If you like action/adventure but also teaminess and hurt/comfort, then Flashpoint’s the show for you. Flashpoint is a cop show about the SRU (Strategic Response Unit – sort of like SWAT) whose task is to resolve crisis situations with minimum loss of life. This is also what sets it apart from so many other procedurals: it’s not a shoot-first-ask-questions-later kind of show. Most of the “subjects” are your everyday people who’ve often just made bad choices or whose circumstances have driven them to take desperate measures. This frequently requires the team to try and negotiate or talk down the subject, but sometimes more lethal measures need to be taken…
Which brings us to the other thing that sets this show apart from a lot of other cop shows: it shows the toll the job takes on police officers and other first responders. It’s a character-driven show (though there’s still plenty of action and suspense) and the characters have a memory. Everything they see, all the loss, tragedy and sorrow they witness and experience both on and off the job stays with them and changes them. These are characters that grow.
The biggest draw to Flashpoint for me, however, is the affection the team has for each other. The main characters on this show really, genuinely love each other and aren’t afraid to show it. The team’s a family and there are so many wonderful, touching team moments that I often find myself tearing up because they move me so much.
The show’s just finished up its fourth season and has been renewed for a fifth, which they start shooting in February, so now is a great time to start watching the show and get caught up. In Canada, Flashpoint airs on CTV and in the US it used to be on CBS, but has now been picked up by ION. In the US, all episodes are available on iTunes.
Now, allow me to introduce you to the team. There have been one or two cast changes over the years, but the core team essentially remains intact. This is the team as it is in the current (fourth) season:
Greg Parker (Enrico Colantoni)
The team sergeant and lead negotiator.
Ed Lane (Hugh Dillon)
Team leader, tactical officer and sniper.
Jules Callaghan (Amy Jo Johnson)
Second negotiator and sniper.
Sam Braddock (David Paetkau)
Takes over tactical whenever Ed’s absent or unable and is lead sniper.
Michaelangelo “Spike” Scarlatti (Sergio Di Zio)
The tech geek with combat skills and the team’s resident bomb expert.
Rafik “Raf” Rousseau (Clé Bennett)
The rookie on the team. No specialization yet, but he can sing!
Kevin “Wordy” Wordsworth (Michael Cram)
The team’s family man, specializing in hand-to-hand and entry.
Flashpoint has won multiple Geminis, including several for best drama, best writing, best lead actor (Enrico Colantoni) and best supporting actor (Sergio Di Zio), so I think that says enough about the quality of the show and the cast’s acting abilities.
Scorpio is the pilot episode and sets up the series really well, but if you want to try an episode that gets you right into the thick of things, I’d suggest that you watch an episode called One Wrong Move (second half of season 2 in Canada/season 3 premiere in the US). It epitomizes the show for me and it’s the episode that got me hooked on Flashpoint. Watch it, please, and I dare you not to fall in love with this show.