Saturday, July 12, 2008

Flashpoint in a Flash: Episode 1

Read our episode summary and opinion after the jump! Since this was written as the show aired, there's no paragraph formatting. Readers, feel free to leave your opinions on the show after the jump!

Episode 1: Scorpio

So our episode begins somewhere in downtown Toronto, in medias res. Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) is terrified and being held hostage by an older man with a gun speaking a different language. We see a mediator trying to calm the situation, and a sniper on the roof ready to pull the trigger... then we rewind to 2 hours earlier. Our sniper, Ed Lane (played by Hugh Dillon) is at home and tells his wife he has to miss her parents’ anniversary. He is picked up by his buddy, officer Wordsworth, and they sing asong “when constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done, a policeman’s job is not a happy one, happy one”. We’re then taken to a scene all too familiar to Torontonians, a TTC subway car. Our hostage taker is riding the train up to Osgoode station with his son, and kisses him goodbye. Of course, there’s haunting music playing in the background and we know something bad is going to happen, eventually. Then it goes to the training facility/home base for the Special Response Unit. We get a little taste of the banter between the officers interspersed with shots of the hostage-taker walking through a subway station , and eventually encountering his ex-wife who works as a caretaker in an office building. He shoots her in the head, and.. Roll Credits! Ahh, we feel so proud when we see “Created by Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern” on the screen. Commercials ensue. The hostage taker is now walking through a mall, encounters Stephanie (who could potentially be shopping for a Sailor V plushie, you never know) and he is confronted by a security guard. Both draw their weapons, and she is taken hostage and pulled out of the building. The guard calls for help, and pretty soon the whole square is surrounded by SRU forces. They all move into position, and the negotiator Sargent Gregory Parker (played by Enrico Colantoni) figures out what language the hostage-taker is speaking. The mundaneness of these few minutes where everyone moves into position is broken by elevator humor and Jules (Amy Jo Johnson) having to take the stairs to the top of the building. We learn that his ex-wife probably won’t survive the gunshot. Ed locks his sniper on the suspect and everyone runs their checks. Commercials - and the Joker looks a lot scarier in HD. Back to the show - the son is in the crowds and runs past the tape. Despite the best efforts of the Officer to calm him down, it is futile, and the situation leads Ed to shoot the suspect dead. Stephanie survives, but is visibly shaken and covered with blood. An officer takes her aside. Now the story begins: we see Ed go through many emotions as he deals with his conscience after killing someone. Commercials - Moore’s is having some sort of summer sale on menswear?! He is taken away by police who investigate the shooting, everyone around him assures him he did a good job. Jules meets Braddock in an odd encounter. Ed is in an interrogation room where he is “de-briefed” and joined by his lawyer as he is questioned by a detective. He’s interrupted by his wife who calls to see if that was him this morning. Ed is still in a daze after what has happened and the show cuts to his son at violin practice. He turns still after hearing what has happened from his mom. Back at HQ, he encounters the forensic pychologist, but he isn’t ready to talk yet and goes to shoot a few practice rounds. Commercials - now I want a Tim Hortons’ Hazlenut Iced Capp Supreme... ooh X-Files Trailer! The gang goes to a bar where there’s a retirement party happening. Everyone is introduced properly to Braddock, who is the newest addition to their team. Another member is promoted and they lose one. Everyone at the table is chatty except for Ed, who is still frozen from what happened. He heads to the men’s room to regain his composure. Greg walks in as he washes his face, and tells Ed that even though he says he is fine, he should count how many times he says it. A song plays, and there’s a montage of the son looking at his father’s body in the morgue, Jules at her door, Braddock in a hotel room, and Ed looking over a report and signing it. He finally comes home to a snowy tv screen, and he is greeted by his son who comes down the stairs. He holds his son as his wife looks on. Again, no words , only feeling. Commercials - Simply Orange juice is too bitter for my tastes... and a preview of the next episode. A father of a child waiting for a heart transplant turns his gun on the hospital staff.

Whoo! That was a mouthful, and now for our impressions. The show is definitely a welcome take on the cop show genre. Amy Jo Johnson is playing an all-too-familiar female action character, but we really hope that she has a bit more depth as the show goes on. The same goes for Enrico Colantoni’s character - his negotiation skills seemed a little empty this episode. We thought that the portrayal of Hugh Dillon's daze and anguish was very well done. But, this is only the pilot, and it’s hard for an actor in one episode to really know what their characters are like this early on. We look forward to the rest of this series, and we once again extend our congratulations to Stephanie and Mark from every Sailor Moon fan!

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