode, U.S. marshal Karen (Carla Gugino) suffers from both physical and psychological bruising. Days after she was shot in the chest during a stakeout (the bulletproof vest she was wearing saved her life), Karen learns that Carl (Patrick Dempsey), the mysterious wavy-haired man she’s been dating, may be the bank robber the FBI has been looking for. Although the two have been out only a few times, her attraction to him is strong, and the fact that he doesn’t yet know what she does for a living (him trying to guess her occupation is a flirty game they play) makes her decision on whether or not to help the Feds build a case against Carl even tougher. Meanwhile, Marshall (Robert Forster), Karen's father, a retired marshal now working as a private detective, follows around a man in a wheelchair whom the insurance company believes may be faking his injury for a sizable settlement.
“Blown Away” is perhaps of more interest these days because of Dempsey’s prominent guest role. Barely a blip on the B-list following years of undistinguished feature and TV-movie credits, less than two years later Dempsey became one of television’s biggest stars as Dr. Derek Shepherd on the smash ABC drama GREY’S ANATOMY (who knows…maybe ABC is getting better about developing its hour dramas?). We know little about Carl, although it seems a foregone conclusion that he will indeed turn out to be the bad guy, but we know enough to understand the feelings he has for Karen and vice versa.
A more intriguing guest turn is that of Gary Cole, who appears in a couple of scenes as Konner, a fellow marshal working under Amos. What’s odd is that Konner, at least in the pilot, is not much of a role, and not the kind of character that you go out and hire a guy like Gary Cole to play. Are there plans to make Cole a regular or are the writers merely setting him up for a major storyline down the road?
Though set in Florida, KAREN SISCO was actually filmed in Los Angeles, though it looks like much of the pilot was made on location with a second unit filming pickups and little dialogue scenes to be edited into future episodes.