“Flashpoint” (Canadian TV, Ion Channel)

Flashpoint, (Ion cable Channel), is about a fictional elite tactical unit, called the Strategic Response Unit (SRU), within a Canadian metropolitan police force (styled on the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force. The SRU are tasked to resolve extreme situations that regular officers are not trained to handle including hostage-taking, bomb threats and heavily armed criminals. Equipped with high-tech tools and a cache of weapons and explosives, members use negotiation tactics and intuition to try to avoid the use of force.

The plots are involuted and the characters are extremely well written and convincing. For each scenario, there is a sequestered officer referred to as “Spike” who has at his disposal an omniscent computer access to virtually any facet of the investigation at hand. The leader of the team, Enrico Colantoni (previously seen as Elliot DiMauro, the photographer in “Just shoot me), is always called “Boss”, an expert in psychological profiling as well as strategy. The steely-eyed tactical leader is Kevin Dillon, (previously the lead singer for the Kingston hard rock band “The Headstones” from 1987 until 2003).

The team deals with frightening situations where lives can be threatened during escalations of emotional issues affecting the participants.  Every effort is made to intervene using psychological manipulation as the options of the participants are progressively ratcheted down. But at some point, the option of killing a subject to avoid further carnage is available to the team.

It’s chilling. When a sniper gets access to a subject, he reports he “has the solution”.  If it appears all other options to divert disaster evaporate, the Boss articulates the word “Scorpio”, following which the subject is instantly eliminated. The timing in these situations is incredibly scary and I assure you I would not want to be the one making that decision. (see enclosed clip- my wife was in tears).

This is a VERY well written and well-interpreted series and I highly recommend it.

I give it five of five steely-eyed sightings down a gun barrel.

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