The Finder “An Orphan Walks into a Bar” Review

When I watched the backdoor pilot of The Finder that aired last year during the regular season of Bones, I wasn’t exactly excited for the prospect of an entire show based on what I saw. Even though it was set in Florida and I usually love shows set in Florida (except for you, CSI Miami!!), something just wasn’t gelling for me. It wasn’t until I watched the official first episode, “An Orphan Walks Into a Bar” that I realized what was missing: an ensemble with chemistry.

This is no disrespect to Saffron Burrows who is a wonderful actress, but replacing her character with sassy US Marshall Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masohn) and a troubled teenage gypsy Willa Monday (Maddie Hasson) was probably the smartest move the show’s producers could have made. In a surprise twist that I kind of love, Isabel is already sleeping with Walter (do you have another explanation for why she was in her underwear after having dinner with him?), thus eliminating the whole “will they, won’t they” factor that, while serving Bones well, is getting a little over-played.

As for Willa, she’s an interesting element. A bit of chaos, if you will, and not just because she’s a criminal who has been court-ordered to work at Walter’s bar. She has deep loyalties to a gypsy clan, an allegiance which will invariably come into conflict with her growing affection for the bar and its cast of characters.

Other than that, the show still has the same idea. Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) finds things with the help of his war-injured brain and his insanely cool sidekick/lawyer Leo Knox (Michael Clarke Duncan). In this episode, a young air force cadet asks Walter to find his father whose plane disappeared a year earlier.

On the surface, Walter’s only interested in finding the thing/person that he’s been asked to find, but in the process of doing so, he uncovers a drug ring and reveals a murderer. I have a feeling this sort of thing will happen a lot on the show; Walter might say he’s just a finder, but he’s really a detective deep down.

If not for the Bones characters who, if the preview for next week’s episode is any indication, will be showing up occasionally, it would be virtually impossible for someone who wasn’t aware of the connection between the two shows to realize that The Finder is a spin-off. It seems to have established its own identity and mythology straight of the gate, and I appreciate that. I love how unabashedly quirky Walter is, set against Leo’s giant gentleness. They make a really good team and I look forward to their adventures and investigations.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!