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Red Widow

March-May, 2013

Lee Tergesen plays Mike Tomlin in this organized crime drama that is based on a Dutch series called "Penoza." After a two-hour premiere on Sunday, March 3, 2013, "Red Widow" had the 10 p.m. Sunday time slot starting March 10 on ABC.

The Red Widow of the title is Marta Walraven (actress Radha Mitchell), who was born into the life of organized crime -- the Russian mob.

ABC's description of the show says:

Marta and her sister Kat (Jaime Ray Newman) had always wished for a safer life. For a while, Marta finds happiness as a stay-at-home mother with three children. Then her husband, Evan (Anson Mount), is murdered after his business partners -- Mike Tomlin (Lee Tergesen) and Irwin Petrova, Marta’s scheming brother -- are involved in a drug deal with rival gangsters. In the aftermath, Marta discovers a tenacity she never knew she had, and takes on the gangsters and the FBI to unveil the truth about her husband’s death. To get out of this mob, she needs to beat the bad guys at their own deadly game.

Here's the character bio of Mike Tomlin, provided by ABC:

Mike Tomlin is the best friend and business associate of Marta's husband, Evan. Mike, along with Evan and Marta's brother Irwin, ran a fishing charter business, which they used as a front to illegally export Humboldt County marijuana – arguably the best pot in the world. Normally the fun-loving jokester, life falls apart for Mike after Evan's death. The one positive thing he has going for him is his marriage to Dina, for whom he will do and buy anything to keep happy. Dina looks the other way when Mike’s on-again/off-again cocaine addiction spirals out of control and debts accrue. Mike works with Marta to deal with their dilemma regarding crime boss Nicholae Schiller (Goran Visnjic). They are odd bedfellows indeed, considering Marta thinks that Mike may have murdered her husband.

Here's ABC's preview for "Red Widow":

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Related Links


Zap2It News:
Promo pic & video

The Dutch "Penoza"
official site

Interview with
Melissa Rosenberg

Lee's live Tweeting
during Red Widow

Lee on Twitter:


ABC's Red Widow
Social page

Red Widow images

1.1 Pilot (first hour, March 3, 2013)

View it on ABC.com

Marta Walraven is a stay-at-home mom in Marin County, near San Francisco. She has spent most of her life trying to staying out of her father's world of organized crime. Her husband, Evan, runs a charter boat business -- but it really is a front for smuggling marijuana. Without his knowledge, his partners -- Irwin Petrov (Marta's brother) and Mike Tomlin (their best friend) -- were involved in the theft of millions of dollars of cocaine from crime boss Nicholae Schiller. Evan is murdered, and Marta's life changes dramatically. Marta's primary concern is to protect her three children, but when an FBI agent promises justice in exchange for her cooperation, she hesitates to go against the "Bratva" (Russian mob) code. Evan paid with his life, but as far as Schiller is concerned, his debt is not clear. Marta must navigate the criminal underworld in order to repay this debt.

Lee with Anson Mount (Evan Walraven) in a scene from the pilot.

1.2 The Contact (second hour, March 3, 2013)

The second hour of "Red Widow" was filmed five months after the first and features more screen time for Lee-as-Mike. The mission is clear: Schiller is demanding that Marta import a shipment of drugs for him. She believes if she is successful, she will be free from his control. Marta asks Mike to show her the ropes, and he gives her lessons in "Drug Smuggling for Dummies." Their first step is to find a customs official to pay off. In doing so, Mike steals the target's prized motorcycle and Marta used her feminine wiles to get the guy involved in the deal.

Recap and episode
online at ABC site

The Contact:
Recap and episode
online at ABC site

Behind the scenes
photos at ABC site

1.3 The Consignment (March 10, 2013)

It seems as though every piece of trouble imaginable is happening at the same time during a key scene in this episode, ramping up the tension. It all happens as Marta and Mike go to the port to pick up a consignment of drugs for Schiller. Feds, blackmailers, errant kids and loan sharks are all in the mix or on the phone. Marta, Mike and their port contact, Bob, have to chase down the truck containing the shipment of drugs. It ends with the drugs delivered for Schiller, but that's not the end of the line for Marta. Schiller gives her another assignment, and Mike is working for her.

Recap and episode
online at ABC site

1.4 The Escape (March 17, 2013)

Marta's plans to flee the country with her children are derailed when Irwin is released from prison early. Mike stages a robbery of his own house in hope of paying off his debts.

1.5 The Recorder (March 24, 2013)

Lee doesn't appear very much in this episode, and when he does, he's pretty rough-looking. Mike is having a rough time of it. He’s deep in debt and strung out. Marta fires him from working with her and his wife throws him out of the house.

The Escape
Recap and episode
online at ABC site

The Recorder
Recap and episode
online at ABC site

1.6 The Captive (March 31, 2013)

Among Marta's problems for this episode is the kidnapping of her daughter, Natalie. Turns out, Mike is behind it to try to raise money to get himself out of his bad debts.

Good news: Mike does some soul-searching, bonds with Natalie and when the family finds out what he did, they promise not to kill him. Bad news: They beat him to a pulp.

1.7 The Coke (April 28, 2013)

Mike sends the episode heavily bandaged in the hospital. His estranged wife stands by him, as does his kidnap victim. However, this is the last we see of Mike for the series.