Lieutenant Michael Oakes is Sarah Linden's boss at the Seattle police department. Oakes assigns Sarah to the Rosie Larsen case on what is supposed to be Sarah's last day on the force. When Rosie's body is discovered in a car belonging to mayoral candidate Darren Richmond's campaign, Oakes convinces Sarah to remain on the job for a few days longer because he believes her replacement, Stephen Holder, isn't capable of the "delicate maneuvering" the politically sensitive case requires.
As the Larsen case unfolds, Oakes frustrates Sarah and Holder by refusing to request a warrant to search the apartment of Rosie's teacher, Bennet Ahmed, insisting that the evidence is circumstantial and their witness isn't credible. The lieutenant later becomes furious when Sarah and Holder conduct a warrantless search at another location which potentially compromises a federal terrorism investigation.
Oakes' confidence in Sarah begins to wane following a series of embarrassing leaks about the case as well as a "little stunt" Sarah pulls to gain access to the evidence in the federal terrorism case, and hints that perhaps the time has come for Sarah to exit the police force.
As the evidence in the Larsen case begins to point to Richmond, Sarah wants to arrest the candidate, but Oakes argues that Richmond is too powerful to accuse of murder unless she and Holder have "a coffin nail" linking Richmond and the campaign car. When Holder produces security-camera footage of Richmond driving the car on the night Rosie disappeared, Oakes authorizes the arrest.
A professional actor for more than 30 years, Garry Chalk has more than 100 television and feature film credits to his name. His notable television credits include “Colonel Checkov” on Stargate SG-1, “Inspector Pawlachuk” on Cold Squad (for which he won two Gemini Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series), and the TV movie Small Sacrifices, opposite Farrah Fawcett. His feature film credits include Watchmen, opposite Zach Snyder. Chalk has also voiced numerous cartoon characters, most notably “Optimus Prime” from Transformers and “He-Man” from Masters of the Universe.