The market today is so over saturated with hostage/kidnapping plot lines that if you've seen one hostage show, you've pretty much seen them all. There are a few that I feel transcend the tired genre, like The Kill Point, but most end up being middle of the road affairs. When I heard about Crisis, I was actually fairly optimistic, it had a solid cast of established actors, and the story is amplified a bit due to the severity of the who is taken during the hostage situation. Premiering in the 2013 spring season and debuting around the same time as Hostages, yet another series cut from the same cloth, Crisis had a lot to overcome. Unfortuantly for fans of this show, Crisis was cancelled after less than half of its 13 episode run. I've tackled numerous cancelled series lately in my reviews, with more to come, and I felt the majority deserved their fate for their clichéd, unoriginal, uninspired and lazy storytelling. Did Crisis deserve a second chance? or does it fall into the aforementioned group that deserved cancellation?
The plot of the series is pretty cut and dry, like I said, if you seen one of them, you've seen them all, so I'd rather not linger on the synopsis for too long. The series opens with a High School class chock full of the children of D.C's political elite (coincidence?), including the President's son, and one of the primary focuses of the series, Frances Gibson (Played by Dermot Mulroney), an ex CIA agent who just happens to be the chaperone, gearing up for a class field trip. En route to its destination, the bus is ambushed and everybody inside is taken. Due to who was taken hostage, the situation becomes a matter of national security, bringing aboard both the FBI and Secret Service to resolve the situation.
Outside of the hostage situation, the focus is firmly placed on FBI Agent Susie Dunn (played by Rachel Taylor), whose niece, the daughter of CEO Meg Fitch (played to perfection by Gillian Anderson), is apart of the hostage situation, driving her to make sure the situation is resolved at any cost; and Secret Service agent Marcus Finley, who finds himself at the center of the mass hysteria on his first day on the job. The two agents from opposite ends of the spectrum must work together with their inside source to bring a peaceful resolution to the hostage crisis.
A lot of comparisons were drawn between Crisis and Hostages and rightly so. Both were formulaic, middle of the road series' that didn't do much to break the mold of the genre. However, the one with that separates Crisis is its above par cast, the core cast was pretty good throughout the season. I don't know too much about Rachel Taylor besides the fact that she's had several cancelled shows in the past couple of years and the sad fact that I know her from Transformers. While I don't necessarily think she's a good enough actress to carry an entire series on her back, she's capable enough and gets the job done. Hell, she even outshines TV veterans Gillian Anderson and Dermot Mulroney on occasion, who both do excellent work in their respective roles.
A common problem I found with Crisis was that it had a horror film mentality. What I mean by this is for instance is that in a horror movie, the killer stalks a girl, he breaks in the house, she's aware he's somewhere in the house, and instead of running out the door, she runs upstairs... in Crisis, the hostages find ample opportunity to escape and do similarly mind numbingly dumb things to ensure their capture again. One example for instance, a group is able to avoid their captors, escape and run for safety. Instead of continuing running and let's say oh I don't know, run into a populated nearby grocery store or something to that same effect, one of them is "bright" (a surgeon nonetheless) enough to suggest stopping at the nearby deserted bus stop and wait... and wait... and wait... you get the point. The kidnappers would NEVER look there, right? So how do you think that worked out for them??
Another huge problem I had with the series was the suspension of disbelief I had to endure while watching it. Just think for a second about the general plot, would the FBI really put an agent who had a personal stake, or a vendetta, in the situation at the top of the case? Would the Secret Service put a day one recruit at the top of a matter of national security? Come on... I'm not exaggerating when I say there are at least a couple of eye rolling/cringe inducing moments in every episode, if not more. Though if you can take a show at face value for what it is, you should honestly have no problem with Crisis, it's fairly entertaining with some exciting action, decent plot twists, and good performances from the cast.
2. If You Are Watching This, I am Dead.
3. What Was Done to You?
4. We Were Supposed to Help Each Other.
5. Designated Allies.
6. Here He Comes.
8. How Far Would You Go.
9. You Do Not Know War.
11. Best Laid Plans.
12. This Wasn't Supposed to Happen.
13. World's Best Dad.
+ Solid performances from the core cast, especially from the main three. I'd personally say Gillian Anderson was the standout, for me she owned the role of Fitch, though I personally think she shines in just about everything I've seen of hers. Dermot Mulroney was excellent throughout the season as he probably had the most meaty role to work with. Rachel Taylor, who had to carry the show on her back for a lot of the duration, I thought was quite good. Honestly, her performance in the series was possibly her best work to date.
+ Some exciting plot twists.
- Clichéd and tired premise.
- Not enough character development throughout the series. By seasons end, I didn't really care about any of the characters. They all could have died and I'd say "Why should I care?" and then probably turn on Justified.
Video and Audio:
The audio for Crisis is presented with a 5.1 DTS English Dolby Digital track that is a solid mix throughout, where i didn't experience any sort of dropouts or distortions while watching the set.