In my last post titled John Carter, my lesson was—some books offer such an intense read that someone else’s translations into other media, in this case a movie, just aren’t worth seeing.
This past season, after catching the pilot on Bones, I started watching The Finder. After suffering brain damage in an IED explosion during the Iraqi war, veteran Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) acquires the obsessive ability to find people and things. He is ably assisted by a fairly standard trio of sidekicks—bar owner and legal advisor Leo Knox (Michael Clarke Duncan), US Deputy Marshal Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masöhn), and teen parolee and gypsy Willa Monday (Maddie Hasson)—that, from a marketing standpoint, appeal to a wide range of target viewers.
The ensemble team generate the chemistry and work well together. But what makes the
show is the innovative portrayal of the paranoid Walter Sherman who refuses treatment so he won’t lose his “gift.” And what a gift it is. Take Episode 7, Eye of the Storm—a hurricane hits Florida stranding most of the team, Willa’s probation officer and gypsy non-boyfriend, along with some locals at the bar, which includes the obligatory power outage. Denied a computer for his research, he creates his own live internet, getting feedback to his questions from his team and friends. Then there is his scale model, made out of items from the kitchen that recreates the scene so he can test a hypothesis.
The show’s concept is based on two Locator books written by Richard Greener. But the Walter Sherman found within the pages of, say, The Knowland Retribution, the first of the books, is nothing like his television alter ego. He may be known as The Locator from his time in Vietnam, has the reputation according to other characters in the book, and continually touts his ability to locate (missing) people, but the skills that are shown throughout the story are pretty standard fare. As he himself notes, one of his biggest assets is that he isn’t tied to or bound by the bureaucracy of government agencies. He’s a free agent who answers to his client only.
Quite frankly, I was more far more intrigued by the antagonist, who was a well-developed character with complex motivations. I also enjoyed the character of the idiosyncratic reporter Isobel.
Want to read a half decent thriller? Check out The Locator books.
Want to meet a character who truly thinks outside the box? Watch The Finder.