Sunday, March 25, 2007

Justice


04 JUSTICE
October 22, 2003 (ABC)
Teleplay: Robert Palm
Story: Charles H. Eglee
Director: John David Coles

Popular guest star Gary Cole, who popped up in an enigmatic cameo in KAREN SISCO’s pilot, “Blown Away,” is back, and he’s bad news. KAREN SISCO was cancelled after only eight episodes were telecast, so we may never know for sure, but one has to wonder whether Cole was intended to become a recurring foe for U.S. marshal Karen (Carla Gugino). His appearance here seems rushed and unfinished, and it’s still a mystery why he had such a minor part in the pilot. I suspect his scenes may have been filmed during the production of “Justice” and cut into “Blown Away” before it was telecast. Cole is, of course, an excellent actor, and I wish he had gotten the opportunity to flesh out this part a little better.

Three fugitives bust out of a prison in Biloxi, Mississippi and head to Miami, where they plan to charter a boat to Costa Rica and open a restaurant. But, first, they stop off to see Naomi (Juliette Jetters), the sister of Jamal (Antonio David Lyons), one of the escapees. The others are Sixpack (Fredro Starr), Naomi’s baby’s bad-news daddy, and the child-like Fuzz (Omar Benson Miller). Marshal Konner (Cole) is assigned to capture them and return them to prison, and he selects Karen as his partner. She doesn’t like him much—he’s arrogant and rude—but she begrudgingly admits he’s a good officer and attempts to get along with him. However, she soon comes to regret her original opinion of Konner’s abilities as a law enforcement officer, when she discovers that he blames the three cons for the death of his former partner, and he may be looking to settle the score.

Despite Cole’s best efforts, “Justice” is not one of SISCO’s finest hours. We’ve seen the good-guy-goes-bad scenario in dozens of cop shows, and this one doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The actors playing the fugitives help the episode by making their characters somewhat sympathetic, so that when Konner finally draws down on them, you’re definitely not on the side of the man with the badge. Director Coles (not to be confused with actor Gary Cole) does a nice job keeping the show moving and the (presumably) California locations looking like the Sunshine State. This was Coles’ only KAREN SISCO; he moved on to direct and produce the shortlived THIEF and 3 LBS. Writer Palm, a veteran of Dick Wolf shows like DEADLINE and LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, went on to become executive producer of WANTED, a series that starred Gary Cole as…a federal law enforcement agent. Eglee, who provided “Justice”’s story, co-created another phenomenal crime drama mercilessly treated by ABC, MURDER ONE.

After taking last week off, KAREN SISCO’s nifty opening titles return.

1 comment:

Jeremy Richey said...

Again another excellent review. I remember thinking this was one of the weaker episodes also. There were some musical choices that I thought went against the sprit of the show and you are right about that character being a bit under-developed. I think it just goes to show that this was a series that was developing and needed time to really come into it's own that the networks weren't willing to give. It is of course ironic that the show did continue to improve with the last episode being perhaps the finest. Imagine all of the great shows in the past that didn't get the ratings in their first one or two seasons but the networks stuck by them....those days are much missed.
Thanks, I look foward to reading the rest of your reviews....