Thursday, June 25, 2009

Flashpoint in a Flash: Season 2 - Episode 1: Business as Usual:

Here we go! The official start to Season 2. This episode is marked as the 5th episode of Season 2, but this isn’t the way it was supposed to be! Read our summary after the jump!

We begin in what looks like a stock market media room. There is a man doused in gasoline standing in front of Greg who is trying to negotiate with him. He is ready to set himself on fire, unless Joel Graves comes in the room. He counts down from ten... rewind! 3 hours later. Jules is comiserating in the hospital about having to watch flowers which Sam has left for her to die. Sam unfortunately tells her that there’s another round of recruiting to fill her spot until she is well enough to return. They are down to 6 out of 300 and they are good, according to him. We go to target practice, where Ed is talking to the 6 finalists. He closes in on the lone female (Donna), who seems much smarter than the others. Then we see her negotiation skills in the combat room, and the team is impressed. We go to a house, where a family is being raided by Repo Men out of the blue. It looks like their house is going to be foreclosed. He calls another man living out of his car, who says he will call another man. This man is seen walking out of a thrift store, throwing his parka into a donation bin. They all head towards the stock exchange. The men sneak past security inside and head to the media room as a reporter is reporting about downfalls in the economy. The three men are approached by the same security guard, and they say they will not leave until they speak with the CEO of a company they presumably used to work for. Security radios in for more assistance, but one of the men stays cool and says they are account holders. We go to a board meeting, and the CEO is interrupted to go down to them. He doesn’t know how to talk to them, and skips around it. He sends one of his staffers down to send his regrets. The men tell the staffers that they can’t email customer relations because they don’t have a computer, let alone a house to put one in. The staffer relents and says that he might accept a written request for a private meeting, and he allows them to stay. The men decide to go through with Plan B and two of them head upstairs. They are decliring themselves homeless because of him. They manage to sneak into an elevator faster than security can stop them. One of the men pulls out a gun, and says “this is plan B” and he isn’t walking away. They arrive at their floor, and he ambushes reception with his gun, sending the office in a tizzy. Roll the Opening! Greg talks to Donna alone in the briefing room. This looks like it’s a sort of psychological test of some sort. Donna is a little inconsistent about her story. Greg tells her to wait and they will pick this up later as the SRU is being called into action. The two men from the elevator are now weaving themselves through offices and cubicles, trying to find their man. As the team is suiting up, the SRU (minus Sam) tells Greg they want Donna on the team, but he needs more time to think. At the office, the men encounter Joel, and he runs away behind locked doors. The men continue to look for him. In the media room, the man left behind douses himself and the room with kerosene. The SRU arrives at the stock exchange and heads to the media center and checks in with building security. Greg sees the man ready to light himself on fire and he has to rethink his negotiation strategy . Commercial! Spike starts to record on the event log. Greg tells Spike to call the fire department but not to let them enter just yet, and to get the building evacuated. There’s another problem, any spark could set off a fireball and the vapors are getting a little intense. Greg tells everyone with a firearm to leave the room, and many officers leave. Back upstairs the two men arrive at Joel Graves’ office, which is locked down. Spike sees a picture of the three men entering the building and he sends the pictures to Kira. Greg speaks to the reporter to find out more about what happened and to learn something about this company. The SRU arrives upstairs at the company offices, and they search for the men among the terrified workers, asking them to point in the direction they went. Greg talks the mortgage crisis with the reporter, and learns more about the man about to blow himself up (Stan) and lets her go. Throughout this we see CTV News appearing on overhead monitors :). Stan explains his side of the story, how he is mad Joel can go spend time at a Caribbean resort while he is losing his own house. He just wants to see Joel down here. Greg tries to make that happen. The other two men fight amongst themselves, one wants to quit now, but the other doesn’t. Kira is still trying to search for more information on these men, and finds the connection between all three - they all used to work for an auto plant run by that company. The other two finally confront Joel, and make him talk about all his wrongdoings with the company on TV. Joel is cornered in this office after losing a fight with one holding the gun. Greg continues to talk with Stan trying to find the right time to negotiate. He finds an opportunity, but it doesn’t quite work as this provokes Stan to pour more gasoline on himself. The SRU make it to Graves’ office only to realize that they have left. Spike sees an active elevator, and stops it in between floors so that Ed and Wordy can get to them. Ed pries open the elevator doors, and the other members of the SRU prepare hoists anchored to doors. Ed calls out the positions for Sam, Lou, and Wordy as they make their way to the elevator. The elevator opens, and Graves has a gun to his head. The SRU has to change their game plan, as this is now a hostage situation. Greg tells the Fire department that they can’t be seen by Stan. The man who doesn’t want to be a part of this anymore comes down to the media center and wants to help Stan. Lou spots some large fans for ventilation. In the elevator, Joel tries to reason his large bonus with the one in the elevator (Brian). But then he softens up when he hears the story of Lorne . Lorne talks more about the story of these three men with Greg. Stan’s wife Carol, gave up her life because they couldn’t make the mortgage payments anymore. The men’s motive is clear: let him know what he did for his 22 million dollar bonus, in front of some of the people he hurt. The SRU is a little shaken when they hear all this, but they have to keep going. Graves and Brian arrive on the main floor, and Greg is having a harder time trying to keep Stan calm. Ed starts to negotiate with Brian saying that everyone understands what happened, and he knows how helpless he feels. Greg is getting frustrated with the confusion from Stan because he can’t get everything he wants. Or rather, the things he wants are impossible. Ed manages to talk down Brian, and Joel is released. Joel goes on his way, looking at Brian. Greg continues to try to talk Stan down, but nothing appears to be working. Joel heads down to the reporters in the lobby, and finally speaks to the media about his wrongdoings. He apologizes, and offers to do anything he can to help. Stan doesn’t quite buy it, and is ready to pull the trigger on the lighter. Lou walks in with one of the larger fans turned on, and Stan is apprehended. Back at SRU HQ, Ed talks to Greg to find out the real reason behind why he won’t hire Donna, and it’s because he can’t let Jules go. Greg sits back at the table with Donna, and goes through the events of today with her, and talks with her about the what the team means. Donna promises she won’t let him down, and Greg finally agrees to let her join the team. Donna walks to the SRU lobby with a big smile on her face. The montage begins, Joel is thinking to himself, Ed brings in some Tim Horton’s coffee to the three men at the station. Donna settles into Jules’ locker room, as Sam looks on, heartbroken. The song played during this episode was "Search Party" by Wintersleep.

This episode did a great and creative job of bringing to light the repercussions of our current economic situation . And although the media room didn’t look as spiffy as real ones, the episode had a lot of heart once you were able to get past that part.

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