Last night’s episode of Bones introduced “The Finder” Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults), a former military policeman who did two tours in Iraq and returned with brain damage that made him suspicious of everything and everyone – but also able to find anything and anyone because of it (or so he believes). The character could front a new Fox show this fall, alongside his legal adviser/bodyguard Leo (Michael Clarke Duncan) and bartender/pilot/systems analyst Ike (Saffron Burrows). Are you rooting for him?
The concept borrows heavily from other shows, but it definitely has its own spin on things: As with Burn Notice, you’ve got a loyal trio in Florida with a badass chick and they’re not affiliated with the cops. But Ike wears more clothes than Fiona, presumably hasn’t slept with Walter, and needs to tone down her accent; Leo is there to tell Walter what charges he could face before doing whatever he’s about to do and to rescue him when someone comes after him (unless it’s Walter’s fault); and the only weapon we saw any of them wield in this hour was Leo’s book of poetry. Like Psych’s Shawn Spencer, Walter is incredibly observant and his gift is often doubted, but Walter isn’t actually hiding anything from anyone, nor does he make pop culture references or say something to a large tattooed biker like, “Hey, are you in charge of meth distribution in all of southern Florida or just this county?” just to be a smartass. He has no filter, so Walter asks whatever question he wants answered. Similar to Adrian on Monk, Walter could receive help for the issue that keeps him from enjoying life the way others do, but he runs the risk of losing the trait that may be the reason he’s so good at his job. In Walter’s case, it’s the ability to see connections that make him ask those questions that sound crazy/rude, but are actually little epiphanies. And just like Patrick Jane on The Mentalist, Walter has traditional leading man looks, but even though I don’t watch that show, something tells me Simon Baker has never stripped down to his briefs in a victim’s home to profile him and ended up on the toilet. Watch the scene below.
The lengthy toilet shot felt a bit like payback for being allowed to enjoy shirtless Stults as long as we did, but it shows he’s not going to be a suave lady magnet or take himself too seriously. He might lure you in with a hairy chest or by being able to tell a woman he just met she’s beautiful in a way that doesn’t sound like a line (because he means it), but you never know when he’s going to screw it up. We know he falls hard for women quickly, but judging from what Ike said, even if something does start, it doesn’t last. How many people screamed at their TV when he had the nerve to save Brennan might be “the one?”
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I also like the wide range of cases “The Finder” could take. It doesn’t have to be a part of a murder investigation, like the stolen treasure map with ink that was only visible when it came in contact with blood, semen, or breast milk was. (How did Booth find that factoid boring?) It could be something personal: To prove himself to Brennan, Walter found the medal she won for winning her 7th grade science fair. It was nice to see Brennan get that emotional again over her mother, who was pictured with 11-year-old Tempe in the accompanying newspaper clipping, wasn’t it?
Your turn. What are your thoughts on “The Finder” as a potential series? Are you glad the show would be set in Florida so Stults may have to do a lot of his profiling in boxers? And who’s hoping Walter has to go scuba-diving a lot so we see Hart Hanson’s face on his tank again?