Crisis

Crisis
6
An experienced director of television and film alike, Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Luck) confidently guides a strong ensemble cast in the making of an unassuming political action thriller that punches above its weight class. Working from a script by Rand Ravich (Life), Noyce methodically sets up the threads of a complex plot we only scratch the surface of in this opening installment.

To make sure we know that something is going to go horribly wrong, the episode pulls the tried and true trick of giving a glimpse of a critical moment before pulling back to explain how so much shit got in proximity to such a big fan.

Eight hours before someone does something bad involving a security system override, a busload of Very Important Kids heads off on a field trip. Before they depart we meet some of their parents; wealthy socialites, corporate CEOs, a sweaty guy from the opening scene of the show. The biggest fish in the one percent pond, however, is the president's son.

Due to his presence, the bus has an escort of secret service agents, one of whom is on his first assignment or, as one of the kids aptly puts it, he's a complete newbie. Something seems amiss from the get go but once a mysterious and highly orchestrated kidnapping plan begins to unfold the nimble plot gymnastics will keep viewers guessing throughout the entire episode.

Dermot Mulroney has his showiest role so far as the nebbish estranged father of one of the children.As chaperone of the field trip, he's taken by masked mercenaries along with the others where the stress of the situation forces his hidden depths to the surface.

The show's protagonist appears to be the inexperienced agent who proves dauntless in the face of adversity and corruption at the highest level. Lance Gross (House of Payne) seems up to the task of leading the series but it remains to be seen if the character of Marcus Finley has anything to him other than good old fashioned nobility.

Suspicious personalities like Thomas Gibson (Mulroney) and Meg Fitch (Gillian Anderson, who one would presume is intended to have greater presence in the rest of the series) are far more attention grabbing.

Promising a tale of high-tech espionage and insidious political maneuvering with the universal hot button of "What would you do for your child?" to make parents everywhere anxious,Crisis seems to have the ingredients for at least a modestly successful run.

Crisis is scheduled to premiere as a midseason replacement on Sundays at 10pm (Universal)