Flashpoint: Canada’s Finest

FLASHPOINT

STARRING: Hugh Dillon, Amy Jo Johnson, David Paetkau, Enrico Colantoni

GENRE: Police Procedural
YEAR: 2008 – 2012
COUNTRY: Canada
LENGTH: 5 Seasons

Flashpoint is a police procedural drama, focusing on the Special Response Unit and their daily encounters with criminals activity in their jurisdiction. The show is recognized for not just how police respond to criminal activity but also focuses on the moral choices that police officers have to make. The show primarily focuses on the activities of Team One which initially includes:

  • Sgt. Gregory “Greg” Parker (Enrico Colantoni) – Crisis Negotiator
  • Cst. Edward “Ed” Lane (Hugh Dillon) – Tactical Leader
  • Cst. Julianna “Jules” Callaghan (Amy Jo Johnson) – Intelligence/Profiling
  • Cst. Samuel “Sam” Braddock (David Paetkau) – Sniper
  • Cst. Michelangelo “Spike” Scarlatti (Sergio Di Zio) – Demolitions and Tactical Tech
  • Cst. Lewis “Lou” Young (Mark Taylor Ep. 1-23) – Less-Lethal Weapons
  • Cst. Kevin “Wordy” James Wordsworth (Michael Cram; episodes 1-49) – CQB and Less Lethal Weapons Expert
  • Cst. Rafik “Raf” Rousseau (Clé Bennett) – Less Lethal Weapons Expert
  • Cst. Donna Sabine (Jessica Steen) – Leader of Team Three
  • Cst. Leah Kerns (Olunike Adeliyi; episodes 24-31) – Entry Tactics

There are quite a number of characteristics that makes Flashpoint unique.

1. It is a Canadian police drama. The majority of the cast is Canadian except for Amy Jo Johnson. Also it I mainly shot in Vancouver, Canada.

2. All of the members of Team One have real problems. For example, Sgt. Greg Parker is a deadbeat father/recovering alcoholic that over the course the of series he tries to reconnect with his son after eight years. Ed has developed family problems from the nature of his work as well as PTSD from difficult choices he had to make in the field. Some of these choices fell in the grey area of the moral compass and caused innocent people to lose their lives. While these are extreme cases, the majority of the struggles the characters face make the more relatable to the audience.

While Flashpoint is good, It is not flawless. While the show isn’t necessarily all about the cases or the “calls of the week”, the show reuses some plot arcs in the later seasons that they used in Seasons 1 and 2. While throughout the series there are more than one “terrorist threat” episodes, these kind of emergencies are an exception because each time they occur Team One uses a new strategy.  I felt they also tried to push some of the replacement characters onto the audience a little too much, especially since the main team hasn’t primarily changed over the course of the show with no more than one character being out at a time. My example for this is Leah. Her role was to replace Raf who left the team after coming to grips with the grey area in law enforcement, she appeared only for a few episodes then she disappeared. When she returned she mentioned that she was in Haiti helping her family. Yes I get that is the show’s way of acknowledging the tragedy, but there were many different ways to do it.

The main cast now.

PROS:

  • Likable characters.
  • Great character development.
  • Physical and Mental struggles of law enforcement.
  • Terrorist Attacks covered!

CONS:

  • Unsatisfactory replacement characters (Except for Donna, she is awesome).
  • Repeated Weekly crime calls.
  • No character development except for main characters.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

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6 thoughts on “Flashpoint: Canada’s Finest

  1. Flashpoint is my favorite show. I love it!

    • After watching the whole series, it is definitely my favorite police drama. So much more depth for the characters unlike other police dramas.

      • You said it! Those other police dramas are so simplisitc and strange. I love the way that Flashpoint treats the suspects like human beings. Not just them always wrong and the cops always right.. They show what led up to the crimes. And Team one isn’t trigger happy. They really care about people. It isn’t simply a bunch of bullets flying. Like violence being the whole point. Human life is valued. I also like the fact that Greg has finally gotten his son back. After ten years. Greg’s my favorite charecter. Eddie’s a close second. The Asperger’s episode was well done and researched. Go team one! Copy that?

      • I completely agree, negotiate first before neutralization. Alright everyone, lets keep the peace!

  2. Psst… Flashpoint was never, ever filmed in Vancouver. It was firmly set in Toronto, and filmed in Toronto.

    Leah Kerns also initially replaced Lewis Young. Her ‘impact’ on the team was minimal then, and was minimal when she returned (‘replacing’ Raf). Zero effort was made to insert anything about her into the main storylines. The explanation about her long absence was probably mainly to placate viewers who had long bemoaned her sudden and poorly-explained departure following ‘Behind the Blue Line’.

    Aside from those things, great ‘review’ of an excellent show.

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