Michael Plank, played by recurring guest star Peter Facinelli and first appearing in Thursday's episode, "Miracle," is the civilian police commissioner who takes a special interest in Jessica after she presents her ideas for a better police force to him. He sees her potential and is excited to work with her to not only get her proposals approved, but to see her rise in the ranks of power.
Don't worry, Hondo isn't going to get jealous from the boyfriend perspective, but Plank's interest in Jessica is going to make things complicated for the couple who are still keeping their relationship on the down low. TV Guide talked to Facinelli about Plank's arrival at the department, his true intentions and how Plank is going to rile Hondo up.
Your character is the civilian police commissioner. What draws him to law enforcement even though he doesn't wear a uniform?
Peter Facinelli: I think he really wants to be a police officer, to be honest. I think he has an infatuation with that whole world, with that whole department. His world is kind of politics and desks and paperwork. What they do is exciting to him. He's drawn to the danger of that world and wants to help out in any way that he can.
How much does he want to shake things up at the department? The events of the series have obviously been in the news so Plank must know they've been trying to change things since the shooting in the pilot.
Facinelli: I'm not sure he's into shaking things up as much as he wants to break down the red tape of the political world and see how he can figure out a way to have police officers work alongside the community. For him, he's found that cops don't really like the commission board. First of all, he's not respected because he's not a police officer. He's a civilian so he's not one of them. To come in their world and be able to put these guidelines up about how they should behave, protocol and stuff like that, he finds a lot of resentment towards that. To find a police officer like Jessica, who wants to help connect those two worlds is appealing to him.
He does have a special interest in her. What is it that draws him to Jessica specifically?
Facinelli: She's a cop that's reaching out to him in a world where cops usually shun him. They don't want to hear him. They shy away from all of that and look at him as someone that holds them back or red tape. Here's an officer that's now reaching out to him that has great ideas that could actually help the city. He sees in her somebody that could maybe bridge the gap.
Your character description is a little bit ominous in regards to what direction Plank wants to take Jessica. How much should we trust him?
Facinelli: I think he definitely has the right intentions when he first comes on the scene. I don't think it's anything sexual where he's looking at her in that way, or anything about her being a woman. I think he genuinely is earnest about her ideas. He earnestly wants to mesh these two worlds of police and politics, and see her rise in the ranks. She's smart, a go-getter, somebody who could rise to the occasion and rise to the ranks. Helping her get there would also benefit him.
What does his partnership with Jessica mean for her and Hondo?
Facinelli: His relationship with her definitely complicates things in her world. I don't want to get too specific because I don't want to give away plot points, but there are ways that their relationship gets complicated by [Plank]'s relationship with her.
Does that mean you have to go toe-to-toe with [Hondo] at any point?
Facinelli: I definitely have some stuff with [Hondo] that's coming up that progresses to some confrontation between the two of us. It boils down to him and I... I don't think that Michael is the type to go there physically and I think Hondo is way too smart to be physical with someone who is that high up in the rankings. It doesn't really benefit anybody to go there. There's definitely a meeting of the minds that happens.
What is it about Michael that would threaten Hondo?
Facinelli: Where he is in the rankings of this whole regime. He's a police commissioner so he's really high up there. I don't think he's threatened sexually with his girlfriend. I think he's confident enough not to be envious. The only way Michael will threaten him is how is all of this relating to Jessica? Is he going to lose her and also how is Michael's relationship [with Jessica] going to affect Hondo's own job?
Who do you think is going to win that battle?
S.W.A.T. airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.
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