THE DISTRICT "Fool’s Russian Pt.1" (TV episode)

5/11/2001 1 hour. Season 1 of ? Episode 22 of ?
Police drama. CBS. Saturday, 10 pm.
Code: DFR 5/2001

PLOT:

The FBI investigates Chief Mannion after he contacts an informant about a Russian Mob connection to a bank robbery that resulted in the death of two security guards who were retired District cops.

CREDITS:

Writer: Scott Williams
Director: Rick Rosenthal

REGULAR CAST:

Craig T. Nelson as Chief Jack Mannion
Justin Theroux as Nick Pierce
Lynne Thigpen as Ella Farmer
Roger Aaron Brown as Deputy Chief Joe Noland
David O’Hara as Detective Danny McGregor
Sean Patrick Thomas as Detective Temple Page
Elizabeth Marvel as Officer Nancy Parras

GUEST CAST:

Jean Smart as Sherry
Jonathan Banks as Monya Pastov, informant
Richard Fancy as District Attorney Bruce Logan
Daphne Duplaix
Leslie Hope
Shaun Toub

BAD GUY

Ex-con, put away for 5 years by Mannion. According to the FBI, he is a fugitive. But for plot purposes, he a good guy, who respects and trusts Mannion, gives him needed information at the cost of his own life.

Characterization

Respects Mannion. Savvy, and values those that play by the rules. Mannion says he’s always been lucky (dramatic irony for his impending murder.) Has sense of camaraderie with Mannion, refers to the two of them as "us old-timers." Mannion says Pastov’s not one to hold a grudge. Has good sense of humor, and an eye for the ladies. Russian accent and slightly broken English.

COMMENTS

The script has a bad case of "it’s May sweeps/season finale time on a ensemble cop show"—one cop’s fiancée is killed, the Chief is set up and suspended, another character finds out her cancer has returned and she must have a mastectomy, and the investigation is hampered by those annoying Feds that always get in the way of the police. Oh, and another regular is blown up, presumed killed, in the last frame. But the writing and acting are good.

COSTUME

Nice black leather jacket. Rings on both ring fingers. Gold chain bracelet.

JB has short beard for the role.

DEATH SCENE

Pastov is killed offscreen. His right hand with a distinctive faded tattoo of a red and blue eight-pointed star on the back is delivered to Mannion in a box at the start of episode 2 of this two-part season finale. Forensics determines it was removed post-mortem.

LINES

"Jack, you put me away five years, but could have been fifty. Easy for you to exaggerate evidence, but no. You play by rules. We respect this."

SCREEN TIME

About five minutes, in two scenes, middle of episode.

WATCH FOR

Some good close-ups. Good laughs, and the ‘darling’ to the passing woman. Nice final handclasp with Mannion after giving him the information (even though it signals his approaching demise to any viewer who might be in doubt.)