October 14, 2009

eulogy: agent charlie francis

I just wanted to take a minute to eulogize a favorite character of mine, who officially passed off-screen last week. Agent Charlie Francis of FOX's Fringe played by the subtle, talented, and somehow charmingly haunting Kirk Acevedo.

Many of you probably recognize Kirk from mafia and/or cop roles in shows like Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Band of Brothers, and the short-lived Black Donnellys. He also had a great role as Miguel Alvarez in HBO's Oz and a sprinkling of solid movie roles over the years. I'm actually a big fan of his work (you know I'm a sucker for those strong, side characters), so I was psyched to see him cast in Fringe, a show I knew I would like from the beginning.

FBI Agent Charlie Francis was a good friend an confident to leading lady Olivia Dunham. He was basically the straight man in a group of semi-loony, semi-genius group investigating cases involving "fringe science" (teleportation, nano technology, etc.). While the show worked out some kinks in the first season, last season's finale and the first few weeks of this season have been phenomenal (watch this show!). They've found a great balance between complex mystery sci-fi storyline and interesting procedural crime solving.

So, imagine my disappointment when I heard Kirk was let go from the show over the summer. Even worse, Charlie Francis had an unfortunately unceremonious demise. In a nut shell, a shape-shifting soldier from a parallel universe took over Charlie's physical identity, and then shoved the real Charlie into a furnace. Goodbye Agent Francis. Then we had bizarro Charlie running around for a few episodes as a bad guy. Finally, Olivia figured it out and essentially had to shoot her own best friend. Devastating.

I was hoping for a much juicier and longer demise for Charlie and for Kirk. If their reasons for letting Kirk go were creative, I can't say that I see the evidence. Frankly, there's a hole in Olivia's personal life now that she doesn't have this dependable friend and ally. They did bring on a new female agent, but so far, she's brought nothing to the table, and I'm not impressed with the actress.

In conclusion, sorry to see Charlie go. Someone hire Kirk.

Fun sidenote: Both Charlie and Kirk are married to Alex from Saved by the Bell: The College Years (Kirk's real-life wife Kiersten Warren played his wife on the show). How cute is she?


Andrea said...

I generally really like him in everything I see him in, although, in my opinion, he was best as Miguel Alvarez on HBO's Oz.

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