Entering its third season, “The Commish” without explanation loses the cop played by former regular Gina Belafonte. The show also raises its domestic quotient by giving Commissioner Scali (Michael Chiklis) and his wife, Rachel (Theresa Saldana), an infant daughter (played by Dayna and Justine Cornborough), in addition to teenage son played by Kaj-Erik Eriksen.
More than ever, the show’s ap-peal rests on the warm relationship between Scali and his wife, with action-oriented plots not requiring much brain power.
In this one, scripted by Joel Surnow, mob accountant Sweet Tooth (Miles McNamara) is passing through Scali’s N.Y. turf on the lam from a Cleveland crime boss. Scali holds onto Sweet Tooth in a safe house, but hood Rafe Bennett (Anthony Dean Fields) wants to get him.
In an inventive attempt to get to the Commish, Bennett finds out who Scali’s wife is and what she’s wearing, then finds a similar-looking woman and outfits her in clothes resembling Rachel’s; then he kidnaps Rachel and stages a hit-and-run accident to set her up.
He tries to deal with Scali: “You give me Sweet Tooth, I clear your wife.”
So Scali breaks Sweet Tooth down into a whimpering snitch by appealing to his sweet tooth, and sets up Bennett.
Wisp of a subplot finds women of Scali’s cop-shop inexplicably attracted to a fed (portrayed with some elan by Stuart Pankin).
Actors are all fine, essentially walking through their parts; however, the loss of the small amount of grit supplied by Belafonte is noticeable.
Tech credits are fine under helmer Sara Jane Rose, with typical Cannell sheen.