G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison and Adam Arkin
I have seldom met anyone who didn't think earning a quick four thousand dollars — cash — for an hour or two of work, wasn't a wonderful idea. Of course, everything must be relative. I wouldn't shill for the tobacco companies, no matter what they paid. But serving a subpoena — a subject that we will visit again this summer under less pleasant circumstances — is just the ticket for Flynn and Provenza, who rope the erstwhile civilian tech, Buzz Watson, into their scheme by promising him a third of their take: two hundred dollars. For those who have a bit of trouble with division, Lts. Flynn and Provenza may have misrepresented their fee to the gullible Buzz. On the other hand, the love of money can do strange things to people.
For regular watchers, this is our seasonal Flynn and Provenza episode, featuring the brilliant Adam Arkin and a special opportunity for series regular, Phillip Keene, as circumstances force Buzz to tag along for a very unfortunate ride. Like many people in car-crazed Los Angeles, Buzz loves his wheels. And this is not a season of The Closer where one should love things too much.
The four thousand dollar retainer offered Flynn and Provenza turns out to be an expensive way to make money. Adam Belanoff writes, and Michael Pressman directs, the further adventures of G.W. Bailey and Tony Denison.
Speaking of directors, in last week's letter, I was derailed by the necessity of communicating my reaction to the Emmy nominations from expressing my gratitude for nearly a decade of work with Michael Robin, the director and producer with whom I have most closely collaborated through season after season of The Closer. There are many people like me roaming the streets of Hollywood, but there is only one Mike, and we're lucky to have him. He understands the mechanics of producing better than nearly anyone I know. Normally, masters of the technical leave something to be desired on the creative side. Not so with Mike, who has led the company through some of its most ferocious episodes. Our first three season premieres, plus "Good Housekeeping" and "Ruby" and "Time Bomb" and last summer's disturbing finale, "Executive Order." If this were all, it would be more than people had a right to expect from any single person. But it is not all.
Mike sets the gold standard for truthfulness, clarity, fairness and preparedness. If you are lucky enough to be his friend, there exists no challenge he will not take on your behalf. If you are a member of his professional family, your wellbeing and safety are his constant concern. Nothing sets his teeth on edge like a suggestion that any member of the company might be subjected to physical risk.
He is also a patient teacher, happy to instruct those less accomplished in the finer points of our collaborative profession. And the most visible members of our endeavor, the actors, instantly recognize him as a director dedicated to helping them achieve their best work.
In fact, the only one downside to harnessing up with Mike is that his example sets a difficult standard for more ordinary mortals, like me, to achieve. Yet, somehow, we continue to try and catch up with him, perhaps because the only person he holds up to such rigorous standards is himself. If you have ever seen Michael angry, ninety-five percent of the time, he's probably mad at himself. The other five percent of the time? Consider running.
As we bring our series to the close, no better partner in this enterprise could have been imagined.