Michael Hayes (1997) s01e17 – Lawyers, Guns and Money

I desperately wanted Joe Spano’s guest spot to be the worst part of the episode. Even as Spano continued to try to chew the scenery, his mouth open, half-chewed chunks falling out all over the place, if Spano were the worst thing… it’d be tolerable at least.

Sadly, no, they go full “plans within plans” conspiracy nonsense. I had been hoping not having new co-showrunner Michael S. Chernuchin’s name on the writing credits (it’s Fred Golan solo) would somehow keep it at bay. Or, actually, they’d just let the silly storyline—David Caruso versus the shadow government—drop. I mean, they let David Cubitt getting knifed to death in the street a few episodes ago drop; instead he apparently magically survived and is off in witness protection (the forecasted conclusion of the story arc before the shock stabbing). It gives Caruso something to do with infrequent regulars Mary B. Ward and Jimmy Galeota. Galeota’s been cutting Cubitt out of family photos, which is incredible when you think it’s because Cubitt died. Only “Michael Hayes” isn’t for people who watched the whole show, just some of the show.

If you watched the whole show, for instance, you might wonder whatever became of Hillary Danner. Rebecca Rigg gets a single scene here—Danner must’ve been busy trying to line up a pilot for the next season. Peter Outerbridge is still around, providing vaguely suspicious blue blood opposite righteous Caruso. Though Caruso’s not in the episode anywhere near as much as Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who takes it personally when an Eastern European diplomatic attache (Levani) starts selling guns to thirteen year-old Black kids. Santiago-Hudson’s got to flip Levani’s contacts, first Cress Williams (in a lousy part but with a bunch of solid energy) and then Tangi Miller. Miller’s Levani’s kept girlfriend, who knows more about drug running than she thinks.

Miller’s pretty good considering her part makes absolutely no sense the further the episode goes on. There’s not really any legalese in Golan’s script, just one liners from Caruso (unknowingly prepping that “CSI: Miami” audition no doubt), and vague conspiracy crap. There’s an oil pipeline, there’s an election, blah, blah, blah. Two fits of performative physical rage from Caruso, which makes you really hope secretary Jodi Long doesn’t have to clean up after him.

I was really hoping the show didn’t keep offering limbs to the sharks, but it’s apparently just going to be lathering itself in chum from now on.

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