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September 2, 2014

Standoff: Life Support

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 31st 2006 9:21PM
Standoff cast(S01E05) This show is just too formulaic. It's not that the plots aren't a tad innovative - not just hostages at a bank but hostages in a airport control tower, a diner, and in this episode, a hospital operating room - it's just that the structure is just so formulaic and tedious. Guy with a gun takes over a place, the only two hostage negotiators in L.A. are called in, one of them calls the guy with the gun, things seem to be about to go well, then someone screws it up and this pisses off the guy with the gun and it makes everything harder for the FBI team. So they have to work harder to figure out what is motivating the guy, by going into his past (with the help of the cute girl with the Apple laptop back at HQ). That's pretty much what happens.

A teenager comes into an operating room while a cocky surgeon is operating on a guy's heart (while listening to "Dr. Feelgood" on the iPod at full volume - do they really do that in ORs?). He has brought his very ill sister along (she has lung cancer), and he wants a certain doctor to help her. Of course, that doctor isn't around (he's in a cabin in the woods and can't be reached easily), so the other doc decides to do what any doctor would do in this situation: grab the gun from the kid. It doesn't work, and this just ticks off the kid more. But he lets the doc leave so he can tell the FBI what's going on. The guy with the heart problem is going to die if he's not helped soon.

There's another complication: a big naked guy is on a stretcher, and he tries to get out and unknowingly tips off the kid that the FBI is just outside the door with high-powered guns (is this OR on the very top floor of the building?). So the kid panics and, doing a MacGyver, pushes all the oxygen tanks against the door, shoots them, and blows up the entrance.

At this point, unless I missed it, the fire just sorta goes out, because no one seems to be worried about a big fireball and explosion. The kid says that if his sister dies, he's going to kill everyone and then kill himself.

The episode, well, continues from there. Gun, blah, phone calls, blah, angry rapport, guy with the heart problem is released but his blood goes everywhere when the FBI tries to lift the bed out of the elevater, blah blah blah. Emily reaches the doc in the cabin and he's unhelpful to say the least. But Emily finally gets through to him and he comes to the hospital. The ep ends with Matt going to the kid and talking to him face to face. At first I thought this show was going to throw in a shocking curveball by having one of the FBI guys shoot the kid before Matt could make it up. But that doesn't happen. The kid gives up. A sad pop song plays as he's put in handcuffs. The doc tells the kid his sister will die in a few months.

We also find out why Matt has been acting all pissy. Ever since walking into the hospital, he's having flashbacks to something that happened in a hospital during his childhood. Something that makes him have flashbacks and get angry at this current hostage negotiation and threaten the safety of the hostages. Something that's filmed at feet level, all out of focus and wavy-like, the younger Matt running through a hospital. His mom, a cop, died when he was 12, so he identifies with the kid.

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lovelain

agreed #5. i just got around to this episode last night and couldn't even make it through the whole episode because i was so uninterested in what was happening. cancelled the season pass.

November 07 2006 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
trevor

House is just as formulaic, if not more. But it's in its 3rd season, so apparently people don't mind. I didnt' happen to watch this episode, but I kind of agree with what Doug is saying, Cold Case is a fantastic show, yet there are never reviews on it. It is 19th on the week ending October 29th. That has to say something, right?

November 02 2006 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chuck

today was the last episode i made myself watch. good-buy 'standoff'.

November 02 2006 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NavStar

Big Gina Torres fan, but never tuned in. A crummy '24' knockoff, judging from the previews.

November 01 2006 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jonathan

So did you like it or not? You spent 95% of this review describing everything that happened. And the only opinion you gave on the show was for the show itself(formulaic) and not the episode. I know you can't really write a long and thoughfull review of a show you don't really enjoy but it would be nice to have enumerated the things you did or didn't like. Isn't that the whole point of a review? Instead of giving us a play by play of the whole episode.

Personally i found it was okay. I'm not a huge fan of these procedurals but at least this is a breath of fresh air, as i doubt Negociators had a TV show before. I kinda like the chemistry between Matt and Emily and usually the banter with the HRT and the Negociators is funny. But i won't cry if it's cancelled but i do somewhat enjoy watching it. :)

November 01 2006 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wendy

I have to say, Bob, that I get really tired of you pointing out that these are the only two negotiators in LA. I'm sure there are more negotiators and I'm sure that multiple hostage situations go down in a city that large. But this show is not about all the other negotiators in LA. It's about Matt & Emily. Get over it.

November 01 2006 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug

Why do you review shows that no one cares about but you don't review NCIS. NCIS is not listed in your shows list, why not? It's been a top 20 show for years and no one on this blog ever write about it? Studio 60 a show no one watches racked up 33 mentions in a couple of months.

November 01 2006 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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