Tom Selleck returns tonight (Sunday, CBS, 9pm) in "Jesse Stone: Thin Ice," the sixth film in which he plays a small town police chief created by the late author Robert B. Parker.
Or in this case, a somewhat former small town police chief. When we meet him in this film, Stone is suspended and fairly certain he won't be returning to work with his colleagues Rose Gammon (Kathy Baker) and Luther Simpson (Kohl Sudduth).
It's an especially bad time for the little Paradise department to be short-handed; someone has viciously beaten and killed a convenience store clerk, and Luther, as temporary police chief, is in over his head when it comes to solving the case.
Meanwhile, Stone gets some consultant work from his friend in Boston, Commander Healy (Stephen McHattie) who needs help dealing with a string of seemingly random murders.
Like the other Stone films, "No Remorse" is a moody little film, although I'd say this one is the most melancholy and elliptical so far. Stone's still pining for the ex-wife, whose calls aren't helping him heal; Rose is facing divorce too. And the crimes are awful. You know things are bad when even Stone's golden retriever has the blues.
For Selleck, who co-wrote the film, the character is a broken-in pair of shoes; worn and comfortable, easy to slip into. He elevates the character in subtle ways. Stone is bone weary and though Selleck is still a handsome and fit man, you can see Stone's pain not just on his face but in his bearing.
The script is very stylized; there's a specific way of speaking, phrases are repeated by different characters, the pace is deliberate. It definitely has a different rhythm than most TV movies.
Best of all, the ending leaves room for a seventh film.