Not a fan of these kids, but it was an interesting dynamic created. The case was a little odd with the "child soldiers" but it was a strong show tonight from start to finish. Episodes like this will make you miss Flashpoint when it ends.
I really enjoyed this episode because of the focus we got on the sons of Ed and Greg. The brought a fresh perspective to the show. I was also really pleased by how the events from the season opener continue to reverberate in the life of Ed and his family. It's a level of realism which TV doesn't often give us. The plot of the cops who were so frustrated with the law that they felt they had to go outside it to protect their neighborhood was also well done. I kept expecting to find out one of the cops was a corrupt sleaze and when that DIDN'T happen I was pleasantly surprised. Go show!
- The characterization of Sgt. Matt Fowler, as a cop who cared too much about his community, and how far he was willing to go to protect it
- The suspenseful first 20 min of the episode where it wasn't clear how the episode was going to unfold
- Using the dirty cop cliche as a setup and making the main story about vigilantes and justice
- Clark's discussion with Dean about how Ed's actions in "Broken Peace" has torn his father apart as well as the broader discussion of justice and doing one's duty
- The relationship (brief as it was) between Dylan and Matt Fowler
- The growing relationship between Clark and Dean, and how it mirrors Ed's and Greg's friendship
- Taking Jake the "dirty' cop with Jules into the bad guy's lair didn't seem like a great idea; especially given that the bad guy just shot his partner's wife dead
- The whole "we are policeman and it is not our duty to judge good and bad but to follow the rules" was a little over-emphasized
- Clark's boredom at the beginning of the episode was overdone; I wasn't sure what they were trying to prove
Wow! I haven't felt that good about a Flashpoint episode since "Broken Peace". The story, characters and emotions were very well done in this episode. Although the whole twist of the story of Matt Fowler being the mastermind of the whole vigilante justice thing was pretty obvious, it was a natural development of the plot given this excellent characterization. He was a cop that cared about the people in his community and saw hope; until that hope was taken away by a brutal drug dealer that used children as his soldiers. While not condoning his actions, the story definitely developed him into a sympathetic, but more importantly, an understood character. In some ways, his character was quite similar to the military sergeant from the last episode; a man with a good heart but was constrained by the system he swore to work in.
Another strength of this episode was the follow-up of Ed's actions in Broken Peace. Although not original, it was a pretty ingenious way to highlight how distraught Ed still is from shooting the girl by having his son tell us what is going on at home. This episode really shows how hard Ed has been struggling with his actions. I feel, as he breathed a sigh of relief after not having to shoot Matt Fowler, that he is one scorpio shot away from a total meltdown. I really hope that the writers continue this storyline as this aspect of the series (the emotional trauma of taking a life) is never fully explored.
One last thing that I'll mention is that the episode is also continues themes established by "Broken Peace". The themes of "doing the right thing and following the rules" are explored through the different light of vigilante justice. Although it felt heavy-handed at times and repetitive, it seems like the writers were rebutting some of the criticisms they've received about "Broken Peace".
All in all, an excellent episode, quite similar to last weeks' but having the bonus of tying back to some of the main themes of these season.
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