The Telefile
<I>Crisis</I>: What We Have Here Is Yet Another Hostage Situation

When we first watched this pilot last summer, we saw it alongside the similarly themed Hostages and this show was the far superior debut. It had some interesting twists and turns plus the added bonus of putting Gillian Anderson back on our TV sets. But after suffering through Hostages, and seeing how poorly it all played out, the idea of committing to more episodes of another show that is predicated on a kidnapping is a pretty big pill to swallow. (Note: spoilers for last night's twists below.)

On this show, instead of a family, there is a busload of privileged high school students that are kidnapped on their way to some Habitat for Humanity-type weekend field trip. These are D.C. kids, whose powerful families range from POTUS to a CEO to real-life royalty, so which one these hostage takers are exactly after is anyone's guess. All we know is that one of the Secret Service guys is in on it, and so is Dermot Mulroney, the nebbishy estranged father of one of the "poor kids".

The busload of kids are ushered into a van, with Anton (Joshua Erenberg, arguably the only kid worth paying attention to here) running off to hide in the woods with a wounded Secret Service agent Finley (Lance Gross), while a kidnapper gives chase. The rest of the kids are whisked off to a giant mansion and given copious amounts of really good pizza (can you get delivery to a hostage situation? Apparently so!) They're told that they've had their tracking devices removed (apparently that's a thing rich kid's parents do) and they will be kept captive for four days and then released without harm if they follow the instructions doled out by the masked men.

Meanwhile, the parents have congregated back at the school and are losing their collective minds. All except for Meg Fitch (Gillian Anderson) who walks in like she owns the place, and it seems like she kind of does. Turns out that her sister (Rachael Taylor) is the FBI agent who is in charge of retrieving the kids, but Meg and Susie aren't exactly on speaking terms because of some stupid, convoluted, needless subplot involving Meg's daughter.

So far we don't really know the motive of Dermot Mulroney, except that maybe it's payback for being wrongly dismissed from a job years prior. We also don't really know what he's after (his little notebook has a plan, but we've only seen a few pages), but it seems to involve carefully blackmailing a bunch of these parents to get his mission accomplished, even if that means taking down a drone plane in the process.

So far, the show is still more intriguing than Hostages since at least the captives here aren't randomly allowed to roam all over the city with little kidnapper attention. And having a lot of different teenagers in the mix allows for storylines about awkward dating (including with a teacher) and parental drama, which offers some more possibilities. But at the end of the day, it still seems like a hard thing to draw out for more than a handful of episodes, especially since this is a four-day plan. At least with shows like this, there's not really the chance for another season (what, will someone get kidnapped again?), unless they do it American Horror Story-style and just totally change the casts roles and location.




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The Telefile

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