Michael Olshansky is a cabbie, the likes of which you only see in old movies. Played by David Morse, he of the perpetual hangdog expression, “O” (any similarities to the high school Othello are purely accidental) is a canned Philly cop with a penchant for helping passengers in trouble. This irritates his Chechnyan dispatcher because he’ll frequently cruise all night and not bring in any fares; he irritates his ex-cop partner Marcellus Washington (Andre Braugher, who radiates more intelligence than the rest of the cast combined – but if he’s so smart, what is he doing here?) because he plays fast ‘n’ loose with his former street training. Face, the guy’s just irritating.
Hack is the creation of screenwriter David (Jurassic Park II, Spider-Man) Koepp, and if you’re familiar with the man’s movie work, you know what to expect: characters who act one way to meet the demands of plot, then switch in a different direction just to surprise the viewer. Last night’s ep concerned a woman fleeing her allegedly abusive police-husband with her daughter. Our hero, empathizing with the woman but also putting himself in the position of the max-stressed cop, is torn. First he helps the woman find shelter, and then he tries to turn her into his ex-partner. When the woman flees the state with her daughter, he pursues her in his cab, desperate to keep her from being slapped with a kidnapping charge.
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