09 NO ONE’S GIRL
April 7, 2004 (USA)
Teleplay: John Landgraf
Story: John Landgraf & Jeffrey Fenner
Director: David Carson
John Landgraf, the president of Jersey Films, the production company that made KAREN SISCO, demonstrated he was more than an executive producer in name only when he co-wrote the story (with Jeffrey Fenner) and penned the teleplay to “No One’s Girl,” an lightly plotted but sweet episode of KAREN SISCO. Robert Davi (LICENCE TO KILL) plays Denton, a vicious pimp and drug dealer who murders the man who ratted him out to the U.S. Marshals office. Unfortunately for him, someone sees the murder: an 11-year-old homeless girl named Josie (Jennette McCurdy).
Marshal Karen Sisco (Carla Gugino) discovers Josie while investigating the murder scene and takes the little girl home, realizing she’s a witness to the crime. On her own since the death of her grandmother, Josie distrusts Karen and refuses to talk about the murder. Though Karen’s father Marshall (Robert Forster) manages to warm Josie up a bit, using the same techniques that worked on tough little Karen at the same age, it isn’t until Karen springs Josie’s father, bank robber Harry Boyle (D.B. Sweeney), from prison that the girl really starts to come around.
Davi’s role is actually smaller than you would think judging from the teaser, as “No One’s Girl” really isn’t about murder at all. The Denton storyline and another involving Boyle’s partners’ kidnapping of Josie in exchange for the bank loot exist to satisfy crime drama fans, but the episode is really about Josie and Harry and their attempt at loving each other, even though they’re complete strangers. Forster, who has daughters in real life, shines in his scenes with Gugino and McCurdy, rolling with excessive charm and contributing to a final shot that says more about his character than would most soliloquies. Gugino carries the episode well, playing a couple of moments for comedy and building chemistry with GREY’S ANATOMY’s Kate Walsh, who returns as Marley Novak, the lesbian detective Karen met in “Nobody’s Perfect.”
Director David Carson, probably best known for his work on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and its spinoff feature STAR TREK: GENERATIONS, may have been responsible for hiring guest actor Sweeney, who starred in the short-lived cult series STRANGE LUCK, for which Carson helmed some episodes. Likewise, writer Landgraf, whose only script this is, was the president of NBC and the husband of actress Ally Walker when PROFILER, a series that starred both Walker and Robert Davi, was part of that network’s Saturday-night “thrillogy”. In Hollywood, who you know is almost as handy as what you know.