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Series: The Finder
"I'm like a whole new experience. Once I start looking for you, I will find you."
Walter Sherman

The Finder was an American crime series broadcast on Fox during the spring 2012. It starred Geoff Stults as Walter Sherman, an eccentric private investigator, and Michael Clarke Duncan as Leo Knox, his assistant and lawyer. The show's creator is Hart Hanson, better known for the successful crime show he created, Bones, an episode of which served as a Poorly Disguised Pilot for this. After a weak showing in two different timeslots, the show was cancelled at the end of its first season. The death of Michael Clarke Duncan promptly forestalled any attempts by fans to save the show.


This show contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil:
  • Anal Probing: Invoked by Jack Hodgins in 'Little Green Men' after Walter turns up after being missing for three days after being knocked out by a strange guy Hodgins is sure is an alien.
    Hodgins: Was there anal probing?
    Walter: Only metaphorically.
  • Anti-Climax: In-universe. The show is about finding things so as far as anything not related to the actual find, it's unimportant even if the client or villain is particularly notable or some sort of crime has been committed. Often times, any relevant plot threads related to the find are closed in 30 seconds via quick cuts. Lampshaded by Lance Sweets who, after Walter spends the episode finding a bullet, notes that the murder and cover up behind the bullet and the fact that the bullet frees a man from prison after being wrongfully accused are far less interesting than the job of finding the bullet itself.
  • Acting for Two: In-Universe. Lisa plays the role of both herself and her roommate.
  • Action Girl: Willa, when she needs to be one. Isabel more often.
  • All of Them: Walter asks Willa to sort through a large amount of security footage. Willa says that she's "awfully tired" in order to get Walter to pay her. Walter responds by giving her sugar and caffeine, saying it will help her stay awake. (She then directly asks for the money and gets it). Cut to the next morning, where Willa is talking quickly and apparently hasn't slept at all:
    Leo: How much coffee did you drink?
    Willa: All of it.
  • Anvilicious: In-Universe. Willa thinks that Leo's attempts to reform her qualify as this.
    Willa: Painted by a reformed criminal. Real subtle, Leo.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Walter's ability borders on the supernatural but he does not himself believe in magic. He also believes in government-corporate conspiracies but not in alien visitations.
  • Arranged Marriage: Willa and Timo
  • Asshole Victim: He was assaulted rather than murdered, but the guy who killed Leo's family by allowing contaminated food to reach market definitely qualifies as this.
  • Backdoor Pilot: Got one in Hart Hanson's other show, Bones
  • Badass Boast: Willa in the UFO episode: "If they catch me they will not hold me/ I am Gypsy, I am not of their world."
  • Bald of Awesome: Leo is awesome, and bald.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Walter, as he is shown to be a good happy guy, mess with his family and he won't hesitate to snap your neck.
  • Black and Gray Morality: A central point of "Voodoo Undo".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Walter
  • Caffeine Bullet Time: Done at a more realistic level in "The Conversation", with Willa drinking all of the coffee to help Walter find the missing character in a large amount of security footage.
  • Camp Gay: A recurring male character has a major crush on Walter, and is extremely vocal about it.
  • Cat Fight: Willa gets into one with a hooker whose resemblance to her gets her in trouble with her probation officer.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "I'mma risk it" by Walter, after Leo gives him legal advice or he tells himself of possible imminent danger.
    • Willa's "Ends of the Earth", whenever someone calls the bar "The End of the World."
    • Isabel seems to be often using the phrase "What the Walter, Walter?" whenever Walter does something particularly, Walter. She adjusts it to someone else's name once.
  • Con Girl: Willa
  • Could Say It But: A variation in "Eye of the Storm": Walter needs to see photos from the social networking page of the school the missing girl attended, but he needs Willa's help since he doesn't know how to navigate social networking pages. Since she's not allowed internet access, Walter sits at the computer and she proceeds to tell him everything she would get in big trouble for doing.
  • Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate: Scribbled on the blackboard in the bar. Once an episode, usually directly after the opening credits. Almost always foreshadowing or at least plot relevant.
  • Crossover: Lance Sweets appears in one episode to evaluate Walter's fitness to consult on federal cases. Hodgins appears in another.
  • CloudCuckoolander: Walter can come off this way in-universe, but there's generally a method to his madness.
    • There may in fact be a method there but Walter is the only one that remotely understands how it works, and even HE doesn't understand a lot of what he does.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Leo. He's explicitly referred to as this by Pope.
  • Combat Stilettos: Willa aside, it seems like most women in this universe prefer 4 inch stiletto heels.
  • The Conscience: Leo to both Walter and Willa
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Walter's goofy and does his best to avoid open conflict... but never forget he was military police, because he can kill you and your gun-toting buddies in under a minute.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Leo's point of view. The brain damage may kill Walter, but his finding things is a "gift". It's almost always brought up that Walter will kill himself trying to find something. This is the reason Leo tries very hard to filter out jobs since trying to find something that doesn't exist would be... bad. On the flip side, Walter's sheer determination and single minded focus allows his mind to constantly think about the job even when asleep and in one episode, he's able to hijack a hypnosis session - he's still hypnotized but he's able to re-direct the hypnosis for his compulsion.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Willa never lets go at an opportunity to snark. Leo's pretty good at it too.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The illegal casino in episode four has a private area for people doing private things. In private.
  • Determinator: Once Walter starts looking for something he won't stop until he finds it. Period. He's also a partial deconstruction of this trope: Although it hasn't happened yet, it's implied that if he ever sought something that didn't exist, he would keep looking until he either died or lost his mind. "Little Green Men" also brings up the potential ramifications of him looking for things that very powerful people don't want found.
  • Dirty Cop: The villain of the second episode is a dirty Internal Affairs cop no less.
  • Downer Ending: Walter is arrested, Isabel loses her badge and Willa runs away to avoid an arranged marriage. Also Leo who has kept has survived his dark time of the soul due to his makeshift family finds himself alone once again.
  • Dreaming The Truth: Walter's DreamSequences always lead to an Eureka Moment.
  • Dropped After the Pilot: Ike Latulippe appears in the Backdoor Pilot as Walter's bartender and pilot. She is never seen after that.
  • Eureka Moment: Walter will suddenly realize a missed truth about either what he's looking for, or who hired him. Something he missed earlier, but is very obvious in retrospect. Anytime he has a Dream Sequence this follows when he wakes up. But he has others, usually caused by something someone says off hand and Walter takes a different meaning from it. Sometimes drifts into Bat Deduction, but given Walter's a little bit crazy, it can be ignored.
  • Evil Counterpart: Pope, the Hider.
  • The Exotic Detective: Walter and his compulsion to find. It's suggested that he's always had the compulsion but the death of his squad in Afganistan to an IED (along with the myriad of problems of being caught in an IED has on a person) turned it Up to Eleven due to survivor's guilt and a sense of atonement for his failure.
  • Expy: Of Psych. The general premise is extremely similar (even more so than The Mentalist, a common target for Psych fans), and the two lead characters are Those Two Guys, one white and one black.
  • Fanservice: Isabel coming out after a gunshot in her underwear
    • Willa sunning herself in one episode in a bikini top and short shorts
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble
    • Walter is a very Space Case Sanguine.
    • Leo is Melancholic.
    • Isabel has all the tropes applied to Choleric female characters.
    • For a given definition of reliable (nobody ever said you had to rely on her to do good things) you get Phlegmatic with Willa.
    • And the good Gypsy Timo is Leukine, non-confrontational means he can get away with his tricks and games.
  • Friend on the Force with Benefits: Walt's relationship with Deputy US Marshal Isabel Zambada.
  • Friends with Benefits: Isabel and Walter. Explicitly defined as such when Isabel finds a new paramour and suspends their "pact".
  • Genius Bruiser: Leo. Lawyer and capable taking down thugs with one punch.
  • Genre Savvy: Walter. When he finds a place with the door open, he expects it to be rifled through or have a dead body in the shower, whereupon the resident comes home with her laundry and tasers him.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Implied that Walter suffers one after watching Isabel and Frankie together.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Leo threatens a guy that if he shoots Walter again he will rip off his arm and beat him to death with it.
  • The Heart: Leo
  • Hero Insurance: In the second episode, Walter shot a Dirty Cop so that, when the medics found the bullet, they'd also find the bullet that'd expose the Dirty Cop as a murderer. He explained that, if he went through bureaucractic ways to force the Dirty Cop to reveal the bullet, it wouldn't be found on time to clear the name of an innocent man framed with one of the murders before execution. That justification cleared him for shooting the Dirty Cop and stealing the gun from another nearby cop.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Leo and Walter
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Little Green Men", Hodgins (from Bones) and Walter have an argument about their conspiracy theories. Walter thinks the UFO is an experimental drone covered up by the corporations, and Hodgins thinks it was an alien spacecraft, and aliens control the people Walter thinks are controlling everyone. They both call each other "paranoid".
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: This is a Running Gag. The hangout for the main characters has a chalkboard specifically for hypothetical debates. See the page image for one example.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: When Timo is worried about discussing family business in front of Leo, Leo casually mentions that he's "pretty engrossed in his book."
  • Inspector Javert: Cristina Farrel, Willa's parole officer. At least until she got more than 5 minutes screentime. Subverted in that Willa is often guilty .
  • I Will Find You: If the title didn't clue you in, it is pretty much The Series.
  • Jerkass: Uncle Shad. Where despite Willa and Timo doing all that was necessary to end their arranged marriage, he still forces them to be married for no reason other than it is his decision.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Walter and Willa can classify as this at times. As does Willa's probation officer, Cristina Farrel.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Leo is surprisingly fast.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Whenever someone points out Willa and Timo aren't actually cousins, they invoke this trope.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Walter wears the same basic jeans and t-shirt ensemble all the time, even when meeting President Barack Obama.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: much debated within the show about Walter's ability.
  • Meaningful Name: The Ends of the Earth, which serves as Walter's home base. The name makes absolute perfect sense when you see how far Walter goes just to find things.
  • Michael Clarke Duncan Is About To Punch You: In the Opening credits.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Willa is half-Roma (Gypsy).
  • Noodle Incident: Many of Walters old cases. For example whatever he found for Barrack Obama.
  • Out of Order: It's not very noticeable during the first few episodes, but some key events being shuffled around make for Continuity issues. Generally this has to do with Walter and Isabel's relationship, Willa's relationships with everyone else, and Leo's concerns about Willa. The biggest problems is Timo and Leo 'first meet' in "The Conversation" (aired as ep 10, really ep 6) and while Ms. Ferrel lightens up on Willa in "Eye of the Storm" (Aired 7th, really 10th), she's sudddenly harsh on Willa in "The Last Meal" (Aired 9th, really 2nd) and the computer privileges Willa was given back are gone again in Life After Death (aired Aired 8th, really... 8th but before "Eye of the Storm").
  • Pocket Protector: Played with in "The Voodoo Undo." Walter is shot in the chest and survives for two reasons: one, the bullet was a dud, and two, most of the impact was taken by the medallion he was wearing - the one he bought from La Bruja in exchange for information about the maker of the voodoo doll he's searching for. The protection is only temporary as he gets a subdural hematoma and winds up in the hospital again, but still.
  • Private Investigator: Essentially what Walter is. He finds things...people, evidence etc.
  • Post-Stress Overeating: Leo is known for indulging in junk when dealing with reminders of his old life.
  • Roma: Willa, her cousin Timo and the rest of their family. Although Willa is only half.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The whole idea of 'pay what you want' has actually been attempted by a number of companies, big and small. Prominent ones are various indie game bundles but Panera Bread has set up a non-profit retail store under the premise (and much of the workforce is volunteer). Surprisingly? It works, at least as far as being able to stay in operation.
  • Real-Life Relative: Langston Sherman is played by Geoff Stults' brother George.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Willa accuses Leo of using her as this for his daughter, something he angrily denies. YMMV as to whether or not she's right.
  • Relationship Upgrade: From Friends with Benefits. Walter proposes this after Frankie dumps Isabel.
  • Renaissance Man: Walter seems to have a wide variety of skills, knowledge, and the tools needed to accomplish his goals, presumably picked up during his Mysterious Past. He just lacks, y'know, sanity.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Twice thus far. Lance Sweets once and then Jack Hodgins.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The rich boy that took a liking to Willa on the beach. When she steals the Alpha Bitch's car he immediately goes with her and wants to drive the vehicle. However when he crashes the car, he automatically changes his tone about her and claims how she will get all the blame due to her record. She informs him that there is nothing connecting them to the vehicle and if they walk away the police cannot connect them to it. When he walks away, Willa pickpockets him, takes his cash and then leaves the wallet inside for the police to find. The end of the episode shows the police coming to arrest him.
  • Running Gag:
    • Someone calling the bar "The End Of The World", only for Willa to correct them that it's "The Ends Of The Earth"
    • Also Leo explaining to Walter what laws he's about to break, followed by Walter saying "I'mma risk it" and doing whatever illegal act he was about to do anyways. Lampshaded in "The Last Meal", when Walter asks Leo for the "standard legal disclaimer" before breaking into a building and then drops the Catch Phrase in response.
  • Scary Black Man: Leo can be pretty scary sometimes. Especially if you bring up his deceased family. Most of the time though he's a Gentle Giant.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Pope's warning to Walter in "Little Green Men".
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Walter still suffers from some mental trauma related to his military service. His compulsion to find is shown to be a symptom.
  • She's Got Legs: Willa
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Bullets" to Miami Vice. The person Walter and Leo are talking to at the moment even claims the two police officers in question were the original inspirations from Crockett and Tubbs
    • In "The Great Escape", the magician client takes offense to Walter calling his illusions "tricks".
    • In "The Conversation", Leo says that Willa "looks like a vampire" when hyped up on caffeine and sugar. Willa responds that "vampires are hot", which seems to weird Leo out. Walter tells him "Get with it. Vampires sparkle now."
    • In "Voodoo Undo" there's a brief scene where a mob goon is describing a show that sounds an awful lot like ''Awake''
      • Actually Fringe, to fit with the "Finder/Fringe" bloc. (See Similar Squad, below, for more details.)
      • Some of the establishing shots in that episode strongly resemble those of Burn Notice.
    • In "The Boy with the Bucket" Walter asks Leo 'what did we learn tonight, Craig?' referencing MCD's many appearances on Late Late show with Craig Ferguson
  • Shown Their Work: "Life After Death" addresses several common conspiracy theories and rumors around Tupac Shakur's death. Most prominently, the idea that that he may not have been.
  • Similar Squad: A meta example: Where else have we seen a show with a brain-damaged guy named Walter, a sidekick who isn't technically his kid, a hot female law enforcement officer and a bald black guy who keeps an eye on everything? And they solve mysteries? Oh right, the next night, same time right after Finder, same channel.
  • The Sociopath: Subverted. Willa displays some sociopathic tendencies and her probation officer sees her this way, but there's some evidence to suggest that she isn't completely irredeemable.
    • Walter is shown to have difficulties understanding that what he says and does can easily anger the people around him.
      • His disclaimer before taking a job is basically "Be careful what you ask for." He understands; he just doesn't care.
  • Stepford Smiler: The client in "The Inheritance", whose father was an optimist who told her to keep smiling.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Walter's powers of deduction are purportedly because of a few bumps to the head that occurred during military service.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Willa
  • Undying Loyalty: Leo to Walter. After Leo's family was killed, Leo went off the deep end and hunted down the man who killed his family. Leo was very close to killing the man when Walter found him and stopped him. For that, Leo is eternally grateful.
  • What Could Have Been: The series was canceled due to the actor who plays Leo died.
    • The series was canceled first, but Michael Clarke Duncan's death ended any hopes of reviving it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Saffron Burrows appeared in the Bones episode but couldn't do the show, meaning that her character of Ike just disappears without a trace.
    • We haven't seen Pope in a while either. Shame, since she would have made a pretty awesome recurring nemesis for Walter. She's also the only character absent in the finale.
  • When He Smiles: Not that Michael Clarke Duncan is ugly, but when he smiles, it's positively radiant. See the end of "Swing and a Miss" for a really good example.


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