Paternal Instincts
By Arlen Wils
 

The question is "Would Mike Logan be a good father?" My first instinct is to say "yes." However, the more I think I about it, the more I think the question is unanswerable. How can you tell if a man would make a good father if he's never going to have children? I honestly believe Mike would not choose to have children. And why would Mike avoid voluntary fatherhood? Two reasons: a) his childhood and b) his career. Don't start hissing at me yet. No one is denying Logan has a compassionate, nurturing side (although it is usually overshadowed by the aggressive, "let's knock hell out of him so he'll talk" side). "Indifference" and "Apocrypha" both show a man who is deeply touched by the innocents he comes into contact with, but the episodes also give insight into a man who is not willing, emotionally or psychologically, to deal with the demands of parenting.
The writers have allowed us to see Logan interact with children, and usually he handles them with a calm, almost tender attitude. For instance, in the episode "Extended Family," when Logan and Briscoe enter an apartment in an effort to regain a little girl they think is the abducted child they are searching for (she isn't), Logan's instincts seem to be to comfort and put the child at ease. He kneels at her level and talks to her, calling her "honey" in a soothing tone. Again, in "Competence," when questioning the girl who is intellectually disabled, he uses the same tone and even the same endearment. However, in "Indifference," we learned that Logan was abused as a child. He would know, as many researchers and experienced law enforcement officers do, that often abusers are found to have been abused as children. One of the hallmarks of an adult dealing with the trauma of childhood abuse is uncontrollable flashes of temper. Does Logan have this symptom? Yes, as evidenced by the numerous suspects who find that getting on his bad side can be incredibly painful. We are also led to believe this violent temper filters into his personal life. He admits to putting his fist through a door when he is dumped, certainly not the act of a person in control of his emotions. Yet, because he is a compassionate man, especially where children are concerned, Logan would not want to inflict on a child, his child, the pain he had suffered at his mother's hands. And he cannot trust himself enough not to do that. That alone would put him off the thought of fatherhood.
Also, Logan is dedicated to his job, and as many have found, law enforcement is a difficult profession to meld with effective parenting. Being a cop requires a person to separate his emotions from his intellect, in effect, to become self-centered in order to survive, and often this interferes with the ability to bond with a child, as the officer begins to separate himself from those around him as a matter of coping with what is seen on the job during the day. Logan separates himself from the reality of what he sees by delving into a series of sexual encounters with little or no real feeling. The emotional demands of fatherhood would be incompatible with the way of coping he has selected. Because of his nurturing traits, he would be unable to hold himself apart from his child; therefore, he would choose not to have a child at all.
So, while Mike expresses the instincts that in another man would make an excellent father, we will continue to see him as a single, childless detective. So here's another question . . . how fulfilled can that single, childless existence actually be?
 

whaddya think?