Longtime viewers of CBS’s “Blue Bloods” will know Detective Abigail Baker on sight, but so much of her life remains a mystery. Despite having appeared in the vast majority of the show’s 230-some episodes, this human bulwark against the forces of injustice has never been fully explored, leaving fans with more questions than answers. Sure, she’s married to Brian Baker, but where was the ceremony held? Has she ever been to Six Flags? There’s a veil of intrigue surrounding the detective that “Blue Bloods” has yet to pierce.
And so we turn to the real world for more readily accessible answers. While Detective Baker remains an impenetrable bunker of narrative possibilities, the actress portraying the character, Abigail Hawk, is … also kind of hard to get a read on. Still, behind every successful acting gig is a backlog of odds-and-ends performances that combine like Voltron to make an acting reel. Maybe you think that you recognize Hawk from somewhere besides “Blue Bloods.” Heck, maybe you’re certain of it.
The odds are slim that you’re correct, but maybe you think you are anyway.
Abigail Hawk’s resume is short, weird
Oddly, Abigail Hawk sort of came out of nowhere, comparatively speaking. She only has five jobs listed on her IMDb page before the 2010 premiere of “Blue Bloods,” and that’s including an uncredited appearance as a flower child in “Across the Universe” and a one-episode stint on “Law & Order” playing “Paramedic.”
The bulk of Hawk’s gigs before teaming up with the Reagans came when she was still going by the moniker Abigail Gustafson back in 1995. That’s when the then 10-year-old performer starred in a syndicated children’s program called “Reality Check.” Remembered today by … somebody? “Reality Check” told the story of young inventor Jack Craft, played by Ryan Seacrest, back before the fame and the carefully cultivated handsomeness. In the series, Jack is fiddling with a computer when he gets sucked into the mainframe in a twist that left viewers saying, “Wait, like ‘Tron?'”
It was like “Tron,” minus the budget and with the addition of a couple of kids, one of whom was played by Hawk. The kids discover Jack in the computer and summon him to teach them about things like music and baseball and whatnot, largely ignoring the fact that his life is an existential hell in which the human soul has been broken down into binary code so simple that it could be transferred via dial-up. Then again, kids’ shows tend to gloss over their more nightmarish aspects. “Sesame Street” has a bird with the intelligence of a child, but the characters still eat turkey at Thanksgiving.
The point is, everybody has to start somewhere, and Abigail Hawk started by keeping the host of “American Idol” as a Neo Pet.