‘Tracker’ TV Review

‘Tracker’ TV Review

As fans of Justin Hartley eagerly anticipate his return to the small screen after his highly acclaimed role in “This Is Us,” the actor takes on a new challenge in the CBS series “Tracker.” Based on the best-selling novel “The Never Game” by Jeffrey Deaver, the show follows Hartley’s character, Colter Shaw, a lone-wolf survivalist with a knack for tracking down people and objects.

In this TV review, we’ll dive into the world of “Tracker” and see if it brings anything new to the procedural genre.

A Fresh Spin on Procedural Dramas

“Tracker” introduces viewers to Colter Shaw, a stoic and aloof character who travels the country with his Airstream trailer, using his expert training to solve mysteries and uncover clues that others have missed.

Each episode presents a new case for Colter to tackle, showcasing his skills as a “rewardist” or bounty hunter. While the show follows a typical procedural format, it falls short in giving enough attention to the character’s troubled upbringing, which could have added a layer of depth and intrigue.

The Pilot Episode: “Klamath Falls”

The pilot episode, titled “Klamath Falls,” kicks off the series with Colter on a quest to find a missing 14-year-old boy. The episode highlights Colter’s attention to detail, weapons expertise, and survival knowledge. However, when the focus shifts away from the case, the dialogue among the characters feels stilted, making it difficult for viewers to fully connect with the narrative.

A Modest Cast with Complicated Dynamics

Unlike other long-running procedural dramas that boast a complex ensemble cast, “Tracker” features a modest cast with a complicated dynamic. Colter’s admins, Velma and Teddi Bruin, played by Abby McEnany and Robin Weigert respectively, work from home, assisting Colter in his cases. Bobby Exley (Eric Graise), a double amputee, provides essential hacking skills and witty lines. Reenie Greene (Fiona Rene), an attorney, adds a layer of complexity with her simmering tension with Colter. However, due to the characters’ geographical dispersion, the show sometimes lacks cohesion.

Engaging Episodes and Missed Opportunities

While “Tracker” manages to hold its own as a procedural drama, some episodes are more engaging than others. Episode 2, titled “Springland,” showcases Colter’s search for a missing woman in a resort town. The hostility he encounters from the locals adds palpable tension to the storyline. However, the show’s true potential lies in exploring Colter’s traumatic childhood and the impact it had on his character. Unfortunately, the series only scratches the surface of this aspect, leaving viewers wanting more.

A Network Drama Without a Standout Element

Overall, “Tracker” is a decent network drama, but it fails to stand out in a crowded television landscape. Justin Hartley’s star power keeps the show from being forgettable, but the character of Colter Shaw lacks the charisma of Hartley’s previous roles. Despite its knife fights, shootouts, and dangerous encounters, the series doesn’t offer anything truly groundbreaking. With other long-running series and procedural rookies that have mastered the twist, “Tracker” may struggle to retain a dedicated following.

Premiering on CBS After the Super Bowl

Tracker” is set to premiere on CBS on February 11, immediately following the Super Bowl. Subsequent episodes will air weekly on Sundays. While it may not be a groundbreaking addition to the procedural genre, fans of Justin Hartley and viewers looking for a new mystery to solve may find “Tracker” worth tuning in to.


1. Is “Tracker” a completely original series?
No, “Tracker” is based on the best-selling novel “The Never Game” by Jeffrey Deaver. The TV series brings the story to life with Justin Hartley in the lead role.

2. Will there be character development beyond the procedural cases?
While “Tracker” primarily focuses on solving new mysteries each episode, there are glimpses into the main character’s troubled past. However, the show falls short in fully exploring this aspect.

3. Can “Tracker” compete with other long-running procedural dramas?
“Tracker” may struggle to stand out among other well-established procedural dramas with complex ensemble casts. However, Justin Hartley’s star power and the show’s engaging episodes may attract a dedicated fan base.