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DHS- Max Martini on The Unit

Mack Gerhardt on Season 4

Master Sergeant MacDonald James "Mack" Gerhardt (United States Army, callsign: Dirt Diver) is a fictional character on the TV series "The Unit" and is portrayed by actor Max Martini.


Character Summary[]

Mack is a former Army Ranger, air assault trooper with the 101st Airborne and a senior Unit operator. He holds the rank of Master Sergeant (E-8). He has a wife named Tiffy as well as two daughters. Gerhardt is a former Army Ranger and is the assistant team leader of Sergeant Major Jonas Blane's Alpha Team of the 1st Special Actions Group (official cover as the "303rd Logistical Studies Group"). He is competent in Italian and German; and while competent at submarine lock in/lock-out procedures, is slightly claustrophobic.

Gerhardt worked with Jonas and his team members Hector Williams, Charles Grey and Bob Brown on dangerous missions such as the recovery of a radioactive component of a Chinese satellite, rescuing the drug minister of Mexico, the assassination of a terrorist financier in Spain, the bugging of an Iranian official's car at their embassy in Beirut, the recovery of seven Stinger missiles from Brazilian arms dealers, and the apprehension of a Serbian war criminal in The Balkans.

Like Jonas he uses a customized Colt 45 as his sidearm, he is obviously a fan of the weapon, complimenting Bridget Sullian for using one and recommending Sam McBride do the same. His off-duty gun is a Colt.32 pistol and he also has a Smith&Wesson .38 'throwaway gun'.

Mack appears to enjoy hunting off-duty and often wears a 'Triumph' brand mototcycle t-shirt although we never see him ride one. In many ways Mack is the toughest and most ruthless member of the Unit, never hesitating to kill in cold blood and even going undercover as a bare knuckle fighter. His weak spot is his volatile relationship with Tiffy, Mack nearly being dismissed from the Unit several times due to their behaviour. It is alledged Mack had previously struck her and we see him manhandle her several times. When Mack suspects that Tiffy is having an affair with a lawyer she has been working with, he obtains an untraceable gun and plots to kill him.


Seasonal Summary[]

During the 3rd episode of Season 1, "200th Hour", Mack is accidentally shot during a live fire training course by Bob. It is later discovered that the incident occurred because Mack had entered Brown's sector without Brown noticing. During the 7th episode of Season 1, "Dedication", Mack is offered charge of his own team by Ryan, but turns the offer down. Instead wanting to continue serving with his friend Jonas.

At the end of season 1, the apprehended war criminal, a Yugoslavian General named Razlan Dragovich, got a good look at Blane and suspected him of firing the shot that killed Dragovich's wife. When Dragovich escaped UN custody, he tracked Blane back to Fort Griffith, the Alpha Team's headquarters. When the team and their families went off post to celebrate the marriage of Unit commander Colonel Tom Ryan, Dragovich and his men attacked. They killed several restaurant employees and injured both Blane and the new Mrs. Ryan.

A few months later (during Season 2), Gerhardt prepared to leave the Unit at the behest of his wife, but Tiffy decided to rescind her request and ripped up Gerhardt's transfer papers. Since then, he has helped take down the world's foremost weapons dealer, and helped take out a rebel leader in Paraguay.

In the episode Johnny B. Goode, Mack and the team are in Iran to determine its Weapons of Mass Destruction capability. Mack kills a herder who would have compromised the mission, as well as their local contact after an explosion's debris pinned her to the ground to spare her from imminent capture, torture and death. When he returned home, he and Tiffy bickered, and Mack went to a bar to blow off steam. While there, he assaulted a civilian before being guided out by Crystal Burns, the fiancée of a former Alpha Team staffer. Crystal offered to drive Mack home, and commented on how screwed up the both of them were, as Crystal's fiancée had recently suffered an extensive traumatic burn injury and she was incapable of standing by him. Crystal then kissed Mack. He resisted at first, but gave in, and the two had a one night stand in the front seat of her new Mustang.

Later on, Crystal threatened to divulge the affair to Tiffy if Mack didn't continue the affair. This did not faze him, and he ordered her to go back to Jeremy and to stay away from him. At the end of the 2nd Season, Gerhardt and Williams are placed in prison for unnamed actions which they committed on a mission. Brown manages to escape this fate by becoming a double agent to the CIA; while Grey disappears and Blane goes into hiding.

At the start of the 3rd Season, Gerhardt is brutally tortured by the CIA, but later released soon after other team members threatened members of the CIA.


During Season 4, when Mack discovers that Tiffy has been having an affair with Colonel Ryan, teamate Bob Brown has to physically restrain him from simply killing the Colonel then and there. Mack later tries to kill Ryan whilst on a combat mission but eventually cannot bring himself to do so, mindful of his own adultery with Crystal and at least two prostitutes while on foreign service.

Eventually, Mack and Tiffy reconcile after Mack confesses his own affairs to her. He never tells her however of his being engaged to an Afghan chief's daughter in order to spare her being forced into an arranged marriage. Kim Brown suggests that the reason Tiffy loves Mack so deeply is that she had an abusive upbringing and is therefore attracted to violent men. In her husband she found a violent man who could control his impulses by channeling them into his work.


Background Information and Notes- Season 5 Outline[]

  • According to the writers, in the provisional storyline for season 5, Mack would take over command of the team after Jonas succumbs to combat stress. However when Tiffy becomes pregnant with their third child he would apply to become an officer and at the end of the season he would leave The Unit for a non-combat training post in order to better provide for his family.
  • According to an interview, executive producer Shawn Ryan told The Futon Critic: "The final season was going to be, I figured the fifth season was going to be the last... It was going to be a long, sort of final mission for Jonas. He's not medically cleared, Mac has to go in and sort of change the medical records so that Jonas can keep on [going on missions]. We had a whole thing planned, it was going to be good."
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