Review: Flashpoint – Acceptable Risk

Team One is under investigation after an active spree shooter at a gala leaves one of the highest, and bloodiest body counts in the unit’s history. Things get even more unstable when an SIU agent (Lauren Holly) is called in to asses Team One’s conduct. Was the SRU out of line, or were they acting by the book? At the end of the day, there is much more to this investigation than the agent is willing to lead on. And by the end, her true motive for her ruthless hunt will be answered. And Team One will be faced with one of the worst nights of their lives.

What worked: God, where to begin. This episode is beyond words, but I’m gonna try.

I think the best word to describe it is, insanity. This episode was pure insanity, but in the good way. This episode took Flashpoint’s non-linear method of story telling and spun it on its head. The fact that the writers were able to maintain a level quality that many Hollywood films can’t match is a feet in it of itself.

It’s clear that this episode is ripped from various headlines in many different countries. One could point to The Fort Hood Shooting in 2009, the Montreal Massacre of 1989, the Virginia Tech shooting of 2007, or any other spree killing anywhere, and they would all be correct. It’s eerie how accurate the show portrayed police response during a spree killing in this episode.

I can’t believe the amount of back story we got to some of the team members tonight. Knowing that Sam had a sister that was killed by a hit and run changes my entire outlook on the character. For what was originally a soldier that was trying to personally make up for his sins in war, has now become a tortured soul that has dealt with death since childhood. His line “some people are helpless and need to be protected” couldn’t have been better said by anyone. A perfect line for a perfect episode.

And Parker, as if we didn’t get enough of an emotional roller coaster ride with the reveal of his son last week, now we find out that Lew wasn’t the first team member hes lost on the job. I don’t even know what to say anymore. The man’s life has been one loss after another. The team is all he has, and I’m damn happy that I get to watch their adventures every week.

The fact is, the team’s way of doing things is given a huge spotlight in this episode. As Spike says, “we all have our roles, our strengths and weaknesses. We work together. We’re not a bunch of guys. We’re a unit,” and it’s damn true. The team is much more than a unit though, Team One is a family. A family that relies on each other to get the job done, and that’s the reason people tune in every week.

I also quite enjoyed Lauren Holly’s performance tonight. I haven’t seen her in much since her departure from another procedural I’m a fan of, NCIS. This also marks one of the few times that Amy Jo Johnson wasn’t the only American actress on screen. In all honestly, if the writers decided to keep Holly around as a universal “villain” of sorts for Team One, I would more than welcome it.

On a technical front, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. As I said in the start of this review, this episode is the non-linear story telling style on steroids. But Flashpoint did it in a way that you’re never lost or confused as to what’s happening. The scenes that take place during that actual thirty seven minutes are gripping. Five dead bodies, multiple gun shots, a team take down and all before the opening theme.

As the body count rises your only thought is “please don’t let one of the team be the next victim.” The show has once again proven why it’s not only the best show on television at the moment (at lest as far as I’m concerned), but why it should be ranked with some of the greats.

This show hits its marks EVERY SINGLE WEEK. The fact that the production team is able to maintain this level of quality, in a genre that is notorious for the decline of series’, is nothing if not incredible.

What didn’t: Nothing. I know I say this a lot when it comes to Flashpoint, but it’s not without good reason. This show knows TV, and does it right. It never lets up, and it never gets complacent. So I can say with 100% certainty, that there is nothing wrong with tonight’s episode of Flashpoint.

Final thoughts: Insanity… That’s all there is to say.

Episode: “Acceptable Risk” (Season 3, Episode 16)

Airs: CBS, Fridays, 10pm

What’s next: This is the final Flashpoint of 2010.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.

From a young age, TV guru Merrill Barr has been obsessed with the small screen. And one day he decided to put that obsession to good use.

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