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Series / Hack

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Hack is a television series that aired on the American television network CBS from 2002 to 2004.

The series centers on the life of a former Philadelphia police officer, Mike Olshansky (David Morse), who left the force after being charged with corruption and now works as a taxi driver in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The charges of corruption were never clearly proven but Olshansky, riddled with guilt, considers it his duty to make up for his past wrongs by helping those the police will not help. Olshansky saves many lives and people by going above and beyond the call of duty, becoming a kind of heroic vigilante. He receives "inside" help from within the police force from his ex-partner Marcellus Washington (Andre Braugher), who often comes close to risking his own career.

Meanwhile, he tries to repair his relationships and rebuild his life after losing his marriage, his son's admiration, his professional identity and his reputation.

Hack includes examples of:

  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Mike is a disgraced police detective reduced to working as a cab driver. He still considers it preferable to serving as muscle for a local gangster.
  • Friend on the Force: Mike's former partner Marcellus serves as this. He often puts his own job on the line to help Mike, because Mike didn't serve him up to Internal Affairs when he was busted, even though he could have.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: In "Pilot", Mike buys a gun for a distraught father when they go looking for his daughter (Mike can't carry a gun because he's under felony indictment). When they find the pimps who holding the girl, one of them takes the gun off the father and points it at Mike. Mike calmly walks up to the gunman, daring him to shoot him. When he pulls the trigger, the gun goes 'click', and Mike slugs him with it. The father looks at Mike in disbelief, and Mike replies:
    "Like I was going to leave you with a loaded gun."
  • Job Title: 'Hack' is a slang term for a taxi driver.
  • Loan Shark: One episode, Mike becomes the personal driver of a local mob boss who is a Loan Shark. When a restaurant owner is about to be beaten for not paying back a loan, Mike saves the guy and the mob boss makes him personally responsible for collecting the debt. He tries to be reasonable but it turns out the restaurant owner is actually Too Dumb to Live and does not intend to pay back the money. If Mike can't get the money, he will owe the mob boss and thus having to join the crime gang to avoid getting killed. Desperate he ends up threatening the restaurant owner with a bat till the guy gives up the money. Disgusted he quits and goes back to being a taxi driver.
  • Mugging the Monster: In "Pilot", a group of muggers attempt to mug one of Mike's fares just after he gets out of the cab. When Mike comes back to rescue him, he gives the muggers the option of walking away, and even taking the fare's cash with them. Instead, the head mugger attempts to smash Mike's face with a cobblestone. Big mistake.
  • One-Word Title
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Justified in an episode when the characters are trying to use stolen ATM cards to get cash out of an ATM. Mike notes that the one thing the banks tell you not to make your PIN is your birthday, and reasons that they wouldn't do this unless some people actually did make their PIN their birthday. They try a number of cards before eventually discovering one whose PIN is the owner's birthday
  • The Taxi: A good chunk of the series took place inside Mike's cab.
  • Vigilante Man: Mike undertakes all of his crime-fighting activities without official sanction.