Tuesday, May 01, 2007
06 DEAR DERWOOD
November 5, 2003 (ABC)
Teleplay: Jason Smilovic and Peter Lefcourt
Story: Bob Brush
Director: Charles Haid
True love dodges U.S. marshal Karen Sisco (Carla Gugino), but strikes hard and heavy for the escaped con she’s pursuing in KAREN SISCO’s sixth episode to air on ABC in the fall of 2003. Derwood Edson (Tim Guinee) is a non-violent con originally sentenced to a brief one-year sentence, but is now up around twenty years, because he keeps breaking out of prisons in order to visit his One True Love.
Angie (Jennifer Aspen, later a regular on ABC’s RODNEY) is Derwood’s girl, a stripper looking to quit the flesh biz to start her own gift-basket company. She loves Derwood as much as he loves her, but she keeps breaking up with him and moving around the country away from him so he won’t bust out and follow her. Her efforts don’t prevent his latest escape, and Karen is waiting for him at Angie’s apartment complex. He doesn’t mind going to all that effort and getting arrested just to see Angie for five minutes, probably because he knows he’ll make another break before the marshals ever get him back to prison.
Meanwhile, some real crime occurs because of Dwight (Michael Stoyanov), Derwood’s best friend and Angie’s business partner, who’s secretly using Angie’s gift baskets to deliver drugs. Derwood and Angie’s romantic plans are hindered when Dwight’s dealing lands Angie in the can and the Russian mob on all their tails.
Karen finds Derwood and Angie’s romance quite touching, particularly because the torrid sexual relationship she’s having with a Florida Marlins relief pitcher (Eduardo Verastegui) is sapping his strength, causing him to serve up gopher balls and threaten his job in the major leagues.
“Dear Derwood” is a nice light-hearted crime story with a touching (and tragic) romance and good performances by its guest stars. Robert Forster as Karen’s father Marshall and Bill Duke as her boss Ambrose have little to do this time. Same goes for Gugino, really, as the guest stars do most of the heavy lifting. A brief scene showing Karen busting a perp (Jack Kehler) on the boardwalk seems out of place, as though it were added to give Gugino some extra action that week (and to put her in some skimpy clothing). Director Haid, also an actor best known for his role as cop Renko on HILL STREET BLUES, makes an unbilled cameo as a drug enforcement agent. Writers Smilovic and Brush were KAREN SISCO’s co-executive producers, and co-writer Lefcourt, credited with his first teleplay, has credits dating back to SCARECROW & MRS. KING and CAGNEY & LACEY.
The 1998 film OUT OF SIGHT, which starred Jennifer Lopez as Karen, is quickly referenced in “Dear Derwood”. Angie asks Karen if she’s ever been in love. She answers, yes, once. “What happened?” “I shot him,” which is what Karen did to Jack Foley (George Clooney) in the brilliant Stephen Soderbergh movie.