DVD Review: JESSE STONE: BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

JESSE STONE: BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

Starring Tom Selleck, Kathy Baker, Kohl Sudduth, Robert Carradine, William Sadler, Saul Rubinek.
Written by Michael Brandman and Tom Selleck
Directed by Robert Harmon
Originally airdate: May 20, 2012
DVD release: August 7, 2012

When new Paradise Police Chief William Butler and Deputy Anthony D’Angelo are killed in a patrol car explosion, Jesse Stone is called out of professional and personal exile to investigate. Early evidence suggests Butler was a dirty cop, but Jesse doesn’t believe it and decides to give Butler the benefit of the doubt.

Over the past seven years, the Jesse Stone movies have settled into slow-burning predictability. The same was often said of creator Robert B. Parker’s later books, whose cadence the movies match. The movies have always done well in the ratings, but CBS has otherwise abandoned the movies of the week. Before Benefit of the Doubt aired, fans knew it would be the last one on CBS.

I think Brandman and Selleck, aware of the situation, raised the stakes for Jesse this time around. Coming back, Jesse learns his trusted deputies, Rose Gammon and Suitcase Simpson, have quit the force and moved on. It’s up to Jesse himself to unravel why Butler and D’Angelo were killed. The answer ties neatly and deviously into the series’ continuity as a whole.

–Gerald So