Fans of the five earlier Jesse Stone TV-movies will be elated to know that a sixth installment is being offered by CBS-TV on May 9. Tom Selleck returns as Chief Stone; however, he has been relieved of his duties in the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts, pending a hearing, so just call him “Jesse.”
Much is made of Paradise being a small town where everyone knows each other (and each other’s business), so why isn’t anyone in the police department, from the chief down, aware of Millie’s, a successful gay bar? Maybe because there are only two police officers and one of them is the “acting” chief. (I could be wrong about the gay bar—the film jumps back and forth between Paradise and Boston, and it’s not always obvious where Stone is at any given time.)
Luther “Suitcase” (yes, that’s his name) Simpson (Kohl Sudduth) is the acting chief, and Rose Gammon (Kathy Baker) is the remaining police officer. The town council will not allow any additional officers (or office staff, for that matter) to be hired until the business of Stone’s suspension is settled, and rumor has it that not only is he history, but so are the other two cops because he was such a bad influence on them. Those who have seen previous episodes know what I’m talking about—I don’t.
Other returning characters are State Homicide Commander Healy (Stephen McHattie), psychiatrist Dr. Dix (William Devane), mobster Gino Fish (William Sadler), and Hasty Hathaway (Saul Rubinek). My vote for best character name: Hasty Hathaway; best performance: William Sadler as the wry, secretive, gay boxing promoter, Gino Fish (not Pesce?).
There are two reasons to mention that one of the characters is gay. The first is that his orientation is integral to the story. Sadly, the second is the wink-wink-nudge-nudge comments that litter the script, and a disappointing smirkiness as Fish lustfully appraises a man’s posterior (among other scenes). But heterosexual lust isn’t given a much better treatment.