Well, you have to give it to the cast and crew of "Flashpoint" -- they saved the best for last.
When I spoke to Enrico Colantoni (Sgt. Greg Parker) back in September, he told me that the fifth and final season of the beloved Canadian drama was amazing ("To quote 'Spinal Tap,' we went to 11. Went to f---ing 11."), but even that was downplaying how insane (in a good way) the series finale is.
"Keep the Peace: Part 1" was already enough to blow our minds, but the intensity, drama and emotion in the second part -- the series' 75th episode -- is cranked up a couple dozen more notches. In the first part, we saw what the explosive package planted at the 911 call centre kicked off, and it's truly a scary thought. Perhaps it's made all the more frightening because these are buildings I've strolled by and streets I've walked along many times, making all the sights and sounds and screams hit home all the more. Or maybe that's just a testament to how good "Flashpoint" is and always has been.
When executive producers Anne Marie La Traverse and Bill Mustos announced that they had chosen to end the series on a high note, it was hard to find fault with that. Disappointment? Sure. Anger? Maybe. Why have it come to a close when it's doing so well? Personally, I think it's great that fans were given enough time to mourn the impending loss and say goodbye. Plus, there's a certain dignity that comes to ending on their own terms. But that doesn't mean "Flashpoint" won't be missed like crazy, especially because the SRU has become almost like a family, and with family, it's sad to see them go.
In the finale, as the team finally grapples with the truth about the bomber, they learn that he won't be one who can be talked down. And like many of the show's "villains," he becomes one of those characters that's easy to identify with, as hard as that might be to swallow. We get why this guy is doing what he's doing, get why it's come to this, and while we want him stopped, viewers can also appreciate that it's not just some random crazy with no reason behind his actions. But that's just another thing that "Flashpoint" has always done so well -- making us see every side of the story and not just break it down into a simple, good-guy-vs.-bad-guy dynamic.
While I can't reveal much else (besides letting all you "Flashpoint" fans know the sheer awesomeness of it), Colantoni did mention a few months back that "a lot of loose ties are neatly tied by the end." And I'll just confirm that. Sure, it's still the high-octane stuff that "Flashpoint" has been putting out for years and the finale -- both parts -- are bigger than anything the show's ever done. But with all that high energy, there are some serious lows as well. The show has always found that balance of heavy and hopeful and it's that much more evident in the end. Farewell, "Flashpoint," you will be missed.
Note: "Flashpoint" fans can celebrate the show with the special, "Flashpoint: The Final Salute," hosted by "eTalk'"s Ben Mulroney, who sits down with series stars Colantoni, Hugh Dillon (Ed), Amy Jo Johnson (Jules), David Paetkau (Sam) and Sergio DiZio (Spike).
The series finale of "Flashpoint" airs Thursday, Dec. 13 at 10 p.m. EST on CTV.
"Flashpoint" -- Keep The Peace Pt. 1