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October 24, 2014

'Flashpoint' - 'One Wrong Move' (Season Premiere) Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 5th 2010 8:40AM
Flashpoint: One Wrong Move(S03E01) "The fifth rule is to break the rules when you have to. Job's about what? Yeah, saving lives." - Spike

If you haven't checked out 'Flashpoint' yet, now is the perfect opportunity. Season three premiered last night, and I had to keep running the DVR back because I'd get so engrossed in the story that I'd forget to take notes.

The show falls somewhere between 'The Hurt Locker,' 'Southland' and '24' in its gritty detail about life in a Toronto-based Strategic Response Unit, where, as the title of this episode suggests, one wrong move can mean the difference between life and death.

Enrico Colantoni told TV Guide
that the show is really finding its stride, and I have to agree. This episode really brought it. Bombs, environmental protesters, and a heartbreaking decision all crashed together. Did you see the ending coming? I had a feeling something tragic would happen. Dang!

They couldn't have picked a better time to air this episode, in terms of real life meeting TV land. I kept wondering if British Petroleum is getting bomb threats. But I didn't really think the environmental group on the show would go that route. Their plan to "take things to the next level" involved an Internet campaign, not more violence. That makes sense.

How ironic that the Kominskis had gotten out of the protesting business to protect their daughter, and she was the one who was helping Rafer Alston plant the bombs. Other than the tense ending, the scene that most stood out for me was when Sgt. Parker was trying to talk Rafer into putting down the syringe. And even after he'd run himself up, Parker was right over there trying to get the goods on how to defuse the bombs, cool as a cucumber. Until he lost Rafer and then it wasn't so pretty. I just have to think that's what those guys are like in that situation. They've got to get one-on-one with the person at the flashpoint.

Land mines on domestic soil -- yes, it happens. What I loved about the storyline with Lewis stepping on the landmine was, well, everything. First, you've got a guy who's not a crack bomb defuser, but with Spike's help, he's right there willing to give it go. "I've seen you do it," he told Spike. "I can handle a pair of cutters."

Once he steps on that land mine, you knew his goose was cooked, and so did he. But he defused the bomb anyway, which probably gave him something to focus on besides the panic. Then you've got the rest of the team switching to channel four so Lew doesn't hear them debating about how awful the situation is. But, of course, he's no dummy. He figures it out.

Once Lew realizes that things seem pretty hopeless, he knows that any plan of action would likely take both him and Spike out, so he does the noble thing and releases the trigger when Spike heads back to work out the weight transfer plan. Braddock knew it would never work. He'd seen those in a war zone.

Spike wasn't about to give up -- like he said, "I know there's a way. There's always a way." In one respect, I wish Lew would have held out to at least try the plan. Then again, you just knew the inevitable would happen and they'd both die. He couldn't let that happen. So he called his family and took the fall. Ack.

So while all this is going on, I absolutely loved the camera shots from above Lew's head, looking down and seeing him standing there with the bomb in front of him and the surrounding landscape like a Japanese meditation garden with the sands raked in circular formations. It's just all so perfect and tragically ironic.

One thing that bugged me about this episode, though, is that neither Spike nor Lewis had any headgear on while they were defusing those bombs. I kept thinking that if Lewis had protective gear a la 'The Hurt Locker,' he might be able to survive a blast. Or not. Someone more familiar with land mines can weigh in.

And, of course, the last scene with Sgt. Parker holding onto a bereft Spike was both emotional and heartbreaking.

I look forward to reading your thoughts about 'Flashpoint.' Did you love this episode as much as I did?

(Follow @jboursaw on Twitter.)

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