Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashpoint in a Flash: Season 3 Episode 3: Just a Man

A reformed prisoner (Anton Burrows) loses his parole hearing, and in turn sets of a chain of events starting a riot at his maximum security prison. Can the SRU save the day? Hit the jump for the full episode summary!

We begin in a desolate hallway in a prison. A prisoner (Sloan) is holding a mother and daughter hostage, and is pressuring Anton to kill them. The SRU moves into the prison to try to find them. The prisoner then issues an ultimatum: either Burrows kills them, or he will… REWIND! 3 hours earlier, and we are now at Burrows parole hearing. This is his 4th appeal for parole and he has served 15 years of his sentence. He reads a statement to the family and we learn that he murdered the father. The teenaged daughter stands up and speaks of her anguish and struggles over not having her father in her life, and this stirs Burrows. A shouting match ensues, Burrows is moved to the courtyard, and he loses his appeal. He moves towards a bench to sit down with his head bowed down. Some other prison members notice, and some start a riot to distract the guards as some move inside the prison. The alarm sounds, and the family is ushered elsewhere by the guard. Burrows heads back to his cell while others make their way out, and looks at his own drawn pictures of his victim on the walls of his cell. He remembers the events of that day, he was just a teenager robbing his victim (a shop owner) at gunpoint. The owner grabbed the gun away from him, but the trigger fired and he was killed. He reflects on the events of these days, while other prisoners hold up guards and steal weapons and other supplies from them. The family runs behind the guard through the prison. The SRU arrives on the scene! Hold up for a moment, where’d the usual SRU HQ banter go?

Greg catches everyone up on the situation that the 75-100 prisoners may have homemade weapons, and Ed emphasizes to use less lethal methods. The SRU meet with one of the prison directors, sort out their Alpha and Bravo teams, and learn that the family is still in the building. The Alpha team heads to find them, and the Bravo team heads to calm the prisoners. Leah, and Ed tend to an injured prisoner, as Wordy follows a tip from another inmate on where some guards are being held up. Meanwhile, the family has been captured by some of the prisoners, and Burrows throws one going after the daughter down the stairs. He says that no one is to touch them, that they are his. Roll Opening!

Sam, Jules, and Spike find the prisoner that was thrown down the stairs lying in his cell, and Greg directs them to find the civilians. Looks like one of the prisoners’ major players is out of commission, leaving the guard baffled for who is behind this. Burrows puts the family out of harm’s way in a cell, despite the teenager continuing to speak out against him. Burrows tries to reason with other prisoners to leave them to him, but there is a shift in power and Burrows relinquishes his control to Sloan to keep them alive. Wordy spots some of the injured guards , and Ed organizes his team and they storm in the room, and no one resists them. Guards are saved! Ed recognizes Burrows, and asks Greg for permission to deal with him. He allows it, and Ed confronts Burrows weaponless in the courtyard. They speak to make sure the hostages are safe. Burrows reads a list of seemingly mundane requests from the prisoners, and reminds Ed of the “Ridgestone Towers”. Ed says that he will do what he can to get their demands met. Commercials!

The family is lead by Burrows to the prison basement, where they are whistled at by other prisoners. Ed tells the team that the Towers were all about a big gang bust that failed, where the members cut through the walls of the building. It looks like the SRU has a big prison break to deal with on their hands. Turns out that Ed was called into the parole hearing as a character witness, but did not go. Ed has a history with Burrows, they knew each other since they were young. Ed’s dad told him to look out for him after his dad died. Burrows was just a good kid that went off the rails, and Ed feels terrible about what happened. Ed still has faith in Burrows that he is not going to hurt the family. In the basement, the prisoners plot to take out the last of the “captains”. Ed, Wordy and Spike sneak up behind an inmate quietly and move past him. Spike sets off a flash bomb in a tiny cell, and more inmates are taken care of. Spike looks at a lame bomb which he believes is another distraction. Commercial!

Spike defuses the bomb. Burrows sits with the family in the room. The mother apologizes, and says that she knows he doesn’t want to hurt them. Burrows asks why they came, and the daughter says angrily that he belongs there for killing her father and leaving him to die alone. The mother asks why he killed her husband, and Burrows said that he had no choice. He had to either be with a gang or the gang would get him. A cop tried to look out for him, but Burrows got tired of being scared all the time. He caved into gang pressures to rob the store, to get into a place where he could be trusted. He was hurt by what he did, and all he wanted was the money, but the man he killed was sick of being robbed. He admits to shooting him, because he was afraid. The family starts to lose their anger when they hear he did not let him die alone, as Burrows says that he stayed by his side. The daughter cries on her mom’s shoulder.

Meanwhile, the SRU readjusts their strategy to find the last “captain”, and they still believe that the hostages are going to be killed. Sloan and another inmate confront Burrows thinking they let the SRU in on the plan. Jules , Sam, and Spike find the last captain and take care of him and two other inmates. Now we are where the episode began and Burrows is in a strange position between listening to Sloan and his own instincts to protect the family. Ed, Wordy, and Leah have found where the hostages and Greg tries to work out a way to get in. Burrows now has to choose to kill the teenager or lose his own life to Sloan. Burrows tries to protect the family, but is overtaken by two inmates who move him into a shower room. Another comes in to try to take him out, but Burrows manages to take him out. He finds a cell phone and dials 911. He is patched through to the SRU, and he hints Ed about what is going on. Ed hints for him to buy him some more time, but the inmates are moving the family to another area. Commercials!

Burrows manages to find the family in time and is now doing everything in his power to save the family, until he is stabbed in the back. Luckily the SRU blasts through the wall, and rescues the family. Ed tends to Burrows, who has one request for him… the daughter speaks to Ed, and says that she will speak for him at his next parole hearing. Ed gives her a drawing of her father that was on Burrows’ wall with words of redemption written on it. As Burrows is locked back in his cell, he pulls out his sketchbook. In his garage, Ed looks at a photo album of a younger Burrows and the episode ends.

This episode’s formula was a little different, and it didn’t work in some places. The lighting was also a little strange too, being too foggy and green and dark. We know this is what a prison is supposed to look like but surely not the whole place is green and hazy? Roger R. Cross’s performance as Anton Burrows was wonderful, though!

Next week’s episode features one icky custody battle.

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