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The show Profiler was an extremely popular crime drama that aired between 1996 and 2000 about an empathic criminal profiler that worked with teams in the FBI. The show was set in Atlanta. As a criminal profiler, Dr. Sam Waters used her forensic psychologist skills to help solve crime in her community. With a unique twist, Sam had an unusual gift of being able to look in the minds of the victims before the murderous act was committed.
In the first few seasons, Dr. Samantha Waters, also referred to as “Sam,” was played by Allie Walker. The leading heroine in real life decided to leave the show after the first few episodes in season four. She was replaced by Jamie Luner for the final season with a different storyline and a completely different antagonist. Needless to say, the show lost much of its charm and uniqueness. Without a compelling, interesting script, it was soon canceled.
A Forensic Psychologist
In Profiler, Dr. Waters works for the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force as a forensic psychologist. She uses her “superhuman” psychic abilities to view the world through the eyes of individuals that are part of the crime. By dealing with the inner senses of the criminal mind, she is able to gain valuable insight, which serves as a vital tool to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Having the ability to analyze the crime scene that had yet taken place proved to be a unique twist at least for the first few years of the show.
The Diabolically Brilliant Nemesis
To take the complexity of the show up a notch, Dr. Samantha Waters is haunted by an ongoing nemesis referred to as the diabolically brilliant Jack of All Trades. It is this adversary that had slaughtered her husband just a few years before. As a result, she continually works to profile him using her special talents. He makes his presence known in nearly every episode. However, she is not able to find his true identity until the storyline involving Jack is wrapped up in the last episode in which Allie Walker appears.
The First Change of Characters
Another main twist of the original cast of characters includes Dr. Sam’s daughter Chloe, originally cast with Caitlin Wachs. Somewhere along the way, Evan Rachael Wood took over in the role of Chloe without a skip of a beat. However, the entire premise of the show is to not ask questions about things that did not make sense.
Dr. Waters has a phenomenal support team at the Violent Criminal Task Force (VCTF) that includes Detective John Grant, forensic pathologist Grace Alvarez, attorney/lawman Nathan Brubaker, the necessary computer hacker/problem solver George Fraley and the only true doubter in the show, Detective Marcus Payton.1
The Second Change of Characters
Because of the quick departure of the main star of the show, the producers of Profiler took to retooling the remaining episodes. In the place of Dr. Samantha Waters, they found a similar style of heroine with the name of Rachael Burke. They tagged the new protagonist with a new antagonist aptly named Damien Kennasas. The change in atmosphere for the show did not last long.
As the main character in the series, Dr. Waters works as a psychologist of sorts. However, the script requires a specific leap of reality to work. Having the ability to read the minds of others, especially criminals by viewing into the past in their minds requires an altering of reasoning. However, the series was well written and the premise worked right from the start.
In reality, profiling is a true discipline that is often utilized in many criminal cases. Although it appears to produce results like magic, accurate profiling using forensic psychology is a challenging aspect of criminal science. In fact, it rarely produces the ideal results. Profilers in real life often stress that their jobs rarely replace traditional old-fashioned detective work. However, forensic psychology can support quality police work in their effort to find the guilty party.
Born in Tennessee, Allie Walker harkens from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She attended college at UCSC (University of California/Santa Cruz). Oddly, she majored in biology and chemistry. In addition to being an American actress, she is also a screenwriter, director and producer. She has also starred in The Protector (TV series) in 2011, Sons of Anarchy, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Southland, CSI, Boston Legal, Law & Order, Moon over Miami, and an endless array of other movies and shows.
The premise of Dr. Samantha’s amazing abilities as a forensic psychologist proved to be the most valuable asset of the entire show. With the assistance of an elite team of highly skilled specialist, it was easy to take a leap of faith and enjoy the television experience.