TV Recap: Crisis, Series Premiere

Written by Megan LaBruna


What would you do to save your child? That is the question that looms over the premier of NBC’s Crisis. The show opens with a father about to override some kind of code and an FBI agent asking him what he did. His response: “I don’t know.” all for the sake of saving his child. Rewind to several hours prior where we begin to be introduced to the large cast of characters. High school students are being dropped off for a trip to New York; however this is no ordinary high school. Many of the children attending the school come from elite families ranging from CEO’s of companies to actual royalty. Even the son of the President of the United States is part of the school; he of course is escorted by several secret service men, one of which, Marcus Finley, is experiencing his first day on “brat patrol.”

Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC
Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC

The cast itself appears to be quite large when you include all the main players and all the kidnapped children and their possible families and storylines, which could introduce quite an intricate plotline. Or the show could end up similar to Lost, where they introduce many characters, discard of many characters and leave many questions unanswered.

As of the first episode, it is clear there are two central families that Crisis will be going in depth on. Rachael Taylor plays Susie Dunn, a high ranking FBI agent assigned to the case. We find out that she hasn’t spoken to her sister, high powered CEO Meg Fitch (Gillian Anderson) in numerous years. They agree to put their differences aside and work together to help save Meg’s daughter Amber, or so we thought. The pilot reveals that the two haven’t spoken because Susie was pregnant at the age of 16. Her sister, Meg, agreed to raise the child as her own and has done so for over a decade. It is assumed that this is the reason for their falling out. Up to this point Susie has never seen her biological daughter and only with this life changing event does she request to see pictures of the child she gave up. While she is absorbed in watching home videos of Amber, Meg receives a phone call from a disposable cell phone conveniently mailed to her office. On the other end is the voice of Thomas Gibson (Dermott Mulroney) instructing Meg that if she wants to see her child again she will comply with his requests.

Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC)
Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC)

The Gibson’s are the second family to focus on. Thomas Gibson is going to be an interesting character to follow. He is seen as passive and weak, however we have also seen moments where he is calculating and aggressive. We know from the first episode that Thomas is ex CIA. At the start of the show, Thomas is arguing with his teenage daughter and her single mother. He only gets one weekend a month with her after the divorce, and he is not willing to give up this weekend because of a field trip, so he volunteered to chaperone. It is clear there is some tension between him and his daughter, Beth. Flashbacks show us that the family was happy at one point in the not so distant past; however on Beth’s birthday last year one of the family friends blackmails Thomas into taking the fall for Lennox, a secret mission gone wrong. We’re not sure what or who is truly responsible, but we know whatever it is has the skill to manipulate him into going so far as to destroy his marriage and his relationship with his daughter to protect their lives. Because of this flashback, viewers can’t be sure whether Thomas Gibson is the one running the show behind this elaborate kidnapping, to get back at the CIA or if he’s simply one more parent on the list who is being forced to carry out a terrible task to save his child’s life.

Regardless of who’s in charge, the rookie agent who was clearly handpicked to escort the president’s son that day has now made things a little more challenging. Despite being shot, he manages to save one of the teens from the kidnapping. Anton Roth is a new student to the school and is incredibly bright for his age. With Marcus’ instruction and quick thinking, the pair manages to take down one of the lackeys tracking them and make a call out to the police for rescue. Along with the gun, Marcus also swipes a walkie-talkie to make it known to whomever is on the other end of the line that he is now their problem and that he will be doing everything in his might to stop their plan. Unfortunately, because of the lack of cell reception for a majority of the time Marcus and Anton were lost in the woods, Anton’s father doesn’t know his child was saved from the kidnapping. This brings us full circle to where the show began, with Anton’s father pressing an override code. His father unknowingly took out the only search drone the kidnappers couldn’t hack, therefore taking down the FBI’s best chance at finding the missing students. Marcus however, despite being new to the presidential detail, is definitely going to be a major player in taking down the people behind the kidnapping. If things go the way I’ve seen shows like this go in the past, Marcus is going to have a hard time navigating through who he can trust on the inside and blurring the lines between what is legal and what is morally just.

Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC
Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC

Aside from the obvious plot points, I anticipate a love triangle between Beth, Amber and Beth’s close friend Ian. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a decent amount of the president’s son Kyle, and we may even continue to follow little Anton, the one that got away. For any former One Tree Hill fans out there, Nathan Scott is back! James Lafferty plays Mr. Nash the teacher chaperone of the trip. Of course, much like every other show out there these days, Crisis is no exception to the typical teacher/student story line. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Hopefully, Crisis will be smart and put the kibosh on Amber and Mr. Nash’s inappropriate relationship fairly early in the season and move on to more interesting and less overdone stories.

Crisis has the potential to be successful, provided it doesn’t stray too much from the already seemingly elaborate plot. The story, thus far, lends for an entertaining and suspenseful season, and possibly future seasons if developed correctly. So the question still remains, how far will these parents go to save their children? Find out by watching Crisis, Sundays at 10pm on NBC.

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