Appearances are often deceiving on television.
Emmy winner John Larroquette, who wraps his three-episode CSI:NYarc Friday, says the same is definitely true for his character. Larroquette plays Manhattan Chief of Detectives Ted Carver, who first butted heads with Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) over how to handle the media during a sniper case.
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Last week, Mac's team found the body of Carver's sister buried in Central Park, and Mac began to suspect that Carver is somehow connected to the 15-year-old case. Larroquette admits that his character is not blameless, but advises that viewers wait to make up their minds."As much as it points toward him being [the villain], that opinion may be altered by the end of the episode," Larroquette says. "We find an empathy and, by the end, a sympathy for his condition and his history that we'll discover."Executive producer Pam Veasey
says the writers conceived the arc to challenge Mac, who always believes in doing what's right — even if it means busting your boss. Veasey insists, however, that Mac isn't taking Carver out because of their earlier misunderstandings.
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"It's nice sometimes to see Mac have a worthy adversary or a boss who questions him," she says. "Mac's a very moral guy. He's a guy who believes in authority and respects it tremendously. He expects it of the people who work for him and he sends it up the chain of command.
"They grow to a mutual trust," Veasey continues. "They go from being a boss and a subordinate to two men who just understand family, and they become more compassionate toward each other. As you peel back the onion, you find out how deeply personal it is to Carver and what involvement he had in his sister's death. He may not have committed a crime, but he played a significant part."
In fact, Larroquette says it's Mac's morals that end up sparing Carver in the end. "He's trying to keep Mac away from him because he knows how good Mac is," Larroquette says. "When he realizes he can't deflect him, he tells him, 'Do what you've got to do, but leave me the f--- alone until you've got what you want. Until you know something, don't come around sniffing.'
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"Carver has a great deal of respect for Taylor's work," Larroquette says. "Mac goes out of his way to assist in not completely destroying this man's life as we find out what occurred."Does that mean Larroquette — who will next make his Broadway debut opposite Harry Potter
star Daniel Radcliffe in a yearlong run of How to Succeed in Business
— might someday return to CSI: NY
?"It's something I'd be interested in doing," he says. "I think that perhaps by the end of the third episode that door is pretty much closed, but you never know."Veasey says she thinks the ultimate resolution will create an emotional response. " It had editors sobbing in the edit room," she says. "Mac doesn't change his philosophy about what's right and wrong in cop work, but you do see his compassion and understanding. And you see John Larroquette's character respecting and understanding Mac. He ends up being thrilled that Mac is the man that he had to go through this ordeal with."CSI: NY
airs Friday at 9/8c on CBS.