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Michael Tao

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Michael "Mike" Tao
Name Michael "Mike" Tao
Rank Lieutenant Lieutenant
Affiliation Los Angeles Police Department
Division Major Crimes
Gender Male
Family Kevin Tao (Son)
Two unnamed children
Spouse(s) Kathy Tao (wife)
Played by Michael Paul Chan
First appearance The Closer (Pilot)

Michael "Mike" Tao is a Lieutenant in the Major Crimes Division of the LAPD on The Closer and Major Crimes.

Character InformationEdit

Tao is the Priority Homicide Division's and later Major Crimes Division's forensic specialist and often leads the processing of the crime scenes.

Before being transferred to the PHD, he worked at the LAPD's Scientific Investigation Division and has been described by Taylor as a "technical genius". He is apparently also the MCD's unofficial liaison with the SID. Before his time in the Scientific Investigation Division, he has worked as a homicide detective and as a vice detective.

During "Risk Assessment" he explains to Rusty Beck that he originally wanted to be a doctor but found that doctors spent too much time protecting themselves. He instead joined the LAPD who protect each other and others.

In "Open Line", Tao is forced to fatally shoot a suspect and it clearly affects him greatly.

Officer-involved shootingsEdit


  • Tao is married to a Japanese-American woman, Kathy, and has children, one of them a teenage boy named Kevin.
  • Tao still has friends in the SID and sometimes gives them Kahlua as gifts to expedite their processing of evidence in cases he works.
  • While not as close to Rusty Beck as Sharon Raydor or Buzz Watson, Tao is shown to be fond of the boy. At the beginning, he is also shown to not dislike Rusty as much as Andy Flynn and Buzz did, giving up money to bring Rusty's mother to town but not saying anything bad about him as the other two did. When Rusty faces down Daniel Dunn, Tao stands with him with the rest of the squad and signs on as a witness to Dunn giving up his parental rights to the boy. He is later clearly unsurprised when Rusty admits to being gay, showing how well he knows Rusty and is very proud of him graduating high school. At Rusty's graduation party, Tao pulls Rusty aside and tells him that he hopes that everything the squad has done for him has impacted him well and moments like Rusty graduating are why they help him so much. Tao congratulates Rusty on how far he's come since they met and shakes hands with him. He later aids Rusty in his search for Alice Herrera's identity by giving him advice on hacking her voicemail and is immensely proud of Rusty when he succeeds, telling him proudly "you did it Rusty. You did it."
  • In "Do Not Disturb", Tao is shown to be amused though he tries to hide it when a missing girl's friend flirts with a taken-aback Rusty.
  • He is the only person who knows that Fritz Howard has had a heart attack and wears a pacemaker (having taken him to the hospital after blindly promising not to tell others, including Brenda, what Fritz is about to tell him).
The Closer Characters
Brenda Leigh JohnsonSharon RaydorFritz HowardWill PopeRussell TaylorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoDavid GabrielJulio SanchezIrene DanielsBuzz WatsonDr. Fernando Morales
Major Crimes Characters
Sharon RaydorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezAmy SykesWes NolanBuzz WatsonRusty BeckRussell TaylorLeo MasonFritz HowardDr. Fernando MoralesAndrea HobbsKendall

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