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This short-lived series lasted eight episodes on CBS (with a ninth that only aired years later on cable). It followed an undercover cop, Cameron Quinn (Ken Olin) who was branded dirty after an assignment went bad. He was recruited by the mysterious Captain Geary of the Intelligence Unit to to take down a mobster named Jimmy Murtha (Joe Pantoliano), who's in a turf war with fellow gangster Michael "Fivers" Dugan (R.D. Call) who's got the city's drug addicted mayor Christian Davidson (Carl Lumbly) in his pocket. Other main characters are Jimmy's friend Danny Rooney (Jason Gedrick), who spent 3 years in prison rather than rat him out, his lawyer Theresa Conners (Debrah Farentino), and his enforcer Mickey Kinnear (Mike Starr), and Quinn's new partner Detective Frank Collero (Richard Portnow). Extremely critically acclaimed, it was created by future Oscar winner Paul Haggis. This series has been singled out as being way ahead of its time.

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This show provides examples of:

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Theresa in spades.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jimmy and Fivers are each others.
  • Ambulance Chaser: Leo's lawyer in the episode "On the Left Side of the Angel." He refuses to let the police move Leo from the animal clinic so that if it dies he can sue for malpractice.
  • And Starring: Debrah Farentino gets one of these credits.
  • Affably Evil: Jimmy is funny, smart, charming, and a remorseless killer.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Theresa for Jimmy.
  • Amoral Attorney: Theresa is this for Jimmy.
  • Anti-Hero: Quinn and Danny.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Quinn's "What happened to you?" to Theresa?
  • Ate His Gun: Mr. Kinnear.
  • Batman Gambit: Theresa pulls off one of these when Jimmy is arrested.
  • Battle Butler: Mickey for Jimmy.
  • Being Good Sucks: Both Danny and Quinn learn this over and over.
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  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Theresa with both Jimmy AND Quinn.
  • Berserk Button: Violence against women and/or children is Danny's.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Mickey's father, Mr. Kinnear.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As nice as he is, Danny can get violent.
  • The Big Guy: Mickey played by Mike Starr, who specializes in these kinds of characters.
  • Break the Cutie: Danny. He went to prison for not testifying against Jimmy only to get out 3 years later to find his wife living with another man, his daughter doesn't even remember him, and as a convicted felon he finds it all but impossible to get an honest job.
  • The Cast Showoff: Mike Starr sings in "Neither Have I Wings to Fly."
  • Catchphrase: "I got a thing" is said multiple times by different characters.
  • Chekhov's Gun: All the time but rarely ever in the same episode. If there's some brief mention of something out of the main line in an episode then it will be used one or two episodes later.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Theresa warns Jimmy that Dugan is going to come after him in the episodes Every Picture Tells a Story and A Terrible Beauty, but he refuses to listen. Dugan does at the end of the latter episode.
  • Childhood Friends: Jimmy, Danny, and Mickey have been friends since childhood.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Danny. Oh, Danny. He wants to make an honest living, but with his criminal record it's far easier to get involved with organized crime.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All the main characters have one of these.
  • Deal with the Devil: Mayor Davidson made one of these with Dugan.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Danny's daughter Janie.
  • The Determinator: Quinn and Geary will stop at nothing to complete their respective missions.
  • Domestic Abuser: Jimmy with Theresa.
  • The Don: Dugan
  • Drugs Are Bad: Ellie overdoses in one episode. Jimmy mentions his brother dying of a drug overdose.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jimmy hates drugs.
  • Fanservice: Theresa was shown in her underwear in multiple episodes. She flashes Quinn, and tries to seduce Jimmy while sitting naked in a church pew.
  • Evil Redhead: Jimmy
  • Film Noir: A rare TV version.
  • Fighting Irish: All the principal characters are Irish-American.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Theresa
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Jimmy and Mickey.
  • High-School Sweethearts: Quinn and Theresa.
  • Honey Trap: At times Theresa seems to be one for Quinn.
  • I'll Kill You!: In their first meeting Quinn Tells Jimmy that if he had anything to do with his partner's death he'll kill him. In the episode "On the Left Side of the Angel" he tells Theresa the same thing. Jimmy also makes multiple death threats and sometimes he follows through on them.
  • Improvised Weapon: In the episode "A Terrible Beauty" Jimmy picks up a pan during a shootout when someone is coming after him with a gun, luckily Danny shoots the person before they kill Jimmy.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: A lot of this. Most noteably in the episode "A Terrible Beauty" where a shootout in inter cut with scenes of a couple making love at the same time.
  • I Own This Town: Dugan is said to "own" everything from the police force to the mayor.
  • Morality Pet: Danny is one of these for Jimmy.
  • The Movie Buff: Sammy Feathers makes multiple classic movie references.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Set in "a decaying American city located near the Canadian border" which bears an uncanny resemblance to Detroit.
  • Not So Different: A big theme of this show was that people on both sides of the law had a lot in common. Promotional stuff even described it as being about "two men living parallel lives on opposite sides of the law."
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Theresa is shown sleeping in the basement of her abandoned childhood home.
  • Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers: Jimmy when he's arrested.
  • The One That Got Away: Quinn seems to be this for Theresa.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Jimmy who's of half Irish descent and Half Italian uses offensive terms to describe Italians. The actor who plays Jimmy, Joe Pantoliano is actually an Italian American. Leo does too.
  • The Sociopath: Jimmy
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Dugan. Averted with Murtha.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: This very dark show is filled with a lot of gorgeous Irish music by the likes of Loreena Mc Kennitt and Caroline Lavelle.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Theresa multiple times in multiple episodes.
  • The Vamp: Theresa
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Where the entire series takes place.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Despite being in a relationship with Jimmy, Theresa sleeps with Quinn.

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