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'Unforgettable': Kevin Rankin talks tonight's emotional episode

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Kevin Rankin

When Kevin Rankin (Friday Night Lights, Justified) signed on for CBS’ Poppy Montgomery procedural Unforgettable, producers told him the show would eventually get around to every character’s backstory and tonight, 16 episodes in, his Det. Roe Saunders has the light shined on him. As Rankin tells us in the video interview below from his dressing room, Roe shoots a man who may or may not have been armed. The man’s father ends up taking hostages in the precinct and demanding to see the cop who killed his son. Roe is on temporary leave pending an investigation, but finds it hard to stay away — and that gives Rankin the meatiest scenes he’s had on the show. 

Three more things we found out during our chat with Rankin:

• He’s a fan of Roe’s dynamic with Tanya (Britt Lower): “We’re finding out Roe has a lot of machoness about him, except for when it comes to women,” he says. “He gets a little tongue-tied, so he really likes her, too. We end up doing these really sweet things. I think the audience loves that, and they love to see the dance of it, not so much see the deal sealed. They love the possibility of something happening.”

• He’s also a fan of new cast addition Jane Curtin, who plays acerbic medical examiner Joanne Webster: “I think she completely added another dimension to the show,” he says. “I think she makes people at home, when they see her, settle in and be like, ‘Okay.’ She just makes them more comfortable.” Look for Joanne to become a bit of a mother figure for Roe, whose real mother, we’ll find out, lives far away. “She puts herself out there to be that for him, if he needs someone to talk to, and that means a lot to Roe. She’s like a mother hen, but a very quirky mother hen,” he adds. Procedurals are usually very male-dominated, but on Unforgettable, the women not outnumber the men. “Look, it’s something that should happen in this world, a more matriarchal society, maybe a woman for president. I think we’re do,” he says. “I love that. I like all that energy. [Producers] knew they needed something new and [brought Britt and Jane in], and I think they’re right on target with them.”

• He expects that recent sniper story line to continue, “maybe take us all the way to the end of the season.” But other than that, he jokes, “We don’t really get a lot of the stories in advance, so I’m not sure what’s gonna happen. I’m sure we’ll figure some cases out and it’ll be unforgettable. Pretty sure that’s gonna happen.”

Read more:

‘Justified’: Kevin Rankin talks Devil’s [spoiler!] — VIDEO