Sept. 27, 2002
Lee Tergesen plays Carl Ginley, the Bad Guy in the pilot episode
of "Hack," which had a two-season run on CBS.
The show was set in Philadelphia, and starred David Morse. In
previewing the show, a Philadelphia Inquirer article noted: "In a nifty twist,
Morse, an alum of [Tom] Fontana's
Andre Braugher (from 'Homicide'); and guest star Lee Tergesen (HBO's
'Oz') all appear in the 'Hack' pilot."
In response to this, Tom Fontana said: "I told [CBS kingpin] Les Moonves,
It's my entire career in one episode."
Morse plays Mike Olshansky, an ex-cop who left the police force in disgrace after stealing money from a bust. He's a cabbie now -- or "hack" -- but everyone who enters his taxi seems to need his special brand of crime-fighting.
In the pilot, a sobbing man enters Mike's cab. He's Paul Goodman (played by Conor O'Farrell), a minister who has come to Philadelphia to look for his missing daughter. Mike's hesitant
at first, but then agrees to help.
Mike turns to his friend in the police force (played by Andre Braugher), who feeds him information. Turns out Mr. Goodman's daughter likely has been abducted by a man named Carl Ginley, who already has done time for sexual assault.
The cabbie and the minister set out to rescue the girl. They stake out Carl Ginley's apartment building, and Lee makes his first appearance. He's a rough-looking character. Ponytail, stubble, leather jacket. A definite don't-mess-with-me attitude about him. And that's just for going to the drug store.
Mike follows Carl into the store, then pretends to bump into him on the way out, causing Carl to spill his purchases. Mike pretends to be a drunk, and checks out the perp's prescription (the date rape drug) and his address.
Mike and Mr. Goodman then talk their way into Carl's apartment (Variety notes that Morse's "attempt to get into a perp's home by speaking like a pimp is a low light").
Much gunplay and hand-to-hand combat ensues inside the apartment. Carl tries to escape out the window, but -- oops -- no fire escape. He's dangling on the windowsill, quite a few stories above the street. Mike hauls him back into the apartment, and handcuffs him with some objects of torture that adorn Carl's walls.
Variety was not kind in its review of the pilot, saying that the show's "outrageous narrative ... has more potholes than the grimy streets it features." For example,
the show expects audiences, steeped in detective fare, to believe that Mike can
get away with kicking down doors, beating up perps and still remain anonymous.