CTV’s “Flashpoint” returned for its third season with a bang. Technically, with a small bang, a disarmament, and then a very big bang and they did it all really, really well.
Unabashedly set in Toronto, “Flashpoint” is the story of the SRU – Strategic Response Unit, the high-risk team that get called in for the high-octane situations. Led by Sgt. Greg Parker and his second in command Ed Lane, these men and women respond to the threats that make the news.
Season three starts with a phone call to the SRU. It is a recorded message stating that a bomb is on a construction site of a known non-green corporation. They manage to get the site evacuated and begin their investigation into which eco-terrorist group is responsible. (For international viewers, eco-terrorism in Canada hit a new high with the Encana pipeline bombings over the last year.) Their initial investigation leads them to activists responsible for a bombing almost 30 years earlier, but the husband-and-wife team left that life after the birth of their daughter. They do, however, give the name of a former associate.
A second bomb is called in at the offices of a known environmental polluter. While demo-man Spike Scarlatti works to disarm the device, a third bomb threat is called in from university campus.
With the team now split three ways – disarming the second bomb, finding the third bomb, and tracking the bomber – things get tense. The bomber is found but kills himself before telling the team how to undo his handiwork. Lewis Young steps up at the third bomb site to try to disarm the device.
Spike successfully deactivates the office bomb at the same time the rest of the team identifies the bomber’s accomplice – the original suspects grown daughter. However, the third site has an added complication which is discovered when Young steps on a landmine. Although he manages to disarm the big bomb, Young realizes that there is no way to safely get out of the situation; the best he can do is minimize the number of people hurt. When Spike leaves him to look for materials to neutralize the landmine, Young makes the final, unavoidable decision.
Kudos to Taylor for his performance of a man making the ultimate sacrifice for his team and his uniform. I was concerned that Hugh Dillon would have a lesser role after doing double duty – the second season of the noir-drama Durham County just aired – but he was fine. In addition to the acting, which is always phenomenal, Flashpoint’s amazing results have been recognized by receiving a record 19 Gemini Awards (the Geminis will be announced on November 14th) including Best Dramatic Series and Best Writing in a Dramatic Series among its technical nominations, and three Best Performance in a Leading Role nods.
I don’t know why this quality show is not at the top of my list. I have never been disappointed by an episode. “Flashpoint” airs on Fridays at 9pm on CTV.