Monday, January 11, 2010

Flashpoint in a Flash – Season 3 Episode 9: Behind the Blue Line

This episode takes place at Toronto’s legendary Maple Leaf Gardens which was the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1931-1999. When this episode aired, twitter was all abuzz with memories of the arena. Today’s episode is all about being haunted by ghosts from a military past and defending more than just a legendary stadium

We begin at the SRU. Everyone’s nerves are frayed and Greg kicks Team 3 out of the briefing room to cool a heated SRU. It seems like something very bad has happened, but we don’t know what. Sam is covered in blood, and Ed gives a statement to a lawyer. And rewind, to 3 hours earlier.

A developer is having a rough time with a demolition crew trying to order dynamite outside the Godwin Coliseum. No one wants this building to be destroyed and he can’t wait for his big glass tower to come out of the rubble of this building. The developer walks inside with a crew member, takes a few indirect jabs at the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the moment he walks inside the rink he is shot! The SRU is called to the coliseum. Sam and Spike deal with the impatient developer to figure out where the shots came from and look at his wound. Spike wishes him a speedy recovery with a smile before he walks away to regroup with the team. They walk through the old banner-filled halls, and make their way to the rink entrance. Spile spots an infrared sensor. He puts an object in front of it, and a shot is fired. He holds it there so the team can see more of where the bullets are coming from. Sam thinks he has pinpointed the location, and he goes with Leah to find it. The rest head to a secure room to set up a command post. Sam finds the gun, unattended, and disarms it. He passes the serial number on to Jules. Spike, Ed, Greg, and Wordy set up command post and learn about the history of the building. Jules finds that the gun belongs to a retired hockey player, and sends some units over to his address. Ed bowls the spy ball into the rink and they look around to see if there is anyone in the stands. We see the scope of a gun zoom in on Ed’s face but luckily he moves out of the line of fire. There is someone else in the rink. Roll the opening!

The SRU keeps looking around for where these shots are coming from, and Jules finds that this rifle was probably stolen from the retired hockey player. He is being bought to the scene by the police for more interrogation. Ed and Wordy are split up, and they are covered by Sam and Leah from a distance. We see a scope moving around. Greg tries to speak over the loudspeakers, but the wires are all cut. As they walk back to the command post, Ed’s phone rings, and the caller ID reads Greg Parker… but Greg is right next to him and he’s not calling! The phone has been stolen from the command post. Wordy finds a heat print, and they find a wall that pushes open to a passage. This is how he got in past everyone. Greg orders the SRU to enter absolutely quietly. Sam and Leah head in and look around while Spike tries to find these secret passages on the blueprints. He discovers the dressing room, and keeps walking. They turn the corner in this very narrow and dark passage, and within seconds it is illuminated by a spark bomb which sends them running. Sam is burning to the point where he has to lose his uniform. Thankfully, the phosphorous did not penetrate his skin or he would have been done for. Jules continues to search through returned vets. An old coach arrives, and speaks of a secret apartment. The SRU doesn’t think this is a good time for his quirks, but he remains cool as he tries to search for the apartment. Sam plays a few tricks with text messaging to see if Jules can find out where their man is, since he has Greg’s phone.

He gets a reply, asking if he is related to Col. “Badass” Braddock. Sam responds that he is his dad, who went by Sir at home. He asks if he wats to talk. The coach continues to lead the SRU around the concession stands to find the apartment. Sam gets the suspect on the phone and tries to use memories of the coliseum to soften him. The coach arrives, but he is hostile towards Jules. Sam learns that to the suspect picked this place because “this is where anything that ever mattered, happened.” Jules tries to get names from him and says that she can do it herself and it can take a long time to find the right one, or he can give him the name. Finally, he relents, and says that it is a Darren Kofax. He was an 8-year-old hockey prodigy that he raised as best he could, but was devastated when he found out he wanted to play for someone else. When he came back, he just wasn’t the same. Greg continues to scribble notes with a sharpie. The other members of the SRU find the secret apartment entrance. Darren breaks down talking about the demolition, and we learned that just last week Darren meet with this retired player and he just didn’t seem to be the same person he used to be.

The SRU finds a picture of a military unit that has SYOTOS written across the top. Darren senses that they are near him and goes on the over. They find another hidden wall, and the hunt is on. They move out into a main hallway, and have to evade grenades. Bullets are flying as they chase him down an escalator, and then they lose him, as he cuts the power. Sam thinks he knows where he is coming from, and Greg puts his trust in him. Jules speaks to his father, who is on his way to the coliseum, and his father says that he never got professional help. Being in the military ran in the family, and he didn’t want his son to go through it. He says the image is of his friends in Kandahar, and that he was the only one of them who survived. Darren tells Sam he doesn’t know his war. Sam tries to share a story with him to sympathize. Greg questions his methods, but lets Sam continue. Jules still doesn’t know what SYOTOS means. Darren blames himself for his friends enlisting with him, and now feels as if their blood is on his hands. Sam also breaks down to Darren, but tells him that there are ways to get through it. Darren , it seems, has given up. He remembers happier times at center ice when they all used to play hockey, and now it’s all gone. This place is all he has left. Sam finally talks him down so they can meet at center ice. Greg assigns Spike and Wordy to cover Sam against his wishes. The coach says that he wasn’t happy about being sent home early after his friends died, and he was ineligible to serve in the army anymore. They meet at center ice, only to find that he has sent over a decoy (in the form of a security guard from the first episode), and Darren is now holding Spike hostage, saying over and over that he is a good soldier. He says, See You On The Other Side, and goes to shoot Sam. Ed shoots him down before he gets to Sam, who believes he wasn’t going to shoot. Sam goes to him, in disbelief, wiping the blood on his hands and shirt. He is angry with the SRU. The traumatized security guard is led off be Wordy. Darren’s father wants to go into the arena but the police will not let him.

Back at the SRU debriefing (after the events right at the beginning of the episode), they are all arguing against Sam for what happened. It seems, that Sam tried to redeem himself for his own demons. Darren was found to be psychologically unfit, and was not allowed to come back into service. They rewind the security footage, and hear him say, “See You On The Other Side” (SYOTOS). Greg tells Sam that he was saying that to him, because he should have died with his friends. There was nothing Sam could have done. Sam looks at the SRU, and says that he wanted to save people, and feels guilty about not being able to save the one person he could have, and says he doesn’t belong here. He leaves the room, and washes the blood out of his shirt in the shower, as the montage begins. The SRU is solemn in their change rooms. Ed meets Sam outside, saying that he should go with him and Greg to a support group on Friday. At the coliseum, the coach and Darren’s father sit in the dressing room, somber. We see some more shots of Maple Leaf Garden before the lights go out. The SRU stands by Sam as he packs up his locker. They all leave, and the episode ends.

1 comment:

  1. One of the most important signature events of my life having the honour of playing the Paramedic in this episode. I'm tending to the building developer's gunshot wound when Spike and Sam question him. Shot on August 11 outside Maple Leaf Gardens, it was a joy and pleasure to work with Sergio Di Zio and David Paetkau as well as get pointers from the likes of Hugh Dillon, Enrico Colantoni and Michael Cram. Surely, one of the best days of my life.

    Drew Finnie
    Flashpoint Episode 218 - Behind The Blue LIne