I love the way a television series, after a long summer break, seems to pick up as if nothing happened in the interim. But significant things do happen, even if it doesn't seem like it. When we last left Nash, he was tenderly declaring his love for first ex-wife Lisa (played by Annette O'Toole). With the start of this third season of NASH BRIDGES, Annette O'Toole is no longer in the new opening. Lest we start to think of Nash as too much the family man (with partner Joe and wife Inger delivering a baby girl), this season opener seems to go out of its way to declare Nash's independence and his desirability as a single male.
Nash is set-up on a blind date with Joe's nanny, Mary Tadd Butler. It's part of Joe's scheme to keep his nanny, with Joe hoping that the attractive Nash will entice Mary Tadd to stay in San Francisco rather than going home to Georgia. But in a neat twist, Joe's plan goes bust as Mary Tadd tells Joe that she must leave for Georgia BECAUSE Nash has stressed to her the importance of being close to family.
So Nash can have his cake and eat it too - Nash is not the cad for not asking Mary Tadd to stay even even though he is very attracted to her (oh hell - he's attracted to all beautiful women anyways). By extension, Nash even protects his fellow horny male in this episode's main story. Nash protects Agent Katz's reputation by recovering his stolen weapons cache, the result of Katz's secret motel rendezvous with an unknown woman.
The lovely Mary Tadd (played by Susan Walters, formerly of the USA Network series THE BIG EASY) turns out to be another Woman of the Week, or Conquest of the Week in Nash's growing black book. We've often pointed out that Nash is like James Bond - he must conquer any woman within arm's distance. Nash, the virile supermale and his flip side, Nash the family man with ex-wives and children, form the Jekyl and Hyde that is NASH BRIDGES/Don Johnson. With the seeming departure of all the semi-permanent women in the series (along with Annette O'Toole, there's also Mary Mara absent in the new open), the only remaining woman left is Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, and she can't be conquered because she plays Nash's daughter. Provocatively, Don Johnson has been reported to be dating Jodi in real life.
The other woman offering any challenge to the incredible Don is undercover cop Michelle (played by Kelly Hu). Michelle is presented as ultra-competent (thus earning Nash's respect as he hands over the thugs Miles and Vaughn to Michelle) and aggressive as Michelle is a motorcycle ridin' mama. Michelle has potential legs (we don't mean physically) to replace Mary Mara's absence as the only woman on the SIU squad, though the return of Kelly Hu remains to be seen.
For more, see synopsis for Episode 32