The Finder is an American procedural drama television series created by Hart Hanson that ran on Fox from January 12, 2012 to May 11, 2012. The series originally aired on Thursdays at 9:00 pm, and moved to Fridays at 8:00 pm beginning April 6, 2012. It is a spin-off of another Fox television series, Bones. The backdoor pilot, entitled "The Finder", aired in its sixth season. It is loosely based on The Locator series of two books by Richard Greener.
On May 9, 2012, Fox cancelled the series after one season. It also served as the final television performance of Michael Clarke Duncan, who died of complications due to a heart attack on September 3, 2012.
Cast and characters
- Geoff Stults as Major Walter Sherman, U.S. Army (retired). Due to traumatic brain injury suffered in the Iraq War due to a roadside bomb explosion that only he survived, Walter is paranoid, suspicious and quirky, but it also somehow resulted in him now being able to find anything, seeing patterns where others wouldn't. His brain uses "Walter Math" to explain these things to him. In the backdoor pilot, in Bones, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth calls Walter's gift "The Finder Power", while Leo Knox calls it "Darna Shellah" and "Akashvani". Because of his ability to find anything, a lot of powerful and influential people now owe him favors. Walter's catchphrase, as such, is "I'mma risk it" where he often makes a decision even after Leo legally advises him otherwise. In the pilot, it is revealed that he and Booth have "history" and knew each other from their days in the Army. He has a habit of sometimes taking before-and-after polaroids of clients. Walter has the knack of also finding out things that his clients didn't want to know by finding what people are really looking for, not just what they think they're looking for. He is depicted as being younger than his literary counterpart, having never been married, nor having any children. Walter's original literary incarnation served in Vietnam and never suffered brain damage.
- Michael Clarke Duncan as Leo Knox, a widower and former attorney. He owns the bar, "The Ends of the Earth", located on Looking Glass Key, and he also serves as Walter's manager and legal advisor, and sometimes bodyguard. Leo is also known for his quoting of religious literature, particularly Buddhism. He calls Walter's power "Darna Shellah" and "Akashvani". According to Leo, he owes Walter his life. In ep. 3, A Cinderella Story, it is revealed that Leo lost his family (his wife Nina and teenage daughter Ellie), to E. coli poisoning. He is based on the character "Leonard Martin" in The Knowland Retribution, the first "The Locator" book the series was based on.
- Mercedes Masohn as Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada. While Walter's antics frequently get on her nerves, she and Walter have a "friends with benefits" arrangement. Isabel has ambitions of being the first Latina United States Attorney General. While she works as a Deputy U.S. Marshal during the day to gain field experience, she attends Law school at night. It is her intention to be "eating dinner in the White House within six years."
- Maddie Hasson as Willa Monday, a Romani juvenile delinquent. Willa is very talented with computers, but she is prohibited from using a computer for the duration of her probation. While Willa has been betrothed to her "cousin" Timo since she was 5 and Timo was 10, by their mutual "Uncle", Uncle Shad, the head of their family, Willa and Timo only love each other as brother and sister. As Willa believes in true love, she wants for Timo to be able to be with the girl he loves, another gypsy, Magdalena. At the end of the season, Willa goes on the run, violating her probation, in order to avoid her betrothal to Timo. They are not really cousins, it is just the gypsy way to refer to one another as such, being the gypsy "family."
- Toby Hemingway as Timo Proud, a Romani and Willa's "cousin". Timo is 5 years older than Willa, and he has a talent for Tarot reading. While Timo and Willa have been betrothed (by their mutual "Uncle", Uncle Shad) since she was 5 and Timo was 10, Timo is himself in love with a mutual "cousin" of theirs, Magdalena.
Development and production
Fox developed a quasi spin-off series for Bones that was built around a character introduced in the sixth season. Production on the episode featuring The Locator began in February 2011, with the episode airing in April. The series was created by Bones creator/executive producer, Hart Hanson, and based on The Locator series of two books written by Richard Greener: "The Knowland Retribution", and "The Lacey Confession". The character of Walter is an eccentric but amusing recluse in high demand for his ability to find anything. He is skeptical of everything. He suffered brain damage after surviving a roadside bomb explosion, which explains his constant paranoia and compulsion to find things—and for asking offensive, seemingly irrelevant questions to get to the truth. Production on the episode began in early 2011.
Creator Hart Hanson posted on Twitter (in a humorous manner) regarding the notes he got from the network, "I received studio notes on the Bones spin-off idea. They want it to be better. Unreasonable taskmasters. Impossible dreamers. Neo-platonists."
In the episode, the main characters of Bones travel to Key West, Florida, where The Finder is said to take place. Geoff Stults was cast as the lead character with Michael Clarke Duncan and Saffron Burrows (as Ike Latulippe, bartender and pilot) in supporting roles. The three characters were introduced in episode 19 of season 6.
The Finder was picked up for the 2011–12 season on May 10, 2011, with an order of 13 episodes. The series premiered midseason 2012, airing on Thursdays at 9:00 pm ET, occupying the Bones time slot when it is on hiatus.
Saffron Burrows did not appear beyond the backdoor pilot episode, leaving the series, because the network decided to re-conceive the role. Mercedes Masohn and Maddie Hasson joined the cast as the two female leads. Masohn plays Isabel Zambada, a Deputy U.S. Marshal; and Hasson plays Willa, a juvenile delinquent who helps with their investigations.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"An Orphan Walks Into a Bar"||Daniel Sackheim||Hart Hanson||January 12, 2012||1ATT01||5.50|
|After recovering one of John Fogerty’s (guest-starring as himself) beloved guitars, Iraq veteran Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) helps a teenage boy (guest star Brett Davern) locate his missing father, a military pilot and war hero whose plane vanished while on an undisclosed mission. Walter turns to Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masöhn) for insider information on the missing colonel, which links the lost plane to a high-level drug dealer and its illegal cargo. When Walter and Leo discover this unlikely connection to the missing father, they not only locate the fallen aircraft, they also uncover the real purpose of the flight, helping the teenage boy find closure. Meanwhile, at the Ends of the Earth bar, co-owners Leo (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Walter keep a watchful eye on Willa (Maddie Hasson), a teenager parolee employed at the bar as part of her probation from juvenile detention.|
|2||"Bullets"||Terrence O'Hara||Matt MacLeod||January 19, 2012||1ATT05||6.58|
|Walter looks for the bullets that were involved in the murder of a police officer twenty years ago. Meanwhile, Dr. Lance Sweets looks into whether Walter is fit to participate in federally mandated investigations, all the while assisting Walt in these investigative endeavors.|
|3||"A Cinderella Story"||Adam Arkin||Sanford Golden & Karen Wyscarver||January 26, 2012||1ATT03||8.44|
|Walter's investigation of a missing shoe culminates in a fairytale ending.|
|4||"Swing and a Miss"||Kevin Hooks||Aaron Ginsburg & Wade McIntyre||February 2, 2012||1ATT04||6.87|
|Isabel’s new boyfriend, Frank (guest star Lance Gross), an all-star baseball athlete, is robbed, and Walter steps in to help find his stolen collectibles. In the process, Walter learns Frank has lost something more meaningful than memorabilia. To earn Willa’s trust, Leo and Walter bring her in on the case.|
|5||"The Great Escape"||Seith Mann||Emilia Serrano||February 9, 2012||1ATT07||6.22|
|Preston Miller (guest star Jonathan Slavin), a magician, seeks Walter's help in finding his assistant who vanished during a failed disappearing act. Alongside Special Agent Judy Green (guest star Ever Carradine), Walter and Leo find clues leading to a counterfeit money ring. Meanwhile, Leo enlists Isabel's help in looking after Willa.|
|6||"Little Green Men"||Dwight Little||Will Pascoe||February 23, 2012||1ATT09||6.18|
|The Jeffersonian's Dr. Jack Hodgins ropes Walter into searching for an 'Alien' spacecraft videotaped by an incoming space shuttle pilot, who is now dead. The credibility of the other pilot, Col. Bradshaw, whose reputation was harmed by a shadowy government agency for participating in the disclosure, lies in the balance. However, all is not as it seems and Walter's life, family and friends face a very real threat from a woman code-named 'Pope' (guest star Peta Wilson). Meanwhile, Willa and Timo attempt to get their marriage arrangement dissolved by the notorious Uncle Shad. (guest star Eric Roberts)|
|7||"Eye of the Storm"||Alex Chapple||Aaron Ginsburg & Wade McIntyre||March 8, 2012||1ATT10||7.08|
|The episode revolves around Hurricane Catherine, which is currently in Florida, and begins with Willa's probation officer coming by the bar for an impromptu inspection of her living quarters. She ends up having to stay due to the harsh weather. Walter, being his paranoid self, boards the bar up and calmly begins preparing to stay in, going as far as making punch and asking Isabel to come over. However, it all gets interrupted by a newsflash on TV about a missing girl. The hurricane forces Walter to find the girl while remaining in his bar.|
|8||"Life After Death"||David Boreanaz||Nkechi Okoro Carroll||April 6, 2012||1ATT08||4.03|
|When a DJ begins playing new songs from a rapper who was gunned down ten years ago, Walter is hired to recover the music for the distributor. Walter, instead, decides to try finding the rapper despite all evidence pointing to his death. In the course of his investigation, Walter learns more about the dead rapper's final moments, and the origin of his songs. In the process, he is able to help the rapper's still-mourning family heal.|
|9||"The Last Meal"||Milan Cheylov||Josh Friedman||April 13, 2012||1ATT02||3.45|
|In the process of finding a specific culinary dish for a man and his wife's anniversary, Walter searches for the chef behind the dish and the source of its unique, smokey flavor. The investigation becomes tense when everyone at his bar ends up in a life or death situation between The "Smoke Monster" (Lost reference) chef and a mob boss.|
|10||"The Conversation"||Jim Hayman||Patrick Massett & John Zinman||April 20, 2012||1ATT06||4.31|
|Walter is asked by a young girl, (Yara Shahidi), for help in finding her recently disappeared father. Initially uninterested, Walter takes on the case when he discovers the man had been talking with someone else just moments after calling his family. Meanwhile, Leo is depressed as the birthday of his daughter arrives, and he, once again, contemplates his desire for revenge.|
|11||"The Inheritance"||David Straiton||Sanford Golden & Karen Wyscarver||April 27, 2012||1ATT12||3.97|
|A friend of Isabel asks for Walter's help in finding her father's killer. Walter refuses to search for the killer, but agrees to help find an inheritance left behind for the daughter.|
|12||"Voodoo Undo"||Daniel Sackheim||Matt MacLeod & Emilia Serrano||May 4, 2012||1ATT11||4.00|
|Shortly after a shoot-out, a notorious crime boss seeks Walter's help but finds this job proves to be extra dangerous, primarily because he believes he is under a voodoo curse.|
|13||"The Boy with the Bucket"||Vahan Moosekian||Hart Hanson & Patrick Massett & John Zinman||May 11, 2012||1ATT13||4.19|
|After discovering that a painting he found four years prior was a forgery, Walter begins searching for the original, but Walter's brother Langston shows up with news that their father is dying. Their father tasks Walter with finding his ex-wife, who happens to be in the Witness Protection Program, as his dying wish. Meanwhile, Willa struggles with her soon-to-be arranged marriage to Timo.|
In Canada, the show was simsubbed against the Fox broadcast in most areas on the Global Television Network from January 12, 2012. It premiered in New Zealand on TV3 NZ on March 22, 2012, in Australia on Network Ten from June 25, 2012 and in the UK on the Universal Channel on July 11, 2012 Australia's Network Ten only aired three episodes before pulling the series from the schedule, and lost broadcast rights in March 2016 without airing the remaining episodes.